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Title: The Alien Invasion
Author: Wilkins, W. H. (William Henry)
Language: English
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                     _SOCIAL QUESTIONS OF TO-DAY_

                   EDITED BY H. DE B. GIBBINS, M.A.

                          THE ALIEN INVASION

                   *       *       *       *       *

                      SOCIAL QUESTIONS OF TO-DAY.

                  _Edited by H. de B. GIBBINS, M.A._

                        Crown 8vo, 2_s._ 6_d._

MESSRS. METHUEN announce the publication of a series of volumes upon
those topics of social, economic and industrial interest that are at
the present moment foremost in the public mind. Each volume of the
series is written by an author who is an acknowledged authority upon
the subject with which he deals, and who treats his question in a
thoroughly sympathetic but impartial manner, with special reference to
the historic aspect of the subject.

_The following form the earlier Volumes of the Series_:--

  _The Conflicts of Capital and Labour_.               [_Ready._

  =2. PROBLEMS OF POVERTY:= An Inquiry into the Industrial Condition of
  the Poor. By J. A. HOBSON, M.A.                      [_Ready._

  Author of _The History of Co-operation_.             [_Ready._

  =4. MUTUAL THRIFT.= Rev. J. FROME WILKINSON, M.A., Author of
  _The Friendly Society Movement_.                     [_Ready._

  Professor of Political Economy in the University of Dublin.

  =6. THE ALIEN INVASION.= W. H. WILKINS, B.A., Secretary to
  the Association for Preventing the Immigration of Destitute Aliens.
  (With an Introductory Note by the Right Reverend the Bishop of
  Bedford.)                                            [_Ready._

  =7. THE RURAL EXODUS:= Problems of Village Life. P. ANDERSON
  GRAHAM.                                     [_In the Press._


_The following are in preparation_:--

  (Editor), Author of _The Industrial History of England_.

  Authors of _Fabian Essays_.

  Author of _The Labourers and the Land_.

  of Pusey House, Oxford.

  Chairman of the London School Board.

  =14. POVERTY AND PAUPERISM.= Rev. L. R. PHELPS, M.A., Fellow
  of Oriel College, Oxford.



                   *       *       *       *       *

                          THE ALIEN INVASION


                          W. H. WILKINS, B.A.

                     (_Clare College, Cambridge_)


                       WITH AN INTRODUCTORY NOTE

                                BY THE


                             Methuen & Co.

                     18, BURY STREET, LONDON, W.C.


                        [_All Rights reserved_]

                   *       *       *       *       *

                     RICHARD CLAY & SONS, LIMITED,
                           LONDON & BUNGAY.

                   *       *       *       *       *


           The Right Honourable the Earl of Dunraven, K.G.,

                             THE LEADER OF



                     AND WORTHLESS OF OTHER LANDS,

                   This Little Volume is Dedicated,

                      IN GRATEFUL ACKNOWLEDGMENT


                   *       *       *       *       *


My object in writing this little book has been to collect together in
a popular and readable form the main facts connected with the question
of destitute immigration. I have endeavoured to set forth as concisely
as possible the evils consequent upon our present system, and to place
before the public the leading arguments in favour of some moderate and
judicious restriction of the influx of the destitute and worthless of
other countries. In doing so, I have studiously avoided identifying
this important question with any particular party, or any particular
creed. It is a matter which concerns the nation as a whole, and it is
one in which men of all creeds and parties--Jew or Christian, Liberal
or Conservative--may unite together for good. The advisability of
restricting our present system of unchecked destitute immigration is
a matter upon which there exists considerable difference of opinion.
In giving expression to my earnest convictions, I ask for that same
indulgence which I willingly extend to those who may differ from my


  _January 1892._


I have been asked to write a short preface to a work in which the
author proposes to afford the public information with respect to the
immigration of destitute aliens into this country. He will discuss
the evil incident to an immigration that is practically uncontrolled;
and he will suggest the lines in which, in his opinion, remedial
legislation should be promoted.

The subject is one of very great importance, and I am confident it will
be approached by the writer in a dispassionate spirit. He must know
that he will fail of his object unless it is perfectly clear he is
not influenced by any prejudice against the race to which the greater
part of the destitute immigrants are known to belong. He will make it
abundantly clear there is no desire or intention to forbid the man
who is persecuted, either for his religious creed or his political
opinions, from finding an asylum among us.

It is the opinion of many who have given to this subject much
consideration, that the destitute foreigners who come to England in
such numbers exchange into a condition that is hardly less tolerable,
than that from which they have fled in the lands of their birth. It is
said they exercise an influence that is morally and socially to the
hurt of those among whom they come to dwell. It is contended that they
injuriously compete with our own people in the labour market. It is
often urged that they compel our people to seek a home and employment
in other lands, because of the glut they cause in the labour market,
and because of their readiness to accept wages and to be content with
conditions of living which are unacceptable, and something more than
merely unacceptable, to the Englishman.

These allegations require to be investigated. It is important to
ascertain what the number of foreign immigrants really is, and what
is their condition when they land among us. It is desirable we should
know what provision is made, if any, for their reception, and what
becomes of the men, women, and children, who are said to arrive in
London in large numbers, and for the most part absolutely destitute.
Is overcrowding, with its consequent miseries and ills, appreciably
increased in the East End of London? These are questions on which
the public ought to be informed, and the guardians of the health,
and morals, and general well-being of the people must desire to be
enlightened on these matters. If the evils that are said to be the
results of the immigration of destitute aliens are found to exist, it
will be for our legislators to devise in their wisdom the appropriate
remedy. I will only venture to express one opinion with reference to
this difficult and intricate subject.

I am of opinion it is not safe to allow things to remain as they are
without thorough investigation. On the part of the immigrants there is
a widespread feeling that they are the victims of unjust aspersions;
on the part of the native population there is a disquieting feeling
that the authorities are indifferent to their interests, and careless
of their sufferings. The antipathy of race to race is consequently and
injuriously fomented. It is not to the good of the whole community that
this state of things should be allowed to continue. If this book shall
help to throw light upon the matters in dispute, and influence public
opinion to move the authorities to investigation, and, if the evils
said to follow upon unrestricted immigration are found to exist, to
endeavour to remove them by legislation--it will not have been written
in vain.



  CHAP.                                                      PAGE

     I. THE GENERAL ASPECT                                      1

    II. INCREASE AND EXTENT                                    17

   III. JEWISH IMMIGRATION                                     35

    IV. ITALIAN IMMIGRATION                                    54


    VI. WOMAN'S BITTER CRY                                     85

   VII. THE SANITARY DANGER                                    95

  VIII. THE SOCIAL EVIL                                       104


     X. THE EXAMPLE OF THE UNITED STATES                      127

    XI. THE COLONIAL ASPECT                                   136

   XII. THE REMEDIES                                          147

       *       *       *       *       *

  APPENDIX A. SOME OBSOLETE ALIEN ACTS                        157

          "    B. THE ALIEN ACT OF WILLIAM IV.                161

          "    C. ITALIAN LAW AS TO VAGRANTS                  167

          "    D. THE DANISH ALIEN LAW                        169

          "    E. SUMMARY OF THE LAWS OF THE
                    UNITED STATES                             176

          "    F. SOME COLONIAL IMMIGRANT ACTS                179

                    HAVE CONDEMNED PAUPER IMMIGRATION         186

  INDEX                                                       189




The unrestricted influx of destitute aliens into the United Kingdom is
a matter which has for some time past attracted a considerable amount
of public attention. Within the last few years a Select Committee
of the House of Commons has inquired into this question, and has
published a report acknowledging its extent and recognizing some of
its evils. The Sweating Committee of the House of Lords has dealt with
it indirectly, so far as it concerned the subject in hand. Trades
Unions and Labour Congresses have passed resolutions condemning, in a
more or less general way, the present system of unchecked and unsifted
immigration. But it is only quite recently that it has advanced to a
place within the realm of practical politics. Few public questions have
ripened so quickly as this has done. Last year[1] it was discussed, it
is true, but only in an academic way, as one of those matters which
loom among "the dim and distant visions of the future." To-day it
is emphatically one of the questions of the hour. The Electorate is
considering it, the Press--that sure reflex of public opinion--is
discussing it, and the leaders of political parties, forced by the
growing pressure from beneath, are making up their minds about it.

The reasons for this are not very far to seek. Two great causes have
tended to bring this question to the front at the present time.
One, the recent edicts promulgated by the Czar against his Jewish
subjects in Russia, edicts with which no right-thinking man can have
any possible sympathy, and which necessarily have the result of
driving many thousands of Russian Jews to seek their fortunes anew in
other lands; the other, the action this year[2] of the United States
Government, in passing a law which has had the effect of practically
closing the Atlantic ports to the poorer class of aliens altogether.
Now since the inevitable tendency in the movement of peoples is from
East to West, and since Great Britain, after America, is admittedly the
country to which the greatest portion of these Eastern immigrants come,
it follows, as a matter of course, that the action of the American
Government in thus shutting their doors to the refuse population of the
Old World, cannot fail to have the effect of greatly intensifying the
evil here. Our little overcrowded island is really the only place left
for them to come--the only country among all the nations of Europe,
with one insignificant exception, which has not seen fit to protect
its own people against the influx of the destitute and unfit of other
lands. These are the two principal causes which have forced this
question to the front. There is another also which will prevent its
ever again sinking into the background. It is this. The working-classes
of this country, with whom rests the balance of political power, have
taken the matter up, and, having once taken it up, they will not let it
drop. On this I shall dwell more fully later on. I merely allude to it
now, as one of the factors which will have to be considered in dealing
with this problem.

In taking a general survey of the situation, the first thing that
strikes one is the isolated action of England in this matter, when
compared with other nations. It may be laid down as an axiom admitting
of no cavil, that it is the duty of every State to deal with its own
paupers and undesirable citizens; and moreover it is obvious that this
desirable state of affairs can only be brought about by other countries
refusing to admit them. This common-sense view has been adopted by
all other European countries, except Portugal, which has practically
no immigration at all, and can scarcely, therefore, be said to count;
by all our principal colonies, notably, Australia, Tasmania, New
Zealand, and Canada; by the great Republic of the United States, and
in a general sense by nearly every civilized nation throughout the
world. Those of our colonies which have not prohibitory statutes, have
the power, and use it too, of passing restraining laws from time to
time as need requires, which effectually meet the purpose for which
they are enacted. All through Europe there are either laws prohibiting
the admission of undesirable aliens, or the police regulations and
local customs render their continued residence impossible. Even the
well-to-do Englishman who goes abroad, for no other purpose than to
spend his money, finds himself compelled, should he remain in one
place for any length of time, to contribute, in all sorts of ways, to
the taxes of the country in which he resides. Rightly so too, since
he enjoys the benefit of the protection which the State affords to
him. In particular instances this rule may seem to press hardly on
individuals, since in Germany, for instance, even an Englishwoman
who gives a few lessons in her native tongue is compelled to pay a
tax upon her earnings, a tax in some cases so large as to make the
pittance she obtains hardly worth the earning. Yet those aliens who
are sent to us from other countries--I speak now of the destitute
and unfit--contribute nothing to our taxes, nothing to our national
welfare, nothing to our national defence; they take everything and
give nothing in return, even worse than nothing, since their habits
and their customs exercise a most injurious effect upon the English
community with whom they come in contact.

What then can be urged against England following the example of other
countries in this matter? Nothing but a mere sentiment that she is
a country free and open to all, and that all who will should find a
refuge upon her hospitable shores. This is a sentiment worthy of all
honour, but hospitality may be carried too far, and in this instance
it is not a question of its exercise, but of its abuse. There is a
homely maxim that "Charity begins at home," and if this be true of
individuals it is no less true of nations. The first duty of the father
of a household is towards his own family. He must not give bread to
others while his own children are starving. He must not give shelter to
the stranger, and drive his sons and daughters out into the cold. In
the same way, the first duty of a nation is to its own kith and kin.
It must not open its arms to the surplus population of other lands,
while its own people are clamouring in vain for work. Yet this is the
case, and while every day destitute aliens are pouring in, Englishmen
are driven from the land of their birth to make room for them. Speaking
last year at Liverpool, upon the subject of our rapidly-increasing
population, Lord Derby is reported to have said that "Emigration is
the only palliative." On all subjects connected with population Lord
Derby is a great authority; but of what avail, I would ask him, is
it to recommend emigration as a panacea for our social ills, when for
every hundred of our people taken away, a leak remains behind by which
thousands more of an immeasurably inferior calibre come pouring in,
by whom the conditions of existence are made harder than before, and
the standard of comfort and decency in the home-life of our people is
infinitely lowered? As illustrative of this it may be mentioned that
at Leeds, where there is a very large and increasing foreign colony,
some £500 was spent in 1887 in emigrating English children to Canada;
and evidence was given before the Sweating Committee to the effect that
one day a party of 500 emigrants, mostly young men in the full prime of
their health and vigour, sailed out of Tilbury Docks, and at the same
time another vessel, having on board 700 foreigners, came in. Truly, we
are an eccentric nation!

It was George Cruikshank who in allegory drew a map of England with a
board on a pole stuck in the centre, and on it the following notice
to Europe, "Rubbish may be shot here." It was a caricature, and like
all caricatures subject to exaggeration, but it contained within it
the germs of a great truth. But even Cruikshank little dreamed that
these people would ever arrive here at the rate of 40,000 and 50,000
per annum. Had he done so the notice would rather have run, "No
admittance." "Oh," but I hear some say, "you would check this influx,
but what of the people we emigrate to other countries?" I would answer
that there is no just or fair comparison to be drawn between the people
we send away, chiefly young and able-bodied men, and the wretched,
under-sized, destitute immigrants we gain in exchange. As things
are at present all schemes of emigration and colonization, however
well-meaning, are beside the mark. We are drawing out of the barrel
and pouring in at the top. More than that, we are drawing out good
wine and pouring in bad. It is idle to talk of reprisals, because, as
I have already pointed out, other countries have taken steps to guard
against this evil. No other civilized nation will take our paupers, our
criminals, our lunatics, our outcasts. Why then, in the name of common
sense, should we be compelled to take theirs?

Many attempts have been made to confuse this simple issue. Many red
herrings have been drawn across the track. It has been said, without
one jot or tittle of evidence, that this demand for some moderate
measure of restriction, veils behind it a desire to check foreign
immigration altogether. Nothing could be farther from the truth. No
objection can be urged against foreign immigration as a whole, but
only that part of it which exercises an injurious effect upon our own
people. There are, for instance, at the present time many foreigners in
England employed in different professions and vocations, as teachers of
languages, clerks, waiters, cooks, artisans, and so forth. These are
in no sense an evil, for they supply a felt want, and are decent and
cleanly in their habits and mode of living. Many of them are gradually
absorbed into our national life, and become good and useful members of
the community. The skilled labourer, the decent artisan, the man with
brains to work, or with money to spend, is always welcome to our shores.

Such were the Huguenots. They had not much money, perhaps, but they
brought with them something more precious than mere wealth,--the brain,
the bone, the muscle, and the manufacturing talent of France. They
introduced into England arts and manufactures hitherto unknown, and
they added to the lustre of their adopted country by contributing to
the science and the literature of the day. They were in fact the _fine
fleur_ of the French nation.

A similar influx was that of the Flemings, which took place at an
earlier period of England's history. The Flemings, who introduced into
our country the finer kind of weaving, first came to England during the
reign of Edward III. The weavers of England were then unable to produce
any of the better kinds of cloth, and the difficulties and expense
of having to send abroad whenever any material was required superior
to the coarse home-made product were necessarily great. Under these
circumstances, it was obviously a wise policy of the English king to
induce the Flemish weavers to come over to England, and to bring their
looms with them. The high wages offered, and the prospect held out of
ample employment, soon brought large numbers. A like policy was pursued
by several of the other English kings who reigned during the period
which elapsed between the death of Edward III. and the accession of
Edward VI., and there was from time to time a considerable influx of
skilled artisans of all classes. In the reign of Edward VI. it appears
however that public opinion had veered round. The influx of Flemings
and of foreigners generally had become so considerable, that there was
a general agreement on the part of the native-born population that it
was no longer necessary to hold out inducements to foreign craftsmen,
since their presence in large numbers destroyed the demand for good
English work, and acted detrimentally upon the interests of English
tradesmen. Accordingly we find the citizens of London petitioning the
Privy Council to put a stop to this foreign influx, but the only result
appears to have been that an estimate, or census, was taken of all the
foreigners then resident in London.

One must not infer, however, from the case of the Flemings that the
advent of the foreigner was always welcome, or that the outcry against
him in the reign of Edward VI. was a new thing. The history of the
alien in Great Britain has yet to be written, and space does not permit
of its being dwelt upon to any great extent here. Yet in looking back
upon the legislative enactments of the Plantagenets and early Tudor
kings, which have been briefly referred to elsewhere,[3] one cannot
but be struck at the way in which popular opinion--of which these acts
were doubtless the outcome--wavered on this subject. The generous
treatment accorded to the Flemings and other skilled foreign craftsmen
who came to England from time to time contrasts strangely with the
harshness with which foreigners were treated at other times. In 1155,
for instance, there was an anti-foreign outcry, and many foreigners--in
fact all that could be found--were first plundered of their worldly
goods, and then banished from the kingdom. Later on they were allowed
to return, though still compelled to suffer certain disabilities. At
one time the popular prejudice against foreigners was so great that
their lives and property were always in danger, and they suffered much
unfair treatment. The wise policy of Edward III. removed many of these
disabilities, and a special Act was passed in the reign of Richard II.
by which they were relieved still more. These Acts were those rather of
the king and the upper classes than of the common people, among whom
the animus against the foreigner was still so strong that that bulwark
of English liberty, trial by jury, was to the alien of no avail,
since any charge brought against him, whether true or false, almost
invariably resulted in his conviction by a British jury. To do away
with this injustice the Enactment of 1430 was passed, which provided
that an alien, if he so wished, might be tried by a mixed jury, of whom
half were to be Englishmen and the other half foreigners. This singular
Statute remained in force until 1870, when the Naturalization Act of
that year abolished the privilege of the alien to claim a mixed jury.
This Act also repealed all previous Acts except the now well-known Act
of 6 & 7 William IV. cap. II., which provides for the registration of
aliens, and to which further allusion will be made later on.

Harsh and unnecessary as some of the enactments which were directed
against aliens during the reigns of the Plantagenet kings appear to
us now, we may congratulate ourselves on the fact that even in the
reigns of the Plantagenet kings our Statute Book was never disgraced
by such an unjust measure as the French _Droit d'Aubaine_, which
confiscated to the Crown the whole of the property of an alien, thus
leaving him destitute in a foreign country. This Statute was repealed
in 1791. It was revived by the Code Napoleon, but only for a brief
space, and was finally abolished the year after Napoleon's downfall at
Waterloo. The _Droit d'Aubaine_ was of considerable antiquity, having
been doubtless modelled on the alien laws of ancient Athens, under
which similar confiscations of the property of an alien took place,
though, in spite of the severity of their laws, the Athenians always
welcomed the foreign craftsmen and the artists and skilled workmen
of other nationalities. In Rome under the Republic somewhat similar
laws to those of Athens existed against the alien, but with the Empire
all disabilities were swept away, and Rome gladly welcomed all who
ministered to her luxuries and to her pleasures.

It is hardly necessary to say that no unprejudiced person would
desire England to revert to the harsh measures of the Plantagenet and
Tudor kings, still less to stain her Statute Book by such a measure
as the _Droit d'Aubaine_, however great might be the provocation.
Yet the memory of those acts need not prevent us from considering
dispassionately, and with due regard to the changed circumstances
of our age and country, the advisability of passing some wise and
judicious measure for the sifting of alien immigration at the present
time. The objection to all the measures to which allusion has been made
is, that they were directed against foreigners simply because they were
foreigners, and not for the reason their presence militated to any
considerable extent against the well-being of the English community,
and certainly not because they added to overcrowding, to destitution,
or to disease. The Flemings and the Huguenots have their parallels
to-day in the foreign teachers of languages, in the French cooks and
milliners, in the German clerks, cabinet-makers, and waiters; in the
Italian cooks, manufacturers of Venetian glass, &c.; in the skilled
craftsmen of whatever nationality who arrive upon our shores. Against
these no reasonable objection can be urged. They are useful members of
the community, we gain by their presence among us, and their advent is
a welcome one. But it cannot be seriously contended that the Flemings
and the Huguenots have their parallel in the destitute and degraded
immigrants from East of Europe, or the vagrant and vicious aliens from
the South. Whatever our sympathies towards these people may be, there
is every reason why we should not welcome them here. As things are,
these new arrivals add in a manner altogether out of proportion to
their numbers to the miseries of our poor in the congested districts
of our great towns, to which they invariably drift. There are many
practical ways in which we can show our sympathy with the persecuted
Russian Jews if we wish to do so, notably by combining to divert the
stream of immigration from our own densely populated little island, and
by helping the would-be immigrants to move on to some new land beyond
the seas. This we may do; but for their own sake, and for the sake of
our people, we should try to prevent them from coming here.

With an imperfect knowledge of the facts we are hardly in a position
to judge of the action which the Russian Government has seen fit to
take against its Jewish subjects. On the surface it certainly appears
that a great wrong has been done, a wrong which is also a blunder,
but we must remember that we have not yet heard what there is to be
urged on the other side. We can scarcely be expected to credit without
adequate proof all the hearsay tales of Russian oppression. Isolated
instances do not suffice. If a Russian were to make a collection of
all the instances of murder, outrage, and misery which unhappily still
stain the annals of our law-courts, he would hardly present to his
compatriots a faithful picture of English life. Is there not just
a possibility that we may be condemning Russia on somewhat similar
evidence? It is said,--one cannot say how truly,--that the system of
usury and extortion practised by many of the Russian Jews upon the
peasantry has, in a large measure, tended to bring about the present
state of things. Again we are told that the increase of Russian Jews
has of late been so rapid that there is a danger, if things go on at
the present rate, of the orthodox Slavs being swamped by a section of
the population little in sympathy with the Government under which they
live. These are some of the reasons, we are informed, which have led
to the adoption of harsh measures against the Russian Jews. On the
surface such reasons seem very inadequate, and with the measures which
are said to flow from them no right-thinking man can have sympathy. For
her difficulties with her Jewish population Russia has only herself to
thank. The long years of oppression to which they have been subjected
have degraded them, until their ignorance and dislike of their masters
have become a danger to the State. Anything which savours of a
religious persecution is abhorrent to all liberal-minded men; and if it
be true, as alleged, that the present sufferings of the Russian Jews
are inflicted upon them because of their faith, then our sympathies
with the victims of such an unholy persecution cannot be too great.
At the same time we are not in a position to dictate to Russia. Some
zealous and well-meaning people tried the experiment at a meeting at
the Mansion House last year, with the result that they were virtually
told to mind their own business. The "protest," however, had one
unfortunate consequence. The repressive measures were made more drastic
than before, and the unfortunate Hebrews, naturally interpreting the
sympathy shown to them as an inducement to come here, have since
arrived upon our hospitable shores in greater numbers than before. In
support of this opinion may be quoted the following paragraph which
appeared in the supplement of the _St. Petersburger Zeitung_ last June.

"We hear that a charitable association has been formed, with the
praiseworthy object of assisting the Russian Jews out of their present
miserable situation. An opportunity is to be given them of emigrating
to those countries where sympathy has been publicly expressed for
them. The first thing this association intends doing is to send the
Jews by Libau and Riga to London, where public opinion has clearly
enough shown itself to be on their side. For this purpose four steamers
are to be chartered to carry these Jews to the banks of the Thames at
the lowest possible rates, and it is expected that it will take the
whole of the summer to carry out this plan. The philanthropists in St.
Petersburg hope that the friends of the Jews in England will give them
their hearty support, and help to provide for these poor creatures when
they arrive in London."

This is taking us at our word with a vengeance! Surely for the sake
of these poor immigrants themselves it is high time that some means
should be found to prevent their arriving here in such numbers. The
miseries which many of the Russian Jews undergo in the East End of
London and some of our large provincial cities must be as bad as those
which they have endured in the inhospitable land from whence they
came. In some cases their lot here must be even worse. Quite recently
an instance of the sufferings which these poor creatures undergo came
to light in Whitechapel. Adolphe Cashneer, a Russo-Jewish immigrant,
was summoned before the coroner of East London[4] to give evidence as
to the death of his infant child. The man, who was unable to speak a
word of English, stated that he had been out of work for six weeks--he
worked in the cheap tailoring trade--that the mother had received
no medical attention except a midwife at confinement, no food but
three-halfpennyworth of milk a day, and a share of a fowl which lasted
them five days, and for which the husband had pawned his trousers. The
deceased child had no clothes but a napkin to cover it. It lived only
one week and then died of starvation! The doctor in describing the
wretched room where these poor people lived, said there were no sheets
or blankets on the bed, the mother had no proper clothing, and there
was no food beyond some sour milk in a dirty glass, quite unfit for
human consumption. A more impressive object-lesson of the evils of our
present system of unchecked and pauper immigration than that unfolded
in this tale of sordid misery it would be impossible to conceive. And
yet this is by no means an isolated case. Dr. Dukes stated that he
continually came across such cases. He went on to say in his evidence
at the inquest:--"I continually come across such cases as this....
The poverty in the East End is terrible." Instances like this cannot
but strengthen the argument against admitting destitute aliens here.
Strangers in a strange land, these miserable new-comers find themselves
worse off than they were before. They are not themselves benefited, and
the only result is that they intensify the awful struggle for existence
which is going on daily and hourly among the poor in our large cities.

It has been said that to limit this influx would be to endanger that
right of asylum which has ever been one of England's boasts and
glories. It is not so. Were a careful and judicious measure passed
for the sifting of alien immigration, it would be quite possible to
insert a clause, similar to that which has been inserted in the new
American Act, which runs as follows:--"That nothing in this Act shall
be construed to apply to or exclude persons convicted of a political
offence, notwithstanding the said political offence may be designated
as a 'felony, crime, infamous crime, or misdemeanour involving moral
turpitude,' by the laws of the land whence he came, or by the court

Such is the law in the "land of the free." England, no less than
America, is the home of civil and religious liberty She has great
and glorious traditions; they are illustrated by her treatment of the
Walloons, the Huguenots, the slave-traffic, and all political refugees
from time immemorial. Yet in the past she has not hesitated from time
to time to pass such laws as need and occasion required. To this the
Statute Book is a witness,[5] and her traditions would not be reversed
because in the present day she found it necessary, in the interests
of her own people, to adopt some means for checking this latter-day
invasion. What is asked for is not an offensive but a defensive measure.

England has gained much in the past by her generous treatment of
political refugees. But it must be apparent to every thoughtful man
that the question assumes a very different aspect when we have to deal
not with the influx of a few thousands of skilled workmen at isolated
periods of our history, but with the invasion of some thirty or forty
thousand every year of the class which under ordinary circumstances
would go to fill the poor-houses and penitentiaries of Eastern
Europe. Such a constant pouring in of unskilled labour of necessity
disorganizes the labour market, and compels the displacement of English
workmen who are unable to compete on equal terms with rivals such
as these. The results are plainly shown in the trades and districts
chiefly affected. These immigrants undo by their presence in our midst
all the good which our philanthropists and social reformers have been
labouring for ages to create. It may be true that in the strictly
legal sense of the word comparatively few of them are paupers, since,
as Lord Derby has recently expressed it, "they are quite able to make
their own living." But what a "living" is it? The living of a savage
or a dog, and certainly not one which we like to see Englishmen or
Englishwomen degraded to, or forced into competition with, in the land
that gave them birth. Boast as we may of the succour which we are ever
ready to afford to the oppressed ones of the earth, it is obvious that
we must first look to the interests of our own people. Our supineness
in this matter has allowed the evil to grow to a magnitude it ought
never to have reached, and thus the difficulties surrounding it have
been greatly increased. The Government of the day will incur a grave
responsibility if they do not speedily devote their earnest attention
to this matter.

There are signs all around us that before long something will have to
be done. At a time when the country is being convulsed with conflicts
of labour against capital, and when thousands of our wage-earning
classes are looking in vain for work; at a time when the condition of
the poor in our great cities is engaging the active attention of our
philanthropists, and the columns of the press teem with appeals for the
aid of the homeless and suffering; this ever-increasing addition to the
ranks of our unemployed, with its inevitable tendency to aggravate our
social evils, is calculated to inspire feelings of alarm and dismay
among all those who have the welfare of our people seriously at heart.



That the immigration of destitute and undesirable aliens takes place
on a large and increasing scale, is a fact placed beyond the reach of
controversy or denial. The Select Committee of the House of Commons
appointed to inquire into the subject, reported that the immigration
of aliens into this country had been greater since the date of the
last Census (1881) than at any recent period of our history; an
opinion which they arrived at from the evidence of a number of eminent
authorities. Mr. John Burnett, Labour Correspondent of the Board of
Trade, who was specially deputed in August 1887 to make inquiries into
the Sweating System in the East End of London, reported that matters
were much worse there of late years, because of "the enormous influx
of pauper foreigners," an opinion which he arrived at from his own
personal observation, and from the statements of the people themselves.
Mr. Burnett's report was corroborated in its main features by Dr. Ogle,
whose work it is to prepare the statistical part of the Census, and
whose opinion on all such matters stands deservedly high.

Let us also take the opinion of people who have lived in the invaded
districts, and who can therefore speak from practical experience.
Mr. Henry Dejonge, a cigar-maker, who had lived in the East End for
fifty years, said before the Immigration Committee:--"The increase
has taken place since the Russian War of 1856. Since then it has been
gradual, but sure; there has been a very large increase the last eight
years.... In a certain street in Whitechapel the shops are mostly
kept by foreigners. In Wentworth Street, out of eighty-five shops,
there are forty-eight in the hands of Russian and Polish Jews." Mr.
Simmons, a dress-trimming maker, said that he was born in Spitalfields,
and could date back in his recollection, "and where there were then
two Jews, there are forty now, or even more--say sixty. I know a
street which when I was a boy there was not a Jew in, and now it is
completely full of them." The agent to the Whitechapel Committee of
the Charity Organization Society (Mr. Thurston) was of opinion that
the population in the district of Whitechapel would be half foreign
and half British. "Some of the streets that were occupied by British
workpeople have been entirely cleared, and are now occupied by Jews."
The Rev. H. A. Mason, Vicar of All Saints, Stepney, a well-known and
devoted clergyman, who has laboured for the last eighteen years among
the lowest of the London poor, reckons that there has been an increase
of 1000 foreign Jews in his parish during the last seven years, and
this at the sacrifice of the British population. He also testified
to the ill-feeling existing between them and the British part of the
population who found themselves being thus ousted. The Bishop of
Bedford, Dr. Billing, referring to Spitalfields, where he had laboured
for twenty years, said:--"I know that during the last four years whole
streets have become entirely occupied by Jews, foreign Jews, where
there was not a Jew before." The Report of the Committee of Guardians
of the Whitechapel Union stated in 1887:--"There can be no doubt that
the number of foreign residents--chiefly very poor--in the Whitechapel
Union and adjacent districts, is largely on the increase, and that each
year sees some new locality, or localities, invaded by the foreigner
and abandoned by the English poor. No statistics are needed in support
of this statement, since it is obvious to every one who knows the East
End. It is not a mere redistribution of poor, and the substitution of
one class for another in a certain locality; it is the immigration into
the district of a class of foreign poor, who seem heretofore to have
existed on the mere border-land of civilization, who are content with
any shelter, and to share that shelter with as many of their class as
can be crowded into it."

A mass of similar evidence might be given by experts whose opinions
are above contradiction or cavil. But it is unnecessary to multiply
witnesses. A visit to East London will give one the best of all
possible evidence--that of one's own eyes. In Whitechapel, the increase
during the last ten years has been enormous. Whole streets are now
filled with foreign Jews, notably Old Montague Street, Chicksand
Street, Booth Street, Hanbury Street, and the teeming courts and alleys
adjoining. It is easy to imagine oneself to be in a foreign city.
Strange habits and customs, and foreign faces surround one; and a
foreign language is heard on every side. There are multitudes of little
eating-houses with Hebrew letters on the windows, signifying thus
"Kosher"--meat prepared in the Jewish fashion--is there supplied. There
are foreign Jewish tradesmen who drive a thriving trade in catering to
the peculiar wants of this foreign population, supplying every need,
even down to "smoked beef and sausages from Warsaw," a delicacy which
the Polish and Russian Jew especially affects. There is even a foreign
newspaper half printed in "Yiddish," and the sentiments expressed
therein are often of the most dangerous order. On the walls and other
available spaces, one sees advertisements in Yiddish, and enterprising
tradesmen go in for Yiddish handbills. There are Yiddish clubs and
gambling-hells, and little Jewish lodging-houses without end. In fact
everywhere the signs of this foreign invasion are dominant, to the
complete--or almost complete--exclusion of the English element. That
particular quarter of London is like the Ghetto of a continental city.

The Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police stated in his last
Report that "a growing number of such passengers (viz. destitute
foreigners) arrive in London, chiefly on board vessels running under
the German flag." After noticing that by one line plying between
Hamburg and Tilbury, no less than 4000 such passengers, 80 per cent. of
whom appeared to be quite destitute, arrived in 1890, as compared with
2390 in 1889, the Chief Commissioner notices that "from 4000 to 5000
additional arrived in London in 1890," and adds, "Though some of these
only pass through London on their way to America, it may be taken that
the majority of them settle there." His conclusion is:--"The police
reports unanimously state that there has been a marked increase of late
in the number of arrivals in this country." This report is dated 17th
January, 1891.

The increase is by no means confined to London alone. The Chief
Constable at Manchester reported (29th December, 1890), as the result
of inquiries of several shopkeepers and housekeepers from Poland and
Russia who have resided in Manchester for some years, that "all are
unanimously of opinion that the numbers of their countrymen who have
immigrated into the city have increased during the last few months."
He reports farther (10th January, 1891), "that there are said to be
15,000 to 16,000 Jews in Manchester, and of their number it has been
estimated that at least 70 per cent. are said to be Russian Poles. No
correct information can be obtained as to the proportionate number of
the whole who are in destitute circumstances, or of the total increase
in the numbers of these classes which has actually taken place in the
year 1890; but there can be no doubt that the Jewish people have very
largely increased in numbers in this city during the last few years."

The Liverpool Chief Constable reported (January 1891):--"There is no
doubt, as far as can be ascertained, that the immigration of destitute
Polish and Russian Jews into this city has somewhat increased during
the past twelve months." The Chief Constable at Glasgow reports, on the
authority of the honorary treasurer of the Jewish Board of Guardians,
that about 200 poor Polish immigrants arrive in that city yearly. There
are a good many foreign Jews settled in Glasgow.

In Leeds, the Chief Constable reported (December 1890), that there
is a continuous immigration of destitute aliens--Polish and Russian
Jews. A member of the Jewish Board of Guardians informed him "that the
number of Jewish immigrants arriving in Leeds during the last twelve
months would, in his opinion, be about 2000 persons"; but on this there
appears to be a difference of opinion.

Leeds is a place which calls for more than a mere passing notice,
since it is probably more directly interested in the question of alien
immigration than any other provincial town in England. The incoming
tide flows on unchecked, and helps to swell the poorer population
of Leeds to an alarming extent. In a Report of the Sweating System
at Leeds, Mr. Burnett, Labour Correspondent to the Board of Trade,
wrote:--"As elsewhere these people (the Jews) may be almost said to
form a foreign colony in the heart of an English town, and Leeds
has now its Jewish quarter just as the East End of London has. They
have settled down in a district called the Leylands, and they have
taken such complete possession of it, that in the Board School of the
locality, 75 per cent. of the children are Jews. The streets in the
Leylands are beginning to assume distinctly foreign characteristics.
The names above the shops are foreign, and the notices in the windows
are printed in Hebrew characters. The words spoken are unintelligible
to English ears, and about the race of the children in the streets and
the people at the doors there can be no mistake."

More recent evidence is afforded by the _Yorkshire Post_ "The great
majority of the arrivals," writes this journal,[6] "are Russian and
Polish Jews, who on landing upon English soil, at once move to the
centre of the clothing industry, most of them with little or no money
in their pockets, many of them without a trade in their hands, and not
a few of them trusting for safe dealings to their English vocabulary,
which is limited to one word, 'Leeds.' ... It is quite evident that
there has been an increase during the present year. The persecution of
the Semitic race in Russia has driven immense numbers to seek in this
country the hospitable shelter that is denied them in the land of their
birth, and a not inconsiderable proportion of them having heard of
Leeds as an earthly Paradise for outcasts and wanderers, direct their
steps towards the West Riding capital immediately the Hamburg boat
lands them at Hull."

Among the evidences of the greater influx into the Jewish colony of
Leeds is the increased number of applications for help that are being
received almost every week by the Jewish Board of Guardians, and by
those who have the control of the relief funds connected with the
various Hebrew congregations of the town.

No official return is kept of the number of foreign Jews who come into
Leeds, or of those who leave it; absolutely accurate information as to
the exact number of the foreign colony in Leeds is therefore not to be
obtained. But the Report of the Board of Trade, issued in the spring
of 1891, estimates the Jewish population at 10,000. There are those,
however, who put the number higher than that, the estimate going up as
high as 15,000, or even beyond it. Be that as it may, it is certain
that there has been a very large increase in 1891. How great is this
increase is shown by the following quotation from a circular recently
issued to the subscribers of the Leylands Gospel Temperance Mission,
signed by the Superintendent of the Mission. The Leylands is a district
of Leeds. The circular says:--"Careful inquiries have been made into
the great changes rapidly taking place in the Leylands, owing to the
enormously increased proportion of Jews settling there. As a result of
this, the Byron Street Wesleyan Chapel has been given up and sold to
the Jews, the Roman Catholic Chapel is also given up, and the English
and Irish portion of the district is removing. A carefully-prepared
estimate has been given of the changes during the past two years, as
follows:--In 1889 there were in the Leylands 1300 houses. Of these
621 were occupied by Jews. In 1890, 765 were occupied by Jews, an
increase in one year of 144 houses taken by Jews. At present, out of
1300 houses, 900 are occupied by Jews (between 30 and 40 of them as
workshops), only leaving about 400 houses in the district occupied by
English and Irish."

To return to London. In addition to the facts already quoted, we have
the evidence of the Jewish Board of Guardians, evidence surely above
suspicion, since that body is by no means prone to exaggerate the
evil of destitute immigration. In the Annual Report of the Board for
1890, it is stated that the total number of cases of foreign Jews
"entertained" during that year amounted to 3534. Taking ten years, we
find that in 1880, 2588 cases were relieved, _exclusive_ of Loan and
Industrial Departments, at a cost of £18,354; in 1890, 3351 cases were
relieved, _exclusive_ of Loan and Industrial Departments, at a cost
of £21,648. The total of absolute gifts in 1880 was £5528; in 1890,
it had run up to £10,776, or nearly double. Moreover, the Emigration
Committee of the Board testify to a decrease in the number of people
assisted to emigrate in 1890. They admit that, owing to the United
States Immigration Laws, they have to use the greatest circumspection
to prevent any cases being assisted that are likely to be refused
admission on the other side. The Russian Relief Fund Committee also
admit that owing to persecution in Russia they no longer assist Eastern
immigrants to return home even in cases where it is desirable to send
men back to look after their families. They state that a "large number"
of refugees have been assisted by them to settle here since 1882, and
that they succeed in gaining a livelihood in London.

From special inquiries which have been instituted by the Association
for preventing the Immigration of Destitute Aliens, it is computed
that during the spring, summer, and autumn months of the present year
(1891) some 500 a week of these alien immigrants have arrived at
the port of London alone. Of these nearly 80 per cent. appeared to
be in a destitute condition. It is to be noted that these figures do
not include those who are stated to be provided with through tickets
to other countries; and though some may possibly return again to the
land from whence they came, the probability is that most of them
remain to glut the already overcrowded labour market in the East of
London. A few, generally of the least destitute class, drift on to the
manufacturing centres in the North of England; but the alien population
of the provincial cities is mainly recruited from other ports--Hull,
Leith, Grimsby, and Southampton.

We now come to the last link in this chain of evidence as to the
increase and extent of alien immigration--the official returns of the
Board of Trade. I have purposely delayed considering these returns
until the last, as they are in many ways incomplete and unsatisfactory.
Still as they are so frequently appealed to by those who seek to
minimize this evil, one must refer to them also. As an instance of the
way in which they have been kept, it may be stated at the outset that,
excepting as to London and Hull, the information has only been obtained
from the various ports since the 1st of May 1890, and only as to London
and Hull is a comparison possible with the previous year. Still even
on this unsatisfactory basis we find that 29,885 aliens arrived from
the Continent, at twenty-one British ports, between May and December
1890, and at two others in the whole year, not intending to proceed
to America; whilst the arrivals in London were 4400 more in 1890 than
in 1889, and in Hull 1320 higher.[7] And this in spite of the fact
that nearly 1,000,000 persons were maintained under the Poor Law in
Great Britain during 1890! The returns issued by the Board of Trade
for 1891 are even more alarming. The total of aliens "not stated to be
_en route_ to America" who arrived in the United Kingdom during the
ten months ending the 31st of October, 1891, amounted to no less than

These figures appear upon the showing of the official returns, and
taking them as they stand, how people, however optimistic, can derive
any consolation from them, it is not easy to imagine. But there is no
doubt that were these returns actually complete, carefully prepared,
and accurately checked, it would be found that the number of aliens
who arrived upon our shores would be very much in excess of the number

The actual numerical work of compiling the returns is done at the Board
of Trade; but the collection of material is directed and superintended
by the Commissioners of Customs; and the efficiency of the work turns
upon the way in which the Alien Act of William IV. is administered.

Summing up briefly the chief provisions of that Act, which are given
_in extenso_ elsewhere,[8] it will be seen that--(_a_) The master of
a vessel arriving from a foreign port is to declare in writing to the
chief officer of the Customs at the port of arrival, the number of the
aliens who are on board, or have landed from his vessel; and to give
the names, rank, occupations, and description of such aliens, so far
as he shall be informed thereof; and if a master omits to make such
declaration, or wilfully makes a false one, he is liable to a penalty.
(_b_) Every alien on arrival is to declare in writing to the chief
officer of Customs at the port of debarkation, his name, description,
etc., and every such officer is to register the declaration, and
deliver to the alien a certificate, which is to be given up to the
chief officer of customs at the port of departure, when the alien
leaves the country. (_c_) The chief officer of Customs at every port is
to transmit to one of Her Majesty's principal Secretaries of State--in
practice the Home Secretary--a copy of the master's declaration, a copy
of the certificate given to the alien, and the certificate which the
alien gives up on leaving the country.

This sounds all very well in theory, and there is no doubt that if the
provisions of the Act were carried out to the letter, we should be
in possession of what we have not now--actual statistics, which must
precede legislation. But the question is, what about the practice? Mr.
Lindsey, the chief of the Long-room at the London Custom-house, told
the Immigration Committee in 1888 that the Act had long since fallen
into desuetude; and that only at the ports of London and Hull did
the masters of vessels, at that date, report the number of aliens on
board, or make any declaration whatever, while no means at all existed
for checking the lists supplied. Indeed, it would be quite possible,
he considered, for vessels to land "thousands of aliens" without the
Customs authorities being able to find it out. No declarations were
made or certificates given to aliens on arrival, or received from them
on departure, as directed by sec. vi. of the Alien Act of William IV.
It is evident, therefore, that up to that date the Act had been allowed
to become practically obsolete.

After the Immigration Committee had used their Report in 1889, in
which they recommended that measures should be taken to secure with
more frequency and greater accuracy an estimate of the amount of alien
immigration into the United Kingdom, tardy steps were taken to obtain
certain statistics; but it was not till May 1890, and after questions
had been frequently asked in either House of Parliament, that alien
lists were taken at ports other than London and Hull. Even now, though
an attempt has been made to procure lists of aliens from a considerable
number of ports, yet on the face of the monthly returns the lists are,
admittedly, very imperfect. The lists received from Dover, Folkestone,
and Harwich are only partial; while other ports of considerable
importance, such as Lynn, Newhaven, Southampton, and many of the
western ports, are omitted altogether. In all cases the masters of the
vessels are perfectly able to shirk their duties if so inclined; so
that not only are the returns very incomplete, but even the statistics
given are very untrustworthy.

I have the best authority for making this charge as to the
untrustworthy nature of the statistics given, which is so strenuously
denied by those who put their faith in the official returns. My
authority is a letter written to me on the 23rd April, 1891, by the
Secretary of the Customs, in which he says:--"I am directed to acquaint
you that the Department does not undertake in any way to check the
returns of aliens made by the captains of the vessels, under the
requirements of the Act of William IV.; and that the Customs Boarding
Staff, as at present arranged, could not undertake such a duty without
additional expense to the public, even if directions to that effect
should be received from the Government."

This is perfectly natural and reasonable as coming from the Customs.
The letter is merely quoted here to show that it is impossible
to place faith in the present returns. It practically admits the
whole contention: the alien lists are unchecked, and therefore
unsatisfactory. A glance at the way in which they are prepared will
show how unsatisfactory they are.

As we have already seen, the provisions of the Alien Act of William IV.
have been allowed to fall into disuse, and the penalties for neglect
of carrying them out are never enforced. Hitherto even such returns as
have been sent in, have been loosely and carelessly prepared. In some
cases masters of ships have neglected to render any returns of the
aliens on board their vessels; in others, the duty, instead of being
performed by the captain or master of the vessel, as the Act requires,
has been delegated to some inferior officer, with the result that the
work has been performed in a hasty and perfunctory manner. But, however
carelessly these lists are prepared, the Custom House authorities
accept them just as they are, and no provision has been made for
checking them. It is obvious that statistics prepared in such a manner
are of no great value. Yet it is upon the authority of such returns as
these that we are asked to disbelieve the evidence of our own eyes,
and to admit that the matter is not of sufficient urgency to claim the
attention of the Government.

With regard to the steps which the Board of Trade are said to be
taking to ensure more accurate statistics, it was stated by Sir
Michael Hicks-Beach last session that in future the number of aliens
on board the incoming vessels would be every now and then counted,
and comparisons made with the master's returns. "Every now and then"
is very vague; and until a check is systematically and regularly
imposed upon the number of alien passengers on every ship arriving at
all the ports, we cannot be sure of obtaining accurate returns. This
vague promise on the part of the President of the Board of Trade was
made--it should be noted--after a prolonged correspondence had taken
place between that Department and the Association for Preventing the
Immigration of Destitute Aliens. The Association, on the strength of
the letter from the Secretary of the Customs, already quoted, had asked
the permission of the Board of Trade--as the returns were admittedly
unchecked--for its agent to be allowed, at the Association's expense,
to go on board the incoming vessels for the purpose of checking
the returns rendered by the masters. This request was met by _non
possumus_[9]; and the Board of Trade wrote to say that though they had
"no reason to believe that the returns hitherto received have been in
fact inaccurate, arrangements have been made for a further check to be
applied to the returns in future by the officers of the Customs when
on board the ships." How far these vague promises given on the part of
Sir Michael Hicks-Beach in the House of Commons, and by the Department
in the letter quoted, have been redeemed, it is impossible to say. The
promise of a "further check" is not more reassuring, than Sir Michael
Hicks-Beach's "every now and then," especially when we bear in mind
that it had been admitted that hitherto there had been absolutely no
check at all. All that one knows for certain is that up to the present
no action has been taken against the masters or owners of any ships, if
the lists have been found to be incorrect.

Such then is a sketch of the way in which the Government figures are
obtained, and of the efforts which have been made to secure their
greater accuracy.

In compiling the alien lists in the future, some more definite
information should also be forthcoming as to the means, nationality,
and destination of the immigrants. The distinction "_en route_ to
America" is altogether inadequate for practical purposes. As matters
stand, it is the only clue afforded us for judging which of the
immigrants are merely birds of passage, or which come to settle here.
Of course some of those who are "not stated to be _en route_ to
America" return again to the Continent; but against that unknown and
altogether hypothetical number, may fairly be set the incomplete nature
of the returns, and the practice so generally followed in preparing
the alien lists of counting two children as one adult. As most of the
immigrants against whom complaint is chiefly made do not come here
alone, but with their families--and often large families--this is a
point to be noted in considering the actual numerical value of the
Board of Trade returns. Therefore, in making a rough estimate, I do not
think I shall be far wrong if I consider the number of aliens classed
in the Board of Trade returns as "not being _en route_ to America," as
practically representing about the number of those who remain here.

As matters stand, it is of course at present impossible to give the
exact number; but such an estimate would be approximately correct.
Nevertheless, in a letter to the _Times_ in the month of August
last, an official of the Board of Trade, writing under the _nom de
guerre_ of "Facts," did not hesitate to charge me with "attempted
misrepresentation," and "an intention to create prejudice," because
I estimated that the number of aliens quoted in the official returns
as "not being _en route_ to America," would probably represent about
the number of those who come here to settle. The animus displayed in
this letter was doubtless engendered by the remembrance of a previous
epistolary duel. Opinions may differ as to the importance to be
attached to this question of alien immigration; they may differ also as
to the value of the Board of Trade returns; but however this may be, to
write letters under a feigned name to the papers, deliberately accusing
one's opponent of bad faith, is a method of conducting or prolonging a
controversy happily rare. Though you may disagree with another man's
views, you have no right to accuse him of dishonesty because he happens
to differ from you.

After the correspondence in the _Times_ took place, a note was appended
to the monthly returns issued by the Board of Trade, to the effect
that it was not implied "that the aliens not stated to be _en route_
to America, come to this country for settlement; there being in fact
a large emigration of foreigners from this country, while many of the
aliens arriving from continental ports return again to the Continent."
This clears the ground a little, and so far the correspondence cannot
be said to have been altogether barren of results. The announcement
that there is a large emigration of foreigners from this country is
quite gratuitous, however, since we know that the number of aliens
who came here _en route_ to America, in the ten months ending 31st
October, 1891, amounted to no less than 88,617. That does not affect
the matter under consideration in the slightest. But the statement that
"many of the aliens arriving from continental ports return again to the
Continent" cannot be allowed to pass so easily. How is this conclusion
arrived at? No account of foreigners leaving this country for European
ports is taken. Of course many return, but who are they? Principally
tourists, business men, and the better class of foreigners, against
whom no complaint is made. But the great bulk of these _are not
included in the official returns at all_, for the alien lists received
from Dover, Folkestone, and Harwich, the three ports to which that
class of foreigner generally comes, "show only deck passengers, and
persons who on landing proceed by train as third-class passengers."[10]
In making a fair estimate, therefore, the better class of foreigner
can hardly be taken into consideration at all. This reduces the number
of those included in the official returns "who return again to the
Continent" to a _minimum_. Those against whom complaint is made--the
_residuum_, the worthless, and the unfit--remain with us. They could
not return to the Continent even if they wished to do so, for the
simple reason that they would not be received back again. The law, for
instance, in Hamburg is to the effect that no person without means
is to land at that port. Hamburg is the great port from which the
destitute aliens take ship to England; and therefore it is apparent
that though steamship companies may land upon our shores any number of
destitute or semi-destitute passengers they please, they dare not take
back these same passengers to Hamburg, even if they should wish to go.

Hence, it may be fairly said that this "immigrant emigration,"
upon which the Board of Trade appears to lay so much stress, is
inconsiderable, and at any rate does not touch the class against
which complaint is chiefly made. Against it, is to be set the
incomplete nature of the lists actually rendered; the fact that the
returns are not received from _all_ the ports of the United Kingdom;
the untrustworthiness of such as are received; and the practice in
preparing them of counting two children to one adult. If all these
considerations be balanced against the unknown number of aliens "who
return again to the Continent" or move on elsewhere, it certainly
cannot be said, that, in estimating the number of those who are stated
to be "not _en route_ to America," as the approximate number of those
who remain here, one is guilty of exaggeration. If anything, one
under-estimates rather than overstates the case.

The fact of the matter is, that all attempts to bolster up the
official returns, so long as they are compiled in the present manner,
is foredoomed to failure. They are about as unsatisfactory and as
inadequate as they can well be, and the distrust with which they are
viewed is widespread. The importance of trustworthy official statistics
upon this matter can hardly be overrated. So long as they are wanting,
there will always be a tendency to exaggerate the evil on the one hand,
and to minimize it on the other. Things are bad enough as they are,
and there is nothing to be gained by exaggeration. It is greatly to be
hoped that the present Government, which has done much in the way of
good and useful reform, will take steps to wipe away this reproach--for
it is nothing less than a reproach--that, while we have such admirable
statistics as to the imports of merchandise, the returns as to the
importation of human beings should remain in their present imperfect



In this chapter I propose to consider the nature of the immigration. At
the outset of this particular aspect of the question, it is necessary
to make it clear that one is animated by no sentiments of racial or
religious animosity. Nothing could be more undesirable than to treat
this question as a sectarian question, or to cast any slur upon the
Hebrew faith. Nothing would harm the movement more than to create a
_Judenhetze_ in England, the home of religious liberty; and therefore
whenever the term "Jew" is used throughout this volume, it is used
merely to distinguish between other races and nationalities, and from
no desire to arouse the _odium theologicum_. This disclaimer may seem
unnecessary to some, but it is important to emphasize it, because
if there is one thing hateful to the people of this country, it is
religious intolerance; if there is one thing dear to them, it is that
liberality which in matters of this kind recognizes no distinctions of
faith or creed. It is perfectly true that a large proportion of these
undesirable visitors are Jewish by race and religion. But that has
nothing to do with the objection to them; it would be just the same
if they were Christians, Mahommedans, Buddhists, or sun-worshippers.
The objection to them is simply this, that by coming into certain
trades and industries in this country, they subject our own people to a
constant and unfair competition, which renders it impossible for them
to obtain a decent livelihood, and tends directly to militate against
their physical, financial, social, and moral well-being. In this
matter there is nothing of race, nothing of religion, except so far as
this, that we recognize that our first duty should be towards our own
nation, our own flesh and blood. Nor is this objection by any means
confined to destitute foreign Jews; it holds equally good with regard
to vagrant and vicious Italians, idle Hungarians, degraded Chinese, and
all the other undesirable specimens of those nationalities which go to
make up the motley horde. Still it is idle to deny, in dealing with
this question, that though the immigrants are of all nationalities,
by far the greater part of those objected to is composed of Russian,
Roumanian, and Polish Jews, drawn from the class which goes to swell
the poor-houses and penitentiaries of Eastern Europe.

In the previous chapter I have dwelt upon the numbers of this
particular class of alien immigrants. It is not necessary, therefore,
to go over the same ground again. It suffices to point out that this
increase, which would be undoubtedly serious if it were distributed
impartially throughout the United Kingdom, assumes a far more
formidable aspect when we consider its distribution in particular
localities and particular trades. The invading hordes of destitute Jews
appear to flock chiefly to our great centres of population, such as
the East End of London, and to the great manufacturing cities of the
North--Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle-on-Tyne,
Glasgow, Edinburgh, and some other Scotch towns. Now it is evident
that thickly-populated districts do not require immigration, but
emigration. It is evident also that the Jew in England is not pastoral,
but gregarious. Experts, whose opinions must be listened to with
all deference, tell us that many of the foreign Jews have in them
the making of good colonists and admirable agriculturalists. It may
be so; but those who come here appear to show a marked distaste for
agricultural and all pastoral pursuits. No one in England ever comes
across a Jewish farmer, or a Jewish agricultural labourer. These
immigrants invariably turn their backs on thinly-populated districts;
and wherever our people are most closely huddled together, wherever the
struggle for existence is keenest, there will the greatest number of
foreign Jews be found, with the inevitable result that the conditions
of life become even harder than before. It is very necessary to
consider the distribution of this unlimited immigration, if we are to
form an adequate idea of the injury it works upon our own people.

It is impossible not to feel compassion for these poor Jewish
immigrants, when we consider the condition in which the great majority
of them land upon our shores. They are often of poor physique, and
always scantily clad. In most instances, they are without money at all;
others have a few thalers, or roubles, or marks, as the case may be;
and of these they are quickly eased by the loafers, touts, and rascals
of all descriptions who hang about the docks waiting their arrival, and
professing to show them where to lodge for the night, or where to find

One ceases to wonder at the destitute condition in which these
unfortunate people arrive on our shores, when we consider the
discomforts and miseries which they have to undergo before they
arrive at our ports. So far as the Jewish immigrants are concerned,
it may be said that fully 70 per cent. of those who have arrived at
the port of London during the present year have come from Russia
or Poland. The edict in Russia has gone forth for their departure,
but before departing it is necessary for them to obtain a passport
and other official documents, which have to be paid for at the time
of application, and are subsequently required to be shown to the
Russian officials before crossing the frontier. I believe that some
negotiations are now pending with regard to relaxing the severity of
the passport regulations; but at present the possession of a passport
is a _sine quâ non_. To avoid the expense and trouble of obtaining
these documents, many subterfuges are resorted to, to enable the
Jews to leave unnoticed; but on arriving at the frontier _en route_
to Hamburg, and being found without these documents, many of the
emigrants are subjected to the grossest maltreatment and robbery. It
is said that many of them have been robbed of every coin, and almost
every article they possess, and are sent across the frontier in an
absolute state of beggary and destitution. Many cases are known to the
officials of the Jewish Charitable Institutions in London, where whole
families have had, in consequence of being thus robbed, to tramp on
foot through Germany ten or sixteen days, in order to reach Hamburg _en
route_ to London. When once they arrive at Hamburg, the departure of
these persons is by some mysterious means, which I have been unable to
ascertain, directly provided for. It is not an expensive journey, the
passage to London from Hamburg being about sixteen shillings English
money per head for the adults, and the children come half-price. These
are approximately the fares charged by Messrs Perlbach, who do a
thriving trade in bringing these people across. I say "approximately,"
for Messrs Perlbach have met all my requests for information with a
_non possumus_. Of course such a cheap rate does not admit of many
comforts. The emigrant has to find himself all food and bedding. In
most cases the boats are entirely devoid of sufficient accommodation
for passengers; and being under a foreign flag, they do not come under
our Board of Trade regulations here.

The accommodation on board the boats plying between Hamburg and London
is miserably insufficient; and doubtless it is no better between
Hamburg and other English ports. The voyage from Hamburg to London
usually occupies from forty to sixty hours, according to the weather;
and during the whole of this time these poor people are herded together
rather like cattle than human beings. Men, women, and children are
crowded together in the stifling atmosphere between the decks; some
lying on bundles of foul and dirty rags, others squatting on the
bare deck itself. It is a terrible picture of famished and suffering
humanity. No one thinks of taking off his clothes during the passage,
and few have either the inclination, or the opportunity, to wash
themselves or their children. The sanitary arrangements are simply
abominable. The following account, given by the special commissioner
of a London evening journal, which has done much to bring this evil
prominently before the public, and to which I gladly acknowledge
my indebtedness, may with advantage be quoted here. The special
commissioner travelled over from Hamburg as a "destitute alien" on
board Messrs. Perlbach and Co.'s steamship _Minerva_. In his report he
describes his experience as follows[11]--

"By the time I got on deck darkness had set in, and nearly all my
fellow-aliens had stowed away the pocket-handkerchiefs or canvas-bags
containing their belongings in one or other of the two holds, which
were to form their place of residence for the next two nights at any
rate. I saw some scores of eyes peering at me for the first minute
or two; then when curiosity as to the new arrival had abated, I sat
down in a dark corner and quietly examined my surroundings. The
greater portion of the deck was taken up by large boxes covered with
sheets of canvas, and extending to a height in some places of perhaps
eight or ten feet. On the top of these, and in the narrow passages
between them, the emigrants sat or stood, breaking the stillness of
the evening with the hollow laugh or clamorous chatter. Most of them
were young women, wearing shawls on their heads, and clad in soiled,
faded, and torn finery. Some of them were men, young or middle-aged,
but so enfeebled and spiritless that one might have fixed their age at
nearer seventy than thirty. A few were old women, bent, emaciated, and
almost lifeless. All, with few exceptions, were yellow with dirt, and
smelt foully.... I thought it to be about time to go and look after my
sleeping quarters. There were two places from which to choose. One of
these, according to the inscription on the entrance, was constructed
to hold thirty-four persons, the other twenty-nine. The German ships
are subject to practically no regulations as to space; and I inferred
there must be on board about one hundred deck passengers.... I made my
way to the larger of the two steerage cabins. When I got to the top of
the gangway, the stench which issued from the semi-darkness beneath
was pretty nearly unendurable, and it was even worse down-stairs, when
blended with the heat from the bodies of the emigrants. But the scene
which the place presented was still more disgusting. The apartment
was about the breadth of the ship near the narrow end in width,
and scarcely so long. In the centre a single oil-lamp was hanging,
which threw out a feeble, flickering light. On each side a couple of
platforms were erected, one over the other, with about two and a half
feet between them, divided into spaces in some places a little over
two feet broad, and not divided at all in others. Here men, women, and
children were lying on the bare boards partly undressed, some in one
direction, some in another. Young men lay abreast of young unmarried
women, chatting jocularly, and acting indecently, and young children
were witnesses of all that passed. The greater portion of the floor was
taken up with boxes, on which such of the emigrants of both sexes as
had not been able to obtain the ordinary sleeping accommodation were
reclining as best they might."

That was the first night of the voyage; the second is described by the
commissioner as follows:--

"My second night's experience in the hold I need say little about; the
horrors of the place were increased by the accumulation of filth, which
had taken place by the ever-increasing indisposition of the passengers
the longer we were at sea.... Through the long weary hours I sat
there sleepless, I was only too glad when the light of morning made a
promenade possible on deck."

Such are some of the miseries of the journey. It is small wonder then
that under such circumstances, when the vessels reach London, these
unfortunate people present a most squalid, dirty, and uninviting
appearance. The journey is a wretched one; and at the end of it things
are no better; for when London is reached, these poor creatures are
cast adrift to fight for themselves, in a population already teeming
with starving, dying thousands.

The steamers that bring these aliens to London always land them at one
of three places--Tilbury Docks, the Upper Pool, or St. Katherine's
Docks. Wapping is the worst of the three places of landing. Here the
steamers lie out in the middle of the Thames; the passengers are
bundled into boats, the watermen in charge of which will endeavour
before landing to get as much out of them as they possibly can. They
are landed in different places, their luggage is thrown out of the
boat, and they find themselves alone in a strange land unable to make
known where they wish to go. But they are not left long in their
loneliness. A number of human sharks, generally foreign Jews also,
surround them, anxious to see in what way they can take advantage of
their ignorance and friendlessness. The worst foes that have to be
contended against are some of the East End boarding-house keepers.
These men will meet the new-comers, address them in "Yiddish," say
that they are connected with some of the Jewish charities, and tell
them that they must allow their luggage to be collected. When this is
done, they get together as many as possible before being stopped by the
real agents of the Jewish Homes, and march them off, not to where the
unfortunates think they are going, but to some of the boarding-houses
in Spitalfields. Arrived there, the aliens undergo a process of
sifting. Those who are absolutely destitute, and without money or
baggage, from whom there is nothing to be got, are quickly dismissed,
and sent in charge of a child to the Poor Jews' Temporary Shelter in
Leman Street. But those who have money and baggage are advised to stay
a day or two until they can "look about them." Then the fleecing
commences. A charge is made of from two shillings to five shillings
a week for a wretched shake-down bed; but the lodger has to pay the
full week if he only stays one night. Food is charged in proportion.
The next morning, as soon as the lodger has finished his breakfast, a
man is deputed to go with him in search of employment. This man will
tramp his victim all round London, it need scarcely be said with no
success; in the evening he will bring him back to the boarding-house,
saying they must try again the next day. The following morning the
same routine is gone through, and with the same result. For each day's
service a charge of five shillings is made. These gross charges are
made day after day until the unfortunate individual has nothing left
but his luggage. The boarding-house keeper sympathizes with his dupe;
he tells him he is not an unkindly man, and will lend him a trifle on
his luggage. This little is soon swallowed up in the cost of living,
and when it is all gone the boarding-house keeper informs him he is
very sorry, but he must have his room for some one else. The man is
turned into the street, friendless, penniless, and homeless, and finds
himself in very truth a "destitute alien."

Thus such an one becomes in a few weeks precisely in the same plight
as those who arrive with literally nothing at all. Of those, said the
Bishop of Bedford in his evidence before the House of Lords' Committee,
"They almost stand in the market after arrival with barely any clothes
to cover them, and without a penny in their pockets." In this veritable
slave-market they hang about in droves, waiting for the sweater to come
and hire them, which he does sometimes in person, sometimes by means of
an agent, and sometimes by means of his wife. (What a terrible type of
womanhood must be a sweater's wife!) Of course these poor creatures
are at the sweater's mercy. They are ignorant of the country, of its
language, of its laws, and are compelled to take any terms he may offer.

To call the place where these transactions are carried on a
"slave-market" is perhaps an abuse of terms, since, in a strictly
literal sense, nobody buys and nobody sells; but that it is a traffic
in human beings cannot be denied. Almost any Sunday morning during
the spring, summer, and autumn months, at the corner of Goulston
Street, Whitechapel, for instance, may be seen a varying number of men
drawn up in a line against the wall. In front of them stands a man
who engages--I will not say sells--them to the sweater, who gets his
victims to sign a paper, binding them to work for so many weeks and
at so much money in the sweating dens. It is a pitiful sight. Most of
these men are newly-arrived foreign paupers, chiefly Polish Jews. The
boat from Hamburg arrives every Saturday at the docks, and the agent
who meets them conveys them to some Jewish shelter where they remain
until Sunday morning, when he leads them to this place. Most of them
as they stand there have the high boots and fur cap distinctive of the
Russian peasant. Want and long service are plainly written on their
emaciated forms, and along with these a certain patient and dogged
intention of purpose. Often the sweater will give them at first only
their food and lodgings, such as it is. The salary given them varies
from two to three shillings per week; their food is horrible, so is
their lodging. They will work fourteen, sixteen, and eighteen hours a
day, and they will sleep in the den in which the work is done. They
suffer hunger, cold, heat, and vermin. They are without the help of
relations, acquaintances, or protection. They agree to pay back a
certain sum if they break their engagement; and as this is impossible
for them to do, they remain practically slaves, working for nothing, or
next to nothing.

Most of them have to learn a trade at first, during which period they
earn nothing, and are glad to submit to any terms the sweater may think
fit to impose. The slang term for such persons is "greener," and in
many respects the condition of a "greener" is worse than that of a
slave. By and by when he has learnt his business, which in the cheap
tailoring trade, for instance, would be the machine work, he receives
a small wage, from six to seven shillings a week, barely sufficient to
maintain existence. As a rule the "greeners" are very quick to learn,
and as they progress they earn a little more; but their position is
precarious, being liable to be discharged at a moment's notice. The
work is precarious too, and the wages are irregularly paid. Sometimes
there is nothing to do for weeks and weeks. Their food is of the
scantiest, the refuse of fish and a little bread being the principal
articles of diet. The length of hours for which they work--I speak now
of the cheap tailoring trade--averages from fourteen to fifteen hours a
day, or 100 hours a week. The Bishop of Bedford said:--"I have myself
seen these poor creatures at work up till two in the morning, and I
have found that they were again at work, the same people in the same
room, at seven o'clock in the morning." Again he said:--"You can tell
work is being done on the Sabbath, by the blinds being drawn. There is
no holiday at all." Moreover, the surroundings amid which they work are
deplorable and filthy in the extreme. That, however, will be touched
upon more fully in a subsequent chapter.

Again, in the cheap boot trade, the "greener" is at first put to work
as a "sew-round hand." If he does well at this, in a short time he
will proceed to "finishing," and he is advanced to other branches of
the work as his proficiency may warrant. The master bootmaker, who
in nine cases out of ten was once a "greener" himself, is called a
"boot-slosher." The "greener" will generally lodge at the house of the
"slosher" who employs him; and as many as sixteen or seventeen of these
"greeners" have been known to lodge in his house at the same time. The
daily food, as a rule, consists of a piece of hard stale bread, dipped
in salad oil. The bread is bought from a barrow in the street, and
consists of the stale unsaleable loaves collected from various bakers'
shops in the neighbourhood. The "greener" may supplement this possibly
with a little weak coffee or cocoa; or, if he wishes to indulge in an
unusual extravagance, he will invest in a piece of dried cucumber,
pickled in salt and water; or perhaps two or three "greeners," by
way of a treat, will go shares in a few Dutch herrings, also pickled
in salt. The dried pickled cucumber is known as "Wally-Wally," and a
herring is known as a "Deütcher." These articles are sold in large
quantities in the East End.

It must not be supposed, however, that these men remain always in this
position. When they have learned to speak the language and to know
their way about, they will make better terms for themselves. By degrees
they gradually get on. After being in the "slosher's" shop for six or
eight months, they learn sufficient to enable them to go into the boot
manufactories kept by foreigners, and to apply for work to take out in
large quantities. By a process of gradual development, the "greener"
becomes a "slosher" himself, and in the fulness of time he may be seen
walking about the East End, accosting and offering employment to the
first batch of recently-arrived immigrants he sees. More probably he
will meet them at the railway-station and waterside; or if in a more
extensive way of business, he will write to Hamburg to some of the
agencies there, stating that he can find work for so many men. When he
gets them into his clutches he treats them in precisely the same way as
that in which he himself has been treated. Thus does this evil system
go on and flourish.

After a time the foreign Jew begins to accumulate money; and though
he still continues his frugal diet of "Wally-Wally" and "Deütcher,"
he launches forth a little in other ways. The long Russian coat is
discarded, and with it the Hessian boots and fur cap. He bedizens
himself out with a quantity of cheap flashy jewellery, and possibly
goes in for mild theatrical amusements. There is a small theatre in a
certain small court in Whitechapel, where well-known English plays are
acted in "Yiddish." Here may be seen the smart young foreign Jews and
Jewesses, arrayed in all their glory, on every night of the week except
Friday, when the Hebrew Sabbath, which nearly all Hebrews outwardly
respect, commences. He may also perhaps join the "Chovevi Zion"--Hebrew
for "lovers of Zion"--a society which sprang into existence in the
East End of London about twelve months ago; or he may possibly--very
probably--join one of the many little gambling-hells so greatly
affected by the foreign Jew. Worst of all, he may drift into one of
the secret socialistic or foreign revolutionary societies which abound
in that part of the metropolis. That such societies exist cannot be
doubted. They are formed of the class of men who marched to Hyde Park
the other day, with a banner inscribed "Down with the Czar." These
societies have papers of their own circulated among themselves, written
in "Yiddish," breathing the vilest of political sentiments--Nihilism of
the most outrageous description.

Thus whole districts in the East of London are as foreign as in Warsaw,
or the Ghetto--when there was a Ghetto--in Rome.

In considering the nature of Jewish immigration, allusion should
also be made to a species of infamy which, I am credibly informed,
has been carried on for some time past at the London Docks. Many of
the immigrants are young women, Jewesses of considerable personal
attractions. Men-sharks, and female harpies of all descriptions, are on
the look-out for them as soon as they disembark. The young women are
approached, and asked in "Yiddish" whether they are in want of work.
The answer of course is in the affirmative, especially as many of these
young Jewesses arrive in a friendless condition. "Then," comes the
suggestion, "you had better come and stay with me until you get it,"
or "I can put you in the way of obtaining it." Of course this dodge
does not always succeed, for many young Jewesses are by no means so
guileless as they appear to be. But in two cases out of three it does.
The girl, friendless and unprotected, goes off with her interlocutor,
and then the old shameful story is repeated. She stays in the house
until the little she has is more than due for board; her efforts to
earn an honest living are in vain; and when she is destitute, she is
told she must either leave the place, minus even her little baggage,
or earn money at the expense of her virtue. Such a dilemma, in nine
cases out of ten, presents only one means of escape; and the girl goes
to swell the number of the lost and degraded of our great cities. One
of the worst features of this system is, that the decoy is largely
carried on by Englishmen and Englishwomen, and by no means confined to
foreigners alone. Happily, a Jewish Ladies' Rescue Society has been
recently formed, and its efforts have done something to mitigate the
evil. An official from this society goes down to the docks for the
purpose of warning female immigrants, and advising them where to find
employment. But the difficulty still remains, and a very serious one it

When we come to inquire into the causes which bring so many of
these foreign Jews to our shores, we find that in addition to the
two principal reasons--the persecutions in Russia, and the American
Immigration Laws, which render their admission to that country
impracticable--there are other agencies at work as well. The existence
of these agencies is a disputed question; but from inquiries which
have been made, there is every reason to believe that many of the
East End sweaters have agents abroad working on their behalf. The
victims are caught by advertisements in the obscure Continental papers
inserted by the "greener slave-agent," who sends batch after batch
of poor Jews to this country, and they soon find their way into the
sweaters' dens by means of the addresses given them. This method of
advertisement is perhaps not so extensively carried on as formerly,
but it still exists. Again, there is also the suspicion, which deepens
almost into a certainty, of the existence of what is known in America
as "steamship-solicitation." It is highly probable that some of the
steamship companies principally concerned in bringing these people
to England, have agents on the Continent engaged in persuading poor
Jews, and poor foreigners generally, to come to this country with the
delusive idea that they will find plenty of employment, and plenty
of pecuniary assistance here. The notices which the Government have
recently caused to be posted up at some of the European ports, may
do something to nullify this; but the fact remains that there are
several German steamship lines doing an enormous business in bringing
these Jewish immigrants to our shores, and there are owners of British
vessels also engaged in the same traffic. In America, where it had
reached a very great extent, this "steamship-solicitation" has been
declared illegal. How far the steamship agencies act in collusion with
the sweaters' agents in England, it is not possible to say--or, indeed,
if they are in collusion at all. One can only notice that all things
work together in a very remarkable manner. A slight clue to the puzzle
is afforded by the fact that in Leeds (according to the Report of the
Chief Commissioner of Police) there exists a firm of money-lenders who
advance money to Jewish applicants having friends in Russia and Poland,
which is employed for the purpose of bringing them to this country.
This will explain how some, at any rate, of these destitute immigrants
manage to pay their passage-money to England.

There is another cause also, which is more controversial, but which
must be touched upon all the same, since it is a very potent one in
attracting destitute Jews to England. I allude to the well-known
munificence of the wealthy English Jews, who are ever ready to
help their poorer brethren. The admirably organized system of
benevolence which they have gradually built up by means of charitable
organizations, shelters, and similar institutions, constitutes nothing
less than an open advertisement to the poor Jews all over Europe to
come to England and have their wants supplied. I admit that these
institutions are not intended to have that effect, and that many
leading English Jews endeavour to discourage this immigration; but all
the same they tend to have the result of drawing people here.

In Leeds, for example, the Jewish Board of Guardians give the new
arrivals a small grant until they have obtained work, and if they know
no trade, and are willing to learn one, the Jewish Board will make them
an allowance until they are able to earn something for themselves. In
London, as I have before stated, the number of cases relieved by the
Jewish Board of Guardians in 1890, _exclusive_ of Loan and Industrial
Departments, was 3351, representing with dependent families 12,047
individuals, and this at a cost of £21,648. Of course, this refers to
the resident Jewish population as well, the operations of the Russian
and Board Conjoint Committee not being included in this statement.
In fairness it should be stated that the Jewish Board of Guardians
also assist many to emigrate, and generally endeavour to reduce the
mischievous effects of charitable agencies to a _minimum_. But there
are other _institutions_ whose philanthropic activity assumes a more
questionable shape. Such, for instance, is the "Poor Jews' Temporary
Shelter," which it can hardly be doubted attracts many destitute Jews
to this country, since in 1888 it provided board and lodging for a
period of from one to fourteen days to 1322 homeless immigrants.

A similar charge has been brought against the "London Society for
Promoting Christianity among the Jews." I have gone very carefully
into this charge, and find that it is a groundless one. Not only is
the Society opposed to the wholesale influx of foreign Jews, but the
number of Jews converted through its influence is incredibly small.
For instance, we learn from the last Annual Report that only 145 "young
Hebrew Christians" were presented to the Bishop for Confirmation by the
Chaplain during the ten years of his chaplaincy, or an average of about
five a year. The annual income of the Society is £35,000!

I write of what I know. There are agitators in the East End of London
who could arouse a _Judenhetze_ to-morrow by merely holding up a
finger. It is only the moderating influence of others which restrains
them. But this influence, already strained to its utmost, will not
avail for ever. If the ceaseless immigration of Russian and Polish
outcasts is not brought to an end, there will be an anti-Jewish
movement in Whitechapel, in Leeds, and the other centres of population
affected by this evil. The irritation will develop. This would be a
great social calamity, and one above all others to be avoided.

These are the principal considerations which occur to one in writing on
the subject of Jewish immigration. Again let me repeat, in endeavouring
to sift this apparently endless influx, there need be no anti-Semitic
feeling in the matter. There is a German proverb, "Every nation has
the Jew it deserves." We have these our native-born English Jews,
of whom we are all proud. Sober, thrifty, industrious, law-abiding
and patriotic, they are a valuable and an integral portion of our
community. But with these destitute foreigners it is widely different.
They bring bound up with them all the vices and habits generated by
centuries of oppression and degradation. Something must be done to
divert this stream before it swells into an overwhelming flood. How
long is this invasion to go on? Until Russia has emptied half--the
worst half--of her Jewish population on our shores? The question is
one for English Jews themselves. If an anti-Semitic feeling breaks
out in this country, it will be because of this Russian influx, which
apparently is being allowed to go on unchecked. What are the wealthy
and powerful English Jews doing to check it, to focus public opinion
upon it, to urge the intervention of Parliament? Apparently nothing.
Surely it is not too much to expect that a movement for judiciously
restricting and diverting this alien influx, should have the support
of the wealthy English Jews; and this not only because of their poor
co-religionists who come here to find only fresh misery awaiting them,
but also in gratitude to the country under whose enlightened rule they
have amassed their wealth, and attained their present influence. There
is another reason also for urgency. No one who has had any practical
experience in this matter can be blind to the growing dislike and
antagonism with which these destitute immigrants are viewed by the
native working population with whom they come in contact. This feeling
is gathering in intensity day by day.

An outbreak of this nature would be a disgrace and a reproach to our
vaunted civilization, and it would be almost certain to be followed by
that most dangerous phase of popular excitement--panic legislation.
Surely it would be wiser statesmanship to do something now, while the
matter can be considered reasonably and dispassionately, than to wait
until the smouldering embers of discontent burst into a blaze, the
flames of which it may be difficult to check.



Presiding at the annual meeting of the "Society of Friends of
Foreigners in Distress," which was held in April last (1891), Count
Deym, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador, stated that "the charity was
founded as far back as 1806, and that the necessity for it had now
increased a hundredfold. During the past year the Society paid £2151 to
285 poor foreigners, in regular instalments of from two and sixpence
per week to five shillings per month, and £1357 in casual relief to
4264 persons of almost all nationalities." This is only one of the
many similar societies existing in London for the aid and relief of
poor and destitute foreigners--other than those which are exclusively
Jewish. Such Societies are the Société Française de Bienfaisance à
Londres, Société Belge de Bienfaisance à Londres, the German Society
of Benevolence, which relieves Germans, Austrians, and even Russians;
and the Italian Benevolent Society. It is unnecessary to enter into
detailed statistics as to the amount of money expended yearly by the
different Societies, or the number of members relieved; but some idea
of the extent of their operation may be gathered by the fact that over
£1100 was expended last year by the Italian Benevolent Society alone.

Of late years the immigration of Italians has increased to an alarming
extent. London and our large provincial cities are crowded with a class
of Italians who are for the most part non-producers. The Italians
were amongst the earliest immigrants here, and in many respects they
are the most undesirable. In this condemnation, I do not of course
include those Italians who upon arriving in England take up some
definite trade or employment, and who are skilled labourers, and
industrious, law-abiding citizens. Unfortunately the great bulk of
Italian immigrants differ widely from such as these; they are, for the
most part, the idle, the vicious, and the destitute, who come here
simply to pursue that nefarious course of vagrancy and begging which
is now so rigidly forbidden in their native land. They bring with them
slothful and degraded habits, and where they congregate to any extent,
their influence upon our own people cannot fail to be otherwise than

Many of them arrive here absolutely destitute, and go at once to the
Italian Consulate and beg for alms, or ask how to be put in the way of
begging. The Consulate does everything in its power to discourage these
people from coming to England, but they come all the same. Some of
them are trained professional beggars, versed in every trick and dodge
of the trade of mendicancy. Others are socialists and revolutionists
of the worst type, who endeavour to use the liberty enjoyed by them
here, in forming secret revolutionary societies, and in preaching the
most dangerous doctrines. They work so secretly that few have any
knowledge of their real influence and numbers. I am informed by an
Italian gentleman, whose name I am not at liberty to give, but who
has exceptional opportunities of proving the truth of his statements,
that the increase of foreign and secret revolutionary societies in
the Metropolis has recently been very great. The same authority writes
to me in a recent letter:--"There is a large influx of destitute
Italians going on: there is no work for them to do here, and they
will not return home.... I believe there is a real danger in allowing
aliens of all nationalities to arrive so freely in such conditions,
while not socialism but anarchy is now preached in the open streets of
the quarters especially resorted to by them. The result will be some
serious trouble very soon, especially in winter."[12] These are not
the careless words of a superficial observer, but the deliberately
expressed opinion of one who holds an official position, and has
intimate knowledge of the facts. With the object lesson which the
recent Italian riots in the United States has presented to us, there
can be little doubt that in the rapid increase of these revolutionary
societies of indigent foreigners lurk the elements of a very grave
political and social danger.

Thus we seem to have drifted into a position somewhat analogous to
that of Rome in the closing days of her Empire. Juvenal in the second
of his _Satires_ complained that Rome had become a sink for the vices
and iniquity of the known world. Johnson imitated this _Satire_ in the
following vigorous lines:--

  "London, the needy villain's general home,
  The common sewer of Paris and of Rome;
  Condemned by fortune and resistless fate,
  Sucks in the dregs of each corrupted state."

Juvenal was not alone in his complaint. Horace had said somewhat the
same thing before. The Satirists had certainly ample opportunities of
observing the facts. When Rome was newly founded it was desirable
and even necessary to encourage immigration, because citizens and
soldiers were sorely needed to defend the infant State. But when Rome
had advanced to the height of her Imperial power, the immense influx
of foreigners attracted to the Eternal City by her wealth and by
her luxury, was most calamitous. The native population of Rome were
reduced to permanent pauperism, or were driven away to the colonies.
The yeomanry of Italy disappeared; they took service in the Legions,
and were sent away to distant settlements, their place in Rome being
taken by large bodies of imported slaves, who brought with them all the
habits and vices generated by long centuries of oppression and wrong.
"The salvation of a country lies in its middle class." Such was the
wise _dictum_ of Aristotle; but in the latter days of the Roman Empire
the middle class was wanting. How fatal was this, is clearly seen by
the different powers of resistance that Rome exhibited at different
periods of her history. Under the Republic, when the middle class was
dominant, though Italy was several times invaded, the native population
always proved too strong for the invaders. When under the latter days
of the Empire the middle class was wanting, and there was nothing but
fabulous wealth and prodigal luxury on the one hand, and abject poverty
and consequent misery on the other, the heart of the State became
corrupt; and as soon as the Barbarians had broken through the cordon of
Legions at the frontier, the mighty Roman Empire sank to rise no more.

Historical parallels are often misleading, and this analogy, like other
analogies, may of course be carried too far; but it is in some respects
a close one. When Rome in the height of her Imperial splendour welcomed
all nationalities who ministered to her profligacy and luxury, it was
a sign of the canker which in time ate away the heart of the Empire. So
too, England in the Victorian era--an era of prosperity unequalled even
by Imperial Rome--throws open wide her arms to receive the destitute,
the criminal, and the worthless of other lands, heedless of the injury
which the influx of such a class must work upon her own community, and
forgetful that the first duty of the State is towards its own people.

The saddest aspect of this question of Italian immigration is the
traffic in Italian children, which has been for so long carried on in
this country under the auspices of the _padroni_, and which continues
to flourish despite all the efforts which have been made to check
it. "Child-slavery in England" it has been called; and certainly the
condition of these poor children is in many respects little better
than that of slaves. I have spoken and written so much about this
matter,[13] that there is little now left to be said; still, in spite
of laying myself open to the charge of repeating an oft-told tale,
I must needs allude to it once more, since no treatise upon Italian
immigration would be otherwise complete.

The traffic is carried on in this wise:--The children are brought over
from Italy by men who obtain them from their parents upon payment of a
very small sum; for a few ducats annually (a ducat equals 3_s._ 6_d._),
and upon undertaking to clothe and feed them. The parents who thus
dispose of their children are for the most part poor peasants living
in Calabria, and the south of Italy. Sometimes the parents will bring
the children to England themselves, and sometimes they are confided to
relations; but often it is a traffic, and they sell their children
into what is a veritable slavery without troubling about their future,
and glad to be relieved of the responsibility and expense of their
maintenance and education. The _padroni_--that is the masters--having
thus gained possession of the children, they bring them to England.
Some travel by railway, but many of them actually journey on foot,
walking from town to town, village to village, all the way up to Dieppe
or Calais, and from thence crossing over to our shores.

The children are imported here simply for the purpose of following one
or the other of the vagrant professions in the streets of London and
throughout the country. They are sent out early in the morning with
an accordion, concertina, or other instrument, and told to sing or
play before houses, and then to wait for money. As a rule they do not
openly beg for alms, as this would bring them within the reach of law;
but they just stand and wait, and benevolent persons, attracted by
their picturesque appearance, are moved to compassion, and give them
money, ignorant or forgetful of the fact that this money benefits them
personally not at all, but the _padrone_ whose property they are.

The _padroni_ are often very severe, and treat the children just like
slaves. If they do not bring home a sufficient sum they are cruelly
beaten and ill-treated, kept without food or nourishment, and sent
hungry to bed. Very often these poor children do not get home from
their weary rounds until past midnight, and they are often found
utterly worn out, and fast asleep under an archway or upon a doorstep.
They are wretchedly lodged, huddled together, four or five sleeping in
a bed when they have one to sleep in at all; and being private houses,
their lodgings are not in any way open to inspection or improvement.

The traffic is most lucrative, and the gains the _padroni_ make out
of these children are very large--so much so indeed, that after a few
years they are able to retire to Italy and to live as country gentlemen
afterwards. Sometimes a child will bring home as much as 10_s._ or more
a day; and as often one _padrone_ has as many as fifty children under
his care, spread about in companies in London and in the country under
the supervision of his confederates, it will be seen that the total
amount of a number of small sums accumulating daily must be very large.
Of course sometimes the children bring home very little, and sometimes
nothing at all; but the penalty in this case is to be beaten and kept
without food, so fear stimulates their efforts, and they do not often
return quite empty-handed.

The effects of this evil system upon its victims is necessarily very
bad. They do not go to school, they become very idle, and begin
early to drink, smoke, and take all kinds of vices. They grow up
immoral, illiterate, vicious, and low; a degraded class, exercising
a most undesirable influence among the surrounding population. The
girls especially all go to the bad, because they are sent into low
drinking-shops, public-houses, and similar places. When they grow up,
they all become beggars and vagrants by profession, and always remain
so, for they have learned no other trade, and many can neither read
nor write. Some remain in England, but many go over to Italy, and
bring over children themselves. Sometimes, when they are seventeen or
eighteen years old, they run away from the _padrone_ and set up on
their own account.

Many efforts have been made to put a stop to this disgraceful traffic;
but hitherto everything seems to have fallen short of the mark. The
Italian Benevolent Society has been untiring in its efforts to stop
the trade. So long ago as 1876 the Society went on a deputation to the
London School Board, with the result that it was decided to compel
these children to go to school in the same way as if they had been
English children. But the _padrone_ was equal to the occasion. He
removed his _troupe_ from Saffron Hill, to the outlying districts of
Deptford, Greenwich, and Hammersmith. There the School Board takes no
action, and there the children dwell in large numbers, free to ply
their trade, and secure from compulsory education. The Children's
Protection Act was also another step in the right direction, and it has
certainly ameliorated the state of affairs; but for various reasons,
chiefly because the limit of age is rather too low, it does not seem to
go to the root of the evil.

Several suggestions to remedy this state of affairs have been made, all
worthy of consideration. One is that there should be a tightening of
the compulsory action of the School Boards all over the country. It is
illogical that these children should be compelled to go to school in
London, and in the country allowed to roam where they please. Doubtless
this would have a very good effect, and the gains of the _padroni_
would be sensibly diminished. Another suggestion is, to increase the
limit of age laid down in the Children's Protection Act to eighteen
years of age in the case of persons of both sexes, thus bringing
the Act into accord with a drastic law which was passed in Italy in
1873,[14] and which has been found very effectual there. This course,
however, is obviously open to objection, since it might press hardly
upon individual cases. The most effectual remedy would be to adopt the
plan followed in America, namely, to stop these children at the port
of arrival, and the _padroni_, and send them all back at once to their
own country. In all European countries they are expelled, or refused
admission. Such a course, however, would require a special law, and
that necessarily will be some time in coming. The question is:--what is
to be done in the meantime? That the evil still continues to flourish
there can be no manner of doubt. The _padroni_ do not confine their
attentions only to children, but frequently bring over whole families
as well. A case came to light in Birmingham this year,[15] of a
_padrone_ named Delicato, who had brought over an Italian family--a
father, a mother, and two daughters. At the end of two years the record
of that unfortunate family was as follows:--The father was paid £2
for two years' work and discharged; the mother had previously been
sent back to Italy, because from ill-health she had become practically
useless to her master. One of the daughters Delicato had seduced,
and she is still living with him; the other daughter ran away and
married, and her husband brought an action to recover her earnings.
When the case came before the Court, the whole transaction was exposed.
Inquiries were also instituted as to the antecedents of Delicato, and
it was found that he had been carrying on this nefarious trade for
years, and had three separate establishments in different parts of the
country. It was found that this man had seduced no less than three
young girls who had been committed to his care, and then abandoned
them. This is no uncommon occurrence, for the _padroni_ are men utterly
without principle, and thoroughly bad in every way.

The parents are almost as bad as the _padroni_, as the following
instance will show:--An Italian named Mancini was recently[16] charged
before the Bow Street Police Court for causing a child to solicit alms.
It was a case of heartless cruelty. The little girl, his daughter,
was engaged in dragging a heavy barrel-organ about the streets. At
intervals she stopped and turned the handle, her father meanwhile
standing a little way off to see what coppers she obtained. It was
raining at the time the man was taken in charge, and the child's boots
were saturated with water, and her clothes literally drenched. She
was only nine years of age. Another instance of the rapacity of the
_padroni_ is illustrated by the following case, of even more recent
date.[17] A young ice-cream vendor named Romano brought an action
against his master, Auguste Pampa, at the Brompton County Court,
for the recovery of four months' wages. It appeared that Romano had
arrived in this country in a state of absolute destitution. Pampa, a
compatriot, agreed to give him work, and an agreement was drawn up
between them. It set forth that Pampa engaged Romano for one year to
sell ice-cream in the streets of London; that he should be paid £1
2_s._ a month, and that Pampa should board and lodge him, and provide
him with clothes. The plaintiff said that the defendant used to send
him out in rags in all sorts of weather, and that he literally had
no clothes to cover him. The judge gave a verdict for the plaintiff.
The case throws a strong light upon the fate of Italian immigrants in
London, and upon the class of Italians who come here.

The best way to put down this infamous traffic, in default of
restrictive legislation, is undoubtedly to lose no opportunities of
bringing the painful facts before the public. If once the charitable
public could be made to understand that the money they give to those
little ones benefits them personally not at all, but goes to swell
the gains of the rapacious _padrone_, who laughs and grows rich upon
the sufferings of his victims, the supplies would be cut off at their
source, and the dream of the _padrone_ to return to sunny Italy and
live there as a country gentleman, vanish for ever.

Few have any conception of the extent or nature of Italian immigration.
Signor Righetti, the Secretary of the Italian Benevolent Society,
estimates the number of Italians in London alone at upwards of 9000.
In this estimate his opinion is corroborated by Signor Roncoroni,
Secretary of the _Societá dei Cuochi e Camerieri_, who states that
out of this 9000, 2000 are employed as Italian cooks and waiters in
London. These of course can in no sense be objected to, because they
are skilled labourers. Of the remaining 7000, the vast majority are
either organ-grinders or ice-cream vendors. The head-quarters of the
organ-grinders is--or was--at Eyre Street Hill, a steep and narrow
thoroughfare forming a connecting link between Leather Lane and Coppice
Row in Clerkenwell. There are a few minor settlements in Kensington,
another in Notting Hill, a third in Somers Town; but the principal
foreign colony is situated at Eyre Street Hill. Eyre Street Hill has
tortuous ins and outs, and numerous blind alleys, in each and all of
which Italians swarm.

The Italian ice-cream barrow has become as familiar a picture in
London street-trading as the apple-stall, baked chestnuts, or baked
potato stove. The profits derived from the sale of this unwholesome
compound are said to be very satisfactory; and certainly the quantity
manufactured must be enormous. There is a depôt for ice on Eyre
Street Hill. All day long, during the summer months, may be seen
there waggon-loads of ice-cubes, which are afterwards broken up for
the purpose required. Also the vendor of lemons does a brisk business
in the same locality, and likewise the milkman--or rather, I should
say, the man who sells what passes for milk. The ingredients of the
ice-cream may possibly be found harmless enough; but the way in which
the compound is prepared is in the last degree objectionable. The
manufacture is often carried on in the living-room of the family,
the condition of which is filthy and disgusting in the extreme. Near
Leather Lane there is one short street of high black houses, the
windows of which are patched and plugged with paper and rags. The
passages and stairs are dilapidated and filthy, and the sanitary
conditions simply abominable. In almost every room of each of these
houses, resides at least one ice-cream maker, and vendor. Such a room
will serve as a living and sleeping room for a whole family--the man,
his wife, and a numerous progeny.

The inhabitants of this foreign colony work all the week with their
ice-barrows or their barrel-organs, but Saturday evening is, with
them, a time of relaxation and pastime. With the natives of the sunny
South, not to enjoy is not to live; and though I do not include in the
numbers of those who amuse themselves, the miserable little victims of
the _padroni_, the comparatively well-to-do Italians always go in for
amusing themselves as soon as they can afford it. Dancing is the chief
pastime of these people. On Saturday nights they regularly assemble
together for this purpose, the women arrayed in the picturesque
attire of their native country, and the men in their holiday garments
likewise. As I have never been to one, I cannot say how these
gatherings are conducted. They are not carried on in licensed premises,
but in the cellars and kitchens of private houses, where admission to
strangers is denied. Probably they are harmless enough. One thing is
tolerably certain, refreshments are not supplied on the premises. There
are plenty of public-houses hard by; and an observant person standing
in the bar of one of them while the dancing is going on in an adjoining
house, will note from time to time a sudden inrush of several couples
still flushed and panting from the Terpsichorean exercise in which
they have been indulging; who after a hearty draught of something in
a pewter pot will rush off, and dance away again. On Saturday night
the tap-rooms of the taverns in the vicinity of Saffron Hill are well
filled; and brisk business is done in drinkables. The company, however,
is not exclusively Italian; there being a goodly number of Irish

The Italians are credited as a race with having a sensitive ear for
music. One can only say that those of their countrymen who come
over here and inflict upon us the ear-torturing melodies of their
barrel-organs and accordions sadly belie the reputation of their
country. When once asked in the House of Commons if he could do
anything to put down this nuisance, Mr. Goschen replied that it was
a difficult matter, inasmuch as many derived great pleasure from the
music of the barrel-organ. Such an answer leads one to suppose that Mr.
Goschen has not such a keen ear for music as he has an eye to finance,
and also that he is ignorant of the true facts.

Even on a superficial aspect the nuisance is intolerable; but that is
the least part of the evil. When we come to look beneath the surface
of the seemingly careless existence of these Italian street musicians,
and see the cruelty, hardships, and injustice which is undoubtedly
bound up with the system, we shall recognize that it is high time
that something was done to put down what is not only an intolerable
nuisance, but also an evil trade.

For a nation which was foremost in abolishing the slave-trade, to
tamely tolerate in its midst an inhuman traffic like this, is something
worse than an anachronism--it is a disgrace, and a reproach upon our
vaunted civilization.



The economic aspect of this many-sided question is undoubtedly one of
the gravest and most worthy of consideration. The unlimited influx of
cheap, destitute, foreign labour, cannot but exercise a prejudicial
effect upon the wages of the native working-classes. It forces the
decent British workman to compete on unequal terms with those who are
willing to work for any wage--however meagre--for any number of hours,
and amid surroundings filthy and disgusting in the extreme. I do not
of course say that it has this effect upon wages in all industries,
but only in those trades which the evil has yet reached. These are not
great trades, perhaps, in the sense of the textile or metal industries,
but they are considerable industries all the same, and they give
employment to hundreds of thousands of men and women.

In the trades and districts chiefly affected, this is the agency
which reduces the price of labour to a level below that upon which
Englishmen and Englishwomen can with decency and self-respect exist,
and which renders effectual combination impossible. Every one with
any practical knowledge of business, will admit that it is the lowest
price which rules the market. If then we have a body of men combining
together for the purpose of getting what they consider to be a fair
wage, how can they maintain that combination, if, when a strike occurs,
or any little dispute arises between employer and employed, by which
the employed hope to get a little better terms for themselves, the
destitute foreigner steps in ready to undersell them, and to work
for little or next to nothing at all? Nor, as things stand, can the
employers be greatly blamed either. In these trades few of them are
great capitalists, the battle of life is pretty hard on them too, and
in struggling to better themselves, they naturally seize every legal
means that offers.

One of the worst features of this system is the "multiplication of
small masters." The subject is a tempting one, but space forbids me to
dwell on it. I would only say that the competition among these small
employers is almost as fierce as the competition among the employed.
Much indignation has been directed against the "sweater," the bloated
human spider, who, according to _Alton Locke_, sucks the life-blood
of his victims, or who more recently has been presented to us in the
pages of _Punch_ as a gorgeously-apparelled, champagne-drinking,
cigar-smoking Hebrew, who, as he rakes in his gold, laughs and grows
fat upon the sufferings of the wretched creatures sacrificed to his

Such monsters do exist. Of that there can be no doubt. They are by no
means exclusively Hebrews, neither are they confined to the tailoring
trade alone; nor is it necessary to go as far as Whitechapel in
search of them. But a dispassionate study of the facts will show that
the great bulk of the "sweaters" are very poor; and that with their
profits driven down by competition, they can hardly make a living. In
fact, both employers and employed are alike the victims of this fierce
competitive struggle, and of the craze for cheapness at any cost. The
result is that the market is flooded with a quantity of cheap and
inferior articles which injure the trade, and destroy the demand for
good English work.

At present, the two trades most affected are the cheap tailoring and
boot-making. In the former, as a direct consequence, all the horrors
of "sweating" reign supreme. In the latter, the cheaper kind of work
is now taken by foreigners entirely; hundreds of Englishmen who were
formerly employed in it at a fair wage are driven out of employment,
and now seek in vain for work. "Oh," but I hear some say, "they can
turn their hands to something else." But it is not so easy for a man
who has been apprenticed and brought up to a certain trade, to turn
his hand to "something else." His craft is his bread, his trade is
his capital; it is dear to him, for upon it he has lavished all his
skill, all his energies. It is hard that he should be robbed of it by
the foreigner. These two trades are not the only ones affected. In the
cabinet-making, chair-turning, cigar-making, cheap fur trade, and other
industries, the same evil is beginning to work, and always with similar
baleful results. Labour is displaced; Englishmen are robbed of their
work; and if they do not become paupers or something worse, they are
driven from their homes to seek their fortunes anew in some distant

The evil effect of this unchecked immigration upon the price of labour
is very marked. I have collected together a few articles made by
"sweated" workpeople in the East End, and have traced out the cost of
labour in each instance. These samples include a wooden "Windsor"
chair, solidly put together, and neatly turned; it was sold for 1_s._
9_d._, and the price paid for making it was 2-1/2_d._ A fur collarette
of hareskin, dyed gray and lined--really a very decent-looking
article--was sold for 1_s._ 6_d._; labour received, 1-3/4_d._ A pair
of button boots, leather-lined throughout, were bought for 3_s._
11-1/2_d._; labour received 2-1/2_d._ for the "lasting" (_i.e._ sewing,
heeling, and putting together); this 2-1/2_d._ did not include nails,
wax, thread, all necessary to the work, which had to be found by
the workman. Three pairs of boots can be "lasted" in an hour. There
is also the "finishing," which costs 2_d._, and five pairs can be
"finished" in an hour. But the most striking instance of all is that
of a knickerbocker suit, well-made, and properly adorned with braid,
made by a "sweated" workwoman in the East End. It was bought at a shop
for 2_s._ 11_d._, and the woman received for making it 5-1/2_d._; which
wretched pittance did not include needles, thread, and material used
in the binding, all of which had to be found by the person "sweated."
Now, I put it fairly and dispassionately to any unprejudiced person,
if honest labour has no better reward to offer than this, what wonder
if thousands of our people, in despair of earning a decent livelihood,
are driven into vice and degradation--the men to drink, the women to

Much has been said and written about the exact number of these alien
immigrants, which, as has already been pointed out, in the present
dearth of trustworthy statistics, cannot be accurately ascertained.
It is not merely a question of numbers. I submit that it matters
comparatively little to the main argument whether the arrivals in one
particular year were a few thousands more or a few thousands less, or
the precise numbers of "those who return again to the Continent,"
when there are already so many of these indigent foreigners in our
midst. Even supposing for the sake of argument--I do not for one
moment admit it--that the numbers arriving are comparatively small,
they would still have a very bad effect upon the price of wages, in
the trades and industries upon which they entered. The inflow of a
comparatively small number into a neighbourhood where much of the work
is low-skilled and irregular, will often produce an effect which seems
quite out of proportion to the actual number of the invaders. From the
native labourer's point of view, the mere fact of the presence of these
low-living foreigners, ready as they are at any moment to step in and
undersell his labour, constitutes a standing menace to his interests.
In all the trades in which they are employed, the rate of wages is
being perpetually beaten down.

Thus it follows that any argument drawn from the number of these
destitute aliens, as compared with the total population of the United
Kingdom, is obviously wide of the mark. We must consider their
distribution in particular localities and particular trades; more than
that, in order to arrive at any valuable result, we must examine also
into the local and trade distribution of foreign labour _conjointly_.

In this connection the evidence comes almost entirely from the East End
of London. As we have seen, the two trades principally affected are the
cheap tailoring and boot-making. Let us consider the latter first.

Mr. Freak, Secretary of the Shoemakers' Society, stated before the
Immigration Committee, that over 10,000 foreigners were engaged in
the boot-making trade in the East End of London. He said:--"Until
within ten or fifteen years ago, the Jew foreigners did not affect
our trade much; but by degrees they have taken the work that men
generally learned their trade on, such as the commoner class of work.
They simply have taken it to themselves entirely, and the effect has
been that hundreds of our men have to walk about, particularly in
winter-time, who used to be employed on that class of work. These Jew
foreigners work in our trade at this common work sixteen or eighteen
hours a day, and the consequence is, they make a lot of cheap nasty
stuff that destroys the market, and injures us. And if we have a strike
on, or any little dispute occurs in our trade, when we might otherwise
get a little better terms for ourselves, they go and take the work at
any price, and so defeat our ends in getting or attempting to get our
proper wages." Mr. Freak reckons that about 25 per cent. of the persons
engaged in the _whole_ of the boot and shoe trade in the city of London
are foreigners; but that the commoner kind of work is monopolized by
foreigners entirely. He further said that the introduction of this
pauper labour has seriously affected the rate of wages received by
the English operatives, not of course so much in the best shops, but
very greatly in the commoner class of work. It had also the effect
of reducing the employment of a large number of Englishmen, and of
driving hundreds out of work altogether. He went on to say:--"I know
that at the time when I first came to London, any one could get work
at the middle or common class of goods; and now they are sent out to
the homes or given to the sweaters, who take them on the system that
they are working themselves in the way I have mentioned; and the price
is reduced so low that to work single-handed a man could not get his
living. He has to sweat his children or his wife; and if a man and
his wife and children do not want anything more than just bread and
cheese and sleep, then they might get a living out of it; because some
of these Jews who come over will not come out of the house for a whole
week. They will sleep in the same place where they work day after day.
They simply get food and the barest raiment to cover them, and that
is all they can get for their work. I do not think that these foreign
Jews have created any new industry; but they have made the industry in
common work more beastly, and I do think that they are doing an injury
in our foreign markets by the stuff that they make, because a great
quantity of it is made of cardboard and composition. The leather that
is put into the sole is simply a bit of veneer. It is simply a thin
sole covered over a composition--clump as we call it. It is composed of
shreds of leather, ground up, and stuck together."

Now let us consider the cheap tailoring trade in the East End. It
appears, upon the evidence of Dr. Ogle, whose work it is to prepare
the statistical part of the Census, and whose opinion upon all such
matters stands deservedly high, that of the persons engaged in the
tailoring trade, in the parish of St. George's-in-the-East, over 80 per
cent. are foreigners. Mr. Zeitlin, Secretary of the Jews' branch of the
Tailors' Association, himself a Russian Jew, stated before the same
Committee that there were altogether employed in the East End of London
about 25,000 tailors, of whom 10,000 are men and 15,000 women. Out of
the 10,000 men, "mostly foreigners and not born here," three-parts
are Jewish, and one part not Jewish; and of the women three-parts are
English, and one part Jewesses.

Mr. John Burnett, Labour Correspondent of the Board of Trade, who was
specially deputed in August 1887 to make inquiries into the Sweating
system in the East End of London, reported that matters were much
worse there of late years, because of the "enormous influx of pauper
foreigners." He made a rough calculation that of some 20,000 tailors
in the East End of London, 15,000 were foreigners--that is, persons
not born in England; and of the remaining 5000, nearly all were Jews
born in England, who might almost be described as foreigners also,
since in their habits and their customs they have nothing in common
with the native community. He stated that there were not more than 250
Englishmen employed in the cheap tailoring trade in the whole East End
of London. They have all been driven out by Jews. There is, however,
still a considerable employment of Englishwomen. Mr. Burnett also
drafted a memorandum on the immigration of foreigners, and in it he
stated that in respect of the trades and districts chiefly affected by
it, the evil had assumed serious aspects. He considered that London,
Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Glasgow--to some
extent Edinburgh, and also some other Scotch towns--were affected by
the evil. There is of course the general lack of actual statistics as
to the precise amount of the foreign population in these towns; but
the Glasgow Trades' Council, for instance, though it has no specific
information to hand on the subject, states generally that the tailoring
in that city is overrun by Polish Jews. Mr. Burnett contemplates the
time when the ready-made clothing trade will be entirely in foreign

The presence of foreign immigration is felt also, though to a lesser
extent, in cabinet-making and other trades. In the cabinet-making
trade, Mr. Burnett estimates that of 23,000 persons engaged in it
in London, 4000 are foreigners, chiefly Germans, and many of them
German, Russian, and Polish Jews. He draws a distinction between the
Germans pure and simple, and the German, Russian, and Polish Jews,
for this reason. The Germans are found in the superior workshops of
the West End, and they are found receiving the same rate of wages as
their English shop-mates; but in the cases of the Russian and Polish
Jews at the East End, they are receiving a much lower rate when they
are employed, and they are employed on inferior work under entirely
different conditions.

The foregoing considerations make it clear that the effect of foreign
immigration upon the condition of our own workmen is not to be measured
by the small percentage foreigners bear to the general population of
the United Kingdom; but by their distribution in the particular trades
of particular localities.

It is impossible to deny the displacing power of so large an addition
to labour, in trades already overcrowded. The fact that under such
circumstances the new-comers find employment, infers of necessity
the displacement of labour previously employed. It implies also the
denial of employment to natives anxious to obtain it. Nor is this
large intrusion of a foreign element confined in its effects to the
displacement of native labour alone. It brings down to its own level
labour that is not displaced. In all trades that do not require long
apprenticeship and technical skill, the supply of labour is greatly
in excess of the demand. Competition to obtain employment is in
consequence cruelly severe. The inevitable results are, the evasion
of the law respecting factories and workshops, the reduction of wages
to the lowest minimum, and the extension of the hours of work to the
utmost limits of human endurance.

The effect of foreign immigration upon our labouring population is
far greater than might at first be supposed. Its inevitable effect is
the degradation of all the native labour employed, to the level of the
foreign labour which is brought into competition with it. When the
struggle is between those accustomed to a higher, and those accustomed
to a lower standard of life, the latter can obviously oust the former
and take their work. Just as a base currency drives out of circulation
a pure currency, so does a lower standard of comfort drive out a higher

What do competent authorities say on the subject of native labour?

Mr. Goodman, who was a member of the Executive Committee of the
Liverpool Tailors' Society, stated in his evidence before the House
of Lords' Committee, that fifteen years ago the Sweating system only
existed to a very limited extent in Liverpool; but that now it was
carried on in a most extensive manner. He said that he accounted for
its existence to a very large extent by the influx of foreigners,
principally Jews. "At the present moment, fully two-thirds of the
sweaters in Liverpool are foreigners; the majority of whom, as I have
already stated, are not tailors at all, and have never served one hour
in the tailor trade properly as an apprentice. I was told by a Jew some
time ago, and he made a serious complaint to me on that head, that
he was already finding the competition of his own people so severe,
that being a practical man, he should have to do as they had done in
many cases, lower his prices, or else he could not make a living. The
competition, even amongst the Jews, is getting so severe that the
prices are constantly tending to decrease; and I believe that to-day
they are very much lower than they were a few years ago in Liverpool,
through this competition of foreigners amongst themselves, together
with their competition with the natives."

Mr. Allen, Secretary of the Master Tailors' Association in Liverpool,
stated that, "As an Association, we have discussed the matter, and we
are opposed to it in the main (_i.e._ foreign immigration), and we
passed a resolution that the importation of pauper aliens be prohibited
with this condition, the prohibition not to extend to skilled workmen
imported under contract."

Mr. Keir, General Secretary of the Amalgamated Society of Tailors,
thus moderately and dispassionately stated the case:--"I hardly know
that it would be wise to stop immigration altogether. That would be an
unnatural and hardly fair way of doing the thing; but I think it ought
to be regulated in some way, and that the poorest, and most miserable,
and the unskilled, perhaps, of foreign labour ought not to be thrown
upon the markets of England to oppose and to act detrimentally to the
interests of the English people. I do not think it would be wise, and
I don't know that we could advocate, and I am sure any intelligent man
would not advocate altogether, the complete prohibition of foreign
labour; but at the same time I think there must be, or ought to be,
some means devised whereby skilled labour should contend against
skilled labour in a fair and straight market. It is not skilled labour
against skilled labour; it is poverty thrown in our midst, and it is
poverty competing with itself, as it were; and struggling in that
way, and the manner in which they live, the food they eat, and the
circumstances under which they exist, deprive them altogether of the
comforts of home, you may almost say, as far as Englishmen, Scotchmen,
or Welshmen are concerned."

One point remains to be noted. It has been urged that these immigrant
aliens do not enter upon native trades, but introduce new industries
of their own. If that were really the case, such a contention would
undoubtedly have much weight. The Huguenots established new industries
of silk, glass, and paper; the Flemings introduced the finer class
of weaving into England; in both of these cases the alien influx was
beneficial. But it cannot be seriously maintained that these low-class
Jewish immigrants have stimulated or created new wants. They have
created no new trade; they have debased old ones. I admit that they
almost monopolize the cheap clothing trade, but even here they have
created no new _kind_ of industry.

The power of the German, Russian, or Polish Jew, accustomed to a lower
standard of life, to undersell the English worker in the English labour
market must be admitted by all, though the exact importance of it is,
I know, a disputed point. The industrial degradation of the "sweated"
workers arises from the fact that they are working surrounded by a
"pool of unemployed," or superfluous supply of labour. So long as
this standing pool remains, and so long as it is ever being augmented
by the endless influx of cheap, destitute foreign labour, so long it
is difficult to see how the wages of the low unskilled workers can
be materially raised. Let the pool be gradually drawn off, and wages
will rise, since the combined action of the workers will no longer be
able to be defeated by the eagerness of the foreigner to take their
work and wages. But the pool can never be drawn off until the stream
which so largely recruits it is cut off at its source. If once this
foreign influx is stopped, it will decrease by the natural process of

Let us take a national view. The true standard of a nation's prosperity
is to be found in the prosperity of its working-classes. The higher
the rate of wages the better is the condition of the working-classes;
the cheaper the labour of a country, the lower the condition of the
people therein. One of the surest signs of the real rise of a nation is
the elevation of the masses in their wages, their habits, their homes,
their scale of living, and their condition generally. Anything which
tends to reduce the price of labour tends also to reduce the labourer's
standard of comfort and prosperity, and there can be no manner of
doubt that this continuous influx of destitute foreigners does tend
both directly and indirectly to reduce the profits of the wage-earning
classes. Wages follow certain inexorable laws of supply and demand. If
the supply of human labour exceeds the market demand, then the men will
be beaten down; and how can the supply do otherwise than exceed the
demand, when the market is being continually flooded by the influx of
the cheapest kind of foreign labour?

"Unrestricted immigration," said a witness before the United States
Committee, "is the degradation of American labour." If that be true in
a country of such enormous resources as the United States, how much
more true must it be in our own densely-populated little island? It is
the high rate of wages which has given to the American workmen their
unexampled prosperity as citizens. It is the recognition of this truth
which has induced the United States Government to guard its doors so
jealously against the entrance of the destitute and unfit of other
lands. And they are right, not only on economic grounds, but for other
reasons as well, since all history teaches us that in the long run
degraded labour is sure to avenge itself upon all the classes above it.

"Rely upon yourselves; by societies, combinations, and well-directed
strikes, you can secure higher wages and better conditions for
yourselves." Such are the words of the "old" Trades Unionism, and in
the main they are true enough. But in this instance they fall beside
the mark; for, as I have already pointed out, combination is rendered
impossible by this fierce competition of destitute labour from abroad.
In the industries affected, any man or woman, or any body of men or
women, who refused to work upon the sweating prices quoted, would be
simply turned away, and their places filled by the foreigner. They
are literally living from hand to mouth. They know that if they lose
their wage one week, they will be destitute the next, and starving
the week after. Under these circumstances it is not surprising to
find that there exists among the native working-classes the strongest
feeling against the great and increasing invasion of their rights. This
feeling is not only confined to the trades chiefly affected, it is
rapidly spreading throughout the country. So far as I have been able to
judge, the feeling among the working-classes in favour of restrictive
measures is practically unanimous. A vast majority of the great Trades
Unions and Labour Organizations--not only those immediately affected,
but others as well--have passed strongly-worded resolutions on the
subject, recognizing that though the evil may not yet have sensibly
affected their particular industry, yet it tends indirectly to do so.
That the labour organizations are fully alive to the importance of
this question is shown by the following letter, taken almost at random
from hundreds of similar communications which have reached me during
the last few months. It is from the Secretary of the "National Society
of Amalgamated Brassworkers," Birmingham.[18] The arguments are so
clearly and cogently put, that they are well worthy of being quoted

"The Executive desire me to say that they are unanimously of opinion
that the time has come when the State should regulate, in the interests
of British labour, the immigration of destitute aliens; and that they
have observed with alarm the injury done to their brethren in the East
End of London and other parts of the country by this element of unfair
competition. My Executive desire me also to say that these conclusions
are arrived at reluctantly, as they would like this country to be a
really happy England, giving welcome to the oppressed of every land.
While, however, they hold this view strongly, they are also of opinion
that this broad principle must not be allowed, to any appreciable
extent, to be the means of pauperizing English men and English women.
The unchecked admission of this force has spread enough misery; and it
is hoped that your efforts will bring about such restrictions as will
put an end to an evil which has been the means of providing a surplus
labour market to become a ready prey to the sweater."

These are weighty words. They come from an important Society, which,
though its members have not yet felt the shoe pinch themselves, they
recognize the truth of the old saying, "If one member suffers, all the
other members suffer with it." This utterance does not stand alone; it
is but an echo of the opinion of similar organizations throughout the
country.[19] The English workman is naturally patient and law-abiding.
It is his nature to suffer and be strong. All that he asks for--and
surely it is not an unreasonable request--is that he should be allowed
a fair field for his energies in the land that gave him birth. If this
be denied him, then, sooner or later, will follow consequences, which,
to quote Herbert Spencer, "no man may tell in language."

It is because this movement is so essentially a workingman's movement
that I am confident of its ultimate success. Let us look the situation
in the face. The balance of power has passed into the hands of the
wage-earning classes--three-fourths of the electorate are wage-earners;
I use the word in its widest sense. Therefore, it follows as a matter
of course, that just as the land-owning classes when they had the power
made laws in their interests; and the trading-classes when they had the
power passed laws for their interests; so the working, wage-earning
classes of this country, now that they have the power, will use it
to protect and advance their interests likewise. And what can touch
their interests more nearly than this unrestricted immigration of
destitute foreign labour? "The flowing tide is with us." Whatever may
be the immediate interests of the hour, labour questions constitute
the politics of the future. There are signs all round the world that
social problems and labour questions are gradually taking the place
of older issues over which men have contended. There is no likelihood
now of a war about creeds, no dynastic contest is now on the cards;
the rivalries of nations and of races are not as potent as they were;
but the lot of the "dim millions," the labouring-classes, who were
ignored by all the warriors and statesmen of the past, is now forcing
its way to the front. The contest which is gathering will not be around
"exhausted factories and obsolete policies," as Mr. Disraeli said
in 1852, but living problems, coming home to the hearts and to the
firesides of all labouring men. Labour legislation is the legislation
of the future; and it needs no prophetic eye to foresee that one of
the leading measures in the labour programme of the future will be to
protect the English working-men against this perpetual pouring in of
destitute foreigners. Hitherto in only one constituency, Lewisham, has
this question found a prominent place in an electioneering programme.
We all know the result of that election. As it was at Lewisham, so
will it be before long in every urban constituency throughout England.
"Why," the working-classes are asking, "should we be robbed of our
birthright by the refuse population of other countries?" Why, indeed!
People are beginning to see that a great and crying evil flourishes in
our midst; and when that fact has been thoroughly digested, means will
soon be found to remedy it.



The woes of the East End workwomen form no new theme. They are as old
as the "Song of the Shirt"; even older. In spite of Hood's inspired
poem, which when it appeared rang like a tocsin through the land, the
miseries of the needlewoman's lot have not only remained unalleviated,
but they have gathered in intensity as the years rolled on. How comes
it that in these days of social politics and remedial legislation, the
condition of such a numerous body should have gone from bad to worse?
The answer is not far to seek. They have no votes; the politician
passes them by. They have no money to spend, no time to strike, no
strength to combine, the agitator ignores them. The class for which
I plead, is voiceless, voteless, inarticulate, helpless. These poor
women have never been consulted as to whether they are content to pay
the price needed to continue the so-called "traditions" of England
with regard to the unrestricted entrance of the refuse population of
other countries. They are not likely to be consulted, since they are
powerless; no one angles for their votes, for they have none to give.
The strong man in his strength when confronted by this alien invasion
can battle with it, or when the contest is hopeless, he can retire
before it. The world is open to him, and in other lands beyond the seas
he may find that fair field for his energies which is denied him in the
land of his birth. But the weak woman in her weakness, what of her? She
must perforce remain to feebly fight on single-handed in the unequal
struggle; and when her weakness conquers her, when her strength fails
her, she can only lie down and die. This is a terrible alternative,
is there no other? Yes, there is another, infinitely more terrible,
infinitely more horrible--the streets.

If we apply the four leading features of the "sweating" disease--low
wages, long hours, irregular employment, unsanitary conditions--to
women, we shall find that in each case the absolute pressure is heavier
upon the weaker sex. This is not to be wondered at. Physically weaker
than men, women receive a smaller amount of work, and a lower rate of
wages, especially in unskilled labour. Combination can do nothing for
them; it does not reach them. The mass of women-workers labour either
at home or in the small "sweating dens"; the long hours, the excessive
labour, and the under-feeding, crush out all the spirit and strength of
resistance they possess, and with them combination is impossible.

But it is upon the system of "out-work" that "sweating" thrives, and it
is this "out-work" that women, more especially married women, chiefly
engage. One would think that the very weakness of women, the duties
of maternity, the care of children, ought to secure them some respite
in this industrial struggle, but it is not so. We are always boasting
of our civilization and our Christianity, yet these humanitarian
considerations avail nothing. On the contrary, they only handicap
women the more, and tell fatally against them in the competitive
battle. The commercial competition of to-day in the cheap clothing
trade, intensified as it is by the influx of the foreigner, positively
trades upon the maternity of women-workers. These poor creatures have
no time for the pure tender delights of motherhood; they have no
opportunity of attending properly to their children, or to the many
other little duties which gather around the English word "home." To the
low-class foreign Jew this matters little, for the word "home" to him
has no meaning at all; but to Englishmen and to Englishwomen it offers
a terrible problem. What "hope of our race" can we expect from the
feeble, half-starved, and wholly overworked Englishwoman, who is thus
thrust into the furnace of this fierce foreign competition!

There is another consideration also to be faced, which I have already
hinted at. The unrestricted immigration of destitute aliens tends
directly to increase prostitution in London and our large cities. This
is a startling proposition; let me proceed to demonstrate its truth.

A witness giving evidence before the Sweating Committee, described the
sweater's dens as "the most filthy, poisoning, soul-and-body-killing
places imaginable." Even to stand at the open door of one of such
places, and to breathe the foetid air which rushes forth, is well-nigh
unendurable to persons not hardened to such conditions. Yet it is in
such places as these that Englishwomen are compelled to work side
by side with the foreigner. To the foreigner it seems not to matter
so much; to the Englishwoman, sooner or later, it is certain death.
But I hear some say, "How about the Factory Regulations?" In theory
the Factory Regulations are admirable; in practice they are utterly
inadequate. Their provisions are constantly evaded. Women are kept
working in these dens from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m., 10 p.m., or even
midnight; or the intention of the Act is frustrated by their being
given work to do at home. A case was mentioned before the House of
Lords' Committee of a girl eighteen years of age, who worked from
seven in the morning to half-past eight at night, for wages ranging
from 3_s._ to 8_s._ a week. On Fridays she worked from 6 a.m. to 5
p.m. (eleven hours), that being considered half a day, and paid for
accordingly. All sorts of tricks are played to evade the Factory
Inspector. His first appearance in the street is notified all along
the sweating dens by a preconcerted signal. When he arrives at the
door, he is kept in parley for a minute or two. Meanwhile the women and
girls are smuggled away, and by the time he is admitted there is not a
woman visible. They lend themselves, poor creatures, to this deception,
because they know that if they did not, plenty more could be found who
would. The result is that they are utterly at the sweater's mercy. Even
the time that ought to be allowed for meals is often infringed upon.
A woman who availed herself of a full hour for dinner would be liable
to instant dismissal. Even the half-hour for tea is frequently denied
them; the tea is put down by their side, and they swallow it as they

Such is the case of women working in the sweating dens. Those who
work at home are scarcely better off. They must, through the constant
pressure of this foreign competition, labour from dawn till late at
night to procure the barest subsistence, a subsistence not sufficient
to keep them in health and strength. One wretched garret is all they
can afford. Here they labour, and live, and die--no one heeding. In the
winter they do without fire, and often the workers put on their backs,
for the sake of warmth, the garments they are not actually engaged
upon. Oftentimes it is not the woman alone, but her whole family who
have to share this single room. It is impossible for a woman, working
these excessive hours, to keep the room clean; and the consequence is
that, especially in hot weather, it becomes infested by vermin, which
find their way into the garments in process of making. The takers-in of
the work in the larger houses, it is stated, kill the worst of these
vermin with their shears as they examine their garments!

Few of us would consider that any sum could compensate for such
grinding toil under such awful conditions. Yet what do these poor women
get for their labour? I have already quoted the case of a girl who
earned from 3_s._ to 8_s._ a week for over thirteen hours a day; but
many girls in the East End factories do not earn more than 2_s._ or
3_s._ a week! Working by the piece, a woman is paid 5_d._ for making a
vest; 7-1/2_d._ for making a coat. She can by fifteen hours' work make
four coats in a day, which comes to 2_s._ 6_d._; but out of this has
to be deducted 3_d._ to a button-holer for making the button-holes,
and 4_d._ for "trimmings," which means fire, ironing, and soap, all
necessary for her work. A boy's knickerbocker suit is made at prices
varying from 4-1/2_d._ to 10-1/2_d._ complete, according to the amount
of work. For a suit made at 9_d._ the sweater gets 1_s._ 3_d._,
leaving him a profit of 6_d._ Before destitute immigration set in, in
such a volume, and prices were consequently higher, such a suit would
have been sold at 3_s._ 6_d._, which would have admitted of a larger
profit, and consequently higher price for labour. Other prices are--a
shirt, sold in a shop for 7_s._ 6_d._, is made for 1_s._; and men's
trousers are made outright at as low a price as 4-1/2_d._ per pair.
The price paid by a sweater to a woman for machining trousers, runs
from 1-1/4_d._ to 3-1/4_d._ per pair, and out of this she has to find
cotton and "trimmings." If she does this at home she pays 2_s._ 6_d._
a week for the hire of a sewing-machine. The "finishers," as the women
are called who press the garments, put on the tickets, and generally
make them ready for sale, are paid from 2_d._ to 2-3/4_d._ a pair; but
they lose a good deal of time in getting their work examined, and have
frequently to stand three or four hours at a time. It is an invariable
rule that no seats are provided for women when they take their work to
the sweaters. If the examiner finds the first two or three pairs of
trousers faulty, he will not go through the whole work, but throws them
at the unfortunate woman, and tells her to take them back and alter
them. In this way she loses two days in doing one day's work.

Shirt-makers who make by machine the common kinds of shirts, are
paid 7_d._, 8_d._, and 9_d._ per dozen shirts for machining. They
can machine 1-1/2 dozen sevenpenny shirts in a day, by working till
midnight and later. The shirt-finishers, who make the button-holes
by hand and sew on the buttons, get 3_d._ a dozen shirts, finding
their own cotton, and can finish 1-1/2 dozen to 2 dozen in a day.
Silk mantles, costing in the West End shops from £1 to £25, are made
throughout in the East End for 7-1/2_d._ apiece, out of which the
sweater pays the actual maker 5_d._ The common mantles are made at
5_d._ apiece; price to the worker, 3_d._ to 3-1/2_d._ Bead-trimmings
are made by girls who, working twelve hours, earn from 8_d._ to 1_s._
2_d._ per day. Mackintoshes are made at from 10_d._ to 1_s._ apiece.

Mrs. Killick, a trouser-finisher, told the Sweating Committee that she
could not make more than 1_s._ a day, working from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
She had a sick husband and three children, and out of her earnings
she paid 2_s._ a week rent. She chiefly lived on tea and a bit of
fish. What a glimpse of patient heroism and noble self-denial does the
evidence of this poor woman afford!

Five or six years ago these women made nearly double; the competition
chiefly caused by the influx of cheap labour from abroad, has reduced
prices some 40 or 50 per cent. Now, even the miserable wages earned are
irregularly paid. The sweaters frequently keep their workers waiting
for their money, and the more disreputable ones will cheat them out of
their just dues. Work too is precarious; there are slack times during
the year, when the workers may be idle for weeks together; yet they
must still pay rent, and keep body and soul together--if they can. And
this brings me back to the proposition from which I started.

How body and soul are kept together in the case of girls under such
circumstances as have been detailed, it is not difficult though very
painful to imagine. Working from dawn till night in hideous filth and
squalor unutterable, for a wage which does not suffice to buy the
barest necessaries (a wage cut down ever lower and lower by the fierce
competition from the shoals of destitute foreigners landed in London
week by week), hundreds, nay thousands of young women--Englishwomen,
our sisters--eke out their wretched earnings by means of the street.
The Pharisee and the Self-righteous pass by on the other side and
condemn them; but it is not these poor unfortunates who are to be
condemned, but the system which makes such a state of things possible.
The Vicar of Old Ford, in his evidence before the House of Lords'
Committee, mentioned cases he knew of where young girls of thirteen,
who work in this cheap tailoring trade, were leading an immoral life.

In one instance, two sisters, one twelve and the other ten years of
age, had already embarked upon a life of shame. One of these girls had
been sent out by her stepmother, because the family "had to live."

Another instance, if possible more horrible still, was related to me by
a clergyman in the East End of London, of a case which had come under
his notice, though not before it was too late. It was that of a woman,
an Englishwoman, a seamstress, who with her husband was engaged in the
cheap tailoring trade at the usual sweating prices. All went fairly
well for a time, for the two were able by their united efforts to earn
a living, and to maintain themselves and their little children in a
state of comparative decency and comfort. But one winter the husband,
never a strong man, fell ill and died. The wife laboured on, managing
by some almost superhuman effort to earn enough for herself and the
children, and to keep body and soul together. Then the slack time, so
greatly dreaded by all those engaged in the "sweating trade," came on,
and there was nothing to be done for weeks and weeks. In despair this
woman, who had hitherto led a blameless life, took to the streets. "It
was wrong," the moralist and purist will say, "wrong and reprehensible
to the last degree. Is there not the workhouse for such people, is
there not parochial relief, are there not charitable agencies, free
dinners, clothing clubs, district visitors without end? Could she not
have applied to one of these instead of drifting into sin?" It may
be so. All that I know is, that she and her children were starving,
and that the sin brought its own punishment, for the poor woman never
recovered from the horrors of that awful winter. The shame of it all
seemed to settle on her as a blight, and the following year she died,
broken-spirited, and broken-hearted, one more victim sacrificed to
this infamous system of starvation prices and ruinous competition.

Most of the English girls to be seen at night in Oxford Street and
the Strand, to say nothing of their even more degraded sisters in
Whitechapel, are, or have been, tailoresses. How these poor creatures
manage to exist at all, even when they eke out their wretched earnings
by the price paid for their dishonour, it is not easy to see. The key
of the mystery is to be found in their mutual help of one another. Even
amid all their degradation and shame, many of them retain that divine
instinct of self-sacrifice which in all ages has been the noblest
part of womanhood. Dim it may be and undeveloped, but still it is
there, evidenced daily by many little acts of kindness, many little
generous deeds towards those who are more miserable and more suffering
than themselves. "It is mostly the poor who help the poor." I will go
further and say, it is mostly the wretched who help the wretched, for
between them exists that intimate knowledge of each other's sorrows
which is the truest bond of sympathy. Under happier circumstances
these poor women might have lived honest and virtuous lives. As it
is, they have to work side by side with men of all nationalities,
under unhealthy and objectionable conditions--conditions subservient
of all sense of decency. This, combined with the utterly inadequate
wage, naturally leads to immorality, with its attendant satellites of
drunkenness, disease, and death. Thus the burden of wretchedness and
crime goes on, ever increasing in volume and intensity. How can it be
otherwise when the ranks of the lost in our large cities, are thus
being continually recruited from within and from without? Every now
and then the public conscience is startled by the news of some awful
tragedy--some poor creature done to her death in Whitechapel. It is
but a bubble bursting on the surface, which oozes up from the black
depths of vice and misery beneath.

One of the most potent causes of this vice and misery is undoubtedly
the unlimited pouring in of destitute and objectionable foreigners.
Again I ask, Can nothing be done to rescue these women--our
sisters--from the attendant horrors of this fierce and degrading
foreign competition? Can nothing be done to place the price of their
labour upon such a level as to enable them by honest work to lead
virtuous and happy lives?

_Usque quo Domine?_ Lord, how long? Such is the bitter cry of the
workwomen in East London.



The sanitary conditions amid which the great majority of these alien
immigrants labour and live may truly be described as appalling. It is
a remarkable thing that just as the lower organisms of animal life
are capable of living under circumstances which are intolerable to
higher organisms, so can these people exist--and even to a certain
extent thrive--in an atmosphere and amid surroundings which to the more
highly-developed Englishman and Englishwoman mean disease and death.
Cleanliness and sanitation are peculiarities of Western rather than of
Eastern nationalities. When Peter the Great went back to Russia after
his famous visit to London two centuries ago, he left behind him such
a filthy habitation, that the cleansing of it had to be defrayed by an
especial grant from the Exchequer. This is a matter of history; and if
rumour is to be believed, a similar experience in connection with the
visit of an Oriental potentate has occurred in very recent years. If
this sort of thing is incidental to the visit of Eastern Princes, how
much rather then is it liable to accompany the wholesale inundation
of poor and degraded foreigners, who flock into London and our large
cities from every country in Europe?

In treating of this sanitary aspect, in order to avoid any possible
charge of exaggeration, I prefer to quote the statements of
unimpeachable authorities rather than to advance any theories of my
own. The surroundings amid which these people are content to labour and
to live are deplorable and filthy beyond description. To quote from
the Majority Report of the Sweating Committee--a Report which has been
attacked because of the undue moderation of its language, and which
certainly cannot be said to unduly exaggerate the evil:--

"Three or four gas-jets may be flaring in a room, a coke fire burning
in the wretched fire-place, sinks untrapped, closets without water,
and, altogether, the sanitary conditions abominable. A witness told us
that in a double room, perhaps 9 feet by 15 feet, a man, his wife, and
six children slept, and in the same room ten men were usually employed,
so that at night eighteen persons would be in that one room. These
witnesses alluded to the want of sanitary precautions, and of decent
and sufficient accommodation, and declared that the effects of this,
combined with the inadequate wages earned, had the effect of driving
girls to prostitution."

The state of the sweaters' dens in East London is revolting beyond
measure, and resembles rather the description of Dante's _Inferno_,
than the abodes of a professedly civilized people. Here is the
description of one taken almost at random from a mass of evidence
teeming with similar details. A Factory Inspector, who described it,
says it gives a fair idea of all the rest, and he certainly ought to
know, seeing that some 4000 factories and "workshops innumerable" are
under his inspection. He says:--

"You find a filthy bed, on which garments which are made are laid;
little children, perfectly naked little things, lying about on the
floor and on the bed; frying-pans and all sorts of dirty utensils with
food of various descriptions on the bed, under the bed, over the bed,
everywhere; clothes hanging on a line, with nothing more than a large
gas-stove with the ashes all flying about, and the atmosphere so dense
that you get ill after a night's work there; and that is the reason I
am deaf now."

In respect of sanitation, the foreign Jews appear to be the worst
offenders. The Sanitary Committee of the Jewish Board of Guardians
admit in their Report that of 880 houses visited by the inspector, 623
were defective, and below the standard required by the Local Authority.
Of these no less than 341 were in Whitechapel alone. To quote a few

"In Whitechapel, some so-called 'Model Dwellings' exist, in which
the drain of a water-closet had been entirely stopped up for three
weeks prior to the visit of the Inspector, while two of the cellars
(inhabited) were flooded with sewage, and had been so flooded for
four days past. At another place, where a noxious odour had prevailed
for years, the refuse which the Committee succeeded in causing to be
removed from the basement room, contained among its various components
the dead bodies of five cats, a dog, and a rabbit. The water-closet
drains of three other houses were discovered on the Inspector's visit
to have remained in a choked condition for three, five, and six
weeks respectively. At a house in St. George's-in-the-East, three
boot-finishers were found at work in a front basement room, while the
adjoining back basement room was flooded with sewage, which forced its
way up a gully supposed to be protected by a bell-trap. The cover of
this trap, as is generally the case with these appliances, was absent,
and thus the sewer had direct and unobstructed communication with the
interior of the house."

This extract is taken bodily from the Report of the Sweating Committee
of the Jewish Board of Guardians. They are writing of their own people,
and are certainly not likely to exaggerate the state of affairs.

The habitations of the Italians are little better; in fact in many
ways they are just as bad. The sanitary arrangements of the cheap
dwellings around Saffron Hill, where the Italians mostly abound,
leave everything to be desired. On this subject I had lately some
conversation with an officer of the Italian Benevolent Society. He
described to me a sleeping-room--it often served as a living-room as
well--in one of the ordinary dwelling-houses in the neighbourhood of
Saffron Hill. In this one room, neither very lofty nor very large,
may frequently be found a dozen persons herded together rather like
cattle than human beings, sleeping promiscuously as follows:--In one
bed, or what serves as a bed, a married couple; in the next, two young
girls; in a third, a single young man; in the fourth, three or four
children of different ages and sexes--and so on. Owing to the lack of
ventilation, and the number of human beings crowded in the room--to
quote the words of my informant--"the stench was awful." The result of
all this upon the victims, both physically and morally, can easily be
imagined. Another instance was that given by Inspector Holland to Mr.
Biron the magistrate.[20] An Italian, who was summoned for sending his
little girl out begging, was traced to his home, and there the police
inspector found the parents occupying a miserably furnished little
apartment in Aldis Mews, with six children. The room, which "smelt
horribly," contained a single bed, under which were kept the appliances
for making ice-cream; and Inspector Holland also found the room to be
inhabited by a dog, a cat, a monkey, and several white mice. The moral
of all this is obvious, viz. that these people are able to live under
conditions amid which it would be impossible for an average Englishman
to exist at all. Therefore it is only one more illustration of the
unfair nature of this unnatural competition.

There is, however, another point to be noted in connection with this
sanitary aspect. The conditions under which work is done in the
sweaters' dens, and in their homes by these unfortunate people, largely
assists in the spreading of infectious diseases. I refer of course more
especially to the cheap tailoring trade. Some materials carry infection
very quickly. Dr. Bate, a medical officer of health in the East End
of London, speaks, in his evidence before the Sweating Committee, of
infection being carried far and wide by the garments being often made
up in rooms where children are lying ill with small-pox, scarlet fever,
and other maladies. He had seen the garments thrown over the children's
beds; and a case is mentioned of a child covered with measles being
wrapt up in one of the half-made garments to keep it warm. And yet the
articles made under such conditions are sold in the cheap, ready-made
clothes-shops all over London and throughout the provinces.

Nor are matters in the foreign quarters of the provincial towns much
better. From Manchester, from Leeds, from Liverpool, from Glasgow, the
same tale reaches us, of the filthy habits of these foreign immigrants,
and their neglect of all sanitary precautions. For instance, at Meadow
Bank, an outlying district of Winsford, there is a large colony of
Poles and Hungarians. They are employed in some local salt works, and
were especially brought over to England some years ago in consequence
of a strike in the Salt District, and now fill the places which were
formerly occupied by Englishmen. A description of the way in which
these people live, will best show how impossible it is for decent
English workmen to compete against them. It is best told in the words
of Dr. Fox, the medical officer of the District Board of Health. In his
report he writes:--

"To say that these people are living together like beasts would be an
insult and a libel upon beasts. Beasts would be better provided for
than are those human beings. In the first place the rooms are, without
exception, overcrowded. Again, they are destitute of furniture. The
beds are trays covered with filthy straw; the bed-clothing is entirely
constituted of filthy sacking. The men sleep in their clothes, even in
their boots. The windows are rarely if ever opened; the beds in point
of fact being many of them never empty; one set of workmen occupying
them by day, and another by night. The atmosphere is necessarily foul,
foetid, and pestilential to persons of ordinary susceptibilities;
and yet, in the absence of larders, and kitchens, and separate
living-rooms, in this foetid, stinking atmosphere the food is stored
and cooked. Arrangements for washing there are none, except the outside
taps. In one room six men and one woman are sleeping, unmarried,
promiscuously; and in another, a man, his wife, and daughter--fourteen
years of age--were occupying one bed. Canal-boats are palaces and
temples of cleanliness, comfort, and morality, compared with this
horrible colony of Bohemianism."

It is not possible to say anything which would add to this tale of
horror. The facts speak for themselves. Dr. Fox, though subjected
to a severe examination before the House of Commons' Committee,
maintained that there was not a syllable of exaggeration in his report,
though in consequence of public attention having been attracted by
its publication, a slight improvement had since taken place in some
minor details. There was no necessity, it should be noted, for these
foreigners to live in the way they did. In this instance they were
paid a sufficient wage for them to exist under decent and sanitary
conditions. It was simply that they preferred doing so, and were but
following the instincts of a nature which had become engendered in them
by long years of filthy and degraded habits. Yet it was to make room
for such as these that the English workmen were ousted, and are being
ousted daily, in the great manufacturing centres of Great Britain.
The question is, therefore, how long are these people to be allowed
to pour in upon us unchecked, bringing with them their foreign habits
and customs, and living in conformity with these alone, an outstanding
defiance to English law, and a serious danger to the health and
well-being of the surrounding English community? Is it right or just
that our people should be forced by this unnatural competition to live
and toil side by side with such people, surrounded by bad light, bad
air, bad food, bad water, bad smells, bad and degrading occupations--by
every circumstance which depresses the vital energies, and leaves them
an easy prey to pestilence? But we are told that to shut our doors
upon these aliens would be to reverse England's traditions. I maintain
that we have lavished sympathy enough upon them already, and that it
is now necessary for us to keep a little of our sympathy for our own
flesh and blood. It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of
sanitation. Where it is neglected, disease and death surely follow.
Doctors tell us that more human beings are killed in England every year
by unnecessary and preventible diseases, than were killed at Waterloo
or Sadowa, and the great majority of these victims are children.
Preventible diseases, according to Sir Joseph Fayrer, still kill
125,000 per annum, entailing a loss of labour from sickness estimated
at £7,750,000 per annum. "Why then," as the Prince of Wales[21] asked,
"are they not prevented?"

Sanitary legislation is all very well, but it deals with effects and
not with causes. Such dens as those described, not by my imagination,
be it noted, but by unimpeachable authorities, are nothing less than
breeding-houses of pestilence. If we swept them clean to-morrow others
would soon be found as bad, for the filthy and unsanitary habits of
these immigrant aliens are bred in the bone, and wherever they go they
take them with them. It cannot be healthy for a nation to have such a
sore as this existing in its side, yet we allow this plague-spot to
continue in our midst, and to spread its contamination far and wide. If
we wish to perpetuate that healthy, sturdy stock which has made England
what she is, we must prevent the strain from being defiled by this
ceaseless pouring in of the unclean and unhealthy of other lands. "A
little leaven leaveneth the whole lump," and nothing is more contagious
than dirty and unsanitary habits. The physical health of the people
should be the first care of the State, for upon it depends not only
the present, but the future, of our race. _Salus populi suprema est
lex_--and before this inviolable law all other considerations must bow.

The Majority Report of the Sweating Committee--from which Lord
Dunraven dissented--complacently recommended the more frequent use of
"limewash" in the sweaters' dens and workshops where these indigent
foreigners chiefly congregate. But it will require a great deal more
than "limewash" to whiten this hideous evil. People who bring with them
filthy and unsanitary habits are a standing source of danger to the
rest of the community. Cattle from an infected district are refused
admission to our ports; surely the health of even one of the meanest of
our people is of more importance than many cattle.



Closely bound up with the sanitary danger, indeed inseparable from
it, is the social evil. The value of healthy habitations, of personal
cleanliness, of pure air, of a sufficient but not exorbitant amount
of work--all that in fact tends to produce the _mens sana in corpore
sano_--all this is fully acknowledged and known; yet we freely throw
open our doors to a class whose habits and customs admittedly militate
against all these powerful agencies for good.

The unlimited pouring in of destitute and degraded foreigners tends
both directly and indirectly to increase our national burden of
pauperism, vice, and crime. With regard to the first part of this
statement it is often objected that but few of these foreign immigrants
come upon the rates, and that our workhouses and penitentiaries show
comparatively faint signs of their presence. This is a half-truth, and
like all half-truths it conceals a most dangerous fallacy. _Nulla falsa
doctrina est, quae non permisceat aliquid veritatis._ On the surface I
admit the plausibility of the objection. In Leeds, for instance, where
the foreign colony has reached abnormal proportions, the total number
of Jews chargeable to the common fund of the Leeds Union, at the time
when particulars were furnished to the Board of Trade in the early
part of this year (1891), was only 62. The numerous Jewish and Foreign
Benevolent Societies and Charitable Institutions are far too careful to
allow their people to come upon the rates more than they can possibly
help. But that the whole tendency of this destitute foreign immigration
is to force those of our English working-classes, who are in any
degree affected by it, into pauperism or something worse, cannot for
one moment be denied by those who have any practical knowledge of the
poor in the crowded centres of population to which these undesirable
foreigners flock.

In proof of this assertion, I may quote the opinion of the Mile
End Board of Guardians, who believed that this destitute foreign
immigration had "a deteriorating effect upon the moral, financial,
and social conditions of the people." The Whitechapel Guardians of
the poor also deplore the substitution of the foreign for the English
population. The result, they say, is the lowering of the general
condition of the people. The Hackney Board of Guardians also, after
an exhaustive inquiry, arrived at the opinion that the unchecked
immigration of destitute foreigners was a serious social danger,
reducing wages to a "starvation point." They supported their decision
by a series of practical and convincing arguments which only lack of
space prevents my quoting in full.[22]

If a life of honest labour has no better reward to offer than the
meagre wages and attendant horrors of the sweaters' dens, can it be
wondered if in despair of earning an honest livelihood, hundreds,
nay thousands, of our people are tempted to abandon the unequal
struggle, and to drift into idleness, drunkenness, and vice? I
have endeavoured to show in a previous chapter how this unnatural
competition forces Englishwomen upon the streets; but that, alas! is
not the only resultant form of vice. A great social reformer[23] once
said that "he had found a man's sobriety to be in direct proportion
to his cleanliness." Without admitting the universal accuracy of this
opinion, there is no doubt that it contains within it the germs of a
great truth. Drunkenness, that endless source of misery and crime, is
not in itself so much a cause as an effect, the effect of the loss
of that innate sense of self-respect which forms one of the great
barriers between the man and the beast. "When we examine into the
ultimate cause of a dangerous class," writes Canon Kingsley,[24] "into
the one property common to all its members, whether thieves, beggars,
profligates, or the merely pauperized--we find it to be this loss of
self-respect. As long as that remains, poor souls may struggle on
heroically, pure amid penury, filth, degradation unspeakable. But when
self-respect is lost, they are lost with it. And whatever may be the
fate of virtuous parents, children brought up in these dens of physical
and moral filth cannot retrieve self-respect. They sink, and they must
sink, into a life on a level with the sights, sounds, aye, the very
smells, which surround them."

All this is true enough. But how, I would ask, is it possible for our
people to maintain this precious sense of self-respect when they are
forced daily and hourly into contact with those who appear to have no
more idea of decency, cleanliness, and comfort than the beasts which
perish? The whole physical circumstances of their lives fight against
them. To the great bulk of these immigrant aliens, the word "home,"
that word so sacred to English ears, around which so many associations
cling, has no meaning at all. They appear to have only one dominant
passion, the love of gain;--not that they gain much, poor creatures,
still it is there;--and in their pursuit of it they are willing to
accommodate themselves to the meagre wage, the lengthy hours, and the
filthy surroundings already described. With this exception they appear
to be indifferent to everything which makes life worth the living, to
have no happiness in the past, no pleasures in the present, no hope
in the future. With our own people it is different. However degraded
they may be, there exists among them the longing for enjoyment. "Not
to enjoy is not to live." Moral and intellectual enjoyments many have
none; and in default of these, they betake themselves to the lowest
forms of animal enjoyment; snatching at their pleasures greedily,
foully, all the more fiercely because their opportunities of enjoyment
are so limited. Can we wonder that these things are so? Can we judge
them harshly? God forbid!

A well-known social reformer, for whose work and opinions I have
the greatest respect, has written:--"It is a fact apparent to every
thoughtful man, that the larger portion of the misery that constitutes
our social question arises from indulgence, gluttony, drink, waste,
profligacy, betting, and dissipation."[25] This on the surface is
true enough; but when we come to examine more closely into the
problems of poverty, we shall find that though intemperance, unthrift,
self-indulgence, and inefficiency are unhappily the common vices of the
poor, yet these vices are not so much the _causes_ of poverty, as the
_effects_ of it.

The Rev. S. A. Barnett, of St. Jude's, Whitechapel, who knows the
East End of London so thoroughly, does not find the origin of poverty
in the vices of the poor. Terrible as are the results of drunkenness,
unthrift, and self-indulgence, it is not possible, if we view the
facts dispassionately, to regard these as the main sources of poverty.
We shall rather look upon these evils as the natural outcome of the
fierce struggle for existence, which is carried on under our present
industrial conditions. Morality is admittedly the truest and most
real end of man, and therefore on a superficial aspect it is natural
to represent the miseries of the very poor to be chiefly occasioned
by their own faults. It is a comfortable view to take, for it at
once lightens the responsibility of the rich man, and it salves his
conscience by the specious plea that after all the poor and the
wretched have brought half their troubles upon themselves; and as they
have made their beds, so must they lie. But this is rather the attitude
of the Pharisee than of the philanthropist, and the moral and social
problems of our age and country will never be solved if approached in
such a spirit.

It is a cruel and unholy thing thus to intensify the struggle for
existence among our own people by the ceaseless immigration of
those, who, to quote the words of the Bishop of Bedford, "are at
once demoralized and demoralizing."[26] Few have had more practical
experience of the crowded East End of London than Dr. Billing, and he
has given eloquent testimony to the injury worked upon our own people
there by this wholesale invasion. In this fierce battle for life, of
what use is it to utter trite platitudes about the "survival of the
fittest," since, as another great authority, Lord Dunraven, has pointed
out, "the fittest in this instance are those who are able to exist
upon the lowest possible diet, in the greatest possible filth, and
subject to the greatest amount of hardships and misery"?[27]

Englishmen and Englishwomen were not formed thus to live, and thus
to toil. They cannot do so without contracting diseased habits of
body and mind--without becoming brutalized, in fact. They lose their
self-respect, and go to swell that degraded class into which the
_weaker_ as well as the _worst_ members of society show a perpetual
tendency to sink--a class which not respecting itself does not respect
others, which has nothing to lose and all to gain, and in which the
lowest passions are ever ready to burst out and avenge themselves by
frightful methods. That is why it is, at the present hour, in the
crowded courts and teeming alleys of East London, there exist all the
elements of something even more terrible in its way than the misery
which brought about the French Revolution.

It has been said that "A great city is a great evil." But paradoxical
as it may seem, it is also a great good, since it provides employment
for many thousands who otherwise would starve. Still it cannot be
denied that the abnormal increase of our great cities, and the gradual
depopulation of our country districts, form one of the most serious
social problems of our time.

There is a constant movement going on from the country to the
town. This is due to many causes, one of which is undoubtedly the
introduction of machinery, which, whilst lessening the work for
labourers in the agricultural districts, at the same time creates an
extraordinary demand for "hands" in our manufacturing centres. Another
cause is the higher rate of wages, and the bustling customs of the
town, which never cease to offer attractions to young people starting
in life. The result of this steady current of human beings flowing away
from the country to the town is disastrous to both. Every great city
in England is rapidly approaching a state of congestion; and in rural
places there is a great dearth of workers, the supply falling very far
short of the demand. If the 30,000,000 human beings in England and
Wales all had food and lodging, there would be no cause for anxiety;
but a large number of them are very poor, and wholly unable to support
themselves. In 1890 no less than 671,000 persons received Poor Law
relief, of whom 462,000 were relieved outside, and 179,000 inside
the workhouse. In London alone 5000 able-bodied men were relieved
every day, at a cost to the Metropolitan rate-payers of £188,000 per
year. Twenty-four out of every hundred, or nearly one quarter of
those who died in London last year, died either in the workhouses,
hospitals, or lunatic asylums. Therefore, considering this question
of foreign immigration generally, and foreign Jewish immigration in
particular, we must take into account the nature of its distribution
and the gregarious habits of the Jewish immigrants. The weekly arrival
of hundreds of semi-starving foreigners must of necessity have a
serious effect upon our unskilled labour market in London and our
great provincial cities, to which the immigrant aliens principally
flock. All thinking persons will admit that it is of more importance
to protect our own workmen than to preserve our traditional character
for hospitality, if it can be shown--and I consider it can--that the
exercise of such hospitality tends to degrade the social condition of
the native workers.

Why then add to the difficulties of this problem by letting in yearly
thousands of these foreigners, chiefly the "lowest class of the lowest
class," who, parasites that they are, flock at once to our great
centres of population, and prey upon our people, underselling their
labour, and taking the bread from their mouths?

We live in the days of a great social upheaval. We hear on all sides
of the great "Labour movement." What does it mean? What is at the
bottom of it all? Only the desire of our labouring classes to seek for
themselves some alleviation of their lot; some increased opportunity
for leisure; some better remuneration for their labour; some surer
provision against sickness and old age. They are seeking--not always by
the best and wisest methods perhaps, but that is not their fault--how
to make their lives better and broader, healthier and happier. With
these desires every right-thinking man is in sympathy. The complete
realization of their dream may be Utopian perhaps--I do not know. But
even if it be, what is there to blame in this divine discontent?

  "Unless above himself he can
  Exalt himself, how mean a thing is man!"

How are these longings to be gratified?--how are they to be even
partially realized, while this unchecked flood of destitution and
degradation pours in upon us from abroad?

We hear much in these days of schemes for elevating and evangelizing
the masses of the poor in our great cities. All honour to such schemes,
whether they succeed or whether they fail, for the motive which
animates them is good. But it cannot be too often insisted upon, that
spiritual and intellectual necessities do not arise until some decency
of physical conditions has been first attained. Among the "submerged
tenth," as they have been called, decency of physical conditions will
never come to pass until steps have first been taken to forbid the
entrance of the unclean and unhealthy of other lands. So long as the
bare struggle for existence absorbs all the energies of our very poor,
they cannot be civilized.

I do not underrate the greater worth of the moral life as compared
with the purely physical life; but we must begin at the lowest rung
of the ladder before we can ascend to the highest. As things are, the
dregs of our slum population have neither the time, the energy, or the
desire to be clean, thrifty, intelligent, or moral. In our haste we
must not blame them. What they want first of all is better food, and
more of it, warmer clothes, better shelter, higher wages, and more
permanent employment. Unless we can first assist them to obtain these
material desires, all our efforts to awaken the higher part of their
natures will be in vain. Some perhaps will object that many of these
poor creatures are so brutalized, so criminal, so degraded, that they
have no higher nature left to awaken. I do not believe it--I will never
believe it. However degraded a human being may be, however handicapped
from his birth by the circumstances of his life, and even handicapped
before his birth by the transmitted vices of his progenitors, there
still is implanted in him, dormant and infinitesimal though it may be,
that spark of the divine nature which alone separates man from the

In writing on the social aspect of this evil, it is well to make
one's meaning quite plain. I do not of course mean to say--no one can
say--that to restrict the immigration of the destitute, the criminal,
or the worthless, would be a panacea for all our social ills. Far from
it; but it would at least remove from their way, one of the most
potent causes of degradation in the material and social condition of
the poor in our large cities. Until something has first been done to
check this evil, charitable agencies, religious movements, colonization
and emigration schemes will be beside the mark. However much good they
may do here and there--and I freely admit the amount of good that such
movements have done, and are doing every day--they will fail to go to
the root of the evil, since they deal with effects and not with causes;
they treat the symptoms, but not the disease.

Emigration is worthless while this continuous influx is allowed to go
on. At the best, emigration is a drastic remedy only to be applied
in the last resource. If, like the Great Plague, or Fire of London,
emigration carried off the diseased, or swept away foul and unhealthy
tenements, it might possibly be regarded with more complacency. But
under existing circumstances this is just what emigration does not
do. We must bear in mind that we can no longer draft off our social
failures to other countries. Even our colonies now refuse to take the
"wreckage" of the mother country. The people we emigrate now, are just
those we can least afford to lose. And there is another consideration.
Of the thousands we emigrate yearly, most are men, young, healthy,
and vigorous. Of the women, all--or nearly all--are virtuous and
industrious. In either sex the residuum, both men and women, and more
especially women, remain behind. "Bad men die, but bad women multiply,"
once said a lady whose name is a synonym for all that is charitable
and good, when urging the advisability of giving the fallen sisterhood
of our great cities a chance of beginning life over again in some new
land beyond the seas. These are pregnant words, but under our present
system little or no provision is made for carrying them into effect.
Things have come to such a pass, that while we emigrate the flower of
our population, the industrious, the vigorous, and the courageous;
the feeble, the idle, and the worthless remain with us; and this
undesirable increment is ever being augmented by the refuse population
of other countries.

Look at it from whatever point we will, it cannot be right that these
things should be.



The laws and customs of Europe with regard to the treatment of
destitute and undesirable immigration vary considerably. For the
purpose of convenience in dealing with this aspect, the European
countries may be roughly divided into three classes, (_a_) Those which
have decrees and restrictions both for prohibiting the admission of
destitute aliens, and for expelling such as have resided in their
territory, when for divers reasons they should appear to be unwelcome
or undesirable acquisitions. (_b_) Those which have laws and local
regulations for the expulsion of aliens, but none prohibiting their
admission into the country in the first instance. (_c_) Those which
take no steps in the matter at all. To the first of these three classes
belong Austria, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Roumania,
Saxony, and Bavaria. To the second class, Spain, Sweden and Norway,
Greece, Germany (all States except the two previously specified),
Italy, Hungary, Servia, Montenegro, and in a lesser degree, France.
To the last belong Portugal, and until the other day, Turkey. The
remaining country is Russia; but having been unable to obtain any very
definite information concerning it, I have hesitated to classify it
with any of the above.

It will be best to take these classes and countries _seriatim_.

In Austria the regulations vary slightly with regard to particular
provinces; but, speaking generally, special instructions have been
issued to the frontier police, with the result that all vagrant aliens,
deserters, suspicious-looking foreigners who are not able to give a
proper account of themselves or as to the sufficiency of their means,
foreign pedlars, workmen and artisans who on entrance into the country
are uncertain of obtaining immediate employment, or whose papers are
unsatisfactory, or whose means for travelling are insufficient--all
these are at once to be refused admission, and to be turned back at
the frontier. The only exception to this rule is the case of foreign
day-labourers and artisans, who are entitled by reason of reciprocity
to the same treatment as Austrian subjects of the same class receive
in the States to which these belong, whose appearance gives rise to
no suspicion, and who having regular passports are obliged, in order
to return to their homes by the most direct route, to pass through
Austrian territory. By the Ordinance of 1867, foreign beggars,
mountebanks, singers, musicians, jugglers, rope-dancers, gipsies, and
other vagrant people, proprietors of wax-works, owners of menageries
and similar exhibitions, unless they have first obtained a licence
to exhibit the same in the Empire, are also refused admittance and
turned back at the frontier. As to continued residence, by the General
Communal Laws a Commune can refuse to allow foreigners to reside in
its district, if they, together with their belongings, do not lead a
blameless life, or if they become a burden upon public charity. By
the Banishment Law of 1871, the Communal Police are also empowered
to forcibly expel from the territory all idle or vagrant foreigners,
discharged convicts, and foreign prostitutes, especially if these
pursue their immoral trade without strictly observing the police
regulations, if they are suffering from venereal disease, if they
cause a public scandal by their behaviour, or if they seduce young
people. Such, in brief, are the laws which regulate and restrict alien
immigration in the Austrian Empire, as distinct from the kingdom of

Through the courtesy of M. de Bille, the Danish Minister at the Court
of St. James's, who kindly procured for me from Copenhagen a copy of
the Decree of 1875, and other law-records, I have been enabled to
make a detailed study of the laws of Denmark which bear upon this
question.[28] The law of 1875, containing the regulation in force in
regard to foreigners and travellers in Denmark, is a very drastic one.
Briefly summarized, it amounts to this. The _status_ and liberties
of the foreign workman or servant, employed or seeking employment in
Denmark, are defined with very great attention to detail; the most
uncompromising regulations are laid down for the prevention of the
entry of all foreigners who may be found destitute of sufficient
means for their support; and even of those who are in search of work
under any circumstances, except under strict conditions. The first
Article contains a positive prohibition against the admission into
the country of foreign gipsies, itinerant musicians, leaders and
exhibitors of animals, acrobats and jugglers, who seek to gain a
livelihood by vagrant performances. Foreigners in search of work are
not admitted, except on the condition that they are provided with a
document of identity from a public functionary. From the succeeding
Articles of the same law it appears that foreigners who are not
possessed of any claim for maintenance in Denmark, and are destitute of
the means of subsistence, are to be expelled by the police, and the
method of expulsion is very carefully detailed. Even those who find
employment are constantly under the supervision of the police, and have
pass-books, which, at every change of domicile or of employment, must
be _visé_ by the police as well as by the employers. There can be no
doubt that the severity of the law is very effectual in exterminating
the evil against which it is aimed. On the other hand, it in no way
deters considerable numbers of foreign skilled artisans from seeking
and obtaining employment in Denmark, as any one with any knowledge of
the country would speedily discover. The majority of such foreigners
appear to be Germans.

In Belgium the measures which the Government is authorized to take
with the view of protecting the country against the dangers which the
presence of destitute foreigners involve, are based upon several laws
and decrees which have been passed from time to time as need required.
They are interesting having regard to the strikes and labour-troubles
which have taken place in Belgium during recent years. By a decree of
the Provisional Government of 1830, all foreigners unprovided with a
Government authorization, are bound to show that they possess means
of livelihood; if not, they are at once to be sent back to their
own country. They are even liable to be brought before the Juge de
Paix, who may condemn them to a short imprisonment, or send them
to the agricultural colony of Hoogstraeten, where native vagabonds
are confined while at the disposal of the Government. Since 1850,
however, foreigners are not as a rule brought before the Juge de Paix,
instructions having been given to the police authorities directing
them to reconduct to the frontier at once, and of their own accord,
any foreigner arriving in Belgium and being evidently destitute, or a
vagabond. A report of the arrest and a certificate of expulsion are,
in this case, addressed to the Administrator of the Public Safety,
at the time when the foreigner is sent out of the country. This
summary procedure is followed both in the interest of the Treasury as
saving expense, and in that of the foreigners themselves, who thus
escape a prolonged detention. When at a seaport, and especially at
Antwerp, foreign sailors are without means of existence, the Maritime
Commissaries endeavour to find them an engagement on a ship about to
sail; they are only conducted to the land frontier if these efforts
fail. Formerly aliens, who were arrested for not having sufficient
means of subsistence, were allowed to choose the frontier by which
they might leave the kingdom. Of late years, however, this right of
choice has been considerably curtailed on account of the attitude
assumed by neighbouring countries. These countries have not unnaturally
showed a marked disinclination to becoming a sort of rubbish-heap for
Belgium. Even little Luxemburg revolted at this state of affairs, and
a Convention was concluded with the Grand-Duchy by which it was agreed
that only natives of the country, Italian subjects or Swiss citizens
(these being _en route_), should in future be forwarded across the
Luxemburg frontier. The German frontier is now absolutely closed to
destitute persons expelled from Belgian territory who are not of German
nationality. Holland has also followed suit, and the Dutch authorities
reconduct into Belgium by _visé_, a great number of aliens, transferred
by prison vans to Lanaken.

The law regulating the admission and expulsion of foreigners from the
Netherlands dates from 1849. Article I. of this law lays down as the
first and indispensable condition on which foreigners can be admitted
into the Netherlands, the possession by them of "sufficient means of
subsistence, or the faculty of acquiring such means by work"; and upon
the strength of this condition, and under the provisions of Article IX.
of the law, foreigners found on Netherlands territory in a destitute
condition and without any ostensible means of earning a living, may be
expelled from the country; and, in fact, numbers of persons so situated
are expelled every year. All foreigners "dangerous to the public peace"
are also subject to immediate expulsion.

The law and custom in force in the petty European States of Bulgaria
and Roumania is as follows. In Bulgaria the constantly increasing
number of vagrants in the capital of Sophia, as well as in the coast
of the Black Sea, and on the Danube, has compelled the Government
of the Prince to increase the staff of police, in order, by a more
extensive supervision, to put an end to the difficult position in
which the Bulgarian population is admittedly placed by alien vagrancy
and destitution. The police authorities are therefore bound to keep
a strict watch on the strangers arriving in the country, or residing
there without occupation, and to have recourse to the immediate
expulsion across the frontier of the Principality of all those who are
unable to afford surety of their intention to remain, or who attract
notice by their destitution, suspicious character, or culpable actions.
In Roumania, though there are no general Regulations existing on the
subject, the invariable custom is, that persons who are evidently in a
state of indigence are not admitted to the country, unless they could
prove that they possessed the means of subsistence.

In the German Kingdom of Saxony, though there are no laws on the
subject, it is competent for the authorities to prohibit the admission
or residence of destitute aliens. In Bavaria also the competent police
authorities are allowed to expel a foreigner from the kingdom if this
course should appear to be of public expediency; and besides this,
the Minister of the Interior is empowered to refuse entrance into the
kingdom to foreigners who may be liable to become either a public
nuisance or a public burden.

We now come to the second class, namely, those countries which have
laws and local regulations for the expulsion of aliens, but have
neither law nor custom for prohibiting their admission into the country
in the first instance.

Of these we will first take Germany, including all the States with
the exception of the kingdoms of Bavaria and Saxony. It is held by
international law, that each State has the power of expelling from
its territory aliens who may have rendered themselves obnoxious
or dangerous to it. Destitute persons convicted of vagabondage or
begging, or who, after becoming destitute, have been unable to procure
a subsistence for themselves within a period of time laid down by
the police, can be placed under arrest, and be handed over to the
Government police ("Landespolizei"), who in aggravated cases can
consign them to the workhouse; but destitute aliens thus handed over to
the police authorities, instead of being consigned to the workhouse,
are as a rule expelled at once from the territory of the Empire. In
the little kingdom of Würtemburg, the Royal "Oberamts" (provincial
administrative authorities) have an uncontested right to expel aliens
from the kingdom. This right is generally exercised when it is proved
or even suspected that the alien is unable to maintain himself; nor are
such aliens entitled to any relief from the communal or charitable
institutions of the country.

In Sweden, by a Circular published in 1886, addressed to the Governors
of the Provinces, foreigners found without resources in this country,
and in a state of vagrancy, are directed to be sent back by the
authorities to their own country at the expense of the Swedish
Government; in case the country to which the person belongs be so
situated that he cannot be forwarded there without having to wait on
the road within the boundaries of any other country, due notice is
given to the authorities at the place to which the person is sent.
As regards the treatment of destitute aliens in Norway, should there
be any found in that country, they are taken care of by the police,
and forwarded to their own country, the expense being charged in the
police accounts. Thus it will be seen the custom in Sweden and Norway
is perfectly identical; only there is this difference in the latter
country, there are no laws, Royal or municipal, which sanction the
practice; it rests entirely upon custom.

The law in Spain amounts to this, that if a foreigner after due inquiry
is proved to be a vagrant, he is forced to leave the country. The
definition of a vagrant, according to the law of Spain is, it should
be noted, as follows:--"A person who has no property or income, no
habitual profession or trade, nor any known or legitimate manner of

In Italy no special law exists, the residence of aliens in that country
being regulated by the common law; but should such persons in the same
manner as indigent natives take to begging, or if they engage in no
fixed or useful labour, they can be arrested as idle persons, and dealt
with by the judicial authorities, who can inflict a punishment upon
them, and expel them from the King's dominions. Forcible expulsion is,
however, only recurred to as an extreme measure. Usually, aliens are
sent back to their own country with a _foglio di via_, or pass.

In Switzerland the matter is met by the local enactments of the
different Cantons. Minute rules are laid down as to the permit of
residence to foreigners. Destitute aliens, bad characters, tramps, and
suspects are liable to an imprisonment on bread and water, from four
to eight days' duration. They are then conducted to the frontier and

The custom observed in Servia, Hungary, Greece, and Montenegro is
all much the same. Either by penal codes, or by the unwritten, but
equally stringent, law of custom, the foreigner who is found in any of
these countries without visible means of subsistence, and who has no
occupation, is requested to leave the country by the authorities, and
should he fail to comply, he is forcibly conducted to the frontier and

The case of France, however, calls for more than passing remark in
that it differs considerably from the custom in vogue in most European
countries. There is no positive or direct legislation properly so
called for the purpose of prohibiting aliens destitute or otherwise
from entering French territory. The question of expulsion is governed
by the law of 1849, which is applicable to the whole of France. By
Article VII. of this law, "Le Ministre de l'Intérieur pourra, par
mesure de police, enjoindre à tout étranger voyageant ou résidant en
France de sortir immédiatement du territoire Français et le faire
conduire à la frontière." This law, however, it should be noted,
emanated from an idea of social and political protection; it had no
economical design, and it does not touch the question of destination.
There is a Bill at present lying before the Chamber of Deputies for
the purpose of amending the law of 1849; it has been lying there five
or six years, and has not yet been proceeded with. On immigration,
properly so called, France has only at present legislated for her
colonies on purely special points. The silence of the Statute Law
on this subject is to be accounted for on various grounds. France
recruits her population in other ways than by the normal growth of
the inhabitants within her territory. Statistics show that of late
years the number of births in France has remained stationary, but that
notwithstanding this, her population has not ceased to increase; this
fact being due to the influx of immigrant aliens, which is growing
larger from year to year. The fact that France has become a country of
immigration like America and Australia is a surprising phenomenon. "It
may not be impossible," writes M. Edouard Clouet, the advocate at the
Court of Paris, "that these new economical conditions will have some
influence on future legislation, and call for specific measures." Such
measures, however, are still in the future, and the astounding fact
remains that the immigration of aliens into France is estimated at an
average of about 100,000 souls per annum, while the native population
is stationary, if not decreasing.

The only European country which has no law or recognized custom in
dealing with destitute aliens is Portugal. Until quite recently I
should have included in this category Turkey as well; but in October
last (1891) the long-suffering Ottoman Government, in order to prevent
the danger which would result to the public health from the influx of
Jewish immigrants from Russia, resolved in future to forbid their entry
into Ottoman territory. The Porte also requested the British Ambassador
at Constantinople to cause a warning to be conveyed to British
shipowners to refuse passages to Jewish immigrants, who will not be
allowed by the maritime authorities to land. This prohibition applies
not only to immigrants from Russia, but from any quarter whatsoever,
whether in Western or Eastern Europe. Individuals will be allowed to
pass, but not families.

On the subject of alien immigration into Russia, or the continued
residence of destitute aliens therein, I have been unable to obtain any
definite information. The protective policy of Russia in purging the
Empire of all alien influences, whether good or bad, is well known, and
needs no comment here. The expulsion of resident Germans from Russian
territory unless they consent to become naturalized, and the recent
edicts promulgated against the Jews, are however illustrations of my
meaning. In this Russia differs from all other European countries. They
are all willing to admit the desirable alien, the skilled artisan,
the foreigner who is decent and law-abiding in his habits and mode of
life. It is only the destitute, the vagrant, the convict, the suspect,
the evil-liver that they object to. But Russia, it would seem, has a
dislike to all alien influence, whether for good or for evil.

To sum up, therefore, it appears that in all European nations--with
one insignificant exception--some measures, more or less drastic, are
taken either for prohibiting the admission, or for the expulsion of
destitute and undesirable aliens. This policy is the deliberate outcome
of years of thought and legislation. It is framed in the interests of
the native population in each country, and is in all cases fully in
accordance with the popular will. It is generally recognized throughout
Europe that it is the duty of every State to deal with its own paupers
and undesirable citizens, and it is recognized also that the only way
to bring about that desirable end, is by other countries politely but
firmly refusing to admit them. Thus it may be safely said that in the
continent of Europe all countries liable to suffer from undesirable
immigration have taken steps to guard themselves against it--with one
single exception.

That exception is Great Britain.



Twenty years ago it was a common calculation in the United States that
every new immigrant was worth a thousand dollars to the particular
State in which he settled. A farm might be had for practically nothing
by anybody who chose to apply for it. In those comparatively early
days, what are now flourishing States west of the Mississippi, were
then, in parts, wild unpeopled wildernesses, and the country could not
afford to be very discriminative as to either the character or the
means of particular immigrants. Thus for many years America was the
camping-ground of the social refuse of Europe. Irish paupers driven
forth by famine and political misrule went West in tens of thousands,
to become, many of them, prosperous farmers and worthy citizens of
their adopted country. But there came also, in almost countless hordes,
immigrants of a far less desirable, and, as the sequel has proved,
dangerous kind: Fenians and apostles of dynamite from Ireland; secret
societies from Italy, whose gospel was murder and brigandage; Nihilists
from Russia, and Socialists from Germany, driven forth almost at the
point of the bayonet by their own Governments; Russian and Polish Jews,
fleeing in terror before the fanatical persecution of the Czar. All
this heterogeneous mass of inflammable human material has at length
become a standing menace to the United States, endangering her friendly
relations with foreign countries, as well as the freedom her own
people enjoy under their present form of government. Of course there
were compensating advantages, but the evil of unrestricted immigration
has of late years reached such an extent that the old sturdy race,
the descendants of the English Puritans, who made the great Republic
of the West, have been in danger of being gradually swallowed up by
foreign-born populations.

In a certain sense it may be said that the history of immigration into
the United States has been synonymous with the history of the nation
itself; but it is evident to all unprejudiced minds, that the motives
which induced those early immigrants, the Pilgrim Fathers, to leave
their native land and settle in the New World, were very different
from the motives which actuate the greater numbers of those who are
pouring into the United States at the present day. In fact, the
time from the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers down to the year which
witnessed the inauguration of the first President of the United States,
may not unfitly be regarded not as the period of immigration, but of
colonization. Since then the rapid growth of the population--though of
course largely due to natural causes--has been greatly accelerated by

Immigration into the United States appears to come in tidal waves.
It has its flood and its ebb; but each decade, with the exception
of the war period, shows that the new flood is higher than its
predecessor. The magnitude of this influx of alien immigrants is best
shown by the Annual Reports which have been issued by the late Board
of Commissioners of Emigration of the State of New York. Without
troubling my readers with unnecessary statistics, I may say briefly
from calculations which have been made, the total number of immigrant
aliens who arrived at the port of New York from the 5th May, 1847,
until the 31st December, 1890 inclusive, was 10,050,936. It should be
noted that at least two-thirds of the whole number of alien immigrants
who come to the United States from other countries, arrive at the port
of New York.

This large influx has arisen from a variety of causes. One of the
most potent undoubtedly has been steamship solicitation. A regular
"brokerage" business has gradually been established. Some of the
steamship companies have as many as two thousand agents in Europe, and
their sub-agents and solicitors are to be found in every district on
the Continent. These sub-agents receive liberal commissions, varying
from fifty cents to two dollars for each immigrant passenger obtained.
This naturally leads, not only to their selling the tickets which are
required, but also to their endeavouring to create a fresh demand by
solicitation and inducement. These agents picture in the most glowing
terms to the poor peasants of Europe the future which awaits them in
the New World. On the strength of the false representations made to
them, the peasants are often induced to sell out their little homes,
and to spend a life's savings in the purchase of a through passage
to America. Oftentimes they will even borrow money for the passage
at a ruinous rate, and the agents will advance the tickets, taking a
mortgage of whatever property is of value for payment. In some cases
the money is refunded, but in most cases the agent becomes the owner
of the property by foreclosure; and the poor peasants in a few months
find themselves and their families in a strange land, without money,
friends, or employment. Upon arrival, they are taken in charge by a
"labour boss," who herds them together in a tenement house, and hires
them out at wages he dictates, and which he shares with his victims.
Abundant evidence was given before the Select Committee of the House
of Representatives, recently appointed to inquire into immigration,
as to the truth of these statements. For instance, it appeared that
one combination in Galicia induced 12,406 emigrants to emigrate to the
United States within the period of fourteen months.

Another and more indirect cause is the fierce competition which rages
among the steamship lines and the different railroads. In 1888 a war
of rates broke out among them, so that in that year an emigrant could
travel from Liverpool to Chicago for ten dollars, or about two guineas
in English money. This low rate offered exceptional facilities to
foreign governments, poor-law guardians, and charitable institutions,
to rid themselves of the burden of persons unable to support themselves
and their families, by simply purchasing for them tickets, and shipping
them off to America. The chief offender in this respect appears to have
been the British Government; and the Poor Law Guardians in Ireland,
who by the Land Act of 1881 were advanced money to assist emigration,
especially from the poorer and more thickly populated districts
of Ireland. Various charitable societies in Europe and the United
Kingdom were no less active. The so-called "Tuke Committee" assisted
over 8000 persons to emigrate from Ireland in three years, 1882-85.
The Prisoners' Aid Society also assisted convicts to emigrate, while
the Central Emigration Society and the Jewish Board of Guardians
established in London, have both been active in sending their paupers,
and the least desirable portion of the population, to America.
Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, and Germany also help to swell this alien
invasion--Germany more especially with regard to that most undesirable
class of emigrants, liberated criminals and discharged convicts. There
exists, for instance, in Munich, a society with several branches,
especially formed for the purpose of enabling discharged convicts
to begin life over again in some far-off land, and the land almost
invariably selected is the United States.

Another method of evading the Contract Labour Law, and of drawing
large numbers of immigrants to the United States, is the systematic
advertising for labourers by employment agencies through the British
and European newspapers. From evidence which came before the Select
Committee investigating at Boston, it appeared that the Freestone
Cutters' Association of New England had advertised in the English and
Scotch papers for journeymen, agreeing to pay fifty cents per hour for
work. The applicants were directed to call upon the agents signing the
advertisement in London. These agents made no contract with the men,
and so evaded the letter of the Contract Labour Law; but they came to
New England on the representation that employment should be found. As
the freestone cutters in England only get tenpence an hour, or about
twenty cents in American money, the prospect of largely increased wages
naturally induced many of them to go over to America. This is only one
instance out of many; and to quote the Immigration Committee's Report,
"Where good wages are paid, advertisement abroad has become of common
occurrence; the workmen here are thereby brought to terms, or the
market becomes overflooded with labourers, and wages are reduced." In
connection with this must also be considered the immigration coming
into the United States over the Canadian border. During the last six
months of 1890, it is estimated that over 50,000 European immigrants
landed in Canada, and reached the United States, coming by this
circuitous route to avoid inspection. There is also another point to be
noted, viz. that large numbers of Canadians come into the United States
for work, wages being 40 per cent. higher in the United States than in
the Canadian provinces. Several hundreds of these people cross over the
border from Windsor to Detroit every morning, and find employment in
the stores, seed-houses, and so forth, and return to their homes every

So much for the causes which have led to this wholesale invasion. We
will now consider its undesirable results. The effect of immigration
upon American labour is especially marked. As was shown by the Report
of the Ford investigation of 1888, the pauper and lower classes of
Europe have crowded into the American factories to such an extent, that
in many of the large industries, notably the cigar trade, tailoring
trade, and the shirt manufacturing trade, what was fifteen years ago
90 per cent. American and 10 foreign, is now 90 per cent. foreign and
10 per cent. American. Frequently upon differences arising between
employers and employed as to the price of wages, foreigners were
imported to take the place of American workmen, and the wages were
consequently reduced. In fact, the tendency of foreign immigration is
constantly to lower the standard of wages which the American labourer
has hitherto enjoyed. The only persons opposed to restricting it are
the great manufacturers and contractors, whose interest is obviously
to keep the price of labour at its lowest level.

Another danger of indiscriminate immigration is plainly shown in the
riots which have taken place in New York and other places during the
last twenty-five years. In 1863, in the city of New York, when the
famous draft riots took place, no American dared to display the flag
of his country without running the risk of having his house burned and
destroyed. Recent outbreaks of Nihilists, Anarchists, and Socialists,
in the city of Chicago, and the still more recent lynchings at New
Orleans, are further illustrations of my meaning. This political danger
is deepened by the short period of time in which immigrants may become
eligible for citizenship, and thus invested with political power. In
several States the immigrant is admitted to citizenship after only one
year's residence, and while he is still to a great extent ignorant
of the laws, language, and customs. The right of citizenship thus
conferred is very liable to be abused. American politicians, like
other politicians, are very prone to yield to their prejudices without
sufficiently regarding the interests of the people at large. The German
vote in many localities controls the action of political leaders on the
liquor question. The Irish vote favours, and largely influences, the
policy of antagonism to Great Britain.

The social effects of this increasing immigration are also very
strongly marked. There is an abnormal representation of the foreign
poor in the workhouses and penitentiaries of the United States; and
there can be little doubt that the effect of deporting to America the
destitute, the worthless, and the criminal, has largely added to the
burden there of pauperism, vice, and crime.

How keenly alive American statesmen are to the evils which result from
unrestricted immigration, is shown by a perusal of the Acts which have
been passed upon the subject. The Acts, other than those regulating
the immigration of Chinese labourers, are three in number, viz.:--The
Act to regulate immigration approved by Congress in 1882, the Contract
Labour Law of 1885, and the recent Act to amend all previous laws,
which was approved by Congress on the 3rd of March of this year, and
which came into force on the 1st of April last.[29] I do not propose
to dwell upon the provisions of those Acts in detail; they are given
in full elsewhere;[30] but section 1 of the new Act, which specifies
the class of aliens henceforth to be excluded from the United States,
deserves to be quoted in full:--"All idiots, insane persons; paupers,
or persons likely to become a public charge; persons suffering from
a loathsome or a dangerous contagious disease; persons who have been
convicted of felony or other infamous crime or misdemeanour involving
moral turpitude, polygamists, and also any persons whose ticket or
passage is paid for with the money of another, or who is assisted
by others to come." The right of asylum to political and religious
refugees is maintained intact by the insertion of a special proviso.
The working of the Act is very simple. The immigrants are stopped at
the port of arrival and inspected, and the steamship companies are
compelled to take back at their own expense all those who are refused
admission; and heavy penalties of fine and imprisonment are dealt
out to those who attempt to break or to evade the law. This course
of action, though it may seem to press hardly in individual cases,
has been found to have an excellent deterrent effect, for as soon as
steamship companies know that they bring over such passengers at their
own risk, they refuse to bring them at all, and the evil to a great
extent is nipped in the bud.

Now, if such measures of self-defence have become thus early in her
history imperative with a young country like America, with a habitable
area of _more than 3,000,000 square miles_, and a population of not
more than 65,000,000, what are we to think of an old country like
England, with an area of _a little over 32,000,000 acres_, and a
population, according to the census of 1881, of near 25,000,000
souls--and probably of over 30,000,000 now--compelled to spend annually
some £7,000,000 on the relief or support of her own three-quarters
of a million of paupers--leaving her ports, more especially the port
of London, free for the entrance of a huge foreign and degraded
population, from every country in Europe, which statistics demonstrate
to be largely on the increase?

It is impossible for Englishmen not to feel a certain amount of envy at
the energy and firmness which the American Government has displayed in
excluding undesirable aliens. If such action be good, where the vast
territories of the United States are in question, what must be thought
of the _laissez-faire_ policy which allows our little British Islands
to be overrun by the class of foreigner which America so rigorously



In this chapter I propose not only to deal with the general laws for
restricting destitute and undesirable immigration into some of the
principal colonies, but also the particular laws for prohibiting
the immigration of Chinese. Sir Charles Dilke, in a general summary
of colonial policy on this matter, writes:--"Colonial labour seeks
protection by legislative means, not only against the cheap labour of
the dark-skinned or of the yellow man, but also against white paupers,
and against the artificial supply of labour by State-aided white
immigration. Most of the countries of the world, indeed, have laws
against the admission of destitute aliens, and the United Kingdom is in
practice almost the only exception."[31]

The main object of all the general laws passed upon the subject appears
to be the same, namely, to prevent the colonies from becoming the
"dumping-ground" of the destitute, lunatic, vicious, and criminal
population of older countries, including in several instances the
mother country as well. With regard to Chinese immigration, two objects
are apparent: first, to protect the native population from foreign
competition in the different branches of industry, the effect of which
is materially to lower wages, and reduce the standard of comfort of
the colonial artisan or labourer; and secondly, to guard against the
political dangers which the presence of a numerous alien race occupying
an inferior position could not fail to bring about.

To take the general laws first. The principal colonies which have
passed statutes on the subject are Canada, Victoria, South Australia,
Tasmania, and New Zealand. In New South Wales, Queensland, Western
Australia, the Cape Colony, and Natal, there are no similar statutes;
but these colonies have the power, in the case of a threatened
influx of undesirable immigrants, of passing restraining Acts, which
effectually meet the purpose for which they are required. I now give a
summary of the principal general statutes actually passed, other than
those which exist for the immigration of Chinese. They are given in
more detail elsewhere.[32]

In Canada, the Immigration Act of 1886 enacts that the Governor-General
may by proclamation prohibit the landing of destitute, pauper, or
diseased immigrants; also of the criminal and vicious; and arrangements
are made for the immediate return of the vessel and the prohibited
immigrants to the port of Europe whence they came.

In Victoria, the owner of the ship is compelled to give a bond of £100
to the immigration officer for every passenger he may bring, being
"either lunatic, idiotic, deaf, dumb, blind, or infirm, or likely in
his opinion to become a charge upon the public, or upon any public or
charitable institution." Penalties are enacted for refusing to execute
the bond, which, it should be noted, is applicable to the master of
any _British_ or foreign navigable vessel; the only exemption being
in favour of crews that are shipwrecked, or her Majesty's land and sea

By the Immigration Act of South Australia, passed in 1872, paupers
are practically forbidden to land. In Tasmania, the Passengers Act,
1885, enacts in the same way as Victoria, that a bond of £100 shall be
given to the collector at the port of arrival, by the master of any
ship (except one plying from one port in the colony to any other), who
attempts to land any passenger in Tasmania, being "either lunatic,
idiotic, deaf, dumb, blind, or infirm, or from any cause unable to
support himself, or likely to become a charge upon the public." As in
Victoria, the bond is applied to the maintenance of the said passenger,
and penalties are enforced in the case of the refusal to execute it.
Provisions are also made with regard to ships undergoing quarantine.
In New Zealand, the "Imbecile Passengers Act" of 1882 is practically
identical with that of Tasmania.

Such are the principal general Colonial Acts.

We now come to the vexed question of Chinese Immigration. It would
be well to mention in passing that a particularly drastic Act was
passed in British Columbia in 1884, which spoke of the "pestilential
habits" of the Chinese, and stated that they "habitually desecrate
graveyards by the removal of bodies therefrom." These expressions were
termed "peculiarly offensive" by the Chinese Ambassador in London; but
apparently his protest was of no avail, for in 1885 another and still
more drastic Act was passed, which effectually prohibited all further
Chinese immigration to British Columbia. It is, however, with Chinese
immigration into Australasia that we are more immediately concerned.

For many years the immigration of Chinese into Australia was very
large, causing great irritation throughout the colonies, more
especially among the working-classes, who thus found the price of
their labour undersold. Many attempts, more or less successful,
were made for the purpose of restricting the undesirable influx. In
1887 Commissioners were dispatched by the Emperor of China to the
Australasian colonies, for the purpose of inquiring into the condition
of the Chinese residing therein. These Commissioners found that in
each of the colonies they visited, a poll-tax of £10 was imposed
upon Chinese subjects, from which the subjects of other powers were
exempted, and also that various laws had been enacted by some of the
Colonial Legislatures against the Chinese. Upon receiving this report,
a complaint was forthwith lodged at the Foreign Office by the Chinese
Minister accredited to the Court of St. James's, pointing out that
these restrictions and laws were at variance with treaty obligations
and international usage. Upon receipt of this protest, Lord Salisbury
communicated with Lord Knutsford, with the result that a circular
letter was dispatched from the Colonial Office to the Governors of all
the Australasian colonies, enclosing a copy of the letter from the
Chinese Minister, and requesting to be furnished with full information
on the subject.

The receipt of this circular created quite a _furore_ in Australia,
where public opinion was already greatly excited on the subject.
The replies received in answer to it were numerous and varied; but
one dominant note sounded through all of them, namely, that at all
hazards the Chinese must be restricted from emigrating to any part of

The Despatch prepared by the Ministers of New South Wales, and
telegraphed to the Colonial Office by Lord Carrington, who was then
Governor, is of especial interest. It deserves to be quoted _in
extenso_, since it sums up the whole case in favour of the colonies.

"Australian feeling is much exercised in reference to Chinese
immigration and the inquiry made by the Marquis of Salisbury,"--so runs
the Despatch.--"Your Excellency's advisers beg chiefly to explain that
the law of the colony for some years past has imposed the restrictions
of a poll-tax of £10 on each immigrant, and a limitation of one
immigrant to every hundred tons of the ship's burden; but owing to
recent occurrences, severer measures are now demanded throughout all
the colonies. This state of things has given rise to new reflections
in dealing with a difficulty which threatens to become a calamity. As
these colonies form an important part of the Empire, it is submitted
that our cause of contention is of sufficient national concern to
be taken up by the Empire; if we have no voice in the making of
treaties, it seems only just that our interests should be considered
and exercised by those who exercise that power. We learn by public
report that the United States Government have entered into a treaty
with the Government of China, by which Chinese immigration into
America is no longer permitted. We fail to see why Australia may not
be similarly protected. On behalf of this colony we desire, through
your Excellency, to impress upon her Majesty's Imperial advisers the
more prominent phases of the Chinese question, as it specially and
almost exclusively affects the Australian section of the British
people. Firstly, the Australian ports are within easy sail of the
ports of China; secondly, the climate, as well as certain branches
of trade and industry in Australia, such as the cultivation of the
soil for domestic purposes, and tin and gold mining, are peculiarly
attractive to the Chinese; thirdly, the working-classes of the
British people, in all the affinities of race, are directly opposed
to their Chinese competitors; fourthly, there can be no sympathy, and
in the future it is to be apprehended that there will be no peace,
between the two races; fifthly, the enormous number of the Chinese
population intensifies every consideration of this class of immigration
in comparison with the immigration of any other nation; sixthly, the
most prevailing determination in all the Australian communities is to
preserve the British type in the population; seventhly, there can be no
interchange of ideas of religion or citizenship, nor can there be any
intermarriage or social communion, between the British and the Chinese.
It is respectfully admitted that the examination of these principal
phases of the question can only lead to one conclusion, namely,
that the Chinese must be restricted from emigrating to any part of
Australasia. It will be seen that while the question scarcely touches
the people of the United Kingdom, it vitally concerns these great
colonies, whose importance in their political and commercial relations
entitles them to be protected by the diplomatic influence and the
powers of treaty which belong to the Empire. With renewed expressions
of our loyal attachment to her Majesty, we urge that immediate steps
be taken to open such negotiations with the Emperor of China as will
result in affording permanent security to the Australian colonies from
the disturbance of Chinese immigration in any form; the matter is too
grave and urgent to admit of long delay. However desirable it may be
to avoid the irritation and conflict of interests which may arise from
local legislation of a drastic character, if protection cannot be
afforded as now sought, the Australian Parliaments must act from the
force of public opinion in devising measures to defend the colonies
from consequences which they cannot relax in their efforts to avert."

This representation on the part of New South Wales was followed by
similar ones from all the Colonial Governments to whom the circular had
been addressed. From Victoria came an intimation stating the statutes
already in force, and the intention of the Victorian Government to
carry out the law to its utmost letter.

From Queensland, the Government wrote to say that they were determined
to restrict the influx of Chinese, because it had been proved by
experience that they had become formidable competitors with European
labour in almost every branch of industry; some branches, such as
cabinet-making, having been practically monopolized by them in several
of the Australian cities. And, as owing to their habits of life,
the cost of subsistence was to the Chinese very much less than to
Europeans living in accordance with European habits; and the effect
of their unrestricted competition was undoubtedly to materially lower
wages, and to reduce the standard of comfort to European artisans and
labourers. There was also the insuperable objection that the Chinese
could not be admitted to an equal share in the political and social
institutions of the colony; and under the present colonial system every
citizen is allowed to have a voice in the government of his country;
and the presence, in considerable numbers, of an alien race occupying
an inferior position could not fail before long to bring about very
serious troubles, which would probably necessitate a radical change
in political institutions, and entirely alter the future history and
development of Australia.

Despatches were also received from New Zealand, Tasmania, Western
Australia, and in fact all the Australasian colonies, stating that the
greatest excitement prevailed upon this question, and that there was a
general determination to prevent the continued immigration of Chinese.

The upshot of all this was that in June of the same year a conference
of representatives of the Australian Governments of New South Wales,
Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, and Western Australia,
was held at Sydney, with the result that the poll-tax which had given
so much offence to the Chinese Government was remitted, but a number
of resolutions were passed which have since been embodied in the
different Chinese Immigrant Acts and statutes, which amended all the
previous Acts which had been passed on the subject. It is unnecessary
to quote these Acts in detail, but their provisions may be briefly
summarized, as limiting the number of Chinese to be brought to the
colonies by vessel; increasing the penalties for violation of the
law; and prohibiting alien Chinese from voting at elections of the
local authority of the colony. Certain exceptions are made in the case
of Chinese immigrants who are British subjects, of certain Chinese
officials, and of the crews of vessels who do not land in the colony.

These Acts, which are now in force, have been found very effectual for
the purpose for which they were required. The action of the Colonies
in this matter did not meet with the approval of the Colonial Office;
but since it was evident that the Colonies were determined to prevent
Chinese immigration at all hazards, no further word of remonstrance was
heard from Downing Street.

There is no doubt that the point affecting labour upon which colonial
workmen felt most strongly, and upon which they are thoroughly agreed,
is the desire to discourage emigration. Colonial labour seeks
protection by legislative means, not only against Chinese, but also, as
we have seen, against the artificial supply of labour by State-aided
immigration, and other means. The colonial workmen are opposed not only
to the reception of the destitute from abroad, but even to the assisted
emigration of persons able to work. They argue that if assisted English
emigration is encouraged, inferior workmen will come out to the
colonies, and bring down wages to the European level.

The agitation against the Chinese in particular, however, is no new
thing. So far back as 1854 the second Governor of Victoria reported
to the Home Government that he thought the introduction of the
Chinese into Australia undesirable. "Australia for the Australian"
has for a long time been the prevailing cry; and to that may be
added, "Canada for the Canadian." Colonial labour, whether in Canada
or Australasia, desires to limit competition. The Chinaman is a most
dangerous competitor. He is an excellent workman, but at a very low
standard of comfort. The colonial artisan, on the other hand, has a
much higher standard of comfort than the ordinary European labourer.
His pay is high, and his hours are short. He is educated, and he is
independent. He has plenty of leisure for amusement, and he regards all
his privileges as rights, and he fully intends to keep them. We cannot
blame him either; and it cannot be said that he takes a purely selfish
view of the case, since in the Dockers' Strike the Australian workmen
sent large sums to England where no return was possible.

After all, the Chinese are only a small population in our white
colonies; but this is because of the difficulties which have been
thrown in the way of their coming in. Were it not for this, they would
be numerous indeed. The Blue-book of July 1888, as we have seen, shows
how determined the Colonies are to forbid Chinese immigration at all
hazards. Their action in this matter has been in many respects contrary
to the letter of the law; but as Sir Henry Parkes, the Premier of New
South Wales, said, when charged by the Assembly for having broken the
law, "I care nothing about your cobweb of technical law; I am obeying a
law far superior to any law which issued these permits, namely, the law
for the preservation of society in New South Wales."

The Australian Intercolonial Conference had declared the Chinese to be
"an alien race, incapable of assimilation in the body politic"; and
acting upon these conclusions, Sir Henry Parkes declared--"Neither for
her Majesty's ships of war, nor for her Majesty's representative on the
spot, nor for her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies, do we
intend to turn aside from our purpose." Lord Knutsford telegraphed to
know by what law New South Wales shut out the Chinese; and the reply
which he received, in effect was, that both laws and treaties must
give way to the strength of colonial feeling. After that, the Imperial
Government did well to be silent, for to have enforced the law, or to
have enforced the treaties, would have been to have risked an open
rupture between the Colonies and the mother country. This anti-Chinese
feeling is often spoken of as another phase of protection; but it is
worthy of note that Sir Henry Parkes, whose vigorous utterances I have
quoted above, is a free-trader.

Such in brief are the principal colonial laws on this subject, both
in a general sense, and more particularly with regard to Chinese
immigration. These laws are the legislative outcome of the almost
passionate demands of the colonists. The significant fact is, that
unlike the mother country, the Colonies cannot bring forward the plea
of overpopulation, since in all of them there are vast tracts of
territory still uninhabited, and in Australia only the fringe of the
vast continent is at present populated. Yet in their own interests the
Colonies have found it necessary to pass such stringent laws as those
described. The moral is obvious. If young countries like our Colonies,
which require a large working population, find it necessary to shut out
the destitute, the unfit, and the undesirable--and are able to do so
with the greatest possible success--surely the mother country, where
there are already too many mouths to fill, may be expected to follow
their example.



In this chapter let us very briefly consider the best way in which
this wrong may be set right. Several suggestions have been made for
dealing with this question apart from legislation; some of them have
been acted upon, but none seem to go to the root of the evil. Among
these well-meaning but unsuccessful efforts, may be classed the recent
action of the Government in causing notices to be posted up at some of
the principal European ports, warning intended immigrants of the state
of the labour market here, and of the hardships that await them. This
sounds very well in theory, but in practice it may be doubted if it
has had the effect of stopping one single immigrant from proceeding
on his journey. For in nine cases out of ten, that journey is already
nearly accomplished before the notice catches his eye. A Russian Jew,
for instance, who had travelled all the way from the heart of Russia
to Hamburg, would hardly be likely to turn back at the eleventh hour.
What is there for him to do but to go forward all the same? He has made
all his preparations, broken up his home, sold his little stock, and
perhaps expended a life's savings in the purchase of a through ticket
to that new land where he has been told all good things are; and by
the time he reaches the port it is too late for him to turn back even
if he could. But would he if he could? I very much doubt it. "Whatever
happens," he may argue, "things cannot be much worse with me than they
have been." Besides, he may have the direct, or indirect, promise of
employment through some sweater's agent, or he may have heard--such
news travels fast--of the "shelters," of the relief-funds, of the
soup-kitchens, of the loan and industrial departments of the Jewish
Board of Guardians, and of the numerous foreign "Benevolent Societies,"
or of other similar charitable organizations for foreigners in
distress, which abound in London. The Chief Commissioner of the Police
writes in his Report[33]:--"It cannot be ascertained that any societies
are in existence in London to offer direct inducements to immigrants;
_but, undoubtedly the prospect of shelter and assistance till work
is obtained, which some hold out, acts as an indirect inducement to
many_."[34] "Whatever happens," the immigrant argues to himself, "I
shall not actually starve." He proceeds on his journey, notices and
warnings notwithstanding, and in due time arrives here, one more unit
to intensify the awful struggle for existence which is daily and hourly
going on among thousands in London and our large provincial cities.

What, then, is the remedy?

The answer is simple. In the words of the Select Committee upon
Immigration--"It is clear that the only way effectually to check the
immigration of foreign paupers is to stop them at the port of arrival."
This is the course adopted in the United States and in Germany. The
police regulations at Hamburg are to the effect that no person without
means is allowed to land at that port; and if found to have been taken
there and landed, the captain of the vessel in which the person sailed,
is liable to a penalty of 300 marks, and moreover is compelled at his
own expense to take the destitute person away from Hamburg. As we
have already seen, in the United States and our principal colonies,
similar laws exist to forbid the landing of destitute and undesirable
aliens, while other European countries have also taken steps to guard
themselves against them. Though the details may vary in particular
instances, the principle in all cases remains the same. England could
not do better than adopt some similar plan, and compel the steamship
companies to take back to the place where they first took them on
board, all persons whom they attempted to land at our ports, who were
unprovided with the means of subsistence, mentally or bodily afflicted,
or likely in any way to become a public nuisance or a public burden.
But it will require a special Act of Parliament to compel the steamship
companies to do this, and every effort should be made to get such an
Act placed upon the statute-book. The mere knowledge that such a law
existed would exercise an excellent deterrent effect, and serve to
keep away thousands and thousands from our shores; for directly the
steamship companies knew that they brought such passengers at their
own risk, they would speedily cease bringing them at all, and would
exercise that same circumspection in bringing people here, which they
now have to exercise in the case of other countries.

Such, I submit, would be an effectual remedy. It has much to recommend
it from a practical point of view. It is no visionary scheme; it has
been tested by experience in other countries, and has been found to
work admirably. Why should it not work equally well here? But at
the same time it is idle to deny, having regard to the present state
of public business, and to the fact that the life of the present
Parliament is ebbing fast, that any legislation on this subject must
of necessity be tardy. In the meantime there is much to be done. That
the working-classes of this country are already alive to the danger may
be seen in a moment by glancing at the long list of Trades Unions and
labour organizations which have already condemned it.[35] But that the
other classes which make up the electorate are equally convinced of its
urgency may be doubted, and the reason is obvious--it does not touch
them so nearly. Therefore, no opportunity should be lost of bringing
the real facts of the case before the public. With this object the
present little book has been written, and if it should have the effect
of causing any to pause and consider the importance of this question,
the reason for its existence will have been more than justified.

"There is a general agreement that pauper immigration is an evil, and
should be checked." This much was admitted by the House of Commons'
Committee in their Report, and they went on to say that "the objections
to such a proposal are not based on grounds of policy in any instance,
but upon the difficulty of carrying such a measure into effect."
Furthermore, they admitted that though they were not prepared to
recommend legislative interference just at present, because of the
"great difficulties" in the way, yet "they contemplated the possibility
of such legislation becoming necessary in the future, in view of
the crowded condition of our great towns, the extreme pressure for
existence among the poorer part of the population, and the tendency
of destitute foreigners to reduce still lower the social and material
condition of our own poor."

This Report was issued in 1889. Little more than two years have elapsed
since its publication, and already it must be admitted the danger has
greatly increased. It may be asked--Are the difficulties which surround
this question likely to become less by waiting for the future? Are they
not rather liable to become greater as time goes on, and the evils
lamented by the Committee assume more formidable aspects? To admit the
existence of an evil, to deplore its effects, and yet to shrink from
proposing any remedy because there are difficulties in the way, is a
very lame and impotent conclusion. Such a proceeding may or may not
agree with the political exigencies of the moment, may or may not be
desirable from a party point of view; but it shows a deplorable lack of
the courage of conviction, and of the higher order of statesmanship.
A problem which other nations under similar circumstances have
successfully solved, is surely not one from which English statesmen
should shrink, because of the difficulties besetting its solution.

Let us analyse these difficulties. One, we are frequently told, is
the short sea passage between the Continent and England, which would
render it practically impossible for us to adopt a similar plan to
that already existing in other countries. But if at Hamburg they can
effectually prevent the landing of destitute persons from England,
surely in England we can prevent the landing of destitute persons from
Hamburg--the port from which the great bulk of these objectionable
aliens generally come? The difficulty in the one case is no greater
than the difficulty in the other. That objection is easily disposed
of. But the other impediment--the lack of trustworthy statistics--is
more serious, since without statistics there can be no legislation.
I have already alluded to the Board of Trade Returns, and have
endeavoured to show how utterly worthless they are for all practical
purposes. The same dearth of information was the great stumbling-block
in the way of the House of Commons' Committee. To that, its chairman,
Sir William Marriot, has testified.[36] "The difficulty was," he said,
"that there was no means of getting correct information; and it was a
most extraordinary thing, that, though we had some witnesses from the
Board of Trade, they were utterly unaware of certain Acts of Parliament
which ought to be carried out by them, namely, the Act of William IV.;
and we discovered that, although the people were calling for fresh
legislation, there was a law existing by which we could get information
at every port in England." Such was the state of affairs then. It is
not much better now. Returns are not taken from every port in England;
important ones--Southampton for instance--being still omitted; those
from three of the most important ports are only partial; and from
all they are loosely prepared, only checked "now and then," and the
penalties for violation of the Act are never enforced. How can such
returns be considered satisfactory? If they really want us to know the
exact dimensions of the extent of alien immigration, there can be no
difficulty in the way. The Act exists; it is only for the Government to
put it into force; it is only a question of method, of means, and of
men. But if they do not want us to know, that is another matter, and
pressure should be brought to bear until the required information is

Such then is the remedy, such are the difficulties in the way of its
being applied. They are easily surmounted. The real _crux_ of the
question is this. Is such a remedy justified by the circumstances of
the disease? I submit, for reasons already given, that it is. State
intervention is an extreme measure; as a rule it is better to let
natural laws take their course, to see what can be done by individual
effort, mutual help, organization, and combination. Men of the school
of thought of Mr. Herbert Spencer and Mr. Auberon Herbert would
probably denounce such a measure as "socialistic," in that it would
limit the freedom of the individual, and limit the utility of his
individual capital by forbidding him to employ it in certain ways.
I admit the plausibility of their strictures in many instances, but
not in this one. The key-note of such a measure as that which I have
indicated, would be to help the weak, and to protect those who are not
able to help themselves. Speaking generally, I am not a believer in
what is termed "grandmotherly legislation." You cannot make men sober,
religious, industrious, or moral by Acts of Parliament. The experiment
has been tried, and failed. But you can at least remove all the
stumbling-blocks in the way of their becoming so. In this particular
instance, individual effort has been tried and failed. It has been
found to be useless in stemming the tide of pauperism and degradation
which pours in upon us from abroad. Therefore, in the last extremity,
we resort to the State as the natural protector of our people.

It has been urged as an objection to such a measure that it would
violate the principles of Free Trade. The fact that this movement is
supported by many whose fidelity to Free Trade principles is above
suspicion, is a sufficient answer to that objection.[37] But even were
it otherwise--what then? Free Trade is not a fetish. It was made for
man, and not man for it. There is no such thing as Free Trade in human
bodies. You cannot argue that the economic laws which are applicable to
goods should govern man. You cannot confuse humanity with commodities.
You may exclude commodities by a tariff if you please--that is not an
immoral principle. You may let in commodities freely if you choose; but
to let in human bodies to compete with those who are natives of the
soil, who are your flesh and blood, and who already have the greatest
difficulty in supporting life--to allow this, because to shut them
out would be violating the principle of Free Trade, is to sacrifice a
principle to a name.

Lastly, it has been said that to prohibit the destitute and unfit of
other countries would be a dangerous and a mischievous innovation.
Prohibition in itself is no innovation. We already prohibit many things
which tend to our national hurt--false coins, disease in animals, in
special shapes in human beings, products dangerous to life and limb,
besides various things touching our revenue. Prohibition, therefore,
in this instance, would only be extended in a fresh direction. Nor
can it be declared contrary to the laws of the land or the principles
of the Constitution. Such an objection is founded upon ignorance, and
not on fact. The Alien Acts of the Plantagenets and early Tudors; the
Proclamation of Mary against the French, of Elizabeth against the
Scots; the Peace Alien Acts, and the War Alien Acts of the Georgian
era; and, in a lesser degree, the Chartist Act of the present reign--a
perusal of these will tend to convince any dispassionate student
of our history, that while this country has always been desirous
of welcoming the persecuted and oppressed of other lands, national
interests have ever been deemed to have the prior claim. I do not
wish to go over again the arguments already adduced in favour of some
judicious restrictive measure. To do so would be to weary and not to
edify. It will suffice, in conclusion, to say that they may all be
summed up in the memorable words of Sir George Grey, when introducing
the Chartist Act of 1848:--

"The grounds on which it is proposed, are simply those which this
country has always maintained, and has every right to maintain, namely,
that of self-protection."




In 1390, by a statute of Richard II., it was declared "That no alien
person should trade without proof given that he would expend half the
value of his merchandise in other merchandise here."

In 1392, after stating that the Free Trade Acts of Edward III. were a
great hindrance and damage to cities of the realm, it was declared that
"no foreign merchant shall sell or buy within the realm to any other
foreign merchant to sell again. That no foreign merchant should sell at
retail within the realm, except provisions, and as to some provisions
only in large quantities."


This Act was followed in 1402 (Henry IV.), by provisions forbidding any
carrying of the proceeds of such trade out of the country, except in
the shape of other merchandise bought in exchange.


By an Act of 1439 (Henry VI., not repealed until this century), it was
enacted, "That all alien merchants shall be under the survey of certain
persons, to be called Hosts or surveyors, to be appointed by the mayors
of the several cities, and to be good and creditable natives expert
in merchandise; such Hosts to be privy to all sales and contracts of
the aliens. Aliens to sell all their merchandise within six months
on paying a forfeiture. The Hosts to keep books only to register all
contracts, etc., of aliens, and deliver a transcript thereto to the
Exchequer. The Hosts to have two shillings in the pound on all such
contracts, and to be sworn to be faithful, and any alien refusing to
submit to these regulations, to be imprisoned until security be given
to comply with them."


In 1543, in the reign of Richard III., it was enacted--"That no person
not born under the King's obeysance shall exercise or occupy any
handicraft, or the occupation of any handicraftsman, in this realm
of England; and shall (after date then fixed) depart into their own
country again; or else be servants of such of the King's subjects only
as be expert and cunning in such feats, wits, and crafts, which the
said stranger can occupy."


In the reign of Henry VII. 1491, when the death of James III. of
Scotland had strained the relations between the two kingdoms, an Act
was passed simply in these words--"All Scots, not made denizens, shall
depart this realm within forty days after proclamation, upon paying a
forfeiture of all their goods."


In the reign of Queen Mary there is a Statute against the French, which
also directed their departure from the realm, and based it by the
preamble not only on political grounds, but because the influx of such
strangers tended to the diminishing of subjects of the realm, and the
treasury of the sovereign.


By simple proclamation Elizabeth expelled the Scots.


Provisions as to aliens in the Georgian and Victorian eras are of three
kinds--(_a_) War Alien Acts; (_b_) Peace Alien Acts; (_c_) Registration
Acts. The Alien Acts contain regulations for expulsion of aliens, if
the State requires it. In war time it is more stringent. All these
Acts contain provisions as to registration. The history of these Acts
briefly is as follows:--In 1793 (the French Revolution) first Alien
Act, which being of a stringent character became the model. War Alien
Act; this continued with amendments until the Peace of Amiens, 1802.
Then for a year there was a Peace Alien Act, followed in the following
year by a War Alien Act, when the Peninsular War began. With the French
Restoration there was in 1814 a Peace Alien Act, followed again in the
year ensuing by a War Alien Act, with the temporary restoration of
the French Empire, and again by a Peace Alien Act, when the power of
Napoleon was finally crushed. This last Statute was renewed by biennial
Continuance Acts, until in 1826 expulsion clauses were entirely
removed, and registration only remained.


The registration was modified by the Alien Act of William IV. in 1836,
and the only interruption to its course has been the Chartist Act of
1848, which was an Expulsion Act, passed for one year.





 An Act for the Registration of Aliens, and to repeal an Act passed in
 the Seventh Year of the Reign of His late Majesty for that Purpose.

  [_19th May, 1836._]

                                        [Sidenote: 7 G. 4. c. 54.

Whereas in the Seventh Year of the Reign of His late Majesty an Act
was passed, intituled _An Act for the Restoration of Aliens_: And
whereas it is expedient that the said Act should be repealed, and
that Provisions in respect of Aliens should be made in lieu of the
Regulations therein contained: Be it therefore enacted by the King's
most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the
Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament
assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That the said Act shall be
and is hereby repealed.

                                        [Sidenote: Masters of Vessels
                                                   arriving from Foreign
                                                   Parts to declare
                                                   what Aliens are on
                                                   board or have landed
                                                   from their Vessels.
                                                   Penalty for Omission
                                                   of Declaration.
                                                   Not to extend to
                                                   Foreign Mariners
                                                   navigating the

II. And be it further enacted, That the Master of every Vessel which
after the Commencement of this Act shall arrive in this Realm from
Foreign Parts shall immediately on his Arrival declare in Writing to
the Chief Officer of the Customs at the Port of Arrival whether there
is, to the best of his Knowledge, any Alien on board his Vessel, and
whether any Alien hath, to his Knowledge, landed therefrom at any
Place within this Realm, and shall in his said Declaration specify
the Number of Aliens (if any) on board his Vessel, or who have, to his
Knowledge, landed therefrom, and their Names, Rank, Occupation, and
Description, as far as he shall be informed thereof; and if the Master
of any such Vessel shall refuse or neglect to make such Declaration,
or shall wilfully make a false Declaration, he shall for every such
Offence forfeit the Sum of Twenty Pounds, and the further Sum of Ten
Pounds for each Alien who shall have been on board at the Time of the
Arrival of such Vessel, or who shall have, to his Knowledge, landed
therefrom within this Realm, whom such Master shall wilfully have
refused or neglected to declare; and in case such Master shall neglect
or refuse forthwith to pay such Penalty, it shall be lawful for any
Officer of the Customs, and he is hereby required, to detain such
Vessel until the same shall be paid: Provided always, that nothing
herein-before contained shall extend to any Mariner actually employed
in the Navigation of such Vessel during the Time that such Mariner
shall remain so actually employed.

                                        [Sidenote: Alien on Arrival from
                                                   Abroad to declare his
                                                   Name, Description,
                                                   etc., and produce his

III. And be it further enacted, That every Alien who shall after the
Commencement of this Act arrive in any Part of the United Kingdom from
Foreign Parts shall immediately after such Arrival present and show to
the Chief Officer of the Customs at the Port of Debarkation, for his
Inspection, any Passport which may be in his or her Possession, and
declare in Writing to such Chief Officer, or verbally make to him a
Declaration, to be by him reduced into Writing, of the Day and Place
of his or her landing, and of his or her Name, and shall also declare
to what Country he or she belongs and is subject, and the Country and
Place from whence he or she shall then have come; which Declaration
shall be made in or reduced into such Form as shall be approved by One
of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State; and if any such Alien
coming into this Realm shall neglect or refuse to present and show any
Passport which may be in his or her Possession, or if he or she shall
neglect or refuse to make such Declaration, he or she shall forfeit the
Sum of Two Pounds.

                                        [Sidenote: Office of Customs to
                                                   register the
                                                   Declaration, and
                                                   deliver a Certificate
                                                   to the Alien.]

IV. And be it further enacted, That the Officer of the Customs to whom
such Passport shall be shown and Declaration made shall immediately
register such Declaration in a Book to be kept by him for that Purpose
(in which Book Certificates shall be printed in Blank, and Counterparts
thereof, in such Form as shall be approved by One of His Majesty's
Principal Secretaries of State), and shall insert therein the several
Particulars by this Act required in proper Columns, in both Parts
thereof, and shall deliver one Part thereof to the Alien who shall have
made such Declaration.

                                        [Sidenote: Officer of Customs to
                                                   transmit Declaration,
                                                   etc. to Secretary of

V. And be it further enacted, That the Chief Officer of the Customs
in every Port shall within Two Days transmit a true Copy of the
Declaration of every Master of a Vessel, and a true Copy of every
such Certificate, if in _Great Britain_, to One of His Majesty's
Principal Secretaries of State, and if such Alien shall have arrived
from any Foreign Country in _Ireland_ he shall transmit a true Copy of
such Declaration and of such Certificate to the Chief Secretary for

                                        [Sidenote: Certificate of Alien
                                                   departing the Realm
                                                   to be transmitted
                                                   to Secretary of

VI. And be it further enacted, That any Alien about to depart from this
Realm shall before his or her Embarkation deliver any Certificate which
he or she shall have received under the Provisions of this Act to the
Chief Officer of the Customs at the Port of Departure, who shall insert
therein that such Alien hath departed this Realm, and shall forthwith
transmit the same to One of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of
State, or to the Chief Secretary for _Ireland_, as the Case may be, in
like Manner as herein-before is directed in respect to the Certificate
given to an Alien on his or her Arrival in this Realm.

                                        [Sidenote: New Certificates to
                                                   be issued in lieu of
                                                   such as are lost.]

VII. And be it further enacted, That if any Certificate issued to any
Alien by virtue of this Act shall be lost, mislaid, or destroyed, and
such Alien shall produce to One of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace
Proof thereof, and shall make it appear to the Satisfaction of such
Justice that he or she hath duly conformed with this Act, it shall be
lawful for such Justice and he is hereby required to testify the same
under his Hand, and such Alien shall thereupon be entitled to receive
from One of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, or from the
Chief Secretary for _Ireland_, as the Case may be, a fresh Certificate,
which shall be of the like Force and Effect as the Certificate so lost,
mislaid, or destroyed.

                                        [Sidenote: Certificate to be
                                                   granted without Fee.

VIII. And be it further enacted, That all Certificates herein-before
required to be given shall be given without Fee or Reward whatsoever;
and every Person who shall take any Fee or Reward of any Alien or
other Person, for any Certificate, or any other Matter or Thing done
under this Act, shall forfeit for every such Offence the Sum of Twenty
Pounds; and every Officer of the Customs who shall refuse or neglect
to make such Entry as aforesaid, or grant any Certificate thereon, in
pursuance of the Provisions of this Act, or shall knowingly make any
false Entry, or neglect to transmit the Copy thereof, or to transmit
any Declaration of the Master of a Vessel, or any Declaration of
Departure, in manner directed by this Act, shall forfeit for every such
Offence the Sum of Twenty Pounds.

                                        [Sidenote: Penalty for forging
                                                   Certificates, etc.]

IX. And be it further enacted, That if any Person shall wilfully
make or transmit any false Declaration, or shall wilfully forge,
counterfeit, or alter, or cause to be forged, counterfeited, or
altered, or shall utter, knowing the same to be forged, counterfeited,
or altered, any Declaration or Certificate hereby directed, or shall
obtain any such Certificate under any other Name or Description than
the true Name and Description of the Alien intended to be named and
described, without disclosing to the Person granting such Certificate
the true Name and Description of such Alien, or shall falsely pretend
to be the Person intended to be named and described in any such
Certificate, every Person so offending shall, upon Conviction thereof
before Two Justices, either forfeit any Sum not exceeding One hundred
Pounds, or be imprisoned for any Time not exceeding Three Calendar
Months, at the Discretion of such Justices.

                                        [Sidenote: Prosecution of

X. And be it further enacted, That all Offences against this Act shall
be prosecuted within Six Calendar Months after the Offence committed;
and all such Offences shall be prosecuted before Two or more Justices
of the Peace of the Place where the Offence shall be committed, who
are required, in default of Payment of any pecuniary Penalty, to
commit the Offender to the Common Gaol for any Time not exceeding One
Calendar Month, unless the Penalty shall be sooner paid, where such
Penalty shall not exceed the Sum of Twenty Pounds, and forthwith to
report to One of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, or to
Chief Secretary for _Ireland_, as the Case may require, the Conviction
of every Offender under this Act, and the Punishment to which he is
adjudged; and no Writ of Certiorari or of Advocation or Suspension
shall be allowed to remove the Proceedings of any Justices touching
the Cases aforesaid, or to supersede or suspend Execution or other
Proceeding thereupon.

                                        [Sidenote: Not to affect Foreign
                                                   Ministers or their
                                                   nor Aliens who have
                                                   been resident Three
                                                   Years, and obtained
                                                   Certificate thereof;
                                                   no Aliens under
                                                   Fourteen Years of

XI. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That nothing in this
Act contained shall affect any Foreign Ambassador or other Public
Minister duly authorized, nor any Domestic Servant of any such Foreign
Ambassador or Public Minister, registered as such according to Law,
or being actually attendant upon such Ambassador or Minister; nor any
Alien who shall have been continually residing within this Realm for
Three Years next before the passing of this Act, or who shall hereafter
at any Time complete such Residence of Three Years, and who shall have
obtained from One of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, or
from the Chief Secretary for _Ireland_, a Certificate thereof; nor any
Alien, in respect of any Act done or omitted to be done, who shall be
under the Age of Fourteen Years at the Time when such Act was so done
or omitted to be done: Provided always, that if any Question shall
arise whether any Person alleged to be an Alien, and to be subject to
the Provisions of this Act, is an Alien or not, or is or is not subject
to the said Provisions or any of them, the Proof that such Person
is, or by Law is to be deemed to be, a natural-born Subject of His
Majesty, or a Denizen of this Kingdom, or a naturalized Subject, or
that such Person, if an Alien, is not subject to the Provisions of this
Act or any of them, by reason of any Exception contained in this Act or
otherwise, shall lie on the person so alleged to be an Alien and to be
subject to the Provisions of this Act.

                                        [Sidenote: Commencement of Act.]

XII. And be it further enacted, That this Act shall commence and take
effect from and after the First Day of _July_ in the present Year.

                                        [Sidenote: Act may be altered
                                                   this Session.]

XIII. And be it further enacted, That this Act may be amended, altered,
or repealed by any Act to be passed in this present Session of




21, 1873.

Article 1.--Whoever should entrust, or under any plea should deliver,
to Italian subjects or to aliens, persons of either sex under the age
of 18, although children or under the guardianship of the persons
entrusting them, and whoever, whether Italian subjects or aliens,
should receive them for the purpose of employing them within the
kingdom in any way and under any name in the exercise of vagrant
professions such as jugglers, conjurers, clowns, itinerant players or
singers, tight-rope dancers, diviners of dreams, exhibitors of animals,
mendicants, and such like, shall be punished with imprisonment from one
to three months, and with a fine from 51 to 250 lire.

Article 2.--Whoever within the kingdom should keep with him in the
exercise of the said vagrant professions persons under the age of 18,
not being his children, shall be punished with imprisonment from three
to six months, and a fine from 100 to 500 lire.

Article 3.--Whoever should entrust, or deliver, within the State, or
should take abroad for the purpose of entrusting or delivering to
Italian subjects or aliens, persons under the age of 18, although
children or under the guardianship of the persons entrusting them;
and whoever, whether an Italian subject or alien, should receive such
minors in order to take them, entrust, or deliver them abroad for
the purpose of employing them in any way and under any name in the
exercise of the before-said vagrant professions, shall be punished with
imprisonment from six months to a year, and with a fine from 100 to 500

Article 4.--Italian subjects who should keep with them in a foreign
State, in the exercise of the before-said vagrant professions, persons
of Italian nationality, under the age of 18, shall be punished with
imprisonment from one to two years, and a fine from 500 to 1000 lire.

If it should appear from the proceedings that the minor had been
abandoned, or that he had seriously suffered in health through want of
food, bad treatment, or ill-usage, or had on that account to turn away
or abscond from the person in whose charge he was, the imprisonment may
be extended to three years.

Article 5.--This article treats of persons who should take these minors
by violence or fraud for the purpose of employing them as above, in
which case the punishment may be as much as seven years' imprisonment.

Article 9.--This article makes it compulsory, under penalty of fine,
for parents or guardians who have entrusted minors for the above
purpose, to declare them to the Mayor of the town in which they reside
in Italy, or to the Diplomatic or Consular Authorities, if abroad,
within three months from the date of the law.

Article 10.--This article makes it compulsory for persons, whether
in Italy or abroad, who keep minors with them, to declare them under
penalty of fine, and within four months from the date of the law, to
the Mayors in Italy, and to the Ministers and Consuls abroad.

The minors must at the same time be returned to their families both in
Italy or from abroad at the expense of the persons who have them in
charge, or through the Diplomatic or Consular Authorities.

Articles 11 and 12.--The said Diplomatic or Consular Authorities
must keep a register of such minors with all particulars, and give
information to the Minister of the Interior.

Article 13.--When there are no parents, or guardians, or other persons
who can take care of such minors, they shall be placed in a public
educational or industrial establishment until they are of full age, or
when they have learnt a trade or business.



(This Act may be taken as a specimen of Alien Laws in European



We, Christian IX., &c., make known the Rigsdag has passed, and we with
our approval confirm, the following Law:--

1. Passports abolished, but may be required of inhabitants of countries
in which Danish travellers are obliged to be furnished with them.

Residence in the country forbidden to foreign gipsies, musicians,
exhibitors of animals, &c., acrobats and conjurers, and such like
persons, gaining their livelihood by wandering about. Entry into the
country forbidden also to all foreigners in search of work, unless they
are provided with a document of identity from a public functionary.

2. Foreigners who are not possessed of any claim for maintenance in
this country, and are destitute of the necessary means of subsistence,
as well as those who, under the provisions of Article 1, are not
allowed to settle in the country, shall be as soon as possible sent out
of it, or turned out of it by the police. In connection herewith an
injunction can be given by police certificate to the party concerned
not to allow himself to be found again in the country, with a
notification of his liability under Article 22 if he violates the order.

3. Foreigners not in possession of right of maintenance in the country,
who seek to support themselves by manual or other bodily labour,
either as servants or, without legalizing themselves as travelling
artisans, by any species of work necessitating journies from place to
place, have to announce themselves to the Chief of the Police in whose
jurisdiction they arrive, or as soon afterwards as they set about
seeking such means of existence, to the Chief of the Police in whose
jurisdiction they are resident at the time.

4. The Chief of the Police to whom application is made under the
preceding Article, shall investigate whether the party is in a
condition in which it can be reasonably expected that he can and
will support himself in this country by lawful labour; he must in
this connection look carefully into the accuracy of the documents of
identity which the applicant exhibits; and also exact assurance that
the applicant is either guaranteed work or service, or is in possession
of sufficient means to provide himself with subsistence on a modest
scale for eight days, and afterwards to leave the country.

Should the Chief of Police, after this examination, find that extended
residence can be conceded to the applicant, he shall provide him with
a residence-book, prescribed by the instructions of, and at the price
fixed by, the Ministry of Justice, in the drawing up of which book
provision is made for the certifying of the documents of identity; in
the contrary event care must be taken to send or remove the applicant
out of the country.

The foregoing provisions are also to be applied to all foreigners
mentioned in Article 3, who, at the period when the present Law comes
into operation, are found resident in the country without having
procured means of subsistence, an allowance of one month being made
to them in which to notify themselves to the Chief of Police in the
place of their residence. Should they be provided with a journey-book,
mark shooting-book, or other document of identity, they receive a
residence-book, delivered at the cost of the police fund, in which
the certificate of their documents of identity are set forth. In the
residence-book it is notified that it is given in place of the former
document of identity, which the applicant must nevertheless preserve,
and produce when required to do so.

5. Any one in possession of a residence-book who shall wish to leave
the police jurisdiction in which he resides, shall notify his intention
to the police of the place, with a statement of the extent of his
journey. The police shall make inquiry how far the applicant is in
possession of the necessary means to arrive at the place indicated,
and how far he is assured either of work or of subsistence, or, in
the contrary case, whether he is provided with the means of modest
subsistence for eight days after his arrival. If the applicant
cannot guarantee the aforesaid, he can be sent or removed out of the
country. Should no ground be found for his removal, notification of
his announcement shall be certified in his book, and also leave for
his journey, granted by the Chief of Police in accordance with the
indicated wishes of the applicant; and further, a general sketch of the
route by which the journey shall be made, and of the time in which it
is to be accomplished, which arrangements must not be altered without
sufficient ground, except by leave of the police.

6. On arrival at destination, as also when the individual concerned,
during his journey, passes the night at any market town, or in
Frederiksborg, Frederiksværk, Sikheborg, Nörresundby, and Lögstör,
or remains in any country place for more than twenty-four hours, the
residence-book must be exhibited to the police, who shall certify such
exhibition in the book itself.

7. The holder of the book, when he has not found work or subsistence
for eight days after he last notified the police, is bound to notify
himself anew to the police of the place in which he happens to be, and
can then, if not in possession of the means of modest subsistence for
eight days, be expelled or sent out of the country.

He who has had no work for six weeks shall in all cases be sent or
removed from the country, unless he can prove how during that period he
has supported himself in a lawful manner.

8. Every one who engages a foreigner to work must see that the latter
is provided with a residence-book. When the foreigner quits his
employment he (the employer) must certify in the book how long the
employment has lasted. In case of his refusal, the holder of the book
shall at once notify the police, who shall insert in the book the
necessary certificate.

Any conviction for offence must be certified in the book. The
individual concerned can apply for a new book without such certificate
if during the last five years he has not been convicted of any offence.

9. In all cases treated in Articles 5 to 8 the party concerned, should
he at the period at which the notification should be made, not find
himself in the parish or market town where the Chief of Police resides,
may address himself to the local constable. The latter shall, in the
stead of the Chief, pursue the necessary inquiry, and should the book
be found in order, and the applicant fulfil the further conditions for
continued residence in the country, he (the constable) shall insert the
necessary certificate in the book; in the contrary case, he must refer
the applicant to the Chief of Police, to whom the book must at once be
remitted. Should the certificates which the said functionary notifies
require an injunction in a formal Protocol, the costs are to be charged
to the police account.

In coast districts, so far as the present Law is concerned, the
district Commissioners shall act in place of the Constables.

10. The dispositions of Articles 5 to 9 do not apply where the parties
have continuous service, or only leave one employment to enter at once
upon another. As long as such is the case the residence-book serves as
a mark-book, and the conditions to be observed remain valid during the

The notice of servants' arrival and departure, which, by the Law of the
10th May, 1854, paragraph 60, were to be made to the parish priest,
shall for the future be made to the constable, who shall certify in the
book the notices given, and report the same in the Protocol as above.

11. Should the book be lost, notice must at once be given to the
police. Should nothing appear, either from the information given by
the owner or from any other source, of a nature to excite suspicion
that the book has been purposely made away with, a new one shall
be supplied, in which shall be recorded such information as to his
previous residence in the country as can be procured without prolonged
inquiry. In the contrary event, the party shall at once be sent out of
or removed from the country, with such injunctions as are required by
Articles 1 and 2.

12. The obligation to be provided with a residence-book exists also
where the party gains his livelihood in this country, and he, moreover,
is regarded as a native-born subject for the purposes of this Law. The
party concerned can claim a book furnished with a certificate of his
observance of this obligation.

13. He who has no rights as a native-born subject, and has not any
claim to maintenance in this country, can, if he has not had continuous
residence in this country for two years, be sent or removed out of it,
by order of the Minister of Justice, when his conduct gives occasion

In the case of removal or expulsion, in respect of which the Minister
of Justice can designate the modifications prescribed in Article 16,
which, in the circumstances, may be found suitable, such injunction can
be given by order of the Minister as is set forth in Article 2.

14. When, under the provisions of this Law, residence is refused
to any one, the said person is to remain under the observation and
surveillance of the police until sent out of the country.

15. All certificates mentioned in the preceding paragraphs shall be
given gratuitously, except those for leaving a commune mentioned in
Article 10, second portion, which shall be taxed at 25 ore each. For
the payment of the certifying of journey-books is granted a sum in
compensation out of the Treasury chest, calculated on the average of
the receipts on this account during the last five years.

16. In all cases named in this Law removal from the country shall be
effected under police direction, and in the cheapest manner compatible
with the circumstances, by railway, waggon, by sea, or on foot, so that
hired conveyance is only used in rare exceptions.

Removal shall be effected without escort by a compulsory pass from
the Chief of Police, so that the party, by means of conveyance as
aforesaid, and as far as possible under control, shall be sent direct
out of the country. The pass shall contain the necessary details of the
route, the police authorities to whom the bearer shall present himself,
as well as the amount given for subsistence money. Only when the means
of conveyance aforesaid fail can the party be permitted to depart, and
the Chief of Police shall appoint in the pass a period in which the
journey must be completed; but such freedom of travel shall not be
conceded to persons who have been convicted of vagrancy or mendicancy.

When a person is sent by one authority to another by such a pass, the
documents of identity are to be sent after him; and if he departs by
rail or by sea, due notice of his coming must be given by telegraph to
the police at the place of his destination.

In the event of any such removals, care must be taken that the party
is provided with the necessary clothing; that he is not suffering from
itch or any other contagious disease, and also that his state of health
is not such as to prevent the removal being carried out.

17. The expenses incurred in removals in virtue of this Law, as
also the expenses of maintenance and lodging until departure, and
of clothing and watching in cases provided by Article 13, are to be
paid out of the Treasury chest, and the expenses of those falling
under Article 1, who are not permitted to reside in the country, are
to be paid by themselves so far as they have the means. In all other
cases, the expenses, including subsistence money, are to be paid by
the communal funds of the locality, according to the specially given
injunctions, but may be advanced by the police chest of any place.
The Chief of Police from whose jurisdiction any one is removed as
aforesaid, must take care that any expenses incurred thereby in another
jurisdiction, are immediately settled.

18. The right conceded to itinerant workmen to seek for the ordinary
assistance given by Guilds and Corporations is abolished.

19. He who, for payment, lets out to any one lodgings either by the
day or by the week, or who gratuitously houses unknown or vagrant
personages, is bound to inquire of such information as to their name,
position, and last place of sojourn. The statements received must,
in Copenhagen and in all market towns, including Frederiksborg,
Frederiksværk, Sikheborg, Nörresundby, and Lögstör, be communicated
before noon on the morrow in writing to the police, and elsewhere
within twenty-four hours to the constable, and in coast districts
to the Commissary, accompanied according to circumstances with
observations as to any ground which may appear for doubting the
accuracy of the statements made.

The police can require all keepers of hotels, inns, and lodging-houses,
and the waiters therein, instead of giving daily notice as above, to
keep a book authorized by the police, which shall at any time be open
to the inspection of the latter. With regard to such persons who, under
Article 6, are obliged to announce themselves to the police, it is
incumbent on all who shelter them to see that such announcements are
duly made.

20. Every one is bound, when required by the police either on account
of information given in virtue of the preceding paragraph or of other
special circumstances, to prove further that he is the person whom he
professes to be, or to adduce such information as to make this probable.

21. Every town and parish Council must see that twice a year lists are
compiled by which every house proprietor shall show within eight days,
exactly for every house the number of persons resident therein, as
well as their names, occupation, age, and the date of their taking up
residence in the commune. For residents in Copenhagen the Regulations
in force hitherto remain valid.

22. Violations of the prescriptions of Articles 2, 11, and 13, are to
be punished with imprisonment on bread and water for 6 × 5 [_sic_]
days, or hard labour for 180 days.

Whoever, by false representations to the police, contrives that the
residence-book furnished to him does not answer to his real name, or
who wilfully tears out leaves therefrom, or makes use of documents
of identity not his own, or who lends those given for his own use to
another, or who deliberately makes false statements under Articles 19,
20, and 21, shall be punished, if no heavier sentence is provided by
the law, with confinement on bread and water for 2 × 5 [_sic_] days, or
with simple imprisonment for two months, or hard labour for sixty days,
or under extenuating circumstances, with a fine of from 5 to 100 crowns.

Deviations from the route prescribed in a police pass, or neglect to
accomplish the journey in the prescribed time, unless reasonable excuse
can be alleged, are to be punished with imprisonment, of not more than
five days on bread and water. (_Vide_ Penal Law, section 25.)

Other violations of this Law to be punished with fines of from 2 to 50

Prosecutions under this Law to be brought by the Public Prosecutor.

So soon as any sentence of fine imposed by this Law is read or
communicated to the offender, shall the fine, when the sentence is
undisputed, or the offender declares himself satisfied therewith,
be at once exacted, paid, and in default of payment, without any
appeal to the authorities, forthwith expiated in accordance with the
prescriptions of the Law of the 16th February, 1866, upon the expiation
of fines.

23. Certain Laws repugnant to the provisions of this Law are repealed.

24. This Law, which has no operation in the Faro Isles, shall come into
force on the 1st July, 1875.

Dated at the Amelienborg, the 15th May, 1875.

  (Signed) CHRISTIAN R.




Section 1 provides for the levying of a duty of fifty cents on all
alien passengers arriving at any port in the United States. The money
thus collected goes to form the "Immigrant Fund," which is used for the
purpose of defraying the expenses of carrying out the Act, and for the
care of the immigrants who arrive at the ports in sickness or distress.

By Section 2 the Secretary of the Treasury is charged with the general
supervision of immigration business. He is empowered to enter into
contracts with such State Commissioners or Boards as may be designated
by the Governor of any State, to take charge of the Local immigration
of the ports within the said States. It authorizes the State
Commissioners to appoint persons to go on board the ships when they
arrive at the ports, and if "on such examination there shall be found
among such passengers any convict, lunatic, idiot, or any person unable
to take care of himself or herself, without becoming a public charge,
they shall report the same in writing to the collector of such port,
and such persons shall not be permitted to land."

Section 3 gives the Secretary of the Treasury wide discretion as to the
regulations which he may deem fit to issue from time to time.

Section 4 enacts that "all foreign convicts, except those convicted of
political offences, upon arrival shall be sent back to the nations to
which they belong." Lastly--and this is most important--"the expense
of the return of such passengers as are not permitted to land shall be
borne by the owners of the vessel in which they came."


By Section 1 it is made unlawful for any person, company, etc., to
prepay the transportation, or in any way assist the importation,
of aliens under contract to perform labour made previous to the

Section 2 declares that all such contracts shall be void in the United

Section 3 imposes a penalty of one thousand dollars for each violation
of Section 1.

Section 4 declares that any master of a vessel knowingly bringing any
such labourers into the United States, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and
will be fined five hundred dollars for each labourer, or six months'
imprisonment, or both.

Section 5 makes certain exceptions to the excluded classes, in the case
of a skilled workman engaged to carry out a new industry not already
established in the United States, and so forth.

In 1885 further sections were added to this Act, providing for the
examination of ships; for the non-landing of prohibited persons; for
the return of such persons by Boards designated by the Secretary of the
Treasury; and for compelling the expense of the return of such persons
to be borne by the owners of the vessels which brought them to America;
the owners and masters of vessels refusing to pay such expenses, not
being allowed to land at, or clear from, any port in the United States.


The new Act may briefly be analyzed as follows:--Section 1 specifies
the classes of aliens henceforth to be excluded from admission to the
United States, viz.--All idiots, insane persons, paupers, or persons
likely to become a public charge; persons suffering from a loathsome
or a dangerous contagious disease; persons who have been convicted
of felony or other infamous crime or misdemeanour involving moral
turpitude; polygamists; and also any persons whose ticket or passage
is paid for with the money of another, or who is assisted by others
to come, unless it is satisfactorily shown on inquiry that such person
does not belong to any of the foregoing excluded classes, or to the
class of contract labourers excluded by the Act of 1885. As in the Act
of 1882, the exclusion of persons convicted of political offences is
carefully guarded against.

Section 2 provides for the more vigorous enforcement of the Act of 1885.

Sections 3 and 4 declare that immigrants coming to the United States
through the solicitation of advertising agents in Europe shall be
treated as violators of the law, and steamship companies are prohibited
from encouraging such immigration.

Section 5 specifies ministers of religion, persons belonging to the
recognized professions, and professors of colleges or seminaries, as
persons not to be excluded under the Act of 1885.

Section 6 provides penalties of fine and imprisonment up to a thousand
dollars, or a year's imprisonment, or both, for violation of Act.

Section 7 establishes the office of Superintendent of Immigration
under the Treasury Department. The remaining sections of the Act may
be summarized as follows:--(_a_) That the names and nationalities
of immigrants shall be reported on arrival, and that they shall be
promptly inspected by authorized agents empowered to decide upon their
right to land. (_b_) Provision is made for the better inspection of
the Canadian, British, Columbian, and Mexican borders, (_c_) That
State and municipal authorities may exercise such jurisdiction over
immigrant stations as may be necessary for the public peace, (_d_) That
all immigrants who come in violation of the law shall be immediately
sent back to the ships that brought them to the port; or if that be
impracticable, they may be returned at any time within a year after
their arrival. Any alien who may become a public charge within a year
from his arrival shall be sent back to the country from whence he came.
(_e_) That the Federal Courts shall have full jurisdiction in all cases
arising under this Act.




The Immigration Act, 1886 (R.S.C. 1886, c. 65, secs. 23 and 24) enacts
as follows:--

                                        [Sidenote: The landing of pauper
                                                   immigrants may be

Sec. 23. The Governor-General may by proclamation, whenever he deems
it necessary, prohibit the landing of pauper or destitute immigrants
in all ports or any port in Canada, until such sums of money as are
found necessary are provided and paid into the hands of one of the
Canadian immigration agents, by the master of the vessel carrying such
immigrants, for their temporary support and transport to their place of
destination; and during such time as any such pauper immigrants would,
in consequence of such orders, have to remain on board such vessel,
the Governor in Council may provide for proper anchorage grounds
being assigned to such vessel, and for such vessel being visited and
superintended by the medical superintendent or any inspecting physician
of the port or quarantine station, and for the necessary measures being
taken to prevent the rise or spread of diseases amongst the passengers
in such vessel and amongst people on shore.--32 and 33 Vict. c. 10, s.

                                        [Sidenote: Landing of vicious
                                                   immigrants may be

Sec. 24. The Governor-General may, by proclamation, whenever he deems
it necessary, prohibit the landing in Canada of any criminal, or
other vicious class of immigrants designated in such proclamation,
except upon such conditions for insuring their re-transportation to
the port in Europe whence they came with the least possible delay, as
the Governor in Council prescribes; and such conditions may, if the
Governor in Council deems it necessary, include the immediate return,
or the return with the least possible delay, of the vessel and such
immigrants to the said port--such prohibited immigrants remaining on
board until such return of the vessel.--35 Vict. c. 28, s. 10.


The Passengers, Harbours, and Navigation Statute, 1865 (No. 255),
enacts as follows in secs. 36-39:--

                                        [Sidenote: Bond to be given for
                                                   passengers being
                                                   lunatic, etc.]

36. If the immigration officer, or assistant immigration officer, shall
certify that any passenger shall have arrived in Victoria on board any
ship as aforesaid (_i.e._ any British or foreign navigable vessel of
any kind carrying passengers, except vessels plying from any one port
in Victoria to any other port therein) being either lunatic, idiotic,
deaf, dumb, blind, or infirm, and likely, in his opinion, to become a
charge upon the public, or upon any public or charitable institution,
the immigration officer shall require the owner, charterer, or master
of such ship, within seven days after her arrival to execute with two
sufficient sureties, jointly and severally, a bond to her Majesty in
the sum of 100_l._ for every such passenger, conditioned to pay to the
Treasurer of Victoria all moneys or expenses which shall or may be laid
out or incurred within the space of five years from the execution of
the said bond for the maintenance or support of such passenger; and the
said sureties shall justify before and to the satisfaction of the said
immigration officer, and shall by their oath or affirmation satisfy
him that they are respectively residents in Victoria, and each worth
treble the amount of the penalty of such bond over and above all their

                                        [Sidenote: Principal immigration
                                                   agent to report as to

37. If any passenger for whom any bond shall have been given as
aforesaid, shall at any time within five years from the execution
thereof receive maintenance or support from any public or charitable
institution in Victoria, the payment incurred for the maintenance
and support of such passenger shall be provided for out of the money
collected in and under such bond to the extent of the penalty therein
mentioned, or such portion as shall be required for the payment of
such maintenance or support; and it shall be the duty of the principal
immigration agent, upon representation made to him, to ascertain the
right and claim of the Treasurer of Victoria to payment of the amount
so expended for the maintenance and support of any such passenger, and
to report the same to the Governor in Council; and the said report
shall be conclusive in the matter, and shall be evidence of the facts
therein stated; and such bond may be put in suit, and the penalty, or
as much thereof as shall be required to defray the expenses of such
maintenance or support, may be recovered by suit or information on
behalf of her Majesty, and in the name of a law officer in any court of
competent jurisdiction.

                                        [Sidenote: Penalty for refusing
                                                   to execute bond.]

38. If the owner, charterer, or master of any ship on board which such
passengers, specially reported, shall have been carried, shall neglect
or refuse to execute a bond as aforesaid within seven days, after being
so required as aforesaid, he shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding
100_l._ sterling, in addition to his liability under the said bond; and
such ship shall not be cleared out until the said bond shall have been
executed, and the said penalties shall have been paid.

                                        [Sidenote: Act not to extend to
                                                   immigrants, etc.]

39. These provisions ... shall not extend to immigrants brought to
Victoria at the public expense, nor to shipwrecked mariners brought
to Victoria without charge by the master of some other ship than that
in which they were wrecked, nor to the crews of ships who shall have
signed articles for the whole voyage, nor to her Majesty's land and sea


Sec. 15 of the Immigration Act, 1872, enacts as follows:--

The Governor in Council may from time to time frame, annul, alter, and
vary such regulations as may be necessary for declaring what persons
shall be eligible for immigration to the said Province (_i.e._ South
Australia), and generally for carrying out the provisions of this Act;
and all such regulations, and all instructions which may from time
to time be transmitted to any immigration agent, shall be forthwith
published in the _South Australian Government Gazette_ for general
information, and shall be, within one week from their publication,
if Parliament be then sitting, or, if not, then within one week from
the next meeting of Parliament, laid upon the table of each House of

The above Act was passed to "encourage and assist immigration into
South Australia, and to provide for the control and supervision of
such immigration." Pauper emigrants would not, in all probability, be
allowed to land.


The Passengers Act, 1885, enacts as follows:--

                                        [Sidenote: Bond to be given for
                                                   certain passengers.]

Sec. 3. If the collector (at the port of arrival) shall certify that
any passenger shall have arrived in Tasmania on board any ship (except
one plying from any one port in the Colony to any other port therein)
being either lunatic, idiotic, deaf, dumb, blind, or infirm, or from
any cause unable to support himself, or likely, in the opinion of the
collector, to become a charge upon the public, or upon any public
or charitable institution, the collector shall require the owner,
charterer, or master of such ship, within seven days after her arrival,
to execute a bond to her Majesty in the sum of 100_l._ for every such

                                        [Sidenote: Conditions of the

4. Every such bond shall be entered into with at least two sufficient
sureties, and the person giving such bond and his sureties shall
be bound jointly and severally to pay to the Treasurer of Tasmania
all moneys and expenses which shall be laid out or incurred within
the space of five years from the execution of the said bond for the
maintenance or support of such passenger; and the said sureties shall
justify before and to the satisfaction of the collector, and shall
by their oath or affirmation satisfy him, that they are respectively
residents in Tasmania, and each worth treble the amount of the penalty
of such bond over and above all their liabilities.

                                        [Sidenote: Provisions as to
                                                   ships quarantined.]

5. Whenever any such ship or the passengers by such ship shall have
performed quarantine in accordance with any law for the time being in
force, then the period within which the owner, charterer, or master
shall be required to give such bond shall be within seven days after
such ship or passenger has or have performed quarantine and been duly
discharged therefrom.

                                        [Sidenote: Bond to be applied
                                                   to maintenance.]

6. If any passenger for whom any bond shall have been given as
aforesaid, shall at any time within five years from the execution
thereof receive maintenance or support from any public or charitable
institution in Tasmania, the amount expended for the maintenance
and support of such passenger shall be provided for and repaid as
herein-after provided out of the moneys collected under such bond, to
the extent of the penalty therein mentioned, or such portion thereof as
shall be required for the payment of such maintenance or support.

                                        [Sidenote: Authority in charge
                                                   of institution to
                                                   report as to
                                                   forfeiture of bond.]

7. It shall be the duty of the authority or person having the control
or charge of such public or charitable institution, to ascertain the
right and claim of the Treasurer of Tasmania to payment of the amount
so expended for the maintenance and support of any such passenger, and
to report the same to him with all such information as may enable the
Treasurer to recover the moneys due.

                                        [Sidenote: Bond may be put in

8. Every such report shall be conclusive in the matter, and shall be
evidence of the facts therein stated; and every such bond may be put
in suit, and the penalty, or as much thereof as shall be required to
defray the expenses of such maintenance or support, may be recovered by
suit or information on behalf of her Majesty, and in the name of a law
officer in any court of competent jurisdiction.

                                        [Sidenote: Penalty for refusing
                                                   to execute bond.]

9. If the owner, charterer, or master of any ship shall neglect or
refuse to execute a bond in any case within the provisions of this
Act within seven days after being so required as aforesaid, he shall
be liable to a penalty not exceeding 100_l._, and the payment of
such penalty shall not be deemed to exonerate such owner, charterer,
or master from being compelled to execute such bond as by this Act
provided; and such ship shall not either during or after the expiration
of the said period of seven days be cleared out unless and until the
said bond shall have been executed and the said penalty has been paid.

                                        [Sidenote: Act not to extend to
                                                   immigrants, etc.]

10. The provisions of this Act shall not extend to immigrants brought
to Tasmania either wholly or partly at the expense of the Colony, nor
to shipwrecked mariners brought to Tasmania without charge by the
master of some other ship than that in which they were wrecked, nor to
her Majesty's land and sea forces.

                                        [Sidenote: Recovery of

11. All penalties incurred under section 9 shall be recovered in a
summary way before any two or more Justices of the Peace in the mode
prescribed by the Magistrates' Summary Procedure Act (19 Vict., No. 8);
and any person who thinks himself aggrieved by the imposition of any
such penalty, may appeal against the same in the mode prescribed by the
Appeals Regulation Act (19 Vict., No. 10).


The Imbecile Passengers Act, 1882 (No. 58), is the same as the Tasmania
Act above cited, and need not, therefore, be set out in detail. The
only differences are--

  (1.) The word "New Zealand" must be read throughout instead of

  (2.) In secs. 3 and 5, "fourteen days" must be read for "seven days."

  (3.) In sec. 4, after the words "maintenance or support of such
  passenger," the words "by or in any public or charitable institution
  in New Zealand" must be inserted.

  (4.) In sec. 8, instead of the words from "defray" to the end,
  the following must be read: "defray the charges incurred in such
  maintenance or support, may be recovered on behalf of her Majesty in
  the manner provided by the Crown Suits Act, 1881."

  (5.) The following must be added as sec. 9:--

  All moneys recovered or received under any such bond as aforesaid
  shall be paid by the Commissioner to the public or charitable
  institution, by or in which any such passenger #/ /# may have been
  maintained or supported as aforesaid.

(6.) Instead of sec. 11 read as sec. 12:--

All penalties incurred under sec. 10 (sec. 9 of the Tasmanian Act)
shall be recoverable in a summary way before any two or more Justices
of the Peace.



 The Blackburn Power-Loom Weavers' Protection Society.

 National Society of Amalgamated Brassworkers.

 Steam-Engine-Makers' Society.

 Amalgamated Society of Engineers.

 Operative Bricklayers' Society.

 Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen.

 Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners.

 Boiler-Makers' and Iron Ship-Builders' Society.

 Amalgamated Association of Operative Cotton-Spinners.

 Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants of England, Ireland, Scotland,
 and Wales.

 Miners' Association (Durham).

 Sailors' and Firemens' Union.

 British Steel Smelters' Amalgamated Association.

 The Amalgamated Hammermen's Trade Association.

 Liverpool and Vicinity United Trades' Council.

 London Trades' Council (Special sub-committee).

 Operative Bakers of Scotland National Federal Union.

 Cardiff, Penarth, and Barry Coal Trimmers' Protection and Benefit

 National Union of Boot Clickers and Rough Stuff Cutters.

 Durham County Colliery Enginemens' Association.

 Operative Cotton Spinners' Society.

 The United Pointsmen and Signalmens' Mutual Aid and Sick Society.

 Sailors' and Firemens' Union--Green's Home Branch.

 Quarrymen's Union.

 Oldham Provincial Card and Blowing Room Operatives' Association.

 St. Helen's Association of Colliery Enginemen.

 Dockers' Union.

 West Bromwich, Oldbury, Tipton, Coseley and Bradley Amalgamated
 Association of Miners.

 United Operative Plumbers' Association of Great Britain and Ireland.

 Birmingham Operative Brass-Cock Finishers' Society.

 West Riding of Yorkshire Power-Loom Weavers' Association.

 Protective and Provident Society of Women working in Trades in Oxford.

 National Amalgamated Coal-Porters' Union of Inland and Sea-borne Coal

 Progressive Union of Cabinet-makers.

 London Potters' Trade Society.

 Liverpool Operative Ship-painters.

 Society of Compositors.

 Operative Lace-Makers' Society.

 The Operative Plasterers' Association.

 The Tin and Iron Plate-Workers' Society.

 The Society of House Decorators.

 The Shoemakers' Association.

 The Master-Tailors' Association (Liverpool); and many others.


  Action of the United States, 2

  Alien Act of William IV., 26, 161

  Alien Acts, English, 157

  Alien Lists, how prepared, 29

  Aliens do not create New Industry, 79

  Aliens who return to Continent, 32

  Allen, Mr., Evidence of, 78

  _Alton Locke_, 69

  Amalgamated Brassworkers, 81

  American Act of '91, 134, 177

  American Immigration, 126

  American Labour, 132

  Amusements of Foreign Jews, 47

  Amusements of Italians, 65

  Anti-Semitic Feeling, 35

  Arrival of Aliens, 42

  Association for Preventing Immigration, &c., 24

  Asylum, Right of, 14

  Attempts to confuse issue, 6

  "Australia for the Australians," 144

  Australian Immigration, 137

  Austria, 116

  Barnett, Rev. S. A., 107

  Barrel Organs, 65

  Bate, Dr., Evidence of, 99

  Bavaria, 121

  Bedford, Bishop of, 18, 143

  Belgium, 118

  Boarding-house, Jewish, 42

  Board of Trade Returns, 25

  Boot-slosher, 46

  Boot Trade, Cheap, 46

  British Columbia, 138

  Bulgaria, 120

  Burnett, John, Evidence of, 17, 75

  Burnett's Report (Leeds), 22

  Cabinet-making Trade, 75

  Canada, 137

  Canadian Act, 137

  Canadian Immigration, 132

  Causes of Immigration, 49

  Chair-turning, 70

  Chartist Act, 155, 160

  Cheap Clothing Trade, 74

  Children's Protection Act, 61

  Chinese Immigrants Act, 143

  Chinese Immigration, 139

  Chinese Minister protests, 139

  Chovevi Zion, 47

  Clouet, E., 124

  Colonial Workmen, 144

  Combination useless, 60

  Condition of Aliens, 42

  Conference at Sydney, 143

  Contract Labour Law, 177

  Correspondence in _Times_, 31

  Craving for Enjoyment, The, 107

  Cruelties of _Padroni_, 59

  Cruikshank's Allegory, 5

  Customs, Letter from, 28

  Dangers of _Judenhetze_, 51

  Decoy for young Jewesses, 48

  Degradation of Labour, 76

  Dejonge, Henry, Evidence of, 18

  Delicato, The Case of, 62

  Denmark, Laws of, 167

  Derby, Lord, 4

  Destitution of Immigrants, 11

  Dilke, Sir C., 136

  Discomforts of Journey, 38

  Disraeli, Mr., 83

  Distribution of Jewish Immigration, 36

  Dockers' Strike, 144

  Drunkenness, an Effect, 106

  Dunraven, Lord, 108

  Economic Aspect, The, 69

  Emigration rendered useless, 113

  European Countries, 115

  _Evening News and Post, The_, 39

  Example of the United States, 127

  Factory Inspector's Evidence, 97

  Factory Regulations evaded, 88

  Fayrer, Sir Joseph, 102

  Feeling of Working-classes, 81

  Ford Committee, The, 132

  Foreign Revolutionary Societies, 56

  France and Immigration, 123

  Freak, Mr., Evidence of, 73

  Free Trade, 154

  Fur Trade, The, 70, 71

  Gains of _Padroni_, 60

  Galicia, 130

  Georgian Era, The, 159

  Germany and Aliens, 121

  Goodman, Mr., Evidence of, 77

  Goschen, Mr., 66

  Goulson Street, 44

  Grandmotherly Legislation, 153

  Greece, 123

  "Greener," The, 45

  Green's _History_, 7

  Grey, Sir George, 155

  Hackney Board of Guardians, 105

  Hamburg, Law of, 149

  Henry IV., Act of, 157

    "   VI.,   "     158

    "   VII.,  "     158

  Hicks-Beach, Sir M., 29

  Holland, Inspector, 99

  Home-work, 86

  Huguenots, The, 7, 10

  Ice-cream Vendors, 64

  "Immigrant Emigration," 33

  Increase of Immigration, 17

  Individual Effort useless, 153

  Infectious Diseases, 99

  Injustice of Russia, 8

  Irish in the United States, 127, 130

  Isolation of England, 3

  Italian Children, 54

  Italy, Law of, 167

  Jewish Board of Guardians, 24, 51, 97

  Jewish Immigrant, Troubles of, 37

  Jewish Immigration, 21, 33

  Jewish Ladies' Rescue Society, 49

  Jews, Foreign, Unsanitary habits of, 97

  Jews in Russia, 8

  Juvenal's Satires, 56

  Keir, Mr., Statement of, 78

  Killick, Mrs., 90

  Kingsley, Canon, 106

  Labour Legislation, 83

  Labour Movement, 111

  _Laissez-faire_ Policy, 135

  Leeds, Immigration into, 23

  Lengthy Hours of Work, 45, 88

  Lewisham Election, 84

  "Limewash," 103

  Lindsay, Mr., Evidence of, 27

  List of Trades Unions, 186

  Liverpool, Aliens in, 21

  Loss of self-respect, 106

  Manchester, Aliens in, 20

  Mancini, Case of, 63

  Mansion House Meeting, 10

  Marriott, Sir W. T., 152

  Mason, Rev. W. A., 18

  "Meadow Bank" Case, 99

  Mile End Board of Guardians, 105

  Model Dwellings, 97

  Moral View, The, 107

  Multiplication of small masters, 69

  Munich Society, 131

  National View, A, 79

  Netherlands, The, 119

  New South Wales, 139, 145

  New Zealand Act, 138, 184

  Norway, 122

  Official Returns, 25

  Ogle, Dr. W., Evidence of, 17, 74

  Old Ford, Vicar of, 91

  Ottoman Government, 124

  Out-work, System of, 86

  _Padroni_, The, 58

  Pampa _v._ Romano, 63

  Parkes, Sir Henry, 145

  Pauperism and Immigration, 104

  Peter the Great, 95

  Pilgrim Fathers, 128

  Police Reports, 20

  "Pool" of Unemployed, 79

  Portugal, 124

  Practice of counting Aliens, 31, 33

  Preventible Diseases, 102

  Prince of Wales, 102

  Prohibition, 154

  Prostitution, Increase of, 87

  Queensland, 142

  Refugees, 14

  _Residuum_, The, 33

  Restrictive Measures, 149

  Richard II., Statute of, 157

  Roumania, 120

  Russian Edicts, 2

  Russian Jews, 9

  Russia's Injustice, 8

  Russia's Policy, 125

  Sanitary Aspect, The, 95

  Sanitary Legislation, 102

  Sanitation, Importance of, 101

  Saxony, 120

  Select Committee of Immigration, 150

  Sentimental Objection, 4

  Simmons, Mr., Evidence of, 18

  Social Evils, 104

  Socialistic Legislation, 153

  Society of Friends of Foreigners in Distress, 54

  Steamship Solicitation, 49, 129

  Survival of the Fittest, 108

  "Sweater," The, 69

  Sweaters' Dens, 102

  Sweating Committee, The, 96, 102

  "Sweating" prices, 71, 89

  Sweden, 122

  Switzerland, 123

  Tasmania, 3

  Thurston, Mr., Evidence of, 18

  Trades Unionism, 81

  Traditional Policy, 14, 154

  Traffic in Italian Children, 58

  Trustworthy Statistics, Need of, 34

  "Tuke" Committee, The, 130

  Turkey, 124

  United States Legislation, 176

  Urgency for Legislation, 151

  Victoria, the Chinese, 137, 144

  Wages paid to Women, 89

  Whitechapel, 94, 97

  Woes of the Workwoman, 85

  Women driven on the Streets, 91

  Würtemburg, Laws of, 121

  Zeitlin, Mr., Evidence of, 74


_Richard Clay & Sons, Limited, London & Bungay._


[1] _i.e._ 1890.

[2] _i.e._ 1891.

[3] _Vide_ Appendix A.

[4] _Daily Telegraph_, January 6, 1892.

[5] _Vide_ Appendix A.

[6] 15th September, 1891.

[7] Statistical Tables relating to Emigration and Immigration, 1890.

[8] _Vide_ Appendix B.

[9] Letter from Board of Trade, 15th June, 1891.

[10] _Vide_ Monthly Returns of the Board of Trade.

[11] _The Evening News and Post._

[12] 26th October, 1891.

[13] Letter to _The Times_, August 23rd, 1890, and elsewhere.

[14] _Vide_ Appendix C.

[15] 1891.

[16] 24th August, 1891.

[17] 2nd October, 1891.

[18] 10th June, 1891.

[19] _Vide_ Appendix.

[20] _Times_, 26th June, 1890.

[21] Congress of Hygiene and Demography, August 1891.

[22] _Vide_ Majority Report, Hackney Board of Guardians, April 1891.

[23] The late Canon Kingsley.

[24] _Great Cities, and their Influence for Good and Evil._

[25] Arnold White, _Problems of a Great City_.

[26] Speech, Public Meeting of "Association for Preventing Immigration
of Destitute Aliens," July 1891.

[27] Speech, House of Lords, June 1890.

[28] _Vide_ Appendix.

[29] 1891.

[30] _Vide_ Appendix.

[31] _Problems of Greater Britain_, vol. ii. p. 314.

[32] _Vide_ Appendix.

[33] 17th January, 1891.

[34] The italics are my own.--W. H. W.

[35] _Vide_ Appendix G.

[36] Speech at Inaugural Meeting of the Association for Preventing
Immigration of Destitute Aliens, May 1st, 1891.

[37] Mr. Sydney Buxton, M.P., Right Hon. E. Heneage, M.P., Mr. W.
McArthur, M.P., and many others.

[38] For the information contained in Appendix A I am indebted to Mr.
C. J. Follett, C.B.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

  Missing footnotes anchors were corrected.
  All footnotes were moved to the end.

  Page ii, "Capitaland" changed to "Capital and."
  Page 7, "artizans" changed to "artisans."
  Page 20, opening quotation mark added.
  Page 32, "espitolatory" changed to "epistolary."
  Page 66, "semmlingly" changed to "seemingly."
  Page 110, "wrould" changed to "would."
  Page 113, "wromen" changed to "women."
  Page 151, "diposed" changed to "disposed."
  Both "padrone" and "padroni" were used in this book.

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