Thursday, 25 May 2017


Yea Chronicle, 17 December, 1908.

Under the heading "-Seeking their
Fortune" the ".Argus of Wednesday, 
prints a paragraph which states
that the steamer Waratah has arrived
at Port Adelaide from London with
an unusual number of passengers
and a record number of immigrants
aboard. Most of those on board are
destined for New Zealand, while
130 are for Melbourne, and the
remainder for New South Wales.
These "immigrants" state that they
have heard a lot about Australia
lately, and were induced to come
this way because Canada and the
United States for the time being
seem done; and because of the
depression in Great Britain and the
large number of unemployed. Now
the question arises as to whether we
want the 130 immigrants, referred
to, seeing that they have brought
with them capital ranging from £15
to £150 only! These munificent
banking accounts may tide the
"fortune seekers" over the summer,
providing no confidence-man relieves 
them of the lot in one night, as is 
often the case with our native
born subjects; but what are they to
do as the song says "in the winter"
The only logical conclusion that can
be arrived at is that the majority
will be stranded along with hundreds 
of others who are daily in search of 
remunerative employment.
Australia may be prospering, as they
say, and may also require more
people. Nevertheless Australia
wants people with slightly more
than £15 or even £150; nor does
she want clerks as some of these
"immigrants" are said to be. The
Governments are already endeavour
ing to solve the unemployed problem,
which was as difficult to deal with this 
year as ever it was. Clerks are in a 
bad way, while our present land policy, 
as has been the case for years past
precludes settlement. The bursting up 
of large estates is, of course, the only 
remedy, and even were this done it is 
doubtful if £150 would be of much use 
to a would-be purchaser. The policy of 
inviting immigrants to this country with
such paltry sums, as we have indicated, 
at their disposal is undoubtedly a mistaken 
one, and can only tend to intensify the
problem of the unemployed.

Waratah certainly did carry an excessive number of emigrants on her maiden voyage, packed like sardines into demountable dormitories:

The objection to the paltry sums of money puts the question of the Workmen's Compensation payouts in a previous post into perspective -  £ 126 per crewman lost with Waratah.

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