Works in the Bulletin 1910

The Treasurer said that the policy of importing farm laborers had been undertaken at the request of the Rev. Mr. Gwynne, of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, who, on behalf of English immigration societies, had asked the Government to take from 100 to 200 lads a year.

Mr. Bowser said that hundreds of farmers badly needed laborers. The Labor Bureau wanted 100 unmarried farm laborers, at £1 a week and keep. Farm life in Victoria offered boys better general opportunities than they would get in any other country. (Cheers.) - Debate in Vic. Assembly.

Hundreds of 'em for the farmer! Kids of an imported brand;
Thousands of 'em for the country!  Lo, the man upon the land
Loud for England's surplus youngster - five whole bob a week, 'tis said;
And their value to the nation stands at many pounds a head.
      But the nation never riz 'em.
      That "would tend to Socialism";
So we have to fetch 'em over from the country where they're bred.

Kids! Send us kids from good old Britain - sons of men who won't be slaves - From the land where countless paupers seek dishonorable graves Quids! We're prepared to offer for them. Ship them out across the deep, From that dear old Freetrade country where the cost of labor's cheap. While, of our unmarried workers - (Married men are costly shirkers) We will take a meagre hundred at a pound a week and keep.
Kids? We can't raise 'em in Australia, where employers by the score For the bloke without a missus in the labor depôts roar Bids. Ship 'em out! The noble farmer yearns to mould their bright young lives. Ship 'em young that for a dozen years they may not seek for wives. When they think of getting married Maybe they'll regret they tarried Where the kid-encumbered worker vainly for a billet strives.
Kids? We don't want 'em when they're babies, for their raisin' costs a heap. We don't want 'em when they're married, with their own young broods to keep. Skids And brakes upon the wheels of progress are such futile folk. Just look At the bob advertisement. You'll see their chance of work is "crook." Ship 'em out in handy sizes For the cove that advertises For the unencumbered couple - " Man to milk and wife to cook."
Kids? Spare our days! Why should we raise 'em? We can get 'em ready-made From a land where there's a surplus, thanks to good old BULL's Freetrade. Quids It will save the careful farmer. He can give his man the sack - Costly man who owns a missus and a child or two to whack. Ship 'em out, he's yearnin' for 'em; While they're young he'll just adore 'em Then, when they grow up and marry, someone else can ship 'em back.
Ships Pass in with cheap boy labor - "badly needed farming hand"; Shps pass out with young Australians seeking work in other lands. Hips Hurrahs! are loudly sounded for the patriotic bloke - He who perpetrated this unseemly emigration joke. Cheers for him who brings the kiddy To a job that's sure and "stiddy"! It will balance the outgoing of our workless married folk.
Kids!! Lo, we want them - want them badly! There is none denies the fact - Kids to populate the country. And behold, our noble act Rids England of her surplus toilers - we can do with quite a heap. We can't breed them in the country - boys to plough and boys to reap. And who says it is surprising When we're daily advertising For a hundred men - unmarried - at a pound a week and keep.

The Bulletin, 25 August 1910, p7

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002-05