THE TIMES, Thursday, March 12, 1891



Sir, - As one who is living in the North-West of Canada, I feel constrained at this time to give a word of warning to intending emigrants.  In spite of the lesson to be learnt from the terrible BIRCHALL-BENWELL case at the close of last year, I find during a temporary sojourn in England that many parents and guardians are again this coming spring about to pay premiums to people in Canada who offer to teach young men farming.

The paying of premiums is bad every way.

1.  It is waste of money, which is wanted later on for stocking a homestead farm.
2.  It leads the pupils to be idle.
3.  It encourages a great deal of roguery.

1. Any young man who means to work can obtain work in the spring.  There are numbers of farmers who want help, and will give a man at least his board and lodging in return for what help he can give.
    If parents will supply their sons with a good outfit of clothes, a ticket to their destination, £5 for incidental expenses, and introductions to respectable laity or clergy, that is all that is necessary to start with.  Let the young man hire himself out on arrival in the North-West, and work for old settlers for two years.  By that time, he will have gained experience at other people's expense, and will know (1) whether he is suited for the country;  (2) what kind of land to take up, for there are, of course, many different kinds of soil;  (3) how to stock his free grant or homestead of 120 acres.

Then is the time for the father to spend his money in helping his son to stock his homestead, buy agricultural instruments, &c.;  the more the better, but a few hundred pounds will suffice.

2.  Many lads whose fathers have paid a premium for them say "I shall not work, my father has paid for my living here."

3.  Although there are not many BIRCHELLs, yet there are plenty of rogues in the world.  And many of the men who have pupils and pretend to teach farming, really only have a ranche, and therefore are not in a position to teach mixed farming, and many others are mere novices themselves.

The above opinions will be borne out by the authorized agents of the Canadian Government, who are in England on purpose to give true and faithful information to inquirers -viz.,  the Canadian Commissioners' Office, Victoria-street, Westminster, London.

LEONARD DAWSON, Rector of Regina, North-West Canada.
March 10