CHINESE AND JAPANESE WORKMEN. (Wellington Independent, 11 December 1872)

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chinese and japanese workmen it may be worth his while to call the attention of the british artisan to a cloud in the eastern horizon it has been several thousand years threatening but it is coming at last and hns already come in many quarters where it was as little expected as here it is that immense reservoir of human industry and skill which has accumulated for ages in china and japan and which has now burst its barriers and is flood ing the earth at the present rate of progress or rather of diffusion there is not a spot on the whole world which can consider itself safe from the invasion of quiet clever active and thrifty chinamen with their neat little ways their quaint josses their queer ceremonials and not irrational superstititious most hateful are they in the eyes of the european or american laborer or artisan for they underbid him they work long they dont drink and they make little fortunes which they intend to carry back to the wife and children present or to come in the flowery land there is nothing which is not said against them but the only thing which can ever be ascertained is thnt they are industrious peaceable frugal and generally honest now perhaps our people will think it will still be a long time before the chinaman becomes a regular and important part of the english community but it is not at all necessary to weigh the chances of a chinese invasion no great question is a local question in these days england is the very last country which should think that here or there matters much now she is doing the work of the whole world and her competitors as well as her customers are everywhere the chinaman may beat us in the market of the world without leaving his own shores a war steamer of 2000 tons has just been constructed at shanghai entirely by chinese artificers under the guidance of only two europeans the same can be done in japan such is the natural docility and adroitness of the people in both these countries and so steadily do they work that there is no doubt that they can compete with us i successfully in many branches of manufacture so as to meet us in our own own market as well as in theirs they have wood and iron indeed nothing whatevercan hinderthemfrom becoming our most formidable rivals all over the east the southern hemisphere and the shores of the pacific nothing is now wanting but capital enterprise and skill but these are things which in their very nature are bound to no spot and jealous of no restriction threaten the capitalist that you will divide his spoil among the many and he will carry it off to a place of safety however distant our industrial combinations wield a power beyond their conception they can do for all england what combinations before this have done for many a district in england changing it from a populous region into a desert and from a garden into a ruinous heap the working classes of this country have only to agree and i they can drive away all the elements of i wealth and prosperity except labor and manual skill to remote legions where labor and manual skill can be obtained in any quantity there really is no reason whatever why any man should not sail to-morrow with a few skilled comrades the proper tools and the requisite capital either to china or to japan and set up there any manufactory which under more favorable circumstances he would have preferred to try at home if matters go on as they have gone on lately the question before us is simple enough either enterprise capital and skill will go avhere labor is to be found or the superabundant labor of other countries will find ils way here combination believes itself able to deal with the european form of this dilemma but it can do nothing with a population computed at a third of that of the whole earth and as new to us as if it had dropped from the moon but there would be nothing to offend our taste in the products of chinese and japanese industry and their new development might attain the most wonderful results and change the face of jbe whole earth such immense and budden developments are almost a law in the history of this globe how have gunpowder printing coal steam iron cotton the railway the electric wire and now the gold discoveries revolutionized the world at the very nick of time when the world seemed to be waiting for it there comes a discovery or a supply so just at the moment when all the earth is explored opened and united suddenly there comes an immense number of children tractable natures equal to all the lower functions of industry eager for them and long trained to denial endurance submission and toil if our own people do not see this it is because they have been so engaged in their petty class struggles as to have swt their eyes to the great current of human affairs but i that china japan and perhaps india too have to play a very great part in the affairs of the world is a mgttor already understood in the united states and our own colonies and will soon be so a home the times


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