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4-098 (Raw)

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author,male,Maxwell, Hugh,27 addressee,family
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Private Correspondence
O'Farrell, 1984
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4-098-raw.txt — 3 KB

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 [...] in reference to the Hanna brothers; James wages are 10s. a day or £3 a week (the same as Mr. McDonald's etc.). There is no doubt that Samuel has £2 15s. My own wages at present is rather better than that being £2 10s. and spiff (which is worth from 5s. to 10s. a week); of course I want little said about what wages John and I have as people form their own ideas about those things. 
In the matter of wages all classes are better off than at home. Of course there are difficulties to be put up with in most departments of labour. I do not regret coming to Victoria in the least (although home is always where the heart lies) the heart has many a dwelling place but only once a home. I feel that I can make a dwelling place anywhere now and be contented with it. At the same time I would not use any influence on any individual to come to the land of the golden fleece'. I am inclined to let folks please themselves as I did and then if things turn out different to what they expected (as it sometimes does) they will not turn round and say to me you misrepresented the state of affairs to me and I blame you that ever I came here. We all have to run our chance of being out of a billet another name for crib and may go without one for a considerable time. It is at such a time we are apt to think that the new country is no better than the old. However when the tide turns and one gets in again his wages are such as will allow of saving something. I must agree with you that there is very little to be saved at home and most departments of industry are tarred with the same stick. 
You mention the price of wheat 5s. 9d. That is indeed exceedingly low. I think I mentioned about last harvest that there would be very little hope of wheat ever rising to the old prices. It is the foreign competition, not the home produce that brings down the markets. The Australian colonies produce a great deal more wheat than is required for consumption here; the surplus is sent to London. India can now produce as much wheat as the United States. The United States cannot use anything like her own produce. England or rather the United Kingdom is up to the present the best market in the world and of course the great surplus is shipped thither. Things must find a level and the result is low prices rule in the United Kingdom as well as other places. If I were farming at home I would give up wheat growing as a bad game, go into live stock more and feed more on the farm. So much for my ideas of agriculture [...] 
I am liking my crib for so far. Echuca is a much more important place than Heathcote and farther north, therefore warmer. [147] Some of the people here where I lodge, bathe in the River Murray, but for my part I prefer a shower bath. There is one here and I have a shower nearly every morning. 
Yesterday was half holiday so some of the hands 3 besides myself went to the junction of the Goulburn with the Murray about 5 miles from here and had an afternoon's fishing. We drove there in the governor's parcel van. I enjoyed it very much but you know I am not much of a fisherman.