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From ‘The Western Daily Mercury’- 20th November 1878
Sir, - I think there should be a great deal of improvement made in the Emigration Depot at Plymouth. I have a wife and four children, and have been here nine days, and I have only been outside the gate once, and that was yesterday, Sunday. I came about 200 miles by train, and I did not bring more than I was obliged; there are many things wanted on the voyage which I thought to get at Plymouth, but when we got at the depot we were told that we could not go out, but what we wanted we could get at the store. I am only a working-man, and have not got any money to throw away; but the prices that they charge at the store is from 30 to 60 per cent more than they charge in the shops where I came from. One of the emigrants told me that he bought his soap before he came into the depot for 8d per bar. I had none, and was compelled to take 12 bars and pay 1s per bar, which I think is too bad, and everything else is just as dear. I think, sir, that some of the gentlemen of Plymouth ought to take this case up on behalf of the poor people. I think we ought to be allowed to buy our things at the cheapest market, and to have at least two hours a day to go where we like. We have not committed any crime, and I do think that we ought not to be treated like prisoners. If the 700 emigrants that have been in the depot now for over a week were let out a little every day, see what a benefit it would be for your town. Almost every one is in want of things, but they are like myself, and would rather go without than be over charged at the store of the depot. If you would kindly insert this in your paper you would greatly oblige.
Emigration Depot, Nov 18th, 1878.
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