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seats before the throne,' fully robed; when the lord president of the council directed the yeoman usher of the black rod to require the attendance of the commons. Soon after the clerk assistant, accompanied by officers of the commons, came into the house and the commission was read. ... The lord president of the council then informed the houses, that the parliament which stood prorogued to the 20th of Sep
tember (that day,) was further prorogued to the 29th day of November. The commons then left the bar, and the lords commissioners withdrew. Owing to the absence of the lord Chancellor, the carrying of the mace was dispensed with. The London Gazette of the 17th of November, announced the further prorogation of parliament, to the 3rd of January following.
State of the Country erternal and internal.—A View of Agriculture, Commerce, and Manufactures during the year 1821.-State of Ireland,
HE state of the country may be considered with reference to its foreign relations, and its internal condition; to each of which it will be necessary for us to advert. The former in particular, presents, upon the whole, a subject of much gratifying consideration: and if the latter still excites emotions of painful solicitude, we hope we may congratulate ourselves on the appearance of some returning gleams of national prosperity which diffuse a little chearful light over the long clouded scene. Whatever temporary evils may have resulted from a sudden revulsion from a state of war to profound peace; and a war too which entailed singular calamities even upon tranquillized Europe, owing to its unprecedented character and continuance, we shall never cease to celebrate general peace, as a good for the bestowment of which we have unceasing
reason to be thankful to providence. The improvement of the moral character is so important, and is by war so essentially impeded,—the comfort of domestic and social unions so desirable, and so broken up by the call to military enterprize—and above all, human life, is so inexpressively valuable, that we must reiterate the sentiment we have avowed, although we may be thought to possess more meekness than ambition—more simplicity than he
rolsm. The system upon which Europe is now settled, is, that there shall be such a distribution of power among the several principal states that each may be sufficient, in itself, to maintain its independence, and to withstand foreign invasion; and that the restoration of ancient powers to their former state shall take place, in subserviency to this general principle, or where it is expedient to forego it, the suffering
suffering state shall be indemnified for its loss from the common fund of conquest. The leading ground of the treaties and of the condition which they constitute, is the maintenance of the general peace of Europe, by the personal amity of the sovereigns, and by a system of mediation which should recognize the independence of the several states in their own internal affairs, and hold forth their common interest, and therein, their common obligation, to consult the general policy of Europe in all questions affecting the common safety of the different nations. Whether or not this compact involves or admits any authoritative arbitration or forcible interference in the dissentions which may arise between different states, it is at least not beyond the truth to state that Great Britain has in her foreign intercourse, and relations, acted up to her engagements, and to the spirit of the recent treaties. Notwithstanding the situation in which the king of Portugal has been placed, and the proceeding of the populous in that country, and the forgetfulness of her obligations to British prowess, Portugal is left to the administration of her own concerns. In the contest between Spain and her colonies, we have evinced a moderation most exemplary. The emancipation of so large a customer, as has been well stated, could not but be most advantageous to so large a dealer as Great Britain. The free commerce with South America, is nothing to other kingdoms in proportion to what it will eventually become to England. If our interest were strong, the impotence of the power to be injured,
opened every thing to our mercy. There was no restraint, but in our own generosity and justice. The South Americans were accordingly left to fight alone, and there has been no disposition to . take advantage of the weakness. of a friendly power. Our officers. and soldiers were prohibited from entering into the service of the insurgent subjects of a friendly, state, and thus the foreign enlistment bill secured the good faith of our country, with regard to the treaty signed at Madrid in 1814. No expedition has therefore been sent to examine the strength of the two belligerents, and no expectation held forth to the successful party. . . - - Our existing relations with the state of France, have been in accordance with the spirit of general treaties, and our intercourse perfectly amicable, ever since the withdrawment of the armies from her territory. By the alien act which passed in both houses, with large majorities, we performed a duty towards the French government, and exercised an act of immediate prudence towards our
public peace at home. Similar statements of the spirit of pacification and kindness, shewn by this country, might be made with reference to the Netherlands, to Sardinia, to Naples, to Italy, and the other states of the European continent. In all. the contentions that have arisen among them, our uniform policy has been to preserve the integrity of treaties and the peace of the world, while nothing arose to interfere with the general settlement of Europe or with British interests. We have observed a strict neutrality with regard to their internal concerns, at the same time asserting through our diplomatic correspondence, the law of nations, and the principles of general freedom. Our relations with Russia and Austria have been maintained with incessant regard to the confidence of treaties. The insurrection of the Greeks against Turkey has necessarily involved a prince and people of the same religion with themselves. The Russian people, and of course their army, exercise the same religion, and in the same forms with the Greeks, and the emperor has been of course involved in unforeseen and delicate circumstances; whether these have been in any degree sought, or produced by, any private views of aggrandizement, perhaps we are not justified even in suspecting without the further evidence which time alone can supply. There exists at present a sincere aim on the part of all the European powers, England especially included, to procure a settlement of differences on views of general policy. Their mediation between Turkey, Russia and the Greeks, is regulated upon two main principles—the first, the termination of a state of things which, in its ultimate consequence, may affect the general peace of Europe; the second, on the part of Turkey, against any fanatical revenge or future excesses by her misguided populace. If the Greek insurrection and the pending discussions between Russia and Turkey can be finally settled upon this basis, all parties will have cause for satisfaction-the Greeks will obtain security— Alexander will satisfy his people, and Europe will see a dangerous fire extinguished.
The friendship of Great Britain and America is unimpaired, and for the sake of both countries we may be permitted to express the devout hope that it may long continue so. The amicable disposition of the two empires has been evinced in several circumstances since the war; particularly in renewing the convention of commerce until the year 1828, which was to have expired in 1819—in the British government opposing no obstacle to the cession of the Floridas, but on the contrary stimulating the Spanish government to execute their treaties; and in what respects the navigation acts of the two countries. In 1817 and 1818 the American government then dissatisfied, passed her own navigation laws, and her right to do so we treated as indisputable. The colonial establishments next invite a moment's attention. It cannot be justly questioned that these are a very considerable expence to the British nation yet many of them, if not all yield great advantages both of a commercial and political nature to the parent protecting State. Canada. for instance is eminently beneficial, not only with prospective reference to any future circumstances of hostility in which we may become involved with the United States of America, but as to the maintenance of the British navy. The seamen and tonnage engaged in trading with Canada, compose a large proportion in the amount of our navigation. The vessels employed comprise nearly one-fourth of the tonnage of the British empire; and in addition to this the supply of timber would be eminently needful in the event of war with the northern powers of Europe. The consumption of British manufactures in Canada exceeds that of the East Indies. Under the operation of the navigation laws our West India colonies are secured against occasional distress, which without the help of Canada must inevitably arise. Jamaica is of great importance to the revenue and navigation of our empire: it is the chief place for the growth of sugar, and the gross receipt of the customs for sugar amounted in 1821 to 5 millions; and if to this be added the amount of the revenue on the colonial articles of rum, tobacco and snuff, cocoanuts and coffee, pepper, indigo, spices, and drugs, it will appear that the customs and excise on our colonial produce afford little less than 8,200,000l. to the revenue of Great Britain. Of the total amount of colonial produce Jamaica alone exports annually 100,000 hogsheads of sugar, employing 20,000 tons of British shipping, and 5,000 British seamen, and affording 2,000,000l. met receipt to the revenue of the country. No efforts have been spared by government to assist the culture and population of our new colonies. Every new colony and every augmentation of population and culture enlarge the market for the reception of British commerce and manufactures, and with this view the emigrants to the * of Good Hope were sent, and that settlement is in a prosrous and happy condition. The i. isles also have shared our protection and benefitted by the removal of many evils, political and moral, which once existed.
Our domestic circumstances now claim a few remarks—and here, what do we behold?—a spectre, of gigantic magnitude and portentous aspect, still stalking across our land, whose terrific appearance has alarmed all classes of the community, and whose influence has been too extensively felt, not to excite a shuddering horror at the very mention of its odious name — agricultural distress!—At what time and by what means this ghostly form is to be driven from the land we cannot determine, but trust that the general solicitude on the subject may lead to the discovery of some mighty spell—some anti-goblin charm that may restore quiet and comfort to our cities, villages, and homes. But a truce to figure— we must contemplate the too
serious reality.— The question is “Whence do the distressesofour population proceed?" One plain answer is, “the trader has lost the custom of the farmer, because the farmer is unable to pay his rent.” The labourer gets inadequate wages from the farmer, because the same farmer is unable to pay his rent. The rent remains unpaid, because it has not fallen in the same proportion in which the price of wheat has fallen. The first and fundamental remedy, then, for all these evils, is an ample reduction of the rent of land throughout the country. Now rents have been reduced in many quarters; but what appears on a mere glance at the state of the markets for a long time past, is, that while prices have sunk above 40 per cent. rents on the average have not fallen above 20. It may be alleged, that the landed proprietor, who has given leases leases under other circumstances, and when the state of the market was so essentially different and so decidedly in favour of the farmer—and consequently, who has adopted a scale of living proportionate to his then just, at least reasonable, anticipations of the future, has no right, that is, there is no claim upon him to diminish his means, impoverish his family, and descend in the scale of life, merely because the price of corn is diminished, and the tenant complains. Had the war continued, and prices been maintained or still advanced, would the
occupier have remunerated his .
landlord?—All this may be true enough, and the agriculturist may have no legal or even equitable claim;-but it is simply a question of necessity—of what must be done to save both landlord and tenant ultimately from entire ruin. One great cure, therefore, is the reduction of rents throughout the country, in order that the industrious cultivator may have the chance of subsistence; the only evil result, if evil it must be called, accruing to the land proprietor, will be, that, instead of retaining an elevation to which the war has advanced him, and which is disproportionate to the circumstance of the country and the general condition of the mass of the people, he must yield to the downward current and suffer himself to stand quietly upon the comparative level of his compatriots of the same degree in 1792, that is, previous to the impulse being given. But while the reduction of rents is one of the first steps to be taken, inasmuch as that is among the causes of agricultural distress, we must
not omit another very important means of improving the condition of the people which has indeed been partially resorted to, the diminution of taxation. Farmers are suffering, not because their productions are too cheap, but because the means of producing them are too dear. The more cheaply the food of man can be supplied the better, if it is raised at a rate which will afford a fair profit to him who raises it. That the depression now so universally felt by the agriculturists (and which must, if it continue, terminate at no very distant period in general bankruptcy) cannot receive even temporary mitigation from duties on foreign corn, or from a prohibition on importation, appears to require no clearer proof than this—that, for now considerably more than a year, no corn has been imported except oats, and yet that the price of wheat and other grain has been falling, and the distress of the famer increasing, during the whole of that period. Would then the F. of our home produce for the ast year have been increased by enacting a forced price upon a foreign article which was never brought into our market, or by a prohibition on the importation of goods that never were shipped for our ports? But, even supposing that by artificial means of this sort, the price of corn could be increased, the whole difference between that increased price and the present price would indeed be paid by the consumer; but it is a fallacy to suppose that it would be enjoyed as so much more clear gain by the farmer. The immediate rise which must necessarily ensue in