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the price of labour, and the im- With the corn laws, as they now mediate increase in the burden of stand, is necessarily connected the poor-rates, are two out of the the warehousing system; and this many obvious instances in which is described as most peculiarly inthe expenses of raising corn would jurious to the native grower; no be augmented in proportion to its sooner has wheat reached 80s., market price. It is only to such the price at which the ports are means as will gradually enable opened, than the markets are the negative grower to enter into glutted with the produce of the the market with the foreigner, that warehouses, and the farmer robbed we can look for relief to agricul- of his expectation of a remunerature.
ting price. But we would ask During the last session of par- whether the importer on his side liament, petitions poured into the has no evils to contend with ; and two houses, complaining of the whether, in the conflict between distressed state of agriculture. the two, the farmer has not the The house of commons cannot odds in his favour? From the moa create, by artificial means, that inent that the ports are closed demand for the first necessaries of the importer has an unproductive life which should remunerate those capital thrown upon his hands; who produce them up to the ex- and it is not only an unproduc. tent of their wishes or the calls of tive, but a deteriorating and dimitheir necessities; and even could nishing capital. His corn is placed the price of grain be.thus raised, out of his own custody; time corthe house cannot by any legisla, rupts, and vermin destroy it. Betive act render the consuming po. fore it is brought to market, or can pulation, now so impoverished, be placed in competition with the competent to purchase corn at a native growth, it must be screened high price. At present, when and cleaned afresh, with no slight corn is comparatively cheap, are loss. The loss, from all these the poor too highly fed, or me causes, will of course depend upon chanics and manufacturers too the continuance of their operation, well paid? Tliat which govern- but can rarely be estimated at less ment can do, withont any viola- than 5s. per quarter; and if at tion of faith to the public creditor, last the importer can, as is stated, is to diminish taxation by reducing glut the market when wheat has expenditure: and the effect of reached 80s., cannot the farmer, every measure of this kind would (particularly since the mischievous no doubt be immediately felt, both introduction of large farms), evis by the agricultural interest and dently perceiving the rise of the the whole community.
markets, be beforehand with his If we refer to the subsidiary rival, and glut them at 795., or causes of the present agricultural 79s. 6d.? So far, therefore, as re, distress, we find many crying out lates to the warehousing system, against the existing corn laws: the farmer has evidently and yet is it acknowledged on all hands greatly the advantage His sufthat their repeal would produce ferings proceed from the operation no immediate benefit, while the of those causes, or rather, of that misery is urgent and pressing. cause, which disables him from
growing his grain at a reasonable perity. The opening of the East expense that is, from taxation. India trade and the extension of As the value of corn increased the privileges of private traders during the war, government taxed have laid the foundation of a it afresh and afresh in every pos commerce which will rapidly ensible way. The landlord finding large to an almost incalculable exhis own taxes also become daily tent. Our brass and copper maheavier, raised his rents; the nufactures have far exceeded their clergyman was obliged, by the former amount. Our export of same necessity, to raise his tithes, iron still retains the mediterranean At last peace comes; and, from market, and from a great increasthe facility of importation, per- ing demand and consumption, haps abundant produce, emigra- both foreign and domestic, is betion, and other causes, the real coming one of the staple commoand abstract value of grain sinks; dities of the country. The woollen but in this its depreciated state, it manufactures, on an average of still remains charged with the the last five years, exceed a similar whole weight and apparatus of its average taken during the most old taxation.
advantageous years of the war: The diminution of taxation, will and our gross exports of cotton necessarily produce a necessity manufactures now forming our for diminution in the public ex- principal export to the continent penditure. Something has been of Europe, as well as to America, done, and with 875 millions ster- have advanced from sixteen to ling of debt, bearing an interest twenty-one millions. of between 30 and 40 millions per The spirit of faction and of imannum, it would be ridiculous to piety which so recently presented take pains about proving its ne a hideous appearance in the macessity. That debt or interest, at nufacturing districts has happily the present amount of the sinking subsided, so that general tran. fund, would receive no very sen. quillity pervades the country. It sible diminution within less than is painful to except Ireland from twenty years. Yet who can pro- this remark, which exhibits most mise us a general peace of half or lamentable scenes of outrage and a fourth of twenty years; and, violence. We fondly anticipated taxed as we now are, by what mi- that the royal visit would extinracle can the means of encoun- guish the unhallowed flames of tering an enemy be provided ? discord, but they have burst forth
With regard both to our foreign afresh. The avowed objects of trade and our internal trade and the wretched peasantry are to remanufactures, there is reason for duce the amount of rents, tithes, grateful retrospection and pleasing and taxes. No facts have yet expectancy. Our European trade been divulged which go to prove is considerably increased, that the existence of any planned inwith the united states of America surrection against the state. War is upon the advance, and that to it is, unhappily; but not waged other parts of the world is on a against the government as such; peculiarly advantageous footing, though, indeed, it cannot add and in a state of progressive prog- much to the present comfort or
satisfaction of those well-disposed Elizabeth the most savage and
View of the Finances of Great Britain.
Y the frequent employment of its principles is almost univer
of the terms 'Political Eco- sally extended. If, however, this nomy,' an ordinary observer might were the case, it is probable that infer, that at the present period, the contrariety of sentiments, op the science is very generally cul- subjects connected with the scitivated, and that the knowledge ence, which now obtains, would no
longer be seen, and that results 31. 173. 10 d. per ounce of gold, which are commonly witnessed, and the highest price 41. 13s. would be attributed only to their To account for this variation, proper
and necessary causes. But much has been written, and with it is not at all unusual to find that various degrees of seeming trithe views which are taken on these umph, both on the side of what subjects by various writers, seem was called the bullion committee rather to be in conformity with and on the contrary. But whether their political or perhaps commer- the high price of bullion be attricial habits, than in alliance with butable to the depreciation of the most established rules, or the bank paper, or whether it may be doctrines maintained in the best the result merely of the unfavourworks in this department of litera- able state of the exchanges, and ture. These remarks may be par- the balance of trade against us, ticularly applied to that branch of may be hereafter enquired. It is the subject which comprises the a very favourable circumstance, state of the currency, and the that a different state of things has causes of the phenomena which taken the place of that which genehave resulted from the change in rated the controversy to which we the circulating medium. Now have adverted; and that peace whatever causes may be assigned having healed the suffering nations for the circumstances in which we has re-opened the avenues to our are placed by this change, it is commerce and returned to us, with probable that a reference to the a favourable state of the exchanges principles of money will furnish a an adequate supply of the presolution of what may at first ap- cious metals. By a maxim in popear to be a considerable difficulty. litical economy, • that the difIf it be allowed that money is ference of prices iu these metals merely the representative of value, cannot long continue;' we are led then the principal qualities to be back from a short digression to a sought in a currency, are those consideration of the currency of which possess the characteristics the country. It may, however, of durability and of universal esti- be observed, in passing, that in mation; or, in other words, those this digression we have seen the which are the least subject to fluc. causes of some of those inconvetuation in price and to deteriora- niences which occur in commerce tion in use, and at the same time from the variation of the value of are nearly of the same value in all coin which we shall hereafter have commercial countries. These qua- to notice. lities are supposed to be possessed It is obvious, that in a comin an eminent degree by the pre- mercial country like our own, in cious metals. They have, there- transactions of any great extent, fore, been adopted as the standard coin is not employed, but payof value. The extraordinary length ments are made in paper; but it is and unparalleled expenses of the essential to the validity of a paper last war, however, produced a system, whether the remark be apAuctuation in the price of bullion plied to the bills of an individual to which it is not commonly inci or to those of the bank, that they dent, - the mint price being should be the representatives of
money, 'as on this principle alone was about twelve millions, from
absurd. The other part of the therefore is depreciated, and he dijen ma is then that their notes has only sixteen shillings and were at a discount. This stateeight pence in the pound. This ment, as we have already hinted, case may nearly represent what has been much controverted; but takes place in a nation's affairs that the depreciation existed, we when an excessive and uncon think follows unquestionably from vertible paper currency obtains. the principles to which we have Suppose for instance, that the adverted. Nor is it sufficient to bank had continued to pay their adduce the high price of bulnotes in cash from the year 1797, lion in refutation of this position; to the present time, they would for although it might have occanecessarily then have confined sioned a run on the bank, yet had their issues, to the amount of their the notes been convertible into deposits, and the gold coin of the cash, it is probable that the very country would not probably have circumstance might have tended left us for so long a period. The to produce a recurrence of bullion result of the restriction act was to to its usual prices. The argument enable the bank to issue notes to itself however proves, that the any extent, without fear of being paper was inferior to bullion, and compelled to pay them in specie. also that in common with other The amount of notes at that period articles of commerce, its advance