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there can be no doubt, however, that articles of British manufacture are directly exported to China from this country by Americans; and it appears, from an account procured at the customhouse, that the declared value of those articles exported to countries within the limits of the East India Company's charter, in foreign vessels, and presumed to be chiefly to Canton, was in the last year to the amount of 178,3581. ; and it affords some indication of an increasing taste for British manufactures in China, that an opinion prevails that they are now introduced into the northern parts of that empire, subject to all the delay and inconvenience of transport by land through Russia and the caravan trade, of which Kaiacta and its neighbourhood is the great depot, and which appears recently to %. experienced a considerable increase. “What portion of the teas, and other articles exported from China in vessels of the United States is destined for America, and what for European consumption, it is difficult precisely to determine. Although doubts have been expressed whether the demand arising from the latter constitutes a permanent or a considerable portion of their trade, it may fairly be assumed that a contrary opinion revails in America, as it is stated, in the report upon American currency, laid before the house of representatives in 1819, that the annual exports in American vessels from the United States and all other ports to China and the East Indies, can hardly be estimated at more than twelve millions of dollars, and it cannot be doubted that the sales of East

India articles in Europe exceed that amount. The value of merchandise from China and India consumed annually in the United States is probably equal to 5,000,000 dollars; and if this be so, the consumption of East India articles by the United States is paid for by the mere profit of the trade.' “On the whole, the committee are inclined to the opinion, that, regulations might be established at Canton, either by placing the free trade of Canton under the superintendence of a consul, or investing the principal servants of the company with some authority over the seamen engaged in the free trade, by which any apprehension of inconvenience might be removed; and without interfering with the monopoly of the British market enjoyed by the East India Company, the British merchant might be safely admitted to a participation in a trade which has proved safe, lucrative, and capable of great improvement in the hands of the foreign trader. “In the event of these obstacles, however, being considered insurmountable, the maintenance of the establishment at Sincapore, to which vessels frequently come down from China in five days, or of any other free port as advantageously situated, might, considering the readiness of the Chinese to engage actively by every means direct and indirect, in trade, prove highly advantageous to the interest of British commerce, if permitted to engage in the tea trade within the limits of the East India Company's charter, exclusive of the ports of the Chinese empire. “The committee cannot conceal from themselves, that in the (Y 2) present

present state of the law, no material benefit or facility to free trade in this quarter of the globe can be obtained, without infringing in a greater or less degree upon the privileges vested in the East India Company, until the year 1834,when their present charter expires, and , that their consent may be required to any measures which may be submitted for that purpose to the consideration of parliament. At the same time, considering that no propositions here suggested are intended directly or indirectly to affect the monopoly enjoyed by the company of the home market, to which the greatest importance is justly attached, but that their object is confined to procuring for the British free trader an access to markets entirely new, or the means of fair competition with the foreign merchant in those which already exist, the committee feel themselves justified in relying upon the jo of the court of directors, upon the concern they have frequently evinced in the national prosperity, and the preference they may be expected to give to British over foreign commerce, for a disposition to meet, as far as may be consistent with their own essential interests, the wishes of their fellow-subjects, if sanctioned by the wisdom and authority of parliament. . At all events there are some views of this subject to which the attention of parliament may be immediately directed; and the whole cannot fail to deserve its consideration previous to the renewal of the East India Company's charter. - The committee have been informed, by the members of his majesty's government, who are

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The select committee appointed to consider the several returns made to the orders of this house in 1819, 1820, and 1821, relative to the sums assessed, levied, and expended, on account of the poor in England and Wales, and to report an abstract of the same, together with their observations thereon, to the House: have, pursuant to the orders of the house, considered the matters to them referred, and agreed

to the following report:— The returns referred to your committee contain a statement of the total sum raised by assessment in each parish and township in England and Wales, in the five years ending on the 25th of March, 1816, 1817, 1818, 1819, and 1820. The mode of obtaining,by orders of the house of commons, addressed to the parish officers, information as to the amount of the assessments and expenditure on account of the poor, was suggested by the committee appointed to consider of the poor laws, in the year 1818; and your committee have the satist faction of informing. the house, that that the returns so procured are very nearly complete. The deficiencies are very few in number, and, with the exception of one parish in Middlesex, arise in inconsiderable parishes. This is the parish of St. Matthew, Bethnal-green; and the deficiency appears to have arisen from litigation with respect to the custody of the books, and not from any wilful neglect on the part of the churchwardens or overseers. Your committee have directed the expenditure of this parish to be estimated in the abstract according to its amount in the preceding year. The returns for the first four of the years mentioned were called for by an order of the house, dated 30th April, 1819, and those of the last of these years by an order of the 5th of July, 1820. It is necessary to make this distinction, because there is a slight variation in the wording of the two orders. That of 30th April, 1819, which was carefully framed so as to require as little as possible of detail from the officers, required an account, “showing the total amount of the money assessed and levied, upon each parish, township, or other place maintaining its own poor; distinguishing in the said account the amount of money paid out of such assessments for any other purpose than the relief of the or.” The remainder after deducting the latter of these amounts from the former, was taken as the amount expended on account of the poor. Before the order of 1820 was issued, it appeared that this mode of ascertaining the expenditure on account of the poor was not quite accurate, inasmuch as the sum “assessed and levied,” and the

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sum “expended” for all purposes, do not always, in each particular year, correspond in amount. The expenditure of any year may be defrayed in part, out of the balance of the assessment of the preceding year; or there may be a debt remaining at the end of the year, which in some returns may be included in the account of the sum expended, and in others excluded.' Some of the parish officers appear to have supplied this defect in the order, by stating separately the sum expended on account of the poor; and it is owing to this circumstance, that in the abstract. of the four years ordered to be printed on July 17, 1820, the second and third columns, which’ were intended jointly to state the total expenditure, do not exactly agree in amount with the first, which contains the amount assessed and levied. The difference, however, is very inconsiderable; and your committee are satisfied that the corrected account now given of “money expended solely on the poor,” contains a sufficiently accurate statement of the expenditure. for any purpose of comparison. The order calling for the returns: of the year ending March 25, 1820, required, as before, an account of the sum assessed and levied, and also, “the total amount of money. expended in that year;” when from this latter sum the amount of the expenditure “for other purposes” is deducted, the remainder comes: out accurately as the amount of the expenditure on account of the poor. There may possibly still be some difference between different parishes in the mode of making up the return ; some officers may, perhaps, include in one * all

and some in the other, monies expended in litigation and other matters immediately connected with the poor, but not applicable to their relief. The amount, however, of this mixed expenditure, though considerable in one point of view, does not bear so great a proportion to the whole expenditure, as to constitute a material objection to the accuracy of the Teturns. The committee have the further satisfaction of adding, that the returns under the late order have been made more promptly, and in a more regular form, than those called for in the preceding year. It may be convenient here to observe, that in the order recently made by the house for returns for the year ending 25th March, 1821, a still further correction is made of the form. Instead of calling for the amount “assessed and levied,” the requisition is now for the amount levied only; this alteration was certainly proper, as the whole sum assessed may not always be levied within the year. Your committee having been instructed to report to the House an abstract of the late returns, together with their observations thereupon, conceive that they canilot more usefully execute the duty assigned to them, than by connecting the returns of the five years referred to them, with those of former periods, which are to be found in the journals and papers of the house. Returns are already before parliament, in different degrees of detail of the amount and expenditure of the poor rates in the years ending at Easter 1748, 1749, 1750, 1776, 1783, 1784, 1785, 1803, and

1813, 1814, 1815; your committee.

have, therefore, included in their abstract so much of the account of those former years as can be compared with the more recent accounts; so that the house has now before it a statement of the amount of the poor rates, at several periods, commencing in the middle of the last century, and reaching to the year preceding the last. The first statement which your committee submit to the house shows, in gross sums, the amount of monies assessed and levied in England and Wales, at each former period, and in each year comprised in the late returns; and the amount expended upon the poor, and for other purposes, with other distinctions to be found in some of the returns. Your committee present to the house, in the second place, an account of the sums expended in each county, for the relief of the poor only, in each , of the eight years, ending on the 25th of March, 1820, being the latest period for which there are the means of giving

complete yearly accounts: of these,

eight years, the accounts of the first three are taken from the return

of 1815, the others are from the

returns referred to your committee; these they have combined in order that the eight years may be viewed

together. Yourcommittee have not thought it expedient to give the detailed account of each parish. The house having lately called for returns of the poor rates, for the year ending the 25th of March, 1822, it appears to your committee more convenient that a parochial account, embracing nine years, should be prepared early in the next session of parliament, when the house will have the additional advantage of an opportunity opportunity of considering these returns in connexion with the result of the late numeration of the people. hey have at the same time the satisfaction of informing the house that all the parochial returns, and correct abstracts in which each parish is distinguished, are carefully arranged, so as to facilitate reference by any member of the house to the return of any particular district. The committee lay before the house, thirdly, a statement in which the former returns, so far as they relate to the expenditure upon the poor only, are also distinguished by counties; and the eight later years are averaged in three periods: the first of three years, ending in March, 1815, being the period which was under the consideration of the committee of 1817, and which reached to the first year of peace; the second, embracing alike period of three years, ending in March 1818; and the third, comprising only two years, to March 1820, which may be completed to a triennial period, when the returns recently ordered shall have been received. To this abstract with the view of facilitating any comparisons which the members of the house may think it desirable to make, of the relative expenditure of the poor rates in each county, with its population, your committee have also annexed a table of the number of people in each county, according to the enumeration taken in 1811. And they have brought from the abstract of 1815 the account of the property assessed in each county under schedule A.

They have also thought it useful

to annex an account of the average rice of corn in England and ales, in such of the years ending on the 25th of March, included in their abstracts, as have occurred since the establishment of the office of receiver of corn returns. The accounts of these averages already before the house are generally made up to a period of the year not corresponding with that of the poor rate accounts; and as comparisons are sometimes made between the amount of the poor-rates and the price of wheat, they trust that this account of the prices may be acceptable to the house. Your committee do not feel themselves at liberty to make any observations which are not suggested by the mere inspection of the several abstracts. These observations, they trust, the house will permit them to commence, by the statement of a few results drawn from the returns of the earlier periods, which have indeed been formerly stated to the house, but which it may be useful to place here:— The pecuniary amount of the lavies, by way of poor's rates progressively, and very largely increased from 1789 to 1812: The amount of the sums applied to the relief of the poor, increased within the same period, progressively, and very largely : The amount expended for other purposes increased progressively, and still more largely than the expenditure on account of the poor. In reference to comparisons with the year 1803, your committee have to observe, that there is no account of any average of years between 1783-4-5 and 1813-14-15; nor any account of any single year between those periods, except *; o

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