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incident to the very arrangement which effected the substitution. The transaction does not, in so far as we can say, differ in principle from that of any loan, in which annuities are pledged to the public, instead of any permanent redeemable stock. Let us suppose that an individual had a limited estate of 3,000l. per annum, upon which there were charges during the lives of different persons, of more or less the same age, amounting to 1,500l. per annum :-let us further suppose that estate to be in his own power, and that he intended to leave it to his children; now, if the probabilities of human life justified him in expecting that at the end of twenty years those concurrent annuities forming the 1,500l. per annum were likely to lapse, would he not be justified in saddling his property with a long annuity of 750l. per annum, terminating in forty years, instead of paying the existing annuities of 1,500l.? Should his children remonstrate, might not this gentleman say, 'If my income is to remain at 1,500l. per annum, either it will be impossible for me to give you that education which may and ought to be a source of greater wealth to you than the possession of my property, free from all incum brances, at the expiration of twenty years, or it will be impossible for me to keep the estate in good condition; if, therefore, you object to this arrangement, you must either submit personally to the loss of education, and the deterioration of the family estate, or to the alienation of part of that estate for the purposes of supplying the means of your education, and of my keeping the rest of my land in good condition.' This principle applies strictly to the substitution of a short for a long annuity, as in the case of the arrangements which attended the operation of what is called the dead weight,' and it involves precisely the same argument which has been used to justify the non-maintenance of any real sinkingfund, namely, that the money, in the hands of the people, would fructify more extensively than anywhere else, and that though the debt would be proportionably increased, yet the means of paying the interest on that debt would be progressively increased in a far greater ratio. A conclusive answer to such reasoning, in the case of the debt, appears to us to be, to admit to the utmost the abstract truth of that principle, but to contend that the having a margin, to meet the contingencies of defective revenue, without the necessity of imposing, on the one hand, fresh taxes, or, on the other, of crippling establishments, and thereby rendering the public service absolutely inefficient, is a state of things, on the whole, infinitely more advantageous than any system which involves the mischief of either of the alternatives above recorded. A real sinking-fund, on which at any moment money may be raised, without the imposition of fresh taxes, furnishes one of
the surest safeguards to a country against the temptation which a foreign nation might have to attack her, if the necessary ef fect of preparations of defence were to involve the necessity of an immediate increase of taxation. It is precisely on the same principle that all men of sense justify much of that current expenditure against which so much popular declamation is plausibly directed. Reduce your army-withdraw all your soldiers from your colonies-trust to your naval means of defence alone-and let them be protected by the militia and a constabulary force;-plausible schemes! for which cart-loads of petitions may easily be poured on the table of the House of Commons. But what is the meaning of these schemes? Withdraw your army, on purpose to tempt your enemy to plunge himself into a war, which presents advantages for its commencement too attractive to be resisted? Will any candid man, for instance, deny, that the withdrawal of our troops from our North American provinces would bear the character of invitation, in the most direct and unambiguous terms, to the United States to take possession of them; while at the same time it must have, and ought to have, the effect of disgusting the loyal population, whom we have the happiness of possessing in those valuable provinces ?-Again, with reference to the increase of national wealth in a country deficient to a degree almost beyond conception in population, what madness would it be, by the withdrawal of the regular troops, to entail the exercise of military or semi-military duties on the colonial population! Common instinct would prescribe the policy of increasing that population, instead of diminishing the efficiency of that which already exists.
The genius of false economy, marring national prosperity, and choking up the springs of future wealth-this false economy, whose proudest days the present generation have had the misfortune of witnessing-this genius, we are well aware, would seize in his hand the balance-sheet of revenue and expenditure, and, showing the current items of saving to be effected by military reduction, would disdain and reject the augmentation of future power and wealth, which any measures calculated to increase the numbers and efficiency of a colonial population would in the issue create; not do we doubt that such rejection might probably accomplish its purpose. But this would not alter the fact that in the increase of our colonial population is involved the relief of our own superabundant pauper-labourers now, and at no distant period the only proper means of superseding the necessity of the military force thus prematurely assailed as a needless burden on the empire. It would be in vain to plead that, under such a system, an indefinite demand would be created for our manufactures, and that, by
increasing the power and prosperity of our colonial possessions, we secure for our descendants, if not for ourselves, the cessation of those burthens, which the present maintenance of these possessions imposes upon the parent country. Such homely considerations would be of no avail-the genius of the balance-sheet would still be triumphant, and the seeds of national greatness must be content to lie hid in the cabinet of the speculatist, instead of fructifying and flourishing under the care and direction of the statesman.
We are well aware that these opinions are not calculated for the meridian of passion and prejudice, and strongly suspect that they may be ill received, even in the House of Commons; but we are not less convinced of their soundness, on account of any unpopularity that may attach to them. We feel satisfied that, ultimately, they will be acknowledged by the country at large. Any one who will examine carefully the causes of the augmentation of private wealth, which, as well as public wealth, depends upon the capital judiciously applied to it, will feel that public accounts and balancesheets do not exhaust the whole mystery of government and learn to suspect that posterity will feel unmixed contempt for the spurious and shrivelling economy which has of late been suffered to claim so much attention and applause-an economy at once shortsighted and single-eyed, which never dreams of investigating with statesman-like prescience the means of escaping from present pecuniary difficulty, by the enactment of wise laws, involving the creation of future wealth-but looks to petty savings as the sole secret of political alchemy. To admit that judicious taxation, imposed for the maintenance of neccssary establishments, is in itself an evil, is to admit a very doubtful proposition-precisely the same, as if the payment of the wages of the steward, bailiff, servant, and watchman in a well-regulated family were to be characterised as an evil. But that a funded debt, requiring an annual taxation exclusively for the defrayment of its interest, is an evil, no sane person can doubt. If he be a man of property, the existence of his own private debts and annual charges will supply an analogy, which must lead him to that conclusion. That any and every remission of taxation is an advantage to the public, provided that it can be effected without violating the public faith, or crippling those establishments which are necessary for the public service, is an indisputable proposition. Nay more; although it may be demonstrated that the distressed part of the community will not be benefited by any practicable remission of taxation, no argument whatever is furnished against practicable reductions of establishments, civil, naval, and military. The mere moral effect of such reductions is not to be disregarded. But if, under the idle pretence
VOL. XXXV. NO. LXIX.
of substantial relief to the unemployed and consequently suffering 'operatives,' as they are called, establishments are to be reduced below their necessary scale, we do not hesitate to assert that more essential injury will be done to the public interest, than could have followed their being unnecessarily increased in the same proportion. If any establishment can be proved to be intrinsically too large for its purpose, let it be reduced ;-but to reduce wantonly, under the hypocritical pretence of diminishing the evils sustained by the labouring population, is to aggravate a case of present distress, arising from causes utterly unconnected with national finance, and this in the most absurd as well as cruel manner: for the public attention cannot be fixed at once on real remedies, and these frivolous nostrums.
Why has not man a microscopic eye ?
Why did not Lord Chatham, and Mr. Burke, and Mr. Fox, during that part of their lives which was spent in direct and vigorous opposition to the government of the day, counsel the sort of experiments to which we, it seems, are destined to submit? The answer isthose great men disdained to flatter, to their own ruin, the passions and prejudices of the multitude; they had nobler ambition than could be gratified in a frivolous and teasing warfare of petty details, in which little minds exult, because it is over them, and them alone, that such minds can obtain even a temporary semblance of