Слике страница
PDF
ePub

warded, in some slight measure, the system of protecting duties, defor their patriotic exertions. signed for the relief and assistance

We pass from this topic to the of the shipping interest. acts of the session, respecting the fi- His improvements in the colonial nance and trade of the kingdom. policy were several in number, and The chancellor of the exchequer, in all carried into effect with scarcely his exposition of the state of the any modification. One of them finances, calculated the whole pro- was directed against the United duce of 1825, would be 56,445,- States immediately; and has ac3701., and the expenditure less than quired great importance by reason the receipts by half a million ; of subsequent measures of the two leaving five and half millions appro- countries, as we have already menpriated for the sinking fund. He tioned in the introductory chapter. proposed to apply the surplus reve- An act existed, of limited applicanue to three objects; the first was tion in respect of the commodities to extend commerce, by facilitating to which it attached, authorising inthe consumption of foreign produce tercourse between any countries in in the country ; another, to increase America, and the British colonies the means of checking contraband there, in the ships of those countrade ; and lastly, the remission of tries, or in British ships, provided a portion of direct taxes. He the intercourse between the foreign therefore proposed, for the attain- country and the colony, was direct. ment of the first object, a reduc- The act farther permitted a direct tion in the duties on hemp, coffee, trade in British bottoms, from the and wine, estimated at 480,0001. ; colonies to foreign ports in Europe. and to prevent smuggling, he pro- It was considered that the proviposed to admit whiskey from the sions of this act, in favor of foreign British colonial possessions. Mo- shipping, were chiefly beneficial to tions for the repeal of sundry direct the United States, which alone postaxes were negatived, however, by sessed a large commercial marine. the commons.

In obedience to the system of reConnected with this subject, are the ciprocity, which the United States acts effecting commerce, passed at uniformly have acted upon, and enthe suggestion of the ministry. deavored to make universal, conMr. Huskisson resisted a motion gress enacted a law imposing an for the modification of the laws, ex- alien duty upon British vessels tracluding foreign grain ; but he pro- ding between American ports and posed, in accordance with the plans British colonies, to be levied until which he had adopted, some altera- the productions of the United States tion in the colonial policy and in should be admitted in the colonies

on the same footing with the pro- that otherwise we should acquire ductions of all other countries possession of exclusive commercial which was not then, and is not privileges in the Spanish American now the case. This principle, so ports. Farther to rival us therein, plainly implied in the system of re- Mr. Huskisson proposed to allow ciprocity, Mr. Huskisson stigma- merchandize from all parts of the tized as unheard of in the com- world to be entered in the colonies, mercial relations of independent bonded, and deposited in warestates. The British government he houses without payment of duty; said, as a measure of retaliation, until proper opportunities should ochad imposed like duties on Ameri- cur to sell, or export it to advantage. can shipping in like circumstances; From these measures, he anticiand he proposed to open the colo- pated the establishment of a new nial ports to the ships of all foreign course of trade in the colonies ; and countries, for trade in the produc- incidently an increase in the value tion of those countries and the of property therein, and improvecolonies; reserving to British ship- ments in the moral condition, comping exclusively the trade between fort and security, of the inhabitants. the respective colonies themselves, In addition to this, provision was or between those colonies and the made for the free importation of mother-country, whether the inter- corn from Canada, subject to a ducourse was direct or circuitous. ty of 5 per cent., for the space of

The foregoing, was not the only two years. occasion during this session in Mr. Huskisson had already, on which might be remarked a grow- several occasions, declared his ining jealousy of the commercial tention to qualify, as the state of prosperity of the United States. the kingdom would permit, the duAn additional measure of public ties imposed on various articles, for policy, having indirectly an import- protecting manufactures and other ant bearing on this country, was branches of domestic industry. He the extension of the ware-housing proposed a small reduction in the system to the colonies. Great Bri- duty upon cottons, woollens, glass, tain was well aware of the value of books, metals, and sundry manuthe South American trade ; and of factured articles, which was accordthe advantages in relation to it, ingly made. But it is observable which we derived from our proximity that, in making these reductions, to the new states. She, therefore, Mr. Huskisson, was sedulous to speedily followed up our recogni- keep within such limits as to leave tion of their independence, by a the staple manufactures untouched. similar act, in the apprehension, The British process to be converted to the principles of free trade; Some discussion took place in but in no instance do they leave respect to the court of chancery ; room for the foreign producer, to the abuses of which, arising either bring his goods to market at such a from the nature of its proceedings, price, as to compete with their do- the personal character of the lord mestic industry. These changes in chancellor, the great variety and policy, were therefore greater in complication of his functions, or all name, than in substance.

these, and other causes combined, Accompanying these measures, constituted the sorest grievance in were some for the encouragement the judicial administration of the of navigation, operating upon that kingdom. But the friends of lord exclusively ; such as repealing the Eldon would not consent to any duty on the transfer of vessels ; pay, change in the law ; until the coming all British consuls, by a fixed mission on the subject, appointed salary, in lieu of fees ; the abolish- in 1824, should make its report. ment of quarantine duties ; and Finally, a law was passed, for others, which it is sufficient to al- fixing the salaries of the judges ; lude to, thus generally.

giving to the chief justice of the Among the important public acts king's bench, a salary of 10,0001; to of the session, we may mention the the chief baron, 7,0001 ; to the chief law against combinations to pro- justice of the common pleas, duce any change in the rate of 8,0002 ; and to each of the puisne wages, by threats, coercion, vio- justices and barons, 5,5002; lence, or any thing in the nature of together with a suitable retiring intimidation ; the law protecting pension. an innocent bailee, or purchaser, We have now passed in review, in contracts with an agent, not duly the material proceedings of parliaauthorised ; and the acts consolida- ment, of a public or political nature. ting the laws relating to juries, and But its attention was by no means bankruptcies, introduced as part of occupied by these subjects alone. a design entertained by Mr. Peel, The cheapness of credit, and the for the gradual consolidation of the great quantity of capital, seeking laws. A bill allowing Unitarians investment, at this period, caused to be married by clergymen of their the applications for private acts, to own persuasion,--a privilege most be uncommonly numerous. No reasonable in itself, and long en- less than two hundred and eightyjoyed by some sects of dissenters, six were actually passed. Twentywas rejected, as was a bill for the six petitions for rail-ways, were repeal of the usury laws.

presented ; and it was calculated, that all the rail-roads in contempla- mercial privileges, in the ports of tion, if constructed, would con- the other. sume iron to the value of twenty- During the same year, treaties eight millions. We mention this of amity, commerce, and navigafact, to show the excess of the tion, were concluded, between spirit of speculation, to which we Great Britain, and the American have already referred, and whose states of Brazil, Colombia, and pernicious effects we shall have Buenos Ayres. Besides these, cause again to notice, in the se- there was a separate treaty made quel. The session closed the 6th with Brazil, providing for the of July.

abolition of the slave trade from Early in the autumn of this year, Brazil, in four years after the exthe king issued a proclamation, change of ratifications of the treaty; prohibiting any of his subjects from and declaring slave trade, in the taking part in the contest between vessels of either country, subseGreece and Turkey; from fitting quent to that time, to be piracy. out ships, or exporting munitions of During the last month of 1825, a war, for the assistance of Greece. panic in the money market, caused

The foreign relations of England, the failure of several respectable during the year 1825,offer but little to banking houses in London, and a attract our notice. Several treaties great number in the country. At were concluded, however, of which one time, Lombard-street was a brief account may be relevant. nearly filled with persons, hastening The first, was a treaty with Russia, to draw their money from different dated February 28th, relative to the banks, or anxious to learn the fate trade of the two countries on the of commercial houses. Bankers had northwest coast of America. It been induced, by the cheapness of stipulated for the common right of credit, and low rate of interest, in the ships of the two nations, to 1824, and the beginning of 1825, navigate, and take fish, in all the to invest their funds in securiwaters of the Pacific ocean ; es- ties, which could not be readily tablished the line of demarkation be- converted into cash. Of course, tween their respective possessions; when a run upon them came, some, and gave to each party, the benefit even, although perfectly solvent, of traffic with the natives. were compelled to stop payment,

A treaty was concluded with the from the impossibility of instantly Hanse Towns, September 20th, raising sufficient money to meet the conferring on the ships and pro- pressing demands of their creditors. ductions of each state, equal com- The distress very soon subsided

in London ; but in the country, its ions; and to supply the deficieneffects were longer felt, and fell upon cies which bankruptcies had occapersons less able to bear their losses. sioned therein, the bank of England A great number of private bankers, made temporary issues, of one and many of them with little or no two pound notes; and by these capital, engrossed the whole circu- means, the progress of the evil was lation of their respective districts; partially arrested. and bank after bank became in- Much of this pressure in the solvent, involving the laboring money market, arose from unclasses in their ruin. By these founded panic, and want of confimeans, the entire currency of the dence in capitalists, and mercountry, was completely deranged chants. When it came on, trade In a multitude of cases, all the was flourishing, the revenue insavings of the lower classes, con- creasing, and the credit of the sisted in a few one pound notes, government, and of the bank of issued by private bankers, who had England, unimpaired. But an imno resources, to meet a sudden mense sum of money was sunk in pressure. Hence, the misery there, joint stock companies; and a series was truly deplorable, and called for of ruinous speculations, had thrown the immediate aid of government. suspicion over all similar transac

Several cabinet consultations tions. No returns could be had were held, and efficient measures from a variety of foreign loans, to restore the circulation adopted. which had drained the bankers ; It opportunely happened, that importations of cotton, wine, and bullion was lower than the mint silk, had been suddenly augmented, price ; and the officers of the mint far beyond the usual amount, and were ordered to expedite the coin- beyond the wants of the country. age of sovereigns, with all possible These causes turned the rate of despatch. Gold was coined at the exchange against England ; inrate of 100,000 sovereigns a day; duced the bank to diminish its disand for one week, at the rate of counts; produced fluctuations in 150,000; and sent off to the coun- the funds; and in the end, suspicion try, in every direction. But the beginning to arise, led to sudden coinage of gold, did not prove calls for payment, and pecuniary sufficient to supply the chasm in embarrassment, as the necessary the circulation, occasioned by the consequence. failure of so many banks. Indeed, But these alarms among the the issue of country paper, had mercantile classes, in the usual been estimated at eighteen mill- operation of things, ere long, subsi

« ПретходнаНастави »