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stitution of bad goods for good ones, be rendered a ruinous one in the next. the reduced profits, the long credit, Who would be foolish enough to risk and the bad debts.
money in the business of silk throwYour laws for binding the great ma. ster, when Government has intimated jority to loss and suffering have thus that even the present protecting duties indirectly injured severely the mino- are only temporary ones; or in colo. rity. This is above question. Far. nial property, amidst the uncertainty ther, they have directly injured it se. created by the slave, and foreign su. verely by the destruction of capital gar questions? Who dare engage in they have caused in the suppression of the herring fishery, when the bounty small notes. Even its rich members is on the eve of expiring ? Similar have not escaped : If their
capital have questions may be asked touching most not been rendered insufficient, they of your interests. In every way, this have suffered from the bad prices, the has pernicious operation. difficulty of getting in accounts, and Your laws for destroying employthe failure of their customers.
ment and rendering wages inadequate, You have given to foreign nations have been, of necessity, laws for prothe power by law to supply your co- moting ignorance, insubordination, lonies, to a considerable extent, with vice, and crime, and you have done produce and manufactures, and this almost every thing to render them as has injured the trade of your home po. fruitful of these as possible. You pulation. Then you have permitied abolished the enactments against comsuch nations to supply your market at binations, and taught the servant to home, to a large extent, with various cast off the salutary control of the masof the articles which your colonies ter; you filled the working classes with produce, to the great injury of your the most injurious ideas of their rights colonial population.
and importance, and with the expecYou have thus throughout, with tation that your changes would overlittle exception, acted on the principle whelm them with felicity. You have of compelling the individual to em- continually declaimed against your ploy his capital without profit, or at a game, corn, and most other laws, in a Joss, or to labour for inadequate wages. manner calculated to make the body You in reality proclaim it to be the of the people regard the violation of keystone of your system; for you etere law as a thing almost meritorious. Dally assert, that the cheaper ships, Various of your laws you have desilks, &c. &c. are, the better, no mat- nounced, on the ground that they ter what loss of profit, capital, or wa- sacrificed the poor to the rich. You ges, the cheapness may impose on have never stirred a finger to protect those who own, or produce them. public morals, but, on the contrary,
In addition to this, you have ren- have done every thing to injure them. dered your whole system one of con- Religion has been reasoned and laughtinual change. Your protecting du- ed out of your cabinet and legislature, ties and restrictions are confessedly and the tone of both is decidedly oponly temporary ones; and annually posed to the practice of its precepts. you throw interest after interest into Who now would have the intrepidity stagnation and distress, by reduction to provoke the sarcasms and roars of of duty or change of regulation. By laughter of Parliament, by proposing this your whole trade is, directly or some corrective to vice and infidelity? indirectly, greatly injured; it destroys The irresistible example of the great all security of property, and makes the is entirely on the side of immorality investment of capital, no matter in and profligacy. Let not the godless, what way, a desperate speculation. lewd, and unprincipled minister of Landed property can scarcely be sold state, imagine that the community on any terms, because buyers feel that will not be inoculated with his guilt'; your existing corn laws cannot be let not the titled, or other knave, who maintained, and that what is worth in Parliament sells his country for twenty thousand pounds at present, place and emolument, believe that his may, twelve months hence, be worth knavery will find no imitators amidst only ten thousand. The taking of a the body of the people. If respect farm is a thing of great hazard, be- for principle and trust, virtue and cause what would be a fuir rent in the common honesty, be banished from present year, may, by some new law, the Cabinet and Legislature, they will soon be banished from the counting- delude you. If all past and present house, shop, and kitchen.
experience be lost upon you, listen to The inevitable consequences of all reason. You know that when cottons this-combinations and dissensions, are very cheap, they leave no profit to tumult and outrage, licentiousness and the manufacturer, and scarcely any crime-have increased in no small de- wages to his workmen, and that this gree the distress.
arises solely from their cheapness: you Here then are the great causes of must see that what is true in respect national suffering and demoralization of cottons must be equally true touchThe majority of your population is ing other articles; and that excessive distressed because it cannot obtain cheapness of the produce of land must better prices, and your laws prohibit inevitably deprive landowners and it from obtaining better. Bear in mind farmers of profits, and husbandry lathat this is fact, and not opinion that bourers of wages. It must be evident if its prices were for a moment a little to you, that while such produce is advanced, such a glut of foreign goods excessively cheap, landowners, farmwould follow, as would speedily make ers, and husbandry labourers, must be them lower than they are. The causes greatly distressed, no matter what you plead are thus manifestly below no- prosperity may be enjoyed by the rest tice; but we will say a word touching of the community. overtrading. If your manufacturer, In proceeding, therefore, you will &c. had produced less goods in the last lower your protecting duties, and in twelve months, they must have em consequence you will add mightily to ployed less labour; this you will thedistress of various of your Interests. scarcely deny. Had they done so, the Your economists insist that foreign quantity of unemployed labour would corn ought to be admitted almost free have been very great, wages would from duty, the existing duties on corn have been lower, and the working are considered by Mr Huskisson and classes generally would have been in his brethren to be too high, and they extreme distress. It is preposterous have been held forth as temporary to speak of overtrading when your po- ones. They cannot be maintained pulation is always insufficiently em- under your present system. Your ployed, and when foreigners will over. Ministers and Legislators have assured load your home market, if your own the community, that in so far as they producers suspend production. And cause corn to be dearer in this country it is in the highest degree preposter than in others, they tax it; the mass ous in you to declaim against public of the people have been taught that distress as an evil, when you eternally they are sacrificed by them to the great maintain that the cheapness which it landowners; and public animosity will produces, and which can be produced soon reduce them, if profits and wages by nothing else, is essential for public continue to fall in manufactures and prosperity
trade. Your landholders need not And now, what steps will you take? dream that they can have an exclusive you must either proceed or return, for system of protection. If there be any you cannot stand where you are. You truth in the principles of free trade, say you are determined to proceed-let they must be especially true in regard us, therefore, impartially, and in utter to corn; this is undeniable. Your contempt of your wild generalities, system, however, contemplates an earascertain the consequences,
ly and large reduction of these duties. It is utterly impossible for you to The duties, therefore, on corn, prolower the prices of any Interest with. visions, butter, cheese, &c. wili be out increasing its distress. If you re- lowered, and this will add immensely duce the prices of agricultural produce, to the distress of half your population. it must necessarily add greatly to the The fact is unquestionable. The duties sufferings of the agriculturists; and on various other articles will be lowthe same cause must have the same ered, and this will add largely to the effect in any trade or manufacture. distress' of great numbers more. In The economists, indeed, tell you that proceeding, you must make a gigantic the cheapness of corn, &c. is highly increase to the permanent distress of advantageous to landowners, farmers, the majority of your population. Rea and husbandry labourers; but this member that this is not opinion, but outrageous fiction cannot, we think, demonstration.
What will be the effects to the mic still, if you persevere in lowering the nority ? Here you will put forth your protectingones on manufactured goods, senseless, destructive generalities, and the prices of agricultural produce must exclaim-The manufacturing and tra- fall very greatly. The boly of the ding classes will draw vast advantage working classes will be compelled to from the cheap food, and the export abandon, in a very large degree, the of manufactures will be incalculably consumption of wheaten bread and increased by the import of foreign animal food, if their wages be a little
The reply is below our con- more reduced, and the abandonment tempt; we must have one less tainted will soon make both much cheaper. with ignorance and falsehood.
Perseverance in your system cannot The mass of your manufacturing therefore do other than increase im. labourers cannot, on the average, earn mensely the permanent distress of your more than eight or ten shillings per whole population. You can offer noweek each. Such wages will not af. thing worthy of the name of disford any quantity of bread or animal proof. food worth naming; they can only But you will abolish your poor laws; command potatoes, and such other and here again you overwhelm us with cheap food, as the reduction of duties your crazy generalities. What will can only cheapen in the most trifling the abolition do? It will lighten the degree. These labourers would mani. burdens of your people of property, festly derive none but the most insig- and add grievously to the burdens of nificant benefits from the reduction. your working classes; it will take six
The mass of your Irish population or seven millions from the yearly inconsumes no bread or animal food, come of your starving labourers, and therefore it would reap no advantage give them to the land holders and the from the increased cheapness of them. owners of shops, warehouses, and
If this country produce as much dwelling-houses in towns. It must corn as it can consume, there will be add largely to the distress of the ma. no importof rooment though the duties jority of your population, whatever be wholly removed. Such removal benefit it may yield to the remainwill speedily reduce British corn to the der. price requisite for excluding foreign ; Your generalities represent that the and the exclusion will continue until abolition will compel your working there is a deficiency. As to consump- classes to find employment in one place tion, excessive cheapness will largely if they cannot in another. Is there diminish it amidst the agricultural then always employment for these classes ; it will not augment it in any classes, if they will only seek it? A material degree amidst the mass of the very decisive answer may be found in manufacturing ones, and upon the your plea of overtrading; in it you whole, it will reduce it. In addition practically declare, such an excess of to this, your manufactures are exclu. Tabour is even now employed, in every ded from foreign countries by law: if business, that it ruins the market with you cheapen them, these countries will excess of goods ; how then could more raise their duties and still exclude labour be employed, or, if it could be, them.
what effect would it have on your Ireland is chiefly an agricultural glutted market? country, and your reduction of duties The poor laws form the great prop of would injure it grievously on the one wages; abolish them, and with
your rehand, without yielding it any benefit dundant population wages will speed, on the other.
ily fall almost one half. What will Then the increase of distress to the follow? The body of your British lamajority must demonstrably diminish bouring orders will be compelled to very largely its purchases of the mi- abandon the consumption of iaxed are nority. The latter must be distressed ticles, to feed on potatoes and butwith the former, and you are well cher's offal, and to wear rags. In their aware that distress always reduces its fall they must pull down with them prices and wages to the lowest point not only the small tradesmen, but to În reality, the reduction of the duties a great extent the larger ones. How on corn, &c., must make food dearer will the landholders and the owners of to the mass of your population. buildings in towns fare? The produce
You may retain these duties, and of land, and of course land itself, must
lose half their value ; an immense determination, it must thus inevitably portion of manufactures and trade follos, that your landowners and farmmust be annihilated, and such land- ers must lose a large part of the frago holders and owners of buildings mustments of their property, and be bound pay that in additional taxes which to continual severe suffering, that the they now pay in poor rates. Flatter mass of your working classes must be not yourselves that this fall of wages bound to the lowest standard of living would enlarge your export of manu. —that five-sixths of your population factures ; you know that as you re- must be chained to penuryand wretchduce your prices, foreign nations raise edness. How this must operate on their duties against you.
your trade, revenue, domestic peace, As to taxes, if you act honestly, Irish population, national power, and you cannot reduce, but must increase the slender threads which hold the them. Your revenue declines, and a members of your empire together, we little further fall in prices and wages need not describe. If you be blind to will cause a serious deficiency ; push the appalling catastrophe-to the hore the farmers, the body of the working rible precipice on the brink of which orders, and the small tradesmen, a you stand, your sight cannot be restostep or two farther on the path of red by human power. cheapness, and they will scarcely touch If we appeal to the memory of your your taxed articles. You must either fathers—to your hallowed institutions confiscate the property of the funds to your humanity and patriotism holder, as you have done that of the to that native spirit of nobility which landowner, farmer, shipowner, &c., once distinguished the Englishman or raise your taxes. If you decide on as proudly amidst his species, as its confiscation, and rob the state creditor fruits distinguished his country amidst of half his money, it will enable you nations, it will only excite your deri. to take off about one-fourth of the sion; we will not, therefore, commit taxes ; and what effect will it have the folly. But, by your thirst for we will not bear your generalities—in trade—your lust for lucre-your sorremoving the distress? The suffering did affection for your purses, and your part of your working orders consume base passion for the gains of confis. but little of taxed commodities ; if we cation and robbery, we conjure you assume, that each individual, with his to pause! cast from you your mad gefamily, contributes two pounds per neralities, and ascertain the real chaannum to the revenue, his weekly gain racter of the objects for which you would be about twopence farthing. are thus plunging your empire into If we assume, that the best paid work ruin. man contributes eight pounds, his You say, you must bring down weekly gain would be about nine- prices and wages in this manner, or pence. If we assume, that the farmer you cannot compete and trade with foe contributes twenty pounds, his yearly reign nations. Here again we have gain would be five pounds. The gain your destructive generalities. Are of the distressed manufacturer might then foreign nations willing to take be from five to ten pounds per annum. your manufactures, provided you On the other hand, the fundholders cheapen them? No: they are deterwould be bitterly distressed by the mined to exclude them-and, in conloss of half their income, and they sequence, they raise their duties, as you would expend fourteen or fifteen mile lower your prices. Turn from your lions per annum less with the manu- generalities, and look at these nations facturers and traders. Your general- in detail: the great continental ones, ities will not bear the test of arithme- and the United States of America, act tic, and if you possess the understand on the system of excluding your maing of manhood, you must see that nufactures, no matter how cheap they this criminal remedy would be almost may be. You have ground down your powerless. Your Ministers say that prices, and still you are as much shut wenty-seven millions of yearly taxes out of the market of America, France, have been repealed since the war cea- Russia, Spain, &c. &c., as ever. Is sed; and yet your population, greatly there any hope that these nations will enlarged as it is, has been far inore act differently? Not the least. They distressed since the repeal, than it was will take nothing from you save what previously
their own interests require ; they take If you persevere according to your your cotton twist, that they may exs
clude your wrought cottons ; France lose an export of them to the amount will take your iron, that she may ria of some millions annually. This is not val you in hardware ; they declare all. The nations which have raised that they will not change their system their duties against you, as you have until they can compete with you- lowered your prices, have chained you that is, until the cheapness of their to these low prices in every market. own goods can as effectually exclude Your export of manufactures in late yours, as laws.
years has been attended with heavy With regard to the few open foreign loss, instead of profit. markets, they will soon be in a great Detesting your generalities as we measure closed to you; the South Ame- do, let us now look at some particurican republics are adopting the exclu- lars. It will be sufficiently near the sive system. There has been no ne truth for our purpose, if we take the cessity for you to reduce your prices real value of the manufaetures you exso greatly in them, for in most articles port to foreign Europe and the United you have been able to undersell all ri- States of America annually at twenty
millions. Two or three millions more : Your reduction of duties on various or less are not material to the argument. foreign articles, has not increased the These manufactures consist, in a large import of them ; it has only put your degree, of such as you cannot be equal. own producers of such articles under led in, and they are to a great extent distress prices. Your import of fo- fabricated by machinery. If you had reign silks, &c. has not enlarged your kept up your prices, you still would exports to the countries you receive have exported most of them; but them from. You may take off all the granting that it would have struck off duty on corn, and this, as we have al. one half from the export, what would ready said, will not on the average en- have followed ? You would have sold large your import; it will, by the pro. ten millions' worth of goods at a good duction of distress, rather diminish profit, instead of twenty millions' tban increase consumption; it is im- worth at a loss; in addition, you possible for you to have a regular im- would have sold all you exported to port, unless you have a deficiency of other parts at a good profit, instead of home-grown corn.
a loss, and all consumed at home at a You must own that distress dimi- good profit. And it is manifest that nishes greatly general consumption. the additional home and colonial conIt cannot be necessary for us to prove sumption caused by this, would have that the farmer's consumption of most done far more than balance the lost articles of trade is much greater when ten millions. he is prosperous, than when he is dis- You can only find the truth in this tressed; or that the workman's con- manner. The statesman will only sumption is much greater when he has judge of things by their real charactwenty shillings per week, than when ter; therefore he must treat with scorn he has ten. Every man must see, that your ignorant generalities in favour of if the country were in prosperity, it foreign trade. If the latter be profitwould consume infinitely more foreign able, it is beneficial ; if it be attended and colonial produce of all kinds, than with loss, it is injurious. The nation, it now does; it would, of course, pay as well as the individual, must be infor this additional quantity with addie jured and ruined by a losing trade. tional exports.
To preserve a contemptible part of How, then, stands the case? On your foreign trade, you have made not the one hand you evidently cannot only the remainder, but your domestic enlarge your export of manufactures, trade, a source of loss--you have made and import of foreign goods to any ex- every business a losing one. A tradese tent wortlıy of notice; on the other, man has fifty customers, and he is inyou evidently diminish immensely formed by ten of them, that they will your export of manufactures, and im buy of him no longer, unless he will port of foreign goods. To have low supply them at a loss; instead of gifreights, and import a petty portion of ving them up, and continuing to draw foreign corn and silks, you prevent the his profits from the other forty, he acimport of a vast quantity of timber, cedes to their terms; he cannot charge hemp, tobacco, sugar, coffee, &c. &e. the forty higher prices than the ten, By fruitless attempts to force your ma- therefore he supplies the whole at a nufactures into foreign countries, you loss, and ruins himself. You are acte