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for even in the best of times tithes were with no real injury to the drones of the considered an objectionable mode of raising hive. an ecclesiastical revenue. But if great care It is not impossible that the drones (who be not taken in the mode of commuting have the activity of bees only in this) will tithes, instead of a benefit, it may work a be on the alert to meet us with a loud buzz vast injury to the farmer.

about spoliation and public faith, the moment Then what are all the paltry things which we venture to ask for profitable prices. We are the second budget of the Chancellor of the used to this argument; it is after the manner Exchequer proposed to do for agriculture of the gentry who occasionally frequent poIs there a man in his sound senses who lice offices, and whom we have before desimagines that the relief from this budget cribed. We have neither the wish nor the will be equal to adding 1s. a quarter to the intention to spoliate; but we are sick of present price of wheat? That present price seeing one-sided justice only, and we are the grower's price we mean) is not above resolved, as far as in us lies, to see the debtor 418. per quarter, the old Winchester measure. righted as well as the creditor. B. And we have no hesitation in saying, that, for the best interests of all the productive classes, under the debts and taxation they have to pay, and which were mainly incurred

THE FINANCIAL STATE OF THE under the thriving prices of the war-we

BRITISH EMPIRE. repeat, we have no hesitation in saying, that

PART I. 44s. per quarter for wheat is 20s. too little. And, what is more, the country will not be right or satisfied, or any ministry (by what- The historic scroll of nations is pregnant ever name it may call itself) safe for six with this remarkable truth-Political revomonths in their places, until wheat be some- lutions have their origin in oppressive or unwhere about that price again, with wages equal taxation! To illustrate the axiom by and other things in proportion.

example would be supererogatory; every page “But (we shall hear) wool and stock are of past events is a lesson, and the feelings high in price.” True; but how came they of the present are a warning to future gene50? Half the sheep farmers in the country rations. It is singular, however, notwithlost their focks by three or four successive standing the obvious, and, indeed, indisyears of rot in sheep; and the remainder of pensable utility of financial science, how the sheep and stock farmers are deriving a little it is understood, or has been attended profit only from the losses which have be- to, in England; particularly among a comfallen their neighbours. Is this a cause for mercial people, naturally eager for gain, national rejoicing? We do not want a higher attached to liberty, and peculiarly tenacious price from scarcity, but a higher price flowing of the rights of private property.

The from the increased capacity of the consumers apathy of bygone years is now being suto buy: those best consumers who are pro- perseded by an earnest desire to examine ducers also.

minutely this highly important branch of In our next number, we propose to shew our social system, on the right administrathe progress of the distress in British agri- tion of which the happiness or misery of a culture, and the causes of it, from the peace nation is so intimately dependent; conseto the present time; we shall also explain quently it is necessary that the public mind the extent of protection afforded by the should be possessed of a clear, and, as far as corn laws. In the mean time, from what possible, brief elucidation of facts, in order has gone before, we tiink it will be scarcely that a sound judgment may be formed on a necessary to assure the farmer that we are subject interesting in the strongest manner bis friend, and that his interests are safe in to the weal of every individual in a free our hands. He is part and parcel of the state. most important interest in the state; and Within the brief space necessarily allotted we consider it, therefore, not only our duty, to an article in a periodical, it would be but the duty of every good citizen, to impossible to demonstrate at one view the "speed the plough” in that best of all ways, complicated nature of the British financial viz. by making it pay the man that drives it. system. Happily, however, the subject is proIt will not pay, it cannot pay, at the present perly divisible into several distinct branches, prices, even if the county rate committee each of which, although forming a separate should reduce those rates one penny in the topic for consideration, becomes in the aggrepound. Low prices (deceive ourselves as we gate a sectional whole. may), compared with the debts and taxation In soliciting public attention to the folwe have to pay, are the real bottom of our lowing series, the writer would beg it to be distress. We mistake much if we cannot understood that no political principles are point out the way to raise prices, with ad- mixed up with his financial statements; he vantage to all the productive classes, and is disposed to believe that whether Whig, Tory, or Radical be in the ascendant, an tax, (on a wholesome stimulant) of £1.48. anxiety for the benefit of their common per annum. country is the predominant motive for N. B. If coffee be used instead of tea, it action; and the slightest knowledge of hu- will not make any perceptible difference in man nature would impel to the belief that the amount of the taxation, because the the rich can never derive the full benefit indirect mulct by reason of the West India and enjoyment of wealth, so long as the monopoly of the coffee market fully commass of human beings, who are the main pensates for the difference of tax levied. stay of that wealth, are sinking and perish- This is independent of the license for pering from want. To expose, therefore, the mission to sell tea or coffee; evils of the existing system of finance, 4. SOAP.-If a labouring man use one lb. and to propound for consideration a better, of soap weekly, to wash himself and his because a juster system, is a benefit to the clothes, he pays a direct tax thereon for rich as well as to the poor : the immediate making and license of 2d. per lb.; and an inadvantages being greater (while the perma- direct one of a penny more, owing to harassnent fruits are equal) to the former than ing excise laws, and custom duties on tallow, to the latter; and as regards the governing oil, barilla, &c. as well as on the taxed labour and the governed, it must be equally obvious preparing it : thus 3d. per week for one year that, in the present pounds, shillings, and is—138. per annum. pence age, no party can long hope to hold 5. Housing.—A labouring man it is to the reins of authority but by the adoption besupposed requires housing—for the poorest and execution of sound financial principles.- tenement or part of a tenement he is taxed

At present the greater portion of the re- in a variety of ways; and the income of the venue of Great Britain and Ireland is levied ground or land (house) lord must be made on the necessities of the working classes, up from his portion of rent: thus, if he pay and consequently on the industry of the 1s. per week or £2. 128. per year, he pays country: therefore whenever remissions a proportion of the land-tax, of the tax on have been made in taxes which enter ex- window glass, on timber, on bricks, and on tensively into the consumption of the bulk various building articles, as also on the outof the people, the elasticity of our revenue lay of taxed labour in preparing the house; is remarkably observant. In the present to say nothing of the window tax, or of the Number there is only space to shew our local rate or parish assessment which every intention to lay before the public a com- house must pay-it is therefore a very low plete view of the finances; and we have no estimate to say that the tax for all these is more room than is sufficient to demon- not less than 12s. per annum. strate the argument with which we set out, 6. BREAD AND MEAT.—The indirect effect namely, that the burthen of taxation now of the corn laws, (the result of heavy taxaunduly presses on the working classes, as tion) in raising the price of bread and meat, thus exemplified.

it is difficult to make evident by figures, 1. MALT-LIQUOR.-If a labouring man but to a person who studies the subject of consume one pot of beer (porter) daily, the finance, a conclusion may be readily arrived taxation direct and indirect is—1st on the at in his own mind. There can be no doubt land whereon the barley is grown-2nd on that the burthens which the landed interests the taxed labour which grows it—3rd on endure, such as tithes, poor rates, county the malt—4th on the malster's charge for cess, land-tax, &c. &c. enhance the prime vexatious excise regulations—5th on the cost of the necessaries of life by at least 20 hops—6th on the license for a publican— per cent, if not more, while the general taxaon all these items, (3d. out of the 4d. is tion on the labour requisite to grow the food, tax, therefore on 365 pots of stout, the still further augments the price thereof to working man pays a tax of £4. 118. 3d. per the working classes. We will estimate the annum.

cost of bread and meat to a labouring man, 2. SUGAR.— If a labouring man consume or artizan, at 10d. per diem, or £15. 43. 2d. one lb. of sugar weekly, (which is allowed per annum—the minimum of supply to a in some workhouses, and to the lowest hard working man, who is thus directly and household servant) the taxation direct and indirectly mulcted, by local and general indirect thereon is

taxation, at the very least £3. per annum. Direct on the Sugar 24d.

At the same time, if the Corn Laws were 4d.

repealed, numbers of labourers would be Therefore on 52 lbs. of sugar, the poor thrown out of employ, and the general disman pays a tax of 178. 4d. per annum. tress would be increased rather than dimin

3. Tea or COFFEE.—If a labouring man ished, by withdrawing protection from our consume 4 oz. of tea per week, valued at agriculture. 48. per lb. the direct taxation thereon is full 7. CLOTHING.—The poorest clad man will -100 per cent, therefore 12 lbs. of tea per require in the year in shoes, stockings, annum consumed, imposes on him a direct shirts, smock-frock, trowsers, hat and hand

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1

kerchief, at least sixty shillings worth an- trict. For what purpose does he set up nually, one year with another,-the taxed shop? To serve the labourer, the tenant labour entering into the preparation and and the landlord with the things they don't sale of these, or the duties levied on the produce themselves. If the agricultural disimportation or preparation of the raw ma- trict had not existed, along with those who terial, add at the very least a sixth to the own and cultivate it, the town would not cost ere they reach the consumer—who thus have existed. York, Canterbury, Lincoln, pays a tax of 108. per annum.

Beverley, Royston, Haddington, and a hun

dred other towns, are as agricultural as the Recapitulation of the foregoing.

little villages which house the plough-boys, No. 1. Malt

£ 4 11 3

the blacksmiths and the country joiners. No. 2. Sugar

0 17 4

There is the grocer, the linen draper, the No. 3. Tea or Coffee

40

ironmonger, not to mention the tailors, No. 4. Soap

0 13 0

shoemakers, &c. who are a sort of provincial No. 5. Housing

0 120

home manufacturers); these sell their respecNo. 6. Food

3 0 0

tive goods to the landlord, the farmer, the No. 7. Clothing

0 10 0

joiner, the blacksmith, the plough-boy of

the villages in the district around them. Total taxes on a labourer £11 7 7 per an. They also sell among themselves—but their

power to buy of, and to sell to, each other, Take a labourer earning 1s. 6d. per diem, depends on the quantity of things bought and working 300 days in the year his income from them by the agriculturists around will be £22. 10s.

them. Thus it will be admitted that at the very The tradesmen buy their goods of the least 50 per cent, or half of his income is manufacturer, or the dealer in colonial or abstracted from him by taxation, indeed foreign produce; these latter then become this is rather a low estimate, for do what he as much interested as the tradesman himwill, eating, drinking or sleeping, he is in self in the quantity of goods which he sells some way or other taxed. But when prices to his agricultural customer. It is plain, and wages are sufficient to meet taxation, then, that if the farming interest be in a taxation is not felt by the productive classes ; prosperous state, it will make these other it is only under a system of half wages and interests prosperous; if the farming inhalf employment, that the labourer and terest be in distress, the other interests beproducer feel the burden of taxes.

come depressed in the like proportion, exN. B. Our next Number will contain a cept inasmuch as they trade with foreigners. full exposition of the taxes paid by the In the evidence taken before the Agriculrich, middle, and working classes.

tural Committee, 1833, there was a very M. curious illustration given of this. Mr. Ro

bert Merry of Lockton, near Pickering, (a

market town) is asked-You have said that THE SHOPKEEPERS AND THE RETAIL you do not see so many farmer's horses at TRADE.

a fox-hunting as you used to do; in the market towns do the farmers spend as much

money as they used to do?-No; since I The manufacturer makes the goods, he can remember they used to be found there generally disposes of them to some merchant at the farmer's bed-time, but now they are or wholesale dealer, who again turns them generally out of the market town before over to the retail dealer; i.e. to the trades. sunset. men in the different towns and villages in Do the wives and family lay out as much the kingdom, who keep shop to sell to the money in the market towns as they used to public, from time to time, the different arti. do?--I should think not near so much. cles in which they deal.

Does that affect the trade of the shopIn asking the question—what has been the keepers ?–Most seriously. condition of the tradesman for the last Have you ever heard that said by them? twenty years, we except the two intervals - I have. of 1817-18 and 1823-4, which were pros- Can you state any particular instance? perous, and when the system differed from A shop-keeper that I enquired of some years that which has prevailed during the remain- since, about 1814, was selling goods to the der of the period.

amount of £6000. a year for several years What then has been the tradesman's condition for twenty years ? Has it differed at * Physicians, also, surgeons, solicitors, &c. in all from the condition of those around him ? the country towns and villages, have all one He lives in a town or village; that town or

common interest with the agriculture and trade village, in nineteen cases out of twenty, is twice as readily when their pockcts arc full, as

around them : men buy both physic and law situated in the midst of an agricultural dis- when they are nearly empty.

Tory, or Radical be in the ascendant, an tax, (on a wholesome stimulant) of £1. 48. anxiety for the benefit of their common per annum. country is the predominant motive for N.B. If coffee be used instead of tea, it action; and the slightest knowledge of hu- will not make any perceptible difference in man nature would impel to the belief that the amount of the taxation, because the the rich can never derive the full benefit indirect mulct by reason of the West India and enjoyment of wealth, so long as the monopoly of the coffee market fully commass of human beings, who are the main pensates for the difference of tax levied. stay of that wealth, are sinking and perish- This is independent of the license for pering from want. To expose, therefore, the mission to sell tea or coffee; evils of the existing system of finance, 4. Soap.-If a labouring man use one lb. and to propound for consideration a better, of soap weekly, to wash himself and his because a juster system, is a benefit to the clothes, he pays a direct tax thereon for rich as well as to the poor : the immediate making and license of 2d. per lb.; and an inadvantages being greater (while the perma- direct one of a penny more, owing to harassnent fruits are equal to the former than ing excise laws, and custom duties on tallow, to the latter; and as regards the governing oil, barilla, &c. as well as on the taxed labour and the governed, it must be equally obvious preparing it : thus 3d. per week for one year that, in the present pounds, shillings, and is—138. per annum. pence age, no party can long hope to hold 5. Housing.–A labouring man it is to the reins of authority but by the adoption besupposed requires housing-for the poorest and execution of sound financial principles.- tenement or part of a tenement he is taxed

At present the greater portion of the re- in a variety of ways; and the income of the venue of Great Britain and Ireland is levied ground or land (house) lord must be made on the necessities of the working classes, up from his portion of rent: thus, if he pay and consequently on the industry of the 1s. per week or £2. 128. per year, he pays country: therefore whenever remissions a proportion of the land-tax, of the tax on have been made in taxes which enter ex- window glass, on timber, on bricks, and on tensively into the consumption of the bulk various building articles, as also on the outof the people, the elasticity of our revenue lay of taxed labour in preparing the house ; is remarkably observant. In the present to say nothing of the window tax, or of the Number there is only space to shew our local rate or parish assessment which every intention to lay before the public a com- house must pay-it is therefore a very low plete view of the finances; and we have no estimate to say that the tax for all these is more room than is sufficient to demon- not less than 12s. per annum. strate the argument with which we set out, 6. BREAD AND MEAT.-The indirect effect namely, that the burthen of taxation now of the corn laws, (the result of heavy taxaunduly presses on the working classes, as tion) in raising the price of bread and meat, thus exemplified.

it is difficult to make evident by figures, 1. MALT-LIQUOR.-If a labouring man but to a person who studies the subject of consume one pot of beer (porter) daily, the finance, a conclusion may be readily arrived taxation direct and indirect is—Ist on the at in his own mind. There can be no doubt land whereon the barley is grown—2nd on that the burthens which the landed interests the taxed labour which grows it—3rd on endure, such as tithes, poor rates, county the malt-4th on the malster's charge for cess, land-tax, &c. &c. enhance the prime vexatious excise regulations—5th on the cost of the necessaries of life by at least 20 hops—6th on the license for a publican— per cent, if not more, while the general taxaon all these items, (3d. out of the 4d. is tion on the labour requisite to grow the food, tax, therefore on 365 pots of stout, the still further augments the price thereof to working man pays a tax of £4. 11s. 3d. per the working classes. We will estimate the

cost of bread and meat to a labouring man, 2. SUGAR.- If a labouring man consume or artizan, at 10d. per diem, or £15. 43. 2d. one lb. of sugar weekly, (which is allowed per annum—the minimum of supply to a in some workhouses, and to the lowest hard working man, who is thus directly and household servant) the taxation direct and indirectly mulcted, by local and general indirect thereon is

taxation, at the very least £3. per annum. Direct on the Sugar

} 4d. At the same time, if the Corn Laws were

repealed, numbers of labourers would be Therefore on 52 lbs. of sugar, the poor thrown out of employ, and the general disman pays a tax of 178. 4d. per annum. tress would be increased rather than dimin

3. Tea or Coffee.—If a labouring man ished, by withdrawing protection from our consume 4 oz. of tea per week, valued at agriculture. 48. per Ib. the direct taxation thereon is full 7. CLOTHING.–The poorest clad man will 100 per cent, therefore 12 lbs. of tea per require in the year in shoes, stockings, annum consumed, imposes on him a direct shirts, smock-frock, trowsers, hat and hand

annum.

Inidirect by es under Monopoly 17d.}

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kerchief, at least sixty shillings worth an- trict. For what purpose does he set up nually, one year with another,-the taxed shop? To serve the labourer, the tenant labour entering into the preparation and and the landlord with the things they don't sale of these, or the duties levied on the produce themselves. If the agricultural disimportation or preparation of the raw ma- trict had not existed, along with those who terial, add at the very least a sixth to the own and cultivate it, the town would not cost ere they reach the consumer—who thus have existed. York, Canterbury, Lincoln, pays a tax of 10s. per annum.

Beverley, Royston, Haddington, and a hun

dred other towns, are as agricultural as the Recapitulation of the foregoing.

little villages which house the plough-boys, No. 1. Malt

£ 4 11 3

the blacksmiths and the country joiners. No. 2. Sugar

0 17 4

There is the grocer, the linen draper, the No. 3. Tea or Coffee 1 40

ironmonger, (not to mention the tailors, No. 4. Soap

0 13 0

shoemakers, &c. who are a sort of provincial No. 5. Housing .

0 12 0

home manufacturers); these sell their respecNo. 6. Food

0 0

tive goods to the landlord, the farmer, the No. 7. Clothing

0 10 0

joiner, the blacksmith, the plough-boy of

the villages in the district around them. Total taxes on a labourer £11

7 7 per an. They also sell among themselves—but their

power to buy of, and to sell to, each other, Take a labourer earning 18. 6d. per diem, depends on the quantity of things bought and working 300 days in the year his income from them by the agriculturists around will be £22. 10s.

them. Thus it will be admitted that at the very The tradesmen buy their goods of the least 50 per cent, or half of his income is manufacturer, or the dealer in colonial or abstracted from him by taxation, indeed foreign produce; these latter then become this is rather a low estimate, for do what he as much interested as the tradesman himwill, eating, drinking or sleeping, he is in self in the quantity of goods which he sells some way or other taxed. But when prices to his agricultural customer. It is plain, and wages are sufficient to meet taxation, then, that if the farming interest be in a taxation is not felt by the productive classes; prosperous state, it will make these other it is only under a system of half wages and interests prosperous; if the farming inhalf employment, that the labourer and terest be in distress, the other interests beproducer feel the burden of taxes.

come depressed in the like proportion, exN. B. Our next Number will contain a cept inasmuch as they trade with foreigners. full exposition of the taxes paid by the In the evidence taken before the Agriculrich, middle, and working classes.

tural Committee, 1833, there was a very M. curious illustration given of this. Mr. Ro

bert Merry of Lockton, near Pickering, (a

market town) is asked—You have said that THE SHOPKEEPERS AND THE RETAIL you do not see so many farmer's horses at TRADE.

a fox-hunting as you used to do; in the market towns do the farmers spend as much

money as they used to do ?-No; since I The manufacturer makes the goods, he can remember they used to be found there generally disposes of them to some merchant at the farmer's bed-time, but now they are or wholesale dealer, who again turns them generally out of the market town before over to the retail dealer ; i. e. to the trades- sunset. men in the different towns and villages in Do the wives and family lay out as much the kingdom, who keep shop to sell to the money in the market towns as they used to public, from time to time, the different arti. do?-I should think not near so much. cles in which they deal.

Does that affect the trade of the shopIn asking the question-what has been the keepers ?-Most seriously. condition of the tradesman for the last Have you ever heard that said by them? twenty years, we except the two intervals – I have. of 1817-18 and 1823-4, which were pros- Can you state any particular instance ?perous, and when the system differed from A shop-keeper that I enquired of some years that which has prevailed during the remain- since, about 1814, was selling goods to the der of the period.

amount of £6000. a year for several years What then has been the tradesman's condition for twenty years? Has it differed at

* Physicians, also, surgeons, solicitors, &c. in all from the condition of those around him ? the country towns and villages, have all one He lives in a town or village ; that town or common interest with the agriculture and trade village, in nineteen cases out of twenty, is twice as readily when their pockets are sull, as

around them: men buy both physic and law situated in the midst of an agricultural dis- when they are nearly empty.

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