Imágenes de páginas


[merged small][graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small]



[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

The Third Number will be Published on the 15th of November. -Price 2d.

Printed by W. Nicol, Pall Mell.

[merged small][ocr errors]

CORRESPONDING MEMBERS. Aylesbury-Henry T. Rudge, Esq. MacclesfieldMr. Swinverton. BelfastJ. E. Tennent, Esq. M. P. Malton-W. Worsley, Esq. BeverleyT. Sandwith, Esq. Manchester-W. Clegg, Esq. Birminghan-G. F. Muntz, Esq. Northallerton-Right Hon. The Earl Bolton-Mr. Thos. Myerscough. of Tyrconnel. Bury St. Edmunds—R. Dalton, Esq. Nottingham-- Mr. John Crosby. Curlisle-Mr. C. Thurnham. Oldham-Mr. W. Fittun. Cambridge-Jas. B. Bernard, Esq. Pocklington—Major-Gen, Sir H. M.

King's College, Cambridge. Vavasour, Bart. Cowbridge-Richard Franklin, Esq. Richmond -0. Tomlin, Esq. Darlington-Francis Mewburn, Esq. Ripon-D. Cayley, Esq. Doncaster-Sir W. Cooke, Bart. Scarborough-E. H. Hebden, Esq. Durham-H. J. Spearman, Esq. Stockton-on-Tees—Thomas Meynell, EdinburghThe Rt. Hon. Sir John Esq. Sinclair, Bart.

Swansea-Joseph Bird, Esq. Exeter-Ralph Barnes, Esq. Tamworth-J. Holte Bracebridge, Greenock-R. Wallace, Esq. M.. P. Esq. Huddersfield - Mr. Richard Oastler. Warwick-Chandos Leigh, Esq. Hull-James Iveson, Esq. , Whitby Dr. Loy. Knaresborough—Mr. John Howgate, Worcester-R. Spooner, Esq and Leicester -Sir Edmund Hartopp, Bt. J. M. Gutch, Esq. Linlithgowshire—W. D. Gillon, Esq. Yurk ---Thomas Laycock, Esq.


Communications to be sent to the Secretary, post paid.



The productive classes and the owners of that an increased production was exactly real property are agreed that things cannot the thing to suit an increased population ; go on as they are—that they are no longer to but then we were not political economists. be endured, either in point of expediency, or This was a doctrine held by the wise about of morality, for they are a premium on dis- 1821 or 1822, and lasting a few months ; affection and crime. “We know we are dis- however, we may suppose it did not satisfy tressed; but how are we to better ourselves?" the wisdom of the wise, for they shortly

--that is the question ; a question often put, after promulgated a new doctrine, just the and as often answered. But there is an old opposite of the former, viz., that production saying which some of our readers may have was too scanty and, therefore, we must already heard, that " none are so deaf as have provision from abroad, and therefore those that won't hear.” Our business is to no Corn Laws. try to make them hear.

This was even still more dexterous logic " But you are currency men l we will than the other. The farmers had been half have nothing to do with you; you want us ruined in 1820, 1821, 1822, by Peel's Bill to change the currency!” This sounds very causing prices to fall one half; this naturally terrible ; aye, a person who does not even enough distressed not only the farmer, but know the meaning of the word currency is the farm labourers, and every one depentaught to shrink from the sound as from dent upon agriculture, the landlords, the the hiss of an adder. But who taught shopkeepers, the manufacturers for the home the world this dread alarm at a simple word? market, in all above 20,000,000 of the popuEvery one remembers the story of Bel and lation of the United Kingdom. They had, the Dragon in the Apocrypha :-the Pagan indeed, very good reason to be distressed, Priests taught the people the necessity of for the millions upon millions of their pribringing to the temple much of their sub- vate and public debts and engagements had stance to satisfy the enormous cravings of been nearly, if not quite, doubled by Peel's their ravenous idol. It was one day dis- Bill. The payment of all these engagecovered that this was a very convenient doc- ments depending upon the profitable sale of trine for the teachers to preach. Now it their productions, and on the same quick has so bappened (of course quite accidentally) demand on their factories, their shops, and that the greatest oracles, both in and out of their labour, as existed when these engageParliament, who have declaimed so much ments were contracted, it is not wonderful against any alteration or modification of that they were pressed down to the earth when Mr. Peel's currency bill of 1819, have been their productions or goods only sold for half proved, either to have been in the grossest what they did before. If all that used to ignorance on the subject, or to have had a constitute profit were taken up in meeting an direct interest in maintaining it in all its engagement which remained exactly the cruel and devastating rigour. This may be same in its nominal amount, although the all very right; but, to say the least, it looks means to pay it were halved, what surplus a little suspicious.

could the farmer or manufacturer have to Being ourselves good easy folks, we should lay out in the decencies, comforts, or in not have overstrained matters, or have been many cases, even in the necessaries of life? over inquisitive into the origin of this mis- What wonder that the shopkeeper failed chief, if any of the various projects with when he had laid in a large stock of goods which our Pagan Priests (setting up this which nobody could buy? What wonder golden calf for their worship) have pro- that distress came on all these classes, which posed to hoodwink us, had even partially live by selling to each other, when none succeeded. It certainly was very clever to could buy of the other? Of what value tell us, through their great high priest, was labour, when the things it made could Mr. Ricardo, that we had at one and the not be sold, except under the cost price? same time too much population and also Oh! how dexterous a remedy it was to too much production; that the more people whisper the soothing doctrine of free trade we had the less they consumed; and that into the ears of these miserable beings;this was the grand source of our distress. to tell them that their distress would be Living in the country and unused to inge- best relieved by allowing others to produce nious modes of discoursing and treating of and to sell instead of them! Oh! how condifficult subjects, this wonderful discovery soling for them to hear that the cloth which had quite escaped us. Poor, plain country they made, the goods which they sold, the folks as we are, we had always imagined labour which they employed, the ships which

they navigated, the corn which they pro- be the interest of one labourer, engaged in duced, by which they had all lived and been one species of production, it is the interest made happy, were to come in from a foreign of another labourer engaged in another line land.

of production. What ingenuity it displayed at a time This will be a caution to the industrious when the grossest ignorance or wickedness classes always to remember that their inin legislation had brought us down from our terests as producers are much greater than high estate, when ruin was upon the face of as consumers. But can this be said of the land,—when our rulers, under the infa- the Jews, the fundholders, and the fixed tuation of these Pagan Priests, had bound annuitants? Abstractedly speaking, their us hand and foot to the worse than a mar- principal interest is directly the reverse tyr's stake of a profitless production, and of of that of the industrious classes :—their making bricks without straw;—when we had chief interest is, doubtless, as consumers. been filched of our capacities to buy from And it is because they were few in number one another; just at that moment, what in- that they laid that scheme to which we have genuity, we repeat, and yet how diaboli- just alluded, viz. : to persuade the induscal a spirit it displayed, to taunt us with our trious classes that they were consumers rather powerless disability to constitute a market than producers; and they thought if they to each other, and to tell us to go far and thus won over, by practising on its credulity, wide-anywhere save in our fatherland-for so numerous a body in the country, their that market, which, but for them, we might insidious plot would succeed. It has suchonestly, cheerfully, and contentedly, as ceeded for a time. Will it continue to heretofore, have obtained at home.

succeed? We are delighted to think, that Well have the Jews of the present day a ray of light is glimmering on the horizon avenged their treatment by the Christians in which promises to dispel a cloud of infatuaa more barbarous age; and well might the tion and error on the subject. Christians of to-day repeat the desponding Was it reasonable to expect that these words of Shylock the Jew,

two parties should long continue to sail in

the same boat? Behold the one,-a fixed Nay, take my life and all, pardon not that: You take my house, when you do take the prop annuitant of £1000. a year; £1000. a year That does sustain my house : you take my life, whether wages are good or bad, prices and When you do take the means whereby i live.

e. profits are high or low-the same one thou. Indeed, indeed, we cannot too often repeat sand pounds a year! Supposing it neceswhat Mr. Bernard has said in his able work- sary for this annuitant to lay out money that " Mr. Ricardo's plan of exhibiting land- in furnishing a house. Before Peel's Bill owners and farmers in the most odious light passed, the furniture would have cost (say) possible to their fellow creatures was really £1000. Now that most things are fallen a profound one; the idea of sowing dissen- half,—the furniture only costs £500.; and sions amongst all who happened to be en- he has £500. left to extort additional gaged in production, by making a part, and luxuries, at half cost, out of the vested capital, that the most numerous part, believe that the ingenuity, the anxiety, and the sweat of they were consumers rather than the pro- the productive classes. So far, indeed, ducers, and setting them in this way against these fixed annuitants have a greater power those who were sailing actually in the same to buy goods than they had before, and to boat with them--the landowner and farmer, that extent to increase the demand for goods; in order to weaken the united influence of but do the right results follow, from this the entire body, was an admirable contri. increase of riches, to the rest of the comvance for strengthening the hands of the munity? Let the profitless producer and fundholder and enabling him to obtain his the half starved weaver answer this question. favourite object of low prices."

What however is the consumption of goods Here, after all, is the great secret of our by a mere handful of fixed annuitants comcondition; we, the productive classes, cannot pared with that of the whole of the popula. separate our situation as consumers and tion? and that a productive population, producers. We are all producers; what (at least which was, -and it shall not be our then is our interest? Can we be any longer fault if it be not so again :) productive, we cheated out of the conviction that it must mean, of profit and good wages to the sellers, be profitable production? What interest as much as it is of convenience and luxury have we in the prices of other things come to the buyers. pared with the prices of what we produce But “ we trifle time;" the industrious ourselves ? Every labourer, on an average, classes are already aroused from the dreamy produces four times as much as he con- vision of a profitless, low priced, low sumes. Can there be a doubt where his waged free trade. They see now that the interest lies? That his object should be, interest of one home producer is the inand his lasting interest must always be, to terest of another; and they have learnt have his production sell well? And if it that the divine rule" Do unto others as you would have others do unto you," is, in the - it will be still better in the third. And end, as applicable to the practical business what may not the productive classes hope and commerce of life, as it is to a Christian from another election? The last election morality. We do not know any one cause was carried (with a few exceptions) by a which has contributed more to this good sort of coup de main, by a loud huzza about understanding among the productive classes, reform ; a candidate had only to say he was than the meeting in Parliament of, generally a reformer, or voted for reform in the prespeaking, a set of more practical represen. vious Parliament; scarcelyany other question tatives in the Reformed House than met was put to him. The majority of the people before. There are seen sitting side by side had a sort of fancy that reform and relief the representative of cloth, as honest and were words of pretty nearly the same meanas open in his opinions as the representative ing. So in fact they ought to have been; of corn. With that sort of familiar but have they proved so? We have no good humour, coupled with a certain de- quarrel with reform ;-but we have a shrewd gree of playfulness, which prevails gene- guess that at least the word relief will be rally among the members of the House added to it in the cry at another election. of Commons,-we see them comparing No party (and it mainly consists of fixed notes of the welfare of each of the classes it annuitants and men interested in low prices) is their province to represent. When two voted so strenuously out and out, thick and practical men come together, whose interest thin for the Reform Bill, as the rigid political is for the public rather than for self-and economists,—the philosophers. No party, who are honest and open in the avowal of thank God, has been so disappointed with the their opinions, we may be sure of a can- reformed Parliament. In the House, before dour from each to each in the discussion it was reformed, they were the great oracles of the subject, which must produce good of trade; the remainder of the House had results in the minds of both. Mutually not much practical knowledge of commercial convinced of the close connexion between matters, and were fairly outtalked and outwitthe apparently separate interests which they ted by a sort of metaphysical jargon which represent, they enlarge the scope of their passed current in those days for absolute view, and arrange their petty differences wisdom. The metaphysical gentlemen had by a friendly compromise.

the vanity to expect that they would have The public is not to judge of the Re- as tractable a school and as pliant disciples formed House of Commons in matters as they had previously had. They were of trade exactly by what passed in the wofully mistaken. Their high sounding first Session. The great predominant feel- and little profiting words had not then to ing of that Session was an overween- fall upon half so many fixed annuitants' ing confidence in the Ministry which had ears as before; but upon such as, when accomplished the passing of the Reform they heard, had the power to underBill. A very different spirit manifested stand, and to know also that what apitself in the second Session in commercial peared so exquisitely beautiful in theory, matters; when that confidence was wea- (not to say convenient to the parties who kened, by their pursuing no course to relieve proposed it) was absolute ruin in practice the national distress; unless a perseverance to the productive classes. All the members, in those rigid schemes which had, as we therefore, who prefer the solid comfort and have shewn, only aggravated the desolation employment of the whole population to the on every side, can be called an attempt to fanciful notions of economy, are supposed relieve distress. Mr. Maxwell obtained his to be very dull fellows, either ignorant shopCommittee to enquire into the Petitions of keepers, or sleepy country gentlemen, or the Hand-loom Weavers for Local Boards poets who think of trade, in opposition to the Ministers, to Where ignorance is bliss 'tis folly to be wise. the anngitants, the large capitalists and the And these gentlemen, who only care about most rigid economists. Most valuable evi- the comfort of those whom they represent, are dence was in consequence obtained both wholly unworthy to sit on the same benches from manufacturers and weavers ;-evidence in the same House with philosophers ! which will go far we think (from the glance Well, we shall see how the benches will be we have had of it) to disabuse the public next occupied; we are sanguine of better mind of many evil prepossessions, and to things, because we have confidence in the set right with each other the land and the sterling good sense of the industrious classes labour of the country. There were other when once they are induced to think. instances of the same kind of feeling in the In the debate on the Liverpool petition last Session, which do not immediately occur for free trade, presented by his colleague to us. But that which does occur to us, last Session, Lord Sandon made some short, and will occur to others also most forcibly, but as pithy and as truly wise, observations is this—that is the feeling for the productive on the subject of trade as we ever remember classes be so improved in the second Session, to have seen ; we are sorry we have not the

« AnteriorContinuar »