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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 feels and little profiting words had not then to ing of that Session
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
report of them before us. They were, how- ment embraces the amelioration of the conever, remarkably pertinent to this disap- dition of the poor and destitute in Ireland, pointment of the rigid economists, and were as well as in England. It requires but little in effect,—That it was erroneous to sup- foresight to perceive that a brief interval pose that, where representation was the will elapse before the poor laws of the older most accurate, (i. e. where the interests civilized state must be abolished, or the and feelings of the community were the enactment of an improved system be demost faithfully transferred to Parliament creed for Ireland, or the importation of Irish by the representatives) theoretical no- paupers into England be totally prohibited. tions and a doubtful philosophy would re. If one county in Great Britain were devoid ceive the sanction of the legislature; this of any provision for the destitute poor, and could only happen when there was an imper- that its population annually augmented in fect representation, which gave undue weight an almost incredible manner, would not the to the arguments of such as might have neighbouring county, with an existing sura totally counter interest to that of the pro- plus labour and a heavy rate of assessment ductive classes. The more closely, his for the support of the unemployed populaLordship said, you represent the wishes of tion,-would not that neighbouring county the people, the more you will consider local speedily have a rapid extension of pauperism, interests and abstain from sacrificing them and be forced by dire necessity to prevent to any theoretical general principle. We the immigration of its neighbours, or insist entirely agree with Lord Sandon in this ; on the Legislature compelling them to sup. and on this conviction are based our confi- port their own poor? The parallel stands dence and strong hope. God grant that the good between the two islands as shall be productive classes be only true to themselves shewn in an early number. and all may yet be right! We have shown
ERINENSIS. that what the philosophers have done to lower
wages, profits, and prices, has given no relief to distress. We may shortly
TAXATION--No. II. turn to something that will be more salutary than the over-population, over-production, Taxes which Destroy THE MORALS OF emigration, free trade, and reciprocity
THE PEOPLE, OR INJURE THEIR HEALTH. schemes ! all, all, let our readers remember, Malt.-National character is mainly formed and let them ponder on this truth again and by the influence of climate, food and drink; again,-all of them mere blinds to cajole an the latter exercising a most important part honest and industrious people into putting in the formation of the corporeal frame, and up with the gross injustice of Peel's Bill. through that on the mental and moral qua
lities. That this is not a mere visionary doctrine will be seen by contrasting the
characters of the English with the Irish, the IRELAND.
Germans with the French, and the Dutch POOR LAWS FOR IRELAND, A MEASURE OF with the Portuguese. Among the English,
JUSTICE TO ENGLAND, OF HUMANITY TO Germans and Dutch we find the most ex THE PEOPLE OF BOTH ISLANDS, AND of tensive consumers of malt liquors; and SELF PRESERVATION TO THE EMPIRE.
among the Irish, French and Portuguese
the consumers of ardent spirits, or thin, No. 1.
acid wines; the one proverbial for patience The compulsory assessment of a provision in labour, perseverance in purpose, and unfor the relief of the sick, impotent, and un- wearied generosity of character, with hale employed poor in England, and the absence constitutions, sturdy dispositions, and a of a similar enactment in Ireland, is one of phlegmatic temperament, (these characterthe most melancholy instances of partial istics were strongly marked of yore in the and defective legislation which can be found brave English yeoman ;) the other quick in in the annals of jurisprudence. That the resolve and hasty in execution, but without rate-payers of this country should so long sufficient endurance; sharp constitutions, have patiently born the immigration of volatile dispositions, and a sanguine tempemyriads of pauper labourers from the sister rament. That these peculiarities are goisland, with a redundancy of labour and a verned by the beverage used as well as by heavily increasing assessment at home, is food and climate, will be shown on another indeed a fact highly creditable to the splendid occasion; suffice it here to say, that good liberality of the British public; a time has malt liquor, taken in moderation, is one of however arrived, when a feeling of gene- the most wholesome drinks which a nation rosity, however laudable in itself, must give can be addicted to, the saccharine principle place to the instinctive duty of self-preserva. of the barley, combined with the bitter tion ;-a duty which is happily connected quality of the hops, rendering it nutritious with no selfish ideas, but which in its fulfil. and tonic in the highest degree; it is there.
ending 1923 } 3,542,000 consumption of malt in Ireland was less than
fore to be lamented that its consumption 1828 25,099,336 should ever have been checked by the fiscal 1829 30,517,816
2s. 7d. exactions of the state.
1830 23,428,072 From the earliest ages malt liquors have 1831 26,900,903 been the favourite beverage of Britons; one hundred and fifty years ago the tax-gatherer
105,946,127 stepped in to arrest the consumption of one Thus, on the four last years, there was a of the most valuable products of our own decrease of nearly twelve million bushels as soil, and his baneful influence has ever since compared with four years of the last century ! continued ; indeed, during more than an en- Scotland exhibits equally disastrous retire century, notwithstanding the augmented sults of the effects of taxation-one return population of England, the consumption of will suffice: malt was not only stationary, but actually
Scotch Consumption of Malt. retrograding. The tax on malt was first
Bushels. Tax per bnshel. imposed in England by the 7th Money Act, 1802
Os. 70. William III. Parliament I. Session 2, at the
38. 60. rate of 6d. per bushel, or 4s. per quarter ; the duty stole on from time to time, until
Decrease 832,381 Increase 28. lld. in 1787, it reached to 10s. 61. per quarter ; in 1791 to 12s. 6d. in 1802 to 188. 8d.; and Subsequent years afford similar results. in 1804 to 388. 8d.; at which monstrous 1792 the tax per barrel on malt in Ireland
Ireland is even worse than Scotland. In rate it continued until 1817. The consequences are thus seen at intervals of a cen
was 23. 6d.; raised in 1795 to 38. 31.-in
1796 to 58. 3d.-in 1799 to 6s.-in 1801 to tury.
68. 6d., by which time the consumption of Malt consumed in England and Wales at two malt had decreased from 1,284,378 barrels Periods.
to 173,900 barrels! What a striking instance
Qrs. of the effects of taxation - In 1831, the Annual consumption average of ten years,
that of 1792 to the extent of 3,129,370 Do. 1823 3,182,776 bushels ! But it is not merely the amount
of taxation levied that affects the price and Decreased consumption 359,224
consumption; the vexatious manner in which Mait per head. Gals.
the duty has been levied has doubled (and Population, first period, 5,500,000 41
trebled sometimes) the price to the buyer. do. second do. 12,000,000 16
The excise regulations compel the barley to
be spread on the floor in a certain manner Decrease per head
to be wetted in a cistern, and in a certain The decrease thus exhibited is very re. quantity—then to be taken out of the cistern markable, and the consequences to the at a certain time,-all which restrictions, agriculture of the country most disastrous; owing to the various sorts of barley, are but let us look at another and more recent very frequently fatal to the quality of the period. The following is the official return article produced. Thus, though a quarter of of the quantity of malt consumed in England barley might be converted without cost into at two periods of eighteen years each, from,- a quarter of malt, owing to the swelling
process, yet its natural price of 20s. or 258
Tax per busb.
is thus raised to 40s., and then 20s. 8d, tax 1784-1801, 459,640,568 10-12 is levied. Nor are these the only evils; the 1814-1831, 392,980,839
27-4 4 tax falls on different places unequally, the
quantity of malt consumed in the United Decrease, 66,659,729 Increase, 1 7–3 2 Kingdom in 1831 being
Net duty. One more illustration will suffice to prove England 26,900,903 £3,474,699 whether the assertion of Sir Henry Parnell
4,101,946 505,651 is correct, namely, that “the duty of 20s. per Ireland
1,959,606 251,646 quarter (it is 20s. 8d.) on malt is not one that can be justly objected to as too high.”
Total 32,963,455 4,331,996 Malt consumed in England.
England is therefore taxed out of all proBashels.
portion to the other parts of the kingdom; 1796 28,142,008
but the inequality does not rest here, for 1797 30,923,419 18.5jd. the poorest counties in England, that is, 1798 26,963,454
those having the worst or most sandy soil, 1799 31,751,645
have to bear the greater part of the burden,
barley being principally grown on those 117,780,526
sandy soils which require considerable out.
lay, and frequently previous turnip cultiva- other measure to demoralize the poor and betion, to renderthem at all productive. Hence, get a desire for gin,t which it is lamentable to the tax on malt, so far as it checks the con- think, will scarcely be eradicated from the sumption of barley, throws those soils out existing generation : some taxes (as will be of cultivation which employ the most la- subsequently shown) press on the industry, bour, require the most skill, and which have others on the comforts, others on the luxubeen reclaimed, as it were, at the greatest ries of the mass of the people, but the tax expense to the owner.
on malt liquors has struck a deadly blow at Now, allowing the consumption of malt temperance and socialorder-themain springs in the United Kingdom to be 33,000,000 of society and the only real strength (under bushels, and giving ten bushels to every the guidance of Divine Providence) of a na. hogshead of beer, the quantity of beer which tion. each individual would have would be little England may go on extending her cotton more than one pint per week ! Were the and woollen manufactures over the face of tax taken off malt, we might safely calculate the habitable globe, while her famishing inon the consumption rising to seven pints a- fants are doomed to suffer the horrors of a week, which, requiring 231,000,000 bushels slavery which no civilized or uncivilized of malt annually, would set afloat, in one country ever before witnessed; her lands ingredient of the beer alone, a capital of may be covered with rail roads and ma£39,600,000 annually at the rate of 4s. a chinery, and her warehouses overflowing bushel for the extra amount of maltconsumed, with merchandise,-towers, and temples, independent of its effects on the health of and palaces may adorn her cities, and a glitthe people in weaning them from the use of tering splendour surround the throne,-but ardent spirits, contracted in consequence of if, in the midst of all these indications of their beer being so bad and so dear. Indeed, national wealth, her people are becoming it is no exaggeration (as it could be proved every day more and more unsettled, more by the writer in detail) to say, that the total impoverished, more dissolute, then, indeed, abolition of the tax on malt would give cir- her very symbols of prosperity are but the culation to a capital of full fifty millions gildings which adorn the sepulchre to consterling per annum ! But the moral effects ceal the rottenness which is within.
M. resulting from the repeal now advocated would be incalculably far greater than the pecuniary. What has raised England,-a
agriculture. small island in the Atlantic, to the lofty sta
"Speed the Plough." tion she holds among the kingdoms of the earth? Has it not been the industry, skill " An addressing House of Commons and a peand moral integrity of her sons? of her titioning nation: a House of Commons full or people at large ?-a people who are now confidence, when the nation is plunged in despair.” sinking into an abyss of misery and vice, Before proceeding to inquire into the which hopeless, abject poverty inevitably engenders ? The farmer's labourer no longer causes why we farmers are so badly off as we sits at the frugal but cheerful board in his master's house. If unmarried he hies, with price paid for malt per Winchester quarter (in
cluding the duty) thus:his diminishing pittance of pay, to the village gin-shop, and being without advantage 1750
4 6 in possessing a guod character, and without 1760 a friend in a superior condition of life, station, or age, he is driven, as it were, by ne. cessity into the company of the idle and 1800 profligate of the hamlet; and in one night of 1805 beastly intoxication, the hard-wrought earn- The number of malsters has also considerably deings of the week have vanished. It was not creased since 1792, thus so when the farmer made his own the United Kingdom (independent of illicit distil.
+ The quantity of home made spirits consumed in malt, brewed his own ale, and housed his lation) is, for England 8,000,000 gallons, Ireland agricultural servants, who looked to him as 9,000,000. and Scotland 6,000,000 gallons ; total a friend, and gloried in the boast of having people in gin and whiskey alone, during the last
23,000,000 gallons. The money laid out by the lived as man and boy under the same roof twenty years, is computed at £400,000,000! Fourfor half a century.
fifths of all the crime committed in the country is It is not, however, a mere agricultural under the influence of liquor. Duringthe past year,
32,636 persons were taken into custody for drunk. question, it is one which affects the con
enness alone, by the Metropolitan Police, not indition of the whole of the labouring poor of cluding assaults, or more serious offences, and exthe United Kingdom, the taxation on malt is owing to gin-drinking. or 140 inmates of a Lon. liquor* having contributed more than any don worklouse, 105 were brought directly thither
by dram-drinking, and the remainder traced their • The manner in which the price of malt has misfortunes to the same ; and of 495 Junatic paheen enhanced, as taxation rose, is thus evinced in tients, 257 lost their reason hy drunkenness. What the Greenwich Hospital returns, wbich show the a sea of wickedness is the nation now plunged into!
1 0 0
1810 1815 1820 1825 1820 1827 1828 1833
4 4 5 3 9 7 3 8 8 3 2 0 3 5 1 3 4 10 3 1 7 3 0 0
are, let us first ascertain exactly our real said "No, no !" we will have no causes predicament. Some of us, and those not looked into; effects can very easily come the most stupid, have fancied for some years without causes, and so you shall look only that all was not right—" that there was into the effects. In other words, they said something rotten in our State ;" that we to the ruined farmers and manufacturers, were not so comfortable, so happy, nor so to the grass-growing-in-the-dockyard-shipwealthy as we used to be ; nor even shar- owners, to the unemployed labourers, "you ing that decent degree of competence may be distressed, (though it is not our which our old and honoured ancestors had business to think you are), we will enquire enjoyed for many past generations. We, into that: we may be mistaken as to your therefore, thought that as people had got being in distress or not ;-but of this we canan itch for reform, a slight change could do not be mistaken, the thing is as clear as the us no harm; for when things look as if they sun at noon day, that even if you be distressed would get no better in the way they are nothing has caused your distress; it has going on, it is not uncommon to expect come out of nothing, as the world came out that, as a calm may brew a storm,-a storm of chaos : you silly bees, don't you know, may by chance brew a calm; and so many of when you find all your honey gone from the us cried out for reform. We should never hive, that it all went away of itself, and if have thought about reform, if we could have you (i. e. you who have survived the taking got a decent livelihood: we don't trouble it away), are foolish enough to begin thinkour heads about politics when times are ing why it has gone, are not you quite sure good; but when it comes to this that it is that the sun has power to melt a great all we can do to scrape á rent together, many things, and that it may have melted without any profit at all for ourselves, for away your honey, as well as other sub. five or six years following each other ; when stances ? be satisfied then that these things instead of times mending, they get worse, must happen ; you see how useless it is and it is more than we can do to scrape to- to enquire into the cause why you are gether half a rent, and the other half is for distressed! you know the sun will melt another five or six years to be paid by sell- things, and we can't hinder it.” ing our stock before its time, and huddling This was a cunning attempt to shew that our grain to market, all of us, at one time, a natural cause (not to be prevented by hujast to meet the rent day,--and then it man means), had occasioned the evil ; instead fetches scarcely anything; when to pay of a violent artificial one, which might have every thing we have to pay, we are obliged been prevented, or remedied if not prevented. to take to market two loads of corn instead If all this was not said, it was very like it to ofone, and even those nobody is anxious to say, that the only thing which rational men buy: we, then, though we are no great charged as being the real cause of the gebawlers or brawlers, think it time to look neral distress should not be enquired into,
or altered, -even although half the living So when this Reform Bill passed, and men of the day were dead men the next thanks to my Lord Chandos, we got (all of morning in consequence. And it was still us who paid £50 a year rent), a vote a piece; more like it to say, (which they did a few feeling rather queerish in our affairs, some years before,) that we grew too good crops, of us (not, indeed, half or a quarter so many and that that brought all our misery upon as should have done), hesitated before we Here, to be sure, the sun was the would promise our votes : and when at last cause of our distress with a vengeance ! we thought we had found a gentleman that However, after Parliament had refused would give us a good word and a helping enquiry into the causes of our distress, they hand in Parliament, we told him "Now, told us that our representatives might, as. mind, we are not well off, as some people a matter of amusement and curiosity, assay, who nerer saw or knew anything of us; certain if there really were any distress. One and who very likely are the best off, when would have imagined that a man must have we are the worst off; but, remember, we are been living in the moon, or, at least, in very ill off; we have been paying out, and Greenland, surfeiting himself on train-oil had nothing coming in, on an average, for and saw-dust, not to have known the fact the last 15 years ; and if this reform, which of distress without a Parliamentary enquiry has given us votes, mean any thing, it into it. It could only be as a matter of means that the gentlemen we vote for should amusement that this enquiry took place ; do all they can, both by their voices and for (to speak in sober sadness), men in the their votes, to lift us up out of this slough common affairs of life, or even philosophers of despond into which we are sunk." in their scientific researches, never attempt
Then the first Reformed Parliament met, a remedy without at least searching for and those members, whom we had been thus the cause of the evil they have to remedy. careful to choose, voted for an enquiry into Once on a time, indeed, there was a three the cause of our distress. But our governors legged stool which tumbled down minute