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dedly higher, while those with us would only be somewhat lower than the present range."

With this feeling for the interests of agriculture, in which the present administration unquestionably joins, the measure of a free importation of corn, with protecting duties, merits a fair trial. It must, however, as far as the amount of duties is concerned, be viewed only as an experiment, and not as a final and permanent arrangement; for if the prices of corn should differ materially from those which are anticipated as the consequences of the bill, and be either usually above, or usually below the standard agreed on, there would then be an obvious propriety in reconsidering the subject, and in diminishing, or increasing the duties, as the circumstances might render necessary. Should the fears of the British agriculturist, as to the extent of importation, and its depressing operation on the markets of this country be realised, he would have a right to look to parliament for redress; for parliament legislates on the supposition of a certain probable amount of importation, and of such amount being compatible with the preservation of corn at a certain remunerating standard. The probable amount of importation, and the cost at which corn can be raised in foreign countries, and brought here, so as to allow a fair profit on the speculation, are circumstances which it is very difficult to ascertain. I expressed my hopes, in my letter to Mr. Whitmore, that the inquiries which government very properly instituted on these subjects were still going on; and I am happy in finding, by: some of the newspaper reports, that Mr. Jacob has been again employed in an agricultural survey in the north of Europe, for the purpose of elucidating these points. I likewise stated it as my opinion, from the deductions which were made, both by him and Mr. Whitmore, as to the probable quantity of wheat capable of being annually imported to this country from the continent, that the good effects of such importation, and of the corresponding portion of our manufactures which would be exported in consequence, were very much overrated. I was disposed to take Mr. Jacob's estimates of the exports of 1810 as sufficiently near their present amount, for the purpose of argument. I find, however, that since that period the exports have been considerably less, being on an average of the last three years, about thirty-five millions in declared, or real value. Mr. Whitmore's estimate of an annual importation of 600,000 quarters of wheat costing £720,000 would, under this more correct view of the subject, be still only a fortieth part of the whole exports of the country; which

Between the years 1793 and 1816 the annual average exports were pretty nearly thirty-five millions. The calculation of that period, as mentioned in my letter to Mr. Whitmore, will therefore be a sixtieth, instead of a seventyfifih of the exports of the country.

is assuredly totally inadequate to produce the important benefits looked to by a repeal of the corn laws: and if the amount of importation should prove much greater, then agriculturists would have a just right to complain, that they had not the data accurately placed before them, on which to form their opinions on the expediency of the measures recommended for their adoption.

Mr. Tooke, it may also be observed, seems, with Mr. Jacob and Mr. Whitmore, to carry his belief of the quantity of corn kept back by the prohibitory nature of our corn laws, farther than appears to be reconcileable with his ideas of the trifling operation of importation, both on the price of grain in this country, and on the quantity of land employed in cultivating it. He speaks of the great hindrance to manufactures, without any benefit to agriculture, which arises from “ keeping a considerable part of our manu. factures on hand, which would be exported, if the foreign consumer had the means of paying for them in corn;" and states, that there appeared to be “ a quantity of corn on one side of an impenetrable barrier, and a quantity of manufactures on the other, which would naturally be interchanged, if it were not for the artificial hindrance occasioned by the present system." But if the importation of wheat, instead of being limited to the amount contemplated by Mr. Whitmore and Mr. Jacob, were to extend greatly beyond that_quantity, so as to answer to the ideas of extent which Mr. Tooke's mode of expression would seem to justify, then it appears to be impossible that such a large augmentation to our annual importation could take place, except in years of great scarcity, compatibly with affecting, in no way, the ground cultivated, and the labor employed in this country; both which he expresses himself as desirous of preserving at their present level.

More than seven months have now elapsed since Mr. Canning's temporary bill for permitting bonded corn to come into home consumption has been in operation; and it is proper to advert to the experience which has been obtained, during this period, of the highest amount of duty which will admit of corn being brought into the home market.

At the time when Mr. Canning introduced this bill into the House of Commons there were 560,000 quarters of wheat in bond. Up to the 1st day of last July 73,680 quarters more were imported, making the whole quantity liable to the operation of the act, 633,680 quarters. Of this quantity 114,226 quarters 4 bushels remained in bond on the 1st of February, and consequently 519,453 quarters 4 bushels have been admitted for home consumption, on the duties payable at the different periods when this quantity was withdrawn from bond.

' House of Commons: report of 1821 on the Corn Laws, p. 230.

The quantity of wheat existing in bond at the beginning of every month, in quarters and bushels, with the quantity sold, the duty paid, and the average price by the imperial and Winchester quarter on which such duty was paid, will appear from the annexed table.

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1827.

in bond on Taken out of

the 1st of bond in each Duty paid. each month. month.

Average price Average price
Iinperial qr. Winchester gr.

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From this table it appears that about 390,000 quarters were sold at a duty of 22s. 8d. per imperial quarter; about 115,000 quarters at a duty of 24s. 8d.; and about 8,000 quarters at a duty of 26s. 8d.; the average price of the Winchester quarter being, at those periods, from between 59s. and 60s. to between 57s. and 58s. The duty has since gradually risen to 42s. 8d. per imperial quarter; the average price of the Winchester quarter having fallen to below 50s. But the quantities removed from bond, under such high duties, have been so small, as to show that they have operated as a prohibition. It may indeed appear singular that any wheat at all should have been withdrawn under those duties; but I am informed by a very accurate and intelligent friend, that duties have been paid on the small quantities mentioned, in consequence only of the quantities taken out of bond, at former periods, having not been all accounted for; and therefore requiring, at the time of a final settlement, the duties to be paid upon them which attached to the period of such settlement.

A consideration of this table will also evince, that government and the agriculturists were completely justified in requiring a high duty, instead of the lower ones which were so earnestly pressed for; and that so little was the duty of 20s. per quarter on wheat at 60s. per Winchester quarter, from acting as a prohibition, that

bonded wheat was freely withdrawn at nearly 5s. per quarter higher. It is likewise to be observed, that under this preparatory measure (as it may be termed) the average price of wheat has fallen more than 5s. below what we were informed by Mr. Canning would be the utmost depression of price which would ever take place under the operation of the corn bill; and one half more than the whole extent of oscillation, in which he conceived that prices would fluctuate. If such a depression of price has occurred under so cautious an admission of foreign corn, most serious disadvantages would, in all probability, have arisen with less attention to the formation of duties; and particularly if the ingenious and excellent plan had not been adopted, of making duties rise, when prices fall; and fall, when they rise.

It is, however, fair to admit, that as much capital was long locked up by the quantity of corn remaining in bond, the want of money might induce the holders of such corn to part with it at a much higher duty, and therefore lower price, than could be afforded in order to make the foreign trade in corn worth carrying on. Hence it is only an actual experience of importation which can be the proper test of the lowest price at which corn can be grown abroad, so as to be imported into this country with profit. But then, on the other hand, the accumulation which exists to a certain extent in foreign ports will, in addition to the usual amount of disposable annual production, create in the possessor a disposition to part with corn at a lower than ordinary rate, for the first year or two after our ports may be open, and thus create a temporary glut, against the operation of which it is necessary to provide.--If an opinion may be formed of what may be ultimately determined relative to the corn laws, from the occurrences of the last session of parliament, as well as from the notifications already given by ministers in the present, it is exceedingly probable that importation, with a protecting duty, will be the measure finally adopted ; and it will be a fortunate result of such measure, if it remove, in a material degree, that irritation, now fortunately subsiding, which has so long existed between the advocates for the agricultural, and for the commercial view of the corn laws.

With regard to the quantum of protection necessary, it would appear, from the experience obtained since the 1st of July, that there cannot be the smallest ground for having the protecting duties put on a lower scale than was contemplated by Mr. Canning's bill. The evidence, indeed, as far as it goes, is in favor of a higher.

There is one circumstance connected with the late parliamentary discussions on the corn bill which demands a portion of attention. An idea was entertained by some noble lords, in the upper house, that the corn bill, as'a money bill, must be returned to consumption, on the duties payable at the different periods when this quantity was withdrawn from bond.

The quantity of wheat existing in bond at the beginning of every month, in quarters and bushels, with the quantity sold, the duty paid, and the average price by the imperial and Winchester quarter on which such duty was paid, will appear from the annexed table.

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From this table it appears that about 390,000 quarters were sold at a duty of 22s. 8d. per imperial quarter ; about 115,000 quarters at a duty of 24s. 8d.; and about 8,000 quarters at a duty of 26s. 8d. ; the average price of the Winchester quarter being, at those periods, from between 59s. and 60s. to between 57s. and 58s. The duty has since gradually risen to 42s. 8d. per imperial quarter; the average price of the Winchester quarter having fallen to below 50s. But the quantities removed from bond, under such high duties, have been so small, as to show that they have operated as a prohibition. It may indeed appear singular that any wheat at all should have been withdrawn under those duties; but I am informed by a very accurate and intelligent friend, that duties have been paid on the small quantities mentioned, in consequence only of the quantities taken out of bond, at former periods, having not been all accounted for; and therefore requiring, at the time of a final settlement, the duties to be paid upon them which attached to the period of such settlement.

A consideration of this table will also evince, that government and the agriculturists were completely justified in requiring a high duty, instead of the lower ones which were so earnestly pressed for; and that so little was the duty of 20s. per quarter on wheat at 60s. per Winchester quarter, from acting as a prohibition, that

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