« AnteriorContinuar »
Chairman-E. S. CAYLEY, Esq., M.P. Yorkshire, N.R. Hon. D. G. Hallyburton, M.P. Forfarshire. George Finch, Esq., M.P. Stamford. Sir G. Cayley, Bart. M.P. Scarborough. Hesketh Fleetwood, Esq., M.P. Preston. Sir Hyde Parker, Bart. M.P. Suffolk. W. C. Harland, Esq., M.P. Durham. Sir R. B. W. Bulkeley, Bart. M.P. Anglesea. H. Lambert, Esq., M.P. Wexfordshire. Sir C. Burrell, Bart. M.P. Rape of Bramber. E. C. Lister, Esq., M.P. Bradford. Sir Eardley Wilmot, Bt. M.P. Warwickshire. J. Maxwell, Esq., M.P. Lanarkshire. A. Chapman, Esq., M.P. Whitby.
R. A. Oswald, Esq., M.P. Ayrshire. R. W. Hall Dare, Esq., M.P. Essex.
G. Sinclair, Esq., M.P. Caithness-shire.
G. F. Young, Esq., M.P. Tynemouth.
II, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, London.
Aylesbury-Henry T. Rudge, Esq. Macclesfield-Mr. Swinnerton.
Oldham-Mr. W. Fitton.
Pocklington-Major-Gen. Sir H. M. Cambridge-Jas. B. Bernard, Fellow Vavasour, Bart.
of King's College, Cambridge. Richmond - O. Tomlin, Esq. Cowbridge-Richard Franklin, Esq. Ripon-D. Cayley, Esq. Darlington-Francis Mewburn, Esq. Scarborough-E. H. Hebden, Esq. Doncaster-Sir W. Cooke, Bart. Stockon-on-Tees—Thomas Meynell, Durham-H. J. Spearman, Esq. Esq. Edinburgh—The Rt. Hon. Sir John Swansca—Joseph Bird, Esq. Sinclair, Bart.
Tamworth-C. Holte Bracebridge, Huddersfield - Richard Oastler, Esq. Esq. Hull-James Iveson, Esq.
Warwick-Chandos Leigh, Esq. Knarestorough—Mr. John Howgate. Whitby – Dr. Loy. Leicester-Sir Edmund Hartopp, Bt. Worcester R. Spooner, Esq. and Linlithgowshire W. D. Gillon, Esq. J. M. Gutch, Esq. M.P.
York - Thomas Laycock, Esq.
Annual Subscriptions of £1. and Donations, to be paid into the Bank of MATTHIAS ATTWOOD, Esq., M.P., Gracechurch Street, London; or to the corresponding Members, or to Local Committees. Communications to be sent to the Secretary, post paid.
The Names of Corresponding Members for other cities and Towns
throughout the Empire, will be added in our next Number.
Agricultural and Industrial Magazine.
" A LONG PULL, AND A STRONG PULL, to the mark, which will give a remunerating AND A PULL ALTOGETHER,"
profit to the master producer.
Thus as wages come out of profits, so do FOR BETTER PRICES, BETTER PROFITS, AND profits come out of prices. BETTER WAGES.
There are a great many things which go to form the price of a thing. In agriculture,
there is the working the land, sowing, weedThe hands of the labourer are the mine out ing, reaping, thrashing, delivering, &c. In of which the wealth of a nation comes. manufactures, there is the building, the What is the prince of territories unbounded, machinery, the labour, &c. Now both in or the lord of countless looms,—without manufactures and agriculture all these matthe help of his fellow man? The land is but ters cost something; and if the people, for a wilderness ; — the factory-but a hideous whose use they are done, cannot give the wall. The labourer is the true foundation price which it cost to make them, together of the great social building; and unless he with a small profit to pay for the trouble of have from his employer what will support making and the risk of selling,-why, they a wife and the average number of children, are not worth producing, and the labourers in the necessaries and decent comforts of who made them are no longer worth emlife, independently, to the end of his days, ploying. the labourer's condition is not what it ought But there is another serious item in price to be. If that be so: however interested in these days, which does not appear at first parties may proclaim a thriving state, and sight,--and that is taxation. Parliament, king's speeches may re-echo it,—the fabric for the purpose of raising money to pay of society will totter, for its best timbers are debts and the expenses of government, has rotten.
laid a tax on almost every thing which any The matter of first interest with the la- man can use to make any thing of. Now bourer is the profit of his employer. If the if the thing, when it is made, will not fetch profit be good, the master seeks the man. a price which shall cover the taxation as If the profit be bad, the man must seek the well as the other expenses; then it may master. In the first case, the man makes turn out that taxation may prevent any of the best bargain; in the last, the master those things being produced. makes the best, so far as wages are con- If price be so necessary to production : cerned: but the master has more customers prices are a thing which ought to be atthan workmen: so the rate of wages is of tended to. We may take it now as an axiom less moment to him than the wealth of his that prices rise or fall with an increase or customers, We cannot blind ourselves long decrease of the coin, notes or bills circuto this truth,—that things sell best when lating throughout the country.*. During there is the quickest demand for them. It is the long continental war, the circulating 80 with corn; it is so with cotton, with medium was altogether perhaps nearly double wool, with iron, with ships, and with all what it is now, and prices were for the most other commodities; and it is equally so with part nearly double. Our immense national labour.
the greater portion of it, contracted What causes this demand for all these under those prices. Taxation was relied on things, which increases their value? We to pay the interest of this debt; and so long speak now of the Home trade where all in- as the high prices lasted, upon which a heavy terests are identified. Let there be a rea- taxation was charged, we heard no grumbsonable profit on the productions of a coun- ling; because the taxation was measured by try, there will be a healthy demand for the prices, and the prices were sufficient to labour-which means that it will be well meet it. But had the prices not been so paid. The labourers are the great body of high during the war, the taxation then paid, consumers :—when their wages are good, the and paid cheerfully, could not even then have workman of one thing will buy the work of been levied; nor could any government have another; there will be a thriving demand
* We will explain this at a future day-it for all produce, and this will keep prices up would interrapt the course of the argument now. VOL. I.
ever dreamed of running into so much debt. will not be palatable to the parties who If the price of a thing during this period of have profited by the system which we deem the war were 10s.;-out of which 38. were it our duty to deprecate. They will appeal taxation, 58. labour and materials, and 28. to the excise as a proof that distress does profit,-it requires no great conjuring to see, not exist : “under every reduction in the that when the price is reduced to 6s. or 58., taxes on excisable commodities, (they will (unless the taxation be reduced in propor- say) there has been a spring in the contion) the thing will be no longer produced; sumption of them which has increased the or if the producer keep struggling on without revenue.” We shall probably revert to this profit for a few years, under the hope that subject again : it will be sufficient to state times will mend, and to avoid turning off here that amidst all the chopping, and changhis workmen to stárve, it is as easy to see ing, and commutation of taxation, which have that he must yield at last. His two shillings lately taken place, the excise can be no real profit are absorbed by the public debt; and test of the condition of the country to conhe won't work for the tax-gatherer's benefit sume. If the excise taxation had remained alone.
unchanged, there would have been a very The private debts of the country at the good test. At present, it is only a proof end of the war were supposed to be even that there has been a great deal of bungling, larger than the national debt. A man bor- hitherto, in the mode of levying taxation rowing under the high prices 24s.,-bor- through the excise. Distress has increased rowed equivalent to two bushels of wheat; the cunning of Chancellors of the Exchequer, or borrowing 48., expected that he could pay and that has enabled them to get by a new it with one day's labour. He has, now that mode of taxation, what the greater poverty prices and wages are fallen, to pay the debt of the subject disabled them to obtain in of two bushels, or one day's labour, with two the old way. Let all the old modes of exday's labour, or with four bushels. The cising be re-enacted which have been repealed purse is stolen away which could have paid the last fifteen years, and then let us see it. The debt alone remains the same. what state the revenue from the excise would
Ever since the peace (with two short in- be in. We shall be met also by the charge tervals when we relaxed the system which of being currency men," spoliators," we have been deluded into adopting) the "and breakers of public faith.” Our reaproductive class as a body has been suf- ders may make up their minds to these sorts fering from causes similar to those above of nicknames, they have been for some described. In consequence of the prepara- time the only weapons and only arguments tions for, and final consummation of, Mr. against those who have endeavoured to see Peel's Bill of 1819, the decrease of the cur- effectual justice done to the productive rency went on from 1814 to 1829, when classes. Our object, we need scarcely rethe £1. notes finally ceased; prices are peat, is not to commit injury, but to redown; the debts are up; production is un- dress it. profitable, and the labourer out of employ- Reform has not given content; it has ment, or at starvation wages. These things not filled the belly and clothed the back, are denied by comfortable philosophers. Their which, by whatever names they were called, truth is too well known to the millions we were the things sought. The safety of the address. Here and there perhaps a branch state requires that energetic means should of trade may have had a monopoly of the be used to put these disjointed things right. foreign market and not have suffered; or It is quite clear that from Whigs and Tories, the very largest capitalist by employing in- as parties, we have nothing to expect. They numerable hands may have got a small profit are both equally pledged to the degrading on each ; but the great majority, those for system. What we have to expect and to whom Parliament used to legislate—the hope is, that before another election the farmers, the small and middle manufac- constituencies of the country will discover turers, the retail tradesmen in provincial their true friends, and that all the distressed towns, the colonial and shipping interests, interests, agricultural, manufacturing and the labourers, the operatives, the handloom commercial, will band themselves together weavers—all, or most, of these have been for the common obiect of relief. writhing under privations that would have One class alone has flourished all this driven any but the sober-minded men of while,—the man unconnected with producthis country to utter desperation. It is tion or labour, and who has had a monopoly true that distress drove Reform before it; of low prices. His income being fixed, the that Political Unions and Trades' Unions more hours labour he got for it out of the are its children ; and it is little to be sinews of the labourer, and the more goods doubted, that, if not shortly removed, it will he bought for it, whether the seller had a drive before it, headlong to destruction, the profit, or the labourer a livelihood, the better most sacred institutions of the State. for him,-at least for a time, and only for
We are quite aware that these doctrines a time. This has been the withering monopoly which has blighted the prospects and abused, nay, almost half persuaded themthe comfort of a whole people; for it is a selves, that they were getting rich on some monopoly price, and the worst species of monopoly, which was ruining the rest of the monopoly, when it is so low that there is country. no profitable employment to the labourer: The drones in the hive have been robbing that price is really the cheapest, which, the bees, and, being also wise in their genethough nominally high, gives such wages as ration, they have not forgotten to tax the can obtain the greatest amount of the com- queen bee with being the thief. This is not forts of life.
an uncommon practice in the neighbourhood The advocates of this “ low price” system, of police offices, where the culprit, if he be
of this bastard political economy, have shel- an old hand and up to London ways, turns tered themselves from public scrutiny, by round on his innocent victim and delivers pitting each distressed class against the other. him over to the officer. It is a practice that They have made a cat's-paw of the operatives could scarcely have been expected to be sucto run down the corn laws—as if the opera- cessful on the graver theatre of Parliament. tives cared what price bread was, if they And yet so it has been. A knot of these had wages to buy it. The intelligent opera- London hands—men of the city-dealers in tives of Lancashire, Yorkshire, and Scotland money, and not in labour-have been crying summoned before the Hand-loom Weaver's down prices, because they had nothing to Committee this Session, have declared they sell and every thing to buy; and they have are no longer to be gulled by this fallacious also been abusing the sellers for not selling cheapness. Let the agriculturist hear this, cheap, whether they could afford it or not. and rejoice that the operative is his friend. Low prices suited them ; but so also did low
This state of things has now lasted twenty wages. They never told this latter part of years; the grinding scheme has been but the story to the working classes when they too fairly tried : unlike the usual alterna- halloed them on to pull down prices and tions in commerce, we have gone on only corn laws; but now prices are down, the from bad to worse; the capital which Parlia- labourer, without much ingenuity, finds he ment should have protected has been wast- has no more wages compared with the prices ing away; the labour which should have of things he has to buy; and that the embeen well paid, has been starved into night- ployment which gives him wages (i.e. the work, the poor-house, or emigration, and power to buy), is much less certain than it is high time these things came to an end. when prices were high. The certainty of For us we have only to add—that with employment, he has learnt, is of as much a" strong pull and a pull altogether," of all value to him as the amount of his wages. the distressed interests—we seek better Now, therefore, is the time for the agriprices, better profits and better wages, and, culturists to throw off the yoke of the poliwith God's blessing, we will have them. tical economists. The operatives of the
manufacturing districts, we rejoice to say,
are as sick of the philosophers as the farmer agriculture.
is, who has been reduced by them to 58.
a bushel for his wheat. It has been stated on “ Speed the Plough.”
authority in Parliament, that intelligence was received early in the year, from Man
chester, from the operatives themselves, that “Mr. Ricardo's (a great fnndholder and dealer in loans and stock-jobbing) plan of ex. the anti-corn law gentlemen of that town hibiting landowners and farmers in the most durst not call a public meeting against the odions light possible to their fellow creatures was corn laws; that if they did venture upon really a profound one ; the idea of gowing dissen: such a course, they would assuredly be dein production, by making a part, and that the most feated; to which was added, “The operatives numerous part, believe that they were consumers are no longer to be gulled by this cry for rather than the producers, and setting them in cheapness.” A few weeks after this, we see in the same boat with them--the landowner and one of the members for Manchester presentfarraer—in order to weaken the united influence ing from that town, which contains about of the entire body, was an admirable contrivance 200,000 inhabitants, a petition against the for strengthening the hands of the fundholder and enabling him to obtain his favourite object corn laws with less than 300 signatures of low prices." -Theory of the Constitution, by attached to it. This petition, it appears, 1. B. Bernard, Fellow of King's College, Cam. was exposed upon 'Change for signature for bridge.
The gratification to be felt at learning this THERE never was a set of men that have reaction in the public mind—this return to been so befooled, so injured, and so insulted that good sense (however led away for the as the agriculturists of this country. Ruin moment) for which the people of this country has been seizing them for twenty years, and are proverbial—is accompanied by a lesson yet all the while they have been accused and also to the farmers and the operatives. The
for the prey,
lesson is this; viz. that the distress which measures. We know that it is the feeling they have both experienced for so many of some good friends to agriculture, that the years past, could have continued so long, landed interest should act alone. We say, only because each party was set against the no. The greatest and the proudest strength other, as if they had opposite interésts. It of the farmer is the conviction of the nation seemed, it is true, to be the interest of the at large that his claims are just, and that he operative that the cheaper he had his corn, is just to the claims of others in return. the more bread he could buy; while the Under that conviction let him invoke the farmer knew that a higher price than what nation to his assistance; and at this moment, prevailed was necessary for him; and, in the if he will do it, the great body of the people anger of the fight, they forgot that they are ready to join, and to demand such meamight be battling only against shadows, or, sures as shall relieve him. worse still, against themselves.
But these measures, to be satisfactory, The fable of the lion and the tiger fighting must be so effectual, that, in relieving one
whilst the fox took advantage class, they shall relieve all. of the engagement to secure the prize, has We have taken it for granted that the thus been completely realized. While the agricultural interest is distressed, because Mifarmer and the working classes have been nisters do not acknowledge distress, through disputing about the price of corn, those the King's mouth, until the very stones gentlemen who trade in nothing but phi- would cry out if they did not. And the losophy, and employ no labourer but the King has said that the farmers and protax-gatherer, and who leave others to pay prietors of land are distressed. even him—these two-legged foxes have not Distress! great God! what distress has not only obtained the prey (or the profit) which agriculture suffered ? In twenty short years these two great parties sought for themselves, there have been more heart-rending scenes but they have absolutely abetted the contest. in the rural districts than in any 200 years
But now people are wiser; for distress, since the days of the Conqueror. And all though a severe, is a sure teacher. They for what?-to satisfy the scheme of a coldfind that the parties interested in the home blooded theory. Our bold peasantry, once trade, which are at least 22,000,000 out of their country's pride, pauperized, unemploy25,000,000 of the population, have one ed, demoralized, nay, all but revolutionized ! common interest; they now know, from The farmer, the sturdy honest yeoman, the bitter experience, that if the agriculturists, faithful British lion—the high spirit of this who are the great source of the home trade, noble class levelled to the dust, brokenare distressed for any length of time, that hearted, insolvent, breaking stones on the distress is sure to penetrate every corner road ! The landowner, the beloved, the and cranny of the home trade population. indulgent, the generous, the hospitable The operatives having learnt this, (and the country gentleman, driven an exile and in farmers aware that they know it, and poverty from his home! We can scarce being no longer jealous of them) what can command our honest indignation whilst we be more certain, than that a peaceful com- write. To have the towering pride of a great bination of the efforts of the two greatest and glorious nation thus laid low, and by no parties in the state must, sooner or later, or foreign enemy, but by the crafty hands, and rather very shortly, command measures in the flinty hearts, and the craving ambition Parliament that will, at all hazards, restore of a mere handful of her own degenerate them to prosperity and comfort. If one set sons I-it is sickening, it is maddening to of representatives refuse to adopt the right think of it. measures, another election will send a set But to return. What has Parliament that will.
done, the last two sessions, that any man It has been frequently thrown out as a has even the dream of a hope will effectually taunt to the landed interest in the House of relieve agriculture ? Commons, that they allowed the free traders The Poor Law Amendment Bill, it is to destroy our shipping interest, and our silk evident, was not originally proposed for the trade, because the land was not immediately relief of distress; because the Poor Law affected. The shipowners and the silkmen Commission was sent out two or three years have no wish to injure the land. Let it no before the distress was acknowledged by longer be said that the agriculturists look Parliament. Besides, it is not pretended only to themselves; but that that protection that relief from this source is any thing but which they ask for themselves, they are prospective where it is calculated to do good; willing to extend to others.
and the North is as distressed as the South, Here, then, is the true interest of the without any great pressure of the poor laws. agriculturist at the present critical era: not Neither were the Tithe Bills of this and the to fancy himself as of a separate class, but to last session proposed with a view to relieve invite the hearty co-operation with him of all distress. They were introduced into Parthe distressed interests to obtain remedial liament before distress was acknowledged;