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were safe, it would diminish our own power; that such dependance might, at an unfortunate moment, bring extreme misery on the people of these kingdoms. He proposed that foreign corn and meal should at all times be admitted into this kingdom duty free, to be warehoused: but if taken out of warehouses for sale, in this kingdom, then to pay duty. That such foreign corn, meal, or flour, shall be permitted to be imported into the United Kingdom, for home consumption, without payment of duty, whenever the average prices of British corn shall be at or above per Qr. Wheat 80s. Rye, Peas, beans 53s. But that, whenever the average prices of British corn shall be respectively below these prices, no foreign corn shall be allowed to be imported, or taken out of warehouse for home consumption; nor shall any foreign flour be, at any time, importable into Ireland.--Also,
per Qr. Barley, beer, big 40s. Oats 26s.
That, if the average prices of British corn, in the six weeks immediately succeeding the 15th Feb. 15th May, 15th Aug. and 15th Nov. in each year, shall have fallen below the prices at which foreign Corn, meal, or flour, are by law allowed to be imported for home consumption, no such foreign corn, meal, or flour, shall be allowed to be imported into the United Kingdom, for home consumption, from any place between the rivers Eyder and Garonne, both inclusive, until a new average shall be made up and published in the London Gazette,for regulating the importation into the United Kingdom, for the succeeding quarter. That, corn, meal, or flour, the produce of any British colony or plantation, in North America, as may now by law be imported into the United Kingdom, may hereafter be imported, for home consumption, without payment of any duty, when-ever the average price of British corn shall be at per Qr. per Qr. Wheat 678. | Barley, beer, bigg 33s. Rye, Peas, beans 44s. Oats 22s.
But that, whenever the prices of British corn, respectively shall be below these prices, corn, or meal, or flour, produce of any British colony or plantation in North America, shall no longer be imported for home consumption. "American Corn and Flour, may be warehoused, and exported, at all times, duty free.
These propositions gave rise to very long and interesting debates. On one side
it was contended, that importation of Corn occasioned exportation of manufac tures that the landed proprietors had considered themselves only, in these propositions, and had forgot the interest of the manufacturer, who ought in time of peace to eat his bread at a cheaper rate.-That beside the price of corn, the circulation of the country; country banks, &c. ought to be considered. That a graduated scale would be preferable; the price to decrease as peace became established. - That rents were exorbitantly high, and must be reduced; although they could not be reduced to what they formerly were.
It was answered, that the poor engaged in Agriculture, were entitled to equal attention with those engaged in manufac tures ;-that, these were absolutely starv ing in many places, having no employment;-consequently, they were all thrown on the poor-rates;-that manufactures enjoyed an unlimited number of prohibitory laws, excluding foreign goods; why, then, should not Agriculture have its prohibitory laws, also, excluding foreign produce? -That the Manufacturing interest was indebted to the Agricultural for many things, beside consumption ;-as maintaining the clergy, the poor, the soldier's families, the highways, &c. &c.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in a Committee of the whole House, pronounced a warm eulogium on the immense advantages which the Country had derived from the Property Tax; a measure to which, at any future period of emergency, Parlia ment would be at liberty to resort. present, however, it was to be abandoned.
He observed, that the expence of the peace establishment would be eighteen or nineteen millions, including the Irish establishment. To meet this demand, there were, in the first place, about 61 millions of permanent and annual taxes: he should propose a continuance of the war taxes, the customs, and excise, for a limited time, which would produce a further sum of sir millions; and he should lay before the house a plan for new taxes, to the amount of five millions, making in the whole 17 millions and a half. But, the house would recollect, that the charges of the loan must be defrayed out of these taxes and indeed, even if the expenditure could be reduced to 15 millions, still there must be a necessity for new taxes, unless the sinking fund were to be resorted to, an expedient particularly to be avoided. After every war there was a winding up of great amount, and of considerable duratios.
The present war expences could not be wound up within a shorter period than four years, that is, till 1819, and till that time he supposed that some loan might be necessary each year. The first resource, then, would be a continuance of the war taxes. Part of these had already expired at Christmas, namely, the tax on tonnage of goods carried coastwise: no renewal of these was intended; nor was it the intention of the Government to continue the duty on cotton-wool, if imported in British ships. The total amount of the war taxes was 9,867,000l. from which, deducting the amount of the expired taxes, and the 2,632,000l. pledged for the loan, the amount to be continued would be 6,516,000l. He now came to the new taxes:
Rates, 50 per. cent.
Inhabited House Duty,
80, to 90 per cent. Under Gardeners, &c.
various Trade Servants, and Servants for Hire, ditto Carriages about 75 pr. ct. $63,000 Horses for Pleasure,
about 75 do Trade Horses about 40 do. 85,500 632,000 Dogs, about 30 do. Game Certificates, do.
125,000 £3,728,000 Other measures which would hereafter be detailed, were in contemplation, with respect to the Post Office, as to the foreign postage, and especially regarding the carriage of letters to the East Indies. The
Feb. 21.-In the House of Lords, the Naval Administration of the country was severely attacked by the Earl of Darnley. His Lordship congratulated the House on the continued spirit and superiority of our naval officers and seamen; but insisted that to mal-administration our former naval -2,508,000 had not been large enough to carry a 24 disgraces had been owing. Our frigates pounder, and therefore could not meet the large frigates of America. Many of our ships also were sent to sea weak in hands, very short of their complement. Neither were our vessels so well built, as they ought to be. of 73 seamen, 20 boys, 20 marines,-and A crew of 127 men was made up these had to cope with 180 picked men. No wonder the combat proved unequal. in Chatham doçk yards of American timWe had sent vessels to America, constructed
amount of all the taxes now detailed would be 3,728,000l. but, five millions were wanted. A considerable advance was intended on stamp duties (not relating to law proceedings) which it was calculated process of collecting the amount of stamps would produce about 700,000l.; but the was so complicated, that no schedule could yet be completed. About 600,000l. still remained to be supplied, and he hoped that the system of bounties and drawbacks would be able to meet it. He proposed particularly, a continuance of this system, as to printed cottons and sugars. siderable increase had some time ago been A conimposed on the price of beer: the public at present seem to be convinced, and he was disposed to agree with them, that this price was now too high. He was certainly unwilling to increase the price of this article, and would rather relieve the public, than add to their burthen. The Right Hon. gentleman concluded with moving his resolutions.
Mr. Whitbread said, the trade of which he had the honour to be an humble member, had waited to see what the Right Hon. Gentleman would do, before they could say what they should do. Now they were possessed of that, they would take their measures within 48 hours; and had the Right Hon. Gentleman condescended to be a little more communicative, the business would perhaps have been settled, and the public acquainted with the intentions of the trade before this time.
After a long conversation, the resolutions were agreed to.
The Finance Resolutions, respecting the Duty on the Excise and Customs, on Tobacco and Wine, and on the postage, were agreed to; but the War Taxes, and the Assessed Taxes, were postponed.
ber; taken to pieces, to be set up again in | Lambton, who denied that it was a perAmerica. He had heard that instructions sonal attack on Lord Castlereagh, now on had been sent out to British Commanders the Continent. to avoid American frigates. The war was over;-and now was a proper time for enquiry.
For the motion 66. Against it 115.
Feb. 22.-The Corn Laws were further discussed: for the Speaker's leaving the chair 197; against it 6.
Mr. Robinson's first three resolutions passed, without objection.
Mr. Baring, in a very long speech, opposed the fourth resolution. The average price of wheat in France and Flanders, was about 40s. allowing 5s. for transport, with 20s. for protection to the agricultural interest, the whole was 65s. At present, twelve millions and a half were paid by the country for protection to the landed interest: adding the corn consumed in drink, it was eighteen millions. The number of productive acres in this country was 60,000,000: would gentlemen give up ten shillings an acre of their rents from this? that was really the question at issue. Why should inferior lands be brought into cultivation? In 1764 the price of corn was 11. 7s. 4d. in 1769 under new laws, it had risen to 21. 3s. 2d. to 1804 it had gradually risen to 31. 4s. Notwithstanding importation our own agriculture had continued improving. It was necessary to impress on the Committee, that if they now raised the price of labour, they did an injury to the country, which it would not be easy to retrace. While the farmer was paid for inprovements the consumer was suffering. The calculation of 80s. proceeded on the supposition that all expenses were to continue as they now are. The poor rates are now one of the constituent rewards of labour among the poor. Every one now knows the alteration in the stile of living among the farmers: no longer ale and beer, but wine and brandy: the daughters too instead of milking cows, strummed the harpsichord. He proposed to limit the time of operation of the resolution, which be moved accordingly.
Lord Melville said the demands for men in the late war, had rendered it impossible to pick men for every service. It was not the custom of the British navy to pick men: it was a bad practice. American ships could, on the coast of America, recruit when they chose: but to overload ships sent from England, would be absurd. What the Americans called frigates, were not such, because they called them frigates: they were a different class of ships: we might oppose them by a class of vessels of the same size (such were in progress) but they would not be frigates. We had a grea number of small vessels out: more had been desired by our Admirals, for protection of trade. He was sorry to admit that there were, in our navy, ships built in an , inferior manner;-it had been so for a century. The French, and even the Russian and Danish shipwrights, were more capable of uniting theory with practice in building, than the English were. Education was wanting: not natural talent. Government was intent on bestowing this advantage.-Papers granted to the Earl of Darnley.
Lord Grenville moved for statements of the effective force of the British troops abroad. We had subsidized troops from every nation; but now while at peace, we had great forces abroad: why? what were they about? what a prodigious expense! it was wholly unprecedented. We stood in need of respite from our expenses. How long was this to last? He wished to bring the peace establishment to the lowest level. At the close of the American war the peace establishment had been not five millions and a half; now, he had heard it said, that an assembly of Gentlemen had consented to its being nineteen millions! He was aware of the necessity of garrisoning two or three towns, which we had taken; but nothing like that; it would change the Constitution of England.
Lord Liverpool affirmed, that the presence of a powerful English force had already prevented serious difficulties on the Continent. The time was not come when we might reduce our whole establishment. He agreed that it was proper the House should have the fullest information. tion carried.
House of Commons.
A long debate on alledged breaches of British faith with Genoa. Motion by Mr.
Mr. Preston was not surprized to find the citizens of London clamorous, against paying 30 per cent. more than other towns. At Exeter meat was 5d. or 6d. the pound: why was it 10d. in London? The way to make bread cheap was to support the farmer.
Sir F. Flood adverted to a meeting that had lately been held at Wexford, consisting of laymen, spirituals, and other agriMo-culturists: they all agreed that Parliament was in duty bound to encourage agriculture.
Lord Binning desired to call to the recollection of the house the numbers that
case as to the harvest in Ireland or elsewhere, he had lived to see the day when it the apprehension of corn not being too was urged that distress was occasioned by cheap.
depended on agriculture; the farmer, the labourer, the shopkeeper, a vast proportion of the community. From what contiguous country were we to be supplied? from France? which country had a population of about $5 millions, and a debt of 70 millions; while Great Britian had a plained, and stated, that he had never Mr. Rose explained. Lord Binning expopulation of twelve millions, and taxes expressed any thing that could encourage 60 millions yearly. The people of France, hostility to France. therefore, were taxed about one pound explained, and considered it most injuMr. Ponsonby also each: the people of this country about dicious to hurry on so important a question. five pounds each. How then could prices On the motion of the Chancellor of the be equal? Tradespeople had also in- Exchequer, the discussion was adjourned. dulged themselves as much as the farmers: he was not sorry for it. Feb. 23. The question on the Corn A farm of a hun-Laws was resumed, and several gentledred acres might pay in taxes (including men engaged in the discussion: among the tenant's property tax) 187. 1s. 4d. while others, the poor rates alone amounted to 337.19s.2d. Suppose the tenant's property tax were 2s. 6d. per acre; as the average crop was three quarters to the acre, at least, the reduction of the property would diminish the price only ten pence per quarter, while the parochial taxes were 2s. 10d, per quarter. He believed it was perfectly true, that the improvements in our agri-lation of England, 4,500,000 were conculture enabled this country to support its nected with agriculture: in Ireland four late conflict. It was not possible to restore millions out of six. to the farmers what they had lately lost; Ireland afforded England a supply she The agriculture of but to prevent further losses was possible. could not get elsewhere. We now saw soils cultivated to the ut- 1810, England imported 1,800,000 quar. In 1808, 1809, most-black moors yielding to the plough, ters of wheat from Ireland: in 1812, 1813, and giving crops, not of wheat, but of oats 1814, the quantity rose to 2,170,000. The and rye. He could not think of depend-linen jug on France :-because-should she become our enemy!-it would then be in her power, by with-holding her supply of corn, to starve us into subjection. The amount of home trade was infinitely more important than that of export trade; and it ought to be first thought of.
Sir. J. Newport, observed that the mass of taxation was an insuperable bar to any great fall in the price of corn. The agricultural interests of Ireland could only be cousulted by rendering ourselves independent of foreign countries: distinction of classes was unjust all were bound together, for the public good. Of the popu
Mr. Rose could not agree with Mr. Baring that this country paid eighteen millions premium to the landholders; nor that 5s. a quarter would pay for bringing corn from France; nor that France would always be an exporting country. He decidedly objected to dependance on any foreign country. He thought that the evidence justified fixing the fair protecting price between 72 and 76s. He highly approved of the system of warehousing corn.
trade of Ireland employed only one million. The four millions of agricul· turists drew their clothing and furniture from Englaud. would aid the real strength of the country. The measure proposed Mr. F. Lewis observed that the importation as to its quantity, was not the whole small quantity imported was felt the by which the market was affected: a prices had fallen much more, lately, than variations existed in different parts of this the mere importation could justify. Great kingdom: grain from the north had to bear all the charges of shipping &c. which must be added to the price, in the London market. He thought the mode of taking the averages was incorrect. He preferred 76 to 80s.
Mr. Calcraft thought the reason why so Mr. Ponsonby supported the resolutions. small an importation had produced so conMr. Whitbread thought the measure siderable au effect, was, because the French nugatory, at present. He vindicated the corn this year was better than our own. brewers from the charge of extravagant Providence had given that country an profits. He did not think, landlords, in abundant harvest: not so, here. Barley general, had demanded extravagant rents. had sunk in price, because Government After a great variety of observations and remarks on the subject of the Cornment had no right to interfere. He wanted no longer bought. He thought GovernTrade, interspersed with many anecdotes to see the effect of peace. and allusions, Mr. Whitbread concluded Mr. Grant was certain that the effect of by observing, that whatever had been the the resolutions would be steady prices,
In the further prosecution of the Corn Bill, Sir James Shaw presented a petition from the Livery of London.-He affirmed that the ensuing averages would be higher during peace, than they had been during the last ten years of war.
Alderman Atkins said, that when the general average was 80s. the price of fine wheat in the London market would be from 100s to 105s.
Mr. F. Lewis observed, that six and three quarters bushels of wheat were equal to a sack of flour: so that, at 80s. the quartern loaf would be no more than one shilling.
In 1670, under Charles II. acts were passed for protecting agriculture. price of corn, began, now to decline; and in 1764, nearly a century after passing these acts it had fallen to 17. 17s. Sd. From this period, 1764, when the old system was overturned, from being an exporting country, we became an importing country; dependent on foreign parts for supply; while the price kept regularly rising in our own markets. We should consider the effect of restricted importation | on other things! for instance, iron. We had now a greater quantity of iron in our own country, than when we depended on foreign supply. He would willingly produce a somewhat smaller stock of manufactures, for a larger supply of grain. The protecting duties on manufactures were, on an average, about 60 per cent. ad valorem. Woollen goods per cent. ad valorem, 1001. cotton ditto, 851. 10s.; glass, 1141.; brass and copper, 591. 7s. earthenware, 791.; dressed leather, 1421.; silver plate, 801.; gilt ditto, 1001. He would not enumerate lesser articles.
Sir J. Shaw said, that from 1804 to 1813, the average of wheat in London was 88s. 8d. of flour 81s. 24d. of the quartern loaf 18. 24d. Several gentlemen suspected, that there was either imposition, or error, in the management of the London market. Why should bread in London be 25 per dom?cent. higher than in the rest of the king
forward to demand of the country a comMr. Barclay said the landholders came pensation for the capital they had employed in improving their own estates;-so might the manufacturers demand co compensation terials lying useless by them;-but they for capital employed in machinery and madid not. . The landholders rents had been doubled and trebled, while the middling classes of the community had been struggling
Mr. Horner thought that, if the manufactures of the country were protected, at such high rates, it did not follow that the productions of the earth should be equally protected by rise of price. The pressure on the agriculturists he thought was tem--let peace bring plenty with it. porary, and demanded only temporary measures. Agricultural speculations had been too extensive during the war. They had yielded immense profits; though unprofitable at this moment. The transition was indeed, violent. He was not afraid of importation: the quantity could not be sufficient to hurt us. He doubted much whether France was in a high state of agricultural improvement, he thought her exports were only casual. These regulations would raise the price of our manufac-furnish a supply? We had the power of tures abroad; was that desirable, considering the competition we might have to struggle with? should our artizans fly to other countries? the payment of part of the labourer's wages out of the poor's rate was most mischievous. The finances of the country, also, would be much injured.
ther the farmer of this country could conMr. Grattan said the question was, whetend with foreigners in our own market, or whether he should be undersold there? It appeared from the late supplies at the corn market, that 800,000 quarters was imported, while only 300,000 quarters were be put out of tillage? if so, the manufacof home supply. Shall this country, then, turer will be at the mercy of foreigners. Are we certain that foreigners will always
At length, Sir M. W. Ridley moved the substitution of 76s. as the protecting price
not keep it? If we took away from Ireland our own supply in our own hands; why the growth of corn, how could she raise four million of taxes? how could she continue her assistance?
Sir R. Peele said, if manufactures were to be discontinued, what would become of less now than twenty years ago?— it had the corn trade? Was the price of land increased 15 or 20 per cent. When the