Page images

steam to communicate heat and mo- Messrs Peter Moore and Co. tión to wines, porter, &c. in cellars, (London) for a vertical bond in storehouses, and other places.

buildings, &c. Mr Henry James and John Jones Mr Lawrence Drake (Cloaklane, (Birmingham) for an improvement in London) for a method of preparing the manufacture of barrels of all de- the various sorts of isinglass from ri. scriptions of fire-arms.

ver and marine fish. Mrs Sarah Guppy (Bristol) for Sir Saml. Bentham (Hampstead) tea and coffee urns, &c.

for a new mode of excluding water of Mr Thomas Marsh (King-street, the sea, of rivers, or of lakes, during Clerkenwell) for improvements in the the execution of under-water works construction of watches.

of masonry, or for the security of Mr Robert Giles (London) for the foundations, applicable to the coninvention of a cap or cowl to be pla. Struction of sea-walls, wharfs, piers, ced on the top of chimneys.

&c. Mr Michael Logan (Paradise - Mr William Hardcastle (Abing. street, Rotherhithe) for an instru. don) for improved cranes, to prevent ment for the generation of fire, and accidents from the goods attached to various purposes in chemical and ex- the pulley overpowering the person at perimental operations.

the winch, or in the walking wheel. Mr Andreru Patten (Manchester) Mr George Dolland (London) for for a discovery and improvements in an improved method of lighting the the tanning of leather, by the use of binnacle compass, used for steering pyroligneus or wood-acid.

ships at sea. Mr William Strachan (Chester). Mr Benjamin Milne ( Bridlington) for a method of preparing the ore of for an improved double bell and gun cobalt for trade, manufacture, and alarm.

Mr Frederic Albert Winsor (ShootMr Jeremiah Steel (Liverpool) er's Hill) for a method of employing for a new apparatus, and for distilling raw or refined sugars in the composiand rectifying spirits. .

tion of certain articles of great de. William Everhard Baron Von mand. . Doornik (Wells-street) for an im. Mr John Justice (Dundee) for an provement in the manufacture of soap improvement in the construction of to wash with sea-water, with hard. stove-grates calculated to prevent the water, and with soft-water.

smoking of chimnies, or to effect their Mr James Adams (Pitkellony, in cure. the county of Perth) for a method of Mr John Simpson (Birmingham) drying malt and all kinds of grains for improvements in the construction and seeds.

of lamps. Mr George Smart (Westminster) Mr Robert Bill (Rathbone-place) for an improved method of preparing for an apparatus to facilitate the opetimber so as to prevent its shrinking. ration of washing clothes, and other

Mr Blenkensop (Middleton, York. processes necessary in family and shire) for mechanical means by which other establishments. the conveyance of coals, minerals, and Mr Richard Waters (Fore-street, other articles is facilitated, and the Lambeth) for a new method of ranije expence attending the same is rendere facturing pottery.ware, ed less than heretofore.




[ocr errors]

To provide for the subsistence of 'a ing policy of their enemies the grie. great nation, independently of a fo- vances of which they complain. Such reign supply of grain, must be a lead. a justification will be addressed to men ing object in every wise system of le- prejudiced by habit and deaf from degislation. Without the wealth which spair.-These weighty considerations an extended commerce affords, a peo. have long fixed the attention of the ple may be great and free ; without most enlightened statesmen of this the refinements of their more polished country on the subject of the Corn neighbours, they may be virtuous and Laws; and it is a singularcircumstance, warlike ; but without an independent that notwithstanding the numerous supply of the means of subsistence, discussions which this great question they must for ever be at the mercy of has undergone, even its elementary any great combination of their ene. principles should yet be involved in mies. The government of a country doubt and contradiction. which is exposed to scarcity and fa.. Whether any interference of legis. mine, must have perils to encounter lative power for regulating the corn which no energy will overcome : the trade be justifiable on sound and libeassaults of a people goaded on by ral views of policy, has been often want, and animated by despair, will questioned by speculative enquirers ; not be easily repelled. As every great but on the supposition that some restate which is dependent on the pre- 'straints may be beneficial, there can carious aid of its neighbours for a sup. be little doubt as to the objects which ply of the necessaries of life must count should be kept in view in imposing on occasional disappointment, and as them.-The leading object must be to a scarcity of corn will always affect secure, at all times and in all circumwith the greatest severity those who stances, an abundant supply ; since it are the most impatient of privations, will hardly be disputed, that the danand the most prompt to avenge their gers of dependence on foreign and hos. real or supposed wrongs, that power, tile powers for the corn with which of whose influence alone they are sen- the people are to be fed, and the oco sible, will, in such extremities, have casional recurrence of scarcity and facause to dread their resentment. It mine, must greatly overbalance all will not avail their rulers, in the hour other inconveniences. Moderation and of distress and danger, to charge the steadiness of prices are also objects sufferings of the people on foreign of high importance, in so far as they poivers, or to impute to the unrelent can be reconciled with national secu.

rity and independence.-An important commerce is an object of worthy an. distinction, however, must be made bition only as it contributes to the among these different objects, the one happiness of the people and the power being wholly within our power; the of the state, it ought for ever to be other but partially attainable ; and kept in due subordination to the highthe last depending on a variety of cir. er interests of the community - There cumstances, the effect of which it is is no reason to believe, however, that difficult to estimate with accuracy. the people of this country will soon be By adequate encouragement, we can called upon to make so painful an secure abundance until the population election ; but in considering the geneshall have increased beyond the num. ral principles of the Corn Laws, these bers which the actual or possible pro- important distinctions must never be duce of the soil can maintain ; but the disregarded. vicissitudes of the seasons must always To ensure a plentiful supply of corn present an insurmountable obstacle to in unfavourable seasons, it is necessary any system which aims at a perfect to have a surplus in ordinary years. uniformity of prices. Yet although Those who think that the deficiency the evils attending considerable fluc. of a bad season will be compensated tuations cannot be altogether reme. by the frugality of the consumers, died, they may be greatly mitigated ; must forget some of the most striking and in this, as well as in all other ques. phenomena in political economy. It tions of practical policy, it is the duty was long ago proved, that a very small of the legislature, out of evils which deficiency in the supply of corn will ·cannot be wholly avoided, to choose be sufficient to occasion an enormous the least. The high or low price of rise of price; and as the vicissitudes corn again is not absolute, but rela- of the seasons render such deficiencies tive ; not a fixed, but a varying quan. unavoidable, no country can be said tity ; not susceptible of determination to be independent of foreign supply as upon abstract principles, but to be to the necessary article of grain, which estimated with reference to the actual does not, in ordinary years, raise a sur. price of labour, and the variable cir- plus beyond the wants of its domestic cumstancesof the community. In this consumption. very general view of the leading prin- How is this surplus to be obtained? ciples of all corn laws, it may be af- It is a principle of common sense, as firmed, therefore, that an ample and in well as a maxim of political philoso. dependent supply is demanded by the phy, that all the products of human high consideration of national safety; industry will be brought to market in that steadiness of prices is required for proporcion to the demand for them; the comfort of the lower orders ; while and that the prospect of reward is the the cheapness of corn must be emi. only sure incitement to toil. If the nently subservient to the prosperity home market alone be accessible to the of commerce. An opportunity will farmer, he will proportion his supply to occur afterwards for the illustration of the demand which it présents. He may these propositions ; but if there be not be able indeed exactly to calculate any truth in them, we may well ask, its wants in so many quarters of wheat; What ought to be the answer of the but he will readily ascertain, by an inpeople of a great country, if they are fallible criterion--the state of pricescalled upon to sacrifice in part one or whether there be a general excess be. other of these advantages ? Must yond the natural and accustomed lithey not confess, that as an extended mits. You will in vain, in such circum

stances, expect that surplus which is an absolute encouragement to the to provide against the inconveniences growth of corn, to bestow a preferof deficient crops; the farmer acts on ence on agriculture over all other the same principles with all other la branches of industry, would be at once bourers and capitalists, and will ac capricious and unavailing. To ind commodate his operations to the state crease not the absolute, but the relaof the demand.--But an enlarged sup- tive quantity of corn produced to ina ply can be secured only by extending sure a supply always, or at least gethe demand ; by opening the markets nerally, beyond the wants of the po. of foreign nations to the enterprise of pułation, is the only legitimate object the farmer; and by assuring him of of legislative interference. Now, what a reward for his labour.

would be the effect of a bounty on The foreign market may be acces- production ? It would enable the farm. sible to the farmer without any en. er to bring his corn to market at a couragement except that which is cheaper rate ; and, by a reduction of implied in the entire freedom of the the price of grain, would give a great corn trade. The comparative fertility and immediate encouragement to poof the soil, the cheapness of labour, pulation. It is a maxim of political and many other circumstances, may economy, that labour, like every thing enable him successfully to compete else, is produced in proportion to the with the foreign grower, without any demand for it ; in proportion to the incitement or reward from his own comfort and opulence which are $ccountry. But, excepting in these fa. cured for the labourer. Any measurė, vourable circumstances, the foreign therefore, by which his wages are in. market must be inaccessible to him; creased, or by which his command no surplus will be raised to meet the over the necessaries of life is extended, exigences of unfavourable seasons; the adds to his power of rearing a family, country will be exposed to great fluc- and of increasing the population. A tuations of price, to dependence on her bounty on the production of corn neighbours for corn, and to occasional would thus increase the population till visitations of scarcity, perhaps of fa- it bore again the same proportion to mine, unless the enterprise of the farm. the produce of the land, which it had er is sustained by special encourage- done before the bounty was granted. ment, and the disadvantages under The legitimate objects of the bounty which he labours are compensated to therefore would not be attained ; the him by the bounty of government. absolute quantity of corn would in.

Different expedients have been sug- deed be increased, but its relative am gested for giving this artificial en- bundance would remain as before ; and couragement to agriculture. A bounty the same danger of scarcity and fa. on the production of corn would, we mine which had formerly existed would have been told, be the most natural still recur. and efficient stimulus ; since by increa. But a bounty on exportation, wbile sing the quantity of corn, and lower. it bestows no encouragement to proing the price to the purchasers, it duce corn for home consumption, of would not only secure an abundant. fers a powerful incitement to produce supply for our own consumption, but it for foreign nations. It is free, would open foreign markets to the therefore, from some of the most pro. surplus which would be created - minent objections to a bounty on pro. But those who think thus misappre- duction ; for, as it affords no encouhend the object which the corn laws ragement to the growth of corn for are intended to accomplish. To give the home market, it communicates

impulse to population. What then are sire of gain which induced the farmer the advantages of this measure ? and to labour for the limited market, will what is the precise manner in which it tempt him to labour and improve for operates ?

the new and more extended demand It is assumed of course, that the which is opened for his produce ; so bounty to be granted is the result of long, at least, as there remains a capamature deliberation and exact know. city of further improvement in the ledge of the state of the corn-markets country.-A bounty on exported corn both at home and abroad. If the will not encourage population at price of corn be higher in Great Bri. home; as the bounty applies only tain than among the nations of the to the corn which is raised for the continent, the bounty must be such foreign market, there will be no fall as to compensate to the farmer the of price to the domestic consumer ; whole difference of price, together the condition of the labourer and of with the expence of carriage to the the people at large will, therefore, foreign market. If it be inadequate remain unchanged. Prices will be for these purposes, the law will re kept steady and uniform ; a surplus main a dead letter, and can never oc will be created, which, in years of casion the exportation of a single scarcity, may, by withdrawing the quarter of wheat. If it be more than bounty, or prohibiting exportation, adequate, it must be attended with be thrown into the home market, and serious inconveniences ; since by gi. the evils of scarcity will be avoided. ving the foreign an advantage over the The prices of corn, even for a series home market, it will carry off more of years, will be kept steady, as the than the surplus, and very unnecessarily violent fluctuations which are occaraise the price to the domestic consu- sioned by a small deficit in the supply mer. But if the bounty be such as to can never occur under such a system. give neither market an advantage over In further illustration of the effects the other, its operation will resemble of the bounty, the words of a great an extension of the home market; but author may be quoted, who has shown with this great and striking advantage, the most profound knowledge of this that the surplus destined for foreign subject. * countries can always in years of scar. « Let the effects of the bounty," city be retained as a provision against says Dr Johnson, “ be minutely condistress. A bounty, therefore, so re. sidered. The state of every country, gulated as to give the British farmer with respect to corn, is varied by the the same, or nearly the same, advan. chances of the year. tages in the foreign as in the home “ Those to whom we sell our corn, market, is alone defensible on any 'must have every year either more corn sound principles of policy.

than they want, or as much as they want, What are the advantages of such a or less than they want. We likewise bounty? By extending the market are naturally subject to the same vato the British grower, it will induce rieties. him to raise corn sufficient for the sup- “ When they have corn equal to ply of thisextended market; to provide their wants, or more, the bounty has a supply beyond what is required for no effect ; for they will not buy what domestic consumption. The same de- they do not want, unless our exube

* Considerations on Corn by Samuel Johnson, L.L.D. p. 244. et seq. Appendix to Hamilton's Part. Logic.

« PreviousContinue »