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likely to produce certainty in the returns from the markets of corn in this kingdom, and by a just and clear statement of the relations between the prices of wheat and flour, to enable us to prevent fraud, and to supply the inhabitants of the country with bread at a more moderate rate than it has been sold for, allowing a fair profit to the persons employed in the manufacturing of these articles, I would recommend the following resolutions, or such as would enable the committee to act with certainty in fetting the just values on flour and bread. 1. That the returns shall be made of the corn sold from every market town in England, stating the quantity and the weight of grain sold in such markets. 2. That in striking the average of the grain so sold, it shall be computed from the weight of such grain, as that is fixed by the 31st Geo. III c. 30. 3. That a certain quantity of the grain intended to be sold, not loss than one Winchester buthe] shall be pitched in the public market, and the weight of the wheat, or other corn, openly marked on such sample. 4. That the weight of the bushel, and the quantity of the corn fold, fhall be delivered, with an account of the price, to the clerk of the market for the purpose of making his returns, and also to prove the quality of the corn, if the quantity fold should prove, on the delivery, to be of an inferior quality to the sample produced in the market.
their ability, experience, and judg-
- 1oth Dec. 1795.
P.S. Since I had the honour of fubmitting the above letter to the committee, I have received several letters from gentlemen of experience and judgment in the country, on the proposal of substituting weight as the regulator of measures in the sales of corn ; all of whom (except two very respectable men) approve of the plan. The two gentlemen I allude to say, there will be an alteration without an improvement: their reasons have, however, relieved my doubts, as they rest their opinions on two grounds :
1st, That weighing will occasion trouble.
to retail it. This increase of price would be very inconsiderable, and would be much less than the value of the time, which would be thrown away by the purchaser waiting in the market, or his loss by his ignorance of the quality of the commodity. What I have said respecting millers, appears to me to be most necessary to do away the present opinion, that the high price of flour is in some degree owing to the millers or mealmen; but as a respectable baronet has brought forward a bill on this subject, the resolutions contained in my letter respecting millers may be rendered unnecessary, except in drawing the attention of the country to the confideration of these subjećts, which I hope will be the consequence of the attention which has been paid by the committee to enquire into the causes of the high price of corn. A table, like the following, might regulate the prices of a market, as far as related to the quantity and weight:
Thus il. Ios. per load difference would be made in the price, where 28lb. per sack was the difference in weight, which would be five half hundreds in a load of wheat, which is the exact weight of a sack of flour, and which the best wheat would produce more than the lightest.-I have added
* The proposal made in the committee, of obliging farmers to bring at least a sack of corn to market as a sample, or even a bushel is objectionable; the latter quantity, small as it is, cannot be brought ten miles under an expence of two shillings, and nobody could buy it at that additional expence, unless they also contracted to take a greater quantity with it to cover that expence: the poor, for whem it is intended, could never buy it. Besides, in all manufacturing countries the poor feldom buy wheat at market, or would if they could ; the labourers in agriculture in the villages buy it of the farmers for whom they work : the
manufaciurers live from hand to mouth, and buy bread ready baked.