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only effective encouragement of manufactures is the demand for the fabrics let this be active, and all is sure to go well, with no more reference to corn in England, than to corn in the moon. What was the language of the master manufacturers when caming with complaints to the bar of the House of Commons against the Orders in Council? Those Members who in their questions attempted to throw the distress not on the want of demand, but on the price of provisions, were uniformly repelled; and the following extracts from that evidence will sufficiently prove this assertion.

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Mr. Shaw.-Do not you think the distresses of the poor in Birmingham are greatly owing to the high price of bread, in consequence of last year's scarcity?—They are more owing to the want of employment, I believe; indeed I know it, from the number of manufacturers I have occasion to go to in Birmingham and the neighbourhood.

If bread was cheap, do you think we should have heard many complaints?-Certainly we should, as to two parts out of three; certainly the cause is the want of employment.

Mr. Ridout. You were understood to have said, that it was owing to the want of employment, and not the want of bread?— To the want of employment; I believe with plenty of trade, that the present price of bread would be borne with.

Is the Committee to understand then, that you attribute all the distress in Birmingham to the want of trade, and not to the dearness of bread?—I think the want of trade is of much greater consideration, of much greater weight than the price of provisions.

Mr. Honyman.-Supposing the price of bread to have been reasonable at this time, do you apprehend there would have been great distress or complaint among the poor?-The distress would have been comparative, but the want of work is the great cause of the distress.

Mr. Platt. The poor, if they are fully employed, are perfectly satisfied, although provisions are high, as was the case in 1800, and I believe part of 1799; notwithstanding that, the people were employed, and we heard no complaining, or very little complaining indeed.-Parliamentary Papers, 1812, p. 43, 71, 308, 459.

Now the reader is to remember, that these examinations took place in April 1812, and that the price of wheat that year in January, was 105s. 9d. per quarter; in February, 105s. 2d.; in March, 112s. 5d.; in April, 125s. 4d.: that the average for 1811 was 94s. 8d.; and that of 1810, 104s. 5d. If those master manufacturers could thus speak, referring to the period of such prices as these, and so lightly also of the scarcity of 1800, it may surely be asked, what foundation can there be at any time for apprehen

sions respecting prices much lower? and that as to being alarmed at a rise from 63s. to 80s. such an idea would, by the same gentlemen at the same bar, be necessarily treated with the utmost contempt. Consistently with the preceding evidence, they might, with a fair demand for their fabrics, repel any suggestion imputing a notion so contradictory and preposterous.

It is not to be forgotten, that in the connexion between fabrics, labor, and corn, we must entertain great doubt, whether the nominal money prices of these commodities be of any consequence to the consumption by foreigners: on the contrary, it should seem that the quantity of labor employed in the production of fabrics, is the only real measure of value, whatever may be the amount of the nominal internal prices resulting from the currency, whether of cockle-shells, shillings, paper, or guineas. This is a question of importance, and merits being analysed with more attention than I am able to give it.

"If fifteen people, with their skill, machinery, and apparatus, a hundred years ago, could manufacture and finish broad cloth at the rate of one piece per day; and fifteen people now, with their improved skill, machinery, and apparatus, manufacture and finish broad cloth of equal goodness at the rate of two pieces per day; or if, with the same quantity manufactured, and finished in the same time by the same number of hands, the quality is twice as good, then, it appears to me, broad cloth is intrinsically cheaper by one half now, than it was a hundred years ago, should even the nominal price, that is, the price of it in the exchange for circulating medium, be now as many pounds sterling as it was shillings at the former period; and that it depends on this intrinsic cheapness, whether foreign countries will purchase it in preference. When Russia wants broad cloth, she goes to market with hemp, iron, tallow, coarse linens, &c., and she will evidently trade where she can obtain the greatest quantity of broad cloth, of a suitable quality, in exchange for a given amount of her own articles, because there she will trade to the best advantage. Then the question is, which of two countries, in competition with each other, with regard to the trade of Russia, can afford to give her a greater quantity of broad cloth of the desired quality, in exchange for a given amount of her articles: that where, on account of a scarcity of circulating medium, broad cloth is nominally cheap, though intrinsically dear? or that, where, on account of an abundance of circulating medium, it is nominally dear, though intrinsically cheap? But it is obvious, that the respective quantity of circulating medium in the two, as far as it has an influence on the price of a piece of broad cloth, must also sway the price of Russia articles, and so far the difference of the nominal prices can give no advantage in the trade in either.”American Review, p. 272, Oct. 1811.

That taking off the restriction on the Bank would be attended by the most mischievous consequences, is a fact too obvious to be doubted by any person, whose business does not render him peculiarly interested in such a measure; but the excursion of pleasure of Buonaparte from the Mediterranean to Paris, has for the present removed all apprehension of such an event; and amidst the preparations for war, individuals must prepare for the financial operations by which such war must be supported. If these are to be simultaneous with a series of low or falling prices, the distress will be great indeed, and the difficulties of Government insuperable. Nothing can enable the Nation, except the direct providence of God, to go through another contest, without the means which enabled it to support the last.

But if prices generally rise, that of labor must rise with them; for it is in vain to expect any prosperity, while the poor shall suffer for want of a fair equilibrium; and I cannot but refer to an old proposition I made, for rating rural labor at the price of a peck of wheat per diem.

It is not easy to contemplate the apparent difficulties which threaten this kingdom at the present moment, without the propositions of Messrs. Boase and Walsh, relative to an inconvertible paper currency, offering themselves to the mind: a system to which our late experience has certainly given much authority. The latter remarks, that "a currency entirely unconnected with the precious metals, peculiar to the country in which it should be established, and confinable within certain limits, would be an important improvement in political economy. The author of "The Review of the Controversy," has analysed the arguments of the respective parties with great acuteness and discrimination: his quotations from Burnet, in reference to the times of King William, and what is mentioned of those of Queen Anne, and of the state of the currency during the American war, and chiefly in 1783, when the Bank was more reduced in cash than even in 1797, corroborate what has been insisted upon above, viz. that by rendering her currency inconvertible, England has escaped one of the most disastrous consequences which have formerly attended all long protracted wars; has enabled herself to prosecute her present war with greater vigour, and has thus improved an advantage, arising from the nature of her government and institutions, which is not within the reach of her enemy, and must become the more decided, the longer the contest is continued. I cannot agree with the ingenious author, when he terms (page 87) the idea of a permanent restriction of Bank payments, an absurdity not to be thought of. If an inconvertible currency, as he has very forcibly shown, is not only

adequate to all the purposes of circulating medium in times of dif ficulty and danger, but is even attended with a decidedly great advantage, it is difficult to conceive why it should be inadequate to it in times of tranquillity and peace; or why a system which must be deviated from at critical periods, because it would then be fraught with mischief, should be generally preferable to one which adapts itself equally well to all situations ?”—American Review, Oct. 1811, p. 260, 280.

There never was a period in which greater importance attached to right ideas in the public mind, relative to the consequences of high or low prices, than the present moment: from a right combination of the preceding powerful remarks, from several writers of great ability, it will be impossible not to conclude, that in the state of Europe opening upon us in this fearful moment, nothing ought to be so deprecated as falling prices, which would, in the event, be sure to starve the poor, to ruin agriculture, to cripple manufactures, to disable Government, and in a word, to ruin every class of the State. All these points should be deeply and coolly considered: every possible effort should be made to enlighten the public mind, upon questions so intimately connected with the real interest of every individual: and the many writers, who in the Corn discussion exerted their abilities to prove that prices in general, including that of labor, ought to sink, have subjected themselves to a load of responsibility, not to be shifted off by their talents, great as these may be: We have been threatened with the emigration of manufacturers, from the dear provisions of England, to the cheap ones of the Continent; and that the skill, capital, and industry of Britain would be transferred: such gloomy apprehensions are unworthy of a native of this great, free, wealthy, and happy country. When did capital remove from security such as we possess, to the insecurity of other governments? When did workmen ever emigrate from high to low wages? The few to be found in foreign countries have been bribed, for the instruction of the natives; and generally lament the delusions which induced them to move. The emigra

tion feared is from all that should establish content in the human heart, to all that might excite suspicion, and fill the unwary experimenter with increasing alarm. But in truth, such apprehensions are too absurd to be admitted, and can find room in no minds but in those of men gifted with an unhappy propensity to see nothing but evil around them, and to suppose that good unmixed is to be found every where else: the doctor or the apothecary would be more adequate to cure such a malady, than the most powerful facts urged in the clearest reasoning.

That political evils exist in this country, must readily be admitted; for the inhabitants are not angels, but men.-In the payment

of rural labor, and the support of cottagers by the assistance of poor rates, notwithstanding the undoubted merit attaching to the original design and principles of our poor laws, yet in their progress they have generated such a system of dependency on parochial support, as to produce much real mischief.-The excellent effects of a very different system, as detailed in the Memoir by the Earl of Winchilsea, printed by order of the Board of Agriculture, should long ago have excited far more attention than it has received; and might very easily have been made the means of doing away rates altogether, so far as the village poor are concerned. I refer to the system of every cottage having land annexed to it, sufficient for a good garden, and keeping one or two cows, under certain regulations. The more I have reflected on this subject, the stronger has been my conviction of the infinite importance of spreading it through the kingdom, as much as circumstances will permit.

The restoration of Buonaparte to the throne of France, contributed in nó slight degree to stop the riots in London, by commanding the attention of the people to an unusual degree, and the news was received with unequivocal expressions of approbation: and I have received information from several parts of the kingdom, clearly manifesting in villages the same opinion; and the expressions reported were remarkable: speaking of Buonaparte: Let him come; what harm can he do to us? What have we to defend? The price of labor reduced; employment a favor; and our reward a Workhouse, or the Parish. One laborer is reported to me to have used the remarkable expression, what stake have we in the hedge?

Every enlightened mind must know the extreme folly and fallacy of such language, but still we must admit that such opinions, and such language, could not be found in any district where the cow system prevailed: I would give them a stake which should want no political explanations: positive and tangible, His cottage, his land, and his cow, would be a stake in the hedge, that would make him value, respect and revere every twig in it: and he would regard the overseer of the poor as much unconnected with his prospects, as the overseer of Bedlam, or the Mint. I see nothing but private happiness and public security in such a system; and I cannot but consider it as a national misfortune, that men of the most distinguished abilities have declared themselves hostile to the measure.

Ascertainment of Prices.

IF in only two controversies, above one hundred and twenty publications appeared, in which are to be found several hundreds

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