Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

even Sir Thomas Lethbridge ac- peers paupers, and the gentry of knowledged it, and on the 2nd of the land absolute beggars. Should June withdrew a motion on the any thing like a scarcity approach subject of agricultural distress, under our present state of dimiwhich had been fixed for the 5th nished cultivation, even the moof that month.

nied classes would feel the prese It will be remembered from the

sure which

now harassed the tenor of some of the debates re- agriculturists alone. The change corded in the preceding volume, in the value of money, which, that it was a favourite notion of we were told in 1819, would not many, that the nominal prices of exceed five per cent, had turned all goods, and of grain, among the out to be a difference of more than rest, had been lowered in conse- three times five per cent.-Mr. quence of the return to payments Western said, that there was still in specie, and that to this change another most important questionthe landed proprietors attributed all the practicability of maintaining their distress. Notwithstanding the currency adopted by us, in the their improving circumstances, they various changes in our situation were still anxious for an inquiry that might occur relatively to other into this subject; and accordingly, countries. He was thoroughly conon the 11th of June, Mr. Western vinced, that, with our currency, as submitted a motion to the House, fixed by Mr. Peel's bill, we could the object of which was, to in- not possibly sustain a war expenduce an immediate attention to diture at all approaching the last; the state of the currency, and on the contrary, that the first shot to examine into the effects pro- fired would be the signal for a seduced by the changes that had cond recurrence to paper. When been made in its value during the all the rates of payment througla last thirty years. In doing so, he the country had been change 1; disclaimed all party views, and all when the pay of the

had bcon idea of exclusive regard for the greatly increased and that of the landed interest, which, however, army nearly doubled; when the had been obviously the first victim cost of every establishment of the of the system which he argued government had been raised to against. He maintained that the meet the depreciated currency, was change of the currency, caused by it consistent with reason for gothe bill of 1819, had heaped new vernment to revert to the high value calamities on the people, and of money, and yet leave all these threatened to overwhelm the land- establishments at the nominal rate ed proprietors in such embarrass- of the low value of money ?-Mr. ments, as would degrade them from Ricardo contended, that, the differthe rank which they had been ac- ence, in 1819, between gold and customed to hold in the country. paper, being only five per cent, he The landlord found it impossible was entitled to expect, that the to hold his tenant to the strict change made in the currency by terms of the contract, without re- the bill would not exceed that ducing that tenant to utter po- amount. The Bank, however, by verty; and the reduction of 30 per their manauvres, occasioned a decent, which the landlord was com- mand for gold which was not nepelled to give to his tenant, made cessarily consequent upon it; and so raising the price of gold in the owed money, whether the nation general market of the world, they or individuals, should have a dimichanged the standard, with refers nution of the pecuniary amount of ence to which our currency had their debts equal to the diminution been calculated, in a manner which which had occurred in the price of could not possibly have been fore- corn. Lord Stanhope was the seen. He could not agree with most distinguished patron of this the hon. member for Essex in es- scheme of mingled madness and timating the actual alteration in dishonesty; which was supported the value of money at 30 per cent. upon principles too absurd to deHe thought that the country serve either mention or refutation. would be able to pay just as

navy

This session was also distinguishmuch for the support of a war ed by the further prosecution of that under the existing system, as it enlarged and liberal system of comwould under any system recom- mercial policy,which had beenbegun mended by the hon. member for in the preceding year, and which had Esses. As a war measure, indeed, acquired augmented patronage in he thought a change in the value the promotion of Mr. Canning, of the currency was no measure Mr. Robinson, and Mr. Huskisson. at all. It might take the money Mr. Wallace, on the 12th February, out of one man's pocket, and put it moved, that a select committee mto that of another, but it could should be re-appointed, to conhave no influence on the powers sider of the best means of mainand resources of a state. — The taining and improving the foreign marquis of Tichfield thought the trade of the country. He made question turned upon this issue, this motion, not merely upon the whether or not the greater part general ground, that the commerce of the landed proprietors should of the country was likely to receive quit possessions held by them important advantages from the laand their ancestors for ages past bours of such a committee, but also and live as exiles in foreign lands. upon a special reason, arising out The noble marquis went at some of the circumstances under which length into the question, and, in the committee had separated at the conclusion, lamented, that the em- close of last session. The House barrassed state of its currency and would recollect, that, when the finances had rendered the country dock system was first established incapable of going to war with in this country, certain exclusive France in defence of the rights of privileges were granted to those nations. After a few remarks, from who expended their capital in proMr. Baring, Mr. Peel, and Mr. Hus- moting it. Those privileges, howkisson against the motion, and lord ever, were granted for a limited Folkestone and Mr. Bennet in period only, and many of them favour of it, it was finally nega- were about to expire. The first to tived by a majority of 96 to 27. expire were those granted to the

Petitions were presented, and West India Dock Company; and motions made in both Houses, for that body, contemplating their apwhat was called an equitable ad- proaching expiration, had presented justment of contracts. The sub- a petition to parliament, praying stance of the doctrine of equitable for their further continuance. adjustment was, that all who That petition had been met by

[ocr errors][merged small]

others, of which the prayer was rable increase. The export of directly the reverse ; and these cotton had increased 10 per cent ; evnflicting petitions had been re- of hardware, 17 per cent; of linens, ferred to the consideration of the 12 per cent ; of woollens, 13 eummittee upon foreign trade. per cent; and the aggregate exThe committee prosecuted that ports of 1822 exceeded those of inquiry with the utmost diligence, 1820, by 20 per cent; and those of and, before the close of the session, 1821, by 7 per cent; notwithcollected all the evidence which standing a deduction was to be was material to it. By the time, made from the exports of one great however, that such evidence was article, refined sugar, owing to a collected, the session was nearly prohibitory decree of Russia, imbrought to a conclusion; and the posing a duty of at least 35 per cent. committee then felt, that they had Valuable as all the measu es, to neither time, nor indeed numbers which he had been alluding, had sufficient to offer an opinion upon proved to the country, they were it, that was likely to prove satis not more valuable than the declafactory either to the House, or to rations which they had elicited from the nation in general. That con- the government and from the sideration led them to defer the House, of the real principles on delivery of their opinion to the which they thought that British present session; when they trusted commerce ought to rest ; namely, that they should be re-appointed, that we ought to get rid of the and when they were more likely old restrictive system of commerce, to come to a satisfactory decision. and to adopt one more liberal in its These he considered good special nature, and more beneficial to the grounds for the re-appointment of intercourse of foreign nations with the committee. The export trade of this country. After several of the the country, he added, was flourishe members had acknowledged the obing under the alterations which they ligations which the country owed had suggested. They had released to Mr. Wallace for his exertions as the navigation laws from the mass president of the Board of Trade, of useless legislation by which they and their regret at his relinquishing had been formerly incumbered, that official situation, Mr. Canning and yet the navigation of the assured the House that no effort country had not at all diminished; would be left untried, on the part nor had the effects which it had of the king's government, to rebeen confidently stated would place him in an office equal to his veeur with regard to one particular abilities and eminent services. The braneh of our trade taken place. committee was then re-appointed. He had had a paper recently placed The Warehousing bill, the object in his hands, which showed, that, of which was, to allow foreigners instead of the Levant trade coming to deposit their goods in our warethrough Holland into the ports of houses, and to take them out for this country, as had been predictel, exportation without payment of English vessels were now actually duty, was likewise passed this sesexporting articles of that trade sion. It met with considerable from British ports to those of Hol- opposition in the different stages land. In all the material articles of its progress through the House: of trade, there had been a conside- All seemed to be satisfied of the

svundness of the principles on had been intended to make some which the bill proceeded; but they relaxation of the existing laws. apprehended that its machinery The intention, however, had been was such as would probably des- mistaken ; and the state of Ireland troy all its good effect. Several made it desirable that no irritation, members having expressed their however erroneous the grounds of anxiety that the bill should be it might be, should be added to as perfect as possible, Mr. Wal- the causes of the present disturblace, on the 21st of April, sub- ances. It was desirable; therefore, mitted several amendments to to replace that trade upon the same the House. The first respected footing of exemptions as before. the bond retuired from the captains These amendments were agreed of ships. As that was found to 'to, and the bill was pressed. work great inconvenience to trade, The Reciprocity of Duties bill, he proposed to substitute the bond which went to the repeal of much of the owners. Another alteration of our system of navigation laws, related to goods removed from one was read, on the 4th of July; for jort to another. At present, the the third time, upon the notion of bond of the first owner of the Mr. C. Grant. goods hung over him, until they Mr. Robertson opposed the bill. were delivered and regularly sold. He contended, that, if the present He proposed to cancel the bond of laws were repealed, foreign vessels, the first owner in such cases, and which already possessed sume adtake that of the purchaser instead vantages over our own, would of it. Another alteration regarded obtain a preponderance that would goods, which, being imported for be utterly destructive of British exportation, might find a better trade. He could not conceive it price by being put into the home possible, that the legislature would market. He would provide for give its consent to a bill so ruinous that upon paying the difference. as the present: Another alteration would enable Mt. Wallace, in reply, insisted ship-owners to transfer stores, which that the measure now brought in had not been consumed in a voyage, had been rendered indispensable by to another ship going on another the similar prveeedings which other destination. The next alteration European commercial powers had Went to extend the regulations on adopted. Under the present sysshipping coffee, which now ap- tem, common to the European plied only to plantation evfice, to powers in question, the only means all other kinds of coffee. He had of meeting the heavy duties which extended the same regulations to they had imposed on our goods and rum, at the suggestion of the hon. shipping, or of being admitted with member for Bristol. Another re- other riations to participate in the gulation affected the warehousing benefits of their commerce, where of East India goods, which took the duties were low, was, in all place at present under the 43rd possible respects, to place our Geo 3rd." That act was to be re- duties upon a footing of perfect pealed by the present bill, and it reciprocity with theirs. It had tras necessary to make some pro- been urged, that foreign nations vision in its stead. The last applied had great advantages over us, beto the Irish linen trade, in which it cause they could build ships at a much cheaper rate than we could ; tory to know, that the shipping but this advantage was counter- trade had increased very considerbalanced by the fact, that British ably since last year. In 1822, the vessels were generally of greater number of ships employed was capacity than they stood registered 18,736; their tonnage, 2,263,000 at; and, consequently, paid less tons. In 1823, the number of duty in foreign ports. Upon an ships employed was about 20,000; average, again, it would be found, their tonnage, 2,390,000 tons. So that the wages of British seamen that the increase in one year was were cheaper than those of foreign nearly 1,400 in the number of sailors, all charges being taken ships, and 127,000 tons in the into the account. From the lords' tonnage. The mode of equalizing report it clearly appeared, that the our duties with those of other ships of Norway, Sweden, Russia, countries was safe, as regarded our Prussia, France, and Holland, shipping: and if so, it was obcould not compete with English viously the least invidious method ships for cheapness of sailing. It of preserving those advantages in was equally clear, on the same our commercial relations which we valuable authority, that, upon all already possessed. long voyages, such as those from Mr. Ricardo and Mr. Huskisson the coasts of Africa and Asia, from supported the bill, and Mr. T. India, the Brazils, and the West Wilson and Mr. Marryat opposed Indies, freights were alwayscheaper it. It was passed by a majority in English bottoms than in the of 75 to 15. ships of Holland, France, or Den- The improvement of our foreign mark. He considered the dimi- trade was not the only object which nution in the number of British the ministry had in view by acting ships employed, which the hon. on liberal principles of political member had regretted, a positive economy. They showed themselves advantage to the shipping interest; willing to remove several prohibifor he had reason to know, that, at tions, which seemed to abridge the the commencement of the peace, comforts of the lower classes of there were so many British mera the community. Accordingly a chantmen, that this species of pro- bill was proposed and carried perty became, of necessity, quite through, the main object of which depreciated. It was impossible was, to afford the poorer classes an thật the vessels could all find any improved sort of beer at a cheaper thing like advantageous employ- rate than they had been accusment. At that period, he had tomed to pay for it. This meaheard nothing but complaints on sure, by the increase in the conthe score of their numbers; and sumption of beer and malt consehe believed it to be for the general quent upon it, would likewise bebenefit, that, since then, many of nefit, it was supposed, the agriculthem had worn out, and a vast tural interests. There were existnumber had been sold. Now, the ing, at the time, two duties payable result of all this had been, that, on two kinds of beer; the one was as the numbers had decreased, the a duty of 10s. per barrel on strong hire had risen, so as at length to beer; the other, a duty of 2s. per afford the owner a remunerating barrel on table beer. Formerly price. It was, however, satisfac- there had been an intermediate

anting to

as the

MO

Le chat

Pamat

apar

A be

રર :.

« ZurückWeiter »