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a part of the whole public, consequently whatever benefits the individual must benefit the public. Hereby the wisdom of the legislature is most evident; nor should it in any wise be arraigned, though ill success attended any particular commodity, manufacture, or fishery, for the encouragement of which bounties have been established.

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We are well aware, that it is not impossible the purpose of bounty may have been perverted with a view to improper gain; but it is the duty of the legislature to use the proper measures for preventing such iniquity. This abuse, however, cannot be adduced as an argument against the benefit arising from allowing bounties.

Bounty on Wheat.

42. These principles in regard to bounties or premiums are applicable to most articles of commerce, except wheat, and other grain, which we shall consider and enlarge on, as being of a complicated nature, and concerning which mankind have at particular times been divided in opinion.

43 It seems to us, that this bounty on grain was intended, not only to encourage the cultivating of land for the raising of it in abundance in this kingdom, for the use of its inhabitants, but also to furnish our neighbours, whenever the kind hand of Providence should be pleased to grant a superfluity.

44. It never can be presumed, that the encouragement by the bounty insures to the community an uninterrupted, constant plenty; yet, when the grower of grain knows he may by such bounty have a chance of a foreign market for any excess he may have, more than the usual home consumption, he the more willingly labors and improves his land upon the presumption of having a vent for his superfluity, by a demand

in foreign countries; so that he will not probably be distressed by abundance, which, strange as it may seem to some, might be the case by his want of sale, and his great charges of gathering in his crop.

45. As there are no public granaries in this kingdom, the legislature could devise no better means than to fix stated prices under which the bounty or encouragement from the public purse should be allowed. Whenever the current prices exceeded those stipulated, then such bounty should cease.

46. Few consider or are affected but by what is present. They see grain, by reason of scanty crops, dear; therefore all the doors for grain, to the cultivators of it, must always be kept shut. The common outcry is, that the exporting our wheat furnishes bread to our neighbours cheaper than it can be afforded to our poor at home, which affects our manufacturers, as they can thereby work cheaper. To this last allegation we must refer to what we have said, section 26; though the former, that wheat is by the bounty afforded to our neighbours cheaper than to us at home must, in general, be without foundation, from the several items of charge attending the exportation of grain, such as carriage, factorage, commission, porterage, &c. The freight paid to our own shipping, to which alone the bounty is restrained, must, when duly considered, very sufficiently counterbalance the bounty; so that more than what is given out of the public purse is put into the pockets of individuals, for the carriage, &c. Therefore, we think, we may well presume, that in general, grain exported comes dearer to the foreigner, than to the consumer in Great Britain.

47. Nothing can be more evident, we apprehend, than that the superfluity of our grain being exported, is a clear profit to the kingdom; as much as any

other produce of our labor in manufactures, in tin, or any commodities whatsoever.

48. It behoves us, however, indubitably, to have an eye towards having a sufficiency of grain for food in this country, as we have laid down, section 26; and, were the legislature to enact, that the justices of the peace, at the Christmas quarter-session, should have power to summon all growers of grain or dealers therein, and upon oath to examine them as to the quantity then remaining, returns of which quantities should be made to the lords of the treasury, to be laid before Parliament; the legislature would, upon such returns, be able to judge, whether it would be necessary to enable his Majesty, with the advice of his council, to put a stop to any farther exportation at such times as might be thought proper.

49. Or it is submitted, whether the legislature would not act more consistent with the principle of granting bounties, by repealing the act allowing the present bounty on the several sorts of grain at the now fixed prices, and reduce these prices as follow;

On wheat, from forty-eight to thirty-six or thirty-two shillings.

On barley, from twenty-four to eighteen or sixteen a quarter; and so in proportion for any other grain. In short, diminish the present standard prices, under which the bounty is granted, one quarter or one third.

50. In our humble opinion, this last method would be by much the most simple and eligible, as consistent with our grand principle of freedom in trade, which would be cramped, if dependent annually on parliamentary deliberation.

51. The advocates for not lowering the present stipulated prices, that command the bounties from the public purse, may allege, that our ancestors deemed them

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necessary, on the principle of granting any bounty at all, which we have above hinted, section 43. We do not controvert the wisdom of the principle for granting a bounty; for it must have been, and ever will be, an encouragement to cultivation; and consequently it would be highly improper wholly to discontinue it. Nevertheless, if it has answered one great end proposed, which was cultivation and improvement, and that it is incontrovertible the cultivator has, by the improvements made by the encouragement of the bounty, a living profit at the reduced prices of thirty-two or thirty-six shillings, sixteen or eighteen, &c., as above, which probably, when our ancestors enacted the law for granting the bounty, they understood the cultivators could not have; it seems clear, that there ought to be the proposed change and reduction of the bounty prices, as above mentioned.*

52. The French, intent on trade, have a few years since rectified a very gross mistake they labored under in regard to their commerce in grain. One county or province in France should abound, and the neighbouring one, though almost starving, should not be permitted to get grain from the plentiful province, without particular license from court, which cost no small trouble and expense. In sea-port towns, wheat should be imported; and soon after, without leave of the magistrates, the owner should only have liberty to export one quarter or one third of it. They are now wiser; and through all the kingdom the corn trade is quite

* Our authors were much more favorably inclined to bounties than Adam Smith, and disagreed with him on the subject of the bounty on the exportation of corn, though they were still in favor of restricting it within narrower limits by reducing the rate of the market price at which it might be demanded. The reasoning, however, in the subsequent section is wholly in favor of Adam Smith's doctrine, that this bounty is inexpedient. W. PHILLIPS.

free; and what is more, all sorts of grain may be exported upon French bottoms only, for their encouragement, copying, we presume, our law, whenever the market prices for three following days shall not exceed about forty-five shillings sterling a quarter for wheat. Our reason for mentioning this is only to show, that other nations are changing their destructive measures, and that it behoves us to be careful that we pay the greatest attention to our essential interests.

In inland high countries, remote from the sea, and whose rivers are small, running from the country, not to it, as is the case of Switzerland, great distress may arise from a course of bad harvests, if public granaries are not provided and kept well stored. Anciently, too, before navigation was so general, ships so plenty, and commercial connexions so well established, even maritime countries might be occasionally distressed by bad crops. But such is now the facility of communication between those countries, that an unrestrained commerce can scarce ever fail of procuring a sufficiency for any of them. If, indeed, any government is so imprudent, as to lay its hands on imported corn, forbid its exportation, or compel its sale at limited prices, there the people may suffer some famine from merchants avoiding their ports. But wherever commerce is known to be always free, and the merchant absolute master of his commodity, as in Holland, there will always be a reasonable supply.

When an exportation of corn takes place, occasioned by a higher price in some foreign country, it is common to raise a clamor, on the supposition that we shall thereby produce a domestic famine. Then follows a

prohibition, founded on the imaginary distress of the poor. The poor, to be sure, if in distress, should be relieved; but if the farmer could have a high price for

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