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primitive ingredients by which property is constituted, before that she had ever bestowed any attention, or given any award regarding it. The matter may be illustrated by the peculiar relation in which each man stands to his own body, as being in a certain view the same with the peculiar relation in which each man stands to his own property. His sensitive feelings are hurt by the infliction of a neighbour's violence upon the one, and his proprietary feelings are hurt by the encroachment of a neighbour's violence on the other. But justice no more originated the proprietary than it did the sensitive feelings; no more gave me the peculiar affection which I feel for the property I now occupy as my own, than it gave me my peculiar affection for the person which I now occupy as my own. Justice pronounces on the iniquity of any hurtful infliction by us on the person of another-seeing that such an infliction upon our own person, to which we stand similarly related, would be resented by ourselves. And justice, in like manner, pronounces on the inequality or iniquity of any hurtful encroachment by us on the property of another, also seeing, that such an encroachment upon our own property, to which we stand similarly related, would be felt and resented by ourselves. Man feels one kind of pain when the hand which belongs to him is struck by another, and he feels another kind of pain when some article which it holds, and which he conceives to belong to him, is wrested by another from its grasp. But it was not justice which instituted either the animal economy in the one case, or the proprietary economy in the other. Justice found them both already instituted. Property is not the creation of justice, but is in truth a prior creation. Justice did not form this material or command it into being, but in the course of misunderstanding or controversy between man and man, property, a material pre-existent or already made, forms the subject of many of those questions wich are put into her hands. (a)
"Such would appear to be the true principles of the origin and rights of property, whether as exemplified in the appropriation of a portion of the unappropriated soil by the first occupant, or of the wild animal which the sportsman may have caught, or of the tree which the Savage may have felled, or of the hut which he may have erected in the wilds of the forest, or of the results of intellectual labour.
"These feelings of proprietorship, and the consent given to these principles, are so universal that they have been called natural rights; but this origin and these rights of property so acquiesced in must be distinguished from other rights more appropriately termed natural rights-as a right to the free use of the air, light, and the rain of heaven; these are common to all, because they are bestowed equally on all; and though each person is at liberty to enjoy as much of these as he pleases, long continued occupancy and enjoyment may, even in respect of these, confer certain privileges which cannot be interfered with without the consent of the proprietor.
world, in addition to the natural right of distending its
"And this is the more important because property in literature, or in designs, and invention in the arts and manufactures, has been supposed or represented to derive its origin from, and to have no foundation except the positive law of nations, or what may be termed municipal regulations. Without, however, entering further into a discussion of questions of so much difficulty and refinement, and on which writers of the greatest eminence on natural law and ethics are by no means agreed, the preceding may suffice to afford strong grounds for the opinion that the origin of all property is the same, being derived from the same general principles upon which the foundations of society rest, being in fact part of the constitution of man, of those principles which are the provision not of man but of God."
The author goes on to say
"Whatever may be the true theory of the origin and rights of property, it is certain that creations of the mind or intellectual labour, when embodied in a practical form so as to be available to mankind, whether in books, music, paintings, designs, or inventions in the arts and manufactures, have been recognised almost universally by writers on jurisprudence, on ethical philosophy, and on political economy, and by civilised communities, as a subject of property and protection equally with the material forms in which such creations are embodied. To deny to the cultivated mind or educated man property in the productions of his peculiar labour, or of the exercise of those powers by which he is distinguished from his fellows, and which it has been the object of his education to improve to the utmost, is a proposition which in terms has as yet found no advocate, although the alleged opinions recently advanced on the subject of patent rights "The principles to which property in literature, music, for inventions would appear to lead inevitably thereto. or the fine arts, or in a design, or invention in the arts To deny to the creations and labour of the mind that and manufactures, that is, property in the result of intel- property and protection by the civil power which is given lectual labour, must be referred, are the same as those to to the skill of the hand or to bodily labour, is in effect which other descriptions of property are referred, and the to make intellectual, of no account as compared with same sense of natural equity or justice acts as arbitrator manual, labour, and to give a predominating and overbetween the antecedent or conflicting claims of proprietor-whelming influence to capital and those other representaship by different individuals. These principles being retions of accumulated labour which may be profitably cognised, the laws of civilized states act as an auxiliary to enjoyed without any fresh creations of mind or exercise ratify the constitution which the natural feelings and of inventive faculties. intellects of mankind had established, and perpetuate or defend from violation the order of things which it had ratified. Property thus created and recognised is protected and regulated, as to its mode of enjoyment, by the positive laws of each separate community.
"The term natural rights has been much misapplied in reference to the origin or rights of property and its enjoyments. It may be said that every child born into the
( )1 Bridgewater Treatise, p. 247.
"If, as has been above stated, occupancy and possession be the fundamental principles of the origin and rights of property, the creations of the mind belong to their author in a peculiar and especial sense. He has sole and exclusive power and possession over them until embodied in some material form, and communicated by publication in such form to others. Further, the possession of such property has this peculiar claim derived from the nature of the subject-namely, that the subject-matter of such property did not exist like land, the air, or wild animals, as
part of the common stock provided for all mankind; such was moved by Mr. Brown, M.P., and seconded by Mr. property is, in the strictest sense of the term, a creation, T. Bonch, Vice-President of the Chamber. Another and not a discovery or finding of something created by the great Author of all things, and already existing. The resolution, pointing out the facilities attending thoughts of man are peculiarly and essentially his own, upon a decimal coinage to all classes in the and unless embodied in some practical form, and communicated by publication to the world, would die with community, was proposed by Mr. T. B. Horsfall, their author. To prevent this, and ensure their preser- M.P., and adopted. Copies of the resolutions were vation and publication, may be regarded as part of the ordered to be forwarded to the Prime Minister, the policy of the law which will be further dwelt upon hereafter. Chancellor of the Exchequer, the President of the Board of Trade, and Lord John Russell.
It may be mentioned, in case any of the Institutions are desirous of petitioning Parliament in favour of this very desirable object, that Petitions are frequently of no use on account of their being improperly addressed.
So long as the idea remains locked up in the breast of the inventor and unembodied in any material form, or if embodied remains unpublished, its possession is inviolable, no one can, against the will of the author, become possessed of it; but so soon as the embodiment and pubfication take place exclusive possession is gone, and the idea which till then was locked up in the bosom of the author, becomes communicated to and capable of being It should beimitated by those who are interested in the subject. Now,
in Parliament Assembled.
The Humble Petition of the [Parish, Merchants, or whatever it may be] showeth that," &c.
if it be borne in mind that publication is essential to the" To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom creation of property in intellectual labour, because no one knows of its existence until published, the preventing others from borrowing the idea and embodying it in like material forms becomes necessary for that exclusive possession and use of the idea which is essential to the notion of property. This restraint is the protection afforded by the laws to this description of property; the justice of such protection is derived from the feeling of what is due to the first occupant or possessor; and to the fruits of labour expended on any subject; the policy of such protection may be shown from the effect which it has in giving rise to fresh productions and creations, and in the consequences which reason, analogy, and comparison, tend to show must follow from its withdrawal.
The peculiarities of this species of property, and considerations of public policy, have led to certain regulations as to this description of property, its period and mode of enjoyment, somewhat different from those which exist as to other descriptions of property. For instance, property in lands and chattels, whether real or personal, may be enjoyed for the whole term of the natural life of the possessor, and by his family or successors in perpetuity, according to certain rules of succession. Such succession,, however, as has already been stated, is matter of positive law and public policy, and the commonwealth is well justified, when it allows succession, or affords protection by the strong arm of the law and civil power, to property, in assigning in what manner such succession should take place, or for what term the property should be enjoyed."
The object sought to be attained should conclude with a specific prayer, thus-"Wherefore your Petitioners humbly pray that your Honourable House will be pleased to," &c. "And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray."
Then follows the Signatures, of which one at least should be on the first sheet.
Richmond Hill, near Liverpool, 13th December, 1853. DEAR SIR,-Considering that it is of much importance that we should not be behind any other nation in adopting a system that will abridge the labour of masters in teaching, and scholars in learning, arithmetic; that will simplify accounts and all monetary transactions, great or small; decrease the chances of error, and enable us to enter into many scientific and difficult calculations which we cannot accomplish without using decimals, and which, in many pursuits, are now used, I thought I could not render a better service than by moving in the House of Commons for a Committee to investigate the merits of a system which is adopted by four hundred millions of the human race, and whether any insuperable difficulties stood in the way of our availing ourselves of its advantages.
Before submitting my motion to the House, which Mr. Webster then proceeds to state the legal embraced our currency, weights and measures, I brought rights accorded to inventors in this kingdom, it under the notice of several judicious friends, who the United States of America, and other coun-that it was right to adopt their suggestion, for, by taking wished me to omit weights and measures. tries, quoting the authorities of able and learned up only one object at a time, it would be more easily men in behalf of his position, and combating the understood, and, when carried, and its advantages demonopinion of Earl Granville and others, who main-strated, it would remove much of the difficulty in tain that no right of property in inventions system uniform throughout the kingdom. decimalising our weights and measures, and making our should be admitted.
The following letter, addressed to the President of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, by Wm. Brown, Esq., M.P., has been ordered by the Council of the Chamber to be printed, and circulated with the Parliamentary Report, for general information. A meeting, convened and presided over by the Mayor, Mr. J. B. Lloyd, was held in the Sessions-house of Liverpool, on Wednesday last, to promote the subject. The first resolution, recognising the principle and advantages resulting from the system,
A committee was appointed from both sides of the House, consisting of the following gentlemen:-The Right Hon. Edward Cardwell, Mr. John Ball, the Right Hon. H. Tufnell, Mr. Dunlop, the Right Hon. Lord Stanley, Mr. Moody, Mr. G. A. Hamilton, Mr. Alderman Thompson, Mr. J. B. Smith, Sir William Clay, Bart.. the Marquis of Chandos, Sir W. Joliffe, Bart., the Hon. A. F. Kinnaird, Viscount Goderich, and myself, and after examining twenty-seven witnesses, the Committee made tained through any bookseller, from Messrs. Hansard, the its Report, which, with the evidence, may now be obpublishers of all parliamentary papers.
The Report was unanimous in favour of a decimal coinage, and in urging the government to its adoption; indeed, there was not a single division during the frequent sittings of the Committee.
All our present gold and silver coinage can be made available. The sovereign, taken as the unit and divided into 1000 mils; the half-sovereign 500 mils; the crown 250 mils; the half crown 125 mils; the florin 100 mils the shilling 50 mils, and the sixpence 25 mils. The copper is the only coin that must necessarily be altered, and one, two, and five mil pieces are recommended. The half-crown, the threepenny, and the fourpenny pieces, were recommended to be withdrawn, and 10 and 20 mil pieces, and any other coins that convenience may require, from time to time issued. The nomenclature I think of very little importance; if parties choose to use the name farthings in place of mils, they may.
It has been said that if the pound sterling is adopted as the unit, that we will require an entire new silver coinage; this is quite a mistake. If the mils are marked on all new silver coinage as issued, as the committee recommended, and pass for exactly the same amount as that now in circulation, none of the present silver coinage need be withdrawn until worn out. Its remaining in circulation would at once show the least intelligent person that there was no difference in value between the old and the new.
It will be quite a matter of convenience and taste how we keep our books: to express 17. 19s. 11ąd. it now takes seven figures; in decimals we do it in four figures, either 17. 999mils., or 17 9f. 99m., or 17. 9f. 9c. 9m., all equally correct and equally simple. The other coins (not intended as coins of account) are merely for the convenience and facility of making change.
any article sold to the poor would readily be adjusted to the value of the coin received.
The Duke of Leicester gave us information that, when the Irish currency was changed from 13d. Irish to 12d. English, it was soon understood by the poor, and no difficulty arose with them.
I am quite sure that the intelligence and aptitude of the labouring classes, ready to comprehend and understand any change in the value of our coins and its advantages, are not sufficiently appreciated.
Doctor Bowring says that his Chinese servant and a Chinese boy in his service, by the use of decimals, were rapid and accurate calculators. He never knew them to make a mistake; they were over match for him in the use of figures; and he never met a Chinaman who had not those advantages.
I need not make further allusion to the evidence before the Committee, which, with one solitary exception, was decidedly in favour of the sovereign as the unit, and there was no doubt with any one as to the advantages that would arise by getting rid of our present system of making calculations, and keeping accounts by adopting decimals.
We therefore are in this position-No government likes to venture on any great change, however beneficial it may be, unless public opinion is expressed in favor of it. and I have no doubt that the government is friendly to it The press, as far as I know, advocates the decimal system, that you will encourage the adoption of the Committee's if properly supported by the country. I therefore hope There was but one opinion in the minds of the wit-gest to the authorities to afford their aid by the expresreport as presented to parliament, and that you will sugnesses or the Committee, that great advantages would sion of their views by petition to Parliament. This, I bearise from our adopting a decimal coinage, and only one lieve, is all that is wanting to confer a great national bewitness suggested any other unit than the pound sterling, nefit, by putting us in a position, by a labour-saving maalthough at the same time a decided advocate of the chine (for such it practically is), more easily to meet our decimal principle. He thought that we might adopt the foreign rivals in the markets of the world. We know the penny. But when it was considered that the pound ster-advantage of labour-saving machines in all our manufacling is known to all the world in our exchanges, that our turing towns, and in our improved instruments of husnational debt, dividends, and all large contracts, rents, bandry. The saving of labour, by increasing demand for &c., &c., are associated in our minds with pounds sterling; our industry, requires more hands to carry on the work, and that the penny is most generally used for the small and in every view is an important benefit. payments of the day, for which a substitute can easily be found in a new copper coinage, as before stated, the penny found no favour with the Committee.
The system of buying and selling bullion, which has been customary hitherto, has lately been abandoned by the Bank of England, which now buys and sells it decimally. The Master of the Mint, Sir J. Herschel, informed us he meant to follow its example.
Licut.-Gen. Sir C. W. Pasley (who wrote a very excellent book in 1834, on Coinage, Weights, and Measures) and Mr. Henry Taylor gave us some very striking examples of the decreased number of figures that would be necessary, and the consequent saving of labour that would arise from our adopting a decimal system of bookkeeping and calculations over that now in use.
Professor Airy, Astronomer Royal, stated that the poorest dealers of all referred everything to the standard of a pound sterling, and that to disturb it as the unit would lead to great confusion.
Professor De Morgan considered that adopting a decimal system of arithmetic would save one half or four-fifths of the time in teaching it, and leave that saving for the pursuit of other studies. He frequently finds it necessary, as a matter of convenience, to turn £. s. d. into decimals, work out his calculations in them, and reconvert the decimals into £. s. d.
Mr. Lindsey and Mr. Kirkham, who have extensive dealings with the poor, and take as much as 1000 farthings each per week, gave a very decided opinion that, if it was explained to the poor that they could get 25 mils for their sixpence in place of 24 farthings, there would be no difficulty in their meeting the change; but Mr. Kirkham thought they would prefer the name of farthing to mil. Our evidence clearly stated that the quantity of
The limits of a letter compel me merely to glance at the parliamentary evidence, which is most valuable, and which ought to be read to be sufficiently appreciated. The Board of Trade, before I moved for a Committee, had addressed letters to several parties who it was thought could give information on the subject; those parties were called before the Committee, and there never was, I may venture to say, more concurring testimony offered in favour of a decimal system than by the witnesses who attended.
You will perceive that the proposed new mil or farthing is four per cent. less than our present farthing; but that, with reference to the gold and silver coinage, this difference is compensated by your getting 25 mil pieces for a sixpence in place of 24 farthings, and 50 for a shilling in place of 48 farthings, which is a very trifling disturbance, and will be far outweighed by the advantages arising from the adoption of a pure decimal currency.
Gentlemen to whom I have spoken think it might be a great advantage if our coins were the same as those used in France or the United States, or if there was a universal coinage of the same intrinsic value in all civilized nations. There are two fatal objections to thisthat it would be impracticable to get all to agree,-and all history shows that despotic monarchs, to meet the exigency of the moment, have depreciated the value of their coins; and, within my recollection, the United States, to get more gold into the country, and prevent their own leaving them, increased the value of the sovereign from 4.44 dols. to 4.84 dols.; and I believe it is now under consideration, if not actually done, to depreciate the value of their silver seven per cent. So that, if all coins were made everywhere of the same weight and fineness at once, although we would be right to-day there is nothing
Therefore, all decimalise our
SIR,-I really thought we had done with Mr. Loseby and his chronometers. Last July he determined to retire from the controversy which he had raised, because he found that "Mr. Denison's object was to misrepresent everything connected with the subject." I thought that resolution a very wise one, and your declaration not less
BO-that it was no use to continue the discussion.
It appears, however, that what he really meant was, that he should go and try his luck somewhere else, where I was not likely to follow him; for, exactly at this time, I find that he got another batch of his memorials to the Admiralty moved for and printed at the public expense, including a long answer to that letter of Mr. Dent's which he was so unpleasantly surprised to find served up with his previous batch last December, and a new edition of the old Frodsham, Bennett, and Vulliamy nonsense about the Great Exhibition, for which Mr. Dent used to thank them as a very capital advertisement, and by which the Admiralty could not fail to be convinced of the excellence of Loseby's chronometers.
Nevertheless, the Admiralty dish was again unpalatable, and again contained something more than he reckoned on. So now he comes back here again, and, under the pretence of not having had a full enough abstract given of his lecture of last May, gets you to reprint it, for the purpose of exhibiting another proof of his superiority, which he had kept comparatively in the background in the former discussion; and this, too, after he has had this very paper published at full length, pictures and all, in the Admiralty documents.
His argument then was, that the superiority of his compensation-balance to all others was proved by the published results of the Greenwich trials; and his various tables to illustrate this excellence were exhibited at his lecture, and afterwards published here and elsewhere. It was shown, in answer to him, that the Greenwich lists really tell just the opposite story when properly examined, so as to distinguish the errors of compensation from those due to other causes. He now, therefore, goes to work another way, and professes to demonstrate mathematically that none of the inventions which preceded his can succeed, because they are all founded on erroneous principles, and that Mr. Dent's is the worst of them all; that being the one which he is quite right in considering it most important for him to demolish if he can. As to the others, he tells the Admiralty that experience has proved the failure of all that class of inventions, for which Mr. Eiffe got a reward, and Mr. Molyneux a patent, as Mr. Loseby himself has the latter article which, however, he finds to differ very essentially from the former (a fact worth notice in various points of view) Mr. Airy tells them, in reply, that he is altogether mistaken. If Mr. Eiffe has anything more to say to him, I daresay he is able to fight his own battle.
Mr. Dent is no longer here to fight his. And as Mr. Loseby is pleased to designate me his "professional advocate," with the usual compliments, he will not be surprised at my not deserting Mr. Dent's cause; for though he is himself dead, he has left behind him the inventions whose defence Mr. Loseby has compelled me to undertake. Neither Mr. Dent nor I ever wrote a word against his chronometers until he set to work to attack
us-Mr. Dent for being successful, and me for protecting him against the schemes of Mr. Loseby and his friends. Indeed, so far as I am concerned, I had said even more than turned out to be correct, in favour of Mr. Loseby's chronometers. It seems he has not yet learned sufficiently that he had better have been content, and left us both alone.
The first thing that occurs to me to remark upon his present statement, that Dent's compensation is founded on a false hypothesis as to the actual behaviour of chronometers under ordinary circumstances, is-that, if so, Mr. Airy made a most astonishing blunder in reporting to the Admiralty, seven years ago, after some of these inventions had been under his examination for several years, that he "saw no reason why at least one of them (Dent's) should not answer quite as well as Loseby's;" and this too, when he was reporting that Loseby's did answer (which nobody denies); but that the thing had been already done by several other people, patented twice, and paid for by the Government, when it really was a new invention. If there were nothing more to be said, I think this would be tolerably conclusive, both against Mr. Loseby's demonstration of the fallacy of Mr. Dent's hypothesis and his own claim to be distinguished from the many other inventors of compensation balances, earlier and later than himself.
But there is great deal more. Will Mr. Loseby be so good as to extend his proof a little further, and explain how it is that, according to the published classification of the Greenwich trials, which he accepts and appeals to, though I do not, for this purpose, his chronometers have frequently been run so close by this good-for-nothing invention of Mr. Dent's? This very year, 1853, Dent and Loseby came out actually next to each other; in 1852, Dent was next but one to him; and the same in 1850; and in 1847, Dent was third, while he was only seventh. Nay, even the errors of Dent's chronometers are enough to refute his proposition; for whereas he asserts that Dent's secondary compensation cannot produce 1-10th of the required effect, it appears that in some years those chronometers would have stood higher than they did, but for the fact that the secondary compensation had done too much; or (as Mr. Airy said in another case) "had reversed the usual error, thus showing that he possessed complete control over it."
Under these circumstances, it would be a mere waste of time and paper to enter into any detailed examination on Mr. Loseby's mode of proving the impossibility of Mr. Dent's chronometers doing what they profess. But even these results, distinctly as they contradict Mr. Loseby's case, are far short of the real truth as between him and Mr. Dent. I am not going to repeat what I said last June, about the proper mode of comparing the chronometers, so as to bring out the errors of compensation distinguished as far as possible from the other sources of error, depending either on defects of workmanship or or unknown causes. But the necessity of making this dis tinction will be manifest from this one fact, that differences, sometimes of ten seconds and more, very frequently of six or seven, appear in the rates of the best chronometers for different weeks of very nearly the same temperature. It is evident that those are not errors of compensation, and that any inferences as to the value of the different kinds of compensation must be fallacious, unless some means are taken to eliminate as far as possible such large errors which have nothing to do with it. And it is equally evident that, notwithstanding Mr. Loseby's opinion to the contrary, there is still plenty of room for the improvement of chronometers in other respects, independent of compensation.
For the purpose of making this distinction, Mr. Dent suggested a division of the six months of trial into equal periods of cold, mean, and hot temperature, the weeks being already arranged in the order of temperature in one of the pages of the Greenwich lists. Mr. Loseby denounced this as unfair, because some weeks of moderate temperature were
thereby included in the periods of extreme temperature. were wasted as refuse, by consuming the seed and bolls in I showed in one of my former letters, what indeed re-feeding their stock; but if in addition to this they can find quires no demonstration, that that did not signify, so long a market for the stumps, so much the better. When we as there was no extreme temperature included in the consider that we are annually sending millions of money middle period. But I added that, as he did not like an out of this country for that which we can produce at equal division, I had no objection to his excluding mean home,-that it would take the produce of at least 500,000 temperature weeks more completely from the extreme to 600,000 acres beyond what are under cultivation for periods, by taking a mean period twice as long as either flax in the United Kingdom, to supply the wants of our of the extremes; but that he would find such a division linen manufacture, and that this supply may be obtained only made the result still more in favour of Mr. Dent and without displacing any other crop, it does seem strange against himself. And now, in order to show still more that the growth makes so little progress throughout the clearly that the proof of the superiority of Mr. Dent's com- country. Prejudice,-that great obstacle to progress, pensation to his does not depend, as he suggests, upon any especially in agriculture,-is a primary cause; prevention arbitrary rule invented for the purpose, I will offer him by the landlord, another; ignorance of how to treat the yet a third mode of comparison, and one depending on no crop, another; want of spirit and enterprise, another; numerical rule at all; and that is, to make the division but the great cause, in most parts, is the want of a ready into the cold, mean, and hot periods, wherever the regis- market for the crop in its raw state. I am satisfied that, ter of the temperature shows that the greatest breaks ac- as a general principle, where an article can be produced tually occurred, only taking care to get a sufficient num- to advantage, if you provide a ready means of disposing ber of weeks in each period to give a fair average of the of that article on or near the spot, (which is essential when going of the chronometers in that kind of temperature. the article is of the bulky nature of flax), then it will, as a To prevent any mistake about the matter, I will state, natural consequence, be produced. As a means of promore fully than either Mr. Dent or I have done before: viding these markets, I would recommend the establishthat it depends upon which of these three modes of com- ment of retteries and scutch mills in different districts, parison is adopted, whether Mr. Loseby can be made out and that one, two, or more parties should subscribe cato have been first even once, not merely in the four years pital to establish a place on proper principles, to be a to which Mr. Dent extended his examination, but in the model for others, and where foremen might be trained up. last seven years-and indeed more, if it was worth while The want of this is, to my mind, one great drawback to to go further back, that whichever of the three methods the Royal Society for the Promotion of the Growth of you adopt, Mr. Dent has been three times first within the Flax in Ireland, for it is of no use promoting the growth same period; and Mr. Eiffe, Mr. Lister, and Mr. Massey, of flax without you provide a market for it when grown, each once, and, according to the method of equal division and in the system as carried out in Ireland, the farmer of the periods, Mr. Lawson; but whether he or Mr. does not get justice done him in his flax. Besides this Loseby is to have the credit of being first in 1851, depends the monied man requires practical evidence of the profit(as I said just now) upon which division is adopted; and able result before he will invest his money. moreover, that he has been two or three times beaten by Mr. Poole, who was second on those occasions to Dent or
one of the others.
GROWTH AND PREPARATION OF FLAX. SIR,-The subject of the growth and preparation of the Linum- Usitatissimum, or, as we call it, the raw flax plant, or line stumps, is one in which I have taken great interest, and in the introduction of which I have spent much time and money; and I consider it is of very great importance, both to the agricultural and the commercial interests of this country, as well as of her colonies. I am not a theoretical or scientific man, but what I am now about to state is the result of actual experience.
Whether the growth of flax is injurious to the soil or nót, has been a much disputed point, but experience enables me to assert, that where the crop has been taken in a fair rotation, and not as a stolen crop-where the land has been properly chosen and prepared for it, and care taken that its preceding and succeeding crops do not extract the same substance from the soil, it has been found, from the very nature of the preparation required, to be advantageous in lieu of injurious. Whether the growth of flax is remunerative to the producer, among other crops, is also a disputed point, but again experience shows me that, if the growth be properly attended to, it will be found to be amply remunerative. I believe that the farmers would find it pay them, even if the stumps
There is much dispute as to the best means of preparing flax. Some propose the dry system, but this I entirely put aside, as simply impracticable. Some state that fermentation must be the process; others that maceration is the way. Now, practice teaches me that fermentation must be resorted to as a general rule, but that for some flaxes, for certain purposes, maceration will do very well. By fermentation I mean the process of allowing the glutinous matter, which attaches the fibre to the boom, gradually to work off, like wort in ale or wine, as in Schenck's plan. By maceration I mean a violent process of immediate dissolution of the same glutinous matter, such as in Watt's plan. In most of the various novel modes which have of late been brought forward, it is evident that the inventors are theoretical and not practical men; and as for those who profess to turn flax into a substance resembling, and suitable for purposes belonging to, cotton, wool, &c., I can only say that, when we have too much flax for flax-purposes, then it will be time to try and use it for other purposes; but, until that occurs, I, for one, shall continue to direct my attention only to provide an easy, economical, and workable system for producing from the flax straw, according to its quality, an article ready of sale to, and suitable for, the flax spinners and manufacturers. during the month of August, should be saved on the Line stumps, when pulled towards the end of July or When system. (a) thus saved, if the buyer buy the whole crop, let it be at carried to his sheds, where he rolls off the bolls and seed, and sells the best as seed, crushing up the bolls and worst seed to re-sell to the farmer for feeding purposes. If, on the contrary, the buyer purchase the line stumps alone, the farmer must once proceed carefully to take off the bolls and seed,
flax is injurious to the fibre, fails when tested by practical ex(a) I may here state that the notion that saving the seed of perience. Properly managed, an equal quantity and quality of fibre may be produced from line stumps with the seed saved, as can be obtained by sacrificing the seed; and, therefore, what folly it is to waste this very valuable part of the crop.