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That is, I reply, supposing the same hands now employed in raising corn can be employed in producing manufactured goods. For if we are obliged to maintain the three hands formerly engaged in tilling the poor land, and two manufacturers into the bargain, it seems to me that we have made an unprofitable change. Is it supposed, then, that the ploughmen no longer wanted in Sussex might travel to Manchester, and there find employment as cotton-spinners ? Surely such a proposition is too absurd to require serious refutation. The slightest attention to facts might show that a district overburdened with population is scarcely ever relieved, unless by the cruel process of extermination. Not one in a thousand of the inhabitants of the agricultural districts would migrate to the manufacturing counties-nor probably one in a hundred of their grand-children, or great grand-child“Of all commodities,” observes Adam Smith,

16 the most difficult of transport is man.” And, I may add, that of all men, the most difficult of transport is an agricultural labourer. Nor would the increased pressure of poverty tend, in a sensible degree, to check the growth of population in the ruined parishes. On the contrary, a state of hopeless wretchedness renders men almost as careless of making provision for their future offspring as the beasts themselves.

The practical result, then, of the adoption of a system of free trade would be, that, instead of saving the maintenance of one labourer in three, we should have to maintain two additional hands without any addition to our annual produce.'-Inquiry, p. 28-30.

Of all the evils which press upon this kingdom, the increase of pauperism is, at this time, the most urgent; and that whatever tends to depress the price of agricultural produce must have the effect of throwing more land out of cultivation, and more hands out of employ, must be plain to every man's understanding. The labourers who are deprived of employment must be supported as paupers ; and heavy as the burden of supporting that class at present is, how or by whom is it to be borne, if hundreds of thousands be added, as they thus inevitably would be, to its already formidable numbers ?

• In the event of the removal of the existing restrictions on the importation of corn,' says Mr. Barton, “it is evident, then, that the support of the agricultural labourers thrown out of employment by the change must fall on the community; but it may be doubted what part of the community would be compelled to bear the burden. If any property capable of taxation remained in the parish in which these labourers happened to be settled, that property, as far as it goes, would of course be rated for this purpose ; but when it is considered that, in many

of the poorer parishes, the rates already exceed 20s. on the pound, it is evident that such a resource would prove quite inadequate.

The unfortunate people of these parishes, reduced to despair, and with the prospect of dying of hunger before them, would, in such circumstances, probably join together in bands to pillage the neighbouring

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country. The advocates of free trade might then compute the amount of such devastations, and inquire how far it is compensated by that

economy of labour,” resulting from the purchase of cheap corn from abroad with manufactured goods.'-Inquiry, pp. 31, 32.

Mr. Barton once supposed that universal freedom of trade was identical with true wisdom and liberality, and that universal cheapness was identical with plenty and prosperity. Observation and inquiry have convinced him that his first impressions were erroneous ; and he has pursued that inquiry in a manner which ought to undeceive others as well as himself, and convince them that the prosperity of the landed proprietor, the merchant, the manufacturer, and the labourer, are so intimately connected, that a system of policy which seeks to enrich any one of these classes at the expense of the rest, is likely to terminate in the impoverishment of all.

• It has been said,' says this judicious writer, that to restrict the exportation of corn from one country to another, is as absurd as it would be to restrict the carriage of corn from one province to another of the same kingdom. But there is in fact no similarity between the two cases. Parliament would never suffer the people of Essex or of Norfolk to starve the people of London, by laying a prohibition on the transport of corn from their own district; but Parliament has no power to prevent the government of Holland or of Prussia from imposing such a prohibition. The people of London may depend upon going shares upon equal terms with the people of Ireland, whatever be the extent of scarcity there ; but they have no security that they would be allowed to go shares with the Dutch or Prussians in such circumstances. Nor is the obstruction of the supplies of foreign corn the only danger to be apprehended under a system of free trade. It is more than probable that the channels of commercial industry, at all times liable to the most capricious and inexplicable changes, will one day desert us, and this whole kingdom would then become one great decayed manufactory. Of the deplorable consequences of such an event, we may form some slight and iinperfect notion, from observing the state of those parts of the kingdom where flourishing manufactures once existed. But in these cases the pressure has been greatly alleviated by the overflowing prosperity and liberal benevolence of the neighbouring districts. Imagine what would be the state of Spitalfields if deprived of external relief; and then suppose the whole of our manufacturing districts to become like Spitalfields. There are, indeed, reasons assigned by the political economists why England must and will continue, in all forthcoming time, to maintain her present manufacturing superiority ; but when I observe how very frequently the predictions of these writers have proved fallacious in other cases, I confess I cannot place the smallest confidence in such assurances.

“ Thus it appears that so far from the repeal of the existing restrictions on the importation of foreign corn contributing to increase

national wealth, that repeal would entail upon us a loss in various ways. First, We should pay to foreigners a higher price than at present for our supplies in ordinary years. Secondly, We should pay still more exorbitantly for our supplies in years of scarcity ; if, indeed, we were not deprived of those supplies altogether. Thirdly, We should have to maintain the whole of the agricultural poor thrown out of employment by the change, without deriving in return any benefit from their labour.

• Even, then, as respects pecuniary profit and loss, the adoption of a system of free trade would be contrary to sound policy. But how much stronger does this conclusion become, when we contemplate the question with reference, not to national wealth, but to national happiness! Unrestricted importation would, no doubt, lower the price of bread to the consumer in ordinary years; but this advantage would be greatly over-balanced, so far as relates to the agricultural population, by the increased difficulty of procuring employment. Thousands of farm labourers would be reduced to the last extremity of distress; while the corn which should have gone to satisfy their children's hunger would be distilled into gin, to gratify the vicious appetites of the manufacturers. The people of the south would die of hunger, in order that the people of the north might die of the diseases induced by habitual intemperance. But the triumph of the north would not be of long continuance—for upon the first general failure of the harvest, the sufferings which they had inflicted on their agricultural fellow-subjects would recoil on themselves with terrible retribution. They would find, when too late, that for the sake of a little momentary gain, they had subjected themselves to the last extremity of want. A famine such as no man in this favoured country has ever seen, or can perhaps easily imagine, would mow down our population by hundreds of thousands, when the foreign supplies on which we had depended were suddenly cut off.'— Inquiry, pp. 42-45.

And for what contingent advantage is it that these certain consequences are to be encountered, and this imminent risk of interminable evil and irretrievable ruin to be incurred ? It is that our manufactures may be increased and multiplied. Are these, then, in so healthy a state that this should be desired, either for the sake of the persons employed in them, or of the nation ?

• To what circumstance,' Mr. Kirkman Finlay was asked, do you attribute the low state of profit in the cotton trade?—Certainly not to any want of demand, if we compare the demand now, with the demand at any former period; but to an extremely extensive production with reference to the demand, arising out of a great competition, doubtless caused by the high rate of profit in former times, which, by attracting a large amount of capital to the business, has necessarily led to the low rate of profit we now see. If there is anything unhealthy, 'it arises from a practice which has greatly prevailed of late years, of the manufacturer making large consignments to foreign countries, and

receiving receiving bills in advance, and discounting those bills with monied persons, which has led to a greater extension of the trade than would otherwise have taken place. I do not think the profits have held out any inducement to extend of late; but with reference to the question of there being anything unhealthy in the state of trade, I place the whole unhealthy character of the trade upon that branch of it.'*

It need not be remarked that the word unhealthy is used here entirely in reference to profit and loss.

• The manufacturers in England,' says Mr. Shaw, are obliged to operate upon a very large scale; they have a regular demand for twothirds or three-fourths of what they make; and the rest they ship; and their reason for shipping it is, that they do not choose to depreciate their own article, and they do not choose to compete with their customers. They can only sell a certain quantity at a fit price, and the rest they export. That trade has increased: the scale upon which the manufacturers operate, I understand, is increasing, and consequently the surplus is likely to increase also. Suppose that a manufacturer makes 100,000 pieces of calico; he has only a regular demand for 75,000; but he finds that, with a little additional expense, he makes the other 25,000; that arises from the scale upon which he operates. I can state an illustration of the economy arising from an extended scale of operation. A person in the iron business, a few years ago, wanted money; his friends advanced him 20,000l.: he found that, operating with this, he could only make 6 per cent.; but he showed clearly, that if he had 40,000l. instead of 20,0001., he could introduce such savings into his business as would yield him a profit of 9 per cent. It is those savings which induce the cotton-manufacturer to operate upon the large scale that he does, and which is the cause of this excess. It is not a sacrifice that he makes, because, if he sells those goods at an apparent considerable loss, as compared with the goods he sells to his customers, still the general result is profitable to him, on account of those savings. Suppose I make 100,000 pieces of goods, and make 10 per cent. upon 75,000 ; this is a positive gain : then I export the residue, and incur a small loss: I am fully compensated for that loss by the profits I realize upon the three-fourths. I produce the whole cheaper. Our cotton manufactures are very much upon the increase ; the excess is likely to be greater every year. The manufacturer must export, or he must depart from the system of operating upon a large scale.''

It is stated before the committee, that the labour of the handloom weavers is incessant; and in consequence of this excessive labour, these people produce a fourth more goods than they would otherwise do if they got better wages !! They are obliged to work longer hours. "How do you account for their condition being worse with this increase Report on Manufactures, p. 35. † Ibid. pp. 93-4-5. # Ibid. p. 296.


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Tazas of zacecea 23-EES 200 Sensed daces czeci bez Dénes so dosti o i-T52S TE ECOLE 2 TTEC e airazze cerce sincrease -es to not retarz szere, bas L. #Tree Ikea, ricreare upon ice e-Toca de esta tas ocze beter by se crease, bor tas ir zezai ze soos ek is nie azie cies!-I be sete iza Dansi coca zece a zerzne o: base turing process to scocesate e sei - a terhis-Is tha: bere ez de coez!_113 is a questa ci pot econor.-Is 221 coceses: brocz forger op zoe, as the working classes are bei wurse of a Dey were before?-Tie words cesses : 27€ Do: že sese cance of reg now throater situatica babae scce years ago: 52: IseseoriberecDo you can cara berter or a worse side of societyl-1: is ice carse of nature, ad es.cs raiber act to tze eri tba zura it.—Do not you icit tai an advance of wages, so as to erase the working en in sy : Deare more of the artces ser produce, woc operate more bezeica to society as a whee, than to reduce their wages in order to exab.e as to compete a foreigners? Nobody wozd ws to recose iceir wages; but it is better at here should be a smai recoction of beir wages, than sat ther should get no employment at a.-Way sboard their employzen: cease in consequence of beir baring buzber wages !— Because we have a foreign competition; we make a great dea. more goois than we can consente, and, therefore, we rest Lare a foreign market. If those who hare produced toose goods received higher wages, wou.d not they be able to consume more, and would not that lessen the necessity for their export?—They cannot consume the surp.us quantiy of our manufactures ; they could not give us a return for them.-Way could they not consume, prorided they possessed the means ?-I should be glad to answer these questions; but it appears to re so uttery impossible that the people of this country can consume all the manufactures of the country, and that we should raise their wages that they may hare money to do it, that I cannot understand the argumenti - Report,

P. 333.

There is, however, one argument which every one can understand; if the agricultural labourers are in great numbers thrown out of emplov, and the rest badly paid,-if the farmers are ruined, and the landbolders reduced to distress,—the home market for our manufactured goods must be injured to a greater extent than any increase of demand in the foreign market could compensate. The agricultural classes constitute nearly a third part of our whole population; the number of trades and occupations mainly dependent upon them is very considerable ; and no commonwealth can


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