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even excite clamor. And the public ought, and may be presumed to have been taught by experience, that their excitement against the last Corn Bill was founded in mistake. Whilst demagogues, and even experienced magistrates predicted, that the quartern loaf would never be less than a shilling, its reat value is now less than 8d., and corn is at a lower price than when the taxes were at 5′ millions, and the poor-rates at 2 millions. It is of importance to remark, that the poor, as well as the great bulk of the people, have been taught by woful experience, that cheap or low-priced bread is not a blessing to those who earn it by their daily labor; wages and bread go hand in hand.

The benefit, and only present benefit of the proposed measure to the farmer, would be the removal from his mind of the mortifying and disheartening apprehension of the repetition of the past ruinous operation of the Corn Act, when grain shall hereafter approach a remunerating price. It will recall that confidence which never ought to have been shaken, and place again before him that encouraging prospect, without which no prudent man will hazard so extensive cultivation. Agriculture must inevitably decline without this confidence, and without the reasonable certainty of a fair return for the labor, skill, and expense of the cultivator, and the assurance that he shall not be exposed to have the reward snatched away from him by a foreign competitor, who from causes which the English farmer cannot control, (and from the consequences whereof it is the duty of that government by which those causes were induced, to protect him) is enabled so to undersell him, as to drive him out of his home market.

As the case now stands, the English farmer is literally feeding the people of this country, and enriching those of other countries at his expense. By so much as the price of the markets is (as it is at present) short of the cost of production, the consumer evidently eats the capital of the farmer, and sacrifices the industry of the English laborer. It has been shown in the former observations, that the minus of the profit of the farmer is not the plus of the trader and manufacturer, or of the laborious classes, but the reverse, (and that in an increasing ratio in every stage of circulation) and is operating a diminution of capital, a consequent decrease of demand for labor, a deterioration of the prices, and a curtailment of the consumption of manufacture. If a stop is not speedily put to the existing depression, it is impossible that tenants can long continue to pay their rents; and many proprietors, and indeed all those who are capitalists in such, (as a permanent investment) are at this time obliged to indulge, and in sound policy are indulging the farmers with time, or easing them by reduction; the latter, however, cannot be a material relief, unless it amounts to nearly the whole rent, nor enable

the farmers to keep long on foot; and if the landed revenues shall fail, it requires not the aid of second sight to foretell what will become of the fundholder, who now seems to consider himself an unconcerned spectator of the surrounding disaster. Whatever the farmer receives below the prime cost of his produce, is so much of his capital annihilated, and a repetition of the same operation must gradually destroy it altogether in the order of inverse proportion. The capitals of the farmers have been more or less wasting ever since the peace. Many have been totally ruined, and all are more or less impaired. The spread of ruin is now so wide, that its existence is not denied, though its extent has been doubted, and is now in a course of ascertainment by positive evidence.

By so much as the farmer's capital is reduced, by so much are his means of cultivation limited, and consequently the demand for labor contracted; and it follows, that the value of labor, as far as the demand for it remains, is reduced; and all beyond that demand is annihilated. And thus pauperism as the consequence, is advancing with rapid and tremendous strides. Had the annihilated portion of capital remained in existence, it must have continued in action, and in a course of circulation, through labor and trade, thereby operating its own augmentation, and consequently so far was to have contributed to that of the general circulation, and of the great fund for the maintenance of the public burdens. The pressure of those burdens is more or less felt, in proportion to the increase or decrease of the magnitude of that fund, which is dependant on that of the extent of the general annual circulation. It is its present contraction alone that makes those burdens gall so severely the sore shoulders of the community; which makes a debt, which (immense as it was) did not press severely during the war with its high prices, intolerably oppressive in peace with its low prices. It is said, that many of the country gentlemen have set their faces against any measure of relief to the farmers, from an idea that a reduction of their gains would be a salutary check to their past habits of living in a stile above their condition, and of unbecoming luxury, extravagance, and dissipation, accompanied with a demeanour on their part disgustful towards their superiors.

If such an idea could be supposed to have spread to any extent, which would render it deserving of notice, it might be remarked that the farmers, who partake of the general prosperity, only exhibited the effects of that prosperity by the same indulgences as the other classes of the community. It might be added, that they indulged in them to a less degree than traders of equal capital; and as far as the indulgences of all classes were founded on past gains, the distribution, which they occasioned of those gains, was one, and an important portion, of the sources of prosperity to all other members

of the community. There can be but one opinion as to the policy of avoiding, as much as may be, all legislative interference in the market of the necessaries of life; and had there been no corn law in existence, a very strong case of necessity ought to be made out, to justify the imposition of any restriction on the freedom of its trade; and bad this country not been under those artificial circumstances which advanced society necessarily begets, inducing the necessity of artificial price, no occasion whatever for such interference would have existed. But the question is not whether any new law shall be enacted, but whether an existing law, which is found in experience to have proved more injurious than beneficial, and not only ineffectual to remove the evils it was designed to avert, but productive of their continuance in a great degree, and of others that " were known not of," ought to be amended, or the object it had in view provided for by a more effectual regulation. If the enactment of that law was grounded in sound policy, so must of necessity such amendment as is found necessary to cure its defects and accomplish its object. Either that object demanded an effectual instrument to accomplish it, or it did not justify an enactment, which all well informed men will allow to have failed to answer that design.

The only never failing operation of that measure has been, (and will not cease to be, so long as it shall remain in force) the keeping the mind of the agriculturist in a perpetual state of uneasiness and discouraging apprehension, and consequent depression of his spirits as well as of the market; and thus sacrificing the real and true farmers--the men of industry and labor-to the speculators in Spain, and foreigners. Is this a condition in which it is the interest of the country that the farmers should be allowed to remain? Are the many to be sacrificed to the few? Can high taxation founded on high prices, consist with low priced labor, low priced corn, and increased pauperism? Is the law to be like that of the Medes and Persians, "which altereth not," and for no better reason than because it has been once enacted? What are the evil consequences which oppose themselves to its amendment?

Some say it would only keep alive, instead of setting at rest the agitation complained of; by misleading the farmers into a prospect of relief, which it would be incapable of yielding them, and thus raise expectations only to produce disappointment: and that it is better for them" to bear the ills they have, than fly to others that they know not of." That their disappointment would beget new applications, and that it is leading them to look to Parliament for what is beyond its power, instead of directing them to trust to their own resources and to time and patience.

This objection in great measure furnishes its own refutation. It admits that the proposed measure would give a temporary ex

citement to the present drooping spirits of the farmers; and if so it would at least help to carry them on, and assist the patience recommended till time shall bring the promised relief; and if at length they shall be disappointed they would not be in a worse condition than before.

But the great, and perhaps only really felt objection, is the fear of the mob. It would be but repetition to answer that objection: it only remains to add to what has been said on that subject-that the present state of employment of the manufacturers gives additional force, in no small degree, to the reasons already assigned why no real danger is to be apprehended from that quarter; but unfortunately the burnt child so dreads the fire" that it can never think itself too far from it.

In reference to this apprehension it may be remarked, as one of the strongest recommendations of the measure proposed, that it is of a nature not to require any necessary future alteration, such as that to which any law fixing a limit of price for opening or shutting the ports must, (as experience has taught us) be ever liable; nor will it be called for by changes in the value of the currency, or other temporary or accidental causes. As to the proposed regulation for the more effectually securing from fraud the taking of the averages; even if that were practicable the Corn Act would still labor under the incurable vice of being a perpetual cause of violent fluctuations and frequent depression of price: but it is manifest, that it is not more possible to prevent frauds in the taking of the averages than the forgery of bank notes; and as no power can compel a discovery of the real prices of private bargains between buyer and seller, the measure is illusory on the face of it-a mere ignis fatuus," and all the labor and attention that was bestowed on the inquiry, in the last session, and will be spent during the present on the Bill in contemplation, is merely hunting a " Will o' th' wisp," which may serve the purpose of occupying and amusing the petitioners, but furnishing no means of preventing or detecting fraud. The situation of the country is too serious and awful to allow any ear to be given to the voice of party, or any sacrifice to the pride of opinion; every heart and mind ought to be intent only on the means of saving the vessel of state from shipwreck.

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Contemplating the existing state of things with reference to the past, and reasoning from thence as to the future, we cannot but think the following questions and considerations ought at this moment to press heavily upon the minds of those who are charged with the care of the welfare of this great nation.

*

Is not a failing harvest to be expected?

Is not the expectation that wheat will at some, and no distant

of the community. There can be but one opinion as to the policy of avoiding, as much as may be, all legislative interference in the market of the necessaries of life; and had there been no corn law in existence, a very strong case of necessity ought to be made out, to justify the imposition of any restriction on the freedom of its trade; and had this country not been under those artificial circumstances which advanced society necessarily begets, inducing the necessity of artificial price, no occasion whatever for such interference would have existed. But the question is not whether any new law shall be enacted, but whether an existing law, which is found in experience to have proved more injurious than beneficial, and not only ineffectual to remove the evils it was designed to avert, but productive of their continuance in a great degree, and of others that "were known not of," ought to be amended, or the object it had in view provided for by a more effectual regulation. If the enactment of that law was grounded in sound policy, so must of necessity such amendment as is found necessary to cure its defects and accomplish its object. Either that object demanded an effectual instrument to accomplish it, or it did not justify an enactment, which all well informed men will allow to have failed to answer that design. nodd

The only never failing operation of that measure has been, (and will not cease to be, so long as it shall remain in force) the keeping the mind of the agriculturist in a perpetual state of uneasiness and discouraging apprehension, and consequent depression of his spirits as well as of the market; and thus sacrificing the real and true farmers the men of industry and labor-to the speculators in Spain, and foreigners. Is this a condition in which it is the interest of the country that the farmers should be allowed to remain? Are the many to be sacrificed to the few? Can high taxation founded on high prices, consist with low priced labor, low priced corn, and in creased pauperism? Is the law to be like that of the Medes an Persians, "which altereth not," and for no better reason because it has been once enacted? What are the evil conseque which oppose themselves to its amendment?

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