Imágenes de página
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

** and Barley at the last prices quoted “ in the Gazette, are at a less price than “ the expence to which the farmer wou'd “ be put by growing them, including “ wages to labourers, keep for horses, “repair of waggons, cost of the seed, “ and rent to the landlord. Of course “ then he will direct his industry and “ capital to other channels; he will not “ grow grain; he will not make land “ hitherto barren, productive in corn; “ he will not bring the wastes and heaths “ into cultivation. There will compara“tively be no English corn grown, “ “Very well,” we hear some say, “and “ what is that to us, provided we still have abundant supplies open to us.” “But softly it is a great deal to them “ —a great deal indeed! In the first “ place, the foreign grower, when he “ finds that he has nothing to fear from “ the rivalship of the British farmer, will “ raise his price. This is obvious— When he knows you must depend upon him for the commodity, he will increase his terms. There is not a plainer “ commercial principle than this. Here “... then is the first inroad upon the eheap“ness which you flattered yourself would “ be so permaneut. But you must not

“ forget another circumstance——that

“ peace cannot be perpetual, and that “ wars must take place.—Nay, that fo“ reign powers may be more likely to go to war with us, thinking that they “ have the means in their hands, -(we, “ depending upon them entirely for “ grain) of compelling us to accept terms

“ and to make concessions. We put a - “ case–Poland will be annexed to, or under the controul of Russia.

It is “ from Poland we derive the largest “ continental supplies of foreign corn. “Should we go to war with Russia, she “ might shut all her ports, Russian as

“ well as Polish, and prevent the exper

“tation of grain.--What should we do “ then? We might procure it from other “ parts, from the Barbary States and from America. But would not the “ price be much increased upon us, those

“ Powers always keeping in mind that

“we must depend upon them 2 . Well, “ but this is not all—you have formed

“ your calculations and your hopes upon “ the certainty of the harvest never fail

“ing upon the Continent, of there being “ always fine and productive scasons. If “ the harvest should fail aid a scarcity


ensue, where can you look to? To

“ the British farmer No—you have turned your back upcn him. But there is another thing to be considered, grain may be cheap, and yet be less within the compass of some than when it was dearer. If agriculture be discouraged, the farmer will not want so many labourers, the ploughman, the thresher, and the reaper, will not be wanted—and thus will those persons “ starve ainidst cheapness."— But it has been said, let the farmer look to his landlord, who having raised his rent improportion to the encreasing price of grain, ought now to be lowered to the level at what it was before such increase.

There is much reason in this, and it will operate no doubt upon the landlord. If he find that he cannot get a high rent

cessation of the Property Tax will be another relief; But these of themselves will not be sufficient. We take our stand upon this ground, which cannot be shaken; that the British farmer should have an interest in-cultivating grain. Has he that interest at the present prices 2 No. What is the remedy Clearly that the foreign grower should bear some “of the burthens that he does; that he should pay a duty upon importation : that this duty should make the price of foreign corn equal to a price which the English farmer ought to get for British corn. Mr. Burke thought a farmer

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

paid, but that he can get a lower one, of course he will prefer the latter. The

ought to make 12 per cent. upon his ; Later

“inuch upon his capital, we presume .

[ocr errors]

“ of iords,) all declare the farmer could " “ 10 per cent. upon his capital. The “ present average price, according to “Saturday's Gazette, is 7s. 11d. the ** I sushel. We have thus fulfilled our ** intention of collecting a few facts, which we have endeavoured to place in a prominent point of view, offering ** such reasons as they are suggested to ** our minds. We are quite sure that ** we speak without partiality or prejudice ** ourselves; We are neither farmers nor ** inerchants, neither growers of home nor ** importers of foreign corn. Our chief ** anxiety is to remove, if possible, some ** prejudices, knowing that he best pro“motes the interests of the poorer classes “aud of British agriculture, who encou** rages and promotes the interests of the “ British farmer. “If the price of the “ corn,” says an eminent writer, should not compensate the priee of growing it, “ the most serious evil, the very destruc“tion of agriculture itself, is to be appre“ hended.” Now, though this article is written with great ability, and with even greater craft than ability, it will require, I trust, not a great deal to be said, to shew that its tendency is to deceive the people, and to entice them, by a fallacious statement, into an acquiescence in a measure for making corn dear; that being the undisguised object of the writer.— Before 1 proceed to the main points, let ine notice the insiuuatiou, that objections to a Corn Bill have been owing to the industry of faction.” What then, is OILD GEORGE ROSE become the leader of faction? He, who wrote a pamphlet to convince the people of England, that, if they did not quietly pay the war-taxes, the French Republicans would deprive them of the blessed comforts of religion? He has, indeed, been very industrious upon this occasion: but has his been the “industry of faction ?” Have the petitions of “the loyal” of Southampton, Portsmouth, Winchester, and hundreds of other cities and towas, proceeded from “the industry of faction?” Oh, no! this will never do. The promoters of the measure cannot now raise a cry against the Jacobins. That humbug is over for ever.—Who told this writer, that any body ever said, that revenge against the farmer was the object of the opposers of the measure ? This is pure invention. It is an invented fact, whereon to build a fallacious argument.--But, we

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

from causes, over which the farmers had no controul, that is to say, in part, at least, from the war. It is not true, (though it has nothing to do with the point at issue) that the farmers were wholly innocent here; for, they were notoriously amongst the foremost to uphold PITT in making war and in carrying on war, against the Republicans of France. That has been accomplished, which they tendered their lives and fortunes, to accomplish. The republic of France has been destroyed; the Bourbons have been restored; liberty has been nearly put out in that country; and, really, if our farmers were to suffer in consequence of what has taken place, they certainly would come in for their full share of meriting that suffering.Now we come to the subject:-The argument is this: that, unless corn is dear, the English farmer cannot grow it, because it would not bring him enough to enable him to pay wages of labour, keep of horses, repair of wagons, cost of seed, and rent to the landord.—Now, how fallacious is this 1 ls not the corn which the horses eat, and which is sown for seed cheap, if corn be cheap at market? Are not the wages of labourers, the prices of wheelwrights, and the rent of land cheap, if the corn be cheap at market? Why, then, should not the English farmer be as able to grow cheap corn as dear corn ? And what becomes of all the terrific statement about dependence upon foreign nations, about the extortioning of the foreign farmer, about scarcity, about the ruin of the labourer, and the like 2 Is it not notorious, that wheat used to be 5s. a bushel in England 3 Nay, is it not notorious, that it used to be 2s. a bushel 7 How did the farmer live in those days Was the labourer starved in those days 3 On the contrary, is it not notorious, that the paupers have increased with the high prices 2 Will any man have the confidence to deny this And if this cannot be des nied, what reason is there to be alarmed at the prospect of continued cheapness? What reason is there to suppose, that the farmer will be unable to raise cheap corn, seeing that his labourers, his smith, his

wheelwright, his collar-maker, his seed,

his rent, will all keep pace with the price of his corn ? If these items amount to a hundred pounds a year when wheat is 40's, a quarter, and to two hundred pounds a

'ary told here, that the high prices arcse

year when wheat is 80s, a quarter, is hy;


wine and spirits used in his house.

the farmer as able to raise the forty shil-Y you are laudably enthusiastic. But the

ling wheat as the eighty shilling wheat 3 How came this writer to be so indiscreet as to mention horse feed and seed amongst the outgoings of the farmer ? These must be at a low price, if his market corn is at a low price. They consist of the same sort of corn that he has to sell. How, in the name of common sense, then, should he have to complain of the amount of these outgoings, and, at the same time, complain of the cheapness of his corn? But, the truth is, that the absurdity of these positions arises from a very material omission in the enumeration of the farmer's outgoings; to wit ; the TAXES : which, direct and indirect, amount to more, aye, to double as much, as his labour, horse feed, seed, implements, and rent, all put together. The direct taxes are upon his land, his property, his horses, his house, his windows, his gig, his dogs, his man servant, and to these must be added his poor rates. He pays about 17s. a bushel tax out of every 20s. which he lays out in salt; and, in a large farm house, the salt tax amounts to about 10l. a year. He pays more in tax upon malt than his barley, of which the maltis made, amounts to. He pays a tax upon the soap and candles, and tea and sugar o


ys a tax on the leather and iron used in É. implements and his harness. --And, be it observed and remembered, that he pays a tax upon the beer, the gin, the tea, the sugar, the salt, the soap, the candles, the shoes, the tobacco, used by his laFor every quart of beer drank by the ploughman, at a public house, the farmer pays about 4d in tax. The brewer and malster first pay it; the publican pays it to them; the labourer pays it to the publican ; the farmer pays it to the

labourer; and, as the farmer must be repaid, he must, of course, charge it in - the price of the next corn that he sells.

[ocr errors]

—Here, then, is the real cause of the necessity of high prices. It is the GO

VERNMENT, and not the FARMER,

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

real tendency of your exertions is to protect and promote the taxing system, and thereby to enable the Government to keep up, during peace, a standing army and all those means of patronage, heretofore unknown in England, and the keeping up of which tends to the total extinguishment of even the great country gentlemen, the little ones having all been swallowed up long ago.—Stand here, I pray you, and reflect before you proceed another inch. You perceive clearly, that the writer, whom I have quoted, under pretence of protecting the farmer and promoting agriculture, aims at keeping up the taxes, that is to say, an immense military establishment and patronage, which it is your interest, and the farmer's interest, and the country's interest, to see reduced to nothing, seeing, that we now want no standing army any more than our forefathers did.—I have read a long letter of Mr. WestERN to shew, that it is just and necessary to pass a Bill to protect the farmer. The reasonings of that very able letter are unanswerable, if we admit, that the taring system must remain in full gigour, which the author seems to admit, and which I wonder that he should have admitted. It is clearly shewn, that the English farmer will not grow corn, unless he is put upon as good a footing, at least, as the French farmer. But, then, it is not shewn, that this cannot be accomplished without a Corn Bill; and yet. this ought to be shewn, and clearly shewn, by those, who, in open hostility to the common feeling of mankind, propose such

a measure.-The farmer, and the prosperity of agriculture, do not depend upon the price of corn alone: there are the

hides, the skins, the wool, and the flax.

All very great articles of produce. These

are, in great part, wrought into articles of dress by our manufacturers, and thus they

are exported. Make the corn dear; make

the food of the manufacturer twice as dear

as the food of the manufacturer in France,

America, and elsewhere, and who will

purchase the dear manufactures 2–But,

take away the taxes that support the

army, the ordnance, a great part of the

navy; abolish the new military schools

and all their enormous expences; return

again to cheap and peaceful government;

lay aside the bayonet and the broad

sword, and be content with the old

fashioned sheriff's wand and constable's

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

staff. Do this, and there will be quite enough left to discharge the just debts of the country and to support the Crown with sufficient splendour, though Wheat should again fall (as I hope it will) to the old 5 shillings a bushel of Jeth RoTULL; and agriculture will flourish and farmers will thrive as much as they have done for the last twenty years; and, what is still of more importance, pauperism will almost disappear, hospitality will revive, and honesty, the constant companion of competence, will curtail the long and dismal lists of crimes, commitments, convictions, banishments, and executions, which now fill the mind with horror and dismay. “Here” say the writers, “we take our stand. The English farmer cannot grow corn, unless, “by an importation duty, “the foreign farmer be made to bear part “of the English farmer's taxes”.-But, he will not bear part then; for, he will not bring his corn, and it is meant that he should not. Here I take my stand. Reduce the tares of the English farmer, and then he will grow corn enough with. out the aid of foreign supply; and the manufacturers, eating cheap food, will be able to sell cheaper than the manufacturers of other nations; and, thus, all will thrive together; make corn dear, by continued heavy taxation, and all will decline together, except the military and naval official part of the community, who will, in the end, obtain a predominance, such as they possess in the Austrian, Prussian, Tussian and German dominions, and English freedom and English manners and English morals and o tastes and English learning and eloquence will take their flight for ever to the other side of the Atlantic.—I hardly think it possible, that such men as Mr. Coke and Mr. Western should be the partizans of a measure having such a tendency. They may doubt, whether it be practicable, without injury to the fund-holders, to reduce the taxes so as to enable the farmer to sell wheat at 5s. a bushel. For my part, I have no doubt at all upon the subject; but, before I give myself the trouble of proving, and my readers the trouble of reading what I have to say upon the subject, let the advocates of a new and odious measure give us their arguments to prove, that the measure is indispensably necessary to the discharge of the just debts of the country and to the support of our government agreeably to

[ocr errors]

the constitution. It is for those who propose such a measure to shew, that it cannot be done without ; and this they must shew before any just man will give his consent to it.—The measure would be no protection to the farmer; it would do him no good; it would do the landowner ne good: what it gave in prohibition, it would take away in tax, and give it to the military, naval, and official part of the community, the tendency of which must inevitably be to give these a predominance over all the peaceful arts and professions, and to produce all the lamentable consequences which I have above, described.—For these reasons, I, who am a farmer by taste as well as in fact, and who am deeply interested in the prosperity of agriculture, detest and abhor, from the bottom of my soul, the idea of any measure tending to raise, of keep up, the price of corn; and, if there be but one man in all England found to petition against such a measure, I will be that man.

CoTINENTAL AFFAIRs.—It is impossible to peruse the information which now daily arrives from the Continent,

without experiencing the mostaweful sen

sations as to the critical state of affairs in that quarter. It is true, appearances are very often deceitful, and lowering clouds frequently subside; but there never was a period known in universal history when the “din of preparation” seemed so great. Let us turn our eyes from the Mediterranean to the Baltie, peace and tranquility is no where to be found. In Italy, all the convulsions of the thirteenth century appear to have revived. The dawn of liberty having opened on that delightful country, its inhabitants cannot without difficulty return under the yoke of slavery. We find the court of Vienna in the most feverish alarm on the subject. Long accustomed as the Austrian monarchy has been to look with anxiety to the entire possession of the Adriatic Gulf, from the possession of the ports of which, -she might indulge a prospective hope of possessing “ships, “colonies, and commerce,” it cannot be, but with the utmost apprehension, that she finds the voice of public opinion decidedly against her views. Little doubt can be entertained by the most commonplace politician, that a great motive which influenced Austria to join the Allies, at

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

the present system, and his very name-so seldom occurs, except when he himself introduces it, that there is every appearance of his sinking fast, as I fervently hope he will, into his old denomination of Bishop of Rome; when Pope, couclave, and cardinals - would soon be forgotten, was it not for the persecutions which religion, from time immemorial, has brought upon mankind. —In Spain, the beloved Ferdinand has outraged every feeling, which the laws of policy and humanity ought to have dictated. His friends and his foes have fallen in one universal conscription, Neither age nor sex is spared. The reign of priesthood is revived, in all its horrors. That bloody tribunal the lilquisition, is proceeding with gigantic strides. Horror and desolation mark its progress, and universai destruction is the only trace it leaves beivind. In Frante, littie of tranquillity appears to have been established. Louis XV II. Witoli, all parties agree to be a mild, benificent, and good man, appears to be too much under the influence of the priests to be as popular as he might be, if he would shake off their odious yoke. The revolution in that country, unexampled as it has been, in extent, both of moral and political influence, has so completely opened the eyes of all mankind, that the delusions of religion now excite little else than ridicule. If I am to believe, the Times newspaper which, to use an appropriate plurase on this subject, is always apocryphal, a most serious convulsion was on the point of iately breaking forth in Paris, in consequguce of a fanatic monk, wishing, aird endeavouring, to revive one of those industrous absurdities which disgraced the dark and barbarous periods of ignorance and superstition. Nor was it preventel Antil the king had been twice sent to, aud, from its increasing violence, the most ałurning consequences were to be apprehended : and all; this trecause a wretched priest thought proper to deuy the rights of sepui iure to a respectable woman, who had for sixty years been an artist in a profession tertainly inore liaroliess, if Aot ingre ration...!, than his own. From every thing li I can per wive in that country, her afiairs are in a lost uusei tied slate. Soult, who wishes to out Herod-iicrod, his excited a same in the matter of General txeculars, whic', will re'ítire luvre joi!!

[ocr errors]


« AnteriorContinuar »