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has much more than doubled, the quantity of coffee increased more than ten times, the quantity of cotton-wool more than three times, and the quantity of sheep's wool more than twice, while the other articles have increased in various proportions short of doubling.
If we look to the British produce and manufactures exported during the war we shall find that they rose to above double their former amount, although, in previous wars, the general effect was a decided diminution of them, and although in the thirty years preceding, they had not increased so much as one half.
If, from the imports and exports, we turn our view to the quantity of domestic industry set in motion, we believe that in no former period of the same extent has there ever been any approach to the same increase of draining and inclosures, roads and bridges, canals and harbours, paving and other local improvements, machinery, shipping, and exciseable commodities. We are quite at a loss, therefore, to understand on what grounds the great increase of consumption during the war is denied by Mr. Tooke. The conversion of capital into revenue which was taking place during the whole of the period must have powerfully co-operated with the seasons and the obstructions to importation, in occasioning a brisk consumption of all the produce brought to market, so as, with few and slight exceptions, to leave little on hand; and as it appears from all the documents which can be referred to that the yearly additions to this produce were unusually large, it follows necessarily that the consumption during the war was unusually great. It is true, however, that the consumption has been still greater since the peace. This was certainly to be expected: first, on account of the continuance of that rapid increase of population which was occasioned by the war demand for labour and the great and increasing power to pay for it; secondly, by the sudden abundance of capital and labour thrown out of employment by the peace which would change the former proportion between productive and unproductive consumption; and thirdly, by the natural consequence of the last cause combined with favourable seasons, namely, an excessive supply of all sorts of produce, and such a fall of prices and of profits as occasioned a greater degree of distress, and for a longer period, among the main body of producers than had ever before been experienced. These causes, while in full operation, could not fail to be accompanied by a very great consumption. But if, instead of looking merely at the quantity produced and consumed during the first eight years of the peace, we consider the rate at which the quantity and value of the produce seems to have been increasing, the result will be of a very different character. Taking an average of the total exports from Great Britain during the years 1814,15 and 16,
valued officially, and therefore representing quantity, arid comparing them with the exports during the years 1819, 20 aud 21, it appears that the quantity of exports had decidedly diminished, the former three years amounting to ,£36,275,000 and the latter only to ot'52,696,000; and even taking the specific articles contained in Mr. Tooke's table of quantities exported, it appears that, with the exception of cotton and sheep's wool, for which new and increasing markets have been opened, there is not, we believe, one of which the quantity exported has not decreased, and some of them considerably. His table of quantities of imported articles presents no doubt a more favourable aspect.- The war expenditure abroad being over, our imports ought greatly to increase; yet, notwithstanding this, the imports of four out of the nine articles noticed seem to have diminished rother than increased, terminating the average of the latter three years with the year 1822, which Mr. Tooke has given. ■ •<< .-•■•'.. ■■
i' If from the quantities of goods exported and imported we turn to their prices and value, the falling off will appear to be greater and in ore general. Such has been the depression of prices since the war, that whereas formerly it was the custom to add fifty per cent, to the official value in order to get the real value, it is now said that the real or declared value is actually lower on an average than the official; and, according to a statement before us, the declared value of the exports of Great Britain of home produce and manufacture was, in 1818, .£48,904,000, and, in 1821, had fallen to <£35>82G,000. .-..I
'• But, whatever.may have been the favourable or unfavourable changes which have taken place since the peace, the period, though very long for a crisis of distress and unnaturally low pro4fr»j>i» much too short to be compared with the period of the war;' and it may still most safely be said that in no twenty-two years of ourhiatory of which we have authentic accounts has there ewer been so rapid an increase of production and consumption, both in respect of quantity and value, as in the twenty-two years eudiug with 1814.
The specific and immediate cause of this great stimulus to continued production has, it appears to, us, been very clearly explained by Mr. Tooke in the principle which he has laid down on *he FtffMtof Quantity on Price, and the numerous instances which he bringsto show that this principle is well founded. The ■principle is, that whenever there is a relative diminution of supply, froai<whatever cause it may arise, it is immediately followed by a briskness of demand for the remaining produce, accompanied by a Tise of prices and of profits which never fails to occasion a gieat stimulus to subsequent production. This process we have h',i • p 3 always always been in the habit of considering as the great remedial law of nature in regard to production and consumption; and it will be observed that it is a remedy of very great power. Whenever, within certain limits, a portion of the produce of a country has been diminished, by the seasons, by obstructions to importation, or by an increase in the proportion of unproductive consumption, not only does the power of setting fresh industry in motion remain unimpaired, but by the universal law of the effect of quantity upon price it is greatly increased. The farmer who, in consequence of a deficiency of his crops of one eighth, sells them for nearly a third more than the usual price before the money wages of labour have risen, is obviously able to set in motion a much greater quantity of industry than before. The specific funds destined for the maintenance of labour, though diminished in quantity, are by this happy provision of nature increased in their efficiency to recover the loss that has been sustained, and to increase the produce of the next year; while the labourers, although they unquestionably sustain some privation, are, in a considerable degree, recompensed by the great and general increase of employment. There is, in the language of Mr. Tooke, a burst of prosperity to the producing classes; and we should certainly add, without a proportionate diminution in the prosperity of the labouring classes. ,n ■, , -, ,
This doctrine of Mr. Tooke on the effect of quantity on price, is, it must be allowed, directly opposed to the doctrine of M. Say, in his chapter Des Debouches, which teaches that all increase of demand depends upon increase of supply, and diminution of demand on diminution of supply. If this were so; if it were true, that when the produce of a country had been in part destroyed, the will and power to increase what was left was immediately diminished, we do not see how the recovery of the loss.wjouId.be practicable within any moderate compass of time; and such an increased difficulty thrown in the way of restoration to plenty would be so directly contrary to all the usual healing processes of nature, and is so directly opposite to all experience, which shows with what rapidity losses are recovered, that we can only feel astonishment that such opinions should be held by men of distinguished ability. i,.,,,. ...„..,. ,,.,„)) ,.„ Tfte specific source of M. Say's error and of those who have followed him is, the not being aware of, or the not allowing sufficient weight to the principle of the Jiffiect pf quantity au pnififi and value. As long as the increase of quantity increases,, tfre value of the funds specifically destined for the, maintenance.,iof labour, so long of course it increases effective demand, and. gives a stimulus to production; and in reference to any length of time, t■ »i'i. . . and and the absolute neceRsity of a great and continued increase of produce to a great and continued increase of population, it is obvious that the increase in the power of setting industry in motion at the end of fifteen or twenty years must depend mainly upon the increase of production. But whenever this production so exceeds the actual state of the demand, whatever that may be, as to disable the producers from putting in motion the same quantity of industry as before, to that extent exactlyis the effective demand for a further increase of produce diminished and the stimulus to the increase of wealth abated.
This limitation to the principle of the effect of quantity on price and value is so simple and intelligible; it so clearly shows that in all ordinary cases the increase in the wealth of other countries, or new employments at home, must give a great stimulus to our industry, (a result which M. Say erroneously thinks is peculiar to his-own'views relating to production,) while at the same time it explains so distinctly and specifically the causes of the few exceptions which are observed to occur, that the principle thus restricted, and its particular application to the power of setting industry in motion, may be safely laid down, as one of the most universal and constantly operating principles in political economy. We decidedly think indeed that, without allowingdue weight to this principle, the phenomena of the last'hundred years, but more especially the phenomena of the last thirty, are absolutely inexplicable. Certainly nothing but'the''union of -a greatly increased activity of general demand, a greatly increased power of commanding labour, a great increase of encouragement to the use of machinery, and a great increase of profits, particularly in agriculture, all owing mainly to the peculiar state of the supply compared with the demand in a country of great re. sources and great ingenuity, could possibly have occasioned so rapid a recovery of the immense mass of capital consumed bythe government during the war, and have given at the same time such a prodigious extension to almost every department of industry and improvement.
As we have always been of opinion, therefore, that the sole usO of political economy is its application to practice", and: that no theories are entitled to confidence in reference to the fnture, Which will not give a satisfactory solution of past phenomena, ■■■toe were disposed to hail Mr. Tooke's work as specifically calculated to set aside a theory which is directly contradicted by the tttost general experience, and as far as it has prevailed has wrested the1 science of political economy from its only just and safe foundation.' What then was'our disappointment to find that, although M*. Tooke has written in such a way as, we trust, will convince
p 4 others,