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State of affairs at the commencement of the year.-Meeting of Parliament.-
-Prince Regent's speech.--Debates on the address.
Ar the commencement of the pre- ton, from various parts of the world, sent year, the aspect of public af- exceeded the quantities imported in fairs, both at home and abroad, was each of the four or five years impeculiarly encouraging and auspici. mediately preceding, by a very conous. Compared with former years, siderable amount; and as the prices the internal resources of the country of the raw material rather improved exhibited a very marked improve than otherwise, this would seem to ment. The gross receipt of the or. indicate a progressive extension of dinary revenue for last year amount. the demand for the manufactured ed io L. 62,230,527, besides the commodity. Our merchants and L. 15,336,935 of the sinking fund ap- manufacturers had no doubt to conplied to the reduction of the national tend with a powerful and increasdebt. The income of the consolidated ing competition on the part of their fund, for the year ending Jan, 5. 1819, continental rivals, favoured by the will be found to exceed 47 millions, lowness of wages and taxes; but with while the charge upon the same all these “ appliances, and means to amounts to less than 44} millions; boot," every thing was to be ex. leaving an available surplus of near- pected from the unrivalled superiorly three millions to be applied to the ity of British skill, enterprise, capi. service of the country. By refer- tal, and machinery; and although ring to the tables of comparative this competition might, for a season, exports and imports, a corresponding lower the rate of profits, and, by improvement will be found to have necessary consequence, the wages taken place in the commerce of the of labour, which had been raised to United Kingdom. In the course of an extent beyond all former precelast year, too, the importation of cot- dent during the war, when we enjoy. ed the monopoly of the European ever, manifested itself; and if the market, we had still the prospect of prices, owing to the causes we have being able to undersell our competi- already mentioned, had not sensibly tors, and to compel them to with. improved, the demand at least had draw their capital from employ- somewhat increased; as is evident ments, where, with all their advan- by the increased amount of our extages, they could only produce an ports. The augmentation of our inferior fabric, for which they were imports, a natural consequence of obliged to demand a higher price. the former, would also seem to inAny commercial embarrassments dicate a contemporaneous revival in that were felt must, therefore, have, in the home markets; and although, a great measure, been the result of from the low rates of profit and the extraordinary increase of the wages, the power of purchasing must circulating medium in 1817, and the still have continued limited, there subsequent diminution of that me. were evident signs of advancement dium, with a view to the resumption and progression. The operatives of cash payments; or of excessive had ample employment, and seemed, speculation and overtrading, by for a time, to be satisfied, if they which the foreign markets were glut- could command the necessaries, ted with our goods, the exchangeable without the comforts, superfluities, value of our manufactures reduced or luxuries of life. At the period even below the foreign competition of which we write, tranquillity price, and the speculators at home reigned in the manufacturing disruined by the inadequacy and uncer- tricts; nor had the most sagacious tainty of the returns. Certain it is, observer discovered any signs of that however, that these causes must spirit of insubordination and tumult have been very limited in their ope. which sprung up in the course of rations; for, at the beginning of the the year, and threatened the most year, though considerable embarrass. disastrous consequences. The sements were on all hands admitted to ditious and blasphemous press exist, there appeared nothing like that terrible engine of delusion distress : the complaints were con. and mischief_had not yet dared to fined to the diminution of profits and set the laws at open defiance,-to the lowness of wages ; but it was promulgate doctrines subversive a-' never pretended that the demand like of religion, liberty, and the for our goods had fallen off, or that constitution,--and openly to justify any serious losses had been sustained and recommend private assassinaby the failure of any commercial tion; nor had the crew of pestilent enterprises. The exhaustion oc- demagogues sallied forth from " the casioned by a long, furious, and de- holes and caves of the earth,” to structive war had not ceased to be inflame and exasperate the minds of felt, nor had things yet begun to the credulous and ignorant multitude flow in their natural and accustomed with harangues Gorgoneis infecta vechannels; and hence the stagnation nenis. No such symptoms or porof the foreign markets was rather tents had yet been revealed. At the to be ascribed to the inability than proper place, we shall call the attento the indisposition of the people tion of our readers more particularly to purchase our manufactured com. to this remarkable phenomenon. modities. A gradual process of The discussions and negociations recovery and renovation bad, hown which took place last year at Aix
la-Chapelle led to the evacuation dure their intrigues, their principles, of France by the Army of Occupa- or their crimes. The peaceable and tion; an event which the French, the industrious called for protection as was natural, hailed with peculiar against a remorseless junto, formisatisfaction, and on account of which dable not so much by their numbers this country had also reason for self- or their talents as by their utter concongratulation, from the extensive tempt of all religious and moral reductions, both in our naval and mi- feelings, and their common and inJitary establishments, which were the delible hostility to all regular governconsequence. Humiliating as this ment. The occupation of France, strong measure must at first have by a powerful army of observation, been to the French nation, we be was, therefore, not a measure of lieve there are few persons who will policy, but necessity; nay, in some deny, that the Allied Sovereigns, as degree, a measure of self-defence the guarantees of the tranquillity of on the part of the Allied Sovereigns : Europe, so often disturbed by French and the result has demonstrated its turbulence, ambition, and intrigue, entire and complete success. The had no other course to follow, but, Bourbons are firmly seated on the by a powerful military force, to throne; the daring spirit of Jacobioverawe the disaffected in that coun- nism has been repressed; France try. If any proof of this assertion has begun to be sensible of the were required, we might simply re- manifold blessings of public and infer to what took place in 1815,—the ternal tranquillity; and the necessity expulsion of the Bourbons and the which rendered 'this harsh and huReign of the Hundred Days, as it miliating measure imperative bavhas been called. Was it endurable ing ceased, the foreign troops have that the whole of Europe should be been removed, at the expiry of the incessantly disturbed and convul. shortest stipulated period of three sed by the restless revolutionary years, and France has once more spirit of one power?-or that, in assumed her natural rank among the time of peace, she should be com- Great European Powers. It is impelled to maintain the same esta- possible not to view this as an event blishments as in war?-or that the at once interesting and important in Buonapartists and the Jacobins relation to the foreign policy of the should possess the power of para- British Government. lysing every other state by their It is to us, however, a matter of frantic schemes of conquest or re- deep regret, that the same bold and venge? The circumstances of the uncompromising policy, which led to times rendered this powerful com- the adoption of this most successful bination necessary. The spirit and measure, did not display itself in an. principles of the revolution had other matter where the principles of neither been changed nor destroy. Humanity, Justice, and Religion ed; and many of the principal ac- equally called upon the nations of tors in its bloody and atrocious scenes Europe to interfere ; we mean the still existed, and were as prone to en
African Slave Trade, a traffic al. gage in them as ever. It therefore ready denounced, by the same became a matter of the first neces- august potentates, in language of sity to teach them a practical lesson, upmeasured reprobation. It is now that Europe would no longer en thirteen years since Great Britain