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DIFFERENT BRANCHES OF PUBLIC ECONOMY.
I. AGRICULTURAL REPORT.
The winter of 1819 was mild and paired any damage that had been the spring early. In May vegetables done to them by the previous state were farther advanced than in ordi- of the weather. Reaping became nary seasons, and in every case held general in the south of England early out the prospect of abundance. But in August; and by the end of Sepabout the end of the month, the tember, the crops were secured all weather became less favourable, the over Britain in the best condition, days being cold and ungenial, with the important labours of the season frost in the evenings ; and it con- having scarcely ever been interrupttinued so till about the middle of ed. Winter, however, may be said to July. Some of the crops, especially have commenced by the middle of potatoes and hay, were much injured October, before the potatoes were during this period, and in many si. all saved, and prevailed with more tuations the orchards wholly failed. than its wonted rigour to the end of But in the latter part of July, and the the year. whole of August, the temperature was high, often above 70°, which not The following is an Abstract of a only brought the corn crops speedily Register of the Weather, kept on to maturity, but seemed to have re. the Banks of the Tay, near Perth.
Comparing this with a similar ab- the most common price in the former stract in our last volume, it will be being 12d., and in the latter 10d. and seen that the mean temperature is lld. The average prices of corn in .64 lower than that of 1818, and that Scotland, commonly only a few shilthe quantity of rain is less by 1.797 lings below those of England, were inches.
this year greatly lower. In January At the commencement of the year, the difference on wheat was 11s.; on the average prices of grain in England barley 15s. 100.; on oats 5s.6d. the were as follows, viz. Wheat, 798. 3d.; quarter; and on oatmeal 14s. 3d. per Rye, 58s. 11d.; Barley, 63s. 10d. boll of 140 lb. avoirdupois. Oats, 358.; Beans, 72s. 4d.; This state of the markets seems to Pease, 70s. 5d. the quarter. In Fe- have occasioned some surprise abruary the ports were shut against mong the corn merchants, and much foreign wheat ; in May against rye alarm among the corn growers. By and beans; and in August against the former it had long been held as all other kinds of grain; yet prices an established point, that the growth gradually declined till the end of of the kingdom was not adequate to June, and, after experiencing some its consumption, even when conadvance in July and August, sunk sumption was somewhat diminished again in October. For the week by high prices; and, acting under ending 25th December, Wheat this impression, the occasional shutwas 64s. 11d. ; Rye, 42s.; Barley, ting of the ports under the aci 1815 36s. 3d.; Oats, 25s.; Beans, 48s. 1d.; does not appear to have affected and Pease 508. 6d. the quarter. The their habitual speculations in foreign average prices of the year were, grain, which it was never suspected Wheat, 73s. ; Rye, 49s. ; Bar- we could long dispense with. Acley, 46s. 8d.; Oats, 29s. 4d. ; Beans, cordingly, when it was not allowed 55s. 5d. ; Pease, 56s. per quarter, to be imported for sale, it was imand Oatmeal 31s. 6d. per boll of ported nevertheless and carried to 140 lbs. avoirdupois. The quartern the warehouse, the holders confiloaf in London fell from 12 d. to 11d.; dently anticipating its admission inand in Edinburgh from 11d. to 9d.; to our market, by the rise of prices, within a few months thereafter. But relief were ill-judged and nugatory. the fall of prices this year, in the So early as January, when prices, as absence of any foreign supplies of we have seen, were comparatively consequence, would lead us to con- high, petitions were presented to clude (what subsequent events have Parliament for high duties on foreign confirmed,) that so great had been grain ; and the number continued to the extension of tillage, and the im. increase throughout the year, in spite provement of the soil during the of the unfavourable reception the war, as to render the produce of the first of them met with from both sides United Kingdom in corn fully equal of the house. Though sent up from to its wants in favourable seasons. different parts of the country, they
The corn growers, however, would were nearly all in the same terms, not admit that the fall of prices was having originated with a few active owing to the abundance of our own individuals, calling themselves " The produce. They ascribed it to the Agricultural Association,” who reimports of the two preceding years, gularly met in London for the pura great part of which, as they alleged, pose. These petitions complained still hung upon the market. But of distress, which they ascribed to though the quantity imported was the admission of foreign grain, and certainly very great, as will be seen prayed for the imposition of such du. from the abstract below, yet the ties as would have been equal to a prices of 1817 and 1818 were so high prohibition, not only upon corn, but as to prove that our own growth in upon all other commodities which 1816 and 1817 had been very de- could be raised from the soil of the ficient; and that all, or nearly all, united kingdom. the foreign supplies were really want. By others, the fall of prices was ased for immediate consumption. That cribed to the rise in the value of moany considerable portion of them ney, produced by Mr Peel's bill for should therefore have been kept back the restoration of the currency, which at the time is highly improbable ; passed in June. It is admitted on and indeed the advance that took all hands, that this measure must neplace immediately before harvest af. cessarily have lowered prices, and, fords a strong presumption that the at the same time, virtually raised stores in this country, whether of rents and all other fixed money paynative or foreign growth, had then ments; but a great difference of o. become much exhausted.
pinion has prevailed as to the extent When we look back to the prices of its operation. Its effect bas proof the latter years of the late war, bably been greater than was anticiduring which many of the existing pated by its advocates; for not only contracts between landlord and te- corn, but other kinds of produce, of nant must have been entered into, which the supply cannot materially there can be no doubt that the prices vary from year to year, and indeed at the end of the present year, which commodities generally, seem to have may be stated generally at one-third gradually fallen in a greater degree lower, must have occasioned much than the paper price of gold, which embarrassment and apprehension, was then not quite 5 per cent. above But the complaints of a respectable the miut price. body of our farmers seem to bave Live stock of all kinds, which been as premature, as the measures sold at high prices in 1818, did not they proposed to be taken for their experience any depression till about Midsummer of the present year ;
The fall of prices had not yet opebut before the end of it, prices were rated materially upon the wages of considerably lower, with a tendency country labour, though, towards the to sink still farther. Yet butcher- end of the year, want of employ. meat was higher in proportion than ment began to be felt in some places, corn, the usual quantity of stock not farmers being no longer able to conhaving been reared in 1816 and 1817; duct their works of improvement and, perhaps from the scarcity of with the same spirit as formerly. their 'food in these two years, a
The state of the corn trade of greater number of cattle and sheep Britain, for the three years ending was then forced into the market. with 1819, is exhibited in the folThe retail price ranged between 6d. lowing Abstract, which is taken from and 8d. per pound. Wool fell a- official documents : bout a third below the price of 1818, but not below the average of a few years proceeding
Thus, the excess of the imports ters, and the yearly excess 2,156,407 into Britain in these three years, quarters. It must be attended to, was 9,172,775 quarters, or at the however, that nearly all the wheat rate of 8,057,5913 quarters yearly. imported in 1819, and a great part But, independent of the trade with of the other kinds of grain, did not Ireland, which cannot be viewed in come into the market, the ports ha. any other light than the trade be- ving been shut at different periods tween England and Scotland, or be- 'against the importation of foreign tween the several districts of either, grain, except for the warehouse. the total excess was 6,469,221 quare
II. COMMERCIAL REPORT.
Although general complaints of sure in recording the progressive the lowness of wages, and bankrupt. revival of British trade and commerce cies, the result chiefly of excessive during the whole of this year. Dis. adventure and speculation, were by contents and disturbances of rather no means unfrequent, we have plea. an alarming character prevailed, it
is true, in many of the manufactur. in 1818, it increased to 47,232: the ing districts, such as at Manchester, returns for 1819 have not yet reached Leeds, Huddersfield, Glasgow, Pais-us; but, from many circumstances, ley, and Greenock; but these, we we have reason to believe that the have reason to believe, were created increase in that year, as compared more by the arts and designs of a with the preceding, has been still few desperate demagogues, than by greater than that of 1818, as conthe pressure of the times, or the trasted with 1817. The joint imwant of employment. Wages, it is ports from the East Indies for 1817 admitted, were still low, but the in and 1818 amounted to 9504 packages. dustrious and peaceable had work By a published statement now in abundance, and there was every before us, it would appear that appearance of a gradual increase in trade, at the Port of Leith, bas like. the demand for our manufactured wise made considerable advances. goods, which would have been ne- The increase of foreign trade at that cessarily followed by a corresponding port in 1818, as compared with amelioration of the condition both 1817, was one hundred and fiftyof the manufacturer and the opera. seven vessels inwards, and eightytive. That, for several years prior four outwards; that of the coasting to this, the labouring classes had trade, two hundred and thirty-nine been subjected to the severest privaa, vessels inwards, and two hundred tions and distress, is matter of the and seventy-six outwards. utmost notoriety. But a reaction From the southern parts of Eng. had apparently commenced. The 'land the accounts are equally fa. continental nations, the purchasers vourable. Two years ago the ironof our surplus manufactures, were works were at a complete stand, and slowly but effectually recovering those employed in them reduced to from the hardships entailed by a the greatest distress; whereas at preruinous and long-protracted war: sent they are hardly able to execute and as their condition was bettered, the numerous orders they have receive the demand for the produce of Bri- ed. The price of the manufactured tish industry began to increase. commodity still continues low, as Our cottons and our hardware, al., was indeed to be expected; but if ways in request, began once more the workmen have not high, or even to bring remunerating prices. In comfortable wages, they have emManchester, Leeds, and Glasgow the ployment and bread, with the progood effects of this change soon be- spect of a speedy addition to their gan to be apparent. Workmen were comforts and enjoyments. in full employ, and wages were some- During the first five or six months what improved, with the agreeable of the year, sugars, coffee, and oprospect of their making still farther ther colonial produce, except cotadvances. This was particularly ton, continued rather heavy, and dethe case in Glasgow. In 1816, the clined considerably in price. Atotal number of cotton packages bout the middle of June, sugars sudimported into that place was so low denly rose in price, but towards the as 41,918; in 1817, the number had end of the month fell again to the augmented to 50, 170; and in 1819, former rate.
A goveroment con. it amounted to no less than 62,145. tract in the same month for 80,000 By the impulse given to manufac- gallons of rum, caused a considerturing industry, the consumption in able advancenient in the price of 1:17 amounted to 46,507 packages: that commodity; which, however,