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article of grain, as the two we have just specified. Yet observe, how much more unfavourably situated both of them were, than is the empire of Great Britain! How much was commerce in its infancy, when Venice began to flourish! how much less extensive was the intercoursc of nations ! how much more difficult was it to supply what was not to be found in one country, by repairing to another! Again, Holland, for the greater part of her time, was only a second rate maritime power; her ports were exposed to be blockaded, and her fleets, both mercantile and belligerent, to be hunted up and down upon the ocean by the ships of a superior power; yet it was not by depriving her of provisions that her enemies ever found themselves able to do her any considerable evil, nor was it in this way that they made their attempts. When one contemplates the unparalleled powers of the British commerce, to which every corner of the globe is open, and which brings its stores with so much ease, and celerity, and constancy, from the most distant parts of the earth, one cannot suppress a smile of ineffable contempt at those who would persuade us to deprive ourselves of cheap corn by importation, in dread of the mighty danger, lest one or two nations should think proper to deny us their portion of our supply.

This argument of the lovers of dear corn, drew, we should imagine, most of its power to delude, from the terrors with which we were lately agitated by Buonaparte. So portentous an aspect did his power present to us, and so prone was the state of our imaginations to fear and alarm, that any effect, however miraculous, ascribed to his endeavours, had a pretty sure chance of being believed. When we can review the circumstances entirely and without trepidation, we shall, together with our fears, get delivered also, it is to be hoped, from some of the many false opinions which owed their production to these same fears. One thing we should certainly expect, that the effects of his attempt to shut up the ports of Europe, and to compel the nations to exclude the commerce of one other nation from their markets, were too extraordinary, and too memorable, to allow pernicious prejudices and measures to be ever again erected upon the dread of an excluded commerce. But not to speak of the oalamities which this frantic measure brought down upon Buonaparte, for it was the cause of his last war with the Russians, and the subversion of his throne, had it not been for the conduct which we ourselves, to our infinite loss and disadvantage, pursued against neutrals, harrassing and molesting their trade, and at last driving them from the ocean, the laws of Buonaparte, for shutting even his own ports against us, would have remained a dead letter; and our commerce would have had ingress into, and egress from the Continent, hardly

more difficult, than if no edict against it had ever been promulgated. To shew the multiplied absurdities of supposing that it ever could be in the power of any state, or any combination of states, to prevent us from importing food, if Buonaparte could have shut against us every port on the continent, we should have been under no difficulty in importing food. Under all the enormous disadvantages of a monopolizing company, we actually imported corn and rice from the most distant parts of Europe ; and, under proper regulations of commerce, might import in any quantity, at a price, compared with our late prices of corn, by no means immoderate. The vast countries of North and South America, daily, improving in their productive powers, and possessing in superabundance the fruits of the earth, presented a resource; and, but for our own acts and deeds in quarrelling with the United States, a resource far more abundant than our wants. Even the coasts of Africa are productive of food; and, with the encouragement of a market, would export large quantities of rice. T'he ports of Barbary, if a vent for corn were created in them, would draw corn for its supply, from almost any country in Europe. In fact, wherever the vent is created, there the corn of all the world will go ; and nothing but the strict execution of a law absolutely to prevent all exportation of corn from every country in Europe, could prevent the corn of Europe from coming to this country, if we should present a demand for it.

Surely, then, we shall be weak in the extreme, if we allow ourselves to be deluded by that most unfounded of all pretexts, the pretext, that by importing a proportion of our food, we render ourselves more liable to accidental deficiencies than by confining ourselves to the produce of our own country, when the very reverse is the fact, and when real, wisdom would dictate to us the importation of a portion of food, as the best means for avoiding uncertainty and irregularity in the annual supply. And there is also another circumstance, and one of great importance, which all this time we have overlooked. If we accustomed ourselves to take a regular quantity of corn from certain countries, the cultivators of the land in those countries would be induced to raise an additional quantity of corn to meet our demand. In that case, our demand would be almost as necessary to them, as their supply would be to us. It would be not only their interest, but their interest to an extraordinary degree, to provide us with that corn, since all the corn which they raised for our supply, would otherwise be comparatively useless; and the land owners, the most powerful class in every country in Europe, (Holland perhaps excepted,) would suffer a mighty loss. A regular connexion, therefore, in the article of corn, would be a powerful bond of peace, and would be one of the very best of antidotes against the deplorable propensity of governments, as they have yet existed, for going to war.

We shall now, therefore, pass from this miserable, this hypocritical pretence of the men who wish to obtain the most destructive of all monopolies, the monopoly of a country's food, that it is the benefit of the rest of the community, for which they are so very anxious, for which they take so much trouble, for which they press so vehemently the bill for shutting up that great source of food, importation ; and we shall proceed to the next of their great arguments, in which they tell us, that because many branches of our manufactures are favoured by duties on the importation of similar commodities, it is necessary that the land-owner should be favoured in a similar manner. This, now, we approve. Here, there is no hypocrisy. It is their own advantage, and that alone, to which our consent is thus partly solicited, and partly demanded. They tell us, Lord Lauderdale at least tells us, and he is one of the most strenuous, as he is one of the most ingenious of the tribe, that they are real friends, upon the whole, to the doctrine of restraints and encouragements in trade; but as the merchants have got certain favours, they demand that the landlords shall obtain similar, in reality, much greater advantages.

Now this, from the lips of some of them, some who are really the friends of their country, is truly astonishing, and proves, what is every day proved to so deplorable an extent, the mischief which this country sustains from the enormous imperfection of its institutions of education, and the miserable instruction which the minds of its leading men receive. For what is this strange argument of theirs, but a claim, that if an injury is done to the community in favour of one set of men, another and a greater injury shall be done to it in favour of another set of men, namely, themselves? What is this but an argument to say that evil, whenever any portion of it exists, ought to be augmented, not to be retrenched? What is this but an argument to say, that if an injury is done to the community in favour of any other set of men, the land-owners may be rendered perfectly quiet if a similar injury is only done to it in favour of them? Give them a share to content them, in the profit of any evil that is going forward, and according to the spirit of this argument, you may reconcile the land-owners to evil of any amount.

How much more patriotic and noble in those men, how much more worthy of the advantages which they enjoy in their country, would it have been, to have stood forward, and have declared, -No! we will not partake, for our own benefit, in the injuries done to our country. For ourselves we disclaim, and we renounce, the advantages which may be-bestowed upon particular bodies of the community, by restraints and monopolies operating to the detriment of the great body. · Freedom of trade is, to our conviction, a good. Shackles upon trade are, to our conviction, an evil. We will not assent to the continuance of those shackles, on the unworthy inducement of being allowed to put on shackles profitable to ourselves; on the base condition of being allowed to add to the national wrongs.

This argument, thus disgracefully employed, that because restraint is wrongfully laid upon other trades, it should also be laid upon the corn trade, was first invented by Mr. Malthus; and one is rather surprised that upon a mind so candid as bis, and so free from similar bias, it should have so far imposed, as to make him overlook the odious consequences which it involves. Lord Lauderdale embraces it, with greediness, and founds upon it the principal argumentation of his pamphlet. Blot out from his

pages this selfish, this sordid plea, together with the un. founded pretext, that importation is unfavourable to steadiness of supply, and you expunge the whole of his pamphlet. Yet upon this foundation does that noble Lord, with his usual strength of confidence, proceed, not only to establish his conclusion, that importation should be prohibited, and exportation encouraged, but to treat with no little disdain all those who shall presume to dispute them.

The shape in which they put their plea for the multiplication in their own favour of the evils of restraint, is very plausible and delusive. If you encourage manufacturing industry, they say, by laying duties upon the importation of manufactured goods, you ought to encourage agricultural industry, by laying duties upon the importation of corn. That is to say, because the nation is rendered poorer, by being obliged to expend more labour upon the making of certain commodities at home, than it would be necessary to expend for the importation of similar commodities from abroad, it ought to be sunk another degree in poverty, by being obliged to expend also more labour in producing its food, than it would be necessary to expend if portion of its food were freely imported from other countries. With great submission to the learning of the land owners, and great tenderness to their exquisite sensibility to their own gains, we should proceed to the directly opposite conclusion ; that if our country is labouring under the disadvantages of an impoverishing measure, it is less able to bear the calamity of another, and the more is such calamity to be deprecated. It is remarkable enough to observe the land owners, calling our attention to a measure under which the community generally suffer, and instead of asking for a repeal of that measure, only asking that an indemnity shall be given to them, at the ex

pense of the rest of the community, for their particular share of the injury sustained; an indemnity to the richest portion of the community, at the expense of the poorest.

If they say, that duties upon the importation of manufactures are a greater injury to them, than to the rest of the community, it is an unfounded pretext. They allege that by reason of these duties, a portion of capital is withheld from the land which, under perfect freedom of trade, would otherwise go to it. But this is not true. If the importation of manufactured goods were under no sort of restraint, if the quantity of goods imported were increased to any extent, it would not follow, that less capital, to the amount of a single farthing, would be employed in the manufacturing branch of industry; because manufactures must be made, and must be exported, to pay for every article of importation. The quantity of goods which it would be necessary to export, would then, as now, exactly balance the quantity which we should import; and the only difference would be, that with the same quantity of labour expended upon certain goods exported, we should be able to bring from abroad a greater quantity of some other kind of goods, than that labour would have produced in making the goods at home. The same quantity of labour, or in other words, the same quantity of capital, would continue to be employed in manufactures; only that labour and that capital would be more productive; just as they become more productive by a more judicious division and distribution, or by the invention of important machines. Is it understood, that the invention of machines, and the improvement in the productive powers of our manufacturers have had a tendency to throw capital out of the manufacturing branch of industry, or to augment its capital? It is, therefore, in the highest degree, absurd and improper to say, that because the manufacturer is aided by duties on imported goods, therefore the farmer needs to be protected by duties imposed on imported corn. The duties on imported manufactures, are no injury to the farmer in any other way, or in any other degree, than they are to the members of the community at large. Do they affect the demand for his commodity? and is not the demand for the commodity the true measure of its encouragement? But if the duties on imported goods have no peculiar tendency, either to affect the capital employed in agriculture, or the demand for its produce, whence can arise the plea or the belief, that the farmer needs protection, as against them?

Neither is it true, it is any thing rather than true, that' the manufacturing class derive any advantage from the duties imposed on the importation of goods. Is this restraint calculated to raise the profit of mercantile or manufacturing stock ? No,

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