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do if they were driven from the home ral and received principles of political market by an unrestricted importation economy. It was contended, that the of grain from abroad? Whither was argument used by the advocates of the their produce to go! It could evi- bill, that, in adopting measures for the dently find no room in other coun- permanent protection of agriculture, tries, for the French corn might be it was necessary to look to the actual sent to any other market as well as situation of the policy of the country, ours; and it was not necessary for and to recollect, that legislative meahim to dwell on the consequences which sures had already been adopted for the must naturally result to Ireland, when protection of commerce and manufacthus circumstanced.” Observations of tures, was entirely fallacious. Lord a similar tendency were made by seve. Grenville said, that “the consideraral other members, particularly Mr tion, whether the duties which had Ponsonby, who, after enlarging on the been imposed some centuries ago on mutual benefits to both countries, de- the importation of foreign manufac. rived from the intercourse act, which, tures, were founded on a wise or un. he said, had done more for the general wise view of the subject, had nothing benefit of the empire than any public law to do with the present question, which had effected since the navigation act; rested entirely on its own merits. The and after pointing out the great and per. only consideration at present was, what manent supply of food which this coun- effect the proposed measure would try had received by that auspicious mea- have on the interests of the communisure, asked “ if any one who heard him ty? If the measures which had for. would prefer that such a channel of merly been adopted for the protection intercourse should take its source in of trade and manufactures were right, the Baltic, in preference to the nearer let them be continued ; if wrong, let and more immediate opening which them be abrogated;—not suddenly, was presented by the sister kingdom? but wish that caution with which ali He was sure no one would ;-fully policy, however erroneous, so engraft. believing that the time when the mis. ed into our usage by time, should be chievous mode of disregarding Ireland changed : But let it be consecrated as was practised, had at length gone by.” a principle of legislation, that in no

As to the amount of the price at case should the grounds for advising which importation should be prohibit- the legislature to afford any particular ed, it was thought that this price ought protection, rest on the protection to be made somewhat higher than the which may have been afforded in any price which the farmer must obtain, other quarter. In fact, he could not in order to enable him to cultivate his well conceive how it could be argued, land: And it was not thought, that that measures admitted to have been the price of corn in the market would wrong with respect to manufactures, necessarily rise to the price thus to be should be right with respect to agri. fixed as the importation price. It ap- culture. If there were

two great peared from the evidence, that 80s. branches of national interest, the one per quarter for wheat was the price subject to the operation of a system which ought to be fixed upon, in con- comparatively termed wise, the other formity with these views.

subject to the operation of a system Such were the principles on which allowed to be mischievous, what nethe bill was supported. Its opponents, cessity, he would ask, existed for main the first place, contended, that it was king these systems uniform ? If such completely at variance with the gene. a necessity did exist (which he absolutely denied), ought not the legisla- of the legislature against foreign comture to endeavour to produce that petition, that they were able to underuniformity, by taking such steps as sell their competitors in foreign mar. would bring back to the line of right kets. the system that was acknowledged to Similar views, on this subject, were be unwise, rather than to distort from taken by Mr Philips and Mr Horner. the line of right

the system which was Mr Philips argued, “ that where the acknowledged to be wise ?" "Let it granting of exclusive privileges, or be considered,” continued his lord. protections, had occasioned the estaship, “ that our national interests do blishment of manufactures which would not form themselves into two great not have been erected without them, branches. A great majority of the these privileges had operated to the people, as on the one hand they can- public injury. They had misdirected not be benefited by any prohibition capital to trades, in which so far from for the protection of the manufacturer; being able to rival other countries, we 80, on the other, they cannot be bene- were, and must always remain, natufited by any prohibition for the pro- rally inferior to them. They had comtection of the agriculturist, unless, in- pelled us to buy fabrics of worse quadeed, that prohibition have the effect lity, and at a higher price, from our of lowering the price of corn, which own manufacturers, which we might is a subject

of separate and subsequent have had of better quality, and at a consideration. This great majority, lower price, from foreigners, who, in however, uninterested as they are on return, would have received from us, the subject, are already subjected to with a material increase of our comgreat restraint, in consequence of the mercial wealth, those fabrics in which prohibitions that have been adopted we have the means of surpassing them. for the protection of the manufactu. Instead of thinking, therefore, that rer ; and if the bill before your lord. our commerce had flourished in conse. ships should pass into a law, they quence of these exclusive protections, would be subject to further, and much he thought it more correct to say, that greater restraint, in consequence of the it had fourished in spite of them. prohibitions that would be adopted for Where they had operated they had the protection of the agriculturist. It done mischief ; but luckily for the would be an extraordinary mode of do. country, they had in general been ining justice thus to declare, that be- operative.” Mr Horner, after maincause a large, the largest part of the taining that this question must be community, were already oppressed judged of according to the principles by favours shewn to one particular of political economy, as received and class, they should be still farther op- sanctioned by our best writers on that pressed by favours shewn to another science, contended, that the proposiclass.” His lordship, however, went tion, that, because the manufacturers on to contend, that, in fact, the restric. enjoyed some protecting duties, the tive laws for the protection of our agriculturists were entitled to a similar commerce and manufactures, were, in protection, was merely a kind of argupoint of operation, almost null, -not mentum ad hominem, and quite unteentirely so, because, as he maintained, nable on any principle. He observed, the abrogation of some of them would that " it was not asserted on the other much benefit the British manufactu. side, that the agriculturists suffered by rers, the greatest part of whom were the protecting duties granted to the so far from wishing for the protection manufacturers ; and in what instance, he asked, could the British agricultu. be, that the price of corn would be rists be conceived to suffer? From unnecessarily raised much above the what country could they obtain any rate at which it might be procured by article of manufacture necessary for importation. Mr Baring observed, their consumption at a cheaper rate that “ if land would not produce than they could purchase it at home, corn without greater sums being essupposing trade perfectly free, and pended on it than the corn was worth, that protecting duties, as to manufac. it might be made to furnish a supply tures, were totally done away ? Could which would make us purchase our coarse woollen cloths, for instance, be bread at eighteen-pence the loaf, when, purchased cheaper any where than in- if we exerted our industry on that England ? Or could any other article same land to raise that which was conbe had on better terms elsewhere? genial to its soil, by exchanging its The only article, indeed, which could produce against that of the corn lands be supposed cheaper elsewhere, was of other countries, we might get our linen, which was the manufacture of loaf for a shilling. The whole mass Ireland. For himself, however, he had of the country ought not to be comno difficulty in deelaring, that all the pelled to pay a high price for bread, protecting duties as they were called) that the experiment of cultivating barat present in existence in this country, ren lands might be tried. In nowere but so many clogs and impedi- thing were the dispensations of Proviments to our commercial prosperity; dence more admirable than in the care and that whatever might be the gain, displayed, that the different soils of dif. which must be partial and compara- ferent countries should yield productively insignificant, derived probably tions which might be advantageously to the most insignificant in trade, the exchanged for each other. It was effect of the whole system must be, much better, then, that we should that the produce of our national wealth employ ourselves in raising that which was considerably diminished.”

we might so dispose of, instead of la. The opponents of the bill next con- bouring to produce that which other tended, on several grounds, that it was lands were destined to supply."more expedient to adhere to the sys. “ If,” said Mr Baring on another oc. tem of procuring a regular supply of casion, “ Malta and Norway had in corn by means of importation, than to this manner taken it into their heads endeavour to make this country depend to make themselves independent of fo. for its subsistence entirely on its inter- reign countries for a supply of food, nal resources. Although they aduit. they might long have scratched their ted, that, in the progress of agriculture, barren rocks and barren hills, before the produce of our soil was greatly in- they could have produced one-tenth of creased, and was probably capable of the subsistence which they procure in being increased still further, yet they exchange for their fisheries, and the denied, that this country could be made other branches of industry which na. to furnish a permanent supply, equal ture had placed within their reach. to the consumption of its increasing Undoubtedly they might, in this way, population. It was contended, that, have forced some land into cultivation, as our agriculture cannot be farther which would otherwise have been neincreased, without bringing into culti- glected. In Malta the people even go vation poor and barren lands, which so far as to bring soil from Egypt and cannot be cultivated but with great ex- lay it on their rocks. There is no pense, the consequence of this must limit to the perseverance of human in. dustry: but, on the principle of for either wise or politic to realize the vi. cing a supply from your own soil for sions of some theorists, to rest only on your own population, your population ourselves for the supply of all our never can exceed your own produce; wants, to cut off all foreign commerce, and the consequence, therefore, would and neither to buy nor sell, could such be, that you must cut down your po. a sytem be adopted in all other com. pulation to suit your corn, instead of modities, still it could not be done regulating the supply of corn by the with respect to corn, without the population. This is not lengthening greatest danger, because every counthe bed to the man, but shortening the try must, at some time or other, de. man to the bed.” Farther evils were pend upon foreign countries for a proanticipated from the operation of any portion of its food, or suffer the most attempt to make the country indepen- aggravated miseries; and these aggradent on foreign supply. Lord Gren- vated miseries, he feared, would be the ville remarked, that “ by preventing certain effect of the proposed meaimportation, it was calculated that the sure.” farmers would be induced to grow

As to the apprehended danger of enough of corn for the consumption this country becoming dependent on of the couniry ; but in order to do so those foreign nations from which we in an average of seasons, they must derived our supplies of corn, this dan. grow too much in a plentiful season ; ger was considered by the opponents and how were they to dispose of the of the bill as altogether visionary and surplus ? That surplus could not, in chimerical. The great apprehension fact, find a market in any other coun. was, that we should sink into a state try, and therefore must remain in the of dependence upon France. But hands of our farmer. Thus the object Lord Grenville stated, that our im. of the bill was likely to be defeated, port from France was insignificant, not and the farmers become more distressed exceeding 145,000 quarters, while our than they probably were at present. national consumption was from 13 to They would be rendered unable to sell 15 millions of quarters. He therefore cheaper, while they would be also ren- inferred, that the idea of such depen. dered unable to export, through the dence was quite nugatory. "We had, operation of this measure, for forcing indeed,” he observed, “ usually a much an encreased price of corn.”—Another larger supply from Poland and Holevil to be anticipated from this line of land ; but was it therefore to be infer. policy was deduced from the princi. red, that we were dependent upon ple as to population first established either of these countries? They were by Mr Malthus, and now received by entirely ignorant of the principles of all writers on the subject,—that the commerce who could entertain such a population of a country does not in- notion, for it might be as well said, crease in the same ratio with the inthat those countries were dependent crease in the means of subsistence, but on us. But every commercial transincreases in a much greater proportion. action was an exchange of equivalents, On this principle, it was contended by in which both parties were equally inLord Grenville, that “ a country terested. It could not be pretended whose population was progressively that we were dependent upon Russia, enlarging itself, must, at some given because this country afforded the prinperiod, be in a state that it could no cipal market for her produce. On longer supply food for its increasing the contrary, Russia was, by that cir. population ; consequently, if it were cumstance, so dependent on us, that

this dependence notoriously occasioned tuted the wealth of a country, was that effort on the part of Russia which quite fallacious ; that wealth being, in had led to the deliverance of Europe. fact, created by the profit arising out The fact was, that the interest which of the exchange of those articles which the Russian landholders felt in their one country could produce cheaper commercial intercourse with this coun. than another; and which exchange try, was the great cause of the resto- must, of course, be mutually beneficial. ration of the pacific relations of Rus. But if this country endeavoured to sia ; and why should not the landed supply herself both with corn and mainterest of France feel equally well nufactures, she must possess a double disposed towards this country, if our capital, enough to supply the loom and market were opened to their produce, the plough, or one or the other must through a free trade in corn? Such a be neglected. Now, the question circumstance must, indeed, serve to was, whether it would be wise on our excite a strong interest in France in part to abandon or to hazard the the maintenance of peace with this loom, which was found so productive country. But could it be supposed, of national wealth, on the speculation that, because France could thus feel of becoming a great agricultural coun. an interest in selling her produce to try. The country had been hitherto us, we should therefore become de found incompetent to grow sufficient pendeot on her? The idea was absurd; corn for for its consumption; and the quite as absurd, indeed, as the wild question was, whether, by pursuing maxim prevailing among some politi- our prosperous system of manufacture, cians on the continent, that we were we should not be able, through the dependent on those nations to whom disposal of that manufacture abroad, we sold our manufactures ; the buyers, to procure corn considerably cheaper in such cases, being just as dependent than we could procure it at home.” as the sellers. Yet from this absurd Mr Horner also treated the appremaxim it was often assumed, that this, hension of danger from our dependthe most independent nation in the ance on a foreign supply as altogether world, was dependent on its custom- visionary.--" It had been,” he aners, who were its customers only to swered,“ most tenaciously maintained supply their own wants. But if it by the advocates for this apprehension, were maintained that we were depen- that it would be impossible for the dent, because we brought commodities whole navy of England to import any from other countries, then we must very large proportion, much less an contrive to supply all our wants at adequate supply of corn for our sube home, in order to guard against the sistence. This, however, these gen. imaginary danger of dependence. This tlemen seemed to feel an admission supply was, however, impossible. hostile to their own proposition; and Some of our must essential articles therefore, in order to take off the must be had from other countries,— weight of such admission, they as. naval stores for instance. But, the ap- serted, that even a small quantity of prehension of dependence upon other imported corn would have a material nations, because we purchased from effect upon the market price. This, them, was quite a new notion. We however, he could not admit. A commust, in fact, buy, or we could not paratively small quantity of imported sell ; we must import, or we could not corn might affect the market price export. The old maxim, that the ba- upon a particular day, or for a feve lance of exports over imports constį. days; but the price must ultimately

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