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a dark age,

really they would require to be so, for they look | know that they are, and that they have had too much very suspicious, and startle the prejudices of plain- | cause—we also know that they are discontented, sailing folks like ourselves.

not because they are under the British crown, and Sir William Molesworth, just at the close of last governed by the British Parliament, but they are session, made a long speech against the expenses of discontented because they are under the rule of the colonies; but he did not argue that they should stupid governors, and have no appeal to the British be given away either to Yankees, or Ellices, or to Parliament ; because they are under the despotism friends of Colonial-office clerks. Sir William con- of Earl Grey, an anomalous imperium in imperio, tended that, by certain “reforms, the resources a government within a government, lording it over of the colonies would be developed, they would be- many lands and many climes. The Colonial office come more useful, and their inhabitants more at- is an antiquated, neglected closet of the monarchy, tached to the British empire.” Many severe in which has taken refuge that ghost or dogma of things have been said about this speech of Sir

“the king can do no wrong.” It has, William's, and we admit that it is rather rambling, like Pius IX., slipped on the livery of a servant, and and contains some errors in statistical calculation. impudently proclaims, “ The Colonial office can do Yet, as the words just quoted are from the third of no wrong. Earl Grey is the visible head of this the positions with which his speech commences, we mysterious office; his ordinances give law to millions are bound to believe that the baronet really meant of people whom the united power of Queen, Lords, what he said, and that although contending for and Commons cannot rescue, or will not rescue, outof financial reform, he does not advocate the giving his hands. The Houses of Parliament waste a great away of the colonies in presents, either to select part of their time every spring, in talking about the cliques, poor relations of the “ family government,” | colonial possessions. Earl Grey hears them in dig. Yankees, Canadians, or even to Mr. Ellice and nified silence ; he knows that his empire is safe, and his Hudson Bay Company; for, after exposing the that no act of the Imperial Parliament, touching mismanagement, the imbecility, and reckless ex- colonies, can become law until it has regularly passed travagance of the colonial administration, he says, through his office. “If the colonies were properly planted, and self- George Canning boasted of having called a new governed according to the old fashion, then our world into existence, when he acknowledged the inkinsmen and friends, instead of overstocking the dependence of the revolted Spanish colonies; but liberal professions - instead of overcrowding the Earl Grey can make constitutions, and practical army and navy, where no career is open to them independencies for colonies in the east or in the west, would seek their fortunes in the colonies, and and no man intermeddles with his manufactures. prosper ; for we are by nature a colonising people. Nay more ; when the British Parliament presume The same destiny that led our forefathers from their to legislate for the Earl's dominions, he is above homes in the farthest east still urges onwards to oc- | contradicting Parliament in words, because he can cupy the uninhabited regions of the west and the thwart and counterwork, both the Parliament and south; and America, and Australia, and New the nation, by the unseen machinery of his more Zealand, anxiously expect our arrival to convert than imperial office. their wastes into happy abodes of the Anglo-Saxon But, while admitting and deprecating the unconrace,"

stitutional powers of this office-unconstitutional Mr. Hutt, who seconded Sir William, after making from long neglect and from prescription, rather similar animadversions upon the Colonial office, took than from design--and while we deplore the unnotice of the “great desire amongst the working happy blunders of the Colonial office, we are not classes to emigrate to the colonies—men inferior in prepared to charge the head of that office with any no high quality to those colonists who had laid the deep-laid plan for alienating our colonial possesfoundations of our colonial empire-men whose pre- sions. Indeed, although we know the Earl to be a sence amongst the emigrants would be an incalcu- somewhat strange-tempered person, we would be lable blessing, both to them and any settlement to loath to accuse him, or to believe him guilty, of any. which they might proceed, but who would not hear thing deep-laid-such as a plot—or indeed of any. of the colonies on the terms on which they were now thing deeper than one of his own interminable offered to them. They ought to make a strong en- essays, facetiously called a despatch, so long and deavour to remedy this state of things, and to im- so obscure as to give rise to a tedious newspaper prove the condition of the colonists."

controversy as to its true meaning. * Neither do Such being the sentiments of those eminent men we think that he would knowingly permit his second in the reforming party of the House of Commons, || in command, Mr. Hawes, to contrive arrangements we are justified in holding that it is not revolution, for handing over the colonies to our great rivals-nor alienation, nor fraudulent transfer of colonial || the Americans. territory, that is sought after by the reformers, but We think Earl Grey has a measure of integrity a just and honourable, though economical admini- || sufficient to place him above such suspicions. stration of colonial affairs. If Mr. Cobden has been Of Mr. Hawes we cannot form a clear estimate. represented as saying that a logical carrying out of | We have some faint recollections of his wondrously free trade principles would cut off our connection with the colonies, we take leave to deny the infer

* Vide his despatch to the Governor of New Brunswick, on ence, and to affirm that practical free trade may be retiring pensions ; but so darkly, as to give rise to n controversy

Responsible Governments,” in which the Earl darkly hints at most easily, and most certainly obtained with our own as to whether the pension system was deprecated or recomcolonies. If the colonists are dissatisfied--and we mended.

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clear insight into reforms, that were much wanted ||ing the gradual abolition of the colonial system." in the colonial department prior to his elevation to We trust that this, like one of Mr. Wilson's prooffice. We know of none that he has proposed or phecies, touching the price of corn for 1847, will effected since, but we have some uneasy misgivings || not be realised. Besides, had the suspicion been about the dates, and the receptions, and the final well grounded, viz., that Mr. Hawes was preparing answers to certain memorials which were presented the dismemberment of the empire, it is not likely to the colonial secretary last spring, from mer- to have escaped the sharp look-out kept on him by chants and manufacturers interested in the Canada his great opponents, the late Lord George Bentinck, trade; and we have a most uneasy feeling as to whe- / Mr. D’Israeli, and their friends. ther the royal assent had been given to an obnoxious We hold that if any one proposition is clearer than tariff, at the date assigned in one of Mr. Hawes's another, it is abundantly clear that these colonies letters, for errors occur even in Downing Street. are British property, and that the wild lands—crown

The merchants and manufacturers of this country || lands—ought, as in Australia, to be rendered availknow the amounts of capital and industry repre- || able by the proceeds of their sales being applied, as sented by their transactions, and we are not sur- a great emigration fund, to British purposes. The prised that they should feel indignant at seeing crown lands of Canada were formerly amenable; such an important branch of British commerce as and if they are not still available for British and the Canada trade lopped off by a few strokes of colonial interests, in this particular, we promise to the pen ; avowed in a curt, and scarcely civil no- search out the reason, tice, from Downing Street, that the royal assent The great expense incurred by the present colohas been given to a colonial tariff, which has closed | nial system is the excuse for the cowardly and antia large outlet for British labour, and all this with-British suggestion, to give away the colonies themout the benefit of appeal to Parliament, which is selves. Of all State reasons brought forward in an afforded to an insignificant turnpike act.

age of economical twaddle and “statistical imposBut to resume our subject, and leave the mer- ture," we deem this the most childish, or the most chants and capitalists to themselves; if they submit idiotic. To the narrow capacities and morbid imato the petty tyranny and obstinate stupidity of the ginations of official hangers-on, it may appear Colonial office, it is a pity, and they have them- || weighty, because in the mental calculations of such selves to blame ; for the capitalists and factory persons, it is of little moment from what sources owners have representatives in parliament. It is a their incomes may be derived. England is a great pity that the working people of this country should and rich country; she is able to provide sinecures suffer, should lose employment, and perhaps, too, without end, and the Whigs have a genius for conlose their chance, small though it be, of acquiring trivance of new jobs, subordinate offices, and cona home and a settlement on easy terms in the venient commissions. Even although a dozen perAmerican colonies. It is as an outlet for population sons were to be dismissed from the Colonial office, on and labour-depreciated labour—that we chiefly account of that office giving up business, still there value the colonies. With that section of the com- would be pensions and half-pay going, and there munity who look to the colonies as fallow ground, would be something done for Whig retainers, by for army appointments, for civil appointments, for manufacturing new commissions, or new embasgovernorships, and jobs of all sorts, we have no sies. In the ordinary course of Whig policy it must sympathy-we have no ideas in common. But appear a slight affair after all, this apprehension of Te contend that the colonial possessions are a Great Britain retiring from the colonial business, British inheritance, and that no servants of the and paying off the officials. But although a light crown, not even the crown itself, has power to alien- | matter to the sinecurists, it is a concern of vital imate the national property, or authority to make gifts portance to the industrial classes of this country. of national territory.

We require all our present markets—all our out"They are for us and for our children.” “Eng-| lets for labour in every description of manufactures. land wants room," and we have no wish to be driven We cannot afford to lose those we possess, nor to into the workhouse, nor into the penitentiary, nor

have them diminished. If we cannot make a living in the It is essential to our system that we go forward: land of our birth, we would wish to emigrate to a any perceptible tendency to retrograde movement country where our language, our laws, our religion, of a great nation like England is ominous. It and our habits of thought have been adopted. We ought not only to be met with the most anxious wish the northern colonies preserved to us for a place promptitude, but all signs and risks of retrograde of refuge, if the hardness of the times, if a continued movement and decay ought to suggest anticipadepreciation of our labour shall compel us to emi- tions of worse things befalling us. grate ; and we hope God will raise up men to de- Adam Smith, who was deeply read in the history clare that the British colonies are not fraudulently of the great nations of antiquity, has remarked, or recklessly to be taken from the British people, to that nations have their periods of rise and progress, be given away to court favourites, to ministerial par- their stationary periods, and then their periods of tisans, to speculating New Englanders, or to the decline. We have had a very long stationary period. persons who got up the last Canadian insurrection. We are like all people who are losing ground—very

We hope there is no good foundation for the inti-unwilling to believe it. And yet the railway losses, mation in the North British Daily Mail, of 3d the loss of crops in Ireland, the loss of industrious August, that “Mr. Wilson (of the Board of Con- and peaceful habits in that island, the fearful introl, we presume,) says, that Mr. Hawes is prepar- crease of pauperism all over this country, and the

into the sea.

undeniable inability, or reluctance, of the agricul-|| They only demand to be treated as British subjects tural party (chiefly of the landowner section), to have a right to expect. raise as much food as will save us the enormous In Jamaica, owing to the decay of trade, there money payments every year made to foreigners for was no revenue to pay the officials.

The As the deficiency—these ar, circumstances which ought sembly asked for certain retrenchments; the gover. to be pondered over. We are slow to believe that nor took high ground, and attempted to dictate our national resources are declining, as compared to the Assembly, who, in turu, refused to vote with those of other nations; but we have been so the supplies, and so put an end to revenue for a long accustomed to traditionary tales of England's time. It is most likely that this island-governor will greatness, that we will listen to nothing else. expect to be paid in full by the over-taxed people of

We know that it is no longer true that “Britan- this country, as soon as he is sent home; his friends nia rules the waves; but we cannot resolve to cut in office will help him to smother inquiry, and to get the dear delusion. We have not courage to admit hold of the dollars. that the Americans are taking possession of the In Trinidad, the governor offered to give up onecarrying-trade of the western hemisphere, and ra- || third of his salary to the colonists. Earl Grey would pidly dispossessing us of the carrying-trade of not allow this, although the island is nearly ruined. Europe. We look at British riches and progress In Demerara, the governor quarrelled with the through magnifying glasses, and shut our eyes to Assembly, who refused to vote the former large sums what our neighbours and our rivals are doing. as taxes. The consequence was, that, for a number

Certainly these are not the times to propose of months, goods went in duty free, broke down the trifling or gambling with the great interests or vital prices, and destroyed the remuneration on goods prospects of the country. A small-minded official previously imported. may, like the unjust steward of old, proffer his aid In Australia, the people have been kept in hot to his friends of Mammon, by offering to write water by arbitrary inflictions of new constitutions. down his master's property at four-fifths or one-half To New Zealand, that industrious letter-writer and of its true value. A colonial secretary may aspire constitution spinner, Earl Grey, sent a fine new conat the magnanimity of giving away what is not his stitution, packed in a new box, which the governor own, but the nation must look to it. Forewarned there perceived to be so absurd and unworkable that is forearmed. The decay of our colonial trade has he repacked it, and sent it back to the consigner. caused greater loss to all classes than is generally Things looked still worse in Sydney, N. S. W. supposed. We speak not of the large fortunes of Meetings were held of the leading men of every West India proprietors, which have been gradually shade of opinions, very able and determined speeches absorbed during the last dozen years ; but we lament were made, long passages were quoted from the old the loss of markets for British goods, of everything constitutions of the American colonies, Judge Story in the shape of clothing for the colonists, both white and other modern American lawyers were cited. and black, as well as of the various luxuries in | These meetings have prepared that new and flourishhardware, hosiery, drapery, trinkets; and wines anding colony for any contingency which the tyranny spirits of foreign growth, on which we had freights of the Colonial office, or rather which the apathy and and commissions.

ignorance of the British people, may ultimately renWe do not stay to look into the West India ques- || der inevitable. tion; we believe the planters have not been fairly Such details of grievances are endless—they are treated in being prevented from supplying them. sickening ; but they would lead none but fools or selves with free labour wherever they could get madmen to the conclusion that the colonies should it. If the underlings in office who planned these therefore be abandoned. things are still living, they may now see the fruits There are many similar cases, on a small scale, of their obstinacy and ill-will, and be ashamed. in Scotland, in England, and in Ireland-many

The expense of the colonies is a matter that only fine properties in the hands of blundering or swindrequires to be accurately known to find its remedy.ling stewards; but no reasonable man would reMolesworth's estimates are vague, and sweeping, commend that such estates should be handed over and exaggerated. In Canada, a governor who does as a present to the blundering or dishonest stew. nothing, because his hands are tied up by the colonial || ards, or settled upon the tenants. Yet this is what office, receives £7,000 a-year, which is taken out of some persons have insinuated should be done with the high duties levied on goods imported into the those magnificent estates for which the Colonial colony; the tenth part of that sum would be too | office acts as steward. much for the value of the work done—but he is a No Manchester manufacturer would think of nobleman, and one of the “ family government." abandoning his mills, as a free gift, to a manager

The Canadians, or rather the commercial class whose incompetency, or whose rascality, had renin Canada, are compelled to pay Lord Elgin dered the mills unprofitable. No man of sound and his staff of military and civil assistants. The mind would contemplate the giving over of a good people who do pay are mostly British merchants. || shop and stock to a shopman whose dishonesty cr They see cheap government across the frontier, yet stupidity had spoiled the business of that shop. they retain their loyalty, and continue to petition | But really we have not patience to gire more illusthis country to be treated as our countrymen and trations of this kind. We may briefly affirm that brothers. They only ask for such arrangements as || all the recent speculations, and new doctrines in may place them upon an equality, in this market, | political economy, as it is called, agree in this, that with the foreigners to whom we concede so much. they attempt to explain away, to arrange, and to dietate in a nation's affairs—not from extensive in-| the restrictions on colonial trade-those restrictions formation, not from the actual fitness of things, which the great (as he has been called) Earl Chatnor from experience—but by dogmas, and technical ham insisted on maintaining, when he said that the terms, and new phrases, so that any smart lad, just colonies ought not to make so much as a nail for a fresh from Cambridge, Oxford, or Manchester horse shoe if it could be sent from hence.

Tho College, may go up to London to a government writings of Edwards, the West Indian, followed situation, to a sinecure, or into the House of Com- | up Smith ; and practical restrictions on colonial ‘mons, and, without further knowledge of details, | trade have ceased for half a century.

In fact, or experience of any kind, assume the manage- / generally speaking, the trade of the colonies is a ment of the most extensive and complicated na- | less-restricted trade than our home trade. Smith's tional affairs that the world ever saw !

objection, so long obsolete, has been repeated by We may now turn to the case of Canada; though | M Culloch in his voluminous, but ill-digested diccomplicated, and more difficult to understand than tionary. From him the anti-colonial spirit and its all the other colonies put together, we shall endea- allegations have been copied without examination, vour to give a view of its affairs and of our relative so that there exists a vague prejudice against coposition to that most valuable colony.

lonial trade, the public know not very clearly on The north-western part of the American coast what grounds. Smith declared, more than seventy still acknowledges the rule of its early British dis- | years ago, that, notwithstanding the objections (since coverers and conquerors. The forty-fifth degree of obviated), the colonies had been of the "very greatest latitude is the general boundary between the United advantageto England. States and the British territory, except in certain The principle on which we traded with them portions which the Americans, by reason of British seems to have been this—to treat them as part of weakness in the persons of their diplomatic the empire, giving them certain preferences or proagents, have, from time to time, “chisselled" out of || tections in this market, while we enjoyed as comthe land. There have been treaties and conven- || pensation for the expenses of defence, and partly tions, many; but through them all the Americans of government, an exclusive trade with the have driven “ their team.” They encroached and colonies. The advantages and disadvantages were squatted on New Brunswick, discovered that it mutual. The colonists saw their position clearly, contained the finest timber in the world, laid claim and found it their interest to co-operate with the to it:—and the British Government sent out Lord mother country. Upon the whole, to whatever Ashburton to make a present of the best part || evils of misgovernment they might occasionally be of the province to the Americans, giving them at subjected, it is admitted, and it is demonstrable, the same time Rouses Point and a few* miles of an that they had fewer causes of complaint than their important military position at the head of Lake fellow-subjects in Britain ; the recent treatment of Champlain.

the West Indies being a remarkable exception. Our claims on California or on Spain were con- Colonial-built shipping has all the privileges of ceded by the peaceable Lord Aberdeen. Cuba, a British, and has at times competed to the great valuable Spanish island, worth all the rest of the detriment of the latter. It was at one period quite West India islands, is said to be under terms of well understood, and fully assented to by the colosale to the Americans, though Spain owes to British nists, that, in lieu of taxation to defray the expenses subjects forty millions of money.

of defence, we should have their market for our Lord Palmerston has not found courage to pro- manufactures, to the exclusion, if need were, of test against any such sale of Spanish territory un- foreigners; but this exclusion has long ago been til the debt due to England be provided for. These compromised, or commuted into differential duties instances

prove the value attached byother countries in favour of British goods. The fairness of these to territorial possessions and outlets for population ; || terms, and the full consent of both parties, have but they also prove that little co-operation is to be been again and again declared by the Canadian expected from our own Government, either in the merchants, in their recent and present agitation to colonial or foreign departments. There is a con- obtain the opening of the St. Lawrence to foreign fusion, an apathy, or å want of integrity among the shipping, and to place Quebec and Montreal on the men composing the Ministry, for which no remedy footing of free ports, like Bombay or Gibraltar. The can be suggested. It would be easy to suggest useful | Canadians merely protest against the breach of conmeasures, but men rather than measures are wanted. || tract on the part of the mother country, and long for There are “parties” enough, such as they are; a return of the prosperity and resources developed but we want an honest party, men who can be by the old system. The reason why Quebec and trusted to work out their own promises. If there Montreal have not equal privileges with other were but truth and honesty in the Cabinet, come sea-ports in the colonies is this : Quebec is nearly from what side of the house it might, there would eight hundred miles within the British waters, still be hope for the country.

reckoning from Cape Race. Foreign ships bring. We have said that Canada is an intricate study. I ing foreign produce are admitted to discharge, We can only sketch the points for inquiry. Space but not to load with Canadian produce. Thus, docs not admit of our doing justice to the subject, German or Prussian ships may take emigrants to bat our facts will be unassailable.

Quebec, but at present they cannot return with Adam Smith left upon record his objections to cargoes of Canadian flour or timber. The Cana

Some thirty or thirty-five square miles, commanding beth dians deem this a hardship, because freights are at Lake Champlain and the eastern townships,

times scarce, and always dearer than at New York

or Boston. Prussian vessels can fetch cargoes of these beautiful theories, and that if leaves us in grain into London or Liverpool, and load out with suspense.

Hazlitt attributed Edmund Burke's coals, iron, or other produce of this country, because || political sagacity to the careful attention he paid there exist reciprocity treaties, as they are called, to specialities and exceptions from general rules. between Prussia and England, in virtue of which Now Canada is just an exception to a general Baltic vessels enter British ports on the same rule ; it is an inland country, but we treat it as a terms that English ships are permitted to enter maritime one. Canada is only approachable by Prussian and other Baltic ports. By this means sea during five months in the year; ships cannot freights are kept down, and foreigners are encou- winter there ; and during the other months it can raged to trade with us, and we are setting a disin- only be entered through the United States, a rival, terested example to other nations, and even giving and possibly, at some time or other, a hostile power, up our own advantages in order to promote free Our territory, it is true, is bounded by the Atlantic, trade all the world over.

but the shorter, and ordinary route to Canada in This restriction of colonial trade to British and winter is by New York or Boston. The difficulties colonial shipping is not peculiar to England: it is and dangers of the voyage to British America have the regulation of every great maritime power in the been much under-estimated in the recent discusworld. Two hundred years ago it was as well | sions, and official reports in England, as well as in understood, or, indeed, rather better than at pre- Montreal and Toronto. The north Atlantic is sent, that “ Freight is not only the most politic, proverbially stormy; within the Gulph of St. Lawbut the most national and the most certain profit rence the weather does not improve; while the river a country can possibly make by trade."* By itself is full of small islands, and groups of rocks steadily acting on this maxim the Dutch, from and shoals; there are few light-houses ; the pilots very obscure beginnings, became the monopolist are French Canadians, who, by the extraordinary carriers of the world, until Cromwell having forbearance of the English shipowners and mer. studied the Dutch policy, adopted it, and in the chants, are allowed an incorporated monopoly of end defeated his rivals with their own weapons. the care of English property. The majority of We talk of Navigation-laws as modern class in- these pilots are notoriously incompetent, and terests! Navigation-laws are the results of more the rates of insurance are the highest paid for than two thousand years' experience. M‘Culloch foreign voyages, ranging from 2 to 3 per cent, in refers in his “Literature of Political Economy" to summer, and on the winter voyage home, froin 6 to the Rhodian laws, in force three centuries prior to 7 or even 10 per cent. The average rate for the the Christian era, as laws adopted in the Roman West Indian and other long tropical voyages is only code, and thence diffused over the jurisprudence of 11 per cent. Europe and of the civilised world! Canada has These risks, therefore, are an element of expense ; been treated on the same general principles on towage above Quebec is inevitably high for a diswhich British, French, or Spanish colonies are tance of 180 miles, in a current running four or fire treated by their respective governments. The re- miles an hour. Lighterage going up is not unusual, servation of the export trade of the North Ame- ) and an almost regular item of charge in going down rican colonies, for colonial and British shipping, is from Montreal. We believe that three hundred perfectly just, and originates or coincides with the pounds is a moderate estimate of additional expense proverb, that “Charity begins at home.” If we incurred by a ship going beyond Quebec to disdo not take care of the colonial shipbuilders they charge and load at Montreal. will take care of themselves, and of the colonies The Montreal and Toronto men know all this, too ; and as for British shipbuilders, they are, or but they are dissatisfied. They look to New York ought to bo, represented in Parliament. We are freights, forget their inland position, and grumble more jealous of the safety of national than of class at the British Government, because there is not a interests, and must beg a patient reading of the sharper competition for freights at their wharres

. following dry, yet really interesting details.

Ilaving witnessed and experienced the evils of Ours is an age of“ general principles.” The com- accumulation of produce in Montreal, and inademercial policy of the country is now to be worked quate shipping to remove it, we dare not make light by a few rules. The government, and the multiform of the complaints of the Upper Canada people, businesses of this great empire, in fact, are worked, though we doubt much whether the opening of the not by practical men who have devoted their time | St. Lawrence to the United States would secure a to details, and to practice, but by anybody who || regular and cheap supply of shipping. While talkcan just remember Mr. M'Culloch's simple rules, || ing over this matter in Scotland, we have been met such as—" That the whole world, as to trade, with the reply~" Let the Canadians build more is but as one nation or people, and that therein ships”—and there is something in this.

Ship nations are as persons”—“ that there can be no | building is not only a British, it is a large colonial trade unprofitable to the public”—“that money ex-l interest, and we have no wish to see deserted the ported in trade is an increase to the wealth of the dock-yards of Quebec, or Three Rivers, or of the nation,”t and such like short and easy rules, which, lower ports, merely to gratify the jealousy of if true, must greatly facilitate the trade of legisla- * Young Toronto” at her elder sister. tion, and enable very ordinary persons to govern the advantage must be procured in exchange. Freights country. Still, there is an if at the foundation of ought always to be 2s. 6d. to 2s. 9d. sterling per * Davenant on Balance of Trade, page 155. London, 1699.

barrel of flour cheaper at New York than at Mon+ Vide—Principles of Political Economy. Ed. 1825, page 40. || treal-that is if we can rely upon an average of

Some real

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