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9301. out of a total of 22,962,6107. ; and of of local or temporary pressure, and may, by the remaining 1133 articles, we believe we precautionary measures, divert or alleviate may safely say that above 1000 would not its effect; but, above all, they may and are repay
expenses of collection. The ad- therefore bound to take care that no meajustment of these duties, and particularly sures of theirs shall increase the nalural difof the large protective class of them, has ficulties, and add to providential vicissitudes always been a very complicated and diffi- the irregularities and partialities of human cult affair ; every foreign power and every legislation. domestic interest availing itself of every These are the principles on which we natural, accidental, or even occasional in- rest our humble support of Sir Robert fluence, to obtain an advantage over their Peel's measures—his maintenance of such competitors. It is, therefore, not surpris- a protection to the cultivation of corn as ing that tariffs so frequently altered and may ensure, as far as human means can, a modified, pro re natâ, and to satisfy this or certain and regular supply—and the dithat importunity, should be frequently erro- minishing, as far as circumstances permit, neous in policy and principle, and incon- of duties on all articles of food or comfort sistent and anomalous in their operation. not requiring so high a degree of protection
It is a remarkable coincidence that just -and on raw materials, the plenty and 130 years ago, after the treaty of Utrecht, cheapness of which may develope additional the Tory ministry proposed a tariff for the industry, and thereby enlarge the means of reduction of duties, which was opposed and subsistence for the great masses of the ultimately defeated by the Whigs upon ex- people. actly the same kind of objections which The new Tariff
, in pursuance of these have been—fortunately so ineffectually- principles——which were powerfully exmade against the present arrangement. It pressed and elucidated by Sir Robert Peel was on that occasion that Addison wrote-- and Mr. Gladstone in the House of Comwith less, we think, than his usual good mons- - attempts for the first time, we besense and pleasantry, but with considera- | lieve, a classification of the several articles ble party success—his · Trial of Count it includes, and a systematic apportionment Tarif: 'It is, also, curious that the main and application of the various duties which object of that tariff—the balancing our com- it imposes. mercial favours between France and Por. Having stated that the protecting duties tugal-should be at this hour, as it was in favour of various branches of home prothen, the subject of separate and conflicting duce were laid on from time to time, and negotiations with these countries.
under temporary and local influences, we These negotiations and the prohibitory need hardly say that the old tariff had little duties recently imposed by France on a regard to consistency or system, and indi. great and growing branch of our manufac-vidual interests had obtained individual protures have necessarily prevented any recon- tection, often delusive to themselves, and struction of the scale of wine duties; and always in some degree injurious to their considerations connected with the slave. fellow-subjects : let us take, for instance, trade have had the same effect on the sugar the question of the metallic ores, of which duties ;-to both of which important sub- Sir Richard Vyvyan has made bis stalkingjects Sir Robert Peel has stated that he horse. Copper-ore is what we may call a directs an anxious attention ;-but he did natural monopoly of the Cornish peninsula not therefore postpone those measures of the ouly other considerable supply being, relief which were within his power. The we believe, from the distant mines of Cuba, first duty of a statesman is, to provide, as or those, still more distant, of Chili. Would far as human means allow, for the cheap not one suppose that the mere freight round and regular subsistence of the people. Pro- | half the globe of an article of which the vidence has indeed reserved to its own available part is not, on an average, onemysterious councils the chief share in the fifth of its weight or bulk, would be a sufsolution of this problem. The main ele- ficient protection to the Cornish miner, who ments of the demand and the supply of food has his smelting-house at the pit's mouth? man cannot command—nor on any very The mining interests of Cornwall, however, large scale regulate—the growth of popula- | did not think so; and in the days in wbich tion and the produce of harvests, though the it-with the private interests of the Crown result of human means, are practically be- representing the Duke of Cornwall at its yond human control. Governments can do head—was one of the most powerful intebut little towards increasing the one or rests in Parliament-a prohibitory duty was checking the other; but Governments may laid on copper-ore. This did not at first estimate the probable occurrence and extent I sight seem very important as a domestic question, because Cornwall already sup- | cheapness may create. Sure we are that, plied more than enough for home use, and for one individual whose immediate income we did not seem to need importation from it may curtail, it will open or enlarge the Cuba or Chili. But see how it worked. sources of profitable industry to a hundred To the natural monopoly, this fiscal mono- of his neighbours. We therefore should poly being superadded, the mine proprie- hardly on principle have complained if the tors were enabled to put their own prices protecting duty had been wholly repealed on the article, and to enter (as it is said to —but, as we have formerly and recently happen sometimes among the Coal proprie- said, a violent recurrence to principles is tors) into a combination not to sell for home almost as impolitic, and in general more imconsumption under a certain price—though mediately injurious, than the departure obliged of course to send their surplus from them. The long and complicated abroad for what it would fetch, where it discussions—in which Sir Richard Vyvyan had to meet the competition of foreign ores declined to take any part—were employed, smelted in England ; for ores were allowed as we before stated, in adjusting between to be imported and smelted under bond and four or five important classes some comthen exported. By these means the foreigner mon and equitable measure of protection, obtained the article cheaper than ourselves the Government being in fact little more --for instance, we are informed that a short than an umpire between them. Sir Robert time ago the French Government bought Peel seems to us, in this case of the ores, copper-sheathing for its navy at 121. the ion as throughout the whole tariff, to have cheaper than the British Government was taken a most judicious practical courseobliged to pay at the same moment for the he has not abrogated existing protection, same article, drawn from our own mines, but moderated it to the degree that promises and smelted in our own furnaces. Could a considerable alleviation to the consumer, it be a wholesome or rational system which without materially disturbing the condition made an article manufactured in Cornwall of the producer. dearer at Plymouth than at Toulon? But Much alarm was felt, or at least exthis is not all. The prohibitory duties cut pressed on the part of the agricultural inoff the shipping interest from an obvious terest, on the diminution of the duties on source of profit, while they increased the the importation of cattle and other articles expenses of naval outfit, and they also de- of animal food. We have already alluded prived all the manufactures of the country to that absurd panic—but we wish to say a of the additional outlet which the unre- few words on the subject to show that even stricted exchange of their copper-ores might in this case the principle of reduction is as have created in Cuba and Chili.
just, as the application of it promises to be England possesses facilities for the universally beneficial. Our first observation smelting of ores beyond any other country is, that while the duties on salt meats were in the world—the prohibition of import de protective, those on cattle and fresh meat, prived pro tanto our home consumption of which would most affect our own people, this natural advantage. Consider also how were absolutely prohibitory, and they were much this prohibition must cramp that great imposed informertimes when our population portion of our internal industry that makes was, as compared with the present day, any use of copper-how much more, of all scanty and well fed. Surely the mere that are employed in it as a distinct manu- growth of our population would of itself facture; and how it must check the appli. have justified the repeal of a prohibitory cation of copper to new and experimental duty on meat. And here, in reference to purposes. Iron has been made, chiefly this point, as well as to the Corn Laws, it from its cheapness, to supply the place of cannot be unimportant to exhibit the growth wood and stone—in fences, in houses, in or- of our population in the five decennial penamental architecture, in furniture, in roads, riods of which we have any exact enumerain carriages, and in ships-nay, we have tion. The population of Great Britain iron substitutes for wool and horse-hair in was in cushions and mattresses ! We believe copper to be capable of a-less general indeed, 1801, 10,472,048 Decennial Increase. but still very extensive application to pur
1811, 11,969,364 1,497,316
1821, 14,073,331 2,103,976 poses for which it is at present rarely or
1831, 16,260,381 2,187,050 sparingly applied; and we doubt whether
1841, 18,656,414 ... 2,396,033 the Cornish proprietors themselves will not find, on the long run, their own profits We are under no apprehension-quite increased by the extended use of the article the contrary—that meat will become too both at home and abroad which greater I cheap; and we are satisfied that meat and
many other articles of agricultural origin In short, we are of opinion that the measmight become much cheaper than we fear | ures have been so cautiously selected, so the tariff will render them, without doing carefully balanced, so judiciously combined, any real injury to the agricultural interests. that no sudden shock or injury will be felt It has been tauntingly asked—how it is pos- by any one of the various interests consible that the general consumer can be be- cerned. Those who hope as well as those nefited without injuring the individual pro- who fear some very immediate and remarkducer ? In the article of meat, as well as able consequences, will be, we think, of some others of analogous character, equally disappointed. The improvement there is one preliminary answer-prices will be general, but it will be gradual and had risen, and were still rising so high that, progressive; the pressure on a few individif the tariff should only have the effect of ual interests will be found to be slight in keeping them where they are, or even of itself, and so distributed and compensated lowering them in some reasonable degree, as to be, we trust, hardly perceptible. The the consumer will be benefited without most early and probable result that we look any sensible change in the actual condition to is, that, by the gradual operation of the of the producer. But there is that still Tariff and the blessing of God in a promismore important reason to which we be- ing harvest, the prices of provisions may be fore alluded, and which is of general appli- reasonably lowered, and a feeling of comcation, affecting the income tax, corn duties, fort and a spirit of enterprise and industry and the whole tariff-namely, that the pro- revived throughout our manufacturing popDUCERS—of the neglect of whose special ulation, without any sensible injury to the interests we hear so much-form also the agricultural interests. A bai harvest main body of the consumERS, to whom Sir would, of course, have raised agricultural Robert Peel is reproached with being prices; yet no farmer wishes for a bad harloo partial.
vest; and though plenty may lower his Take, for instance, the case of the land- prices, it must increase his profits; and forowner-whether he farms himself or by tunate it is, that, at the moment when some the hands of a farmer, the result will be reduction in the value of farming produce nearly the same,he is a seller of corn, of may be expected from the season, the opecattle, of wool, but he is a buyer (generally ration of the Tariff will effect a concomispeaking) of bread, of meat, and of clothes. If tant diminution in other articles of conhe loses something by selling cheaper, does sumption, by which the farmer in common he not gain something, at least, by buying with every other class must be benefited. cheaper in their manufactured shape these This leads us to offer a few words on the articles of his own growth? To the class new scale of corn-duties. We beg our of farmers who are wholly agricultural, and readers to recollect that the strongest advodeal little in cattle or wool, the cheapness of cates of the agricultural interests do not meat and clothes will be an unmixed ad-dream, at this day, of a fixed protection. It vantage. So he, who does not rear but is notorious and avowed, that the enemies faltens cattle, will be proportionably bene- of all protection propose a fixed duty only fited the cheaper he can buy the lean beast. because it would be wholly illusory, and All this, however, might, we admit, be an would lead directly to the removal of all inadequate compensation; but if, in ad- protection. Hence the opposition of the dition, spirits, coffee (by and bye, we Anti-Corn-Law League to the sliding-scale hope, wine and sugar), furniture, and the —the best, nay, we will add, the only whole apparel of himself, his family, and practicable safeguard that agriculture can servants, are all reduced in cost, is there rely on; hence also the arts by which it not reason to infer that he must receive a was endeavoured to raise popular prejudice very considerable compensation, a compen- against the principle of a sliding-scale, by sation which in many, probably in most exaggerating some inconveniences and cases, will exceed the nominal loss of in- anomalies with which the details of the old come, while there will be a real increase scale were chargeable, such as the mode of of comfort and enjoyment? And let us taking the averages, and some sudden and go a step further; a farm cannot be tilled arbitrary transitions in the rates of duty. for nothing :-labour, buildings, repairs, These objections, though not of the imporimplements, seeds, must all be paid for. If tance attached to them for party purposes, the diminished prices of provisions keep were not unfounded; and it therefore was labour cheap-if the diminution of duties not only justice but good policy in the on timber, iron, copper, leather, seeds, friends of agricultural protection to amend make buildings, repairs, implements, and those details, and thus take away from their general culture cheaper--will there not be adversaries one class of their pretences: a further and
very considerable benefit ? But the main question was, what should be
the amount of the protection; and here the The following tables, compiled from sevstruggle lay between a formidable associa- eral parliamentary returns and public docution, acting on and by the strength of pop- ments, will not only elucidate the present ular prejudices and passions, and clamour- discussion, but afford some statistical data ing for the abolition of all duty—and that which are worth preserving, as well for the great and respectable body, including most facts they establish as for the doubts* they of the property and intelligence of the here and there excite. country, who-adhering to protecting du- We shall begin by exhibiting at one ties as the best, and, indeed, only mode of view the Old and New Scales of duty on insuring a constant and regular supply—are wheat, to which all other grain is generally well aware that the rates ought to go no proportionate. Our readers will observe higher than will suffice for that object. We that 8d. appears in each rate of the old therefore believe that there are very few scale; this was not so at first;-but 8d. was of even the most exclusive agriculturists added to the scale in consequence of the who would contend that the rate of duties change from the Winchester to the impeestablished in 1828 was not now fairly sus- rial measure, made subsequent to the oriceptible of some diminution, and that it ginal act. would have been politic, or even possible, to have maintained them at so high a scale.
At 50s., )
OV V V V V V V V V V VRH
per Quarter. s.
Se At 36 under 37 37
68 68 69
70 70 71
73 73 and upwards
8 2 8 1 8 0 8 19 8 18 8
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
56 57 58 59 60 61 62
55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66
73 73 and upwards
5 4 3 2 1
• There are many discrepancies as to details, and jects for which the accounts were made—some from even as to totals, in the various documents from different modes of computation—but none are conwhich we have compiled these tables, arising, no siderable enough to disturb the general results. doubt, from the different periods and different ob
We have begun the foregoing view of A vast proportion of the duties received the old scale at 36s. price and 21. 10s. 8d. under it was at the rates which are not alduty, because they were the extreme points tered—viz. 1s. and 28. duty on 73s. price; practically attained during the operation of and the proportion received beyond the that scale, but by law there was an increase point where the new scale terminates-viz. of 1s. duty for every fall of ls. in the price, 208. duty on 50s. price-was, compared so that, if we could suppose the price to with the total amounts, inconsiderable. On have fallen to 10s. a quarter, the duty would the other hand, the protection afforded by have risen to 31. 16s. 8d.
the new scale, though lower and more liSir Robert Peel intended by his new mited, will be found more steady, and, we scale to make a considerable diminution of believe, more effective—as it will greatly the duty, and has done so; but the differ- diminish, if it does not wholly prevent, those ence between the two scales is much greater frauds which were equally injurious to the in appearance than in reality-the higher producer and the consumer. protections of the old scale being in fact We next give a return of the nominal, and, we may almost say, delusive.
Average Prices and Total Quantities of Foreign Wheat and Wheat Flour entered for Home
Consumption, with the Average Rate and Total Amount of Duties paid thereon, with the Average Prices of Flour for each year during the operation of the Act 9 Geo. WV., c. 60, from the 15th July, 1828, to the 29th April, 1842.
This table shows that averages, spread only 700 quarters; and the last four, as
; over wide periods of time, may be very fal- much as 2,300,000 quarters. It is quite lacious in several ways. The total import clear that, for a country that sometimes rein fourteen years being about 15,000,000, quires to import a tenth part of its annual writers have stated that we import annually consumption, and at other times needs little somewhat more than a million of quarters or no importation at all, a fixed duty would of corn, and as our total annual consump- be an untenable absurdity, which would tion (for seed and food) is calculated at alternately ruin the producer and starve about 24,000,000, the import has been stat- the consumer. The reader will also obed at a fortnight's consumption. Now this, serve that the general average given by the if true, would imply both a regular import sliding scale is 2s. 5d. less than the 8s. fixand a regular supply at home, and in that ed duty proposed by the Whigs; so that case something might be said for a fixed this scheme for cheap bread would have duty; but, in fact, we see that, in the first raised the price of the loaf in the proportion four years, the average importation was of about one-third for the last fourteen years. about 1,200,000 quarters; the next four, ) We confess, however, that we do not much