Page images

of recent occurrence, the merchants and The following is the case of the Landmanufacturers in Foreign States have assailed owners of Great Britain, alluded to in their respective Governments with applica. Mr. Baring's speech: tions for further protective or prohibitory Report of George Webb Hall, Esq. Chairman duties and regulations, urging the exampie

of the General Committee of Management and authority of this country, against which

for the Agricultural Associations in Great they are almost exclusively directed, as a Britain and Ireland, made to the said sanction for the policy of such measures. Committee at Henderson's Hotel, on MonAnd certainly, if the reasoning upon which day, the 1st day of May, 1820. our restrictions have been defended is worth

Gentlemen, I have to report to you, that any thing, it will apply in behalf of the re- in execution of the trusts reposed in this gulations of Foreign States against us. They Committee by the General Meeting held in insist upon our superiority in capital and

this place, on Monday, the 25th day of Oct. machinery, as we do upon their comparative

last, I have taken upon myself to send to the exemption from taxation, and with equal chief magistrate in every town in England, foundation.

Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, and to circuThat nothing would more tend to coun- late, in various other parts of the United teruct the commercial hostility of Foreign Kingdom, copies of the origin and proceedStates, than the adoption of a more enlight- ings of the Agricultural Associations in Great ened and more conciliatory policy on the Britain, which has produced a very consipart of this country.

derable effect, in confirming, extending, and That although, as a matter of mere diplo enlarging the associations then formed, and macy, it may sometimes answer to hold out hold out has added many new associations to the the removal of particular prohibitions, or general cause: that I have held a most exhigh duties, as depending upon corresponding tensive correspondence with almost every concessions by other States in our favour, it county in England, and with several in Wales, does not follow that we should maintain our in Scotland, and in Ireland, as will appear restrictions, in cases where the desired con- by the bundles of letters now laid on your cessions on their part cannot be obtained. table for your inspection and perusal: and I Our restrictions would not be the less pre have particular pleasure in reporting to you, judicial to our own capital and industry, that the associations, generally, have acbecause other governments persisted in pre quired no inconsiderable accession of strength serving impolitic regulations.

and consistency since I had last the honour That, upon the whole, the most liberal of meeting you in this place. would prove to be the most politic course,

ove to be the most politic course, Gentlemen,-- We are now assembled for on such occasions.

the purpose of entering on one of the most That, independent of the direct benefit to arduous tasks ever before confided in this or be derived by this country on every occasion any other nation, to so small a number of of such concession or relaxation, a great men ;--men too that are inexperienced and incidental object would be gained, by the untried in the path which lies before themrecognition of a sound principle or standard, unaided by power,---unsupported by patronto which all subsequent arrangements might age,--and unprotected by interest: in short, be referred; and by the salutary influence I may fairly describe ourselves as men deswhich a promulgation of such just views by titute of every supposed requisite for the un• the Legislature, and by the Nation at large, dertaking in which we are about to embark could not fail to have on the policy of other except the energies of our own minds, and States.

the justice of our cause ;-and supported only That in thus declaring, as your Petitioners by those who have hitherto been considered, do, their conviction of the impolicy and but most mistakenly so considered, as I shall injustice of the restrictive system, and in prove in the sequel, as the most inconsideradesiring every practicable relaxation of it, ble class of men in the nation, viz. the cultithey bave in view only such parts of it as are vators of the soil of the United Kingdom of not connected, or are only subordinately so, Great Britain and Ireland. with the public revenue. As long as the But, Gentlemen, what we want in patronnecessity for the present amount of revenue age we will supply by facts, what we want subsists, your Petitioners cannot expect so in interest by arguments, and what we want important a branch of it as the customs to in political power, we will sustain by truth be given up, nor to be materially diminished, and justice; which, when respectfully, and unless some substitute, less objectionable, be properly submitted to the British legislature, suggested. But it is against every restrictive have never yet been pleaded in vain. With regulation of trade, not essential to the the example, therefore, before our eyes, of revenue, against all duties merely protective the final success and triumph of Mr. Wilberfrom foreign competition, and against the force in the instance of the slave-trade, after excess of such duties as are partly for the so many defeats, I urge you to think of nopurpose of revenue, and partly for that of pro- thing but ultimate success; well knowing, tection, that the prayer of the present Peti. tbat until British agriculture shall rece. v3 tion is respectively submitted to the wisdom equal protection witb her commerce and maof Parliament.

nufactures, it will be impossible to carry it


on with advantage to the country or benefit Agriculture and all its branches......£216,817,624 to the cultivator, and that the declension

Mines and minerals, coals, &c......... 9,000,000

Manufactures in every branch..........114,230,000 of our agriculture must prove the destruc- Inland trade in all its branches......... 31,500,000 tion of both our commerce and our manu- Foreign coin merce and shipping....... 46,373,748 factures.

Coasting trade.....


Fisheries, exclusive of the colonial fish. Gentlemen,-I will not conceal from you,

eries of Newfoundland .............. 2,100,000 that the most difficult point we shall have to Chartered nnd private bankers.......... 3,500,000 encounter, is the opinion which men of all

Total....£425,521,972 ranks and descriptions, not only in the united

Without staying to enquire whether the kingdom, but throughout Europe, have imbibed, viz., that the amazing wealth and

Doctor is correct in all these branches, it is

sufficient here to state that this estimate havpower which this mighty nation has displayed, is derived from her commerce and manufac

ing been prepared anterior to 1814, and pub

lished in that year, it could not be fabricated tures, rather than from her agriculture ; and therefore it is that the interests of our agri

to serve the purpose of the agriculturists; and culture bave been for centuries past more or

if we check his estimate by the payments on less sacrificed to the supposed, although mis

the property tax, we shall be astonished at taken, interests of our commerce and manu

the coincidence and corroboration which the

Doctor's estimate derives from this criterion. factures. But those who investigate this

I therefore take the estimate altogether for question more profoundly will ascertain, that it is from the unceasing industry and energies

better for worse, in all its branches, as sufof her inhabitants, protected as they are by

ficiently accurate to draw a comparison of

the national profit on each branch, and her unrivalled constitution, the fertility of her soil, her boundless mines of coal, and the

which, when analized, will appear as fol

lows :union of agriculture, commerce, and manu

Agriculture, and all its branches, in Great Britain factures, in one and the same people, that and Ireland, 216,817,6241. the united kingdom of Great Britain and of this creation, I may fairly estimate Ireland has surpassed the whole world in 1-4th as the rental or net profit to the

land owners for Great Britain and wealth and power, as she has in arts and in

Ireland............................. 54,204,406 arms; and that all the present sufferings of To the cultivators of the soil for the pro. her people arise simply and solely for want fits of stock, skill, and capital, I allow of preserving a due equilibrium between her

3-4ths of this sum asclear gain, viz. for

Great Britain and Ireland, 40,653,303). agriculture, her commerce, and her manu

of which I estimate for the cultivators factures. She has sacrificed the former to of Great Britain 4--5ths.............. 32,522,644 the mistaken interests of the two latter sources To the cultivators of the soil of Ireland

1-5tb............................... 8,130,660 of her wealth and power; and being well

Tithes for Great Britain alone in 1814... 2,732,898 assured that no redress can be expected until Deduct these four sums for the amount this committee shall satisfy the legislature, created, and we leave 119,227,0161. for his Majesty's ministers, and the public, of

wages, maintenance of working cattle,

seed, poor's rate and taxes, &c. the dependance not only of the commerce Mines & minerals, coals, &c. 9,000,0001. and manufactures of this country, but of the of this creation Í reckon 124 per cent. revenue also upon her agriculture, I have or 1-8th for the lord's share .......... 1,125,000

The like for the fariners or workers of spared neither time nor pains to demonstrate this fact by such a comparative statement


Deduct these two sums from the of the profits of each to the country at large, amount created, and we leave 6,750,000). as I doubt not, when it shall be thoroughly for wages and working the inines, &c.&c. investigated, will set this question at rest for Total profits on the productions of the ever. I therefore crave your most serious soil in 1813 ...... ................ 98,840,608 attention, and your most minute investigation By which it appears, that in 1813, the of the following comparative view of the productions of the soil of Great Britain and profit to the united kingdom of Great Britain Ireland yielded to the owners and occupiers and Ireland, arising from her agriculture, thereof the net clear profit of 99,840,6081. to her commerce, and her manufactures; by be expended in the country, whereby all which it is clearly demonstrated, that the de- ranks and conditions of men were alike be. preciation of her wealth, occasioned by the nefited and employed, and the taxes were import of foreign produce, duty-free, and paid with facility : but in 1814, by the imwhich she might grow on her own soil, port of foreign produce, duty free, or nearly amounts to a much larger sum than she so, the productions of the soil were depreciever cleared by all her commerce and manu- ated one half of their former value, and they factures put together, whether for home con- have since averaged a depreciation of about sumption or foreign markets; from whence one third of their value in 1813, which deit may be fairly inferred, that all her present preciation has diminished the currency of the embarrassments arise from this single cause. united kingdom, and reduced the value of Dr. Colquhoun, in his Treatise on the Wealth, every other species of property in the same Power, and Resources of the British Empire, proportion, and produced that universal stagestimates the property created in Great Bri pation in every other business of which all tain and Ireland in the year 1812-13, as complain, but which so few can solve the follows:

cause of.


the mines...........................


Manufactures in every branch, 114.230,0001.

so much net profit from the soil of Groat Of this creation, I cannot reckon more, and I presume the manufacturers will

Britain that year. not claiin, as net profit, than 12 per

The last item is for mines, minerals, and cent.; the residue of the sum created

coals; and supposing that Dr. Colquhoun is is all capital, wages, and dead charges ; the total profit, therefore, to Great

right in the aggregate, no man can assert Britain and Ireland on all her manu

that the respective proportions of profit which factures, i«. ........................£14,278,750 I have assumed are at all unreasonable, but Inland trade in all its branches 31,500,0001.

the fair and usual returns of profit actually of this creation, I reckon for the same reasons, the same 12 per cent. net

derived from the working of mines in geprofit

.......... 3,937,500 neral. Foreign commerce and shipping

Tinus have I established, by facts and 46,373,7481. Of this creation the same 134 per cent.

figures, borne out and corroborated in every net profit .......... ........... 5,296,718

instance by the actual payments to the proCoasting trade 2,000,0001.

periy tax, which amount to demonstration, of this creation, the saine 12 per cent.

that the net clear income of Great Britain net profit.........

250,000 Fisheries 2,100,000

and Ireland, arising from the land, and the Of this creation, the same 124 per cert.

skill, capital, and industry of the cultivators net profit......

262,500 of the soil, did amount in the year 1813 to Chartered & private bankers, 3,500,000l. Tbis being a creation of profit upon a ca

the enormous sum of, at least, 99 millions pital of 40,700,0001. we carry the whole

eight hundred and forty thousand six hundred as profit............................ 3,500,000 and eight pounds; and we have the evidence Total net prc fit to the nation on all the

of facts before us, that up to that year, and boasted cominerce and manufactures of -Great Britain and Ireland only !!! £28,025,468

as long as this stream of wealth was reI will now proceed to check these results

ceived and flowed through every vein and by the several payments on the property tax.

artery of the state, our taxes were paid with First. I deduct 1-5th of the sum of facility, our labourers were fully emploved. 54,204,4061. above stated as at the rental of

our commerce and our manufactures flouGreat Britain and Ireland, for the share of

rished, and all ranks prospered, in defiance rent on land in Ireland, not charged to the of our heavy taxation ;-at that time much property tax, which leaves a sum of greater than it is at present. But in 1814, 43,363,5251, as the net rental of Great Bri as soon as foreign productions, which might tain, according to Dr. Colquhoun's estimate. be grown upon our soil, were admitted dutyThe payment to the property tax in Great Tree, or nearly so, to compete in our own Britain in 1814-15 to schedule A, property in

markets with our own productions, the agri. land, was 4,297,2471. which, multiplied by

culture of the country was first paralized, 10, ascertains the rental of Great Britain ac

most of our productions fell 50 per cent. cording to the payments on the property tax while sales were made with difficulty even at the sum of 42,972,4701, leaving only the at this depreciation; confidence in men and trifling difference between the Doctor's estic property were alike annihilated in a momate and the actual payment on the property

ment, and all our subsequent embarrassments tax. of 391.0551. The first item. therefore are but the effects of that mistaken policy may be taken to be proved to demonstration which induced the legislature in 1814 to as the profit from rent in Great Britain and listen to the popular cry, but fatal cry of Ireland.

cheap bread; and to permit the import of The next item is for profits to the cultiva. any productions which might be raised from tors of the soil of Great Britain, 32,522,6441. Our own soil upon terms which might proThey were charged and paved to the produce an artificial reduction in the value of perty tax the sum of 2,176,2281. which, at our own produce. the rate of 74 per cent. on their profits for But let us now compare the Doctor's esti, England and Wales, and I believe less for mate of property created by our commerce Scotland charges them with a profit of and manufactures, and the profits which I 29.016,3731. So that here again we have bave allotted on such creation, with the pav. demonstration. almost to a fraction. of the ments which the merchants and manufac. truth of the Doctor's estimate, and of the turers have made on the property tax. proportion of it which I have allotted to the Estimating the profits all round, on the cultivators of the soil of Great Britain as sums created at 124 per cent. except the profit: for I apprehend the allowances made chartered and private bankers, which, on a to smail tenants will fully balance this dif. capital of 40,700,000l. the Doctor has estiference.

mated at considerably less than 12 per cent. I have no mode of checking the estimate we obtain a sum total for the profits on maof profit for the cultivators of the soil of nufactures in every branch, inland trade in Ireland, but the amount is so reasonable and all its branches, foreign commerce and shipso proportioned to what we can check, that ping, coasting trade, fisheries, and chartered I think no man will dispute any slight varia and private bankers, of no more than the vion which might exist between the sum I sum of 28,025,4681. for Great Britain and have estimated and the fact.

Ireland. Of this sum I write off one-fifth The next item is for tithes, 2,732.8981.; for the share of Ireland, which leaves a net this being the amount returned to Parliament total for Great Britain alone of 22,420,3751. for 1814, no man can deny that this was for profit, and no more ; and I then turn to


[merged small][ocr errors]

OI only.............................. 28,025,468

the payments under the property tax, and find I cannot conclude this report, Gentlemen, schedule D. trades paid 2,000,0001. which without congratulating each of you, and the again proves to a demonstration how nearly whole class of cultivators of the soil throughthe Doctor's estimate of truth is to the fact. out Great Britain and Ireland, that I have at For if the merchants and manufacturers of last established our pretensions to the supeGreat Britain really paid to the property tax rior importance of the agriculture of this upon profits to the amount of 20,000,0001. country over her commerce and manufacand actually made no more than 22,424,3751. tures, upon a basis which it will be difficult no man can say, when all the contingencies for all the skill and ingenuity, all the industry, of trade are taken into the account, that they and all the power of figures, in the hands of did not pay most handsomely and honourably the most able and ingenious bankers, merto the property tax.

chants, and manufacturers this kingdom can Thus, gentlemen, have I at last placed produce, to impugp, or even to shake. upon a rock, which all the merchants and The data which Dr. Colquhoun has afforded manufacturers of Great Britain can never me are corroborated and borne out in every assail with effect, the true proportions of instance by the payments to the property tax, profit to this great nation arising from her and from the statement of profits respectively agriculture, her commerce, and her manu which I have formed, we have this glorious factures.

result, viz. that the cultivators of the soil of The productions of the soil of the united

the united kingdom, did, by their skill, cakingdom, up to 1813, did yield a profit to the nation of no less aruin than.. £99,840,608

pital, and industry employed in agriculture While her commerce and manufactures

in 1813, earn for the landowners, the cler; during the same period, yielded a profit

gy, and themselves, a net clear profit of

99,840,6081.; while in the same period, all Leaving a preponderance in favour of agriculture and productions of the soil

the boasted results of all the commerce and over commerce and manufactures, of 71,815,140 manufactures of the united Kingdom, both at Or considerably more than twice the

home and abroad, amounted to no more than amount of all the profits made by all the a profit of 28,025,4681. boasted commerce and manufactures of Great If this statement will not convince the legis. Britain and Ireland put together. Yet this lature, his Majesty's ministers, and the British agriculture, this unfathomable mine of wealth public, of the justice, the policy, and the as long as it shall be duly protected, has this necessity of equal protection for the skill, great nation sacrificed to the mistaken views capital, and industry of the cultivators of the of her merchants and manufacturers, who soil, with the merchants and manufacturers, contend that they cannot compete with fo- nothing but a contiquation of their present reign manufacturers in foreign markets with sufferings can ever do so. For it is as clear their woollens, their earthenware, their hard

as facts and figures can demonstrate, that if ware, and their manufactures generally, un

the productions of our own soil have depreless bread be artificially cheap in this coun

ciated one-third in value per annum since try; and by which artificial 'reduction, a

1813, by the introduction of foreign produce defalcation in the returns of the productions duty-free, then has it cost this nation the of our own soil for the last six years, of con

third part of 216,117,6241. or the sum of siderably more than twice the amount of all 72,272,5411. per annuni, for the single purthe profits ever made by our commerce and pose of enabling our merchants and manumanufactures for both our home and foreign facturers to vend from ten to 15,000,0001. markets have amounted to, has arisen, and a worth of their commodities in foreign maro great proportion of our labourers, both agri- kets, wliereby a profit of a million and a cultural and manufacturing, have been thrown half, or at most two millions sterling, may upon their parishes for subsistence. Such. be gained, to set against this awful depreciGentlemen, are the facts, the figures, and the ation of 72,272,5411. and by which deprecia results on which we ground our application

ation the labours of every man in the united to the legislature for that protection, on all kingdom, seeking to gain a livelihood by the productions of our soil, which the mer- skill, capital, and labour, have been arrested, chants and manufacturers have so long en- a large portion of our agricultural and manujoyed for their skill, capital, and industry; facturing labourers have been sent to the but the principle and policy on which these parish for subsistence, the value of our lands claims rest, have been so fully enlarged on in have been reduced, our cultivators are disa former report, that I will not trespass on pirited and broken down, and, finally, every your time by here repeating the arguments, other branch of industry is paralized, beand shall only recommend to this committee, cause no longer supported and fed by the and the whole British nation, the most serious copious stream which gave motion to the examination of the estimate which I have whole, as long as our own productions mainnow the honour to lay before you, that the tained a remunerating price in our own same may be received, admitted, and acted markets. upon if true, and if it shall bear the test of On the 11th, in a speech on Excheexamination'; or be detected and exposed, quer Bills, Mr. Maberly statedif it shall be found to be incorrect and fal That the imports of 1819, were less by lacious.

6,000,0001. and the exports by 10,000,0001.


than they were the preceding year; and the Dwyer. He had applied to have them called total Revenue, ordinary and extraordinary, before the Solicitor General rose to make up to 5th April, 1819, was 50,388,2481. while a reply ; but the Court had inhumanly rethe expenditure of that year was 69,448,8991. fused his request ; this, he contended, was

The boasted Sinking Fund of 5,000,0001. was inconsistent with that spirit of British justice merely nominal, and the real Sinking Fund which on all other occasions, except the prewould be found to be no more than 395,3161. sent, he had no doubt would have prevailed. On comparing the Revenue of last year with He challenged the Learned Judges on the that of this year, up to the 5th Jan. 1820, Bench to say, whether he bad been fairly there was a fulling off; in the former year, tried; and if not, whether, if execution should the Revenue up to 5th Jan, was 49,056,5931.; take place, he was not cruelly murdered. this year, up to the same period, it was He could have called witnesses to prove that 48,208,1751. leaving a deficiency of 848,4181. Dwyer had been guilty of the most atrocious and if the deficiency of Ireland was taken, he offences. He could have proved that Adams believed it would be 1,000,0001. The only was a swindler and the blackest of characremedy, in his view of the question, was a tert; and of Hiden, he conld have produced tax upon property. If a tax of ten millions persons who would bave spoken in terms of was levied on real property, and the Assessed equal reprobation. These were the persons Taxes were given up, it would be a boon to upon whose testimony alone was he sacrithe people. If ever there was a time when ficed to the vengeance of the Ministers, Ho property could be taxed with propriety it denied that he had been actuated by any was this. Were not the corn laws a real tax personal motives against Lord Sidmouth. He on the people? This could be shewn if the disclaimed every selfish feeling. A few corn bill was removed. The difference be- hours hence, said he, and I shall be no more ; tween the price actually paid for corn in but the nightly breeze which will whistle this country and that for which it could be over the silent grave that shall protect me imported, were it not for the corn bill, was from its keenness, will bear to your restless a tax on the people. Supposing this differ- pillows the memory of one who lived but for ence to be one pound per quarter, and sup- his country, and died when liberty and jusposing the quantity of corn consumed annu- tice had been driven from its confines by a ally to be fifteen million quarters, then there set of . .

. . For was a tax on the people of fifteen millions life, as it respects myself, I care not ; but annually going, not to the revenue, but to while yet I may, I would rescue my memory the landed proprietor. This was a fact from the calumny which I doubt not will be which no man could contradict. The landed industriously heaped upon it, when it will proprietors were better able to pay taxes be no longer in my power to protect it. tban the lower classes of society, and there Many people who were acquainted with fore, if new taxes must be imposed, and they the barefaced manner in which I was plunmust be imposed, unless the public credit dered by my Lord Sidmouth, will perhaps was to be abandoned, wbich he supposed the imagine that personal motives instigated me House would not readily consent to, they to the deed ; but I disclaim them. My every must fall upon property. He did not mean principle was for the prosperity of my counan income tax, nor a tax upon any profession try. My every feeling the heighth of my or trade-no man detested such a tax more ambition was the welfare of my starving than he did, he meant a tax upon landed countrymen. I keenly felt for their miseries property.

—but when their miseries were laughed at, SPEECHES OF ARTHUR THISTLEWOOD and when because they dared to express those

AND OTHERS ON RECEIVING SEN. miseries, they were * * . * TENCE.

. . . . my feelings became too On Friday, April 28, the Judges took

intense, too excessive for endurance, and I their seats on the Bench, and the pri

resolved on vengeance-I resolved that the

lives of the instigators should be the requiem soners were brought to the Bar, when

to the souls of murdered innocents. the Clerk of Arraigns called upon I n this mood I met with George Edwards. Arthur Thistlewood, and asked him, in And if any doubt should remain upon the the usual terms, what he had to say— minds of the public, whether the deed I medi

Arthur Thistlewood said, he had been tated was virtuous or contrary, the tale I asked what he had to say why judgment will now relate will convince them, that in should not be passed upon him. To this he attempting to exercise a power which the would answer, that if he had been prepared law had ceased to have, I was only wreakwith evidence, however pure, and that that ing national vengeance on a set of wretches evidence had been enforced by the eloquence unworthy the name or character of men. of a Cicero, he was still satisfied that he could This Edwards, poor and pennyless, lived near not escape the vengeance of Lord Sidmouth Picket-street, in the Strand, sometime ago, and Lord Castlereagh. The prisoner then without a bed to lie upon, or a chair to sit in. inveighed in strong terms against the manner Straw was his resting place ; his only coverin which bis trial had been conducted. He ing a blanket. Owing to his bad character had been precluded from examining witnesses and his swindling conduct, he was driven to prove the infamy of Adams, Hiden, and from thence by his landlord. It is not my


« PreviousContinue »