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But as long as the Bishops may help out his lease,
He wont injure a hair of their wigs ;
So huzza for the rule of the Whigs !
Jf Grey were at large, how he'd lay down the law
On the cures he for Ireland had found;
Her Establishment razed to the ground.
Like a small bird asleep in the twigs;
So huzza for the rule of the Whigs!
If any of us had made war on Repeal
With the weapons that Clarendon tries,
At the wrongs of Old Erin would rise.
From the peer to the peasant that digs
So huzza for the rule of the Whigs !
On Aliens or Chartists to hear them declaim,
You'd think Castlereagh come from the dead,
And the courage and coolness are fled.
As any that ever kept gigs,
Só huzza for the rule of the Whigs!
Go on, my good lads-never think of retreat,
Though annoy'd by a squib or a squirt;
And eating your bushel of dirt
We shall soon, if it pleases the pigs,
And get rid of the rule of the Whigs !
THE NAVIGATION LAWS.
“ When the Act of Navigation,” sion, it will be seen to what state this says Adam Smith, was made, though system will reùuce British rural proEngland and Holland were not ac- duction. The West India interests tually at war, the most violent ani- have been next assailed; and our mosity subsisted between the two na- colonies, upon whom free lahor has tions. It is not impossible, therefore, been forced, upon a compensation that some of the regulations of this being given to the proprietors on an famous act may have proceeded from average of a fourth of the value of national animosity. They are as wise, their slaves, are speedily to be exposhowever, as if they had all been dictated ed, with no protection but a differential by the most deliberate wisdom. National duty of 5s. 6d. a hundredweight, dianimosity at that particular time, aimed minishing 1s. 6d. a-year, till, in 1854, at the very object which the most de- it disappears, to the competition of liberate wisdom would have recom- slave colonies, where sugar can be mended,—the diminution of the naval raised for £4 a ton, while in the British power of Holland, the only naval colonies the measures of government power which could endanger the se. have precluded its being raised for less curity of England. The Act of Navi- than £10 a ton. As a natural consegation is not favourable to foreign quence, cultivation is about to cease commerce, or to the growth of that in those noble settlements; the forest opulence which can arise from it. As and the jungle will speedily sup. defence, however, is of much more plant the smiling plantations, and value than opulence, the Act of Navi- £100,000,000 worth of British progation is perhaps the wisest of all the perty will be lost beyond redemption. commercial regulations of England."* Domestic manufactures were at the Before these pages issue from the same time assailed, though with a press, this, undoubtedly the wisest of more gentle hand than rude produce. all the commercial regulations of Great Protective duties on them were lowerBritain, and under which the maritime ed, though not entirely removed; and strength and colonial empire of Eng. the consequence is, that at this time land have risen to a pitch of grandeur there are 8,000 hands wholly unemunknown in any other age or country, ployed at Manchester, and above will be numbered among the things 10,000 at Glasgow, and distress to which have been. The House of Com. an unparalleled extent pervades the mons, by a majority, have voted for whole commercial and manufacturthe repeal of the Navigation Laws. ing classes. Nothing daunted by
Free trade will soon have done its these calamitous results, so exactly work, so far, at least, as the House of what the opponents of free trade preCommons is concerned. It is gradually dicted would ensue, so diametrically but unceasingly advancing, and swal- the reverse of the unbounded proslowing up successively all the great perity which they promised the nainterests of the empire, save that of tion as the consequence of their the capitalists, as it moves forward. changes, the Free-traders, in pursuThe agricultural interests will find ance of their usual system of preferthemselves deprived, in February next, ring their own opinions to the eviof all protection; and the British cul. dence of facts, are preparing to apply tivator exposed to the competition the same system to the commercial without any shield save a nominal duty navy of the country, and by the reof 1s. a quarter, of states where wheat peal of the Navigation Laws, against can be raised, with a fair profit in the opinion of Adam Smith, io deaverage years, at 18s. a quarter, and press our shipping interest as much brought to this country for 10s. at the as they encourage that of foreign very utmost of freight. As soon as states, and endanger our national exwe have two fine harvests in succes. istence, by crippling our own means
* Wealth of Nations, iv., c. 2.
of defence as much as they augment truth in these observations, and humthe means of attack in the hands of bly acknowledging a Divine superinten. our enemies. Not content with ren- dence alike in the rise and the decline, dering us dependent for a large part the prosperity and decay, of nations, of our bread on foreign nations, they it yet appears more reasonable to trace are determined on measures calculated the extraordinary obstinacy of the to deprive us of the means of main. ruling party in the nation to the causes taining our naval superiority, or up- which, humanly speaking, seem to holding the national independence. have been mainly instrumental in proThey are set upon saving the nation a ducing it. The fanaticism of the politifew millions a year in freight, though cal economist, who like all other the consequence jî, that we shall be sanatics, are inaccessible to reason or alike unable to withstand a pacific experience, is, without doubt, a main blockade or hostile aggression.
cause of the disastrous policy to which Many estimable and thoughtful per. the nation now irrevocably sons in the country, struck with asto. pledged. But a still more powerful nishment at the adoption and deter- agent in producing the determined mined adherence to such a suicidal adherence to this system, in the face of policy-alike by our rulers and a the most conclusive evidence of its powerful party in the country-in the pernicious tendency, is to be found in jace of the decisive evidence afforded ihe class government which it is now by facts, and the universal distress of apparent the Reform Bill has imposed the nation, as to its ruinous tendency. upon the nation. It is now unbappily have come to the opinion, that we proved that the trading interest, in have been struck with a judicial blind. whom a decisive majority both in the ness, and that Providence, as a just constituency and ihe number of seats punishment for our sins, and for the in parliament has been vested by the furtherance of its mysterious desiens Reform Bill, are alive, like all other in the general governinent of mankind, classes, mainly to the suggestions of bas rendered our own infatuation the their own advantage ; and that advanmeans of working out our destruc- tage they think is, io buy cheap and sell tion. They think it affords a marvel. dear. Whatever we were in the days lous proof of the weakness of the when Napoleon said it, we are now, if human mind, and the impotence of riot a nation of shopkeepers, at least a man against the arm of his Creator, nation ruled by shopkeepers. The ibat ibis vast empire, which has done colonies are entirely unrepresented. such mighty things in the annals of Schedules A and B, sixteen years ago, history, and which has stood proof cut off all their representatives. The against the hostility of the combined landed interest is in a minority, from world, directed by consummate ability, two-thirds of the seats in the Comwhen its rule was that of justice, mons being for boroughs; and those should thus crumble away and perish, boroughs, owing to the depression of not from external violence or foreign the producing classes by the currency aggression, but solely from domes. laws, and the vast increase of the tradnic infatuation, when that rule has ing interests from the same cause, being passed away. And observing that this for the most part under the direction of country has already suffered greater the commercial part of the community. losses, and been more severely crippled It is in these circumstances that we in its resources by the effects of three are to look for the real causes of the years of free trade and fettered cur- adoption of free-trade principles of rency policy, than hy the whole efforts late years by our statesmen, and the of France during a war of iwerty determined adherence to it, in spite of years and still the same course is all experience, by a majority of the blindly persevered in-they draw the House of Commons. Such conduct is conclusion that the evil is irremediable the inevitable result of every uniform by human means, and that the nation, system of representation, because that is not absolutely shipwrecked, will ap- Jands the government in the class goproach as near the verge of ruin as the vernment of the majority, composed of providence of God will permit human a particular interest. The evil was infatuation to effect.
not felt under the old constitution, Without denying that there is much because it was not a class government,
being based on a multifarious, not a be effected by free trade in shipping, uniform representation. Its defects, as not £7,500,000, but £10,000,000 anthey are now called, i. e. its nomina- nually. The strength of the argution boroughs, combined with the ex- ment will admit of almost any contension of our colonial and shipping cession. Admit this, and consider interest, had let in a most efficient what it is worth, and on whom it is representation of all the interests in made. It is noi worth a fistieth part the empire, as well as that of the in- of the revenue of the nation, which, habitants of those islands, into the in the produce of land and manuHouse of Commons. It is to this factures alone, is above £500,000,000 cause that the protection of all inter. annually. A week of sunshine in ests by the old House of Commons autumn, a favourable set of Fall orders is to be ascribed. Doubtless, under from America, the stoppage of a revo. the old system the Corn Laws would lution in Europe, are tach worth more have been upheld; but the West Indies to the nation. But, such as it is, from would have been saved from ruin, whom is it gained? Why, it is all domestic industry rescued from bank- gained from our own people : it is a ruptcy, and the Navigation Laws, the saving effected to one class of our inhapalladium of our national independence, bitants by impoverishing another class, preserved from destruction.
If our merchants and the purchasers That the Navigation Laws have been from them pay £20,000,000 a-year for a great advantage to our shipowners freight of goods sea-borne, instead of and seafaring interests is self-evident. £30,000,000 as formerly, undoubtedly They afforded superior advantages in there is a saving of £10,000,000 to conducting the trade of the empire to them, or the consumers who buy from British over foreign shipowners; and them. But of whom is this saving they nursed up, accordingly, the im. made ? From whom is it derived ? mense and hardy body of British Is it not from our shipbuilders, shipseamen, who have founded and pro- owners, and seameo, who get so much tected our colonial empire, and ren- the less : either by being driven out dered Great Britain the terror and of the market by foreign mercantile admiration of the world. Whal, then, navies, or by getting their own profits is the great benefit which is antici- or wages reduced by external compepated from the repeal of laws, the tition to that amount? Ten millions practical operation of which has been now earned by shipowners and sailors attended with such uniform and un- in Great Britain, is, on the most paralleled benefits? The benefit is, favourable supposition for the Free. that it will save our merchants some traders, taken from them, and given to millions a-year in the payment of the dealers in or consumers of the freights. It is calculated by the Free. commodities which they transport. traders that £30,000,000 yearly is paid Is the nation, as a whole, any gainer by Great Britain for freights; and of by that transfer ? If ten pounds are this sum, it is thought a fourt or taken from John and given to James, £7,500,000 yearly, may be saved by are John and James, taken together, the employinent of foreign instead of any gainers by the transfer? And is British sailors in the conducting of our not the great family of the nation Commerce, or the reduction of freight composed of all its members, not of and seamen's wages in these islands, John only, but of John and James which will result from their unre- taken together? Is not the repeal of strained competition. This is the the Navigation Laws, in this view, benefit to attain which our Naviga- robbing Peter to pay Paul? This is tion Laws, the nursery of our seamen, the mighty advantage, for the attain. are to be sacrificed. And the question ment of which we are going to crush to be considered is,-Is the gain real, by external competition our mercanor apparent only; and, supposing it is tile shipping ; and endanger the real, is it worth the risk with which it national independence, by withering is attended :
the nursery of the navy, by which it Is the advantage real, or 'apparent can alone be maintained? Can there only? Concede to the Free-traders be a stronger proof of how completely, all they contend for: call the saving by the operation of the Reform Bill, to the nation annually in freights, to we have fallen under the influence of
class government: and how entirely mons, that the Protection Party such class government blinds the seemed to consider every importation vision even of the most clear-sighted, as in itself an evil, inasmuch as it to any thing but the perception of its displaced a corresponding amount of own immediate interests ?
native industry; but that till he found The evidence taken before the Com- that goods were brought by merchants mons committee, on the comparative into the country for nothing, he never cost of building and navigating ships could see how importation did not enin the north of Europe and in this courage domestic industry as much as country, comes to this, that boih are home orders. This is manfully spoken: about twice expensive in this it comes home to the kernel of the quescountry as on the shores of the tion. It is pleasing to have to contend Baltic. A copper-sheathed vessel, with such an antagonist. We will anwhich there costs £4,500, cannot here swer him equally briefly,and, as it seems be constructed for less than £9,000: to us, decisively. The difference bea master's wages there, which are tween home orders and foreign orders £2, 115, a month, are here £5 for the is this, that the one encourages indussame period : seamen's, there 7d. a try at both ends, viz , in the consumers day, besides provisions, &c., are here and the producers; the at one 1s. 20. Every ibing else is in the end only, viz., in the consumer. This same proportion. Shipbuilding and difference, however, may become vital ship-navigating are twice as costly to the national fortunes. If a London in Great Britain as they are in Norway merchant pays £20,000 a-year to and Denmark. How could it be British shipowners and seamen, he otherwise, when they have the ma- keeps in motion at once the industry terials of ships and rigging at their of ihe consumers, by whose produce doors, while we have 10 transport the treights are ultimately paid, and them to the British shores from the industry of the seafaring classes Canada or the Baltic; and they are by whom ihey are earned. But if he the poor nations, whose money being pays the £20,000 a-year not to Briscarce goes far, and we are the rich tish but foreign shipowners, the only one, whose money being compara. industry put in motion, so far as we tively plentiful goes but a little way. are concerned, is that which raises the Compare the cost of living in London produce which is to pay the freight. during the season, with what it is in The other end of the chain is placed Aberdeen or Inverness, and you will in Norway or America, and any enat once see the main cause of the ex- couragement to industry there afforded traordinary difference in the value of is wholly lost to England. It is just money, and consequently in the the difference between rents spent in money-price of articles, in the two Great Britain, and rents spent in Paris situations. The difference in the cost or Naples. of shipbuilding and seamanship, viz. Doubuess they are the same thing, one half, is nearly the same as the so far as the whole world is concerned; difference in the cost of raising sugar but are they the same thing so far as in our free-labour colonies and the that portion of the world in which we foreign slave ones, which is £10 a are interested, viz., the British Islands, ton in the former situation, and is concerned ? Unquestionably they £4 in the latter. And it is in the are not. What the Protectionists say perfect knowledge of the entire ruin is, not that no British industry is enwhich the approach even to a free couraged when importation takes trade in sugar has brought, under place : they know perfectly çit is enthese circumstances, upon the British couraged at their end of the line ; West India islands, that government what they say is, that it is not enare prepared to force a similar dis. couraged at the other end, because that astrous competition upon the British other end rests in foreign states ; and shipowners, and through them on the that it is unwise to encourage industry palladium of British independence, at one end only, when it is possible ihe royal navy.
to do so at both. Adam Smith saw this Mr Labouchere said, in the debate perfectly when he so well explained the on this subject in the House of Com. difference between the home trade and