Imágenes de páginas

wear clumsy English bools when he has been the case of late years? Can could get French ones at a lower you expect to make them loyal and price; or British instead of Parisian peaceable, whilst you deny them the gloves; or silk from Spitalfields rather means of obtaining a fair day's wage ihan the less costly fabric of Lyons. for a fair day's labour-whilst you The more honest of the free traders not only encourage, but convert into make no scruple of announcing their an actual fact the idea that a large views. They admit that the realiza. portion of the poor are oppressed, and tion of ibeir maxim, to sell in the drive them to seek a remedy in at. dearest and buy in the cheapest tempts to procure a more popular remarket, implies the ruin of every presentation ? Free trade has been non-exporting trade, and they seem the great incentive 10 Chartism, and, absolutely resolved to push their unless men return speedily to their theory to the utmost. At present Sir senses, it may chance to be the terRobert Peel has managed it so, that, rible promoter of revolution. without being absolutely annihilated, But what is to be the real amount the poorer classes are ground down tó of the deficit? No man living can the lowest point. We ask the shop. tell. Lord John Russell estimated it keepers, artisans, and smaller manu. at about three millions, and subsefacturers, who have no connexion quently Sir Charles Wood announced with the foreign market, whether this that, by sundry savings and sales of is not truly the case, and if so, whe. old stores—which latter source of ther they are inclined to allow this revenue very much resembles the case cruel, selfish, and inhuman system to of a gentleman parting with his body be carried any further—nay, whether clothes to make up for his annual exthey will not at once resolve to make penditure-it might be reduced to a determined head against it? But for million and a half. Since then we the obstinate blindness of the political have received the official accounts of economists, we would appeal to that the trade of the kingdom for the six dearest of all considerations, their own months ending 5th July 1848; and safety. Do they really think it pos. we very much • fear from a perusible, even were it politic, to drive sal of ihese, that the Chancellor of the whole operative industry of Britain the Exchequer has understated his into the compass of a few exporting difficulties. Our exports, for the sake trades? Can they make millions of of which every other interest has men change their babits of a sudden, been sacrificed, have fallen off to an and walk from the country towns and alarming extent. During the cor. villages,-wherein, before Sir Robert responding six months of last year Peel introduced the foreigner to the declared value of our exports was swamp them, they had supported £25,395,243 the whole amount for themselves by the exercise of their this period is £21,571,939, or very craft, -10 the factory, or the mine, or nearly FOUR MILLIONS less on the the furnace, or the printing work, balf year! Here is another staggerthere to spend the remainder of their ing instance of the utter futility of free existence in twisting, digging, smelt- trade. The decrease of export for ing, and stamping, for ibe benefit of the year 1846, as compared with 1845, Cobden and his confederates ? The was about two millions—and now it idea is absolute madness. Already is going on at the rate of four mil. we see the effects of false and un- lions for half the time! Was there patriotic legislation, in Chartist meet- ever a more pregnant proof of the ings and processions, in agitations for impossibility of forcing markets? universal suffrage, in crime three-fold Looking to the imports, we find increased, and in augmented poor. some very curious results. Lord rates. What are considerations of John Russell took great credit for sanatory reform or of public instruc- the increased consumption of sugar tion compared to these? Will men consequent on bis West Indian expethank you for soap and tracts, even riments, which we shall presently have should these articles be gratuitous, if occasion to notice more minutely; and you take their labour away from them, predicted a still further consumption and legislate for one class alone, as and increase to the revenue. Let us

see how that matter stands. The months of the three last years re-
following is the total of sugar im- spectively.
ported to this country for the first six


Sugar, unrefined, cwts.,

2,95t;,986 3,967,686 2,960,430 Refined,

54,249 39,344 50,863 Candy,


507 Molasses,

202,264 411,263 191,531 3,213,500 4,419,318 3,203,331

[ocr errors]

So that we are absolutely importing for extended suffrage, they will give less sugar in 1848 than we did in work to the unemployed, or put bread 1846, before Lord John Russell and in the mouths of the starving? If, his sapient colleagues chose to give instead of attempting to gain a little the coup de grace to the colonists! So transient popularity by advocating much for increased revenue from that organic changes, they would seriously source.

address themselves to the task of reIn the articles of raw material for vising the tariffs, and so encouraging manufacture there is a considerable the home market they would be of increase ; and, should money be obtain- real use to the country at this moable at easy rates throughout the mentous time. For momentous it is coming winter, this may be a source of most certainly. The discovery of a real congratulation. But from recent deliberate plan for general incendiasymplois, and the insanity of minis. rism in Liverpool, the mobs in Glasters in refusing to face the difficulties gow, and the disturbances at Bradof the Bank Restriction Acts, we very ford, are all symptoms of disaffection, much dread another recurrence of and all proceed from one cause—from tightness, in which case industry must the sacrifice of native industry at the inevitably be paralyzed as before. It shrine of the Moloch of free tradle. is, however, comforting to know that Even now, while we are writing we have a stock of raw material in intelligence has arrived of the arrest band, and that our condition in that of armed Chartists in London and in respect has improved since last year, Manchester; assassination has begun when the warehouses were nearly at Ashton, and every post brings in drained. The aggregate amount of tidings of some new commotion. Is cotton, wool, flax, hemp, and silk this a time for Parliament to separate which have been imported for the last without any remedial measure ? Is six months is in the ratio of 28,811,825, this a time to allow our markets to to 27,372,502 for the same period in be inundated with foreign produce ; 1847.

each fresh cargo displacing our own But the influx of foreign manufac- industry, and further adding to our emtures is the most singular feature of barrassment, by hastening on another all; and we do entreat the most serious monetary crisis by the exportation of consideration of our readers to this bullion in exchange. This is the very pressing point. What we have work commenced by Peel, and conalready said regarding the annihila- summated by the incapable Whigs. tion of the small trades in this coun- God knows how it will end, if wiser, try, by the total withdrawal of protec- more unselfish, and more patriotic men tion, receives the amplest confirmation are not speedily summoned to take the from these official tables; and, if we lead in her Majesty's councils. are wise, something must be done, No account is given, as informer with the least possible delay, to remedy years, of the amount of foreign linen the evils which have been entailed and woollen manufactures imported, upon us, through our blind submission or of several other important branches to the pernicious doctrines of the free. of trade upon which Sir Robert Peel traders. Do honourable members abolished the duty. Why this omisreally believe, that by agitating the sion has taken place we do not know, ballot, or bringing forward schemes unless it be for the worst of all rea



sons, that the results were too start of the duties, we have doubled our
ling for disclosure. But we shall take imports, thereby throwing immense
the statistics of the silk manufactured numbers of our own operatives out of
trade alone, from which it will be seen employment.
that, in two years after the relaxation



1848. Silk or satin broad stuffs, 64,269 lbs. 85,589 lbs. 141,179 Ibs, Silk ribbons, .


95,906 95,881 Gauze or crape broad stuffs, 4,383

5,127 Gauze ribbons,

11,268 26,166 26,312 Gauze, mixed,



39 Mixed Ribbons,


1,244 Velvet broad stuffs,


6,558 Velvet embossed ribbons


3,141 10,530

167,284 lbs. 221,335 lbs. 286,870 lbs.
Now if, as it is fair to suppose, the No one, save the rich consumer ;
same increase, or even half of it, has whilst, on the other hand, the revenue
taken place in the importation of other has suffered, and home industry has
articles upon which the duties were received a prostrating blow. But-
removed, but which have been quietly say men of the Cobden school—though
withdrawn from the official tables ; the silk weaver, and embroiderer, and
these statistics are enough to condemn milliner, and plaiter, and shoemaker,
free trade before any tribunal in the and tailor, may have suffered, the
world. Mark how the matter stands. country is no loser, because we ex.
Here is a doubled importation of fo- port goods in return for the articles of
reign manufactured goods. One half import. Do you, gentlemen ? Let
at least of these goods have come in nis turn to the export tables, and see
to displace your home manufacture. how your account stands. Recollect,
The other half would have come in as you have undertaken to show us a
formerly to supply the rich, who would corresponding export of your goods 10
have had to pay a high duty for the meet ihe influx of foreign manufac-
gratification of their fancy. That tures. Unless you can do this, your
duty, where reduced, is now lost to case is utterly worthless, and you
the revenue. Who is the gainer, then ? stand as detected impostors.


1818. Cotton manufactures, .£8,899,272 £9,448 835 £8,023,825

3.523,793 2,628,616 2,214,431 Linen manufactures,

1,389,520 1,502,770 1,413,819
410,277 315,196

Silk manufactures,
421,910 494,806


377,160 (444,797 291,985 Ditto manufactures,

3,143,550 3,564,754 2,578,470

£18,165,482 £18,199,774 £15,022,404 The result is a loss on these articles without which men must starve, but alone of THREE MILLions in six months, which free trade periodically sweeps and we are to set that against doubled from out our grasp. The lowered tarifis imports, free of duty, and displacing have operated peculiarly unfavourably British employment! Here are the at the present crisis—not perhaps so glorious effects of Sir Robert's com- much in the branch of silk manufactures mercial legislation !

as in others; for it is remarkable that What, then, has gone out to meet the increase of import in 1847, over the import which is rapidly promoting that of 1846, is quite as large as the Chartism among us, by impoverishing increase of the present over the former the poorer classes? Just what we year; and had Lord John Russell been predicted long ago_GoLD; the idol alive to the duties of his situatio,

Ditto yarn,

Ditto yarn,

Woollen yarn,

or capable of comprehending the effects going forward to purchase goods which which a glut of foreign goods must could not be obtained on the usual credit. produce on the home market, he ought In this way, our whole foreign trade has instantly to have brought in a bill become deranged, and we have thus far augmenting the customs duties, and borne the brunt of the commercial revul

sions and political revolutions in Europe." hurried it through Parliament without a moment's unnecessary delay. The mad What is to be said of a system ness of encouraging increased imports, which swamps our home market, whilst whilst exports are falling, is utterly at the same time it promotes a drain iuconceivable to any who have not

of gold ? What is to be said of the eaten and drunken with Cobden ; and it is quite possible that some who have system which makes a drain of gold

almost tantamount to national bankbeen admitted to that precious privi- ruptcy? lege, may agree with us if they will take the trouble to consider the foregoing subjects of the currency and finance,

Having hitherto dealt with the tables. We are not the only sufferers. let us America is beginning to understand at the new legislation for our colo

now glance for a moment that increased imports are by no means nies. We need not repeat the decisive symptoms of a healthy com- tale of the disasters into which the mercial state; and the following ex. tract from Transatlantic correspon- ruin which has befallen many of our

West Indies have been plunged, or the dence, which we copy from the money article in the Sun newspaper to their misfortune, had einbarked

own most respectable citizens, who, of 16th August last, is pregnant with their capital and fortunes in sugarmeaning in the present posture of growing estates, trusting to British affairs.

faith and protection for at least an adequate return. The veriest zealot

could not have wished to have seen “ The whole of Europe is in a terrible the crime of slavery more bitterly condition, and ouronly hope is, that Great Britain may escape the blast 'which has avenged; but in what a

manner ! swept from one end of the Continent to Great Britain, after having made a the other with such devastating effect. If sacrifice of twenty millions to emanciEngland escape, we shall continue to find pate the slave population in her own extensive markets for our products, and colonies,-a sacrifice to her, though our prosperity will be partially preserved. not an adequate compensation to the Our markets on the Continent have almost planters,-after having declared to the become extinct, so that the worst in that whole world her determination no particular has already been realized; but; longer to participate in the profits every week or month, consumption in that section of the world is restricted or limited of forced labour--after having made -so much the more injurious must be the treaties, and equipped armaments for revolution causing such a state of things. the suppression of the slave trade, With the exception of Great Britain, our suddenly changed her policy, admitted European export trade has been literally slave grown sugar from foreign stales, annihilated; but unfortunately, our im- first, ai a high, and latterly, at so low port trade with these countries has not met a duty that her own colonies, already with a similar fate, but on the contrary, impoverished, could no longer afford to has rather increased than otherwise. Importers and speculators in this country again the principal" of free-trade has

defray the cost of production. Here, have taken advantage of the financial em- been triumphant and ruinous; bere, barrassinents growing out of the Revolution, which the manufacturers of France again the exporting trades have carand Europe generally have labored under, ried their point, not only against the and have purchased of them for cash, interests of the colonists, but against good at one half their cost, and have fill. those of benevolence and Christianity. ed our markets. A portion of the specie The cause of the Blacks has been which has been shipped from this port wilhin abandoned for the tempting bribe of the last four months went abroad for this cheap sugars, of an augmented demand purpose ; and while our exports had be- for cotions and blankets 10 supply the come reduced to the lowest limit, and ex. change drawn upon previous shipments gangs of Cuba, and of machinery for of produce was coming back protested, Brazil, to enable the planter more millions of dollars of gold and silver were utterly to prostrate Jamaica.

In February last we reviewed with the seven wise men of Greece sate great care all the evidence which we upon that committee, their report could collect regarding the West would have been utterly indifferent to Indian interest. The conclusion to Lord John, who immediately came which we arrived was contained in forward with a counter-scheme, which the following paragraph :-“ And had not even the merit of consistency what is it that our colonists ask? to give it colour. He proposed a What is the extravagant proposal new sliding-scale of duties, the result which we are prepared to reject at of which will be, that next year the the cost of the loss of our most fertile colonists will have protection possessions, and of nearly two hun- against the slave-owners of

seven dred millions of British capital ? shillings in the article of clayed, and Simply this, that in the meantime five-and-sixpence in that of muscovado such a distinctive duty should be en- sugar,—the boon to taper away annu. forced as will allow them to compete ally, until, in 1854, the protective on terins of equality with the slave. duiy will be reduced to three shillings growing States. Let this alone be on the one article, and two shillings granted, and they have no wish to upon the other. This is the doom of interfere with any other fiscal regula. the West Indies,—and we expect notion. And what would be the amount thing less than an immediate stoppage of differential duty required ? Not of the supplies for the maintenance of more, as we apprehend, than ten shil- the colonial governments. Robbed lings the hundred weight.Having as they have been, ruined as they are, hazarded this statement so early, it and all through a course of most reck. was certainly gratifying to find that less and unprovoked legislation, it is an impartial committee of the House in vain to hope that any further capiof Commons, reporting four months tal will be embarked in the cultivalater, had, after a full investigation of tion of these islands. For the benefit the whole case, and of course with of economists at home, and the clamofficial documents before them, the ourers for cheap sugar, it may be as correctness of which could not admit of well to record that ihis new sliding. a doubt,-arrived at precisely the same scale is to be accompanied with a loan result. The proposition for a differ- of £500,000 in addition to £160,000 ential duty of ten shillings, which already guaranteed this session, for was finally agreed to by the commit- the purposes of promoting immigratee, was actually made by a member tion, and that at a period when the whose general opinions are understood annual deficit was originally calcula. to lean toward the side of free trade, ted at three millions! The amend. -we mean Sir Thomas B. Birch, one ment of Sir John Pakington, founded of the representatives for Liverpool. upon the resolutions of the committee,

This resolution of course implied a was negatived in a full house by the direct condemnation of the Whig Act small majority of fifteen. of 1846, which the West Indians This has been by far the most bitterly complained of as a flagrant important debate of the session ; and at breach of faiih, and as having put the one time ii was confidently expectcoping-stone on their misfortunes. ed that ministers would have been It was the resolution of an indepen- defeated. Sir Robert Peel, however, dent and intelligent parliamentary came to their rescue at the last stage. committee, founded upon a mass of Oleaginous and plausible as ever, the evidence derived from every quarter; wily baronet began his speech by and in a matter of this sort, wherein deploring the misiortunes of the West so vast an interest as that of our Indians, repudiating mere pecuniary most valuable colonies was concerned, considerations, and calling to mind it might have been expected that the old struggles, in which these colonies report would be treated with defer- had stood by the side of the mother ence, even though it might in some country. This sympathetic introducdegree impugn the sagacity of a tion boded little mercy for the parties it prime minister, by exposing the seemed to favour, Sir Robert had acresults of his former reckless legisla- quiesced in the Act of 1846, and it was tion. Such was not the case. Had now rather difficult to back out from

« AnteriorContinuar »