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of the redundancy of population is Then the great object of the putting “by its producing a supply of labour down of small bank notes was, to bring, in excess as compared with the demand, and keep down prices. The abolition the wages of labour are necessarily re- of the corn laws is advocated on the duced to a minimum, which is utterly ground that it will produce cheap lainsufficient to supply that population bour, and that high wages reduce prowith those means of support and sub- fits and banish capital. sistence which are necessary to secure Here then is a gigantic new system a healthy and satisfactory condition of established to bring down prices, and the community."
of necessity wages, to the minimum. It is really very extraordinary that It sweeps away half the wages of variMinisters should have put forth an opi- ous trades, greatly reduces wages genion like this. What is the great ob- nerally, throws vast numbers of the ject of the new system? To carry come working classes out of employment, petition to the highest point, in order and creates a general glut of labour. to bring down prices to the minimum. It stands upon the doctrines that high Competition is cried up in the most wages are very pernicious, that the extravagant manner for its efficacy in lower they are the better, and that the bringing down prices, and the reduc- cheaper labour is, the higher profits tion of prices must necessarily fall als will be, the more flourishing trade and most wholly upon wages. How has the manufactures will be, and the more reduction in the price of silks been ac- abundant will be public prosperity. complished ? Mainly by such a reduce While Ministers do this on the one tion of wages as has rendered them hand, on the other they bring forward insufficient for obtaining the proper a scheme for raising wages. The cry means of support and subsistence. The is set up, at the same moment, from case is the same with some other trades; the same lips-Wages are so high, wages have been rendered inadequate that they are banishing capital and in them by the competition and low ruining trade; and wages are so low, prices which are said to be so ime that they are grievously injuring the mensely beneficial.
naval power without a merchant-navy,—&c. &c. &c. Shade of Pitt ! can such things be?
If Mr M'Culloch be the man that Ministers think him, why is not something done for him ? If they cannot get on without his counsel, why do they not place him at the head of the Board of Trade, or make him the Irish Secretary? It is a scandal to both them and the country, that, while they drag him forward to instruct Parliamentary committees, and thus boast that they resort to him for advice, they leave him to pick up bread, by writing for periodicals, and giving lectures. He proved in his article on the Corn Laws, which we lately noticed, that he can be the sycophant as well as the tutor; that he can do their dirty work, as well as act as the premier.
We must, in justice to Mr Wilmot Horton, observe, that he says Mr M'Culloch is not to be believed in everything. He tells Parliament that it must not follow either the “ speculative men," or the“ practical men. Who, then, in the name of wonder, is it to follow ? Mr Wilmot Horton, to be sure. This is the general cry of Ministers. Beware of following either side, for both are wrong! We have taken " a position of neutrality,” and we alone are right. Their scribes, of course, repeat it. Most worthy people of England, we and our masters—we the neuters—we the nondescripts-we the fish and flesh folks-we the“ position of neutrality,"-we the 00-side, any-side, every-side people, are alone worthy of being believed in! What can the nation think of such attempts to delude it, when it looks at the doctrines on which ministers avowedly act, and at what they have done ? Putting this aside, no man can observe what the “ position of neutrality" system has produced, without being convinced that it is a very ruinous one. It is natural enough for some of the ministerial scribes, in their new politics, to resort to the foreign Liberals—to the old battered Buonapartists, and revolutionists of France, for slang terms; but the cry of Ultra! will do no longer. The British people will mark and resent the insult, but they will not be deluded by the sophistry.
Do we say this, to carp and quib- nomist and Philosopher, after protestble? We should disdain it. We saying that if labour be driven from one it, because the matter is of vital ima calling, it can always find employment portance. It is essential that the na in another--and that the new system tion should know what principles Min and the reduction of wheat to its prenisters are acting upon, and that they sent price, must prodigiously multiply should act upon some certain and de- employment for labour-now stands fined principles. Our conviction is, forward to vouch that the silk weathat they do not understand what vers, shipwrights, seamen, &c. &c. they are doing—that they are very whom the new system has deprived poorly acquainted with the " philoso- of work, cannot be employed in other phy" which they profess to practise callings, and that this new system and that they have studied very impere cheap bread must greatly diminish fectly the political economy by which employment for labour. No sooner they say they are guided. Labour are wages brought to that point at cannot be both cheap and dear at the which, according to his doctrines, same moment: and its cheapness, or they ought to call all idle capital into dearness, cannot be both beneficial trade, and almost fill the whole earth and pernicious at the same moment. with our manufactures, than he sends Either adhere to the Ricardo doce forth the cry, Up with your wages, trines, or abandon them.
for these low ones will ruin you! No An advance in wages cannot benefit sooner are the changes made which he the surplus inhabitants, because they declares will carry commerce and mahave no wages to be advanced. And nufactures to an unexampled height what would be the effect of an ad. of prosperity, than he proclaims, You vance of wages in the silk trade, and have a vast excess of population, which other interests similarly circumstan- you will never be able to employ at ced ? It would throw their trade into home; your commerce and manufacthe hands of foreigners, and ruin tures cannot be raised from their prethem by raising prices. A change of sent depression so as to employ more law has placed various trades in such labour, and your only resource is to circumstances, that they must either send your surplus inhabitants to your have labour at starvation wages, or be colonies ! Oh fie, Mr M'Culloch! Oh destroyed by outlandish competitors; fie! This tearing to pieces of your no matter whether population be re own unerring science is dreadful. This dundant or deficient, labour cannot teaching of one set of principles to the be employed by these trades save at shopmen and apprentices of Cockaigne, such wages. Is it not very extraor and of a directly opposite set to the dinary in Ministers to make such a House of Commons, will utterly ruin change of law, and then to bring for you! This confession to Parliament, ward a plan to raise wages ? And is that the Ricardo Political Economy, it not disingenuous to charge the bade your own books and lectures, and the ness of wages wholly upon excess of Political Economy of the Edinburgh population? We are, it seems, to Review, are a tissue of puerile fables, have low prices, and high wages; the will make you the laughing-stock of master is to starve, while the servant every schoolboy. is to have abundance. Alas! the day That there is a very great excess of of bubbles is not yet over.
inhabitants in the United Kingdom, And then Mr M‘Culloch sanctions that the excess has been in a very this scheme for raising wages ! The great degree produced by the new sysvery inan who maintains that high tem, and that this system will soon wages are ruinous to trade and manu- largely increase it by throwing a vast fàctures--that high wages were the additional number of people out of cause why so much capital was sent employment, are matters which we out of the country in 1825—that the hold to be unquestionable. Putting price of labour is regulated by corn, the causes out of sight, it is certain, and not by supply and demand-that that if this excess be not removed, it a low rate of labour is esseniial for will soon have the most calamitous causing commerce and manufactures effects on the whole community; and, to flourish-this very man, we say, of course, it is imperiously necessary, sanctions this scheme for raising the that the State should take measures price of labour. This wonderful Eco for its removal. We warmly applaud
Government for its willingness to take produce which they might raise, could such measures, however strongly we be thrown upon the market without may.censure it for the share it has doing any injury in regard to prices; had in rendering them needful. while they would give employment to
The question, What should these almost an equal number more in trade measures be? will admit of much di- and manufactures. Thus, if 200,000 versity of opinion. We would ear- of these inhabitants were so employed nestly advise that our own shipwrights in agriculture, their produce would * and seamen, silk weavers and throws- find a good market; and they would ters, glove makers, farmers, and hus directly and indirectly in all ways bandry labourers, &c. &c., should be provide employment for nearly 200,000 employed instead of foreign ones artisans, mechanics, and town-labourthat the State should restore to its ers. By providing employment for the idle and starying children, the em first 200,000, Government would proployment which it has taken from vide it for nearly 200,000 more, with them and given to foreigners. This, out being at any cost or trouble. without the cost of a farthing, would Is it impossible for the Government immediately remove a vast part of the to do this? There are in the United excess. Such advice will not be list- Kingdom as many millions of acres of ened to; therefore we must proceed to waste land, and land only partially other measures.
cultivated, as would afford permanent It may be taken as an incontestable employment to perhaps more than a axiom, that if the surplus inhabitants million of souls-and there are many could be permanently and profitably millions of capital which cannot find employed at home, their being so em employment is it impossible for Miployed would be in every respect in- nisters to convert this land and capifinitely more advantageous to the tal into the means of employing the State, than their being sent to any of redundant population, without injuthe Colonies. It follows from this, ring the pecuniary affairs of the state? that no steps ought to be taken to We say, no! we say that it would be. send them to the Colonies, until it be very possible for them to do this, if it satisfactorily shown, that, to employ were only possible to drive them from them permanently and profitably at their blind subserviency to the dochome, is an impossibility. Now, what trines of such people as Mr M‘Cul. do ministers recommend? Emigration loch. These people oracularly proonly. Have they then ascertained that claim, that to cultivate our waste and no employment at home can be found ? poor lands would be contrary to every Have they enquired whether any ca, principle of political economy; and nals can be cut, any bogs can be drain- without proof or inquiry-with the ed, &c. &c. in Ireland ; and whether credulity of boarding-school missesany waste or light lands can be im- the successors of such men as Pitt, proved in England and Scotland, so as Burke, and Fox, believe in the silly to give permanent and profitable employment to the whole, or any part, of An individual differs very widely the excess of population? We fear not; from a nation, and yet it may often at any rate, no proofs exist that they be very advantageous to him, to em. have done so. A great error was com- ploy large sums of money for other mitted in the formation of the Emic purposes than the enlarging of his ingration Committee. It ought to have come. He may be at great expense in been, not what it is, but a Committee rebuilding his mansion, or buying to enquire into the means of providing election influence, or obtaining a seat employment for the unemployed part in Parliament, &c., and still act very of the community. It would then wisely. In a nation, it may frequenthave possessed the ability which it ly be ruinous folly to refuse to make now possesses for examining the ques a great expenditure, and to incur tion of emigration ; and it could like heavy debts, merely because it may wise have examined any other means thereby injure its wealth and revenue whatever of providing employment. of the moment. If this country could
It is demonstrable that if a large buy profitable employment for ever, number of theidle inhabitants could be not in its Colonies, but at home, for an permanently employed in raising agri- additional two millions of population, cultural produce, the quantity of such at the price of forty, sixty, or eighty
millions of pounds, it would be, look- of bringing them under the plough, ing at riches, revenue, trade, power, they could for ever afterwards be pronaval and military, and influence, fitably cultivated by the ordinary systhe best and cheapest purchase that tems of tillage, and they would soon ever was made. Such a purchase may reach an average point of fertility. be made by this country at this mo- These soils are now comparatively ment.
worthless; they support scarcely any Amidst the gigantic blunders com- population, and they yield very little mitted by these infallible people, the produce ; in so far as they are let, the Economists, those which they make rent laid on them is in a great degree touching our waste and light land hold paid by the better land to which they the first rank. From what they say, are attached. Let us now enquire how it would seem that this land requires far it would be practicable and benethe application of much more capital ficial for the State to bring them into yearly, and much more expensive cul. regular cultivation. ture, than the good land ; and is more First, touching the practicability. over incapable of improvement. The Government might take the land at truth is, that so far as regards manure, its present trifling annual worth, on if from five to ten or fifteen pounds' a long lease of forty or sixty years, in worth per acre were laid on this land, the way in which ground is taken on it would at once yield paying crops; building leases. In many cases, very and it would soon afterwards, with large masses of such land may be merely the manure produced by itself, found, which each belong to one proreach a fair degree of fertility. When prietor. In most villages, the land ther our waste and light lands be una next the village is the best; it is gracultivated from the want of draining, dually worse in proportion to its dis. or of manure, or of enclosing, or from tance from the village, until, at the any other cause, an expenditure upon boundary, it is very bad, and is little them of from five to twenty pounds cultivated. The chief, and often the per acre, would immediately bring sole cause of this is, the farmers dwell ihem into profitable cultivation. We in the village ; they are a mile, or per. of course speak generally, and deny haps two, from their most distant land; not exceptions. The Infallibles assert and in consequence of the distance that these lands would have been cul. this land receives scarcely any of their tivated before this, had they been
To travel round the bounworthy of it; they have so far bewildary line of a parish, a good depth of dered themselves with their grada- land might be taken on each side of tions of fertility, that they imagine the circle, which is at present very the uncultivated land musť of neces- partially and unprofitably cultivated. sity be of worse quality than the worst Five hundred acres of such land might of the cultivated land was of, when its often be taken in this manner from culture was begun. They are greatly each parish, without materially inmistaken. This land has not been juring the present occupiers; as it brought under the plough, because it would commonly be taken from the required, from some reason or other, holders of large farms. At particular a greater first outlay than other land points, which are a great distance of the same quality ;-or because its from a village, or where the boundowner was too poor or careless to drain, aries of three villages meet, parcels, enclose, or build ;-or because the comprehending from 1000 to 2000 whole land of the parish remained un acres, might be obtained. Land so enclosed ;-or because it was disad- obtained would generally belong to vantageously situated in respect of various proprietors. roads and markets ;-or because it was In dealing with the proprietors, we in the hands of poor and unskilful imagine there would be but little difcultivators ;-aud not because it was ficulty. They would receive at the of worse quality than other waste and first, perhaps, somewhat more rent light land taken into cultivation. than they now receive; and there
Our uncultivated waste and light would be the certainty that the value soils therefore, generally speaking, of their land would be very greatly would require no continued course of increased. Many of them, if Governa expensive culture. If a certain outlay ment would lay down the plan, and were made upon them at the moment take the lead, would allot, fence, build,
and improve, at their own cost. An As, in this country, farms are geneact of Parliament could remove all le rally good-sized ones, we think that gal and other obstructions. The land the land taken by the Government taken from each could be kept sepa should be divided into small farms. rate ; and by buying, selling, and ex The smallest should contain as much changing, matters could be easily ma land as would keep the occupier connaged in regard to ownership. stantly employed, and enable him to
In regard to the division of the land, keep a couple of horses; it should conwe should strongly object to its being tain not less than forty acres. This cut into very small portions. We are applies generally, and exceptions might not friendly to what is called the Cote be made in favour of those who could tage System. A good large garden and combine some other business with orchard generally contain as much their farming. An allotment of five, land as a labourer can manage well, ten, or fifteen acres, might be made and they too often contain more. If for the innkeeper, butcher, &c. Thea man occupy from three to ten or land should be cut into proper propore fifteen acres of arable land, he cannot tions of farms, containing from forty afford to keep horses to cultivate it, to one hundred acres. Proper excep and turn his straw, &c. into manure; tions might be made ; but the general and it will not half employ him. He rule should be to give to none more manages it ill, and starves upon it, if than one hundred acres. It must be it form his sole or main dependence. borne in mind, that we would not reWe recommend those to look at the commend any landowner to divide his small occupiers of Ireland, who ima- estate in this manner; we speak thus gine, that if a labourer occupy three solely of land to be taken by the Goa or four acres of land, he will always vernment, and with reference to the live in plenty. The dividing of the condition of the country: Such a diland into small allotments would con vision of the land would not create sign the occupiers to penury, idleness, more than a proper proportion of small and their concomitants, and would farms, looking at the subject politicaloperate most perniciously as a perpe- ly, or otherwise. tual source of excessive population. The important point, expense, must
On the other hand, the land ought now be considered. not to be divided into too large allote A landowner has only rent to look ments. Speaking of farms in general, to for a return, if he expend money in our opinion is, that they ought to the improvement of his land ; his excomprehend, from two hundred to penditure must therefore be governed four hundred acres, according to qua- by the amount of rent he is likely to lity. The occupier of a thousand obtain. The State is differently ciracres, or more, of arable land, rarely cumstanced. A considerable part of cultivates it to the best advantage. the money it might expend in building He makes his seed-time and harvest and fencing, would return to it in the so long, that he gets much of his seed shape of duties. It would not only into the ground too late, and his crop have the benefit of the improved rent, suffers great waste; great waste takes but it would have the benefit of the place in his management generally. taxes paid by the new population, Politically considered, a proper sprink- which it would practically create ; and ling of large farms is beneficial. The it would have the benefit of the addioccupiers of such farms are wealthy tional power which this new populamen; they give dignity and respecta- tion would give it. bility to the farmers as a body, and New buildings and fences would be they form a connecting link between necessary for each farm. We will supthis body and the gentry. On the same pose that the cost of these, and of maground, a proper sprinkling of small nure, would be on the average fifteen farms is beneficial. The occupiers of pounds per acre. We will suppose, such farms form the connecting link further, that the Government could between the farmers and husbandry take five millions of acres for sixty labourers. Such farms frequently years, at six shillings per acre on the enable the husbandry servant to leave average ; and that it would bring this his servitude, and in time to become a extent into culture in five years, at large and respectable farmer.
the rate of one million of acres an