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effect produced on the price of corn into the price of corn, raise its money must be exactly the same in both, - price. Here, then, we have two most the same quantity of food and neces- efficient causes for the higher money saries being consumed in producing price of corn in England than in the the same quantity of corn in both.-- neighbouring countries. That they The effect produced on the price of are the only causes that tend to procorn will be the same, by an increase duce that higher price, I by no means in the real wages of labour, that is, assert. It is sufficient for my purpose by an increase in the quantity of food if it is admitted, that, in two neighand necessaries required to produce a bouring countries of equal fertility, giren quantity of corn, as by an in- the operation of either of these causes crease in the quantity of labour ne- may have the effect of raising very cessary to effect the same end. materially the price of agricultural

Thus, if the labouring classes in produce above the level of the adjoinBritain receive a greater quantity of ing one,—that both these causes have, food and necessaries in exchange for for a series of years, combined to raise their labour than in the neighbouring the price of agricultural produce in this countries of Europe, and that they do country above the level of the rest of so is a fact that cannot be disputed, Europe, is undeniable ; and that it is the effect produced on the price of corn owing solely to the natural fertility of will be the same as if a greater quan- the soil of these islands, powerfully aid. tity of labour was required for its pro- ed by the constantly increasing skill and duction. Here, therefore, is a cause intelligence of the agriculturists, that for the higher price of corn in this has prevented that price from rising country, which it certainly is far from infinitely higher than it has done, is the interests of the labouring classes in my opinion equally well establishto remove. No one will venture to ed. The average price of wheat for deny, that, if the real wages of labour the thirty years ending in 1825, apin this country were reduced at once pears strongly to support this opinion. a third or a fourth, the effect on the Dividing that period into a series of price of corn would be almost in- ten years, the average price of the last calculable, and that we should at once, ten 'will be found to be 7s. Id. less from the impossibility of consuming than that of the first; yet the populaour surplus produce, become an ex tion has increased, during the period, porting country. Thus the high wa at least 500,000, while the importages of labour during the year 1825, tion of foreign corn will be found to may be stated as one cause for the be much more considerable during the high price of agricultural produce du- first ten years than the last. ring that year, notwithstanding an The history of the last century afabundant harvest, and the adınission fords proof, that encouragement to of 400,000 quarters of wheat ; and the agriculture produced the same effect low rate of wages in 1826 is certainly then as now. * The laws which reone cause of the lower prices of the gulated the corn trade from the year year, though the wheat harvest has 1690 to the year 1750, granted a been deficient when compared with the bounty of 6s. per quarter on the expreceding one, while the importation portation of wheat, till the price in both was equal, and the higher com reached 57s. 7d. The duty on imporparative prices of those sorts of grain tation, when the price was not higher whose importation has been free, show than 64s., amounted to 19s. 20.; till that no increase in their consumption the price reached 965. the duty was can have tended to reduce the price 9s. 7d. When the price was above of wheat. That the price of agricul- 96s. per quarter, the duty was 6s. 5d. tural produce is affected by direct tax- The effect of this encouragement to ation is universally admitted. Mr Ri- agriculture, appears to have been to cardo states, (page 170,) that it would reduce the price of wheat from 685. 3d. raise its price by a sum equal to the--the average of the ten years, ending tax; and as indirect taxation affects 1700--to 33s. 8d.--the average of the every article of food, clothing, and ten years, ending 1750; while our exlodging, all the necessaries, as well as portation increased during the last ten luxuries of the labourer, it must, in years to the yearly average of 833,467 the proportion in which labour enters quarters. From these facts, I think, it

Diron on the Corn Laws.


may fairly be inferred, that the ave- minished, till, along with the foreign rage of the last six years, 57s. 3d., supply, the whole was reduced to an cannot in any way have contributed equality with the demand. to the late distresses of the country, On the supposition that the culti. or can have had the slightest influence vation of land in this country was in retarding its return to prosperity. confined to that of a degree of fertility

The public attention cannot, I think, equal to that from whence corn was be too much directed to the fact, that imported from abroad, it would still the average price of wheat for ten be as difficult as ever to place a liyears, from 1690 to 1700, ending 125 mit to the importation of corn. The years ago, was 11s. per quarter lower causes of its higher money-price would than the average of the last six years. still remain unaltered. The quantity It will, I think, require some inge- of home produce, though diminished, nuity to explain this according to the might probably be raised by a protheory of the increased difficulty of portionally less quantity of labour producing corn on the poor soils of than before ; but this disparity in the England; and it will be found some- quantity of labour necessary to prowhat inimical to the doctrine, that duce corn, experience proves has long the sole cause of the late commercial existed in favour of this country, with distress was the high price of corn. out causing the desired effect. That

If the arguments I have used in the importation of foreign corn, by the preceding pages are not altogether causing an excess of supply when comfutile, and the facts I have stated en. pared with the demand, would reduce tirely groundless, it must, I think, be the money price of corn, is unquestionadmitted, that the agricultural pro- able; but in the proportion in which duce of England requires a less quan- the higher money price here is caused tity of labour and capital for its pro- by taxation, it does not appear how duction than that of any country in this lower price, the effect of importEurope ; and that it is sold at the ation, could be more than temporary, price necessary for its production, in or could exist longer than necessary to the actual state of the country. As, diminish the home produce in proportherefore, the higher money-price of tion to the corn imported. "If the corn in England does not arise from amount of taxation remained the same, any greater difficulty in raising the the cost of its production, so far as it necessary supply, if the country were was affected by that circumstance, similarly situated to foreign nations could not of course be diminished. with regard to taxation and real wages The same observation will apply to a of labour, the money-price of corn difference in the real wages of labour. would be proportionably lower in this If a labourer in England receives country, as the labour necessary for double the quantity of food and neits production is less; and it there- cessaries in exchange for his labour fore follows, that the introduction of that a labourer receives in Poland, unforeign corn into this country, can less the real wages of labour are realone be justified on the ground, that duced by the introduction of foreign the country does not, in fact, produce corn, this cause of the higher money a supply of food sufficient for the price of corn in England must also wants of its population ; and the mode remain unaltered. If these two causes of its introduction can only be appro- have any influence in maintaining the ved of, if it is such as not to interfere higher money price of corn in this with the extension of cultivation, or country, the importation of foreign to prevent the produce from increa corn might probably increase, but sing and keeping pace with the in- could never diminish their effect, and crease of population. If the agricul- it must, therefore, be impossible to tural produce, grown in Great Britain, predict the extent to which the imis equal to the wants of the people, portation of foreign corn may be carany importation from abroad must, in ried. Under a system of Free Trade, proportion to its quantity, diminish I shall not pretend to determine whethe home-produce, as when imported ther it would be Nos. 6, 5, or 4, it could not be sold, unless at a lower that would be thrown out of cultivaprice, and must consequently diminish tion, but shall leave it to Professor the profits of all the home-growers, M'Culloch, and others who are more and cause the ruin of many, by which intimately acquainted with the limits means the home supply would be dis and position of these respective num

bers, than myself, to decide this most ved, that, notwithstanding the higher important question ; but it appears to price of corn, the labourer receives a me, that the said Professor would be much larger portion of it in exchange fully as usefully employed for the pub- for his labour in England than in lic interest, though probably not so Prussia. As far as his interest, theremuch so for his own, in perambula- fore, is concerned, corn is cheaper in ting the Island, and pointing out to England-labour is the money with the farmers the termination of No. which he purchases corn; and in the s, and the commencement of No. country where that species of money 6, in their respective farms, as in will buy the greatest quantity of it, mystifying the youth of Edinburgh, corn is unquestionably the cheapest. by delivering lectures respecting num. It is estimated, that two-thirds of bers, whose position has as yet only the whole quantity of food earned by been fixed in his own fertile imagina- the labourer is consumed in supporttion.

ing himself and family, while the reI wish now to consider what would maining third is spent in lodging, clobe the immediate effect on the labour thing, and luxuries. Now this third, ing population, by the introduction of or 3s. per week, is more than the whole a large quantity of foreign corn, and wages of the Prussian labourer; and the consequent ruin of some, and the all the articles of coarse woollen and diminution of the profits of all the cotton, principally used as clothing by agriculturists. The diminution of corn, the labouring classes, ought to be grown at home, would diminish the cheaper in this country, which exports demand for labour. The prices would them, than in Prussia, where they are be lowered, 1st, By increasing the sup- imported. The command of the laply; and, 2d, By diminishing the de- bourer in England and Prussia over mand. The price of corn would be low- the luxuries and conveniences of life, er, but how could that benefit the man ought to be in proportion to the power who has less to purchase it with ? which the third of their respective although the price of corn was lower, money-wages has of purchasing these his labour might exchange for a much commodities--that is, in the proporless quantity of it than when it was tion of 3s. to 10s.; and it ought in higher; and it appears to me, that fact to be still greater, inasmuch as corn is cheapest in that country, so commodities ought to be cheaper in far as the labourer is concerned, where the country which exports them than labour exchanges for the greatest quan- in the country which imports them. tity of it; and, in this point of view, Nothing, therefore, can be more evi. that corn is cheaper in England, than in dent than the fact, that the labourer Poland and Prussia, does not admit of in England has the means of coma question, the average price of wheat manding an infinitely greater share of in England for five years, from 1820 the luxuries and conveniences of life to 1824, inclusive, being 558., and the than in any other country in Europe. wages of the labourer being, during the If he does not do so, taxation is une same period, 9s. per week—the aver. questionably the sole cause which preage price in Prussia, for the same pe vents him; and to its reduction, there. riod, being 27s., and the average wages fore, he must look as his only remedy. there being 25. 6d. per week. There A reduction in the price of corn, infore 55s., the average of a quarter of stead of being beneficial to him, would wheat in England, divided by 9s., be directly the reverse,—even suppowill give within a fraction of the sixth sing that a reduction in the price of part of a quarter, for the average corn had no tendency to reduce the weekly wages of England-while 27s., quantity of its given price in exchange the average of a quarter of wheat in for his labour,--as it would diminish Prussia, divided by 2s. 6d., will give the value of corn, when compared with for the average weekly wages in Prus- colonial produce and manufactured sia a trifle more than the eleventh commodities, it would, in that propora part of a quarter. It thus appears, tion, diminish his power of purchasing that the real wages of labour have them. been for the last five years, in England Nothing can be more evident, than and Prussia, nearly in the proportion that the admission of foreign corn beof six to eleven, or not very far from yond the deficit, if a deficit exists, double in England what they were in when compared with the demand, Prussia ; and it is thus distinctly pro must diminish the home produce, and

by that means Jeseen the demand for manufacturing prosperity, which the labour, unless the increase in demand theorists of the present day assure us for manufacturing labour fully equals will result from a perfectly Free Systhe decrease in the demand for agri- tem of Trade,-if, from the effects of cultural labour. If, for example, there this system, our manufacturing wealth is an importation of 1000 quarters of should increase in so extraordinary a corn into this country, and a conse manner, that the soils which at prequent diminution in the demand for sent we are informed are unfit for the labour equal to the quantity required growth of corn, and whose cultiva. to grow these 1000 quarters, unless tion is the cause of all our distress, the importation caused a demand for should, nevertheless, soon become nea manufactures from abroad over and cessary to supply the tables of our luxabove what we could otherwise have urious mechanics with fresh milk and exported, and equal to the employ, butter, and by that means afford a rent ment of all the labour before occupied to the landlord, which, under their prea in growing these 1000 quarters, it is sent short-sighted system, they can never clear that there must be a diminution hope to obtain*-Were all these results, in the demand for labour, and con the effects of the wonder-working syssequently in its real wages, in the tem of Free Trade, to be realized, of amount of the comforts or conve which, as yet, I lament to say, there is niences which the labouring classes little prospect ; still, however, recent will be able to command; and if we and dire experience proves that manuare to be guided by the experience of facturing speculation will occasionally the last few months, we must con so overstock the market, as to reduce clude, that no such effect is likely to the price of manufactured goods below be produced as the exportation of the cost of the r production; and dethe additional quantity of manuface pending for their existence, as a large tures in consequence of the importa- portion of our population must then tion of foreign corn. If a Polish no- do, on the importation of corn from bleman exports 1000 quarters of wheat the north of Europe, is it not possible to England, will he, in consequence, that manufacturing enterprise, aided import into Poland the whole value by machinery, might produce in one of these 1000 quarters in English cote year as many cotton goods as all the ton goods and cutlery? or would not Polish and Russian boors could conFrench wines and silks, Flemish lace sume in ten ? and cambrics, come in for their share? What would we then have to offer It is perfectly clear, that the impor. in exchange for their corn, if a defitation of foreign corn into this coun cient harvest should unfortunately try, if it did not diminish the demand, coincide with this overflow of manuwhen compared with the supply of factures ? Could the government of labour, could not reduce the real wa Russia be blamed for prohibiting the ges of labour; and as long as the real export of the usual quantity of corn? wages of labour are higher in this At whose feet would the manufactucountry, the value of the articles that rers then lay their petitions for relief? are principally produced by labour Not at those of our own gracious Somust also be higher.

vereign; for this country would then The wished-for object of reducing possess neither the food nor the means the wages of labour in this country to of purchasing it; abject recourse would a level with the wages of the conti- become necessary to the compassion nent, is perfectly unattainable, except of the Chan of Russia ; and might he by inflicting the most severe suffering not be said to hold the reins of union the whole mass of the labouring versal empire in his hands, when pospopulation. The numerous petitions sessed of the food of the only people that are now presenting from the ma, capable of resisting him? In the words nufacturing districts, in favour of a of the late Mr Elliot, woe would then measure which is avowedly to reduce betide England such as she never bewages, shows how easily the labour- fore knew, when the food of a large ing classes may be deceived as to their portion of her population was found own real interests.

to depend on the prosperity of her Were we, however, to admit to their Cotton-trade. I am, Sır, &c. fullest extent, the wildest dreams of


• Torrens on the Corn Laws,




(With Notes and a Postscript.)

Section VI. There have been critics who made twice about his throat, and surmount no scruple of referring the Laocoon his head with their crests. This picture to the period of the Emperors, i. e. fills the imagination, the noblest parts to a Post-Virgilian age; not meaning are stifled by pressure, and the venom to deny, however, that it was a work is carried straight to the face. Neverof Grecian art. This opinion they theless, it was no picture for the artist; founded, no doubt, upon the resem- the object for him was to exhibit the blance between the group of the effects of the poison and the pain on sculptor, and the description of the the body; to do which it was necespoet, which was too close and circum- sary that he should expose


person stantial to be thought pure matter of freely to view, and without allowing accident: and, in a question of origi, of any external pressure that could nal conception, they took it for granted affect the free play of the agitated that all the presumptions were on the nerves or the labouring muscles. Folds side of the poet. Apparently, they as complete as those in the Virgilian forgot that, without supposing either picture, would have concealed the to have borrowed from the other, a whole body; and that peculiar conthird case is conceivable, viz. that traction of the abdomen, so expressive both were indebted to a common mo of bodily anguish, must have been indel of some older period.

visible. Any parts that might bave Waiving this question, however, I still remained exposed above and bewill suppose the artist to have imita- low the foldes, or between them, neted the poet, as a convenient assump- cessarily bearing marks of protrusion tion for exhibiting, in the deviations and tumor, would have indicated, not of the imitator from his model, the so much the pains within, as the excharacteristic differences of their seve ternal pressure. The folds about the ral arts.

throat, by increasing greatly the voThe father and his two sons are re lume of that part, would have had presented, by both sculptor and poet, the further disadvantage of disturbing as linked into one intricate nodus by that pyramidal tendency to a point, the voluminous folds of the snakes ; so agreeable to the eye, under the an idea which is indisputably very present arrangement of the group; happy and picturesque. In the distri- whilst the pointed snaky crests, towerbution of these' folds, it will be ob ing abruptly into the air from a basis so served, that Virgil has been careful to disproportionately broad, would have leave the arms at liberty, in order to harshly broken up the present symallow full activity to the hands. In metrical contraction of the proportions. this, the artist could not but follow The ancient sculptors saw at a glance, him, for nothing gives more life and that a change of plan was in this inexpression than the motion of the stance prescribed by their art, and hands; and in a state of passion, they transferred the folds from the above all, the most speaking counte- body and throat, to the legs and the nance, without their aid, would become feet. So arranged, they caused no conunimpressive. Arms, glued to the side striction or concealment that could inby the limbs of the snakes, would terfere with the expression ; on the have petrified the whole life and ani- contrary, they suggested the ideas of mation of the group. But beyond this fight impeded, and of immobility; single circumstance of disengaging the ideas which reconcile the mind to arms, there is no other in the poet's that perpetuation of a momentary management of the folds, which the state, which it belongs to this art to artist could have adopted with advan, present. tage. In the Virgilian Laocoon, the I know not how it has happened, snakes are wound twice about his neck, that the critics have failed to notice VOL. XXI.


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