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interrupting the operation of the Sinking Fund, whilst part of the
If, indeed, it be said, that the circulation would be injuriously affected, the contrary has been shown, pages 12 to 14: the abatraction of money from the innumerable channels through which it would otherwise flow, to be re-issued through the medium of the Exchequer, is a forced and morbid, in place of a natural and healthy, circulation.
Or, if it be apprehended, that a sudden and injurious reduction of the value of commodities
would ensue ; it may be sufficient to remark, that the reduction of price, would proceed, not from a market, over-stocked, which, leaving the cost the same, only reduces the return; but from the reduction of cost, by means of the remission of Duties and Taxes: the cost would be less, and therefore, the price would be less. The sole guard required, would be the protection of the stock on hand, whereon duty should have been paid, either, by the return of the duty, or, by allowing a reasonable time for the consumption of that stock, before the effective repeal of the duty. Since the introduction of the system of bonding, the stock of goods, whereon duty has been paid, is not of more than moderate extent.
The progressive consequences and general effect, upon the country, will not now be enlarged upon, nor will any calculation be made, of the effect of the ultimate, entire, relief of the nation from the burthen of debt; but the consequences with reference to the parochial poor, may require some notice.
The cost of subsistence would be reduced by means of the general reduction of Duties and Taxes ; in such reduction, would probably, be included, the Duties on most articles of import used for the purposes of manufacture, and on most articles of British manufacture : in consequence, the demand for labor would be increased, and the approach, to a fair adjustment between the rate of labor and the rate of subsistence, would be facilitated. A just
MIOID state of relation, in those particulars, is essential to the management and direction of the parochial poor ; if the rate of labor be below the rate of subsistence, the poor unavoidably recoil upon those in the several degrees above them, in the social scale, and the consequences become severe, and of an anxious and awful description. SITTITUOTTI
The adjustment of the rate of labor to the price of subsistence, cannot be affected by direct, legislative interposition: it does not, however, therefore, follow,'that, a tendency to a just balance in that respect,'' may not be promoted, by the Legislature or by the Government
noif employment could be increased, and the price of subsistence, at the same time, 'be reduced, the number of pauper poor would decrease : on the supposition of the remission of the Duties on salt, on the constituent ingredients of beer, on 'soap, candles, coals, and on some other articles, and that bread were reduced in price ; such circumstances, concurring with the remission of the Duties, which now narrow the demand for articles of British Manufacture, would tend, powerfully, to the reduction of the number of the poor, depending on parochial aid, and the moment would be favorable to the institution of a system, if such could be devised, to prevent the great evil of supernumerary population. On this subject, some thoughts occur to the Author, but he forbears, at this time, to communicate them, because, they can only be rendered effectual, in application, in the event of relief, in the more commanding particular, which is the subject of this Publicationand because the question of population and the poor, is of a magnitude to require distinct and separate consideration.
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ils byer The Select Committee appointed to inquire into the state and
description of gaols and other places of confinement, and into » the best method of providing for the reformation as well as the
safe custody and punishment of offenders, and to report the same, with their observations thereupon, to the house in and to vswhom the report respecting sentences of transportation, presented cilin 1812, the report on prisons, presented in 1815; the report .
on the police of the metropolis, presented in 1816, 1817, and and 1818; the statement of the number of persons capitally convicted, and the annual returns of commitments presented in Ithe present session ; the returns respecting New South Wales, presented to the house on the 6th day of April last; the account of the gaols in the united kingdom, with the numbers of persons confined in each; and the petition of the corporation of the city of London; were severally referred;-have considered the said matters, and have agreed upon the following report:
Your Committee have long been engaged in an exteņsive exa. mination of persons, who appeared to them best qualified to afford them useful information on the various subjects referred to them. These comprise not only the state of the gaols and other places of confinement in every part of the united kingdom, in point of accommodation, arrangement, and system of management, together with such improvements as inight be suggested by experience and judicious observation; but also, in conformity to what appeared to them to be the intention of the House, the condition of transported convicts in New South Wales, with all the circumstances neces sarily connected with the administration of that singular and extensive establishment. They have been led to an early investigation of this latter subject, by an attention to the particular situation of witnesses now in England, the benefit of whose testimony might have been lost by further delay. In pursuing this part of the iye quiry, they bave entered into an examination of the state and natural resources of the country itself, considered as a colony, as well as in its more immediate connection with the system of criminal jurisprudence, and of the manner in which the local government has been conducted, under both those views of the subject.
This investigation has necessarily brought under their observation many subjects of discussion between different individuals and the present governor ; in submitting which to the consideration of the house, as they have thought themselves bound to do, they have to remark, that in many instances they have only had the opportunity of hearing the complaint or objection stated, without the possibility of receiving a complete justification and answer. They therefore suspend all comment upon these transactions till the delay of a fufure session may afford the means of receiving further information. *The time occupied in this part of the inquiry has necessarily, interfered with the progress which might otherwise have been made in the examination of some of our domestic establishments, and your committee have been obliged to leave some particulars, and not unimportant branches, entirely untouched. Still less have they been able to prepare and submit to tlie house, the observations hich might be expected from them on the whole of this
s subject. The importance of it, in all its branches, has been amply felt by your committee; and they therefore trust it will be deemed worthy of future consideration in the ensuing session of parliament. In the whole of the evidence which they have taken, and which, for the clearer understanding of it," they have arranged under the distinct leads into which it is naturally subdivided, without regard to the order of time in which the witnesses happened to be examined. .!!
They cannot, however, conclude this statement, without adverting to one particular subject, which has been brought under their notice by the petition of the city of London, and which, froni its more immediate pressure, has attracted the particular attention of the committee. They allude to the still crowded state of the gol of Neivgate, and the consequent impossibility of affording the suitable classification to the prisoners confined in it. They have, in this and ti other instances, not thought it necessary to repeat the inquities which liave led to the information contained in the reports of previous committees of this house, but the result of the whole seems to therr conclusive, that in order to produce any further reform in the system of imprisonment adopted in tliat prison, it must either be enlarged in point of space, of some means must be resorted to, for lessening the number of persons there confined, unless a mueh greater diminution of crime takes place than can reasonably be expected. The former of these objects is necessarily attended with much difficulty, and it is to the latter, that the attention of the committee has been particolarly drawn: "?
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