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the rate of wages is fiable to no such' objections, and of cartied into effect the most beneficial consequences will doubtless result from its adoption, causing all those bickering's and violent out, rages, often ending in bloodshed, which engender bitter animosities between the employers and the employed, and keep the whole neighborhood in a state of alarm and terror, in a great measure to cease; and preventing the great body of operatives from having their health injured and their morals corrupted by the debauched ties which too high wages admit them to indulge in, or from the same baneful effect produced by the miseries consequent on the reduction of wages below the capability of affording a sufficiency of food to sustain the health of man. A well-regulated medium is what would suit the interests of both parties best : such a medium as would admit of a workman bringing up a family in decent frugality, and enjoying a little relaxation of pleasure on a time besides, without enabling him to spend the third of the week in a public-house, sapping his own constitution, and entailing misery on his family besides; for as bad effects result from too high wages as from too low, which 'every individual conversant with these matters must be forced to admit. The petitions of the journeymen to the above effect have hitherto been most unaccountably ousted from parliament, by the avowed' opinions of men of every party, on the ground that all the consequences of the Spitalfields Act would result from the adoption of the onė prayed for by the operatives to which they constantly compare it: "look, say they, « at what the Spitalfields Act produced.” Between the two, however, there is no further analogy, than that both are for the avowed fixing of a scale of wages: for the Spitalfields Act intrusting the justices with the fixing of the scale, and these being consequently individuals totally ignorant of the subject confided to their discretion, either legislated at a mere hazard of arriving at justice, or from being generally landholders and proprietors of houses in the neighborhood, saw that by allowing the workmen a high scale of wages, the latter would be enabled more readily to liquidate their rents with the friends of the worthy justices of whom they rented them (or possibly it might be the worthy justices themselves), and spend also "larger sums in shops and alehouses leased of some of the above. By intrusting this, however, to the justice of the masters, as prayed for by the journey men, every reasonable objection would be removed : obliging the masters throughout every county in the empire to elect a depus tation every twelve months to meet a like deputation of the journey men, to consult and fix by the fiat of the masters a regular scale of prices, at which both the masters and journeymen of the partycular trade throughout the county should be obliged to abide by
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for the ensuing twelve months, unless such a change in the trade should take place as obliged the deputation to meet again and alter it.
In the commencement of every new undertaking there are always a number of little difficulties at first to encounter, which a short experience soon points out how to rectify, and that many such would be encountered at the outset of an undertaking like the present, it would be derogatory to common sense not to admit, but to minds anxious to carry the scheme into execution, these would speedily vanish, while the harmony and happiness that would result from the accomplishment of it would be most gratifying to all. The great body of the master manufacturers have always been favorable to the fixing of a scale of prices, and have often, actually done the like; but then as it was in the power of any one of them still to deviate from the scale when his interests suited, and as also if but a mere fraction of the masters dissented from the proposal of the others, the prescribed arrangements could not be carried into effect by reason of the minority having an advantage in the market over the others, from being enabled to sell their goods cheaper on account of the lower wages paid to their workmen. These seceders from the general body of the manufacturers are usually individuals who have lately commenced manufacturing, and are endeavoring to accumulate wealth by every means which the law does not positively forbid, regardless of outraging the dictates of humanity, or of endangering the public peace, provided their ends are gratified thereby; and deeming that the men of humane feeling among the class of masters will sacrifice in some measure their own immediate interests to the pressing prayers of their workmen, these cold calculators speculate on the profits that will flow into their pockets thereby from being enabled to undersell in the market, • Of course it would be advisable to restrict the act at first to a few manufacturers, such as those of cotton, silk, and woollen, extending it cautiously afterwards as circumstances demanded. The fixing of a rate for farm-laborers could probably be most beneficially done by the county grand-juries on the report of a committee, or a general scheme might be made out to include the whole kingdom, striking the rate according to a certain fixed value of a quarter of wheat, and lowering or raising the scales of wages quarterly according to the various averages of the differ, ent counties. The laborers might be arranged into various classes in each parish, in proportion to their capabilities, by a committee of landholders and farmers resident in it; each class set down at different daily wages, and the laborers raised or reduced in the classes according to their increasing or failing capabilities. Maximums and minimums might again be apportioned to all descriptions
of taskwark, beyond or below": which neither party could go, leaving them thus an extent of scale to bargain on, and in disputed cases leaving the matter to the decision of umpires. The advantages then resulting from the fixing of a scale of wages are these.
Firstly, Preyenting the working-classes from injuring their healths, corrupting their morals, and neglecting their families, by the debaucheries consequent on high wages, or being degraded by the distress which low wages lead to.
Secondly, Peace and good order would be preserved in the vicinity of their domicile, and a greater cordiality maintained between them and their employers.
Thirdly; Preventing the greedy portion of the master manufacturers, in periods of deep distress and low demand for goods, from taking advantage of the pressing necessities of the journeymen to exact work from them at such excessive low rates, as would force the latter to work longer and harder in order to increase the pittance, thereby accumulating a load of goods destined to keep down the market. on a rise of prices, and to keep down the rise of wages too : for it is better that a manufacture should for a time, or even for altogether, be discontinued, and the exertions of the workmen be turned into a new channel, than pursued under difficulties which keep these in a state of misery and debasement.
Fourthly; Preventing the iniquitous and degrading system of the part payment of wages out of the poor's fund, than which nothing can tend more to convert our English peasantry into a mean, beggarly, grovelling race, by their spirit of independence being annihilated in the eleemosynary mode of payment thus pursued.
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CHAP. V. Errors of political economists regarding deterioration of land by cultivation, and cultivating inferior soils_Vegetables deriving their chief nourishment from the atmosphere - Advantages of growing our own food in preference to depending on foreign supply-Necessity of growing such as cheaply as other nations to preserve our foreign commerce-National debt rendering this eventually impracticable--Just principles of present corn bill -Reduction of prices in grain immaterial to farmers-Landlords ultimate sufferers_False opinions promulgated by landlords regarding low profits on money invested in land-Views relative to improvement of the country 1st. By composition of tithes--Such equitable in their nature, but vexatious and oppressive from their unfixed amount-Their retarding or preventing the recovery of waste lands—20. By canal and railway communications between places wbere food is cheap and where it is dear-Benefits of such from connecting places by mutual interest more strongly together-Impot tant political results arising in this way by the grand American canals
Judiciousness of applying a sum of public money annually to such purposes-3d. By abolition of certain taxes, and substitution of a property. tax in lieu-41b. By opening new commercial sources of wealth-india, Africa, Ireland-Loss to English industry from long misgovernment of latter --Evil effects of absenteeism on it, and cause of this elucidated-5th. By establisbing a sound system of country banking for issuing of small nutesGeneral reflections regarding banking, and bullion and paper money corrency-6th. By general measures of economy at home and abroad-Sums that may ultimately be drawn from India by able government of it towards liquidatiog the national debt-Necessity of accomplishing this by reason of its paralysing the industrious and warlike energies of the nation On the present government–Their demand of the gratitude and support of the nation- Further views relative to the improvement of the country-Erroneous and baneful opinions regarding the impolicy of vesting capital in the improvement of poor land.
One of the most ridiculous doctrines of some of the modern political economists is, that soils deteriorate by cultivation; and one of their most mischievous, that relative to the impolicy of recovering soils of inferior quality from a state of nature, and endeavoring to improve them. That land is enriched instead of impoverished by a proper course of cultivation, is a fact so well known to the veriest tyro in agriculture, that the alarm endeavored to be propagated of the gradual decay of the fertility of our soils will never excite more than a passing smile at the ignorance of facts thus exhibited. If, again, their theoretical predictions regarding the losses suffered by the country in endeavoring to recover and improve poor soils had operated on the fears of our forefathers for a century back, how little of our British soil would have been at this instant in cultivation; for how much of our cultivated soil came originally under the description of that which the economists are now denouncing, but which a judicious system of cultivation has converted from unproductive barrenness to productive fertility. Let any individual but take a twelve miles jaunt, from London to Hounslow, and he will then be able to contrast the difference in value that a year or two's judicious cultivation can produce, by comparing the wretched wastes there with the luxuriant fields around them once as bleak and barren, but which the magic wand of industry has converted into little elysiums of smiling fertility. Though the labour or capital employed in these achievements might probably be often invested, both at home and abroad, more beneficially for the individual who attempts the like, yet if a portion of land which could not maintain one man can be made to maintain ten, the country has certainly gained immensely by it in the amount of strength and wealth thus added to her resources. On the principles so confidently inculcated of late, the industrious quarrymen in Berwickshire (as recorded by Sir John Sinclair), and the industrious miners in Wales (lately rescued from the wolfish fangs of some unjust and pitiless landowners there by the praiseworthy efforts of the London press), would never have attempted the conversion of land so sterile as not to be worth one shilling per acre annually, into land so fertile as to be now worth thirty shillings.' By sheltering land from the bleak winds, and removing its superfluous moisture by drains, you transplant it as it were into a new climate, while by pulverising and thoroughly mingling together the various upper strata of the soil, exposing the whole to the chemical changes brought about by the joint influence of sun, air, and moisture, and adding further such requisite artificial ingredients (such as dung and lime) which the strata may have been deficient in, you convert the land thus into a fit bed for the rearing of substances necessary for the support of life. The soil indeed seems to be more the medium through which vegetables derive their nourishment than the body from which they extract it. It is well known that exhausted soils will recover their fertility by rest, which they must do by absorbing some substance from the atmosphere, and by new chemical combinations having had time to take place in them. The benefits of fallowing are accounted for on this principle, the frequent stirring of the earth by the ploughs, &c. es. posing more freely the various particles of the soil to the influ. ence of sun and atmosphere, and admitting thus the beneficial change's more fully and quickly to take place. The rotations of crops seem to exert their favorable influence also by calling similar actions into play; for each vegetable requiring its own peculiar species of sustenance will consequently exert its own peculiar chemical actions, and thus further each other's growth when growing together, or when following in rotation in the same land. Clover, it is well known, when sown on a piece of land exhausted by other crops will fertilise it without manure being applied; and as here no enriching ingredient has been added to the particles of the soil, the fertilising effects of the clover must have been produced by the new chemical actions occasioned by it favorable to the growth of other plants, or by a substance extracted from the atmosphere to enrich it..
.! - It appears, however, that some soils are so peculiarly composed as to be in a constant fit state for the continued annual production of one species of vegetable : for in some of the valleys of Kent there is soil found of a peculiarly rich black nature, hardening so in dry weather as often to require six or eight horses to break it up ; yet this soil has been cropped yearly with wheat, as far back as human' remembrance goes, without a particle of manure having been expended on it, and without the slightest decrease in vits fertility. Tull asserts that efficient pulverisation will au