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thanks and gratitude of his countrymen, however mistaken he may chance to be in his ideas on the subject on which that obedience is required. The author of this pamphlet, enters, with zeal and sincerity, into the distresses of the times; gives implicit credit to the reports of the two Houses of Parliament respecting the scarcity of corn, and enforces, with all the strength of ability which he is capable of exerting, the indispensible necessity of the most rigid economy.All this is unobjectionable and praiseworthy; and the plan which he has adopted in his own family is highly worthy of imitation.--He strongly recommends as much caution and care in the consumption of nieat as of bread, and fish and rice are the substitutes which he has found most eligible and effective.-His advice to servants is excellent, and we wish our limits would allow us to extract it. He truly observes that from the highest to the lowest, the advancement of price in all the necessaries of life is severely felt, except by servants; the price of meat, or the price of bread, is to them a matter of no concern; they are sure to find, at the usual terms, a table spread, with a plentiful and comfortable meal, whether meat is four-pence or a shilling a poundexcept from curiosity, they may go from the beginning of the year to the end of it, without knowing whether it was one or the other; to them, therefore, I say, that, at all times, to be wasteful, and not to turn to the best account the food that is allowed them, is absolutely a crime, but, at the present period, it is an hundred-fold criminal.”-He then shews that the inevitable consequences of a wastelul disposition in servants must ultimately prove ruinous to themselves, by reducing their masters to the necessity of dismissing them; and we earnestly hope that the following recommendation of the author will be rigidly adopted by every master of a family ;-" that a resolution should be entered into and signed by the masters of families, in the different parishes, not to hire any servants who had quitted their last places in consequence of any unwillingness to submit to the present occasional system.”—We know of some masters, who have taken servants of this description, even without a character from the masters whom they had left, and we are half-tempted to expose their names to the world!
We disagree with the author respecting a maximum, but on that subject our opinion has been so frequently delivered to our readers, that it is reedless to repeat it here.- His tract is worthy of attention; and his efforts in a cause, which every honest man must have at heart, are highly commendable.
Efectual Means of providing, according to the Exigencies of the Evil, against the
Distress apprehended from the Scarcity and High Prices of different Articles of Food. By George Edwards, Esq. 8vo. Pp. 44. Johnson. 1800, MOST of the means here prescribed have been adopted by the Legislature, and the public are now fully competent to decide on their efficacy. One of the means, indeed, that of pressing land for the growth of potatoes, and pressing milk for the use of the poor, neither has, nor, we trust, ever will be tried; not that we think either that or any other strong measure would not be justifiable, if a famin'e were really to be dreaded, but because We are persuaded that the evil is not so formidable as to require the application of so desperate a remedy; and that the remedy, if applied, would prove inadequate to remove it. Another mean, here strongly recommended, has also been neglected by the Government ;--the restoration of Y 2
peace, the practicability of which, aye, and of a safe, honourable, and perinanent peace too, was perfectly visible to the keen eye of Mr. Edwards, (even in February 1800) though much wiser heads, and much
keener eyes than his, have not yet been able to discover it. Mr. Edwards · aflirmis that he is the sole author of the present new and solid system of
finance, that of raising the supplies within the year, and the income tax."
Radical Means of Counteracting the present Scarcity, and preventing Famine in
l'uture ; including the proposal of a Maximum founded on a New Principle ; to which is prefixed an Address to the Legislature on a Plan for meliorating the Condition of Society at large. By George Edwards, Esq. 8vo. Pp.
182. 3s. Od. Johnson. 1801. MR. EDWARDS here enters into a large field of speculation, through which we shall not attempt to follow him. His object is unquestionably good; and he appears to be actuated by motives and feelings highly honourable to his heart; but in his projects for promoting the praetical pera fection of the social world his abilities do not keep peace with his will.While he recommends, and most justiy, reflection to others, before they adopt his opinions, and encourage his schemes, he hastily adopts himself, without any reflection, or at least without properly weighing either facts or arguments, the prevalent, but most gross error, that tithes are unfavourable to agricultural improveinent. On some other points too he is mistaken, but his intentions are excellent, and most of his propositions are worthy of attention. We perfectly agree with him, that " to suffer the distress of a famine, when it really neither exists, nor can in reason be apprehended, and when the growers and dealers in corn are niaking excessive profits beyond the fair price of this commodity, is what ought never to be suffered in a rational and philanthropic state of society, and never by a humane and benevolent Government;"--no, nor yet in any state of society, nor by any Government. The remedy which he proposes for this evil is a maximum which he defends with great earnestness and zeal, and with no lack of talent.--Some of his arguments on this subject we shall extract, as a fair specimen of his style and powers of reasoning.
“ It is requisite to support the propriety as well as the necessity of adopting this proposal, and in particular to answer the objections which Mr. A. Smith makes against it. Because,' says he, 'it either hinders dealers from bringing corn to market, which may sometimes produce a famine, even in the beginning of the season, or if they bring it thither, it enables the people, and thereby encourages them, to consume it so fast, as must necessarily produce a famine before the end of the season. In respect to the first objection, it is certainly a sufficient reply, that the corn growers and dealers can have no other market for their commodity, and would not buy up for speculation corn at its present high price: neither of them could fly in the face of the legislature, which no doubt would establish proper regulations for their conduct; nor could they have any inducement to withhold a proper supply from the markets, if the maximum were fixed sufficiently high, as most certainly it ought, and is proposed to be. The other objection may be as completely answered, by observing, that a wise legislature would always consider the deficiency of the crops, and establish a naximun, both fully sufficient to recompence the growers, and high enough to enforce that economy in consumption, which is one of the most effectual remedies against the evils of scarcity: and for their own interest the farmer
and corn-dealer would not be in haste to overload the market, and reduce their article too low.”
“. As to the manner of imposing the maximum, there can be no difficulty; for proper persons, conversant in the corn trade, will readily ascertain, the principle being previously known, at what amount it would be fixed on wheat, rye, oats, and barley, as the maximum may be extended to them all : this, as fixed on each of them, should, from what has been observed, certainly be a high one, and above the general price, at which such corn should be sold; and if we suppose the highest price of the best wheat, fixed any year at 12s. 13s. 145. &c. that of worse samples will fall proportionally.
“A familiar conversation I had yesterday with an old friend, Mr. Thompson, of Girlington, near Wycliffe, upon the banks of the Tees, will tend to make this proposal less repugnant than it appears to be, on account of its noveity, or rather of its being generally condemned: 'I have,' says he, sold this bread-corn for 25s. per boll, and might as readily have sold it at 29s. I do not like such a price, even as 25s. : we can, though our crop is very indifferent, afford very well to sell it at 21s. and it should not be higher.” This friend is upwards of eighty years of age, still very active and industrious, allowed to be one of the most able farmers in the North, a man of affectionate goodness of heart, of great as well as long observation, and of uncommon sagacity and penetration in all concerns relating to the practice of agriculture : such a testimony as his, is that of experience, and is to me at least, who can depend upon his judgment, an authority in favour of a maximum, equal to that of any dictate of political economy. The following letter, from a man of genuine humanity, communicated to me by my ingenious and benevolent friend Mr. Harrison, of Barnard Castle, from whom I am happy to acknowledge baving received this and many other most important services, likewise supports very strongly the proposal of a maximum.
Sleudgwick, 11th No. 18th, 1800. Swainston Harrison,
RESPECTED FRIEND, “ I think I have come to a conclusion to sell my corn of this year's crop sentirely to the poor people at a reduced price, perhaps at 20s. per and as I intend to sell it chiefly to those in Barnard Castle, am thoughtful how to dispose of it so as the most necessitous only may reap the advantage; and desire thee, and some other person in the other end of the town, to make a weekly list of as many poor persons' names as will take my quantity. I think I can engage some of the millers to grind it at 1s. a boll.
But I mean thee to consider, and if thou canst find any better mode to be adopted, inform me thereof by a line, which will oblige, thy friend,
JOHN APPLEGARTH. N. B. I mean to sell my potatoes at Staindrop to the poor people.” We are happy to record these instances of benevolence in a class of peos ple, of whom, considered as a body, the public have much just reason to complain.
" It may be very fairly and candidly observed, that the common practice of granting a bounty, for the encouragement of the importation of corn, implies strong approbation of the measure propoposed of fixing a maximum price: but government, by so doing, only performs by halves, what it should complete at once.
For the offer of such bounty is al ways intended to reduce the prices at home, that is, the profits of the corn-dealers and growCrs, because they are too great. This is the same view as that of fixing a
maximum: and neither of them intends to deprive the home grower of his fair profits. There is no occasion in the eye of the law to make a difference between the usurer, the hackney-coachinan, or the baker, and the farmer and the corn-dealer: yet government actually imposes a maximum upon the former three in regulating the rate of interest of money, that of coach-hire, and the price of bread. The legislature ought always to interfere when so: ciety is injuriously treated, and cannot otherwise be relieved; or the citizens are left wholly exposed to the mercy of fraudulent combinations, or of avarice. Commodities ought to be left to fall of themselves to their proper level only when this is practicable, that is, when the seller alone has it not in his pow. er to regulate and fix the market: for if impracticable, a barrier should be placed, to prevent the rise of price beyond reasonable bounds.” Remarks on the present High Price of Grain, and on the Expediency of farther Les
gislative Ristrictions in order to effect its Reduction. &vo. Pe. 22. 6d. Jordan. 1801.
THIS little tract is one of the most temperate, pertinent, sensible, and judicious, of the many which our duty has compelled us to read on this interesting, and almost inexhaustible, subject. Biassed by no prejudice, led away by no favourite system, the author is equally just in his promises, and forcible in his conclusion. He laments the present high price of provisions, not as a personal inconvenience, but as a public injury; he considers it, not as a temporary disadvantage only, but as a permanent evil, unless speedy and effectual means for reducing it be adopted,
“ But notwithstanding it is so desirable that our expectations of a reduction of the prices of grain to their old standard should not be raised too high, it appears to me not less necessary that the prospect, though distant, should be kept constantly in view, otherwise, there is, I think, some danger that we shall have eventually to sit down under all the baneful effects to individuals and society at large, which increased expenditure is so much calculated to create. To enlarge on these effects seems unnecessary: they are too obvious to have passed unnoticed: little more is necessary than the bare mention of one or two of the consequences which must follow a permanent additional increase in the price of articles of general consumption. All those possessed of moderate fixed incomes must be peculiarly affected; under another name, they may be said to be stripped of such a part of their property, as constitutes the difference which this advance makes in their necessary expences. I do not see any reason why their property should not be considered as equally inviolable with that of the farmer
, or any other description of persons whatever. but the middle classes, the poor, and the labourer must likewise feel very sensibly, the disadvantage of increased expences, unless the first make an adequate advance in the profits arising from their professional or commercial pursuits, and the others receive such an increase of maintenance or wages as will compensate the difference; which cannot be done without having such a destructive influence on British manufacture as must excite national solicitude; for it would enhance the price so much as to enable those countries where labour is lower, in consequence of cheaper living, to undersell us in the foreign markets. This appears already in some degree to have begun to operate. The quantity of the unmanufactured article of cotton yarn exported has recently been very
considerable, to supply the manufactories on the Continent, which it is evident can afford to make goods lower than they can have them from us, otherwise they would continue our customers for them, and our manufactures would
continue to flourish and give support to a numerous class of deserving and industrious individuals.
“ The evils that would thus follow in consequence of a continued rise in the price of the necessaries of life to some descriptions of persons in particular, as well as to society in general, would not, I conceive, be counterbalanged by any permanent benefit, even to those who at present reap all the advantage arising from it; because they, like others, must ultimately feel the effects of a proportionate advance, I had almost said, on every thing on which there is occasion for money to be expended. Besides, if things should have the appearance of continuing long in their present state, it cannot but be supposed that the rents of the farmer would be considerably increased, in order to enable the owner to defray the increased expences of his household; than which there is scarcely any thing could be of more injurious tendency, in fixing, as it were, permanently, the evils which we deplore. It may further be observed, that the longer we continue under the advance, which has recently taken place in our living, the more imperceptibly shall we slide into a settled state of things, in which we shall have to sit down under some additional expence in commodities and in labour, through any addition, if the preceding remarks be just, would be detrimental to our true interest. In order to prevent these evils becoming systematic, or so deeply rooted as not easily to be eradicated, it appears to me desirable that, during our present exigency, we should ever recur, as to a standard, to the prices which the necessaries of life bore before the late rise; and, to enforce this the more strongly, I may be allowed the repetition of a sentiment before expressed, viz. that the prospect of a return to that standard, though distant, should be kept constantly in view.”
This is a most serious consideration, on which we have often reflected, but which does not appear to have engaged the attention of Parliament in their discussions upon the question of provisions.
On the necessity and the justice of regulating the price of corn, our author's reflections are equally just.
" The general corn laws which are enacted from time to time stand in opposition to theoretical speculation, as they interfere, in effect, with the regulation of prices, by the special provisions which they contain for shutting up the ports against the introduction of foreign grain, when the general average
of our own is below a certain price, in order to protect the landholder and farmer against too great a depreciation of the value of those commodities in which they are so much interested. This, they say,
necessary for the security or prosperity of the farming interest, by which the country at large is so much benefited. I allow it may be so: but may not also occasions arise, when there is an equal, if not a greater necessity to provide against such an exorbitant rise in the price of the necessaries of life, as would sacrifice the comfortable subsistence of the people to that interestad Admitting the wisdom and policy of maintaining a proper balance between the interest of the producer and that of the consumer, how can it be denied, that, in our present circumstances, restrictions are necessary to prevent too great a preponderance of the interest of the former, unless it be understood that there ought to be just so much restriction as to prevent the price becoming too low, and as much freedem as would leave no adequate check to its being too high?”
The stile of this pamphlet is as good as its spirit is praise-worthy. Siriking Facts ; addressed to those who still disbelieve in real Scarcity, and a solemn
Appeal to all who think otherwise. 8vo. Pp. 14. Is, per doz, or 50 for 3. Hatchard. 1801,