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Was it peace,
cumstance to be noticed. The belly was fine dry harvest and a most abundant crop. 8:1tisfied; and “
peace and plenty be. After this last war commenced the bread came the standing sentiment.
continued to fall in price, as you will perIn ny inquiry into the truth of this sen- ceive by the statement. Yet, the favourile timent, I resorted to the actual weekly ac-idea, the sweet alliteration of " counts of the price of the quartern louf, as plenty” continued to vibrateon the ear ; recorded in the Gentleman's Magazine ; and the vulgar, the stupid notion became and the result of which inquiry I publish-rooted in the minds, even of men of talents ed, in detail, in an article in the Regis- and general knowledge, who did not give TIR, which article I wrote, as it oddly themselves the trouble to inquire, or the enough happens, at Southampton, the first time to reflect. But, indeed, why need we day that I ever saw that town, the 18th of recur to former times of war and peace ? August, 150+. The following is an The wheat was at a lower price last Deabridged statement of that result. It will cember than it is now. It fell to the lowest give you a view of the average price of the price that it has yet been at before there was quartern loaf, in the several periods of any prospect of a peace. peace and of war for a space of time ex- then, that made it cheap? Is it not to set ceeding half a century. The price is stated common sense at defiance to hold such a in pence, farthings, and fractions of a far- notion ? Experience, which is said to thing. The years are stated inclusively. make fools wise, seems to plead in vain
when the belly is concerned. At the time From 1750
d. Peace.......... 51 1
when the wheat began to grow cheap, the To 1756
war existed, and upon a more extended From 1757
scale than ever.
We got no wheat from To 1762
America, none from France, very little
from the Baltic; and yet it became at half From 1763
Peace...........7 the price that it was the yer before. Still, To 1775
in the face of all this; with these facts co From 1776 War.............. 61
fresh before our eyes, we affect to believe To 1752
that it is peace wbich makes wheat cheap; From 1783
and there are men, to whom the public look Peace.......... 776 To 1792
up, who talk about the “ social connection
“between peace and plenty."
Coming now to the other mode of meetend of Sept.
ing this vulgar prejudice, let me ask any of
you, what are your reasons, leaving expeFrom 1801
rience ont of the question, for believing end of Dec.
Peace.........10 that peace and plenty are, or ought to be, To 1803
inseparable associates ? Do you think end of April
that the people of the country will become From 1803
less numerous in time of peace, and so the end of April
demand become less ? Do you think, that, War............9 To 1804
continuing the same in number, their appe
tites will become more moderate? Do Now, as my source of information is you think that the soldiers and sailors will open to every gentleman in the country, eat a less quantity on their return home you will hardly suppose me to be stating than was sent to them to eat abroad? Do bere that which is not true; and if it be you think that the sun will shine stronger, true, where is the foundation of your fine and that the dews and rains will be more idea of " peace and plenty?" We see here propitious ? What, then ; what, in the
do only one instance out of four in which the name of common sense, you
think? And loaf was dearer in war than in peace; and why were you led to hope that corn would that instance will surprize no one, who become cheaper with peace? Do you think recollects, as I do, that the harvest of 1800 that more will be imported? And, if so, was so wet, that the wheat grew in the car why? During the far greater part of the over one half of the kingdom, the preced-war, we have had all the corn from America ing crop having been very poor indeed; that the Americans thought it worth their and that the peace, luckily for the Minis- while to send us. We have always had all ter, came in the same month with a very I the corn that France could spare us.". Be
erd of July
tween England and the Baltic the inter- “must effectually and permanently destroy course has been very seldom obstructed. “
every hope of returning cheapness. Why, then, should more be imported now than before, when, into the bargain, the
“ 5tlly.-- That as the word 'aggregate' corn here is become cheaper than it was
comprehends all sorts of wheat, how inbetore? The Portsmouth Resolutions
"ferior soever in quality; and also wheat state :" That, at the present moment, the that has been injured by blights, smut, " alteration is more particularly objection
mildew, heat in the mow, or by damages “able. Under the pressure of Taxation,
on shipboard or otherwise; and also Irish “ necessarily occasioned by a long and ex
“wheat, which is altogether of an inferior pensive War, now happily about to be
quality, and which never bears the price “ terminated, the Country has been in
English wheat within from eight to “ duced to look forward to the return of
“ fifteen shillings per quarter; the consepeace as the means of alleviating their quence must certainly be, that when 86 “ burthens; the disappointment of so rea
shillings per quarter is the average of the “sonable an expectation, which must be
aggregate quantity, thus including all “ experienced in the increased price of the " and uninjnred wheat, such as is brought
" sorts of wheat, the actual average of good “ necessaries of life, is an evil that cannot " therefore be contemplated without alarm.”
"to the English market, will be from ten What a jumble is here! What a strange
“ to fifteen shillings per quarter above that confusion of ideas! They have here thrusted
price, before relief can be obtained from together two things so wholly different,
any forcign market. That, thus, when that one is at a loss to discover between
" this plan shall be felt in its operations, them the smallest connection.
" the actual importation price in England deed, it is reasonable enough to expect to
“ will be above 100 shillings per quarter:
“ which sum is about 50 shillings per pay less taxes; but what has that to do with the price of wheat? Or, if these
quarter higher than the price at which sons of Neptune, who have really fat
importation was allowed at three-pence tened upon the war, meant that the
per quarter duty under the Act of Parliame bread ought to be cheaper in consequence « law that had for its basis the benefit both
ment called Governor Pownal's Act; a of the tax being taken from the land, they
66 of the landed interest and of the consuonght, in common conscience, to have waited to see the tax taken off the land mer: so that the absolute difference first. If these gentlemen do really feel
“ between the importation prices will any alarm at the prospect of seeing bread
“ exceed the entire price of wheat at the continue to be dear, their best way would
“ time when that Act passed. have been to petition to have the taxes “6thly.-- That a graduated scale for imtaken from the land and the horses; for, "posing a duty on this most necessary article, they may be well assured, that, whoever must have a tendency to check, and even eats bread must pay, in the price of the absolutely to prevent importation, in loaf, the amount of those taxes.
6 times of dearth and distress, when it I will now insert the rest of
Resolu should seem that every encouragement tions, promising, that it is only on the 7th " and facility should be afforded to the imand 8th that it will be necessary for me to porters, in the laudable exercise of a offer you any observations, the rest relating" branch of commerce, which at the best, to the detail of a measure, which, I hope, " is always subject to innumerable risks. will not be adopted, and which detail, if we " That these risks will be so increased by really understood it, could be of no “ the effects of the graduated scale, that it except to some one in the situation of a can scarcely be expected that any prudent Custom-Housc-Officer.
man will venture to send orders abroad " Athly. That the allowing at all times" for wheat; because, as, at the end of “ of the unrestrained exportation of wheat“ every three months, new returns will re"and floor, and the prohibiting of the im-1“ gulate the duty on importation, and a
portation thereof, at the low duty, until " various delays may cause cargoes to be “ the average price of the aggregate
“ four or even six months on their voyage, quantity sold in England and Ireland a declension of price at home in the mean “ reaches the exorbitant rate of 36 sliillings " time may actually subject the importer to
per quarter, must necessarily be attended a duty of 24s. per quarter, while he has " with most grievous consequences, and I“ also to bear other losses, that in suche
w his cargo
cases must arise from the late arrival of classes, who have borne the burden and pres.
sure of the times? Has not every land“ 7thly.-- That since, for so many years, holder in the country borne his share? " the middling and lower classes of his Have not his land, bis house, his windows, “ Majesty's subjects have borne the burthen his horses, his carriages, his dogs, his ser. "and pressure of the times, in a manner vants, his malt, his wine, his spirits, his “that reflects the highest honour on their sugar, his soap, bis candles, his salt, his
good sense, and just value of the blessings every thing, been taxed heavily? How, “ of good government and social order, then, has he escaped the burden and pres" they have a right to expect that, in the sure? By the middling and lower classes
present state of things, the opulent land- Mr. RowCLIFFE must mean the Tradesso holders of this kingdom should be prepa- men and the Labourers; for, he manifestly, "red to make some sacrifices; that, in con- bas no feeling for those who have been farsequence of the excess
essively high price of mers : And how has the pressure been con“ corp, hay, and butcher's meat, since the fined to those two classes ? Tradesmen
commencement of the war, the landbold- bave raised their prices; labourers wages
ers of the United Kingdom, on the expi- have nearly been doubled ; servants wages “ lation of leases held under them, have bave undergone the same change: And “ from time to time raised their rents from who has been paying this advance, but
onc to two hundred per cent. and in many those who have employed those tradesmem "instances still higher, while rectors and and those labourers ? How, then, have " lay-rectors have also, witla better reason, these classes suffered more than any
other “ raised their tythes in like proportion; so class ?. The common labourer, at Botley,, " that these classes have thus been in a did, until last Autumn, receive, upon
great measure, if not wholly, indemnified an average, about 28. 8d. a day. He against the taxes and consequences of the now receives but 2$. even in the month war ; while gentlemen, (not being land- of June; and his average pay for this “ holders,) men of slender fortunes, annui- year will not excced Is. 6d., for the crowds “tants, tradesmen, and the poor at large, of labourers, who are out of work, it is could have no indemnity nor relief what- quite surprising to see. A year and a half
ever ; but were obliged to bear the heavy ago we were glad to employ any creature “ burthen of the government and parochial that we could find. We have now to pick
tares, both for themselves and for those and choose. It is surprising what an imexonerated as aforesaid.
prover of manners this low price of corn “ Sthly. That a Petition, grounded on is! In 1812, I gave twelve shillings an “ these Resolutions, be presented to the acre for hoeing, which I can now have “ House of Commons, praying that they done for six shillings, being in no sort “ will by no means sanction a plan that of fear of giving offence, if I find fault “must inevitably fix the rent of land at a with the execution of the work. Many " permanently extravagant rate, confirm men employed in that year, earned, " the load of parochial burdens for the main- before harvest, from six to eight shil
tenance of the distressed poor, render the lings a day. None of them will earn, “ most necessary article of subsistence per- this summer, at the same sort of work, “ petually dear, bar the bounties of Provi- above three shillings. Farmers will judge “dence from the majority of his Majesty's of the state of our labourers, in 1812,
subjects, and hopelessly discover the plea- when I tell them, that some men asked me “ sing association of peace with plenty and a guinea an acre for hoeing out turnips,
cheapness, that has so long been a source drilled in two feet ridges. I can now have “ of consolation in the midst of extensive ca- the same work performed by men for about " lamity."
three shillings an acre.
I did not give Before people make assertions, they the guinea, to be sure; I had the work should take some pains to ascertain the done by women, who worked by the day. truth of them. Almost the whole of these, But I notice it as an instance of our situawhich you have here made, are wholly un- tion at that time. My harvest-men had true! and, it must be allowed, that Mr. eight pounds for the twenty-eight days of RowCLIFFE, who has put his name to them, the harvest month, including four Sundays. is, in some measure, answerable for the They reaped and mowed, some of them, falsehood.- What does he mean by assert- with pipes in their mouths, as the Ilanoing, that it is the middļing and lower verians, in America, used to march te
'battle. They took the thing very coolly. I docs Mr. Rowcliffe suppose, that other I can now have more work done for three labourers are not to feel the eliect of any pounds. If my neighbours gave less fall of the price of the products of their in money, they made it up in drink and labour? But, the truth is, that Mr. food. What, then, has the labourer gain- RowCLIFFE does not reflect at all upon the ed by the low price of corn, and how is he subject. He takes up the matter upon tho to gain by it? How did he bear the bur- vulgar cry; and he puts forth notions which dens of 1812? The fall in the price of are perfectly absurd.
With regard to corn has been a great injury to him. His tradesmen, too, does he suppose, that those cloaths have not fallen in price ? his salt, who own, and those who till the land, will his sugar, his candles, his soap will not pay them at the same rate at which they fall, nor will his heavily taxed beer fall in paid them when wheat was 40.. a loud? price. So that his lot' is greatly worsted, Will the man, who receives 151, instead of and he is every where praying for the re- 401. have so much work done by smiths, turn of the prices of 1812. It is not only carpenters, wheelwrights, bricklayers, colthe farmer's labourer who feels this, but lar-makers, saddlers, tinmen, plumbers and every labouring man, in whatever way he glaziers, as he had done before? He will may be employed. The labourers of brick- not, because he cannot. The consequence layers, in gardens, in nurseries, in woods, will be, because it must be, that the workon roads and canals : and it must be so; manship in all those trades must fall in for, not being wanted in the fields, they price, and that too, in proportion to the must seek work. elsewhere, and thus they price of corn ; and it will be still worse must reduce the price of labour in other than it was before for tradesmen, because, departments. The lower class, therefore, not only must their prices come down, in have felt nothing of the burden of the proportion to the price of corn, but the times. Their very manners have changed extent of their employment must be dimiwith the change in the price of corn. They nished; and, as in the case of the labourers, are, all of a sudden, become humble as beg- many of them will have no work to do; or, gars. They surround our doors with cap which is the same upon the whole, they will in band to obtain work. We were the be frequently out of work. Mr. Roirbeggars before ; but, not now having the CLIFFE should propose a law to compel tho same motive to solicit their services, and 1 owners and cultivators of the land to pay to put up with their misbehaviour, we re- tradesmen and labourers as high prices now sume the tone and authority of masters; as they paid them in 1912, and to employ yet Mr. RowCLIFTE asserts, that this is them in the same numbers. Then his conone of the classes who have borne the bur-duct would, at any rate, have the merit of dens and pressure of the times, and that consistency; but, at present, he exhibits to the hour is now come, when they had a right the world a sad and barbarous jumble of to expect, that the masters would make nonsense. some sucrifices! Mr. RowCLIFFE seems It is asserted that the landowners and to think, that the landholder and the farmer farmers (for they must go together) have (for they go together), ought to pay the indemnified themselves against the taxes labourer the same wages when wheat is and consequences of the war; that gen:le15.. a load, as when it is 401. a load. Does nun (not landowners), men of slender for Mr. RowCLIFFE happen to know any ma- tunes, annuitants, tradesmen, and the poon nufacturer, who acts thus ? Let him con- at large, have been obliged to bear, not sult that venerable old placeman, Mr. only their own share of the Governmc na Rose, or his son, GEORGE ILENRY Rose, and parochial tares, but have also boine who has the reversion of a 3,0001. a year the share of the landowners and farmer's. sinecure, whether the manufacturing la- | I will not call it impulence to make an asbourers are not paid in proportion to the sertion like this. I will call it folly ; inprice of, and demand for, the products of compreliensible emptiness, to assert, that their labour? Those gentlemen will tell the poor at large have paid the Govern. bim, that the stocking-weavers' wagesment ond parochial towes ; and I should, were, some time ago, lowered to one half not at all wonder, after this, to hear Mr. their former amount; that they rioted on RowclIFFE boldly assert, that the poor-rates that account; that many of them were have been collected, in part, from the pau. shot ; that laws were passed to punish them, pers, and even at the door of the poor in certain cases, with death. Why, then, I houses. Is it possible that this Mayor of
Southampton should be ignorant, that the before at 4!. ; and because, the cultivation foor-rates are assessed upon the real pro- of the land, like all other pursuits of gain, perty of the country: Is it possible for is, and must be, subject to the unerring him to be ignorant, that it is the land, and and unchangeable laws of competition. the lund only, which is called upon to main- For, if his wheat continued to sell at a3 tain the poor? Houses, in towns, indeed, high a price after the tax was removed bear their proportion, and why should they as it did before, his pursuit would become not ? Why should not tradesmen pay their so profitabiç, that capital and talent and poor as well as the farmers their poor? industry would crowd into it from all diBut, it is notorious, that a considerable rections; and thus would competition retradesman, in a country town, does not pay duce his gains to their former standard. It more to the poor than a little farmer, who is manifest, then, that the tax falls upon rents land to the amount of 501. a-year, the consumer of the whéat; and this is Mr, and who and whose family very frequently Rowcliffe's idea ; but he seems to think, work harder and live harder than the poor, that the groyer of the wheat never eats. sohom the laws and the justices compel ary bread him.dlf. This would be a little thein to feed: And yet Mr. Rowcharfe too hard. The Jews (God's chosen people) is not ashamed to give it under his hand, were forbidden to muzzle the ox employed that those whose property has beec in land, in treddling out the corn. Would Mr. and its produce, bare borne no share in RowchIFFE not suffer those who grow the supporting the poor! This is no purticu- corn to fare as well as the beasts they use 11r hardship up a the landowner or farmer; in growing it? Be this as it may,
the fart fccmise what they pay in poor-rates must is, that the growers of corn do eat some of finally fall upon the consumer of the corn ; it. They make a part of the consumers of and they can, in the end, lose by the poor their own crops ; and, as in the case suponis in proportion to what is consumed by posed, the grower would probably consume themselves and families. But, surely, they in his family about eight quarters of his bear in that proportion. How, then, can wheat, he would, in fact, bear 8/. of the it be sail, that they bave been indemnified tax to his own share. The notion of Mr. against taxes by hizh prices of land and RowCIJFFE is, that the cultivator ought, corn? I will suppose a case, in order to some huil or other, to pay the tax, and not make this matter clear to Mr. Row- charge it in the price of his wheat! Does CLIFTE, vho, though, I dare say, a very this happen in other trades? The rum, in worthy man and magistrate, certainly does Jamaica, is worth, perhaps, 29. 6d. & gallon. want leading-strings upon subjects of this but, by the time that it reaches the lips of sort -The landowner, in fact, would those who drink it, it is worth 20s. or 308, Jose all the taxes paid by himself and the a gallon. Would Mr. RowCLIFFE have farmer, if they did not fall upon the con- the run-grower pay out of his own pocket
But, to get rid of all complexity all the charges of cooperage, whartage, here, we will suppose the case of a man freight, insurance, storeage, brokerage, and cuitirating his own land ; for he is both tax, amounting to from 17s. to 27s. a gallandiord and tenant.--Now, suppose bim lon, and then sell bis rum at 2s. Od. a galto be relieved from the plague of those mul- lon to the nervons ladies, who give themtifarious papers which are tendered to him selves the comfortable coup-de-groue, by by the tax-gatlierer. Suppose him to kno3v drinking hot grog before they go to bed? nothing about poor-rates. Suppose there I do not know what may be Air. Rowto be no tax upon his leather, iron, lemp, CLIFFE's trade. Perhaps he is a tallowsalt, sugar, soap, candles, horses, dogs, or chandler. Candles
a pretty decent any thing but his land; and, suppose that tax. I do not know what it is. Suppose land to be taxed at 31. an acre, which it to be 6d. a pound, and the price of the is probably less than he now p?ys in candles 1s. a pound; why does not Mrr onc shape or another, directly and indi- RowCLIFFE sell his candles for Cel. : rcctly. Suppose his farm to be a hundred ponnd? Why dors HE “ indemniti Irimi. acrcs. Sappose him to grow upon it 300 self against the tax ?" And, if lie does quarters of wheat (and nothing else) at 4!.“ indemnify himself” against the tax on a quarier. His produce is worth 12001. a- his candles, why is not the grower of wheat year.
Take off the tax, and his wheat will to indemnify limself against ile torx non sell for 31. a quarter; because he can afford his commolity? go raise it now at 3), as well as he could! By this time, my good csighbours, fan