Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

This objection is very plausible, the proportion between the supply:
and, till closely examined, seems one of stock, and the demand for it, is
of great weight: indeed, it cannot preserved the same as before : and
be denied that the effect of Mr. therefore, though the commission-
Vansittart's plan is to lessen the ers can purchase less by the amount
demand for stock; and therefore, of the sum which the plan takes
according to the principles by out of their hands : yet, as there is
which the price of any commodity less stock created, by the amount
is regulated, it would seem a ne of the sum saved in the loan by
cessary consequence, that the price this plan, and as these amounts
of stock would be also lessened. must necessarily be exactly the
But we should recollect, that a di- same, the price of stock cannot be
minished demand for any commo- affected, at least in this point of
dity will not lower the price of view, by Mr. Vansittart's plan.
that commodity, if the supply be The only other objection to this
also diminished in the same pro- plan, which we shall notice, may
portion: for it is an alteration in be thus stated : Those who have,
the proportion of supply and de- lent their money to government, or
mand, which affects price. Now, who have purchased stock, bave
though the plan of Mr. Vansittart done it under the implied condi-
would undoubtedly lessen the de- ţion, on the part of government,
mand for stock, it would also as that at some future period the prin.
certainly lessen the quantity of cipal of their debt would be paid
stock in the market, and that in the off: but as this plan trenches en
same proportion : hence, if this po- the fund set apart for the redemp-
sition be correct, this plan cannot, tion of the debt, it so far breaks
in any degree or mode, affect the this implied condition ; and there.
price of stocks. It may not before injustice is done to the stock.
quite so obvious how it will lessen holder, who gave more for his
the quantity of stock, as it is that stock than he would otherwise have
it will diminish the demand; but been disposed to do, on the faith
the consequence is equally certain that he should be paid his capital
and necessary; for how does Mr. at a period which this plan must
Vansittart's plan relieve the public? necessarily postpone. In reply te
Undoubtedly by rendering a loan, this objection, it is sufficient to ob-
and the taxes to pay the interest of serve, that as long as the stock-
a loan, unnecessary. But if a loan holder can obtain his principal by
were raised, to the amount we will selling his stock, it must be a matter
suppose of ten millions, would not of perfect indifference to him at
stock be created to that amount? what period government proposes
It is obvious that it must. If there- to pay off the national debt. If
fore, to prevent the necessity of a Mr. Vansittart's plan rendered is
loan, ten millions are taken from less easy for him to dispose of his
the commissioners, with which they stock, or reduced the value of it,
would otherwise 'have purchased then he might object to it on these
stock, the same sum of ten millions grounds; but it is ridiculous in the
is not, as it would be in the case stockholder to assert that the value
of a loan, added to the funded of his stock is lessened by the period
debt or national stock. In fact, of its repayment being protracted,
the consequence of this plan is, that while, whenever le chooses, he can

COFFEE

:

COTTON.

SUGAR.

find a purchaser for it; or, in other given above. They amounted, in
words, a person who will give him the year ending the 5th of Jan.
his principal. Besides, what is the 1812, to 4,106517.
fact? Are those descriptions of The following comparative view
stock which government have the of the import of corn seems to
option of paying off, under circum- afford a satisfactory proof, that we
stances which may occur, or those are becoming less dependent on
which are less likely to be paid off, foreign countries for that necessary
more valuable? The latter, cer-

article :-
tainly, if we may judge by the pro- 1812 IMPORT OF CORN 22,701,240
portionate prices of the navy 5 per 1812 Ditto

465,995 cents, and the other descriptions 1813 Ditto

978,872 of stock, not so likely to be paid The following is a comparative off. Indeed it must be obviously so; view of the import of coffee, cotfor all men must prefer that stock ton, and sugar, for three years, which they can sell whenever they ending the 5th of January in each please, to that for which they may be year: obliged to accept the principal when 1811

25,812,795 they know not what to do with it. 1812

3,616,814 We shall conclude this chapter 1813

2,573,614 with the following extracts relative to the revenue and expenditure, the 1811

£3,882,423 imports and exports of the year, 1812

2,990,821 ending the 5th of January, 1813, 1813

2,166,412 as they appear in the annual statement laid before parliament, of the 1811

36,429,044 finances and commerce of the 1812

5,324,409 country

1813

5,033,396 The revenue of that year, in The imports of this country from eluding the loan, amounted to Ireland, it appears, are regularly on 95,712,6952. The gross receipt of the increase : the income tax, within the same 1811

£3,280,747 period, was 13,131,5481.

1812

3,312,879 The total expenditure during the 1813

3,551,269 year ending the 5th of Jan. 1813

But if the imports of Great Briwas 104,398,2481.

tain fell off during the last year, it The public debt during the same appears that the exports have ma. period cost the country 36,607,1281. terially improved. The following of which the sum of 13,482,5101. is a comparative view of our expassed into the hands of the com- ports for three years, ending the missioners for the reduction of the 5th of January in each year: national debt.

1811 EXPORIS €34,923,575 The following is a comparative 1812 Do. 24,131,73+ view of the imports of the country 1813 Do.

31,243,362 for three years, ending the 5th of The real value of British proJanuary in each year :

duce and manufactures exported, as , 1811 IMPORTS £36,427,722 estimated at the custom-house, is

1812 Ditto 24,520,329 43,657,8641.
1813 Ditto 22,994,843 Besides which, the amount of

The imports from India are not foreign merchandize exported, is included in any of the three sums given as follows:

*]811

[ocr errors]

SUGAR.

1811

10,945,284 1812

8,277,937 1813

11,998,179 The following is a comparative view of the principal articles of which these exports consist:

COTTON GOODS. 1811

£18,033,794 1812

11,715,501 1813

15,972,826 WOOLLENS. 1811

25,773,719 1812

4,376,497 1813

5,084,991

COFEFE. 1811

€1,455,427 1812

1,418,034 1813

4,382,730

1811

1,471,697 1812

1,215,119 1813

1,570,277 The following is a comparative view of the shipping and navigation of Great Britain and her des pendencies, for three years, end. ing the 30th of September in each year :

NUMBER OF SHIPS. 1810

23,709 1811

24,106 1812

24,107 Which, in the last-mentioned year, were navigated by 165,030 sead men.

[ocr errors]

CHAPTER X.

Great Importance and Difficulty of the Question respecting the Justice and

Policy of the East Indian Monopoly-Views of it taken by different Classes of people by ibe Merchants and Manufacturers--by the religious Part of the Communityby tbe Friends of Civilization and Knowledge-Cole lateral Topics respecting opening the Trade to tbe Our Ports--and respecting ibé China Trade first considered-Remarks on the American Tea Trade Misconception on that Point--Grand and primary Subject considered Objections to a free Trademas injurious to the East India Company-ta the Merchants and Manufacturers-to the Country at largeand to the Natives of the East Indiesthese Objections considered-Remarks on the Cone duct of Government with respect to the Renewal of the Charter-Concluding Observations.

B
Y far the most important, mom of the East India company. We

mentous, and permanently have already had occasion to nointeresting question which came tice, both in this and in our prebefore parliament, during the sesa ceding volume, that the trade and sion of 1812, was that which related commerce of Britain had suffered to the renewal of the charter of very considerably and generally by the East India company. This the exclusion of our produce and question at any time must have manufactures from the continent been interesting and important, of Europe, and from the United from the magnitude and extension States of America. The capital of the subject which it embraced ; of our merchants was consuming but it was most peculiarly so at the itself idly and unprofitably in imperiod when it was discussed, both mense stocks of goods, for which on account of the existing circum, they could find no purchasers : our stances of the couptry at large, and labouring manufacturers were, in

many

[graphic]

many places, reduced almost to measure by a different view of the state of starvation, and in all in a affairs of the company : for while condition comparatively poor and their pecuniary embarrassments wretched; and as a natural and were so very great, and were conunavoidable consequence, our taxes tinually increasing ;---while in fact had diminished in their prodnce, they could not, at least immewhile the nation at large felt the diately and completely, discharge bad consequences of this stagnation their debts,--they were dividing of trade in the increase of the an interest on their capital (on that poor's rates. Under such circum- capital which, to whatever amount stances, it was not to be wondered it really existed, was, stfictly speakat that the distressed manufacturers ing, not theirs, but their creditors') looked forward to the East Indian of upwards of ten per cent. It market with great confidence, as seemed obvious, therefore, to comone which would not only for the mon sense, that if they could afpresent take off their accumulated ford to make this dividend, they produce, but also permanently sup- could afford to pay off part of their ply a regular and large demand debts ; or at least that they ought for their goods; and consequently to have divided a more moderate that they became extremely in- interest, and to have set apart the terested in their opposition to the remainder towards freeing themrenewal of the charter of the East selves from their embarrassments : India company. Nor were the but from their actual circumstances, circumstances of the company less and mode of going on, it was evicalculated to give a peculiar im- dent that there was some gross portance to the subject at this mismanagement on their part, and time : for many years their public that the nation would have to pay, affairs had gone on so ill, that they as it had paid, for this misma. had contracted a debt of nearly nagement. 30,000,000l. ; and this debt, it was Such were the more obvious and shrewdly suspected, would be in- general motives which induced the creased, instead of being diminished; country at large to coincide with as every year, for some time past, the mierchants and manufacturers in instead of fulfilling the predictions their opposition to the renewal of of the company, that their affairs the charter of the East India com. would speedily assume a more fa- pany; but there were other reasons vourable appearance, had witnessed of a higher nature, which operated only increased pecuniary embar- with some persons to the same rassments. Whenever these embar- effect, on their viewing the subject rassments occurred, parliament was more deeply and extensively. In applied to, in order to relieve them, the first place, these persons oband thus the nation saw itself bur. jected to the renewal of the chardened with the debts of the com- ter, on the broad principle, that, as pany.

it gave the company a monopoly, This alone must have prompted it must be injurious to the counthe country at large to coincide try; and probably, they added, with the merchants in their oppo. not

very profitable to themsition to the renewal of the charter : selves as a body; for they conbut they were further urged to this tended it is the effect of a mono1813.

P poly,

[ocr errors]

poly, not only to injure those subject of the renewal of the char: against whom it is granted, but very ter, and who were strongly disposed often even those on whom it is be. to object to it on grounds different stowed. In confirmation of this from any of those which we have opinion, they referred to several yet stated: we allude to those who instances of monopolies in times are called the religious party in when, from an ignorance of the parliament, and to those in the nature of trade, they were more country at large who were favourcommon, in most of which the af- able to missionary societies. They fairs of the body who possessed laid it down as an undeniable the monopdiy were unprosperous, axiom, that it was among the first though the affairs of many of the duties incumbent upon real chris. individuals who composed that body tians, to spread the light of the might be flourishing. In the se- gospel among those nations which cord place, these persons opposed were still strangers to it; and as in the renewal of the charter on still India the inhabitants were not only more important grounds; -- on unbelievers, but addicted to the grounds which affected our charac- most gross and barbarous superter as a nation, and which also stitions, which displayed not merely affected the condition and improve a want of true faith, but a corruptment of the millions in the East ed system of morals,—these ad. Indies whom the fate of war had vocates for proselytism contended, placed under our power and pro- that as friends of humanity and of tection. They contended that the good morals, as well as christians, East India company had done little they were bound to enlighten and or nothing for the improvement of reform the miserable and mistaken their territory, or for the meliora- inhabitants of India : but this tion of the inhabitants; and that scheme, they further maintained, the only mode by which these de. they could but partially and insirable effects could take place, completely carry into esecution, would be, by destroying the mono- while the East India company repoly, to allow a freer and more tained the full power given them general intercourse between the by their existing charter. They people of Britain and those of therefore were anxious that, if the the East Indies. The means by charter were renewed, some proviwhich we had acquired our terri. sion might be made for converting tory there, perhaps could not bear the natives to christianity. Thus very close or strict examination : we perceive that very different on that subject they were not dis- classes of people were interested in posed to enter: but as we had äc this question :-the merchant and quired it, it was the duty, both of manufacturer, the philosopher, pothe British government and the litician, and friend of humanity, British people, to take care that and the zealous christian, had each the condition of the inhabitants their motives for feeling an interwas improved, as much as possible, est in it; besides that the nation at by their connexion and subjection large,-those who either did not un

derstand the question as those other There was yet another class of descriptions of persons did,- or who people who fcit interested in the were comparatively indifferent to it

to us.

under

« ZurückWeiter »