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the air and suspend ourselves between heaven and earth; what then must that something be? Why, Sir, you have frequentiy recommended a national bankruptcy, or the stoppage of those annuities, the loss of which would not couvert the annuitants into paupers, as the only imeans of relief; and of power to contend with auy rational prospect of success, against the more unbounded anbition of Buonaparté; for we would not like him give the law upon land if we could, we are satisfied with the dominion of the sea. But, for this recommendation, Sir, you were publicly rebuked by Mr. Sheridan, I believe, upon the hustings in Covent Garden; and by others of the regiment you were daubed with the titles of Jacobin and Leveller, because, to preserve the independence of your country you would strip such annuitants of their annuities, violate public faith, and ruin public credit; that is, the credit of “the Regiment.” O ! Mr. Cobbett you are a bad one; I had almost said a stupid dunce; for what is the independence of your country, when the credit of the Regiment is gone? Cannot you see in a moment, if you are willing, how far the credit of the regiment has diminished the number of our paupers within the last century, or how much greater that number would be if they had no credit But, to be serious, Sir, and to distinguish the voice of reason from the snarlings of those “ who owe their “ greatness to their country's ruin,” when the annuitants whom you would strip of their annuities, come to compare the small portion of the necessaries of life which the interest of their stock now gives them to what they formerly received from it, can they mistake that true faith is not kept with them 2 And when they look forward to the time when the attempt to maintain faith with them, by means of the Sinking Fund, will leave them but 1-7th of that small quantity to subsist upon, will saddle them with their proportion of 490 millions of annual taxes, and reduce them, with a moral certainty, to beggars and paupers, will they not, of their own accord, withdraw their credit from the regiment? will not their fate induce the survivors in the general wreck to withhold their credit also 2 and will not both join in cursing the day when they became the dupes of their own credulity, and the victims of public credit: On the principles of cause and effect, this will certainly be the result, if the productions of our agriculture and manufactures be not increased to seven times their present weight and measure, or, at least, it will be so in the proportion in which the increase of capital l
thrown into trade by the operations of the Sinking Fund, exceeds the increase of these productions. To increase them, however, in any sensible degree, is a thing which I be. lieve cannot possibly be dose, by any other means than that of employing the stockholders, and other idlers, as so productive industry, in farming and manufacturing for their own use. To this they must come sooner or later, or, go to the workhouse and none to feed or clothethem. Why then call us jacobins and levellers because we would take from them everything that would not reduce them to paupers, and so save their country and themselves? Why then thus hypocritically attend other prosent prejudices at the expenses of their for ture happiness Why should not o * speculators suffer the consequences so own speculations If they had not lent their money, neither they or us would have suffered as we now do and must yet do. I strongly suspect, as before stated, that the Sinking Fund is supported more from ob. stinacy or design, than from ignorange and conviction. In support of this suspicioa, I shall quote Lord Henry Petty, as reported in the Times newspaper, of the 30th of January, when he brought forward his new aud captivating plan of finance: on the fully and inefficiency of which, your correspondent A. G. has left no possible doubt. “ When the Sinking Fund was established," says his lordship, “Mr. Pits foresaw the in“ conveniency and mischief which might “ arise from the extinguishing at once a “ very large portion of the National Debt, “If the two Sinking Funds," (the original million a year, and the one per cent. upon all the loans) “ had been allowed to ac“ cumulate to their full extent this mis“ chief would have followed, that at one “ and the same time an immense capital “ would have been destroyed. In fact, by returning all their capital to the holders of stock, capital itself would cease to be of “ value, and the nation might be nearly “ ruined by that which at first sight might “ appear a great advantage,” (to whom? not surely to men capable of legislating for a people) “ however paradoxical it might “sound" (to whom I again ask) “he con“ sidered that the sudden extinction of the “ National Debt would be an evil almost “ amounting to a national bankruptcy." | say, to worsethan a bankruptcy, which would not reduce any of the annuitants to paupers. “It was not merely that the stockholders “ would find themselves materially distress“ed by having all their capital returned to
“ ment could be found for such an immense “capital, but all those who were engaged in “trade would feel the mischief of it. Their far and reasonable prospects would be destroyed, aiki all their advantages of no avail, if such an immense capital were all at “ once thrown upon the market, and they “were exposed to such a competition, that “would not allow them either to buy their “goods at the same price they formerly did, “nor to enjoy the same profits; for the “stockholders, in such case, not knowing “how to employ their capital to better ad“vantage, would be most formidable com“ petitors. It was for these reasons thet he stated that the sudden extinction of the National Debt would not only be a “most serious injury to the stockholders, but “to the trading part of the community, and “ that it would produce the greatest and most “extensive mischief and calamity.” Now merchants, traders, and stockholders, I put
it to your most serious consideration, whether
this be net a complete confirmation of all my arguments, and of all that ever was said or can be said, as to the destructive and calamitous effects of the sinking fund; except as to their notions of the counteracting influence of time. Pitt, the canonized institutor of this fund, and Lord Henry Petty, the trumpeter of his fame, conceive or seem to conceive, that to discharge the debt a little at a time will enable the stockholders to employ their capital with more advantage to themselves, and less disadvantage to the trading part of the community, than they could do if the debt was discharged at once. But, how is little at a time, or time itself to enable them to do this Why neglect to shew how? They know, you see, upon the principle of numbers and quantity, as well as we can tell them, that if the discharge of the debt, now that traders and capital is not tranted, will add but one stockholder in a year to the number of our traders, and but one pound in a year to our capital in trade; the competition would be as formidable, and the destruction of the capital as complete, when all the stockholders and their capital came into trade, as if they were sent there at an hour's notice. And, therefore, they know, with a similar degree of certainty, that the only influence which time has in this case is, i. that of making the progress of our destruction imperceptible to our senses; and, 2. that of dividing our opinions as to the cause of our suffering, that we may be ruled with greater ease, if this be not the
Supplement to No. 12, Pol. XII-Price 10d. t
policy of their not having followed up their insinuations, as to the advantages of time, with the proof, what other reason can they have A very good one, they have no proof to give. But be this as it may, Sir, it is not now so likely, as it was seven years ago, when I first took up the subject, for the purpose already stated, that our labour to produce a belief in the inefficiency and mischief of the 'Sinking Fund, will be lost. The question of its merits, even in parliament, now turns upon a single point, the counteracting influence of time. And therefore if our answer to that question cannot be refuted; if we are not refuted when we answer, that to increase tradesmen and capital however slow, is to ruin both where neither is wanted; and that our country, is that
where, in the present state of her trade and .
capital, such answer is infallibly sure to strike conviction, and create that union which is indispensibly necessary to ave
the inevitable mischiefs and calamities of .
the funding and unfunding systems.- Mischiefs and calamities, I am most positively convinced of, before which all that policy could suffer the unrelenting hand of a conqueror to inflict sink into nothing.—
C. S. August 4, 1807.
a few remarks upon the new lottery plan— I thought there was no good to be expected from it; and though it might be called the most beneficial scheme ever offered to the public, I was pretty well convinced, when I saw the word supplementary added to the old plan. It was more calculated to deceive the public, than really to hold out to it, in these its sapient speculations, any more solid advantages, than have hitherto been experienced, by this cozening mode of collecting a few pounds.
I was, therefore, sorry to see this innovation upon the old plan; but reflecting, at the same time, that I had no
of the new supplementary plan ; only two
prize. I must have a little bit of a look at
and which is at the rate of 57 per cent.—
PUBLIC PAPER. -- - - CoMMerce with Russia.-Memorial presented by the English Merchants in Russia to the Marquis Douglas, concerning the renewing of the Treaty of Commerce, The most essential point to be established in concluding a Treaty of Connierce in res" pect to the subjects of Britain who reside it? Russia, is that of being permitted to be owners of all kinds of property, and to ne: gociate in wholesale in many respects up” the same footing as native subjects or for:#" merchants, of whatever class and of what: ever nation they may be, without being inscribed in any mercantile Guild, ". ject to pay either a tax upon their capital of
privilege (without which all others would i. of little worth) has been granted to them by the Government of Russia since the first commercial undertakings between the two
nations; and it is certain it never was of so
great importance to them as since the publication of the Manifest, dated 1st January of the present year, by which several important articles are established as general, fundamental, and immutable laws, hitherto unknown in the commerce of this empire, which have not, and do not tend to any other object but that of diminishing the advantages, at the same time that they increase the heavy charges of all classes of foreign merchants, not exempted as we would wish to be, from their prejudicial consequences, by a particular Treaty of Commerce.—According to the 8th, 3d section, all foreigners whatever are totally excluded from enjoying the prerogatives of the Russian Guilds, as they were before permitted, without beeoming subjects of this empire for ever.—In con. sequence of the 9th, it is permitted, as a special favour, to all foreigners who are now inscribed in different Guilds, and who having already paid the tax, have obtained the right to expect the enjoyment of the prero. gatives of their Guilds until the expiration of the present year, to determine within the space of six months either to become subjects for ever, or to choose between the two new classes of the foreign Guest, or of the travelling Merchant, as they are described in the 10th and following articles. By the 10th, all foreigners, without exception, have no other alternative but of 'incorporating themselves in one of the two classes, or entirely abandoning trade within the space of six maths. In being inscribed in either of these classes, it is only permitted that they shall negociate in wholesale with the natives of this empire, not among themselves, nor even to make any kind of negociation in retail. The Guest is subjected to pay a tax of 14 per cent. on a declared capital which must exceed 50,000 roubles,and the travelling Merchant must pay the same per cent. on a capital also above 25,000 roubles, on which footing the fatter cannot remain beyond one year.—According to the 11th, the foreign
Guest will become liable to town dues, and
other taxes and accessary charges, which are
to be levied in an unlimited manner, at the o of the Magistracy, or of the Town Hall, to which Assembly, however, he has
no vote; besides that, it is ordained, upon quitting the country, to pay the tax upon his
actual capital for three years in advance.—
By an aficient how, he is even besides that *xposed to a deduction of one-tenth of the
amount of his actual property upon retiring from the Burgership, or in case of death. —By the 12th, each partner of a commercial house, composed of two or more partners, is obliged individually to pay the tax upon the capital, and all commercial houses alike are subjected to the same regulations relating to partnerships in trade, which are established for the native Russians, without the exception of producing them before the Magistracy or the Town-Hall and by such means to the Minister of Commerce; in one word, to publish to the world the conditions of their partnership, the extent of their capital, and other minutiae, the disclosure of which is not required in any other country; and which ought rather to cause dis. gust than encouragetherlan of partnerships in trade, which they would wish to favour by this edict.—The privileges of a travelling merchant are in like manner limited by the tenor of the 13th, as well in their extent as in their duration, that the least advantage cannot exist for a permanent establishment. —By the 14th, the term ' of negociation in wholesale ought to be defined into a new sense, and establish from it two different kinds; one in respect to foreign merchants, and the other for the interior trade. This short citation of the principal regulations, without many comments, clearly demonstrate how the tenor of this rhanifest will prove prejudicial to the interests of all stratigers in general; and, in some degree, the conditions required of a Guest, or of a travelling Merchant, and still more the rank of a perpetual subject, become incompatible with the dtities, the principles, and the sentiments of a Merchant of our country in particular.—If an augmentation of the Revenue of the Crown was only intended, it could easily be effected by some other stated tax, and we should find nothing to object to an imposition of certain customs on the extent of our commerce, or rather, in preference, on the amount of our duties; for, sooner than we will submit ourselves, whether to the arbitrary taxes of a Magistracy, where we have no vote or influence whatever, whether to the declaration of our funds, and of the particular conditions of our commercial partnerships, before a tribunal, of which the members are our rivals, whether to the payment of a heavy tax every time we shall wish to revisit our native country; or, in fine, to all the other fetters, not less burthensome, which, are the consequences of such a subjection, if even privileges and advantages infinitely more flattering were attached to it, the greater part of our countryinen, for such a length of time residents
in Russia, and many other creditable and respected foreigners, we bave every reason to suppose, would believe themselves, through, the influence of this law, compelled to quit the empire—After that, it is scarcely probable that other individuals from our nation would dare to undertake to replace us in those commercial situations, which we have believed right to abandom.—Congmerce could then only be continued either by a direct correspondence of the comumercial houses established in Great Britain, with the native Merchants of Russia, as yet in perfectly initiated in the affairs of trade of other countries, or with strangers, who would submit
to constraints to which we absolutely caunot
conform.—There would appear an open presumption, and perhaps be even superfluous, if we should pretcnd to discuss the advanages or disadvantages which will accrue to Russia from this new system. We have no right to combat the opinion, which we believe to have remarked in this Manifest, as well in regard to their own subjects as in relation to their commercial resources; if we should speak what is our own opinion, it is to be feared that we should be accused of egotism, of jealousy, and perhaps of pride; otherwise we would not hesitate to affirm, that this very opinion, which has been insinuated by the authors of this innovation, is by no means well founded, as it aims at removing a body of Merchants, who, as well by their education as by their loug experience, have proved themselves to be best capable to direct a trade, established and carried on upon the principles of wisdom, and honour; instead of accelerating the progress of commerce of this empire in general, it would at one blow destroy the salutary effects which the enlightened and well-conducted politics of their prudecessors have produced. For if we consult the annals relating to their trade with foreigners, the registers of duties and of merchandize exported and imported, the cultivators of products in their raw state, the artists and traders of every description (great and small),
who are found dispersed in their extensive
tiful works of the cabinet-maker, for the accomplishment of which, until this period, they have been supplied with tools introdugcd by foreigners. Facts so impressive ought. to render other arguments- o: flatter ourselves, that it is yet not too late for your Excellency to confute this system, or at least to object to those consequences. arising from decrees, which, in every point of view, will not be less o."with respect to the whole body of Merchants, than to that of our nation in particular. Your Excellency, undoubtedly, will deign to employ all possible zeal, and make use of every effort to this effect —The present sttuation of affairs requires the most speedy and decisive measures, and with submission, it appears to us that the talents of your Excellency can scarcely be directed towards an object more important in its consequences, both commercial and political, to Russia a to Great Britain. (Signed by the Members of the British. Factory.) St. Petersburgh, (dated) March 1807. . . . . . |-The original Memorial was written in the English Language, which his Excelleney caused to be trauslated to the French. The above is a translation from the latter. FOREIGN OFFICIAL PAPER. . ANNUAL Exposition of The STATE of The FR ENch EM pias.--Ateleven, in the morning of the 24th of August, his Majøsty the Emperor Napoleon, being seated on his throne, received a solemn deputation from the Legislative Body, and another from the Tribunate. Upon this occasion, M., Fon. tanes, the president of the former assembly, *oque #. interesting o SIRE,--The Legislative Body lays at the foot of your ; throne, *:::::::: thanks, to which they have unani agreed. It is offered, not so much to, conqueror, as to o of Europe. Let others, if possible, justly describe the wonders of your last campaign—the rapid succession of triumphs, by which a monar
chy was overthrown—and the still more be
roic firmness, which patiently knew how to wait for, and prepare the day of victory, in the midst of so many impediments thrown in the way, by fortresses, troops, and the inclemencies of the season. Let them direct our attention to those soldiers, who, cqually indefatigable as their chief, lay encamped with him six months together, in the bleak fields of the North, braving alike the frozen win: ters of Poland, and the glowing summers of Syria. Finally, let them picture that state of continually threatened repose, which was . at length to terminate in a dreadful explo"