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our manufacturing districts may be ever any manufacture, deprived of expected to decline still farther. the artificial props by which it had From these considerations we are been upheld, falls to the ground, the led to infer that we have reached a workmen thrown out of employcrisis in the history of our national ment must, of necessity, become exindustry. We have an increasing po- posed to great distress. Hence the pulation, while the demand for ma adherents of the Free Trade system nufacturing labour is confessedly are bound by every principle, not falling off. Under these circumstan- only of humanity, but also of policy, ces, the prospect before us would to join strenuously in every effort indeed be sufficiently gloomy, if we which may be made to open a new had been left without resource. But source of profitable employment to fortunately for the country, we pos- the industrious labourer, whom the sess ample means of absorbing this operation of the new system may superabundant population. We have have thrown out of work. The preonly.to adopt the simple and easy sent condition of the silk manufacexpedient of removing a part of our ture in this country will furnish an population which now languishes or apt illustration of this matter. The starves in our decaying manufac- advocates of Free Trade contend that tories to some neglected portion of if this branch of our manufactures our home territory, which, if pro- cannot sustain itself against foreign perly cultivated, would yield an rivalry, it is a proof that it is not of ample return for the labour bestow a profitable nature with respect to ed upon it, and increase the store, the community at large; and that both of human happiness and na therefore it ought to be left to its tional wealth. Half the population fate. The silk weavers reply, that of Lancashire, for instance, is now this may be true as far as the nonpining in indigence, from the low productive classes are concerned ; rate at which their labour is remu and add, that with the declension and nerated, and half the fields of the fall of the silk trade, their means of same county are nearly in a state of subsistence must be greatly diminature from want of tillage. Trans- nished, or perhaps entirely fail

, when plant, at least, some of these people no alternative would be left them from the cotton mills, in which they except starvation or the work-house. now all but starve for want of food, It must, no doubt, be admitted that into the corn-fields of the neighbour- the opening of the silk trade has not hood, and they will be able to raise effected the extinction of the silk mafor themselves an abundant subsist- nufacture in this country; on the ence, as well as increased surplus to contrary, it appears to have increago into the pockets of the land- sed in extent. But what has been the owners as rent.

cause of this extension? The imThe advocates of the Free Trade mense fall which has taken place in system are, in a more especial man the rate of wages, and the incredible ner, called upon to use every exer deterioration which has been brought tion in facilitating and promoting this

about in the condition and circumtransfer of labour from manufactu stances of the working classes. The ring operations, where it has become foreign competition which has been unprofitable, to agriculture, where let in upon him, forces the British industry, properly applied, cannot manufacturer to put up with half fail to yield the labourer an adequate the remuneration which he had been remuneration. Their grand maxim accustomed to receive for his labour. is, that trade should be left perfect- If he has succeeded in keeping the ly free and unfettered, and that no field against foreign rivalry, it has branch of manufacture deserves to been done by the application of a be upheld which cannot maintain double portion of industry; and the itself without prohibitions and re- fall which has taken place in British strictions. Whatever may be thought silks, to the level of continental of this maxim as a guide in commer- prices, is therefore a benefit reaped cial legislation, it is manifest that, in by the non-productive classes-by the first instance, much individual those who live on incomes derisuffering cannot fail to result from ved from profit, or capital lent out changes in our public policy: when- at interest, at the expense of

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producing classes—of those classes They are obliged to work harder, who subsist solely upon the earn and content themselves with lower ings of manual industry. The wealthy wages. The effect of the change has portion of the community is ena thus extended itself throughout the bled to purchase silks at a diminish whole mass of the industrious classes. ed price, but, in order that this may The changes projected by the Econobe effected, the working classes are mists benefit the affluent and nonobliged either to perform double productive classes, by diminishing tasks, or subsist upon a moiety of the cost of the commodities which their usual wages. The Free Traders they consume; but this advantage appeal to the increased importa- is purchased solely at the expense tion of the raw material, as evi of the productive classes, by dimidence both of the extension of the nishing their wages, and adding to silk manufacture in this country and their toil. This system is admirably of the soundness of their principles. calculated to minister to the luxury If the earnings of the working classes and enjoyments of the idle and opuhad continued as bigh as they were lent portion of the community ; to before the change, the fact to which foster the dissipation, and augment they appeal would have been con the splendour of the palace and the clusive; but when it is notorious hall ; but the virtuous and hardthat the working manufacturer is working inmate of the cottage it robs tasked to the utmost pitch of hu of his comforts, and almost of his man ability; and that, notwith- necessaries. What it adds to the enstanding this extra exertion, under joyment of bloated wealth, it takes the constant influence of which in- from the scanty earnings of pining dividuals too frequently fall into a industry. In order that the votary premature grave, this wretched class

of fashion and extravagance may pur: can command in return for their la- chase luxuries at a cheap rate, it bour no more than a moiety of their trenches with ruthless severity upon previous means of subsistence; the the remuneration of productive incircumstance which the Economists dustry put forward as the basis of their tri This, we apprehend, to be the true umph, is conclusive of nothing ex- ground of the opposition which has cept the unfeeling cruelty of their been offered to the practical applicavaunted system. The silk manufac tion of the principle of Free Trade. ture has no doubt thriven in appear. The opponent of this system knows ance in spite of foreign competition. well

, that the unrestricted admission The working manufacturer, finding of foreign silks into our shops, or of no opening for the transfer of his la- foreign ships into our harbours, will bour to another branch of industry, enable him to purchase silk goods and has been compelled to stick to his foreign commodities at a diminished loom, although the remuneration of price. He is not quite such a bumphis labour has been diminished one kin as to doubt, that a foreign weahalf; still half-a-loaf being better than ver, subsisting on chestnuts and wano bread, he is forced to put up with ter, can fabricate for him a yard of half the reward which he had been silk at a less cost than an English accustomed to derive from his la- artisan, who requires to be fed on bour. From the effect of this reduc beef and porter. Although unblesstion in wages, rendered inevitable by ed with the vast intellectual powers foreign competition and consequent of the Economists, he is, notwithdeterioration of the condition of the standing, capable of comprehending, working classes, it is not to be won that a foreign sailor, content with the dered at that the silk manufacture coarsest and meanest fare, would has greatly extended. The fall in the

carry his tea from China, and his wages of the workmen has now re sugar from the West Indies, much duced the price of wrought silk so more cheaply than a well-fed and much, that it has to a very eat ex- jolly British tar. But although he tent been, on account of its cheapness, see all this as well, perhaps, as our substituted for other commodities. renowned Economists themselves, The persons employed in manufac- he is too generous, too liberal, too turing the commodities thus displa- honest, to desire to reap these adced, have in their turn been injured. vantages at the expense of fellow

our manufacturing districts may be ever any manufacture, deprived of expected to decline still farther. the artificial props by which it had From these considerations we are been upheld, falls to the ground, the led to infer that we have reached a workmen thrown out of employcrisis in the history of our national ment must, of necessity, become exindustry. We have an increasing po- posed to great distress. Hence the pulation, while the demand for ma adherents of the Free Trade system nufacturing labour is confessedly are bound by every principle, not falling off. Under these circumstan- only of humanity, but also of policy, ces, the prospect before us would to join strenuously in every effort indeed be sufficiently gloomy, if we which may be made to open a new had been left without resource. But source of profitable employment to fortunately for the country, we pos- the industrious labourer, whom the sess ample means of absorbing this operation of the new system may superabundant population. We have have thrown out of work. The preonly.to adopt the simple and easy sent condition of the silk manufacexpedient of removing a part of our ture in this country will furnish an population which now languishes or apt illustration of this matter, The starves in our decaying manufac- advocates of Free Trade contend that tories to some neglected portion of if this branch of our manufactures our home territory, which, if pro cannot sustain itself against foreign perly cultivated, would yield an rivalry, it is a proof that it is not of ample return for the labour bestow a profitable nature with respect to ed upon it, and increase the store, the community at large; and that both of human happiness and na therefore it ought to be left to its tional wealth. Half the population fate. The silk weavers reply, that of Lancashire, for instance, is now this may be true as far as the nonpining in indigence, from the low productive classes are concerned ; rate at which their labour is remu and add, that with the declension and nerated, and half the fields of the fall of the silk trade, their means of same county are nearly in a state of subsistence must be greatly diminature from want of tillage. Trans- nished, or perhaps entirely fail, when plant, at least, some of these people no alternative would be left them from the cotton mills, in which they except starvation or the work-house. now all but starve for want of food, It must, no doubt, be admitted that into the corn-fields of the neighbour- the opening of the silk trade has not hood, and they will be able to raise effected the extinction of the silk mafor themselves an abundant subsist- nufacture in this country; on the ence, as well as increased surplus to contrary, it appears to have increago into the pockets of the land- sed in extent. But what has been the owners as rent.

cause of this extension ? The imThe advocates of the Free Trade mense fall which has taken place in system are, in a more especial man the rate of wages, and the incredible ner, called upon to use every exer deterioration which has been brought tion in facilitating and promoting this about in the condition and circumtransfer of labour from manufactu stances of the working classes. The ring operations, where it has become foreign competition which has been unprofitable, to agriculture, where let in upon him, forces the British industry, properly applied, cannot manufacturer to put up with half fail to yield the labourer an adequate the remuneration which he had been remuneration. Their grand maxim accustomed to receive for his labour. is, that trade should be left perfect- If he has succeeded in keeping the ly free and unfettered, and that no field against foreign rivalry, it has branch of manufacture deserves to been done by the application of a be upheld which cannot maintain double portion of industry; and the itself without prohibitions and re fall which has taken place in British strictions. Whatever may be thought silks, to the level of continental of this maxim as a guide in commer- prices, is therefore a benefit reaped cial legislation, it is manifest that, in by the non-productive classes--by the first instance, much individual those who live on incomes derisuffering cannot fail to result from ved from profit, or capital lent out changes in our public policy: when- at interest, at the expense of the

producing classes—of those classes They are obliged to work harder, who subsist solely upon the earn and content themselves with lower ings of manual industry. The wealthy wages. The effect of the change has portion of the community is ena thus extended itself throughout the bled to purchase silks at a diminish whole mass of the industrious classes. ed price, but, in order that this may The changes projected by the Econobe effected, the working classes are

mists benefit the affluent and nonobliged either to perform double productive classes, by diminishing tasks, or subsist upon a moiety of the cost of the commodities which their usual wages. The Free Traders they consume; but this advantage appeal to the increased importa- is purchased solely at the expense tion of the raw material, as evi of the productive classes, by dimidence both of the extension of the nishing their wages, and adding to silk manufacture in this country and their toil. This system is admirably of the soundness of their principles. calculated to minister to the luxury If the earnings of the working classes and enjoyments of the idle and opuhad continued as high as they were lent portion of the community ; to before the change, the fact to which foster the dissipation, and augment* they appeał would have been con the splendour of the palace and the clusive; but when it is notorious hall; but the virtuous and hardthat the working manufacturer is working inmate of the cottage it robs tasked to the utmost pitch of hu of his comforts, and almost of his man ability ; and that, notwith necessaries. What it adds to the enstanding this extra exertion, under joyment of bloated wealth, it takes the constant influence of which in from the scanty earnings of pining dividuals too frequently fall into a industry. In order that the votary premature grave, this wretched class

of fashion and extravagance may purcan command in return for their la chase luxuries at a cheap rate, it bour no more than a moiety of their trenches with ruthless severity upon previous means of subsistence; the the remuneration of productive incircunstance which the Economists dustry put forward as the basis of their tri This, we apprehend, to be the true umph, is conclusive of nothing ex ground of the opposition which has cept the unfeeling cruelty of their been offered to the practical applicavaunted system. The silk manufac tion of the principle of Free Trade. ture has no doubt thriven in appear The opponent of this system knows ance in spite of foreign competition. well

, that the unrestricted admission The working manufacturer, finding of foreign silks into our shops, or of no opening for the transfer of his la foreign ships into our harbours, will bour to another branch of industry, enable him to purchase silk goods and has been compelled to stick to his foreign commodities at a diminished loom, although the remuneration of price. He is not quite such a bumphis labour has been diminished one kin as to doubt, that a foreign weahalf; still half-a-loaf being better than ver, subsisting on chestnuts and wano bread, he is forced to put up with ter, can fabricate for him a yard of half the reward which he had been silk at a less cost than an English accustomed to derive from his la artisan, who requires to be fed on bour. From the effect of this reduc beef and porter. Although unblesstion in wages, rendered inevitable by ed with the vast intellectual powers foreign competition and consequent of the Economists, he is, notwithdeterioration of the condition of the standing, capable of comprehending, working classes, it is not to be won that a foreign sailor, content with the dered at that the silk manufacture coarsest and meanest fare, would has greatly extended. The fall in the carry his tea from China, and his wages of the workmen has now re sugar from the West Indies, much duced the price of wrought silk so more cheaply than a well-fed and much, that it has to a very great ex- jolly British tar. But although he tent been, on account of its cheapness, see all this as well, perhaps, as our substituted for other commodities. renowned Economists themselves, The persons employed in manufac he is too generous, too liberal, too turing the commodities thus displa honest, to desire to reap these adced, have in their turn been injured. vantages at the expense of fellow

suggestions of speculative theorists, being fertilised by your industry, will and sanctioning alterations affecting yield from an equal quantity of work in a serious degree the interests and a more abundant supply of the neproperty of particular classes. Acessaries of life than you can secure judicious Minister will be always by continuing your present employextremely slow and cautious in ment. In this manner the public will adopting changes, which cannot fail enjoy the benefit of cheap silk, while to affect particular interests; a wise you will derive, from a new and and considerate Statesman will op- healthy occupation, a full compensapose all innovation until it has been tion for the losses which you would so generally and so unequivocally otherwise have sustained from the demanded by public opinion, that to change.” resist any longer would be inexpe If the adherents of Free Trade had dient, if not unsafe; his conduct under reasoned and acted in the manner such circumstances should put it into just suggested, they would have turnhis power to say to the injured indivi- ed aside much of the opposition dual, or class, with an honest con which their measures have encounscience, “ I have protected your par- tered; for the fair opponents of Free ticular interests as long as I could; Trade ground their objections to the but I can no longer contend against system more, perhaps, upon the effect the united voice of the community: which it must have upon the social I therefore give you warning, to condition and interests of individumake the best preparation you can als, than upon any general principles against the moment when the change of public policy. They have no obthus called for must be carried into jection to cheap commodities in effect.” And in every instance where themselves; they only object to this such a measure may be practicable, advantage to the wealthier classes, ample compensation ought to be when purchased, as it must be, at the made to every individual whose in- expense of the working portion of terests or property might be affect- the community. It may be inconsisted by such a change.

ent with the theories of the Political For these reasons we are disposed Economists, that a rich citizen's wife to think, that the promoters of the should be called upon to give a peck changes which have been recently of wheat for a yard of silk fabricated effected in our commercial policy, in Spitalfields, which she might get bave stopped short of the point at from France for half a peck; but if which they ought to have aimed. To this substitution of French for Engthe silk-weavers, for instance, they lish silk goods should have the effect might, and we think should, have ad- either of depriving the Spitalfields dressed the following language :- weaver altogether of his

employment, “You are now engaged in a manufac or cause a reduction of his wages in ture which can be upheld in this his own branch of industry, while no country only by high protecting du- opening for his labour should preties and prohibitory restrictions: the sent itself elsewhere, we take upon public at large can buy silk goods, ourselves to contend, that the admisof foreign manufacture, fifty per cent sion of foreign silks, when attended under the price at which you can af- with such consequences, is an odious ford to sell commodities of the same and intolerable act of cruelty. It afquality: it appears to us impolitic fords us but little consolation to reany longer to prevent the public flect, that the sleek and pampered from having access to this cheaper citizen should save the value of half market. We are aware that this a peck of wheat in the purchase of change will be attended with the ef- the splendid robe which enfolds her fect either of driving you altoge- ample frame, when we know that this ther from your present employ advantage is obtained at the expense ment, or of reducing your wages of withholding this quantity of food fifty per cent, in order to compete from the hungry family of the lean with your foreign rivals; but we will and hard-working weaver. enable you to embark in a new It must, indeed, be conceded to branch of industry: we will put it the Free Trade Economists, that the in your power to transfer your la French manufacturer receives only bour from factories to fields, which, half the food and half the manufac

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