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AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS. TO THE EDITOR OF THE STANDARD. In the consideration of this importaut question, a brief review of the erroneous theories and opinions which prevail, will enable us mora clearly to trace the causes, and to propose the means of lessening the existing evil. Some are of opinion that if tithes were done away with, farmers would prosper, Were all farms sub- ject to tithe, it might be dilfieult to combat this opinion but its refutation is clearly shown by the simple fact, that complaints of depression are by no means confined to the farmers who pay tithe, but equa'ly apply to those who cultivate tithe-free land. That a commutation is desirable is so obvious as to be generally admitted; hut those who fancy that a commutation, or even the annihilation, of tithe would now give prosperity to agriculture, grasp at a delusive shadow. Foreign corn having been long virtually excluded from British markets, establishes the fact, that foreign competition is not the cause, and also that the exist- ing corn laws are practical'v effective; but it must be admitted as a great hardship to the English far- mer, that the produce of Ireland, where labour is comparatively so low, poor-rates unknown, and taxes so light, should be admitted, without any counter- vailing duty, proportioned to the unequal charges of production. Various changes in the currency are proposed. Some advocate the more abundant issue of paper, others a change from go'd to silver, as the standard value. Conflicting as opinions are upon the subject, one thing is certain, that every change in the currency has hitherto been accompanied by disastrous events nor can it be denied that money is abundant, at a reasonable rate of interest, to all those who can give good security. Others have suggested, as a remedy for the evil, a reduction of the land tax; but it is so manifest that farmers ascertain what taxes they will have to pay, and agree for the rent accordingly, that it would be a waste of time to proceed with this part of the subject in discussion. Having thus excluded some of those erroneous theories and opinions, from the indulgence of which nothing but disappointment can ensue, let us proceed to the main question, agricultural distress; cr, in other words, the insufficiency of farming produce to pay the charges of the consequent sinking of the farmer's capital, and his inability to employ or to pay the labourers required to cultivate his-farm. Iron, indigo, cotton, sugar, can each be so!d in any quantity at prices materially advanced; not so with wheat. Why this difference? Simply because for the former articles the demand has exceeded the supply; for wheat the supply has fully met, aud pro- bably exceeded, the demand. Various causes operate to lessen the consumption of grain. To meet the extraordinary demand, and consequent extravagant prices, during, the war, a great extent of inferior land was brought into 1 age the tillage remains, but the army and navy, w 11c 1 consumed the produce, arc dwindled into compara i\c non-existence. In the meantime, the vast increase o potatoes as a substitute for corn; of turnips, iiiaiigel- wurzel, &c. as a preparative for gnu111 instead ot lie unproductive fallows which formerly prevailed; o tea, coffee, and sugar, instead of milk and oatmea the vast increase of canal navigation, enabling one horse to do the work of twenty tlie substitution of steam power in the place of horse and manual labour; the continuance of the tax on malt, which the improve- ment of Ministers in'the mismanagement of the na- tional revenue still renders necessary -these circum- stances, together with a Jong succession of favourable harvests, sufficiently explain the heaviness of the market for agricultural produce. But are there no other causes for farming depression within the power of Government to alleviate A Farmer's Friend," in the Standard, of the 17th mst sensibly proposes to "get rid of the tax on soap, and to put the tax on tallow." This may "ot accord wit 1 the prevailing folly of free trade, but it would enable many farmers to abandon the ruinous system o ploughing bad land; by the inevitable result o cause and effect, it would ra'ise the price of grain and lower that of butcher's meat; and it would lessen the ex- pense of collecting the revenue, besides getting rid of the annoyunce and frauds attending die excise on soap. There is also another boon, which, if granted, would operate immediately and extensively "> favour of the agricultural interest. Abolish the port-horse duty, and an increased demand for horses, and conse- quently for hay, corn, and pasturage, would imme- diately ensue; the breeding of horses would become an important object to farmers in remote districts, whilst those in the vicinity of towns, or public roads, would find a new and beneficial remuneration by hiring out their horses. The post-horse duty restrains the public from the free use ot their horsts, and the farming of it (a mode of collection notoriously ini- quitous, despotic, and unconstitutional) tends to emigration, and materially checks travelling in Great Britain. In repealing this odious impost, the benefit will not be confined to tne farmer, but it will cssen- tially add to the comfort and convenience of the middle classes of society. The gross revenue, which, as stated in yesterday's Standard, amounts in England, Scotland, and Wales, only to c £ :?31,020 is such a mere trifle, compared with the mass of fraud and oppression it occasions, as not to deserve a moment's hesitation; besides, it may reasonably be expected, that by the indirect taxation it would occasion, added to the tax on additional horses, the apparent deficit would be amply supplied. December 31, 1835. AMICUS ANGLIC.

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