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B R I D G ft* \1).

Cardie Gas Light and Coke…

Britannia Life Assurance Company,




PRESUMED POLICY OF THE GOVERNMENT. We know that the ministers will not propria a total and immediate repeal of the corn laws," as the Times asserted a month ago the Cabinet had decided upon doing; and this is all that can be known to any one not a member of the Cabinet. Meanwhile there has been a great deal of bold and ingenious «nd perhaps not improbable guessing, whicl. is no doubt our duty to present to our readers — ir not as what will be proposed, as what may be proposed — and what is therefore worth the while to consider maturely. The following scheme, for ex- ample, is among the conjectures n>o<t confidentially circulated. We give it, repeating our caution that it is to be considered as the calculation of men formed from the external indica- tions, and not from any information obtained either directly or indirectly from the Cabinet. It is said, then, that ministers will piopose the reduction of the duty upon imported corn to something merely nominal, 01 little more than nominal, after a certain period, say five or years. The rI,ouclÎuu to be arrived at by an annual diminution during the proposed period, beginning with a duty, sotrie- whete between lot. and '20s., and striking off 2s. each year, as thussuppose the maximum fiied duty of 184Q-1817, 18s.; 1847-1818, 16s. ami so on until it would come down to four shillings at the end of the peiiod. On the otlifr pnrt, it is surmised that as a concurrent mea- sure of compensation to the agriculturists, the hurtheu of the poor's-raies and county-rates may be assigned to the conso- lidated fund the increased charge upon that fund being met by a considerable augmentation of the property tax. Such is the plan which we find most generally received as probuhie; but we must not conceal that it is very generally connected w.th an expectation still entertained, that from an early day after the meeting of parliament porti will be thrown open for the admission 01 foreign grain, to the 1st of September, at about which time the new law, whatever it may lw, is expected to coine into operation. If it would be, as we think, an inadequate compensation, leaving, too, the question of general piotection untouched, there is more reason for agriculturists, and, indeed, for all classes inteiested ill protection, to exeit themselves to prevent any change; for it s ems impossible that any other change call give them as terms as these we have described. If, on the other hand, the parties interested se;> reason to l> satis- tied with these terms, it is no less necessary for them to act with zeal and energy at the present moment, for i; is ai true now as it was when said two thousand yea/s ago by the elo- quent Athenian p miot.that the possessions of the absent, are ever the spoil of those who are on the sput-the wealth of the negligent or supine—isever the prize of the vigilant and active Something affecting the agricultural, and alt the other pro- tected interests, whether to affect these interests for good or for evil, is contemplated that is a matter upon which there can be no doubt. is it not, therefore, the duty of all those wiiose interests aie to be aifected to awake betimes, and look alter their affairs if the Government means well by them, to support that Government, which will certainly meet with opposition more certainly indeed the bolder and more patriotic its designs-if the Government means ill, to resist the ill, and to depose the Government that threatens it—an achievement now more completely within the power of the agt iculturists and the other protected classes than at any time ot the present century. The impossibility of a Whig-'Iadical Government is now manifest, and the choice therefore lies between the present Government and one mjre deeply coin- milted to protectiou, it any such can be. In calling upon the country, however, to aronse itself at this crisis, we would as earnestly dissuade our fellow-citizens not to exchange apathy for ill-humour -this would be merely changing one pernicious folly for another. Hitherto the count.y has had every reason to be satisfied with Sir Robert Peel's administration, and even to be grateful for it. Why then presume wrong T We do not ask our fellow citiiens to acerpt a had measure, or even a doubtful one, from a miniate because tha minister has pioved hioiself worthy of their ad- miration and gratitude-far from it. We ourselves think any change in the present corn-law prima facie wrong, and we have not hesitated to declare our conviction, that it is not in the power of the legislature honestly to compeusate the agri- culturists for such a change, but we are willing to wait for the measure to be proposed, if not to condemn it, for we fear that we caunor help condemning it beforehand—we are willing to wait before condemning the m juistets. -Standard. I


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