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■ rii'I L.'vTlC HKTHT' HON.…


■ rii'I L.'vTlC HKTHT' HON. WM. HUSKISSO.N OX THE CORN LAWS. THE following extracts from a letter of this dis- tinguished statesman to one of his constituents in the vear 1814, w.Il he read with great interest, being pecu- liarly applicable to the present moment (Jan. 17, 1 S45). "If I werenotfutiy convinced that the consumer in general, but more especially that class of consumers whose subsistence depends on their own industry, would be benefitted by the proposed alteration, it wouid not have had my support. My sole object is to prevent, ('I., f'fr as human men is can ¡Jrellent,) (¡}"uul-rorll from e"e,' njrain reaching the late extravagant prices. Can any man have witnessed the scarcities and consequent privations of the people, during six or seven diffèrcnt spasons of the last "20 years, without feeling anxious to guard the country against the return of such severe distress 1 But if we wish to cure an evil of this ahnning magnitude, we must first, trace it to its source. What is that source ? Oil. viously thi,that, until now, we did not, even in good years, grosv corn enough for our own consumption. Habitually depending on foreign supply, that supply was interrupted by svar, or by bad seasons abroad. The pre- sent war, it is true, is now at an end but peace is, at rlll limes, too precarious not to induce itS to guard against the repetition of similar calamities whenever hostilities may he renewed. But, even in peace, the habitual dependence on foreign supply is dangerous. We place the subsistence of our o-cii. population not only at the mercy uf f-treign p'ticers, but also Oil their being able to spare as much corn as ice may want to buy. Suppose, as it frequently hap- pens, the harvest in the same year be a short one, not only in this country,but in foreign countries from which we are fed, svhat. follosvs The habitually pxport.inir I ('utmlry, 1.1nee for instance, stops the export of it-icorn, and feeds its people without any great pressure. The habitunlly importing country, England, which, e""1l in a good season has hitherto depended on the aid of foreign corn,deptivedof that aid in a year of scarcity, is driven to distress bordering upon famine. Therfu, therefore, no etkdual security, either in peace or war, against the frequent return of scarcity approaching to starvation, such as of late years sve have so frefluently expeiienced, but Íil our maintaining ourselves habitually twlcj)en<!enf of foreign xuppiy. LET THE B;IEAI) WI, HAT BH THE l'¡W- OTROB OF CORN GUOSVN* AMONG OURSELVES, AND, FOR ONE, I CARE NOT uosv CHEAT IT IS; THE CHEAPHR THE BETTER. It is cheap now, and I rejoice at it, because it is altogether owiug- to a sufficiency of corn of our own growth. But, in order to ensure a continuance of that cheapness and that sufficiency, we must ensure to our own growers THAT PROTECTION against foreign import which has produced tltese blessings, amI hy wlticlt alune t/wy can bq permanently main/aiued. The history of the country for the last 170 years clearly proves, on the one hand, that cheapness produced by foreign import is the sure forerunner of scarcity: and, on the other, that a steady home supply is the only safe foundation of steady an(1 moderate prices. During up- svards of 100 year", up to the year 17ti.i, the import of foreign coin was restrained by very high duties. What was the state of the country during those lOJ years'! That in ordinary seaSQns ourosvn growth supplied a stock of corn fully ample for our own consumption; that in abundant seasons sve had some to spare, svhich we ex- ported that in bad seasons Wi) felt 110 wallt and were under no apprehensions; that the price of corn seldom varied more titan a few shillings per quarter that we ha,1 no years of inordinate gain to the farmer and starvation to the consumer; that prices, instead of rising from vear to year, were gradually diminishing; so that, at the end of this long period of a century, during svhich we NEVER imported foreign corn, they were actually one-fifth losver than at the beginning of it. Would to GOD that we had continued in this salutary system But in 17G5 it svas most unfortunately abandoned. What has been the result ? Precisely the reverse of the former system. In- s'eadof a. steady supply, afforded at steady and moderate prices, we have witnessed frequent and alarming scarci- ties. Every year our dependence on foreign supply ivas increasing till the war came, and, by interrupting that supply, greatly agitated all our evits for a country which depends on enemies or rivals for the. food of its people is never safe in u-ar. In the first IS years of this war we were forced to pay £60,000,000 of our money (to nations, every one of whom has, ill the course of it, been our enemy) for a scanty and inadequate supply of foreign corn and svhen for this purpose we had parted with all our gold, and even our silver currency, combined Europe shut fts ports against us. and America co-operating, first laid an embargo and then went towar. This combination was formed with the vain hope to break our spirit by statving our bodies. We struggled hard both at home and abroad, but by the struggle we have gained much. Abroad we have subdued our enemies,—at home we come out of the war with OUR AGIUCULTURK so EXTENDED AND IMPROVED AS TO MAKE US AT THIS MOMENT INDE- PENDENT OF FOREIGN SUPIM.Y. W e are so at this mo- ment; and shall I, who, to the entile conviction of my own judgment, have traced the long sufferings of the people to a contrary state of things, be deterred from using my honest endeavours in Parliament, to prevent tbe reCUllTllce of such sufferings'! For that purpose we must go hack to the principles of our forefathers and, by reverting as much as possible to their system, we shall secure to ourselves and our posterity all the benefits whichtfteyderivedfromit. "ladn,it,thatifuntimited foreign import, which the war had suspended, were now again allowed, bread might be a little, though a yery little cheaper, than it now is, for a year or two. But svhat svould follosvt The small farmer would he ruined—improvements svould evcrysvhere stand still-inferior lands, nosv produc- ing corn. would be given up and return to a state of waste. The home-consumption and brisk demand for al) the various articles of the retail trader, which has so much contributed, even during the pressure of war, to the prosperity of our towns (and especially those which are not connected with manufactures or foreign com- merce,) would rapidly decline farming servants, and all the trades which depend upon agriculture for employ- ment, would be thrown out of work, and the necessary result of a want of work svould be, that wages would fall evermore rapidly than the price of bread. Thencomes some interruption to the foreign import, coinciding with the decay of agriculture at home, and corn is suddenly forced up again to a famine price. Such I conceive svould be the inevitable consequence of again placing onrseh-e3 in 3. state of habitual anil iu- creasing dependence on foreign supply." STATE OF PARTIES. There is a complete lull in the political world at the present moment. A calm before a storm. The past is looked back upon with wonder—Tory resignatious- Whig failures-Torv restorations—seem more like the passing shadows of a dream than stern realities. All is doubt, anxiety, fear, and uncertainty, for the fu!u¡"e. Never, in the history of this country was so much power concentrate ) ill the person of one statesman, as the power nosv actually posscRsed by Sir 11. Peel. And neyer was a state secret so well kept, as the reason for the tem- porary breaking up of Sir Robert Peel's Administration. There is a general feeling, engendering a general belief, that Sir Robert Peel's desire to modify or Repeal the Corn Laws occasioned a rupture with his colleagues, and that the dissolution of his Cabinet follosved as a matter of course. Hut the public have no authentic statement before them to warrant that presumption. On the con- trary we finrl-with the single exception of Lord Stanley —the whole of Sir Robert Peel's late colleagues now in office with the right hon. baronet, as his coadjutors. This would not seem to argue any great difference of opinion. Then, again, it is taken for granted that Sir Robert Peel will introduce some measure on the subject of the Corn Laws, immediately on the re-assembling of parliament. The agriculturists think the Premiet will go the whole extent of immediate and unconditional repeal, and they cry aloud—and with great reason-at the bare prospect of such a base and suicidal policy. The manufacturers are only afraid that the ministeiial project will be too confined—that it will be a compromise—a merp modification of the present state of things—a milk and water measure calculated to dissatisfy all classes. In the mean time, Sir Robert Peel enjoys his Christmas in the bosom of his family—repairs to his official duties as soon as his presence is required—and keeps his intentions to himself. But, whatever may be the plan hit upon by Sir Robert Peel, one thing is quite certain—neither Whigs nor Tories are in a position to give it a successful opposition. Whether it be a low fixed duty-a reduced sliding scale-a total repeal—or things as they are—Sir Robert Peel h::s the power so to will it. The incapability of the Whigs for office stands openly confessed. My Lord John Russell, with the League at his back, Mr. Cobden at his elbow, Lord Palinerston on his right, Lord Grey on his left, and the court in his favour, has been compelled to give up the attempt as hopeless. And if the Whigs failed in the attempt, the Conservatives of tiie Buckingham and Richmond school, show signs of still greater weakness-more helpless incapability. They dare not even thillk of forming a government! The constitu- tional spirit, and old English courage, of the country gentleman seems dcfunct-Ilead & buried-but hot without the hope of a speedy and glorious resurrection. Then, judging from recent events, we are justified in supposing that Sir Robert Peel, for all political purposes, is omni- potent. "What will he dot" is the question now con- stantly asked, and as constantly unanssveted. In our opinion Sir Robert Peel, under present circumstances, hail only one course open to him. The right hon. bart. may talk of his three courses, but as an honest and enlightened statesman—as an Englishman with his coun- try's weal at heart-he can only pursue, with any degree of safety or honour, one line of conduct. lie can point to the flourishing state of the revenue—the general state of the country. He can bid the agitators compare 1811 with 1846. He can tell the manufacturers to sum up their ledgers and be satisfied. With wheat at 58j. per quarter, and beef at 7d. per lb., the farmers and graziers have no earthly reason to grumble. He can point to the growing demand for labour in the land—on the railways —on the public works—and tell the labourers of England to exercise their industry and secure their comfort. Turn- ing to the assembled legislature, he can Say—"The country has been raised from the depth of adsersity to the height of prosperity—a bankrupt exchequer has been replaced by a surplus revenue-stanation and poverty have faded before the sunshine of increased trade and successful agriculture. Seeing all these things, and be- lieving them to be the natural results of a truly Conser- vative policy, I have come to the determination of respecting the old proverb—I svill let well alone.' The corn laws and the prosperity of the country shall be alike secured." Such a declaration from a Prime Minister, svhose word is all-sufficient, would carry comfort to the hearts of millions. It would foil the machinations of the Anti-Corn-Law League-it svould form a subject whereon the Russells and the Macaulays might prate by the hour —but it would be the ontyenectualtaennsof serving the country,—Cheltenham, Journal,


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