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z_- - p UL RATCLIFFE'S ADVENTURES.…

A EAMBLilE'S JOTTINGSO »----'-

OUR "CITY." ARTICLE. ( -—♦—;…

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OUR "CITY." ARTICLE. -—♦—; THERE are two points which we should do well to keep steadily in view at this season of the year, and to which persons of a practical turn of mind mainly direct their attention. One point is the state of the harvest, and the manner in which it has been housed; the other is the amount of bullion which the Bank of England holds in its coffers, and the probability of its being diminished by large im- portations of food. As regards the state of the harvest, it is considered by those who are compe- tent to judge, and whose avocations necessitate their having a large breadth of land under view, during its being gathered in, that it may come up to an average in point of quantity, but as respects quality it is inferior to many that have immediately preceded it. On the light landt1, for instance, owing to the excessive heat of May, and to certain nipping frosts in the middle of June, when the wheat was in its tenderest stage, the crops were generally thin and poor; while upon the heavy lands, which gave early promise of a good harvest, from their having more nutriment for the growing grain in the hot days of May than the lighter lands, the recent and continuous showers, over a considerable breadth of land, completely changed the condition of the crops. With the exception of tolerably favourable weather in some parts of the south and, south-east of the country, the accounts commonly mentioned mildewed wheat, grain sprouting, and heavy downfalls, which interrupted harvest operations. On the other hand, the root crops, which form so important an item in farming pro- duce, are, on the whole, in a very excellent condition. The mangolds have a very healthy appearance; the swedes and turnips, with a few patchy exceptions as regards the latter, have come well uj), and have both substance andquality. This augurs well for stock during the forthcoming winter and spring, and will in some measure (assuming the cattle disease to be eradicated), tend to reduce the present high price of meat, which has become a serious item in household expenses. Stock- farming-is growing, and in a few years, will be largely developed in this country and Ireland, otherwise stock-produce cannot keep paee with the enlarging demands made upon it by our thriving population; while wheat-farming, on the other hand, is likely to decline, as in ordinary smeons we-can make up any additional supply we may require by importations, either from European countries or from the United States. Under these circumstances it is fair to assume that our importations of corn will be considerable, but by noeans what they have been when an extremely indifferent harvest has ordinarily befallen us. But, even conceding that our imports of corn will be as large as they are when a good round sum of bullion is required to pay for them, and a consequent derangement of monetary affairs en- sues, are we enabled to meet with comparative ease such a contingency ? Before answering this question we must remark that the Board of Trade returns, just published, show, that up to the -end of July there was no increased demand for foreign corn, in anticipation of a possibly deficient harvest-the time, generally speaking, when the initiative is taken by importers on such occasions. But, be that as it may, the questiexa arises, axe. we in a position to meet any large Msiportafcioiis of food, without materially deranging our other relations-of industry ? Fortu- nately we are, and much better enabled to meet such a contingency than probably we have been, under sunilair circumstances, at any former period. The amount of bullion in the Bank's coffers is large--mucli :larger than it usually is at this season of the .year. It has been gradually increas- ing, and it appears likely to increase further, as the exchanges are in our favour, and there is no disttt-rioing elesent on the Continent that is likely to derange it. On the contrary, the Bank of France is plaeedin a similarly fortunate position, and; having a large stock of bullion on hand, with an abundant and harvest to deal with, and with the interest money at one per cent, lower than in that bank is-not, therefore, likely to perplex oOur position in the slightest degree, but rather tend to improve it,Ifoy extending her aid in case -of nooti. The amount of bullion in the Banks of England and France, according to the last return, was as follows Baok of iEngland X14,489,612 Brak of France 19,959,110 TotaL. JS4,448.722 In 18(}, the year of the last iadifferent harvest we had to contend against, the bullion in the Bank of England amounted, it is true, to • £ 15,021,420 in August, but it rapidly declined to « £ 13,665,^66 in the month of December, owing mainly to our large importations of food. The rate of discount is. August was 4 per cent., as it is at the present time, but in Deeeihber it rose to 6 per cent., which materially disturbed the mer- cantile and manufacturing interests. The bullion in the Bank of France at the two periods men- tioned" was in August X21,289,100, while in December it had fallen to < £ 17,650,000, owing to very eijnilar eauses^ and nearly in the same ratio as bullion fell in this eountry. There is also another advantage which we have this year as compared with the year 1860. Our imports and exports are at present comparatively steady; while in 1860 they were in a very different condition. The value of our imports, it is true, has decreased, but that is owing to articles of raw material, and certain commodities wbich are largely consumed—cotton, for instance—receding nearer to their normal condition of price. This renders it the more likely that any considerable imports of corn, or other food-material, can be paid for by certain portions of our exports, without de- pending exclusively upon the bullion stores of the Bank for that purpose. Again, our im- ports of cattle in 1860 were very large as com- pared with several years preceding, and have only been equalled by those of 1§64, which were the largest ever. known. This year, it is true, we are also importing cattle to as large an extent as we possibly can; and though the disease prevails to a considerable extent amongst them, our neces- sities will require as large a supply as that of 1864, if it be possible to procure it. Looking, then, at the condition in which the harvest has been gathered, and the consequent importations of food that may possibly be required, and comparing these with the stock of bullion in I the Bank of England, and the active state of trade, we have little reason to apprehend any great disturbance in monetary and mercantile affairs, and believe that industry, in its various branches, will keep on its quiet way of accumulation, though the prospects of the harvest were not so cheering as could have been desired. The position of the market for public securities continues encouraging; steady purchases for in- I vestment are being made, and quotations arv* supported. The demand for money at th* Rasir | has been moderate, and the rate of discoK&t ptEfc rally has a tendency to decline. Consols for money, and 90i for account.

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