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confidence in the resources of the country and in the firmness of the public mind; for as it has been justly observed by one of the most intelligent of the political adversaries of administration, England is the only country who has ever attempted to retrace her steps from paper to bullion payments. As to the personal difficulties with which ministers had to contend in their execution of this measure, they had, in the first instance, to repay the Bank the large debt due to that establishment. They had doubtless, likewise to forego some portion of the ordinary aid of that company, in raising the supplies for the two following years. In a word, they had to make sacrifices from their own interests, and to demand sacrifices from a public body, which, in its due relations, had always concurred with the government in assisting the public service. Without admitting, in any thing like their full extent, the assertions of popular writers and speakers, of the certain effects of this resumption of cash-payments upon trade, commerce, and industry, they foresaw that it must be attended with some degree of public suffering, and they did not affect to conceal it in the discussion which preceded the bill. But the merit is theirs of not having given too much weight to opinions merely speculative. It is certain, that upon the commencement of this bill in operation, the prices of agricultural produce and of general merchandize were much depressed ; but it is now equally certain, that this depression of prices was rather a concurrent incident than a consequent effect.' In agriculture, as in manufactures, prices had become depressed, because the supply existed in a temporary excess beyond the demand. In manufactures, the capital and machinery, enlarged and accumulated during the war, had not yet withdrawn itself within the limits belonging to general commerce during a peace. In agriculture, successive abundant seasons in England and Ireland, added to the same cause which operated in manufactures, (an enlarged basis of cultivation and supply, and the absence and diminution of the demand and waste of war) produced the same effects; and corn became cheap, not because money was dear, but because corn was plentiful. If the price of money have risen, it has at least risen in no proportion to the depression of prices in corn and manufactures. But, to say the truth, this is the common error of that portion of the opponents of government who may be termed the economists. In the absence of all practical experience, they assign infinitely too much to their abstract and theoretical principles. They carry to the account of their theories, what, to all but themselves, are but the manifest effects of the most common causes.
As respects the following year 1820, and the further attempts of the ministers to continue their reductions, the same general
observations apply as to the preceding year, that so much had already been done, as almost to exhaust the fund of further economy and retrenchment. In every branch of the public service, the establishments (as then appeared not only to his Majesty's ministers, but to that portion of country gentlemen usually voting with the Opposition) had been cut down to the lowest possible degree consistent with their efficiency. In Ireland, as we have before observed, the successive reduction of three years had dimi. nished the military establishment from twenty-five thousand to twenty thousand men. In the colonies, during the same period, a gradual reduction had been made from forty-six thousand men to thirty-two. In Great Britain, or the home-service, the original peace establishment had been taken at twenty-six thousand men ; and, though several attempts had been made to reduce it, such diminution had been found inconsistent with the due maintenance of the public peace, and with the due relief of our foreign garrisons, upon the new system of regiments instead of drafting. The year 1820 afforded a strong illustration of the necessity of this force for the home service. By the increased circulation of libellous papers, and by a new form of libelling almost peculiar to the present times—that of the cheap publications—the mind of the lower classes had become so corrupted and inflamed, as not only to excite an apprehension for the security of person and property in our manufacturing towns and counties, but to induce the country magistracy, throughout the kingdom in general, to apply to ministers for a further military protection. It does not fall within the purpose of our present observations to enter into the detail of those applications. Suffice it to say, that there was almost a general call upon ministers to increase the military establishment for the home service.- Under these circumstances, it became necessary, in the year 1820, to make a small addition for the service of Great Britain.-The opponents of his Majesty's ministers would have exhibited more candor if they had less laboriously concealed this necessity from the public eye; if they had thrown this augmentation upon the public call, instead of objecting to it as an act proceeding from the ministers themselves. But have not his Majesty's ministers still some justice to complain, that this objection has not unfrequently proceeded from the mouths of those who have themselves most strongly invoked this increase of military force in their own respective counties ?-A loose rein must undoubtedly be given to political conflict-but surely there are such things as gentlemanly honor and fair dealing.
Under these circumstances, it is no small praise belonging to the supplies for the year 1820, that in those new perils of the public peace, and in this unforeseen necessity of augmenting the home-military establishment, the total of the annual supplies of 1820 exceeded by so small an amount the supplies for 1819. This excess was of course in the army and the miscellaneous. In 1819 the supply for the army had been eight millions nine hundred thousand. In 1820 it was nine millions four hundred thousand. In 1819 the supply for the navy had been six millions four hundred thousand. In 1820 it was six millions five hundred thousand. In 1819 the ordnance had been one million a hundred and ninety thousand. In 1820 it was nearly the same. In 1819 the miscellaneous, upon making up the account for the year, was a small excess beyond two millions. In 1820 it was two millions five hundred thousand. The total amount of the ordinary annual service, for the year 1819, had been twenty millions four hundred thousand, and a small fraction. For the year 1820 it was twenty millions seven hundred thousand, and a small fraction. The increase of 1820 was, therefore, little more than a quarter of a million. The total supply of the year, including a sum required for a further reduction of the unfunded debt, was twenty-nine millions seven hundred thousand.
As regarded the Ways and Means, the supply was raised in the usual manner-by the annual taxes, by exchequer-bills, and by taking twelve millions from the Sinking Fund. If the amount of the Sinking Fund, which in 1819 did not exceed fourteen millions, rendered this measure politic in the preceding year, when it was first adopted, still more advisable had it become under the circumstances of that fund in 1820, when its amount was seventeen millions, and when, upon a comparison of the money taken and left, there was a surplus of five millions in the hands of the commissioners.
One of the main features in the financial history of this year was the settlement of the Civil List upon the accession of his present Majesty. It was settled upon the plan of 1816. The unanimous assent and approbation of all parties render it unnecessary to go into detail on this subject.
In the year 1821, ministers persevered, so far as the new circumstances of the country would allow, in their efforts to reduce the national burdens. In the preceding year, they had been much embarrassed and counteracted in these attempts, by the interruption of the tranquillity of the kingdom from the practices of in. cendiary writers and speakers. These practices had rendered the security of the public peace paramount even to the great objects of national economy. It was in vain to reduce the expenditure unless we first defended the common safety. In the great conflict with the common enemy abroad, we had come out glorious and unimpaired. It was a more perilous contest with that large portion of our own community, who were deluded by the seditious writers and orators of the day. By the firmness of parliament, and, we presume, it may be added, by the timely prudence of ministers, this conflict has now successfully concluded, and with as small a substraction from the securities of our constitutional liberties, as was consistent with the magnitude of the danger. If it were necessary to confirm this observation by any fact or argument, it would be amply sufficient to recall to public recollection, that the Six Acts, as they were termed, passed for this purpose, were carried through the House with the almost unanimous consent of the country gentlemen. The fons et origo mali, the intolerable licentiousness of the press, and more particularly in its new form of cheap publications, was indeed so obviously swelling into a torrent, menacing every thing in its way, and, by sap or assault, attacking every fence of the social fabric, that it had become a common cause to apply the vigor of the law in defence of the public safety
Under the operation of these acts the year 1821 opened with a better prospect for his Majesty's ministers, as regarded even the success of their future economical efforts: they accordingly resumed these efforts, and immediately acted upon them. In the speech by which his Majesty opened the sessions of parliament for the year, a pledge was given for these further reductions. Accordingly, both the estimates, and afterwards the supplies, were taken at a reduced rate, as compared with the service of the pre
In 1820, the total supply actually taken when making up the accounts of the year, appeared to be thirty millions. In 1821 the total supply did not exceed twenty millions ; a reduction of demand
upon the resources of the country of ten millions. In 1820 the total for the four ordinary divisions of the annual expenditure, the army, navy, ordnance, and miscellaneous, had exceeded nineteen millions six hundred thousand. In 1821 the total for the same service was eighteen millions ; a reduction of nearly two millions in the ordinary annual expenditure. This saving had been distributed through all the heads of service. For 1820 the supply for the army had been nine millions four hundred thousand and a fraction. For 1821 the supply taken was eight millions seven hundred thousand. In 1820 the supply for the navy was six millions five hundred thousand and a fraction. For 1821 the supply for the same service was six millions one hundred thousand and a fraction. For 1820 the supply for the ordnance had been nearly one million two hundred thousand. For 1821 the same supply was one million one hundred and ninety-five thousand. For 1820 the miscellaneous was two millions four hundred thousand and a fraction. For 1821 the same service was taken at one million
nine hundred thousand ; a reduction, as before stated, on the ordinary annual expenditure, of nearly two millions; and on the total expenditure of the two years compared, of ten millions. As respected the Ways and Means for raising this supply, six millions of it were raised from the usual ready money sources of government, the new duties, lottery, &c. and the remainder by a loan of thirteen millions from the Sinking Fund.
In the brief examination of this budget, consistent with this summary review of our finances, it affords two circumstances chiefly worthy of observation; the first, the reduction of nearly two millions from the supply taken for the preceding year; and the second, such a prosperous condition of public credit, and such a progressive amelioration in the state of the industrious part of the community, as enabled the Saving Banks of the country to pay one million yearly into the public funds.
Such, therefore, is the state of the question as respects the successive reductions effected by his Majesty's ministers. Upon a retrospect of what has been above stated, and for the sake of affording a simple and collective view of these reductions, they may be briefly enumerated as follows ::
First. -The total of the ordinary and extraordinary annual supply for 1816 (exclusive of the interest of the national debt and the charges on the Consolidated Fund) was twenty-seven millions. The total of the ordinary and extraordinary supply for 1817 was twenty-two millions. The total of the same supply for the year 1818 was twenty millions nine hundred thousand. The total of the same supply for the year 1819 was twenty millions four hundred thousand. The total of the same for 1820 was twenty millions seven hundred thousand. For 1821 the same was twenty millions.
Second.—The total of the ordinary expenditure (for army, navy, ordnance, and miscellaneous) for 1816 was twenty-four millions eight hundred and eighty-seven thousand pounds. The total for 1817 was twenty millions. The total for 1818 was a small excess above eighteen millions. The total for 1819 was nearly the same sum. The total for 1820 (including the estimated expense of the coronation) was a small excess above nineteen millions. The total for 1821 was eighteen millions. Being a reduction, in 1817, of five millions ; in 1818, of two millions ; in 1819, of the same; and a small addition having been made in 1820, under the two new circumstances of the expected coronation and the interruption of the public tranquillity by the practices of incendiary writers and speakers : this charge was thrown off in the following year, 1821, and a return effected to the reduced standard of 1818 and 1819.
Third.—This reduction was carried through every head of the