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ordinary annual supply. The supply for the army, for 1816, was, in round numbers, eleven millions. For 1817 the supply for the same service was nine millions four hundred thousand. For 1818 eight millions nine hundred thousand. For 1819 eight millions nine hundred thousand. For '1820 (under the new circumstance of an interruption in the public tranquillity by the causes which have been already stated) nine millions four hundred thousand. For 1821 eight millions seven hundred and fifty thousand—a return again to the reduced estimates of 1818 and 1819.
Fourth. The same reduction was made in the naval supply. For 1816 the naval supply was ten millions. For 1817 the navy (including some extraordinaries upon making up the account of the year) cost seven millions. For 1818 six millions and a half. For 1819 the naval supply was six millions four hundred thousand. For 1820 six millions five hundred thousand and a fraction. For 1821 six millions one hundred thousand and a fraction.
Fifth.-The same successive reduction was effected in the ordnance. For 1816 the ordnance service was sixteen hundred thousand. For 1817 twelve hundred and seventy thousand. For 1818 twelve hundred and forty thousand. For 1819 eleven hundred and ninety thousand. For 1820 twelve hundred thousand. For 1821 eleven hundred and ninety thousand ; being a return to the reduced estimates of the year 1819; the small addition in the preceding year being occasioned by the disturbed state of the country, by the same cause as the increase of the army, namely, the agitated condition of certain districts, and the employment of marines to perform garrison duty.
Sixth. In the miscellaneous, allowing for the less proportion in which this head of service is affected by the difference of peace and war, a system of retrenchment is equally visible. For 1816 the miscellaneous was two millions and a half. For 1817 the same service was seventeen hundred thousand. For 1818 the
For 1819 one million nine hundred thousand pounds. For 1820 (under the two new circumstances of the coronation and the derangement of the public peace) it was two millions four hundred thousand. In 1821 the supply was one million nine hundred thousand, being a return to the reduced estimate of the year 1819.
Seventh.--The same successive reduction was made in the number of men taken for the military and naval establishments through the several years. In the course of 1815 and 1816 three hundred thousand men were discharged from the army and navy. In 1816 the peace establishment for the home-service, Ireland, and the colonies, was fixed at ninety-nine thousand men. In 1817 this was reduced to ninety-two thousand. In ļ818 it was reduced to
eighty-one thousand. In 1819 it was again reduced to seventyeight thousand.
Eighth. --And during these reductions more than sixteen millions of annual taxes were removed, and ten millions of the Bank debt paid.
Ninth.--And by these uniform efforts for reduction on the one part, and for the support of public credit on the other, the national currency was re-established, and cash-payments finally re. stored in the present year.
Nor have his Majesty's ministers stopped here, but, since the close of the last session, have still, with the same earnestness and sincerity, been occupied in such further reductions as the exigencies of the public service would admit. In a very few weeks after these observations shall meet the public eye, a detailed statement will, doubtless, be made in parliament, by which it will appear, that a further reduction of upwards of 1,500,0001. has been effected within the short interval between the close of the last session and the commencement of the ensuing. It is surely not too much to say, that this amount of reduction exceeds what could have been anticipated by the warmest friends of economy. It is another question, perhaps, whether in the degree of these retrenchments ministers have not pared away a little too near the quick, and whether some of them have not already been found to put into peril, and assuredly to augment the difficulty of a due and prompt administration of the public service. It'is another question, whether some services might not have been more efficiently performed with larger means. It is another question, whether, in the prudence of government, as in the prudence of individual life, present cheapness is always the best economy; and whether energy and promptitude, in the application of public force to sudden tumults, be not well purchased by the difference of cost between a force of ready, and a force of tardy, application. All these points belong to a different view of the subject.
If it be conceded, as indeed it can no longer be denied,--that these several reductions have been made in the degree and manner above stated; but, if it be demanded, why were not these reduce tions made before? Have they not rather been extorted than given? Do not the public owe them rather to the vigilance of Opposition than to the free grace of his Majesty's ministers ?-It may be very shortly answered, that they have been carried into effect at the first possible moment; and that the opponents of his Majesty's ministers have in no instance led the way to any practicable reductions in the establishments of the country. They have indeed fired at random into the midst of all of the public establishments; and, under the necessary effect of an aim,
comprehending generally the whole covey, though they may possibly have hit the same birds, they are but little entitled to the praise of any direct intention or distinct object. By proposing to reduce all, they have so far fallen into concurrence with his Majesty's government in reducing some. But let these gentlemen in turn answer his Majesty's ministers this question- What would now have been the state of the country, if their proposed retrenchments had been carried into effect?
Ministers have not only reduced all that was possible, but at the first possible moment. At the end of no former war was the frame-work of our army so large and complicate, composed of so many members, and those members so remote in position and service. At the end of no former war had the soldiers and officers of our army and navy such claims upon the consideration of the community. At the end of no former war were such establishments to be reduced, and so many soldiers and sailors to be cast upon the agriculture of the country. An adverse political spirit was still fermenting throughout the population of the conquered colonies. The embers of civil discord were not extinct in France, and the principle of innovation was already at work in every part of Europe. The internal tranquillity of the country had been disturbed by factious artifices. Under all these circumstances, it was manifestly necessary to proceed cautiously and with measured steps in the reduction of our force. Some interval of time was further necessary to form a 'distinct view of what admitted of reduction in a force so widely dispersed. Even now it is only upon a view of the improved state of things, and under an expectation that the existing quiet of our manufacturing districts may continue undisturbed ; that the country magistracy in particular, and the people in general, will concur with ministers in maintaining tranquillity; that ancient habits and feelings will return, and that manners will take the place of laws in closing the channels of the country against the contagion of the licentious press of the metropolis-it is only under these expectations, that even now his Majesty's ministers can justify themselves in the late reductions of our military force..
Our first proposition, under the head of the finance administration of his Majesty's ministers, was, that, from the year 1816 up to the present period, they have successively effected such reductions in the annual expenditure, as is consistent with the due efficiency of the public service. This being, as it is trusted, sufficiently proved, the order of the subject
matter now proceeds to the second position, namely, That the main sources of national revenue and public wealth are, in their actual state, entire and unimpaired, and most fully justify a confidence for the present, and a strong expectation for the future. This is the question for present examination.
In considering the sources of the country, the most obvious order appears to be to take the funds of production. The heads of these funds are the commerce, the navigation, the manufactures, the internal trade, and (so far as respects the interests of the revenue, and as affording proof that the general means of consuming are unimpaired) the national consumption. A very brief and general view of our national sources in these their main channels will afford the most satisfactory answer to the proposition under consideration.
Under the head of commerce, the first point is—the comparative state of imports through the successive years from 1817 downwards. Now as regards the bearing of the amount of imports upon the question of our national resources, these imports naturally distribute themselves under the three classes-the first, the imports connected more immediately with manufactures and foreign trade than with the consumption of the country, and therein by their increase or decrease affording an unequivocal proof of the growth of that trade and manufacture of which they form the materials. The second, imports in part consumed, and in part affording materials of foreign trade. The third, the imports entirely consumed.
The principal imports of the first class are flax, hemp, raw and thrown silk, and cotton. It is not our purpose to exhaust the patience of our readers by exhibiting the columns of figures under these several heads. So far as respects the point in question, namely, the integrity of all the funds of produce, the result of this comparison may be shown in a few sentences. In 1817, the official value of flax and hemp, the materials of our linen manufacture of all kinds, and therefore a more just criterion of the state of these manufactures than the quantity of the manufactured article, was in round figures 700,000. In 1821, the official value of the same articles was one million two hundred thousand pounds. In raw silk, (an article of the first consequence, inasmuch as it is the material of a manufacture now about to become one of the staples of the kingdom, and to push aside its former rivals, the silks of Italy and Lyons) the state of our imports through the above successive years has been equally promising. Without going through the minute detail of figures, it will be sufficient to add, that, from 1816 to 1822, the amount of raw and thrown silk imported has increased from about half a million to nearly a million and a half; that is, to three times its former amount. - This increase of importation is of so much the more consequence, inasmuch, as above said, it is the increase of a manufacture now
rising amongst us from its former subordinate state, to the condition of one of our staples. In cotton, the comparative state of our imports is equally promising. Within the same period of years, our importation of cotton, now the leading manufacture of the kingdom, and destined doubtless to become the clothing of the world, has increased from three millions to five, and in the
year now about closing, (1821) will exceed six millions. Thus, in these three main articles of our inanufactures, our cotton, silk, and linen staples, the first has nearly doubled itself, within about five years, the second has trebled itself, and the last, in despite of the competition of the German manufacturers, and their peculiar facilities of supplying the continent by their internal navigation, has likewise nearly doubled in amount.
Of the imports in part consumed, and in part affording articles of foreign trade, the principle are, sugar, rum, tea, and tobacco. Under all these heads there has been an increase in the importation, except as compared with those years of extraordinary produce of the revenue, when the war expenditure was at such an unexampled height, and the spirit of speculation, bursting forth with the peace, carried the trade of the country so far above its ordinary level. From 1817 to the present time, our importation of sugar has increased from three millions and a half cwts. to four. The official value of the imporation in 1821 was five millions and half, a sum equal to the best
of the war. The importation of rum exhibits a still more flattering increase. From 1817 to 1821 the importation of rum has nearly doubled ; in the former year the value being 348,000l. and in the latter 618,0001. In tea, our im. port has obtained a steady augmentation within the same period by nearly the amount of two millions of lbs. in quantity, and exceeds the average of the war consumption by nearly one million in official value. The import of tobacco has greatly increased from 1817 up to the present time. In all these articles, therefore, having this mixed character of home-consumption and the materials of foreign trade, there has been this large increase within the last five years of the peace.
Of imports entirely consumed by ourselves, and consisting of an infinite number of small articles, the general result will be best exhibited by the gradual increase in the customs and excise upon these imports. Suffice it to observe, that, throughout all these articles, there has been an increase proportionate to their several amounts; which, though too small upon each article singly to justify a separate statement, ascends, upon the whole, to an increase of at least two millions upon almost any year of the
The principal exports connected with the sources of our national prosperity are our cotton, woollen, linen, and silk manufactures;