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ought to be regulated. The ex- trade ; but ministers saw also, perience of past years proved, that it was necessary to establish that, to impose a fixed duty, with- such a regulation of the price as out any reference to the varia- might protect the interests of the tion of prices, was extremely ob- agriculturists. If he were asked jectionable and inefficient, because why, since he proposed a proit was, inevitably, sometimes too hibitory duty, he did not, at that high, and at other times too low, point, propose an absolute prohiwith reference to the actual state bition, he would answer, that he of the country. It was, therefore, did not think the results of the more advisable to adopt a scale of innovation (for so he must call it) duties which should vary in a made in 1815, upon the former relative proportion to the price of policy of the country, were such corn. The duty of 20s., when as to make it advisable, either the price reached 60s., had been for the agriculturists themselves, fixed on as one which it would be or for the public generally, to rereasonable to propose. That duty cognize the principle of a prohiwas to diminish 2s. per quarterbition, on a subject which involved for every one shilling of increase the main interests of the nation. in price, and to increase 2s. for It appeared 10 him, that, if the every proportionate diminution of trade in corn was to be continued price, taking 60s. as the average at all, it ought to be continued, as price of the quarter of corn. The far as was practicable, under the effect of this scale would be, that same principles as were applied to when the average price was 60s. Other species of trade; that it the duty would be 20s.; from should be kept in a sober, regular 618. to 62s., it would be 18s.; course, and not subjected to the from 62s. to 63s. it would be 16s.; perpetual jerks and impulses which from 68s. to 64s. it would be 145.; had been experienced of late, on from 645. to 65s. it would be 12s.; the occasion of any extraordinary from 65s. to 66s. it would be 10s.; emergency.

He was persuaded, so that, at 70s., all duty would that the only means of securing cease, and the importation be per- so desirable a state of things was fectly free and without duty, ex- by making the importation of corn cepting the ordinary registration free. He was aware that, conat the Custom-house. On the sidering the varying course of the other hand, when the average markets, it could not be wholly price should amount only to 598., and literally free; but it might be the duty would be 22., and for made sufficiently free by taking every diminution of 1s. in price, security against an inundation from 28. of duty would be added ; so abroad, and a failure at home, by that, when the average price means of a correct and equal rereached 558., the duty would be gister. Thus the real wants of 30s. It had been the earnest de- the country would be supplied, the sire of his majesty's government danger of an overflow would be to hold the scales equally between avoided, as well as the danger the conflicting interests of the arising from the principle of procountry. There was a disposition, hibition, which would cause a conhe was ready to admit, in point stant alternation between a drought of principle, in favour of an open and a deluge. The market would then exhibit no more such fluctuaa “Whenever such price shall be tions of price as had been expe- at or above 70s. the duty shall be, rienced, and which had extended for every quarter, 1s. from 112s. to 38s. per quarter ; “Whenever such price shall be the vibration would be bounded under 60s. and not under 59s. the between 55s. and 658., and the duty shall be, for every quarter, plane on which it acted would be 1l. 2s. And in respect of each inmuch greater. This plan would tegral shilling, or any part of each also get rid of an evil of the first integral shilling, by which such magnitude-the abuse to which price shall be under 59s. such duty the system of averages had been shall be increased by 2s. exposed. When it had happen- BARLEY.—“Whenever the avered, that, twice in the course of age price of barley, made up and two years, a fraction of 5d. one published in manner required by way, and 2d. another, had had the law, shall be 30s. and under 318. effect of opening the ports when the quarter, the duty shall be, for they ought to have been shut, and every quarter, 10s. And in reof shutting them when they ought spect of every integral shilling by to have been open, it was impos- which the price shall be above 30s. sible to divest one's mind of the such duty shall be decreased by suspicion that unfair practices had ls. 6d. until such price shall be prevailed in that system. The 378. Whenever such price shall averages would be declared weekly, be at or above 375. the duty shall in such a manner as to prevent the be, for every quarter, 1s. deep speculations which now took “Whenever such price shall be place, and to guard, as much as under 30s. and not under 29s. the possible, against the frauds that duty shall be, for every quarter, now were practised.

11s. 6d. And in respect of each The Resolutions were the fol- integral shilling, or any part of lowing :-" That it is the opinion each integral shilling, by which of this Committee, that any sort such price shall be under 298. of corn, grain, mcal, and flour, such duty shall be increased 1s. 6d. which may now by law be import

Oats.—“Whenever the average ed into the United Kingdom, price of oats, made up and pubshould at all times be admissible lished in manner required by law, for home use, upon payment of shall be 21s. and under 22s. the the duties following; viz.—if im- quarter, the duty shall be, for ported from any foreign country: every quarter, 78. And in respect -WHEAT, viz. :

of every integral shilling by which “Whenever the average price such price shall be above 21s. such of Wheat, made up and pub- duty shall be decreased by 1s. until lished in manner required by such price shall be 28s. law, shall be 60s. and under “Whenever such price shall be 61s. per quarter, the duty shall at or above 28s. the duty shall be, be, for every quarter, il. And for every quarter, 1s. in respect of every integral shil- “Whenever such price shall be ling by which such price shall under 21s. and not under 20s, the be above 60s. such duty shall be duty shall be, for every quarter, decreased by 2s. until such price 8s. And in respect of each inshall be 70s.

tegral shilling, or any part of each

integral shilling, by which such at or above 658. the duty shall be, price shall be under 20s. such duty for every quarter, 6d. shall be increased by 1s.

BARLEY.-“For every quarter, RYE, PEAS, AND BEANS.— 2s. 6d. ; until the price of British * Whenever the average price of Barley, made up and published in rye, or of peas, or of beans, made manner required by law, shall be up and published in manner re- 33s. per quarter. quired by law, shall be 358. and “Whenever such price shall be under 36s. the quarter, the duty at or above 338. the duty shall be, shall be, for every quarter, 15s. for every quarter, 6d. And in respect of every integral OATS.-“For every quarter, shilling by which such price shall 28.; until the price of British oats, be above 358. such duty shall be made up and published in manner decreased by 1s. 6d. until such required by law, shall be 24s. per price shall be 45s.

quarter. “Whenever such price shall be “Whenever such price shall be at or above 45s. the duty shall be, at or above 24s. the duty shall be, for every quarter, 1s.

for every quarter, 6d. “ Whenever such price shall be RYE, BEANS, AND PEAS._" For under 358. and not under 34s. the every quarter, 3s. ; until the price duty shall be, for every quarter, of British rye, or of beans, or of 16s. 6d. And in respect of each peas, made up and published in integral shilling, or any part of manner required by law, shall be each integral shilling, by which 40s. such price shall be under 34s. such “Whenever such price shall be duty shall be increased by 1s. 6d. at or above 40s. the duty shall be,

WHEAT, MEAL, AND FLOUR.- for every quarter, 6d. “For every barrel, being 1961b., WHEAT-MEAL AND FLOUR.~ a duty equal in amount to the “For every barrel, being 1961b., a duty payable on five bushels of duty equal in amount to the duty wheat.

payable on five bushels of wheat. OATMEAL.-“For every quan

OAT-MEAL.-"For every quantity of 2521b. a duty equal in tity of 2521b. a duty equal in amount to the duty payable on a amount to the duty payable on a quarter of oats.

quarter of oats. MAIZE OR INDIAN CORN, BUCK- MAIZE OR INDIAN CORN, BUCKWHEAT, BEER OR Bigg.--"For WHEAT, BEER OR Bigg.-"For every quarter, a duty equal in every quarter, a duty equal in amount to the duty payable on a amount to the duty payable on a quarter of barley.

quarter of barley. “ If the produce of, and import- “ That it is the opinion of this ed from, any British possession in Committee, that all the said duties North America, or elsewhere, out shall be regulated and determined, of Europe :

from week to week, by the average Wheat.-"For every quarter, prices of corn, made up in manner 58.; until the price of British Wheat, required by law; which prices made up and published in manner shall

, at the several ports of the required by law, shall be 658. per United Kingdom, determine the quarter.

several rates of the said duties, “Whenever such price shall be for and during the week next after the receipt of the proper certifi- incomparably lower ; that the plan cates of such average prices at such was only experimental in its own ports respectively."

nature, in a matter where all exNo vote was taken upon the periment was mischievous ; that resolutions, when they were thus its effect would be, to reduce prices introduced. The debate upon much below what could be consithem was postponed for a week, dered a fair remunerating price to that every appearance of precipita- the grower; and that, while it thus tion in a measure of such high im- deprived the agriculturist even of portance might be avoided. The the imperfect protection which he at plan itself did not meet the views present enjoyed, it would ultimately of the zealots of either party. prove injurious to the public welThere were, indeed, only a very fare, by throwing out of cultivasmall number who gave an open tion those poorer soils which could preference to absolute prohibition; be profitably laboured only at high but there were many of the agri- prices, thus leaving the counculturists who thought that the try at every moment dependant average price and the duty had upon foreigners for its food. It been pitched too low, while others, was, they said, a sacrifice of the who affected to cherish more popu- landholder to other interests which lar views, accused the government were not a whit more deserving of having pitched them too high, of encouragement; for, who could to gratify the partial interests of look at the duties upon the imthe landholders in opposition both portation of wool, timber, and to sound principle, and to their iron, and say, that equal protecown convictions. The latter at- tion was extended to the corn tempted, therefore, to amend the trade? A greater quantity of resolutions by bringing down the wheat had been sown in this counprices; and the former, when they try last autumn than for some failed to stop the progress of the years past, and, if the harvest measure altogether, by raising them. should turn out well, the produce On the 8th of March, when the would consequently be greater. discussion was resumed, or rather The quantity of corn laid up in was begun, the motion for the warehouses was nearly a million of House going into committee was quarters ; and, if the price were opposed by lord Clive, sir E. Knatch- to rise, what protection would be bull, sir Thomas Lethbridge, and afforded to the home-grower, and other leading membersof the landed how would a remunerating price interest. Their opposition rested be secured to him, under such ciron the general ground, that domes- cumstances, by the present resolutic agriculture was entitled to all tions? The practical operation of the protection which parliament the measure, notwithstanding the could give it, even in the shape of pretended accuracy of its ascending a prohibition; that it was most and descending scale, would be to unjust to expose the home-grower, keep corn permanently from rising oppressed with taxes, and obliged above fifty-four or fifty-five shilto purchase costly labour, to a lings. It would place in the hands competition with the farmers of of a few great commercial speculaforeign countries where taxation tors the command of the market, was light, and the price of labour and enable them to introduce foreign corn in such abundance as to per footing, the injury to the keep it always down to these low agriculturist would be much less. prices; prices at which it was utterly At all events, the House ought not impossible that the home-grower to legislate in the dark; and yet, could go on under the weight of while the efficacy of the proposed taxation which pressed upon him. duties to secure a remunerating No man could say that the present price for home-grown corn eviprice of corn was too high, who dently depended upon what might reflected that, within the last thirty be the prices in the foreign market years, it had not inereased more to which they were to form an than thirty per cent, while, during addition, the House did not know the same period, the taxes, the poor- precisely at what price continental rates, and the price of labour, had corn could be imported into this increased two hundred per cent country; and there ought at least When the bill of 1815 was before to be an investigation by a comthe House, the president of the mittee, before adopting an innovaBoard of Trade had stated in sup- tion which went to alter the whole port of it, that taxation could not system on which the country had be expected to be reduced much hitherto proceeded. below sixty millions; and that, as The Chancellor of the Exchethe amount before the war had not quer and Mr. Peel answered, that exceeded seventeen millions, the there was no inconsistency in those larger amount could not possibly who had supported the bill of 1815 be paid unless corn were much now lending their aid to a measure higher than it had been before of a different kind; for, even at 1793. That bill had been warmly the time that bill had been held supported by ministers in both out only as a choice of evils, and Houses, on the ground that it was the change of cireumstances, parequally advantageous to the manu- ticularly the alterations in the curfacturing and to the agricultural rency, had both justified and reclasses, and was necessary as a quired a change of measures. Insecurity to the public creditor. consistency was to be found, if any Every thing which had then been where, in the conduct of the friends a cause why it should be adopted, of restriction and prohibition. was now a cause why it should be When the importation price was retained. Fluctuations in price fixed in 1815 at 80s., it was not were, no doubt, bad; but the pro- anticipated that the operation of posed measure would not prevent the law would be, to raise corn to them from occurring, and they were that point ; but it so happened, not greater, nay, perhaps they were that this effect did follow from two less, in England than they often successive bad harvests in 1816 were in Poland and the north of and 1817. In 1818, however, the Germany. Above all, it was pre- harvest promising abundance, grain mature to intermeddle with corn, fell just as rapidly as it had risen: to the certain effect, and almost the farmers became alarmed, and with the avowed intention, of low- exclaimed, as they often did, that ering its price, until the question their ruin was at hand. They of the currency had been perma- placed their interests in the hands nently revised and settled. If the of a committee of their own body, currency were placed upon a pro- and this agricultural parliament

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