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been reduced lower and lower; their ca- prompt and extensive legislative revision.
HIMSELF" has accumulated.
buyer, it is equally dear to the seller,—that juggle? Or is it at length time to re- if the consumer cannot afford to purchase trace the steps which we have lost in it at what it costs, the grower cannot afford pursuing a phantom? It will be well if to sell it for what he pockets,—and that, society shall discover though late rather therefore, the condition of both is alike than never, that a want of attention to our
indigent, alike wretched, and alike unsocial interests is the true cause of our social supportable; they might have proceeded distresses ; and that the only method of re- to comment, in the terms which it deserves, generating Britain will be to make im
upon the evil effects which such a system provement in Britain our first—and mid
has produced, in abridging national condle--and last concernment. It is perfectly sumption and industry, and the manifest disgraceful to the age in which we live, advantages that will mutually arise to the and to the position we occupy in civilized manufacturing, and all other productive existence, that with a larger share of the classes, from the reg ation of a body so elements of national wealth than what any large and influencing as that of the agriother kingdom in Europe can boast of, we culturists. The Committee could then have comparatively a larger share of na- · have proceeded to state that they found the tional misery. There is something rotten production and consumption of the country in our state at home, which demands a totally unbalanced, and this arising from
the plain and obvious circumstance that cumstance which has shortened leases, produring the last quarter of a century the duced scourging croppage and deteriorated conveniences of life have been increased cultivation, with mutual disadvantage to and cheapened artificially to a vast ex- landlord and tenant; that the administratent, whilst no corresponding increase and tion of the poor-rates has been so criminally cheapening of the necessaries of life has mismanaged as to allow the evil to grow, by accompanied it. That this circumstance, what it has fed upon, to the extent of eight after proving through a series of years mu
millions and a half annually, instead of tually injurious to grower and consumer, being given (to the aged and infirm alone exhas reached a crisis no longer compati- cepted) in the shape of employment, of such ble with the well-being of either, and that a sort as shall contribute to their gradual exit is essential for,—not simply the pros- tinction; that the importation of grain into perity, but—the existence of both, that England from Ireland, where rates are unit shall be remedied in a way that will
known and taxes comparatively nominal, prove equally protective to both interests. along with the starving hordes of wretched That cheap food, by foreign importation, peasantry that ought to consume it at home, curtailing consumption yet more, would is highly injurious to both countries, and immensely aggravate instead of lessen that a prohibition upon such an iniquitous the evil; and that therefore, as a change export may be beneficially compensated is absolutely required to preserve the in- to the latter by a tax upon absenteism, dustry and tranquillity of the Country, the and throwing annually into her hands the Committee might, in all conscience, have 15,000,000l. sterling now exported for the felt themselves fully warranted to recom- flax, cotton, hemp, corn, tobacco, &c.* which mend it urgently to the attention of Par- nothing but the anti-social system we have liament that the burdens pressing so gre
hitherto been pursuing has prevented her viously upon agricultural skill and enter- from raising upon her own fertile surface; prize should be forthwith taken off to an while last, not least, the consumption, and extent sufficient to admit of the reduction consequent industry, of large classes of our in the price of food, which is required. producers has been curtailed by the im
Considering the difficulties in which all prudent importation to a vast amount of classes of the community find themselves various kinds of commodities, which can, placed, and the utter inefficacy of any
and and therefore ought to be exclusively faevery change which shall merely convert bricated at home. public distress and not exterminate it, the Had such, we repeat, under ordinary Committee might reasonably have pro
circumstances, been the scope of the report ceeded—(after acknowledging that whilst of the Agricultural Committee, we feel conthe happiest results may be expected from
vinced that there is still enough of integrity the change in the Bank Charter Bill, by and common sense left in the country to which the restrictive principle of 1819 is have rendered a plan, which would have virtually abandoned from a further re- gone far to make a body of Twenty Milduction of taxation-- the contemplated lions of prosperous consumers at home, be commutation of tithes--and taking off the received not simply as a vox et preterea malt-tax)—to state their best hopes of the nihil! permanent and adequate amelioration of the agricultural interest to be founded upon
* We yearly export to America, &c. for
6,000,000 a change in the social economy of the nation; that since the war the fall of rents,
3,000,000 and the fall of prices have by no means For foreign corn, tobacco, &c
6,000,000 borne due proportion to each other, a cir
raw cotton .....
To Holland and Russia for flax and
We live, however, under extraordinary thes, they had little to fear with regard to circumstances, which render even these the Corn Laws, however clamoured against. suggestions unnecessary.
For we stand
But now, they have to grapple with an upon the eve of a total revolution in the
enemy of a very different and most deterdomestic relations of society. One which mined description :-even with a foe in will alike render vain the endeavours of their own household! This new assailant, that party who, true to the interests of their invested with powers commensurate with native soil, are determined that Parliament the wants which it is commissioned to reshall exercise a “CAUTIOUS FORBEARANCE" lieve, will march in with an overwhelming as regards the removal of the corn-laws, and rapidity which will set at defiance every the machinations of that other party, the species of opposition, except that alone more numerous by far, who are equally de- which will provide that Steam husbandry termined that Parliament shall exercise shall keep pace with Steam transport. an ACTIVE INTERPOSITION” for their re- If this conclusion shall appear to any to moval!
be chimerical, let them consider the imThe application of STEAM to eеonomic mense spirit of enterprise abroad just now purposes, i.e. to the removal of brute la
as regards rail-roads; and then estimate bour, is no longer a matter of doubt. The what the introduction of Steam carriages progress lately made in locomotive science, will be when the millions of capital now as the report given elsewhere in this num- proposed to be expended in laying w
own ber testifies, warrants the conclusion that rails shall be laid out simply upon enthe country stands upon the eve of a change gines. Nor is this all-we have to add in the means of internal transport, which likewise the impulse which will be given will relieve society of all the evils attendant to the substitution, when society, as a upon its reaching the limit. In sitting, body, shall cease to view it in the mere therefore, upon an enquiry into the con- light of its commercial importance. But dition of the agricultural classes, it might when the whole of our starving classes have been expected that the Committee shall come to regard the project as a would have considered what effect, a com- mode of obtaining cheap bread. When ing event which has so long cast its shadow the whole of the unemployed classes shall before it, was likely to produce upon the contemplate it as a mode of procuring consumption of the country. Though the abundant labour. When the whole of the matter was urged upon their attention, it manufacturing classes shall contemplate it was however treated with an imbecility or as a mode of balancing, at home, conignorance which strongly characterizes the sumption and production. And last, not investigation.
least, when Government itself shall conThe duty, therefore, devolves upon us, template it as a mode of raising those rein the prosecution of the object which we sources which they can no longer obtain have undertaken to advocate; and we dis- by taxation. charge it with sincere regard for the safety From the Parliamentary returns, the and prosperity of the first and best of our horses running in coaches in Great Britain domestic interestsato warn the landed in 1828, amounted to 178,841; and we and farming classes of the danger which are probably much within the mark when will infallibly arise to them unless steam we suppose that these, with all other horses transport and steam cultivation shall be employed in drays and draught exclusively, introduced simultaneously.
amount to 600,000. It seems to be adAs long as proprietors had the German mitted that each horse consumes what will Ocean between them and foreign corn, and support eight individuals. The suppresthe House of Commons to fight their bat- sion therefore of these horses alone (which
does not include one horse employed in agriculture or for pleasure), will save what will feed 4,800,000 people. The annual consumption of grain by human mouths in Great Britain (viz. 16,000,000), is about 32,000,000 quarters, of which not onetwentieth part has during any year been imported. But the saving of what would feed, by the removal of the horses used for transit alone, 4,800,000 people amounts to more than what is consumed by the fourth part of the said population. If importation then of grain to the very
limited extent of one-twentieth, viz. 1,600,000 quarters has hitherto been deemed an evil of no little magnitude by the agricultural interests, what will they consider a system which will abridge home consumption equal to one-fourth-viz. 9,600,000 quarters?
The farming interests may postpone the consideration of this subject; but their doing so, will not postpone the immediate application of Steam to transport. Let them bear this in mind--they will not repent of doing so. These calculations are not founded upon the mere ipse dixit of anonymous authority. They are taken from sources that have long been accredited by the public; and though they may nevertheless be widely inaccurate, they approach sufficiently near to the truth to render their rejection deeply disastrous to those for whose advantage they are offered.
It does not become us to suggest the practical steps by which this new danger may be avoided, but merely to point it out, and call upon the landed interests not to delay in preparing to meet it. It belongs to the Nobility, the Land-owners, and Agricultural Societies of England, to adopt the ways and means necessary to bring steam husbandry into immediate practice. The cheaper mode of cultivation which it will permit will enable them not only to withstand, but triumph over the substitution. In the second number of the Journal of Elemental Locomotion statements are offered which go far to
prove that the horses now used in husbandry alone are maintained at an expenditure of 30,000,000l. yearly, whilst it is calculated in the fifth number, that in ten years the profit in favour of a Steam Plough over Horse Plough, will show a balance of 7751. making all allowances for the expenses incidental to the first introduction. It is not difficult to see how the substitution will effect a great cheapening of agricultural produce with remuneration to the growers; though to what extent this reduction will be made, can alone be decided by time and experience.
It is true that the same progress has not been made in steam machinery for purposes of cultivation as has been attained for conveyance.
But it is also true, that this is the consequence, not of want of mechanical ingenuity, but of the lukewarmness with which the project has hitherto been regarded by agriculturists. The power of inanimate locomotion has been gained and it can be made to assume the requisite modification, the moment the necessary encouragement is afforded. Mr. Phillips' Getomic Apparatus, described in the fifth Journal, though by no means a perfect machine, is yet sufficient to shew that a little further ingenuity will make it such. It is however, one of the objects proposed by the Donation Fund of the INSTITUTION OF LOCOMOTION to offer a premium for a Steam Plough capable of being applied to practical purposes. But allowing that this should be a desideratum for some time to come, the expense of husbandry may even now be considerably cheapened by farmers getting partially rid of their horses, by using steam engines in their drags, reaping machines, thrashingmills, &c. Steam has been applied for some time past to the latter purpose in various parts of Scotland.
We know that there are many of opinion that this scheme of applying Steam to Agriculture is perfectly visionary. Many who consider a plough to be propelled by Steam just as probable an event as a plough to be
drawn by whales. Well! but what then ? do not forget, in the words of the Christian let them cling to their scepticism, it will at Advocate when recommending it to the best only retard, not prevent, the substitu- support of the benevolent, that “the contion. Do the public forget, that ten years vulsions which our mercantile community ago there was not an Engineer in England has experienced within the last few years, who did not hold it to be an axiom in me- seem to have produced a narrow-mindedchanics,—that the periphery of a wheel had ness and selfishness amongst its wealthy not sufficient bite upon the ground to ren- members, which has reared a species of der it an available fulcrum for the pro- barrier betwixt capital and labour, until pulsion of a vehicle ? It is not to the misery has been the consequence alike to eminent in mechanical science that we are the horder and the starver”*! Neither, indebted for the solution of a problem, that The Times, in the leading article upon which is at once the mightiest and the most the corn-law discussion, in May last, thus beneficial of inventions. No! he whose commented, —“There never was dissatisname is entitled, and yet destined, to re- faction more generally expressed, by the ceive the gratitude of his country and kind town and country, than that which has more than all they who have walked before been excited by the protecting duties on him in the physical development of this corn. How came the House of Commons mighty agent, is one whose apprenticeship to differ with the majority of their constiwas served in the chemist's hall, whose tuents on that important question ? Was profession is the lancet! Did therefore it that Honourable Members desired inthe weightiest authority in that department, dividually to propagate an eagerness for to which in especial such enquiries belong, REVOLUTION ?” And again, “ The public state to us his conviction that Steam cul- murmurs at the indifference of Parliament, tivation is wholly impracticable, we would and of the upper ranks of Englishmen to value his dictum upon the matter no more the wants of their poorer brethren, have than that of his milk-maid. We know what really grown to a frightful magnitude, and Steam has done, we know not what it may betoken SOME TRAGICAL RESULT !” Yes, yet do. Let engineers beware how they the whirlwind of political opinions has stultify themselves further by limiting in- swept over us, but the ground-swell of genuity. It is not temerity simply which, popular distress remains behind ! We can at such a crisis, shall stand in the way of a subscribe and we do it rather in sorrow modification which is absolutely essential than in indignation—to the justness of both to the preservation of British Agriculture. these detractive accusations. We have alAgain, on the other hand, we have ad- ready knocked at the doors of one half of dressed ourselves upon this subject to the nobility of England, to give their supmany prominent individuals in the science
port to this project, and we have knocked of husbandry. If the names of Sinclair, in vain. Not one English Peer has, as yet, Coke, and Blamire, &c. are not to be found vouchsafed it the furtherance either of his in the list of its supporters,-nay, if even influence or his purse. Yet how exigent is the proprietors of England, as a body, were the want which it is commissioned to alto publish their resolution to take neither leviate, and how reckless in its consepart nor lot in the matter,—still, what quences, that volcano indicates whose erthen ? Would it cease to move onwards ? ruptions are nightly visible in the farmNo;-Dame Partington's attempt would yards of every district of the country! not have been more abortive to mop back * September 4, 1833. the ingress of the Atlantic Ocean !
paper We stand sufficiently behind the scenes
+ “ We lament to state"
says that able
New Farmers Journal of last week, “that in
several parts of the country, particularly in the to speak warmly upon this subject. We Counties of Norfolk and Sussex, the devastating