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this would neither injure London, not Trade. This system distinctly asserts benefit Liverpool.
as its basis, that to buy manufactures : 11. If land in this country, which and corn of France, and other states pays twenty millions of annual rent, which have adopted the prohibitory should belong to the King of France system against us, will benefit, and instead of its present proprietors; and not injure, our own manufactures and if his Gallic Majesty should constantly agriculturists, although these may be receive the rent in raw produce, and able to supply us abundantly. This never send a shilling of it back to be is exactly the doctrine of the Philosoexpended on the land, the case would pher. It is exactly the same as asbe precisely the same to the nation at serting, that if our agriculturists buy large, as it is at present, when the land nearly the whole of their manufactures belongs to inhabitants of this country, of France with raw produce, it will who expend the rent in British mer benefit and not injure our own manuchandize and manufactures.
facturers; that if our manufacturers 12. If fifty millions were annually buy nearly the whole of their corn of taken from the profits of this country, France, it will benefit, and not injure and added to those of France as a free our agriculturists; that if our landgift, it would neither injure the one holders go to dwell constantly in country, nor benefit the other ; it France, their expenditure of their inwould neither make the one poorer, comes in that country, will be precise nor the other richer.
ly the same thing to England as their We could go farther, but we will expenditure of them at home would be. pause at the round dozen. Gentle We repeat, that in reality there is not reader, what an amazing science is the least difference between the docPolitical Economy !
trine of Mr M‘Culloch, and the princiThe wretched dogmas that in real- ples on which this new system avowedity lead to these conclusions, are not ly rests. If the doctrine be true, the put forth as matters of opinion-as system stands upon a rock; if the things that may possibly be errone doctrine be false, the system is built ous. Oh, no! they are promulgated upon sand, it will fall, and the fall as though their truth were matter of will be terrible. We hope we have decisive demonstration; all who dis- said sufficient to convince our readers sent from them are stigmatized as ig- that the doctrine is perfectly untenanorant, prejudiced bigots, and covered ble. We are ourselves as thoroughwith ridicule. The Economists have ly convinced that it is wholly false, stuck themselves upon their bubble, and that the system which has been and, in consequence, they imagine that raised upon it is one of error and dethey have soared far above the world, struction, as we are that light is not and the infirmities of human nature, darkness—that flame is not ice that and they seem to think that they have vapour is not adamant. Time will invested themselves with the attributes produce that conviction in the nation of Heaven. The foul names and grins which we cannot. Words may be of such egotists, will not, we conceive, disregarded, but ruin and misery will disturb any man's peace, whatever obtain attention and credence. effect they have on his risibility. We must now say something on a
It is not solely on account of Mr difference touching absentee expenM'Culloch that we have bestowed so diture, the existence of which Mr much attention on this doctrine. The M'Culloch practically denies altogefact is--and we most earnestly beg ther. If the Irish absentee landlord our readers to keep it in mind that dwell in France, he injures Ireland to upon this doctrine stands what is calle benefit France; and the benefits which ed our new and liberal system of Free he confers on the latter do not ope
• Many of the public prints, which uniformly puff the “new and liberal system of free trade" in the most fulsome manner, have pronounced Mr M'Culloch's doctrine to be gross and glaring falsehood. Some of them have abused it in the most outrageous way possible. There is something in this exquisitely ludicrous. Mr M'Culloch asserts that the man in the moon never wears a nightcap-It is a lie! Mr Huskisson asserts the same in somewhat different words. It is an obvious truth. Bravo, most sagacious Editors !
rate to benefit the former. If he for one son, and put the others into dwell in England, what Ireland loses in respectable trades. The Irish farmer respect of his expenditure is gained by cannot save-he cannot put his sons England. The benefits of his expen« into trades; when he dies his property diture are still kept in the empire. Ire- must be divided, and, so far as regards land has a free trade to England, and his children, his land must be divided his expenditure in the latter increases likewise. The English farmers and this trade. If there were a perfectly their labourers, in reality, retain and free circulation of labour throughout expend upon the estate a large portion Britain and Ireland, if Ireland were of that rent, which in Ireland' is exas far advanced in manufactures and torted from the Irish ones, and sent commerce as Britain, and if it could out of the country. supply its full proportion of the va- While it is manifest that exorbitant rious articles sold in the English mar rents, and their offspring, subdiviket--then the residence of the Irish sion, are, so far as concerns the landlandlord in London, with regard to lords, the great evils of Ireland, it is, expenditure, would only operate to in our judgment, equally manifest Ireland, as the residence of the York- that these evils flow from absenteeism. shire landlord, in London, operates to If a nobleman or gentleman of large Yorkshire. The great mass of our fortune-who prides himself upon his landlords are, to a very great extent rank and ancestry—who is fond of in respect of expenditure, absentees show and splendour-who has never from their estates. They expend the known the want of money, who has greater part of their incomes in Lon- his fortune in money already made don, or other large places.
who has been taught to look upon But whatever Ireland may lose from the parsimonious ideas of traders with the landlord's expending his income scorn—and who has been constantly in England, it forms but a very con- habituated to generosity and profutemptible part of the whole loss which sion-it such an individual personally flows from his absenteesim. Excessive direct the management of his estate, rents and subdivision form, so far as it is not possible, in the nature of the landlord is concerned, the great things, that he should be a bad landcurse of Ireland, and these do not ne- lord. Pride, pomp-every feeling of cessarily flow from his expending his his nature, will compel him to let rearents in London. The whole of our sonably cheap farms, and to let his English landlords might dwell con- farms, and even his cottages, to none stantly on their estates, and still, if but men of good character and conthey should exact the utmost farthing duct. His larger tenants will be enof rent possible from their tenants, abled to save, and to occupy more our peasantry would be as poor and land ; he will keep himself constantly miserable as the Irish peasantry, and enabled to let his land in farins of our land would be as much subdivided any size to good tenants. On the as that of Ireland. Exorbitant rents, other hand, if a low-bred, mercenary if they be general, must produce sub- man of small property, have the sole division ; and both, whether landlords management of an estate as a per centbe residents or absentees, must plunge age-agent, or middleman; if he take the cultivators into want and misery. this management for the sake of pe
If the Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, or cuniary profit; and if his profit be Westmoreland landlord dwell almost regulated by the amount of rent which constantly, and spend the whole of his he can extort from the cultivators, it income in London, his tenants are still is not possible, in the nature of things, in respectable and comfortable cir- that he can be a good landlord. Every cumstances. They pay moderate rents thing will conspire to compel him to -such rents as leave them fair profits sponge from the occupiers the utmost upon their capital. The landlord farthing of rent, without regard to seizes not the lion's share of the pro- anything else. While the owner only duce of the land-he gives them their lets the land to enjoy a fortune-to due portion. In the distressed parts obtain the interest of capital, this man of Ireland everything is taken from lets it to make a fortune-to accumuthe tenants but the most bare sube late a capital. He will dissipate the sistence. The English farmer can capital of the larger occupiers, compel save money–he can reserve his farm them, if they provide for their childVOL. XIX.
rén, to contract the size of their farms, ty, to watch over morals and conduct, subdivide the estate, and people it and to stimulate improvements in with inhabitants of bad character. husbandry, housewifery, &c. by inExceptions there are in both cases;- struction and reward. Out upon such we speak generally. The truth of political economy ! this we conceive to be decisively esta- The Philosopher says nothing blished by the condition of the agri. Against per centage agents and middlecultural population of Britain and men, but his favourite mode of maIreland.
naging an estate is this-The landWhile we hold it to be manifest, that lord shall dwell constantly abroad, exorbitant rents and sub-division flow and the estate shall be under the ex from absenteeism, we hold it to be clusive authority of a hired agent. equally manifest, that the constant re- This agent will generally be taken sidence of the landlord in Ireland is from the lower of the middling classes, not requisite as a remedy. If he will he will be a man of small fortune, but only dwell ou his estate a very few more likely of none at all, and he will months in the year, and either let it have a salary of perhaps from one to himself, or suffer it to be let by a three, or five hundred per annum. salaried agent, under his personal die Now, looking at the points which we rection and control, this is proved by have enumerated above, touching the the state of Britain to be all that is magistracy, civilization, schools, &c. necessary. We say now, as we have will any man living say that an agent said before, that we do not wish to see Like this will be more valuable-will the Irish landlords dwell constantly not be infinitely less valuable--upon on their estates. It is essential for the an estate, than a nobleman or gentlegood of Ireland, that they should be man of large fortune ? Our larger Engin Parliament, that they should dwell lish landlords generally keep such an much in London, and that they should agent notwithstanding their residence. mix largely with the British ones. On these points, such an agent would The whole that we wish the Irish be worthless; he would be merely a landlords to do is, that they will act hired servant, without a master to like those of England.
overlook him, and like other hired Mr M‘Culloch, however, denies servants, he would do as little as posthat absenteeism produces evils of any sible for his wages. kind; he asserts that the return of Looking merely at the letting of a the absentees would only benefit Ire- large estate, it is a trust infinitely too land in the most trifling degree, if at great for such an agent, and he will all. He speaks against sub-letting, but be pretty sure to abuse it in one way he does not conceive the return of the or another. The resident landlord is landlords necessary for its extinction. under powerful internal and external It has been again and again declared restraints in the exercise of his authoby government, that a sufficient num. rity over the tenants, but from such ber of men of proper respectability checks the agent is almost wholly could not be found to form the Ma- free. His master never sees him ; he gistracy, yet the residence of the land- is a man of the world, and cares but lord would yield no benefit! It is said little for public opinion, and he has that some of the Magistrates are defi- the tenants at his mercy. His income cient in knowledge and principle, yet is small, and he wishes to increase it: their being combined with, and pla- he is exposed to every temptation to ced under the influence of men of abuse his trust, at the cost of the high rank-members of Parliament tenants. We scarcely ever knew the men spending a part of every hired agent of an English absentee year in the first society in the landlord, that is, of a landlord who metropolis, would neither improve dwelt constantly in a foreign country, them, nor benefit Ireland! It would who did his duty properly. What Mr have no tendency to civilize and better M‘Culloch says in favour of the Scotthe condition of Ireland, were rich tish agents may be true ; but, from and polished families to be scattered what we have seen of English ones, about throughout its whole village po- and of human nature, we are confipulation, to furnish example, to esta- dent, that, if all the estates of a nablish schools, to supply the poor with tion were placed under the exclusive food and clothing in times of necessi- control of hired agents, the greater part of these agents would abuse their Scotland, distinctly denies the assertrust in the most scandalous and per- tions of Mr M‘Culloch. nicious manner. If we are mistaken, We are, however, no strangers to the world is under a gross delusion, the landlords and tenants of England; in fancying that servants need to be and, certainly, what MrM'Culloch says looked after by masters, and that Mi- would be very erroneous if applied to nisters of State, and others who hold our English tenants. We will divideout great trusts, ought to be surrounded landlords into two classes-the small with restraints, and vigilantly watched. and the great ones. A landlord who
The Philosopher admits, thatin Scots has only one farm, or two, and whose land the land of absentee landlords is whole income arises from his land, let at a higher rent than that of resi- looks after his tenant principally to get dent ones. He makes this a matter of as much rent as he can. The great choice on the part of the tenant, be- landlord looks after his tenant chiefly cause “no tenant likes to live under on the score of management and conthat system of surveillance and over- duct. In the one case, the tenant has looking which is generally exercised to fear from “surveillance and overby a landlord;" and because when a looking” an advance of rent, and in landlord goes abroad, “his affairs are the other, reproof, or a discharge. Is managed by his factor, or agent, who is it likely that he will give an advance generally a very intelligent person, of rent at once rather than live in fear and much more conversant with coun- of it, or prefer a bad farm to a good try affairs than the landlords are ; so one, merely because an improbable that the tenants prefer dealing with evil may befall him ? If he leave the him to dealing with the landlord." landlord, and take the farm of an agent,
We who now hold the pen were what then? He exchanges the "surborn in, and belong to, England; we veillance and overlooking” of the landnever saw Scotland,
and we do not pre- lord for those of the agent; and in altend to know how these things are most all cases, the “surveillance and managed among our Scottish fellow- overlooking” of the agent are infinitely subjects. We see quite sufficient in the more busy, tormenting, and injurious, conduct of certain Scotch writers in than those of the landlord. I'he latthe metropolis to deter us from dila ter perhaps leaves him for great part ting on local matters of which we have of the year, but the agent is always ne knowledge. These people write day near him. after day, touching our English pea- But then the tenant likes to deal santry and country gentlemen, and with the agent because he is more conevery line proves that they know no versant with country affairs than the more of either than the Hottentot. landlord. Answer us these questions, Everyone who is at all acquainted with ye town and city shopkeepers ? From our country population must know, which can you obtain the best barthat the diatribes which they put forth gain in buying your goods—the rich against our “unpaid magistracy,” form novice, or the keen man who thoroughthe most nauseous compound of stone- ly understands his business? Do you blind ignorance, and groundless slan- prefer buying of the latter at higher der, that ever appeared in print. That prices merely on account of his better is odd philosophy which bottoms itself knowledge of trade? A farmer has to upon direct falsehoods. That is odd choose between two farms of equal va“ liberality” which occupies itself with lue: the rent of the one is five shilblasting the reputation of the most ge- lings per week more than that of the nerous, upright, and honourable men other, and yet, according to Mr M'in the community.
Culloch, he prefers the dear one, beAlthough we cannot contradict Mr cause he has to take it, not of a rich M'Culloch from our personal know- gentleman, who is not very knowing ledge of Scotland, we still can supply in agricultural matters, and who cares a contradiction which will satisfy our but little for money, but of a shrewd, readers. An Address has recently been crafty, experienced man of business ! circulated by the Inverness-shire Far. This certainly cannot need any refutaming Society, which does honour to tion. those from whom it has emanated, and Our English tenants, we believe, which, on the part of the tenantry of fear the “surveillance and overlook
ing" of the agent much more than is employed, he is almost always paid those of the landlord. The latter ne- by a per centage.
The landlord gives ver enters their houses, he is not very up the letting of his estate entirely to skilful in judging of their crops, and him. He in effect says-“ Lay on he acts impartially towards all. The what rent you please, if you bring agent visits among them, and he hears me none, I will pay you nothing-I much private history and slander will allow you so much for every hunwhich ought never to reach him. He dred pounds that you may bring me.” is puffed up with his own importance, Now, to the tenants, this agent is in and expects the utmost deference to be reality as much the landlord, as he paid him. He is more or less under would be should the fee simple of the the guidauce of his own paltry personal estate belong to him. He has them interests. He favours one tenant be- perfectly at his mercy; he is a resident cause he is wealthy, or gives him the landlord; he has them constantly un. best dinner, or sends him the most der his eye; and he is incessantly stie presents, or treats him with the most mulated by personal interest to rack reverence: he is hostile to another from them the utmost farthing. tenant because he is poor, or because If the estate of the absentee be not his mind has been poisoned against him in the hands of an agent like this, it by slander, or because he is not suffi- is generally in those of middlemen. ciently humble. He can always calcu. These middlemen are in reality the late pretty accurately what the tenants only landlords that the mass of the make of their farms. The landlord is tenants know or have; they are conjealous of his honour, public opinion stantly among the tenants; and the has great influence over him, and he only interest that they have in the land, has a pride in a highly cultivated es- is to extort the highest rents possible. tate and respectable tenants: but the Courteous readers—whether ye be case is wholly different with the agent; English farmers or Scottish oneshe merely acts for hire, and if he do whether ye be inhabitants of the counthe most odious things, he can throw try, who are familiar with the sight of the blame upon his principal. A tenant green fields—or natives of London, must be exposed to the surveillance who have never ventured out of the and overlooking” of either the land- smoke of that famous city—we leave lord or the agent; and we believe that to you the decision of these questions. those of the latter will generally be Does the Irish cultivator escape “surthe most active and injurious.
veillance and overlooking,” because Reasoning, however, is idle, when the owner of his land is an absentee? the question has been decided by ex- Is he not under the most odious and perience. In England, the best farms pernicious “ surveillance and overare those which are let by, or under looking” that could be imagined ? the direction of, the landlord : the The “surveillance and overlooking" worst are those which are exclusively of our greater English landlords exunder the management of an agent. tend principally to conduct. These This refers, of course, to middling and landlords know that they could obtain large estates, and not to the land of much higher rents, but they do not small proprietors. The case is the same wish it; they pry but little into the in Scotland according to Mr M‘Cul- pecuniary affairs of their tenants. loch's own showing. In England, our What a tenant has to fear from them farmers are anxious to leave the dear is chiefly displeasure for suffering his farms of absentees for cheap ones un- fences, &c. to get out of order; for der resident landlords; we cannot but managing his land in a slovenly, unthink that the case is the same with profitable manner; or for being extrathe Scottish ones.
vagant, drunken, or immoral. The Let us now apply the Philosopher's “surveillance and overlooking” of the doctrines to Ireland. In England the only landlord that the tenant in realiabsentee landlord commonly pays his ty has in Ireland, are eternally upon agent by a regular salary, and gives this tenant, chiefly for the purpose of him instructions to exact no more than keeping his rent at the highest point : moderate rents, so that the tenant is his management and conduct are mistill to a certain degree under the pro- nor matters. Now, how does the diftection of the landlord. But in Ire- ference operate to the tenants and to land it appears, that where an agent society in the mass ?