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that population will soon increase; and that prices consequently will rise. The anxiety, therefore, lest the farmer should not find a market for his produce, and the constant readiness of the legislature to tax the community in order to secure his profit and the landlord's rent, appears to us to be wholly without reason.
It is needless to examine more particularly the rest of our author's plans for the regulation of the corn trade. He seems to think, that the storing of wheat into granaries, so as to save part of the produce of an abundant year to compensate the deficiency of a more scanty supply, would produce very beneficial effects. The notion is plausible, and is therefore well received among superficial inquirers. But, unfortunately, the plan could not be executed without the direct interference of government; than which nothing could be more impolitic or pernicious. By rashly tampering with the corn trade, government would make themselves responsible, in the eyes of the people, for all their distresses; and any sort of fraud or mismanagement, which could not fail to occur in the superintendance of such an extensive trust, would be liable to excite the general discontent, or even insurrection. The folly of this project is so amply exposed in Mr Burke's Thoughts on Scarcity, that we cannot help recommending to the reader a perusal of that masterly performance.
With respect to the principle of the measure, which grants a bounty on the exportation of corn ; as we, as long as the bounty amounts to no more than 5s. on the quarter of wheat, consider it rather as a matter of speculative curiosity than of any great practical importance, we shall not occupy the attention of our readers for any length of time with its discussion. There are two ways in which this question may be considered : first, Whether the bounty has any tendency to effect a real rise in the value of corn, and thus to give a real encouragement to agriculture ; and, 2dly, Whether, supposing this to be its effect, it is wise or expedient to tax the community for the encouragement of agriculture. It may be said, indeed, by the advocates for the bounty, that the community is not taxed, inasmuch as the bounty ultimately tends to render the price lower than it otherwise would be. How then, it may be asked, does this encourage agriculture? It is admitted by those who argue in favour of the bounty, that it produces its effects by a real rise in the price of corn. But, if it afterwards sinks its price lower than it otherwise would have fallen, those two opposite effects must balance each other : So that, without laying the community under contribution by a higher price of corn, we are at a loss where to look for the boasted encouragement of agriculture
Those, Those, however, who argue against the bounty, contend, that the price of labour, while the demand continues the same, depends on the price of corn; that a rise in the price of corn has a tendency to occasion a rise in the price of labour; and therefore the farmer, though he receives a higher price for his corn, yet, as he pays dearer for labour, and for whatever is the produce of labour, is not really benefited. Mr Malthus, admitting this principle, argues against it, in our apprehension, not very perspicuously nor very conclusively. Even conceding, however, to the advocates of the bounty, that it gives the farmer a real rise in the price of his corn, we do not think that the price of labour is in the slightest degree affected by the variations in the price of provisions ;-and that for the following reason.
The share which every labourer has out of the supply of the year, is fixed by the abundance or scantiness of that supply; and the general wages of labour must always be such as to enable him to procure the portion allotted to him. When corn is scarce, he cannot have the same share as when it is abundant. But by what means is he prevented from procuring the same quantity of provisions as formerly? By the operation, undoubtedly, of a higher price, which prevents him from purchasing the same quantity. If it be necessary, then, for the well-being of society, that the daily or monthly consumption of corn should be suited to the supply of the year, ---if, in a time of scarcity, the labourer must be put upon short allowance, and if the price must rise to accomplish this necessary end ;---How can we suppose that another opposite principle should be instantly set in motion, to counteract those provident regulations of nature,--that when the price of corn was rising, in order to prevent the labourer from having the same command over the necessaries of life as before, his wages · should be also rising for the very opposite purpose? We know,
that his allotted stock of provisions for the year, depends entirely on the nature of the annual supply,—that while that supply remains the same, no general rise of wages can alter his share of it;-we know also, that nature does nothing in vain. But nothing certainly can be more vain than, when provisions become scarce, and the price rises, to mock the labourer with an increase of wages, which must be merely nominal. The absurdity of attempting to relieve the miseries of a scarcity, by giving donations of money to those who are in want of food, has been very clearly exposed, and is now generally condemned. But do we not charge nature with the same absurdity, when we suppose that a scarcity of corn, and a consequent high price, necessarily draws after it a rise in the pecuniary wages of labour? The principle in both cases is exactly the same. As it appears to use
ing encourages a farmer a high be doubleans has no ;
therefore, that the high price of provisions has no influence on the price of labour, it cannot be doubted, we imagine, that the þounty gives the farmer a higher price for his corn, and thus sợ far encourages agriculture. But we doubt the propriety of making the community pay a higher price for corn in order to encourage agriculture.
With respect to the alleged steadiness of prices, it is difficult to conceive how this effect can be produced by a bounty of 5s, on the quarter of corn. Let us suppose that corn in France and England is 5Qs., and that a bounty of 5s. is given in England for sending corn to France ;-the charges of transporting it will probably amount to 2s. per quarter, leaving the exporter a profit of 3s. As corn is sent out of England, however, the price will rise ; and as it is sent into France, it will fall. Supposing the price to rise in England 2s., and to fall in France Is., then the exportation would be stopped. There would be no greater profit in selling corn in France than in England. It is impossible to tell exactly how much corn must be exported before the price in EngJand would rise 2s., or before it would fall in France 1s. But we can tell, with the utmost certainty, that if all that was exported, in consequence of the bounty, were sent back, it would only lower the price as much as the deficiency had raised it; which, accorda ing to our hypothesis, is 2s. Now, the advocates for the bounty contend, that it is by means of the surplus produce, which in ordinary years is exported, and which, in scarce years, is kept at home, that the steadiness of prices is produced. But it appears by the preceding statement, that if all the corn which was sent abroad by means of the bounty were retained at home, it would only sink the price in the home market 9s. In years of plenty, therefore, a bounty of 5s on the quarter of wheat would raise the price Ys. ; and in years of scarcity it would sink it probably as much. In the one reason, it would give a trifling encouragement to agriculture; in the other, it would rather discourage it. To what side the balance would incline, on the whole, it is diss. cult to say, and it really appears to us not to be worth while to consider. From the most attentire consideration of the case, the adrantages of the measure seem to be at best but doubtful; and, at any rata, they are quite insignibcant ; so that we do not
hink it pradent for government in this, more than in any other caso to tamper with the trade in oor
ART. XIV. Exposition of the Practices and Machinations which ' led to the Usurpation of the Crown of Spain, and the Means ad
opted by the Emperor of the French to carry it into Execution. By Don Pedro Cevallos, First Secretary of State and Despatches to his Catholic Majesty Ferdinand VII. Translated from the Original Spanish. London, 1808.
W e gladly avail ourselves of the appearance of this interesting
document, in order to enter somewhat at large into several points, either omitted, or too slightly touched upon, in our former observations on Spanish affairs. Dut we must premise a few things respecting the state-paper now before us, and its author.
Don Pedro Cevallos, after more than the Pythagorean period of silence on every discussion which concerned the interests of his country, and particularly the two grand subjects, of the French alliance, and the Prince of the Peace, has now happily recovered his speech, and talks like a most patriotic Spaniard, and a bold politician. In truth, to hear him, one is tempted to think it some other Don Pedro than the illustrious person who, for so many years, acted as the tool of the reigning favourite, and helped him out with all his submissions to France. His new principles are no doubt much better than his old ; but we cannot avoid just noticing the change as we pass along.
After observing that it is the duty of one who has been placed, in circumstances like his, to develop the various machinations of his country's energies, (and who, indeed, so fit to make such an exposition, as he whose lot has been cast successively in all parties?) he proceeds to sketch very hastilythe political conduct of the Spanish cabinet, during the interval between the peace of Basle and the Late convulsions. This he characterizes with some asperity. "To, " maintain, at all hazards, the ruinous alliance concluded in 1796, " he says, there is no sacrifice which Spain has not made.'6.Fleets, armies, treasure-every thing was sacrificed to France• humiliations-submissions—every thing was suffered-every
thing was done to satisfy, as far as possible, the insatiable des mands of the French government.' The reader of these invectives would scarcely suspect that he has them from the pen of the man who was minister for foreign affairs in Spain, during the period of all those sribmissions and humiliations--who presided over that department when the fiets of Spain were sacrificed ai Trafalgar--her armies drafted off to Germany—and her tre.15147 offered up at the feet of France, until England chose it inake war with her for the purpose of sharing in the plunder, after a negociation conducted by this very Don Pedro in his capacity of Toveign minister. After serving Charles IV. under the Prince of 04