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fact, it never was intended to be a relaxation, but was passed with a full knowledge that it was a severer law than the previous one. To understand this subject clearly, it was necessary to refer to the very different state of the currency in 1815 and 1828; at which latter period it had undergone an appreciation of about twenty-five per cent. That this point was very well understood by the confederates—he might call them conspirators—who passed the present law, was very evident to all who read the proceedings in parliament of that time. Indeed, the alteration in the currency was urged by the chancellor of the exchequer, Mr Robinson (who let the cat out of the bag when hard pressed by Sir E. Knatchbull and the fanatics of the agricultural party for a complete monopoly), as a reason for passing the bill; and Sir F. Burdett, who was in favour of the high duty on corn, consoled his party, by telling them, that whilst the currency law remained in force, they would not be worse off by the change. An appeal to the duties at the two periods fully justifies this opinion. In 1815, corn was admissible duty free at 80s. ; and by the law of 1828, it is admitted at a shilling duty, when the price in the home market reaches 73s. Taking into account the change that had taken place in the currency, by which the sum of 80s. in 1815 had been made equivalent to 60s. in 1828, the landlords actually raised the monopoly some fifteen per cent. higher by the change. In further proof of his position, he referred the meeting to Mr Porter's excellent work, “The Progress of the Nation"—a book that all ought to possess—in which it was clearly shewn, that in the years subsequent to the law of 1828, the people of this country had consumed a less number of pints of foreign corn per head, taking into account the increase of population, than they had done previous to that change. He joined with Mr Smith in .# indignation at such scandalous robbery, in the name of legislation; and he o: it became the duty of the Chamber of Commerce to declare energetically, that it knew and felt the extent of the injustice inflicted upon the trading community. Agreeing with Mr Dyer, that it was useful to submit to the meeting such facts as came under one's personal observation, he would add, that he had made the tour of Germany lately, and had given some attention to the progress of manufactures in those countries through which he had passed; and without going again over the statistics of Mr Smith, further than to corroborate generally what he had stated, he would refer to a branch of industry that was making great progress, and which had struck him as one of the most ominous signs he had witnessed. He WOL. II. 12

alluded to the great increase in the manufacture of machinery abroad, under the auspices of English mechanics. Previous to the time of passing the corn law in 1828, the manufacturers and spinners of this country, anxious to share the monopoly of the landholders in some shape, pressed for a prohibition of the exportation of machinery, and it was granted. The artizan, who had been previously interdicted from emigrating, now demanded a law to enable him to carry his labour to the best market, and this of course was granted. And here we see the invariable effects of trying to make selfishness harmonize with the public good. The artizan left this country to teach the foreign spinner how to organize his mill, and was then sent home to reap the effects in a restricted market for his industry. But now the demand arises for the makers of machinery, and the same process was going on to instruct the foreigner in making spinning frames, that was formerly done in spinning cotton. Whilst at Dresden he was shewn over a large machine-making establishment, by an Englishman, who took him into a large room filled with machinery for spinning flax, with Gore and Wesley's patent improvements—this, said he, was brought out from England, at an expense of 35,000 dollars, for models, and I am engaged to superintend the copying it. At Chemnitz, also in §. he visited also a large establishment organized and conducted by English mechanics for the manufactureof machinery. And it happened, that on the very day he was there, the place was decorated with ever-greens and laurel branches, for the purposeof doinghonour to the king and queen of Saxony, who paid a visit to the premises. He found at Prague, in Bohemia, an establishment belonging to an Englishman, for making machinery for manufactures. And at Vienna there were two of our countrymen accommodated under an imperial roof, carrying on a similar trade. At Elberfield and Aix-la-Chapelle, he also found large machine-making businesses carried on by Englishmen. At Leige there is a similar concern, the largest in the world, belonging to Mr Cockerell, who was born at Haslingden, in this county, and who employs nearly four thousand hands. And at Zurich, he found the large establishment of Mr Esher, with an Englishman at the head of the foundry, and another at the head of the forge, casting five tons of iron a day brought from England, into spindles, rollers, and wheels, for the spinners and manufacturers of Austria, Saxony, or Bavaria. In almost every large town there were English mechanics instructing the natives to rival us. Now he contended, that every one of those artizans was expatriated from their country by act of the British parliament. They carried their labour abroad, because our corn law will not allow them to exchange the results of their industry for the corn and food of other countries. He quitted the continent at Antwerp for England, and he would tell them what were his feelings after walking through the deserted exchange of that once famous emporium, and looking at its almost deserted harbours, in which, by the way, he observed American, not English vessels, which had been the bearers of the coffee and sugar of Cuba. Whilst looking at these evidences of departed greatness, and reflecting upon the cause of the decay of Antwerp, of the atrocities of the Spanish general Alva, who banished the skilful weaver and the capitalist of Belgium to foreign countries, he felt a conviction, which he still was sorry to entertain, that the rulers of this country were pursuing precisely the same policy as the Spanish governor in É. or Louis XIV., by the revocation of his edict of Nantes—that our aristocracy was playing over again the same part in a different character—and unless prevented by the efforts of the suffering people, it would end as in Belgium, in the ruin of the empire. (Loud cheers.) After entreating his hearers not to suffer themselves to be deluded by any other plan which the aristocracy might, with a view to lead them upon a wrong scent, É. whether by war or diplomacy, to benefit trade; ut exhorting them to keep a steady eye upon the corn law, which was the real and is, obstacle to an increase of their trade, he concluded by proposing, if it met the views of the company, to offer a resolution, without at all meaning any disrespect to the directors, that the chamber should meet again next week, to pass a petition, praying for the total repeal of all protective duties whatever. (Cheers.) Mr Edmund Ashworth (brother of Mr H. Ashworth, and carrying on extensive spinning establishments, under the firm of H. and E. Ashworth,) in seconding Mr Cobden's amendment, said, he thought that even though they should require another meeting of the chamber, if their time should then be as profitably employed as it had been on that occasion, few would regret the necessity of their coming again together. The petition seemed to read as if there were some tampering with the question, and he thought it should be worded with more decision. On that account he seconded the amendment that the meeting should be adjourned, and that a committee should be appointed to draw up a petition which would more fully embody the sentiments of the chamber. And he did not think that by pursuing this course the least disrespect would be shewn to the directors, because there had been matters brought to view since they met, which were calculated to affect the

expression of their opinion on the subject before them. Mr Fletcher had said he approved of the petition because it was moderate in its tone. He (Mr Ashworth) opposed it on account of its want of energy. If that chamber were really intelligent, ought it not to speak fully out? If their sentiments were strong they ought to express them strongly. At present the country was governed by the landed interest, and there were merchants ignorant enough to be led away by the sophistry put forth as to the paramount value of our home market to the manufacturer. Only a fifth of the cotton fabrics produced were consumed at home, and of the twenty millions of cotton goods annually exported, more of it was in the shape of yarn than would yield five millions sterling to our workmen, supposing it to be woven into cloth. He hoped the meeting would see the reasonableness of adjourning, in order that a more stringent petition might be prepared. Mr Cobden said, that, only the day before, he had received a call from the most extensive agent in Leipsic, for the sale of all articles of Saxon and Bohemian product; and he (Mr Cobden) had given him introductions to the American houses, for the purpose of his transacting business with them in the sale of his products. He would venture to predict, that, in five years, the agents of Saxon houses would be established in Liverpool and Manchester for the sale of their products in these markets. Mr Samuel Fletcher thought, that by adjourning the meeting, the chamber would lose much time; and concurring with Mr Smith and Mr Dyer, he thought all they aimed at was sufficiently embodied in the prayer of the petition. Mr J. C. Dyer said, that the substance of last year's petition might be embodied in this; without which, he thought the present one feeble and ineffective. Mr William Gibb (wine and spirit merchant) said, the directors, doubtless, wished to draw up a petition satisfactory to every party, and to ask for something which they might get ; and he thought it better to go for half a loaf, than to ask for a whole one and get nothing. (Disapprobation.) Mr William Rawson thought that anything short of the total abolition of the corn laws would not save us five years. The Chairman regretted that he had so inadequately expressed his own intention and the wishes of the directors, as to lead to the petition being so much misunderstood. Its prayer was, that the existing corn laws be repealed; not one word was said of either protective or prohibitive duties on corn. Mr Cobden said, that if the petition was so framed in its wording as to be misinterpreted by himself and various other gentlemen present, that was some proof that it was not sufficiently strong, precise, and clear. Mr J. C. Dyer thought its length gave it feebleness and indecision. Mr H. Tootal, avowing himself a zealous advocate for free trade, and as desirous for the repeal of the corn laws as Mr Smith, expressed a wish that the petition might be adopted. Mr Henry Ashworth (a cotton spinner and a county magistrate) said, he thought every attention and delicacy had been manifested towards the directors; but he questioned whether, if they pressed for any further expression of sentiment, they would find the meeting so much in their favour as they expected. He strongly urged the postponement of the meeting. Mr George Sandars (a corn merchant) expressed his total dissent from the amendment. He believed the directors, with one or two solitary exceptions, did not wish for the total and immediate repeal of the corn laws, and he thought it impolitic to aim at that. Mr Samuel Stocks (cotton spinner and bleacher) should be glad to have a committee appointed to act with the directors, in drawing up a petition to be laid before an adjourned meeting. Mr Wm. Neild urged the importance of unanimity, and thought all that was wished might be expressed in the petition before the meeting without adjournment; but he would submit to the directors, whether it was well to press the subject forward, after the opinion expressed by different parties present. Mr Richard Roberts (cotton merchant, chairman of the bank of Manchester) thought great advantage would be secured by the opportunity of consideration afforded by a week's adjournment; and he wished to impress the sentiment, that the manufacturers were not taking a one-sided view of the question, but were endeavouring to secure the best interests of the whole country. He should support the amendment. Mr John Spencer (manufacturer) thought a week's delay would enable the chamber to embody the principle of last year's petition to the fullest extent in its present petition. Mr M*Clure (wholesale dealer) came with the full intention of opposing the motion for a repeal of the corn laws, expecting that it would be unqualified, and therefore, under existing circumstances, an injustice to one portion of the community; but he should support the petition because it was moderate. Mr Fletcher and Mr J. C. Dyer again spoke; and the chairman said, that, before putting the question, it was right

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