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being restricted to the home supply of food. The laws relating to the supply of food, being made by parties interested in supplying it at a dear rate, was the cause of this condition of the people. But suppose, for the sake of argument, an opposite state, of things had prevailed; that the power of making the laws had passed into the hands of the manufacturers, bankers, capitalists, professional men ; and that, instead of our becoming a great manufacturing people, our numbers had dwindled; suppose that the agriculturists had cultivated the land, and produced much more food than the people could consume, and that, in order to take up the entire supply produced by the home soil, a great portion of it were sold at extremely reduced prices, and much waste happened, and that little or no rent could be obtained by the landlords, with such a depression of prices and glut of the home market for food;—then, suppose the manufacturers and merchants to say to the agriculturists—“Gentlemen, you shall not have a yard of broad cloth, or a piece of calico, or a parcel of hardware, or any description of manufactures, except from our shops and warehouses, and at three times the price charged by our neighbours on the continent. We have a right to the home market, and you have no right to go abroad, and buy cheaper than you can at home.” The consequence would be, that corn would be a drug in the market; other nations, flourishing in manufactures and commerce, would wish to buy our corn, but could not pay for it; not from want of money, but because we would not (in this case) take any of their manufactures in return; and the English agriculturist could therefore have no export trade, or relieve himself from extreme low prices, unless the manufacturin

monopolists, who, in this supposable case had made the prohibitory laws, would consent to repeal them; ought not the injured parties, in the case here supposed, to denounce such legislation as grossly selfish and unjustifiable, and to unite their energies to cause the removal of laws so cruel and oppressive as applied to the landlords; and was not the actual case of the manufacturers at present, the exact converse of the case supposed ? He thought, then, that we ought not to flinch from an absolute demand for the repeal of all duties on corn; and he would repeat, that if it should happen that farmers having long leases should suffer by the instantaneous repeal, all such cases would have a fair claim to national indemnity. He thought the meeting ought to adopt that petition, which left no doubt of the great danger of continuing in our present course, or of the indignant and resentful feeling which its continuance would foster in the public mind. He entreated the chamber to adopt that form prepared by Mr Cobden, as that which was most energetic and expressive of its opinion. Mr R. H. Greg (of the old firm of Samuel Greg and Co., the most extensive spinners in the kingdom, consuming in their numerous establishments the one-hundredth part of all the cotton spun in this country—Mr R. H. Greg is a county magistrate, and is the author of a pamphlet containing a large amount of valuable information upon the subject of factory labour here and abroad, written in reply to an article in the Quarterly Review upon the “Ten Hours Bill”), rose with some hesitation to second the amendment for two reasons:—1st, He had not been present at the last meeting; and, 2dly, As he had not till that moment heard the petition or heard of it, he ought to apologize for taking it up in what might appear so hasty a manner. But the first petition had been before the public during last week; and he thought, in its general character, it had rather too much of the nature of a thesis, as Mr Cobden had said, and was too quiet or moderate. He saw in Mr Cobden's petition (speaking of its general character) not only more facts stated, which were important, but there were great vigour and earnestness pervading it. It had been remarked by a great man and great writer, that no great body of men ever had justice done to them, except through motives of fear and intimidation. Such, unfortunately, was human nature, that you cannot get attention paid to your sufferings unless you shew you are in earnest, or unless, to use the term for want of a better, you threaten. That was the case as to the Catholic question: had it not been for the threatening, or, to use a vulgar term, “bullying.” we should not have obtained that measure. So it was with the reform act, and so it would be with the corn laws. This question was a case of life and death, not only with the masses in this neighbourhood, but he believed it to be one of life and death as regarded the prosperity of England. (Hear, hear.) There was an immense mass, he would not say of ignorance, but of interest united against us; and we had no chance of getting a repeal of those mischievous laws, except by union amongst ourselves, and putting on a most determined aspect, and assuming a most determined tone. For this reason he preferred the general tone of Mr Cobden's form of petition. As to the general question, he would observe, first, that he thought too much had been said about the power of competition of foreign manufacturers in a market common to them and us; but there was one question which preceded that, and was, in fact, of more importance, but which, he thought, had not been sufficiently dwelt upon—namely, that every country has its protecting duties, the effect of which was to give to each country the entire supply of its home market; and what, in fact, was that, but to cut us out first from one market, then from another, and finally from all? (Hear, hear.) We know that, as to the 26,000,000 of people in Germany, it is utterly impossible for us to compete with them, under the 1s. 6d. per lb. duty; nor could we with America, with the duty of 15, and even 20 per cent, after the ultimate tariff is carried into execution. This, then, was plainly our fate, whether we could compete in common markets or not, we should first be excluded from one country, then from another, and then from all. This important question was independent of foreign competition. To add one or two facts to those mentioned by Mr Smith and Mr Cobden, as to the rapidity with which foreign manufacturers supply themselves with the means of competition, he (Mr Greg) had had furnished to him, in the beginning of last year, a list of orders for machinery to the amount of L.500,000 in the hands of Mr Schlumberger, Mr Esher, and a very few others, all foreign machine makers of Belgium, Switzerland, and Germany. (Hear.) That was proceeding with very great vigour, and it might readily be supposed, that that gap which yet remained to be filled up in the supply of their own market, would very rapidly be filled up. The competition was already felt in our own market. His (Mr Greg's) house had last year to break up 200 looms, which formerly supplied an article for one of those markets. And this year they had broken up 200 looms more, which supplied another article for another of those markets. (Hear.) With such facts before him, he was compelled to think that a timid, mild, reasoning, and moderate petition, was not likely to make any impression on the government or the legislature. With regard to the markets of the world, that, though a more remote, would ultimately be a very serious question. Switzerland, the only country abroad that supplied her own consumption, now exported nearly three-fourths of all she manufactured; though no country (except Austria perhaps) was worse situated for an export manufacturing country; having no port, and many disadvantages. Yet nearly three-fourths of all she spins, she manufactures and exports to foreign countries. The spinning-mills on the continent were increasing most rapidly. Last year his (Mr Greg's) brother visited a great variety of those establishments, and he reported that the machinery in their best mills was fully equal to ours. That machinery was made by their own machine makers, though it cost something more than ours, which was owing merely to

the immense profits that their machine makers were now making, which formed a very large proportion of the whole cost of that machinery. But competition would soon reduce prices to their proper level; and their mechanics, getting 12s. a week, would do as much as ours at 30s, a week, and produce machinery, notwithstanding the increased price of metal there, at as low a rate as in this country. The rate of production in their mills, including the extra time worked, exceeded the rate of production here, in any mills of which he had any cognizance. (Hear.) Their (the foreign) mills averaged from 19 to 21 hanks of 40s. twist per day, and there were mills turning off 18 hanks of 60s. twist. An English mechanic from that part of the continent, who was in this country last year, told him (Mr Greg) that he had visited a mill where 18 hanks of 60s. twist was spun ; he saw this done himself, and he said, “I had no conception, sir, of the rate they are going on at in these countries; and my word for it, sir, before seven years are over, you must look about yourselves, or you will be beaten.” (ś With respect to the medium qualities of cloth, into which labour enters to a certain amount, there was no doubt in his (Mr Greg's) mind but that Switzerland and Germany would completely beat us out of any common market, after supplying their own home consumption. As to America, not only that could and would be done, in those particular articles where the raw material formed a large portion of the cost, and in which they did actually beat us; but also in our strongest point, where our large establishments, and large capital, told more than where labour formed a larger part of the price. Mr Smith had not mentioned the case of America, and he would, therefore, read over the exports from America. He had a large packet of American grey cloth, and all different kinds of printing cloth, on which he knew that, in 1836, when we were getting here 5d. or 6d. they were clearing a dollar per piece. The exports of their own manufactured cloth from the port of New York alone were, in 1823, 1,700 bags; in 1825, 1,600; in 1827, 2,500; in 1828, 1,900; in 1829, 2,800; in 1830, 5,300; in 1831, 3,000; in 1833, 13,000; and in that part of 1834 of which he had a return, 10,000 bags, valued at two millions of dollars. In 1835, the export was valued at 2,856,000 dollars. He had no returns i. the last two years; but he knew that, in the eighteen months including half of 1836 and the year 1837, the Americans had exported 20,000 bales of their own manufactured cloth round the Cape of Good Hope, and 16,000 bales of cloth to South America. (Hear, hear.) As to the profits on these articles, it was sometimes said that the Americans could not compete with us in plain cloths, but must sell without profit. A gentleman, who had established a mill at Lowell, and who was formerly well known to some gentlemen here, stated that he had cleared there, in great part by these exports, L.200,000; and gentlemen might be sure the Americans would not export at the rate stated, if they did not get a profit by it. The same gentleman, who was the owner of the mills at Lowell, said to him (Mr Greg), “We have pushed these low domestics beyond the mark, and now we are turning our attention to spinning low numbers of twist for the German market.” (Hear, hear.) These were facts which, for some time past, had filled him (Mr Greg) with alarm ; but what most alarmed him was this, that our own manufacturers and merchants—those who ought to know better—who knew or ought to have known these facts—were not only ignorant of, but utterly incredulous as to these facts. That was the most alarming feature of our case. It was not so much the interest of the landed gentry that kept us in this condition, as our own ignorance or indifference on the one hand, and the union of the landed interest on the other. These circumstances had been acting on his mind and the minds of his partners so powerfully, that some time ago they had made a determination to have no increase whatever of their establishments in this country, but in any further increase to look abroad. (Hear.) They had been on the point more than once, and should be again, of forming establishments out of this country—in Germany, and probably in America—such were their convictions, that they intended to act upon them in this way. Then came the question, If this was the state of things, what could be done? How could we retrace our steps, and extricate ourselves from this difficulty and danger? He was certainly almost hopeless respecting our capability of extricating ourselves; but his strong conviction was, that the only chance of escape lay in the repeal of the corn laws; and the progress of the operation of such repeal would be just the reverse of what had taken place. The corn laws had first deprived our customers of the means of payment, not from poverty, for it was not a question of price, but we said to them, “Gentlemen, we won't take what you offer us in payment ; we don't like your bill; we don't like your cash.”. We would not take what the foreigner had to give us. The next step was to make him a manufacturer, of course; the next was to give him cheap food; and the next, to give ourselves dear food; and this was the way in which our ruin would be consummated, if we obtained no remedy for the evil. The repeal of the corn laws would reverse

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