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Answer.—The turnpike plan again—the power of paying effectual taxes depends upon getting and having a great many useful things; and he who decrees that the useful things shall be cut down to half, decrees that the taxes shall. 7. “It is, therefore, quite evident to me, that neither the corn manufacturer, nor any other manufacturer, ought to be deprived of these protections which are intended to cover them from the competition of similar labours, the products of other countries not similarly situated as we are.” Answer.—What is the object of foreign trade altogether, but to get “the products of other countries not similarly situated as we are s” Why do we buy our port wine from Portugal, instead of making wine in hot-houses here, but because Portugal is not “similarly situated as we are,” in respect to making wine : But the thing must be looked deeper into, Start the question at once, of what would be gained and lost to the community in the aggregate, by stopping the trade with Portugal in order that land-owners and coal-owners might benefit by making wine in hot-houses at home. First, all the trade which make the goods which now go to Portugal, must be knocked on the head, to be given to the land-owners and coal-owners. Secondly, all the additional trade that is made by the expenditure on land-owners and coal-owners of the increase of price of wine demanded from the customers of wine, will be taken from somebody on whom those customers would have expended it if they had been let alone ; for it is clear as day, that the man, who is to pay twenty shillings instead of four for his bottle of wine, must spend sixteen less on somebody else. Balance, gaining to trade in general, none ; less to the consumer, sixteen shillings; without anybody in the aggregate being any better for it. 8. “We talk of Free Trade, where is it ! It does not exist ; I do not think, as the world is constituted, it can exist; or if the name has any meaning it must imply reciprocity, that is, that foreign countries may be opened to our trade, and that in return we shall admit them to competition in our markets in any way they can. Now where is the nation prepared to do this with us?” Answer.—The defect is in not knowing that the nation which buys its goods in the cheapest and not in the dearest markets, makes a gain, whether that other nation has the wit to do so or not. I won't accept of gain—(No.1.)— unless the foreigner will give me gain—(No. 2.)—for sauce to it, and make one for himself besides. The mistake is in supposing that one gain is dependent on the other. 9. “Surely the corn growers have as much right to pro
tection as the woollen or cotton manufacturers; and imagine for a moment these protections once removed—if conceded in one case they must also be conceded in the other—imagine, I say, what must be the chaos in which all the great interests of the country must be involved, and then who is to put it to rights again f" Answer.—The manufacturers have had the genius to declare that they want nothing but to have their own so called “protection” swept away, on the condition that the CornLaws go along with them. The argument from chaos is only like assuming that if men left off the system of turnpikes, turn and turn about, chaos would come again, 10. “I have some experience as a merchant in foreign trade, by which I mean with countries independent of us, and my experience has taught me to set a far lighter value upon it than many people who talk of it appear to do. Our home-trade in Great Britain, Ireland, and our foreign dependencies, form the sheet anchor of the prosperity of British trade.” Answer.—We want to have what we might, when we could get it. The answer to us is, “Do not exchange a web of cloth for three quarters of corn to the foreigners; you will find it vastly more advantageous to exchange it for two to Great Britain, Ireland, and our foreign dependencies. Depend upon it, selling for two quarters instead of three, is the sheet anchor of the British trade. 11. “And if our own manufacturers would resist the temptations which the fallacies of manufacturing create, and limit their productions in some degree to the natural demands of that home-trade which I have described, we should have fewer bankruptcies and less complaining.” Answer.—It is a great pity the manufacturers will not resist the temptation of getting three pecks of corn for one hour's work instead of two ; and that they will not allow the home-trade (which means the land-owners) to have their way in working them at what rate per hour they like : 12. “Where is the landed gentleman who could afford to lose £123,000 in one year " Answer.—Where is the collector on the highways who could afford to lose £123,000 in one year ! But is that any reason why his receipts should be increased till he can : 13. “Those who advocated the abolition of the Corn Laws at one time made it a prominent argument that it would enable the manufacturers to obtain the labour of their people at alower rate, and thus give them greater means of competing with other countries; but it appears to me that this argument has been lately laid by, for the labourers were not long in discovering, that if a reduction of wages was to follow a reduction in the price of corn, there would be precious little advantage to them.”
Answer.—This was tried upon the working classes, and held them (truth to say) longer than it could have been expected to hold a butter wife. But they have come to the knowledge at last that the question is whether wages would fall as much as the price cf corn; just as if it were proposed to them to make the quantity of corn in the country one half, in order that the price of corn and wages might rise, they would ask whether it was possible for wages to rise as much as corn, and so give every man the same quantity out of the half as out of the whole. If wages are to fall as much as corn, who is to eat it :
14. “Land-owners are abused as idlers, consuming the fruits of the earth ; but is there either truth or justice in the abuse ! Is not the landlord the capitalist, and in conjunction with the farmer, the manufacturer of corn ?”
Answer.—They are not abused when they keep themselves honest. They are abused when they leave off the operations of capitalists and take to the highway to stop other men's trades.
15. “And what comparison will the rent of land bear to the profits of trade : Rent is a moderate item in the cost of the production of corn—the remainder is the result of that value given to labour by the peculiar circumstances under which our country is placed.”
Ansurer.—Honest rent is all very well ; but dishonest, which is taken out of other people's pockets in the price of food, is what the community is rising against. The “ peculiar circumstances” which make us pay it are just what we mean to get rid of.
16. “I have unbounded confidence in the national resources, the energy, the skill, the enterprise, and the capital of this country, if they may but have fair play.”
Answer.—The fair play consisting in tying the man neckand-heels. Our ships may carry our goods abroad, and they may bring home anything but what will pay. What would sell at home with a profit, is what a tax is to be laid upon to keep it out. Heaven deliver our energies from such fair play as this. All this is very obsolete and old. The working classes are two years' march in knowledge before their adversaries.
MR. BECKETT DENIsoN's FALLAcies ANswered by colonel
17. “He defied them to extract from the annals of parliament one single act that could enrich the aristocracy at the expense of the poor. The land-owner would never consent to such unjust laws being passed.” Answer.—The landlord only enacted that the poor shall bid against one another for the small quantity of corn instead of the great, and the land-owner pocket the difference of price in the shape of rent. The landlord only enacts that the poor man shall give three hours' labour to him for a peck of wheat, when a man over the sea is offering it for two. 18. “I wish all classes to live well, to enjoy life, and have a good dinner every day, and, in my opinion, the only way to secure it is to protect the growers of corn.” Answer.—Suppose the manufacturer were to say, “I wish every man to enjoy life, and wear a good pair of breeches, and, in my opinion, the only way to ensure it is, to give the manufacturer a tax on home-grown corn.” How much the agriculturists would thank him for his wishes. 19. “The complaints might be divided into three classes; one comprised the manufacturers and monied men; another, theorists; and the third, practical. The first elass, the manufacturers and monied men, said that the Corn Laws cramped their energies, kept wages higher than they ought to be, that they encouraged manufactures abroad, and were directly and indirectly detrimental to all classes.” Answer.—The Leeds manufacturers say, that when a Hull captain carries their cloth abroad, he may lay out what it sells for, in any thing but what will pay But what would sell with a profit when it got to Hull, that he may not bring ! Is this cramping their energies or not ? They say, too, that a manufacturer abroad is laughing in his sleeve and saying, “Blessings on the men that prevent these Leeds people from making a bargain; now then, up with a manufactory of our own.” Is this encouraging manufactures abroad or not? The truth is that the Leeds man is cut out of the supplying of all the cloth he could sell if he might bring home corn, which he cannot now, and, that a premium is held out to the foreign manufacturers to make it for him. 20. “If they had given proof that manufactures were decaying.” Answer.—What right have they to demand that manufactures shall decay ? If the manufacturers have not the trade they might have, they are robbed, whether it is less this year than last or not. 21. “If they had given proof that there was a monopoly of the produce of the soil.” Answer.—Does this mean “a monopoly of the monopolists' soil f" The complaint is, that men here oblige us to buy the produce of their own soil, when there are men on the other side of the water offering us the produce of another soil at half price. 22. “If they had given proof that the Corn Laws were detrimental to the well-being of the community.” Answer.—Every man is a proof unto himself, that he is bidding against his neighbours for a share of a small quantity of corn when it might be for a great ; and that he is giving to the monopolists of corn an increased portion of all his substance accordingly. 23. “Another class which he had mentioned were the theorists, who proclaim that every man should be allowed to buy in the cheapest market ; that the Corn Laws were quite inhuman, &c. This observation might as well be applied to every article of life ; to tea, which was taxed at three ard a half millions per annum, &c.” Answer.—Theorists are men who look before their noses. But... the theorists see a weighty difference between the cases here brought together. If there was a tax on all corn, the case might be something like that of tea. But there is a tax on every body's corn except the home-maker's. It is as if there should be a tax on every body's tea, except the tea the squires were to make at home in hot-houses. 24, “He would tell them that there was such a thing as a national debt, and that if they were to keep faith with the public creditor, they must have a revenue.” Answer.—A revenue is to be raised out of the national wealth, and not out of the national poverty. There is no use in telling people, “You must be a little nation instead of a great one, or else you will not have a revenue.” It may be true the revenue must be raised differently; but why should the nation be kept down for that? And in this direction lies the great secret to be kept. Taxation of all kinds most injurious to the wealth and prosperity of the country, must be continued with one single view; to avoid its being laid where it ought to be, on property, and this it was that horrified Lord Melbourne. 25. “The third class said that the Corn Laws were passed to keep the price of corn stationary.”