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over (if he can) landlords, merchants, West Indians, and Buxton & Co. or he may come to a property-tax.

“ In the first case, nothing but à general and decided attack upon all these different monopolies—a sort of commercial reform bill—will give him a chance of success.

In the second, the impossibility of doing this, must be his plea for taking that course. I feel satisfied that no little petty shifting of duties on one article or another, will give you anything like the revenue you want, and yet the attempt will probably be more troublesome than the greater measure. So, if I did not dare adopt either the one or the other really efficient course, I should recommend him rather to have recourse to a loan, than attempt such petty patchwork as I see is suggested in some of my letters from home. But I suppose you will have decided all this already."

Again, on the 25th of May, 1841, on learning the announcement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Baring, in bringing forward the budget of that year, he writes thus:

- You have taken a bold step, and I am all impatience to learn the result, which must of course have been ascertained by this time. But, whatever it be, I sincerely rejoice at your having taken your stand with the country upon a great, an intelligible, and, above all, a practical measure of reform. It has everything to recommend it, in what it touches, and in what it lets alone. It does not meddle with religious prejudices; it does not relate to Ireland; it does not touch on any of the theoretical questions of government on which parties have so long been divided. It is a new flag to fight under, and must prevail eventually, whatever be its success now. The only criticism I should be disposed to pass on your proceeding, is the mode of introducing the question. I think you might have produced a greater effect if you had disconnected it from the budget; but, at a distance, it is not easy to judge of tactics, and that might have been impossible."

12th June." The last accounts I have make me think that the whole of your plan is likely to be upset by the Tories and the class interests. But, never mind. The seed is sown —and the flag of commercial reform is at last unfurled, and sooner or later it must triumph. The debate of the 18th May (my latest news) tells me nothing of what your course will be ; but I trust, for your own sakes and that of the cause, that you will not have abandoned the helm to the Tories

upon

the mere defeat upon

the sugar duties, which was of course inevitable. It seems to me that, having once entered upon this new contest, you are bound to proceed with it. If they beat you on

sugar, give them timber; if they beat you on that, give them corn. The discussions must benefit you, and must injure them. And when beaten on all, and your course of policy fairly before the country, test it with a dissolution, which though it can scarcely be expected to give you a majority, or render resignation unnecessary, will at least have ranged parties under the new banners, both on one side and the other, and enable you to force your measures on another government, should your own not get back.”

I consider Lord John's speech on opening the sugar duties as the crowning work even of his mind. He stands, indeed, in a glorious position. After having done so much to remove the restrictions upon opinion, and established civil and religious liberty, he now stands forward as the champion of commercial freedom, and has boldly and unanswerably vindicated the rights of the masses against the monopolies of classes. Whether the attempt succeed or fail now, he will have done for the every-day material interests of the country that which he before did in the interest of freedom of opinion; and no man before him ever did so much against such fearful odds."

To Lord John Russell himself he writes on the same date,

“I have read your speech upon opening the debate on the pugar question with feelings of admiration and pleasure which I cannot describe. The free-traders have never been orators since Mr Pitt's early days. We hammered away with facts and figures, and some argument; but we could not elevate the subject, and excite the feelings of the people. At last, you, who can do both, have fairly undertaken it, and the cause has a champion worthy of it. I regret that I am not once more on the treasury bench to enjoy the triumph, and lend my small assistance in the fight; but you do not want it, and it is most gratifying to me to hear from you that I have been of some service to you here at least.”

“ It seems to me to be an immense point gained to get a new flag under which to fight. The people of England don't care a rush for any of your Irish hobby-horses, and they are not with you upon church matters or grievances of that kind. Even the great success of our foreign policy has not touched them the least, and I doubt whether twenty victories would give you a borough or a county. But you have now given them an intelligible principle offering practical benefits to contend for; and though defeated on it, as you doubtless will be, defeat will be attended with reputation, and will make you, as

a party in the country, far stronger than you have been of late."

Upon learning the commencement of the elections, he writes to his brother, 12th July 1841,

"I am sorry, for your sake, that Lord John quits Stroud ; - but I honour and admire him more than ever for throwing himself thus into the thick even of the election battle. He is, indeed, a LEADER. I wonder how long and often Peel would have weighed matters before he had consented to such a thing! The liberal party ought to buy him an estate, or build him a house, or erect him a statue of gold. As for me, who am in general not given to enthusiasm, I cannot find terms for my admiration of his whole conduct. He seems to rise with every difficulty, and each speech or act seems unsurpassable till the next comes, and you find it still superior to its predecessor.”

And on the 11th August,

" The last accounts have brought me the conclusion of your elections, which are worse than I was led to expect. But after all it was impossible to look for much more, with such a host of interest arrayed against you, and only the “ unprotected publicfor you. Morpeth's defeat in the West Riding is the worst in effect, as it gives the Tories fair grounds for asserting that the manufacturing interests are divided upon your measures. The Yorkshire clothiers and flax-spinners deserve to be ruined for their folly. And they stand a good chance of being so, I am afraid; for it certainly would appear, that between the difficulty of getting returns for goods, caused by our exclusion of foreign articles, and the immense increase of manufacturing power abroad, the depression and distress of trade in England is not likely to be relieved by leaving things alone—the Tory remedy,

" I am too much broken in health to take much more than the interest of a spectator in the political struggle, if there be one, next session; and I shall not be at all sorry for the opportunity of trying, by quiet and amusement, to save the remains of my constitution ; but I cannot but feel deeply anxious about the country, and I am very gloomy as to its prospects. The evil which ten years ago I predicted, if we did not liberalise our commercial policy, has fallen on it. We have successful rivals everywhere, and friends nowhere. Even the bold and gallant struggle you have made is misrepresented, and attributed, not to its true motive, a conviction of the truth of the principles of free trade, but the desire to mislead other nations, and prevent them from following you in your (successful !!) policy of protection and prohibition. That, however, is no

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a party in the country, far stronger than you have been of late."

Upon learning the commencement of the elections, he writes to his brother, 12th July 1841,

“ I am sorry, for your sake, that Lord John quits Stroud; but I honour and admire him more than ever for throwing himself thus into the thick even of the election battle. He is, indeed, a LEADER. I wonder how long and often Peel would have weighed matters before he had consented to such a thing! The liberal party ought to buy him an estate, or build him a house, or erect him a statue of gold. As for me, who am in general not given to enthusiasm, I cannot find terms for my admiration of his whole conduct. He seems to rise with every difficulty, and each speech or act seems unsurpassable till the next comes, and you find it still superior to its predecessor.”

And on the 11th August,

“ The last accounts have brought me the conclusion of your elections, which are worse than I was led to expect. But after all it was impossible to look for much more, with such a host of interest arrayed against you, and only the unprotected public” for you. Morpeth's defeat in the West Riding is the worst in effect, as it gives the Tories fair grounds for asserting that the manufacturing interests are divided upon your measures. The Yorkshire clothiers and flax-spinners deserve to be ruined for their folly. And they stand a good chance of being so, I am afraid ; for it certainly would appear, that between the difficulty of getting returns for goods, caused by our exclusion of foreign articles, and the immense increase of manufacturing power abroad, the depression and distress of trade in England is not likely to be relieved by leaving things alone—the Tory remedy.

“ I am too much broken in health to take much more than the interest of a spectator in the political struggle, if there be one, next session; and I shall not be at all sorry for the opportunity of trying, by quiet and amusement, to save the remains of my constitution ; but I cannot but feel deeply anxious about the country, and I am very gloomy as to its prospects. The eril which ten years ago I predicted, if we did not liberalise our commercial policy, has fallen on it. We have successful rivals everywhere, and friends nowhere. Even the bold and gallant struggle you have made is misrepresented, and attributed, not to its true motive, a conviction of the truth of the principles of free trade, but the desire to mislead other nations, and prevent them from following you in your (successful!!) policy of protection and prohibition. That, however, is no

excuse for the folly and ingratitude of the English people, for which they will pay dearly, if I am not mistaken.”

While presiding at the Board of Trade, Mr Thomson established the School of Design at Somerset House. The inferiority of our manufactures in the essential quality of beauty and taste of pattern to those of the French and some other nations, had long been acknowledged as a great disadvantage in our competition with them, in both the home and foreign inarket. This inferiority was justly attributed to the want of some means of instruction in the art of design as adapted to manufactures, open to such persons as were willing to apply themselves to this branch of art. In France, Bavaria, and Prussia, public schools had long ago been established for this purpose by the respective governments; and hence the superiority of the continental manufactures in this respect.

The public voice has long since acknowledged the great benefits likely to result, and partly realised from this institution; and the friends of art and of our manufacturing industry will no doubt always be ready to acknowledge their obligations to its founder.

The principle of affording a copyright in designs employed in manufactures, (without which, indeed, those engaged in this branch of art could have no prospect of fitting remuneration,) was likewise considered, and would no doubt have been introduced by him to parliament, as has been since successfully accomplished by Mr Emerson Tennent, had he remained long enough at the Board of Trade. He laboured, but in vain, also to persuade America and France, and other foreign countries, to admit the principle of international copyright. He had with this view introduced into parliament, in the session of 1838, and successfully carried into a law, a bill for enabling the government to make treaties with foreign powers for this very desirable purpose.

His endeavours to extend the warehousing system, first at the sea-ports, and secondly, to the inland towns, were constant. Reference has been already made to the acts of the 3 and 4 William IV. c. 56 and 58, brought in by him for the former purpose. The warehousing department has since the passing of these acts become by far the most important in the whole circle of our fiscal arrangements. Its importance can best be judged of by the fact, that the duties alone payable on the goods at any time under the Queen's lock in the several bonded warehouses in the kingdom have been estimated at upwards of fifty millions !

The enumeration of the public services of Mr Poulett Thomson while engaged at the Board of Trade might be con

siderably extended, were it not desirable to avoid details which would be tedious. It was his anxious desire to enlarge and complete the sphere of usefulness of that board, and to render it, as a ministerial department, worthy of the great commer cial empire of Britain. He took measures for placing under its superintendence the regulation of the important internal lines of traffic and communication, the railways of the island, which sprung into existence only during his administration. He established a system for a preliminary examination of the private bills brought before parliament; and especially of the applications for the grant of charters to associations. In conjunction with Lord Auckland, then president, he organized, in 1832, a special department in the Board of Trade, for collecting, preparing, and printing digests of the statistics of the empire; and selected for its conduct Mr Porter, to whose valuable labours the public are so greatly indebted for these indispensable materials of a correct judgment on all questions of national economics. His views, in fact, of the proper duties of the office comprised a general system of supervision and regulation of all the legislative, fiscal, and diplomatic arrangements, that bear upon our foreign, colonial, and home trade, and thereby largely determine the wealth, the power, and the prosperity of the empire.

In addition to the foregoing, we are enabled to give by the following letter from Sir Denis Le Marchant, a fuller statement of Mr Thomson's efforts to enlarge the sphere of usefulness of the Board of Trade upon the authority of one who assisted him in these valuable labours with a zeal for the public interests emulous of his own.

“ Harley Street, 4th May, 1843. “ My dear Sir,

“ I have read your memoir with the deepest interest: you have done no more than justice to Lord Sydenham's memory. It would require all the bitterness of political hostility to deny that he was entitled to all the credit you claim for him; nay, he was entitled to more, for you have but slightly touched one point on which the country is under the greatest obligation to him, viz. his attention to the private business of the House of Commons. He was, I believe, the first minister who awakened the house to a sense of their responsibility in this branch of legislation. He saw that the conflict of private interests was not a sufficient security for the public ; his experience in trade alone having shewn him instances where private bills had been made the means of largely and most unjustifiably enriching individuals at the expense of the country. Accordingly he subjected all such bills that related to trade, or that bore in

siderably extended, were it not desirable to avoid details which would be tedious. It was his anxious desire to enlarge and complete the sphere of usefulness of that board, and to render it, as a ministerial department, worthy of the great commer cial empire of Britain. He took measures for placing under its superintendence the regulation of the important internal lines of traffic and communication, the railways of the island, which sprung into existence only during his administration. He established a system for a preliminary examination of the private bills brought before parliament; and especially of the applications for the grant of charters to associations. In conjunction with Lord Auckland, then president, he organized, in 1832, a special department in the Board of Trade, for collecting, preparing, and printing digests of the statistics of the empire ; and selected for its conduct Mr Porter, to whose valuable labours the public are so greatly indebted for these indispensable materials of a correct judgment on all questions of national economics. His views, in fact, of the proper duties of the office comprised a general system of supervision and regulation of all the legislative, fiscal, and diplomatic arrangements, that bear upon our foreign, colonial, and home trade, and thereby largely determine the wealth, the power, and the prosperity of the empire.

In addition to the foregoing, we are enabled to give by the following letter from Sir Denis Le Marchant, a fuller statement of Mr Thomson's efforts to enlarge the sphere of usefulness of the Board of Trade upon the authority of one who assisted him in these valuable labours with a zeal for the public interests emulous of his own.

“ Harley Street, 4th May, 1843 “ My dear Sir,

“ I have read your memoir with the deepest interest: you have done no more than justice to Lord Sydenham's memory. It would require all the bitterness of political hostility to deny that he was entitled to all the credit you claim for him; nay, he was entitled to more, for you have but slightly touched one point on which the country is under the greatest obligation to him, viz. his attention to the private business of the House of Commons. He was, I believe, the first minister who awakened the house to a sense of their responsibility in this branch of legislation. He saw that the conflict of private interests was not a sufficient security for the public; his experience in trade alone having shewn him instances where private bills had been made the means of largely and most unjustifiably enriching individuals at the expense of the country. Accordingly he subjected all such bills that related to trade, or that bore in

any way on the province of his department, to the strictest supervision; the result of which was, that the investigation, previously conducted most imperfectly, perhaps dishonestly, by the committee of the house, took place at the Board of Trade, where the parties attended before him, and underwent the examination he deemed necessary. Some of these inquiries, in the case of harbours and trading companies, consumed much of Mr T.'s time ; and from the discrepancy of the evidence, and the eagerness of the parties, were, as he often said, the most unpleasant parts of his duty. I can vouch for the truth of this observation, as I was always present on these occasions, and had the department under my own peculiar charge. It was also very disagreeable to him, after satisfying himself of the course which the house ought to pursue in these cases, that he encountered violent opposition from members, whom the interests of their constituencies had enlisted on the opposite side. Gradually, however, he obtained general support in these debates, even from his political opponents, especially when it was perceived that he allowed no political feeling to influence his decision, the public welfare being his sole object. In fact, his disregard of all personal and political considerations in the discharge of his duty was ever most honourable to him,

“ His attention to private bills did not stop here; he endeavoured to obtain an alteration of the form in which they are framed; and under his eye his secretary, Mr Symonds, prepared the valuable and voluminous papers on the construction of acts of parliament, which were printed by order of the house in 1836. The recommendations of this report have been partially adopted, and have been of great service, and it was at the suggestion of Mr Thomson, whilst engaged in these inquiries, that the breviates of private bills were introduced, this being only part of the extensive reform he contemplated.

“ You have noticed his attention to charters and letters patent. Before his time all charters were issued by the Home Office; and of course that department not having the means of obtaining accurate information on economical matters, they exercised their jurisdiction very loosely. He made the Board of Trade responsible, and took the most anxious care that the public interests should receive adequate protection. Many were the applications from banks at home and abroad which he rejected. He framed a set of rules or conditions to be inserted in their charters, for security against the misappropriation of the capital, that must have saved the fortunes of many individuals embarked in such concerns from destruction. With the view of preventing unnecessary applications to par

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