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incorporated with the general improvement in land, in draining, embanking, and other ways, that it was impossible for the agriculturist to withdraw it in the same way as might be done in commercial speculations. The capital thus invested would, in this case, be so much national wealth thrown away."

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"Nothing could be more fallacious than the notion, that cheapness in the price of provisions was always a benefit. He had it from good authority, that the labourers in Scotland consumed less corn now than they did when the article was much dearer. Cheapness without a demand for labour was a symptom of distress; cheapness always prevailed where enterprise was at a stand. Thus, in France cheapness, in England capital, prevailed."*

Again, in May, 1820, in the debate on agricultural distress,

"He contended, that the chief cause of the distress complained of was founded in the falling prices of two objects of exchangeable value, which two objects he considered to be corn and labour." †

On adducing evidence supplied by the mind of Mr. Huskisson, the reader must not infer that the evidence thus adduced is to be adopted in its entirety; for the fact is, that this statesman, like the scientific writers, was in the habit of mixing up together matter, one part of which is found to be the contrary of another part, so that they cannot coexist. This attempt to mix up and unite contraries, is exhibited in the passages just adduced, and will, in fact, be found to be exhibited generally by this as also by most other statesmen and writers.

Again, in February, 1822, the discussion being the causes

*Speeches of the Rt. Hon. William Huskisson, vol. i. p. 306.
Ibid. vol. ii. p. 49.

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of agricultural distress, Mr. Huskisson, attributed this, as also manufacturing distress, to excessive or disproportioned production, as will be seen by the following passage:

"It can now no longer be denied, that the manufacturing distress of the years 1816 and 1817 was produced by previous overtrading, combined with the altered value of the currency; it remains to be seen whether causes, in a great degree similar, have not mainly contributed to the present depression of our agriculture. The excess of supply in all the principal markets, proves the redundancy of produce; and that redundancy, together with the improved value of money, is quite sufficient to account for the present low prices. That this superabundant production is of our own growth is also undeniable."

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Again, in the same speech: "If no alteration had been made in our corn trade with Ireland, probably the pressure of this glut might never have been felt, or felt only in a very slight degree, by the English grower. He did not anticipate the immense change which had been produced by the law of 1806. His improvements proceeded upon calculations which did not allow for the prolific powers of the more fertile soils of Ireland. He did not foresee that by the time those expensive improvements would be in their full bearing, we should be furnished with an annual supply from that country exceeding the average import of foreign corn from all parts of the world before the introduction of that law. This, however, is the fact: the present depression is the result of the competition created by an excess in both countries—a competition the more severely felt by both, as they have to struggle at the same time with the increased value of money."

* Speeches of the Rt. Hon. William Huskisson, vol. ii. p. 72.

"The Corn Bill of 1815, however well intended, has certainly contributed to aggravate the present distress. It was passed under an impression of the inability of this country to raise corn enough for its own consumption. The effect of that impression was a pretty general belief, confirmed by the decided opinions of great authorities who opposed the Bill in both Houses of Parliament, that the import price of eighty shillings a quarter would thenceforward be the minimum price of wheat in England. The consequence was, that prospective calculations, either of improvement, or for the letting of land, were formed very much upon these assumptions and as the import price was stated to be the lowest price which, according to the doctrine of that day, would remunerate the British grower, it was considered that up to eighty shillings remuneration was secured, and all above it would be profit. The calculation would not have been disappointed had the data been correct; but the country was then rapidly advancing to a state in which its produce would exceed its consumption; and the erroneous consequences of this calculation, joined to two or three productive harvests, have led to the present depression."

On the 1st of April, 1822, on the discussion of the Colonial Trade Bill, there is a line of argument in conformity with the principle of due regulation, and therefore entirely at variance with the free principle. It runs thus:—

"He anxiously hoped to see that Parliament would proceed to enable the masters of slaves in our colonies to treat those slaves in a way which, he was satisfied, would be most congenial to their own feelings. Supposing that cheaper sugar might be imported from the East Indies and he was far from believing that a state of slavery was the fittest for rendering labour cheap; yet, undoubtedly, there were circumstances which would, from the extreme cheapness of

labour in the East, extinguish all competition on the part of the West Indies. From a principle of justice, therefore, and in order to induce the masters to afford protection to the unfortunate beings committed to their care, we were bound to favour them, and extend towards them a beneficial and liberal policy. They had a certain population to support, at all events, and whether their foreign trade was more or less restricted."

On the 22nd of May, 1823, Mr. Whitmore's motion for inquiring into the duties on East and West India Sugars:

"The East Indians were, he was satisfied, now contending for a measure which, if granted, would not alter the quantity of sugar imported; or which, if it did, would be injurious in the end to the growers of it."

"He agreed with the honourable member for Portarlington that, considering the question abstractedly, and without reference to the state of things which had grown out of the colonial policy of this country for the last century; considering the question abstractedly, the only point deserving of notice was, where, as consumers, could we get our sugars at the cheapest rate? But he denied that the question ought to be so abstractedly considered. It was a question to be looked at with reference to a number of complicated circumstances; and far was he from agreeing that the House might press hard upon a West Indian, because that West Indian happened to be an owner of slaves. That the West Indian was an owner of slaves was not his fault, but his misfortune; and if it was true that the production of slavery was more costly than that of free labour, that would be an additional reason for not depriving him of the advantage of his protecting duty."

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"As for the advantages expected to accrue to India, in the shape of employment for her population from the re


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moval of the duty in question, he believed that those advantages were altogether imaginary. Supposing-what he, for his own part, did not believe would be the case posing that the removal of the protecting duty did lead to an increased production of sugar in India, still the persons who had been employed in manufacturing muslins would not turn their hands to the cultivation of sugar. Such a transfer of labour from one course of action to another, would be difficult in any country, and in India the system of castes rendered it almost impossible."*

On the 28th April, 1825, on a motion for a revision of the Corn Laws: "If capital had not a fair remuneration here, it would seek for it in America. To give it a fair remuneration, the price of labour must be kept down †; for if it were not kept down, the distress it would occasion to the manufacturer would soon revert with tenfold force upon the agriculturist. He had told the agriculturist in 1822-he repeated it now that the improved condition of the manufacturing classes, and their augmented powers of consumption, were a sure harbinger of improvement to the agricultural classes."

"Agriculture could not flourish, unless all other classes in the country were in a state of prosperity. Commerce and manufactures could not sustain themselves here, if they met with greater advantages in other countries. The profits now derived from them were smaller than they had been at any former period; and anything which tended to increase them would be productive of great benefit. He mentioned this

* Speeches of the Rt. Hon. William Huskisson, vol. ii. p. 198. †This, I contend, is a most pernicious error. I shall be able to show, in my constructive argument, that the prosperity of the capitalist does not arise from the depression of the labourer, the natural law being, that both flourish together and are mutually dependent.

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