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my argument has been devoted to tracing out the scientific treatment of this proposition; and I have shown how signally every writer has failed to "show clearly," or to prove it; and, likewise, I have placed in a prominent point of view those parts of their writings wherein it has been admitted by themselves that they are unable to solve the question.

Moreover, I must entreat that attention be here directed to the admitted deficiency of the matter asserted; this deficiency, too, being of a character identical with the deficiency to which I have already called attention on my examination of the scientific treatment of the question. I feel confident in making the assertion, that if the question had been under investigation by a court of inquiry, conducted by the strict method of reasoning which is observed in our courts of law, the presiding judge would, at this stage, have felt it to be his duty to stop the case, on account of the matter advanced having assumed such a shape as precluded the possibility of deriving from it the result required.

The plea advanced, or that which constitutes the substance of the whole case, is increase of capital, thereby insuring the result of greater employment. This is the right, and the ONLY plea. Now, this plea is admitted, by the party which set it up, to be unsustainable, the only term which they have ventured to advance respecting it being that of "probably;" consequently, no matter is attempted to be substantiated in the body of the record, to fulfil the averment placed upon the face of it. And, as to the last part of the proposition, or that of the "more beneficial employment," it will be apparent, that this must be reduced to mere vacuity, whenever a failure to establish the proposition of the "greater employment," or that of increase, has occurred.

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In order to obtain a nearer view of the operation of such a new arrangement or change of facts as that involved in the

matter of the petition, I will suppose the case as appertaining to that place whose Member originated the discussion in the House of Commons, of which I am now treating. I allude to the city of Coventry. Now, the people of this city derive their maintenance chiefly by the manufacture of ribbon. The merchants of London shall have ascertained that the ribbon made in France is cheaper, or of more enticing fabric, than that made at Coventry. The avocation of merchants. being that of searching after productions in all countries, and conveying them intercommunicably, their maxim, of course, is, buy as often as possible in the cheapest markets, and to sell, as often as possible, in the dearest. Thus, their interests are not permanently identified with any particular state or country. Their capital or property being constituted for quick mutation, they prefer to have the widest scope possible for the operation of their ingenuity and enterprise. Thus, it cannot create surprise, knowing as we do, the general course of human action, that they should have asked permission to bring the ribbons of France, in order that the British wearers, or consumers of this beautiful fabric, should be tempted to desert the weavers of Coventry. When such a proposal is looked upon merely in a superficial manner, the objection arises, that such a course must not merely injure the people of Coventry, but absolutely deprive them of subsistence, and that it would be a measure of cruelty and extreme wickedness, to permit the wearing cheaper or more beautiful ribbons, to be viewed as of greater importance than the power of subsisting of a portion of our fellow-creatures.

Upon this, a rejoinder is made; which is, that, as the merchant must, of necessity, pay for the French ribbons by an article, or articles, of British manufacture, so, the injury done to the people of Coventry will be compensated for by this new demand, and the labour which had become un

demanded by one means, will become demanded by another, and thus no injury ensue. Upon such an allegement of the instantaneous creation of capital being advanced, both the members of the Government and Parliament were bound, as the chosen guardians and judges of the rights of all their countrymen, to have insisted on a clear and intelligible exposition of facts being rendered; or, at all events, to have required more solid matter to have been submitted to them, before they had given their assent to the change proposed. Had they pressed for demonstration or proof, the petitioners must have fallen back upon matter extant in the writings of Political Economists, whereon to have rested their case; and if this had been done, the course of action here advanced as theory, and so carelessly admitted, would have been subjected to a strict examination, and its falseness, in all probability, would have been detected.

The vehement attack now under notice having been made not only against the new commercial policy of the Government, but also against the personal qualities and motives of those individual ministers by whom the policy had been more especially introduced and supported, Mr. Huskisson entered, at very great length, and with feelings unusually excited, upon an extensive course of argument, for the purpose of vindicating the character of the policy, as well as the motives, by which the members of Government had been actuated. The debate having been adjourned, was resumed on the 24th.

On the evening of that day, after several members had addressed the House, the genius of the Cabinet, Mr. Canning, rose, and in order to insure a discomfiture of the opponents of the administration, and to secure a complete victory for himself and his colleagues, delivered one of those eloquent, powerful, and persuasive arguments which his fine and lofty talents enabled him to compose and to apply.

The Members of the House of Commons had only two, and these defective, courses open before them. The one course was formed of those ill-understood, wrongly-applied, and falsely-argued restrictions and regulations, which had been, and were still, called constitutional. The other course was that leading to a general system of free trade, or commerce without the recognition and observance of any law, rule, or degree at all. The right course not having been opened, the members, by a large majority, decided on having commerce without law in preference to having commerce with a bad or unequal law, and so, this interesting and memorable debate issued in the free-trade policy of the Government being sustained.

CHAP. III.

In a debate on the motion of Mr. Whitmore, on the Corn Laws, Mr. Huskisson again renounces the matter of the celebrated petition of the London merchants, and attempts to complicate the question, and to mystify members by mixing up the principle of Free Trade with the unknown subject of the currency.— He again renounces the Free-Trade policy in a debate raised by Mr. Hume, on the exportation of machinery. — He adopts the same course in a debate on the East India trade. Again, in a debate on a new Corn Bill introduced by the Wellington Administration. - Again, the same course in a discussion on the Labourers' Wages Bill. Conclusion of Mr. Huskisson's career in Parliament.

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THE instance to which I will next call the attention of the reader, is one that occurred on the 18th of April, 1826, on a motion made by Mr. Whitmore for inquiring into the state and policy of the Corn Laws. The matter which this discussion presents is the most important of the whole. The evidence is indeed complete, for by it there is presented a full and absolute renunciation of the celebrated petition of the merchants of London, with which the minister only a few months before had been so desirous of connecting his general policy.

The matter is as follows:

"If there be any great question, which more than another it is desirable not to agitate and set afloat in the country, unless you are thoroughly prepared, and think the time peculiarly adapted to its satisfactory adjustment, it is this most momentous and most difficult question of the system of our Corn Laws, momentous, because it concerns the subsistence, on the one hand, and on the other, the well-being and prosperity,

VOL. I.

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