« ElőzőTovább »
primitive ingredients by which property is constituted, world, in addition to the natural right of distending its before that she had ever bestowed any attention, or given lungs by a portion of the air, or of educating its eyes by any award regarding it. The matter may be illustrated the light of heaven, or of acquiring knowledge from the by the peculiar relation in which each man stands to his external world around, has a natural right to that nourishown body, as being in a certain view the same with the inent, shelter, and protection which may be necessary for peculiar relation in which cach man stands to his own its existence and sustenance, and to that education in the property: His sensitive feelings are hurt by the infliction most extensive sense of the term which may be necessary of a neighbour's violence upon the one, and his proprietary for the proper discharge of the duties of a member of a feelings are hurt by the encroachment of a neighbour's community; and in most civilised nations the governviolence on the other. But justice no more originated the ment, as having the ultimate control of all property, proprietary than it did the sensitive feelings; no more subjects its enjoyment to certain conditions for supplying gave me the peculiar affection which I feel for the pro- such necessities when the occasion arises. perty I now occupy as my own, than it gave me my pecu “It is important that the true principles of the origin of liar affection for the person which I now occupy as my property should be kept in mind, because a distinction own. Justice pronounces on the iniquity of any hurtful has been supposed to exist between the original principles infliction by us on the person of another--seeing that such upon which property, as the result of manual or bodily an infliction upon our own person, to which we stand skill and labour, and the result of the brain or intellectual similarly related, would be resented by ourselves. And labour, are founded, whereas if the preceding views be justice, in like manner, pronounces on the inequality or correct, the recognition of what is due to first occupancy iniquity of any hurtful encroachment by us on the pro- and to proprietorship in the fruit of individual labour is perty of another, also seeing, that such an encroachment equally applicable to the productions of physical and of upon our own property, to which we stand similarly re- mental labour. lated, would be felt and resented by ourselves. Man feels “And this is the more important because property in liteone kind of pain when the hand which belongs to him is rature, or in designs, and invention in the arts and manustruck by another, and he feels another kind of pain factures, has been supposed or represented to derive its when some article which it holds, and which he conceives origin from, and to have no foundation except the positive to belong to him, is wrested by another from its grasp. law of nations, or what may be termed municipal regulaBut it was not justice which instituted either the animal tions. Without, however, entering further into a discuscconomy in the one case, or the proprietary economy in sion of questions of so much difficulty and refinement, the other. Justice found them both already instituted. and on which writers of the greatest eminence on natural Property is not the creation of justice, but is in truth a law and ethics are by no means agreed, the preceding may prior creation. Justice did not form this material or com- suffice to afford strong grounds for the opinion that the mand it into being, but in the course of misunderstanding origin of all property is the same, being derived from the or controversy between man and man, property, a material same general principles upon which the foundations of pre-existent or already made, forms the subject of many society rest, being in fact part of the constitution of man, of those questions wich are put into her hands. (a) of those principles which are the provision not of man but
“Such would appear to be the true principles of the of God." origin and rights of property, whether as exemplified in the appropriation of a portion of the unappropriated soil
The author goes on to sayby the first occupant, or of the wild animal which the
“ Whatever may be the true theory of the origin and sportsman may have caught, or of the tree which the rights of property, it is certain that creations of the mind savage may have felled, or of the hut which he may have or intellectual labour, when embodied in a practical form erected in the wilds of the forest, or of the results of intel- so as to be available to mankind, whether in books, lectual labour.
music, paintings, designs, or inventions in the arts and These feelings of proprietorship, and the consent given manufactures, have been recognised almost universally by to these principles, aro so universal that they have been writers on jurisprudence, on ethical philosophy, and on called natural rights; but this origin and these rights of political economy, and by civilised communities, as a subproperty so acquiesced in must be distinguished from other ject of property and protection equally with the material rights more appropriately termed natural rights-as a forms in which such crcations are embodied. To deny right to the free use of the air, light, and the rain of to the cultivated mind or educated man property in the heaven; those are common to all, because they are be- productions of his peculiar labour, or of the exercise of stowed equally on all; and though each person is at those powers by which he is distinguished from his felliberty to enjoy as much of these as he pleases, long con lows, and which it has been the object of his education to tinued occupancy and enjoyment may, even in respect of improve to the utmost, is a proposition which in terms these, confer certain privileges which cannot be interfered has as yet found no advocate, although the alleged opiwith without the consent of the proprietor.
nions recently advanced on the subject of patent rights “The principles to which property in literature, music, for inventions would appear to lead inevitably thereto. or the fine arts, or in a design, or invention in the arts To deny to the creations and labour of the mind that and manufactures, that is, property in the result of intel- property and protection by the civil power which is given lectuallabour, must be referred, are the same as those to to the skill of the band or to bodilý labour, is in effect which other descriptions of property are referred, and the to make intellectual, of no account as compared with same sense of natural equity or justice acts as arbitrator manual, labour, and to give a predominating and overbetween the antecedent or conflicting claims of proprictor-whelming influence to capital and those other representaship by different individuals. These principles being re
tions of accumulated labour which may be profitably cognised, the laws of civilized states act as an auxiliary to enjoyed without any fresh creations of mind or exercise ratify the constitution which the natural feelings and of inventive faculties. intellects of mankind had established, and perpetuate or
"If, as has been above stated, occupancy and possession defend from violation the order of things which it had be the fundatnental principles of the origin and rights of ratified. Property thus created and recognised is pro- property, the creations of the mind belong to their author tected and regulated, as to its mode of enjoyment, by the in a peculiar and especial sense. He has sole and exclupositive laws of each separate community.
sive power and possession over them until embodied in " The term natural rights has been much misapplied some material form, and communicated by publication in in reference to the origin or rights of property and its en- such form to others. Further, the possession of such projoyments. It may be said that every child born into the perty has this peculiar claim derived from the nature of
the subject-namely, that the subject matter of such pro( ) 1 Bridgewater Treatise, p. 247.
perty did not exist like land, the air, or wild animals, as
part of the common stock provided for all mankind; such was moved by Mr. Brown, M.P., and seconded by Mr. property is, in the strictest sense of the term, a creation, T. Bonch, Vice-President of the Chamber. Another and not a discovery or finding of something created by
the the great Author of all things, and already existing. The resolution, pointing
facilities attending thoughts of man are peculiarly and essentially his own, upon a decimal coinage to
all classes in the and unless embodied in some practical form, and communicated by publication to the world, would die with community, was proposed by Mr. T. B. Horsfall, their author. To prevent this, and ensure their preser- M.P., and adopted. Copies of the resolutions were vation and publication, may be regarded as part of the ordered to be forwarded to the Prime Minister, the policy of the law which will be further dwelt upon here- Chancellor of the Exchequer, the President of the Board after.
"So long as the idea remains locked up in the breast of Trade, and Lord John Russell.
It may be mentioned, in case any of the Institutions lable, no one can, against the will of the author, become are desirous of petitioning Parliament in favour of this possessed of it; but so soon as the embodiment and pub- very desirable object, that Petitions are frequently of no fication take place exclusive possession is gone, and the idea which till then was locked up in the bosom of the use on account of their being improperly addressed. author, becomes communicated to and capable of being It should beimitated by those who are interested in the subject. Now, if it be borne in mind that publication is essential to the
" To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom creation of property in intellectual labour, because no one
in Parliament Assembled. knows of its existence until published, the preventing others from borrowing the idea and embodying it in like The Humble Petition of the [Parish, Merchants, or material forms becomes necessary for that exclusive pos- whatever it may be] showeth that," &c. session and use of the idea which is essential to the notion
The object sought to be attained should conclude with of property. This restraint is the protection afforded by the laws to this description of property; the justice
a specific prayer, thus" Wherefore your Petitioners such protection is derived from the feeling of what is due humbly pray that your Honourable House will be pleased to the first occupant or possessor; and to the fruits of
to," &c. labour expended on any subject; the policy of such
“ And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will
protection may be shown from the effect which it has in ever pray." giving rise to fresh productions and creations, and in the
Then follows the Signatures, of which one at least consequences which reason, analogy, and comparison, tend to show must follow from its withdrawal.
should be on the first sheet. "The peculiarities of this species of property, and con
Richmond Hill, near Liverpool, 13th December, 1853. siderations of public policy, have led to certain regula- DEAR SIR, -Considering that it is of much importance tions as to this description of property, its period and that we should not be behind any other nation in adopting mode of enjoyment, somewhat different from those which a system that will abridge the labour of masters in teachexist as to other descriptions of property. For instance, ing, and scholars in learning, arithinetic ; that will simproperty in lands and chattels, whether real or personal, plify accounts and all monetary transactions, great or small; may be enjoyed for the whole term of the natural life of decrease the chances of error, and enable us to enter into the possessor, and by his family or successors in perpe- many scientific and difficult calculations which we cannot tuity, according to certain rules of succession. Such suc- accomplish without using decimals, and which, in many cession, however, as has already been stated, is matter of pursuits, are now used, I thought I could not render a positive law and public policy, and the commonwealth is better service than by moving in the House of Commons well justified, when it allows succession, or affords protec- for a Committee to investigate the merits of a system tion by the strong arm of the law and civil power, to pro- which is adopted by four hundred millions of the human perty, in assigning in what manner such succession race, and whether any insuperable difficulties stood in the should take place, or for what term the property should way of our availing ourselves of its advantages. be enjoyed."
Before submitting my motion to the House, which Mr. Webster then proceeds to state the legal embraced our currency, weights and measures, 1 brought rights accorded to inventors in this kingdom, wished me to omit weights and neasures.
it under the notice of several judicious friends, who
I considered the United States of America, and other coun- that it was right to adopt their suggestion, for, by taking tries, quoting the authorities of able and learned up only one object at a time, it would be more easily men in behalf of his position, and combating the understood, and, when carried, and its advantages demonopinion of Earl Granville and others, who main- strated, it would remove much of the difticulty in
decimalising our weights and measures, and making our tain that no right of property in inventions system unitorm throughout the kingdom. should be admitted.
A committee was appointed from both sides of the House, consisting of the following gentlomen :--The
Right Hon. Edward Cardwell, Mr. John Ball, the Right DECIMAL COINAGE.
Hon. H. Tufnell, Mr. Dunlop, the Right Hon. Lord The following letter, addressed to the President of the Stanley, Mr. Moody, Mr. G. A. Hamilton, Mr. Alderman Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, by Wm. Brown, Esq., the Marquis of Chandos, Sir W. Joliffe, Bart., the Hon.
Thompson, Mr. J. B. Smith, Sir William Clay, Bart.. M.P., has been ordered by the Couneil of the Chamber to A. F. Kinnaird, Viscount Goderich, and myself, and after be printed, and circulated with the Parliamentary Report, examining twenty-seven witnesses, the Committee made
its Report, which, with the evidence, may now be obfor general information. A meeting, convened and tained through any bookseller, from Messrs. Hansard, the presided over by the Mayor, Mr. J. B. Lloyd, was held in publishers of all parliamentary papers. the Sessions-house of Liverpool, on Wednesday last, to coinage, and in urging the government to its adoption;
The Report was unanimous in favour of a decimal. promote the subject. The first resolution, recognising indeed, there was not a single division during the frea the principle and advantages resulting from the system, quent sittings of the Committee.
All our present gold and silver coinage can be made any article sold to the poor would readily be adjusted to available. The sovereign, taken as the unit and divided the value of the coin received. into 1000 mils; the half-sovereign 500 mils; the crown The Duke of Leicester gave us information that, when 250 mils; the half-crown 125 mils; the florin 100 mils : f the Irish currency was changed from 13d. Irish to 12d. the shilling 50 mils, and the sixpence 25 mils. The English, it was soon understood by the poor, and no difficopper is the only coin that must necessarily be altered, culty arose with them. and one, two, and five mil pieces are recommended. The I am quite sure that the intelligence and aptitude of half-crown, the threepenny, and the fourpenny pieces, the labouring classes, ready to comprehend and underwere recommended to be withdrawn, and 10 and 20 mil | stand any change in the value of our coins and its adpieces, and any other coins that convenience may require, vantages, are not sufficiently appreciated. from time to time issued. The nomenclature I think of Doctor Bowring says that his Chinese servant and a very little importance; if parties choose to use the name Chinese boy in his service, by the use of decimals, were farthings in place of mils, they may.
rapid and accurate calculators. Ho never knew them It has been said that if the pound sterling is adopted to make a mistake; they were over match for as the unit, that we will require an entire new silver him in the use of figures; and he never met a Chinaman coinage; this is quite a mistake. If the mils aro marked who had not those advantages. on all new silver coinage as issued, as the committee
I need not make further allusion to the evidence berecommended, and pass for exactly the same amount as fore the Committee, which, with one solitary exception, that now in circulation, none of the present silver coinage was decidedly in favour of the sovereign as the unit, and need be withdrawn until worn out. Its remaining in cir- there was no doubt with any one as to the advantages culation would at once show the least intelligent person that would arise by getting rid of our present system of that there was no difference in value between the old and making calculations, and keeping accounts by adopting the new.
decimals. It will be quite a matter of convenience and tasto how
We therefore are in this position-No government likes we keep our books : to express 11. 198. 11 d. it now takes to venture on any great change, however beneficial it seven figures; in decimals we do it in four figures, either may be, unless public opinion is expressed in favor of it. 11. 999mile., or 11 9f. 99m., or 17. 9f. 9c. 9m., all equally and I have no doubt that the government is friendly to it
The press, as far as I know, advocates the decimal system, correct and equally simple. The other coins (not intended as coins of account) are merely for the convenience and if properly supported by the country. I therefore hope facility of making change.
that you will encourage the adoption of the Committee's
report as presented to parliament, and that you will sugThere was but one opinion in the minds of the wit gest to the authorities to afford their aid by the expresnesses or the Committee, that great advantages would sion of their views by petition to Parliament. This, I bearise from our adopting a decimal coinage, and only one lieve, is all that is wanting to confer a great national bewitness suggested any other unit than the pound sterling, nefit, by putting us in a position, by a labour-saving maalthough at the same time a decided advocate of the chine (for such it practically is), more easily to meet our decimal principle. He thought that we might adopt the foreign rivals in the markets of the world. We know the penny. But when it was considered that the pound ster-advantage of labour-saving machines in all our manufacling is known to all the world in our exchanges, that our turing towns, and in our improved instruments of husnational debt, dividends, and all large contracts, rents, bandry. The saving of labour, by increasing demand for &c., &c., are associated in our minds with pounds sterling; our industry, requires more hands to carry on the work, and that the penny is most generally used for the small and in every view is an important benefit. payments of the day, for which a substitute can easily be
The limits of a letter compel me merely to glance at found in a new copper coinage, as before stated, the penny the parliamentary evidence, which is most valuable, and found no favour with the Committee.
which ought to be read to be sufficiently appreciated. The system of buying and selling bullion, which has The Board of Trade, before I moved for a Committee, been customary hitherto, has lately been abandoned by the had addressed letters to several parties who it was thought Bank of England, which now buys and sells it decimally. could give information on the subject; those parties were The Master of the Mint, Sir J. Herschel, informed us he called before the Committee, and there never was, I may meant to follow its example.
venture to say, more concurring testimony offered in faLicut.-Gen. Sir C. W. Pasley (who wrote a very ex- vour of a decimal system than by the witnesses who cellent book in 1834, on Coinage, Weights, and Mea- attended. sures) and Mr. Henry Taylor gave us some very striking You will perceive that the proposed new mil or farexamples of the decreased number of figures that would thing is four per cent. less than our present farthing; but be necessary, and the consequent saving of labour that that, with reference to the gold and silver coinage, this would arise from our adopting a decimal system of book- difference is compensated by your getting 25 mil pieces keeping and calculations over that now in use.
for a sixpence in place of 24 farthings, and 50 for a shilProfessor Airy, Astronomer Royal, stated that the ling in place of 48 farthings, which is a very trifling dispoorest dealers of all referred everything to the standard turbance, and will be far outweighed by the advantages of a pound sterling, and that to disturb it as the unit arising from the adoption of a pure decimal currency. would lead to great confusion.
Gentlemen to whom I have spoken think it might Professor De Morgan considered that adopting a deci- be a great advantage if our coins were the same as those mal system of arithmetic would save one half or four-fifths used in France or the United States, or if there was a of the time in teaching it, and leave that saving for the universal coinage of the same intrinsic value in all pursuit of other studies. He frequently finds it necessary, civilized nations. There are two fatal objections to this as a matter of convenience, to turn £. s. d. into deci- that it would be impracticable to get all to agree,-and mals, work out his calculations in them, and reconvert all history shows that despotic monarchs, to meet the exithe decimals into £. s. d.
gency of the moment, have depreciated the value of their Mr. Lindsey and Mr. Kirkham, who have extensive coins; and, within my recollection, the United States, to dealings with the poor, and take as much as 1000 farthings get more gold into the country, and prevent their own each per week, gave a very decided opinion that, if it leaving them, increased the value of the sovereign from was explained to the poor that they could get 25 mils for 4.44 dols. to 4.84 dols.; and I believe it is now under their sixpence in place of 24 farthings, there would be consideration, if not actually done, to depreciate the no difficulty in their meeting the change; but Mr. Kirk- value of their silver seven per cent. So that, if all coins ham thought they would prefer the name of farthing to were made everywhere of the same weight and fineness at mil. Our evidence clearly stated that tho quantity of once, although we would be right to-day there is nothing
to prevent our being wrong to-morrow. Therefore, all -Mr. Dent for being successful, and me for protecting we can do, for our own interest, is to decimalise our him against the schemes of Mr. Loseby and his friends. own currency
Indeed, so far as I am concerned, I had said even moro “I have the honour to be,
than turned out to be correct, in favour of Mr. Loseby's “Very respectfully,
chronometers. It seems he has not yet learned sufficiently
WM. BROWN. that he had better have been content, and left us both "Francis Shand, Esq., President of the
alone. “Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.”
The first thing that occurs to me to remark upon his present statement, that Dent's compensation is founded
on a false hypothesis as to the actual behaviour of chroHome Correspondence.
nometers under ordinary circumstances, is—that, if so, Mr. Airy made a most astonishing blunder in reporting
to the Admiralty, seven years ago, after somo of these CHRONOMETERS.
inventions had been under his examination for several SIR, – I really thought we had done with Mr. Loseby years, that he "saw no reason why at least one of them and his chronometers. Last July he determined to re- (Dents) should not answer quite as well as Loseby's;" tire from the controversy which he had raised, because he and this too, when he was reporting that Loseby's did found that “Mr. Denison's object was to misrepresent answer (which nobody denies); but that the thing had been everything connected with the subject." I thought that already done by several other people, patented twice, and resolution a very wise one, and your declaration not less paid for by the Government, when it really was a new 80—that it was no use to continue the discussion.
invention. If there were nothing more to be said, I It appears, however, that what he really meant was, think this would be tolerably conclusive, both against Mr. that he should go and try his luck somewhere else, where Loseby's demonstration of the fallacy of Mr. Dent's hypoI was not likely to follow him; for, exactly at this time, thesis and his own claim to be distinguished from the I find that he got another batch of his memorials to the many other inventors of compensation balances, earlier Admiralty moved for and printed at the public expense, and later than himself. including a long answer to that letter of Mr. Dent's which But there is great deal more. Will Mr. Loseby be so he was so unpleasantly surprised to find served up with good as to extend his proof a little further, and explain his previous batch last December, and a new edition of how it is that, according to the published classification of the old Frodsham, Bennett, and Vulliamy nonsense about the Greenwich trials, which he accepts and appeals to, the Great Exhibition, for which Mr. Dent used to thank though I do not, for this purpose, his chronometers have them as a very capital advertisement, and by which the frequently been run so close by this good-for-nothing Admiralty could not fail to be convinced of the excellence invention of Mr. Dent's ? This very year, 1853, Dent of Loseby's chronometers.
ard Loseby came out actually next to each other ; in Nevertheless, the Adiniralty dish was again unpa- 1852, Dent was next but one to him; and the same in latable, and again contained something more than he 1850; and in 1847, Dent was third, while he was only reckoned on. So now he comes back here again, and, seventh. Nay, even the errors of Dent's chronometers under the pretence of not having had a full enough ab- are enough to refute his proposition; for whereas he asserts stract given of his lecture of last May, gets you to reprint it, that Dent's secondary compensation cannot produce 1-10th for the purpose of exhibiting another proof of his superi- of the required effect, it appears that in some years those ority, which he had kept comparatively in the back- chronometers would have stood higher than they did, but ground in the former discussion ; and this, too, after he for the fact that the secondary compensation had done too has had this very paper published at full length, pictures much ; or (as Mr. Airy said in another case) " had reversed and all, in the Admiralty documents.
the usual error, thus showing that he possessed completo His argument then was, that the superiority of his control over it.”. compensation-balance to all others was proved by the Under these circumstances, it would be a mere waste of published results of the Greenwich trials; and his various time and paper to enter into any detailed examination on tables to illustrate this excellence were exhibited at his Mr. Loseby's mode of proving the impossibility of Mr. lecture, and afterwards published here and elsewhere. Dent's chronometers doing what they profess. But even It was shown, in answer to him, that the Greenwich lists these results, distinctly as they contradict Mr. Loseby's really tell just the opposite story when properly examined, case, are far short of the real truth as between him and $0 as to distinguish the errors of compensation from those Mr. Dent. I am not going to repeat what I said last due to other causes. He now, therefore, goes to work June, about the proper mode of comparing the chronoanother way, and professes to demonstrate mathematically meters, so as to bring out the errors of compensation disthat none of the inventions which preceded his can suc- tinguished as far as possible from the other sources of ceed, because they are all founded on erroneous princi- error, depending either on defects of workmanship or ples, and that Mr. Dent's is the worst of them all; that or unknown causes. But the necessity of making this dis being the one which he is quite right in considering it tinction will be manifest from this one fact, that diffemost important for him to demolish if he can. As to the rences, sometimes of ten seconds and more, very frequently others, he tells the Admiralty that experience has proved of six or seven, appear in the rates of the best chronomethe failure of all that class of inventions, for which Mr. Eiffe ters for different weeks of very nearly the same temperagot a reward, and Mr. Molyneux a patent, as Mr. ture. It is evident that those are not errors of compensaLoseby himself has the latter article which, however, he tion, and that any inferences as to the value of the different finds to differ very essentially from the former (a fact kinds of compensation must be fallacious, unless some worth notice in various points of view) Mr. Airy tells means are taken to eliminate as far as possible such large them, in reply, that he is altogether mistaken. if Mr. errors which have nothing to do with it. And it is Eiffe has anything more to say to him, I daresay he is equally evident that, notwithstanding Mr. Loseby's able to fight his own battle.
opinion to the contrary, there is still plenty of room for Mr. Dent is no longer here to fight his.
And as Mr. the improvement of chronometers in other respects, indeLoseby is pleased to designate me his professional pendent of compensation. advocate," with the usual compliments, he will not be For the purpose of making this distinction, Mr. Dent surprised at my not deserting Mr. Dent's cause; for suggested a division of the six months of trial into equal pethough he is himself dead, he has
left behind him the in- riods of cold, mean, and hot temperature, the week's being ventions whose defence Mr. Loseby has compelled me to already arranged in the order of temperature in one of the undertake. Neither Mr. Dent nor I ever wrote a word pages of the Greenwich lists. Mr. Loseby denounced this as against his chronometers until he set to work to attack unfair, because some weeks of moderate temperature were
thereby included in the periods of extreme temperature. were wasted as refuse, by consuming the seed and bolls in I showed in one of my former letters, what indeed re- feeding their stock; but if in addition to this they can find quires no demonstration, that that did not signify, so long a market for the stumps, so much the better. When we as there was no extreme temperature included in the consider that we are annually sending millions of money middle period. But I added that, as he did not like an out of this country for that which we can produce at equal division, I had no objection to his excluding mean home,-that it would take the produce of at least 500,000 temperature weeks more completely from the extreme to 600,000 acres beyond what are under cultivation for periods, by taking a mean period twice as long as either flax in the United Kingdom, to supply the wants of our of the extremes ; but that he would find such a division linen manufacture, and that this supply may be obtained only made the result still more in favour of Mr. Dent and without displacing any other crop, it does seem strange against himself. And now, in order to show still more that the growth makes so little progress throughout the clearly that the proof of the superiority of Mr. Dent's com-country. Prejudice,-that great obstacle to progress, pensation to his does not depend, as he suggests, upon any especially in agriculture,- is a primary cause; prevention arbitrary rule invented for the purpose, I will offer him by the landlord, another ; ignorance of how to treat the yet a third mode of comparison, and one depending on no crop, another; want of spirit and enterprise, another ; numerical rule at all; and that is, to make the division but the great cause, in most parts, is the want of a ready into the cold, mean, and hot periods, wherever the regis- market for the crop in its raw state. I am satisfied that, ter of the temperature shows that the greatest breaks ac as a general principle, where an article can be produced tually occurred, only taking care to get a sufficient num- to advantage, if you provide a ready means of disposing ber of weeks in each period to give a fair average of the of that article on or near the spot, (which is essential when going of the chronometers in that kind of temperature. the article is of the bulky nature of flax), then it will, as a
To prevent any mistake about the matter, I will state, natural consequenco, be produced. As a means of promore fully than either Mr. Dent or I have done before : viding these markets, I would recommend the establishthat it depends upon which of these three modes of com- ment of retteries and scutch mills in different districts, parison is adopted, whether Mr. Loseby can be made out and that one, two, or more parties should subscribe cato have been first even once, not merely in the four years pital to establish a place on proper principles, to be a to which Mr. Dent extended his examination, but in the model for others, and where toremen might be trained up. last seven years—and indeed more, if it was worth while The want of this is, to my mind, one great drawback to to go further back, that whichever of the three methods the Royal Society for the Promotion of the Growth of you adopt, Mr. Dent has been three times first within the Flax in Ireland, for it is of no use promoting the growth same period; and Mr. Eiffe, Mr. Lister, and Mr. Massey, of flax without you provide a market for it when grown, each once, and, according to the method of equal division and in the system as carried out in Ireland, the farmer of the periods, Mr. Lawson; but whether he or Mr. does not get justice done him in his flax. Besides this Loseby is to have the credit of being first in 1851, depends the monied man requires practical evidence of the profit(as I said just now) upon which division is adopted; and able result before he will invest his money. moreover, that he has been two or three times beaten by There is much dispute as to the best means of preparing Mr. Poole, who was second on those occasions to Dent or fax. Some propose the dry system, but this I entirely one of the others.
put aside, as simply impracticable. Some state that ferI think every one of Mr. Loseby's propositions is now inentation must be the process; others that maceration sufficiently and finally answered; and that, however suc- is the way. Now, practice teaches me that fermentation cessful he may generally be in preparing a chronometer for must be resorted to as a general rule, but that for some annual trial, as a matter of workmanship, there is not the faxes, for certain purposes, maceration will do very well. slightest foundation for his claim to have invented a better By fermentation I mean the process of allowing the glutimethod of compensation for temperature than several that nous matter, which attaches the fibre to the boom, graduhad been invented and at work before his was ever heard ally to work off, like wort in ale or wino, as in Schenck's of; and that instead of Mr. Dent's being one of the worst plan. By maceration I mean a violent process of immethat has been tried, it is decidedly the best.
diate dissolution of the same glutinous matter, such as in Yours faithfully,
Watt's plan. In most of the various novel modes which
E. B. DENISON. have of late been brought forward, it is evident that the Doncaster, 26th Dec., 1853.
inventors are theoretical and not practical men; and as
for those who profess to turn flax into a substance resembGROWTH AND PREPARATION OF FLAX.
ling, and suitable for purposes belonging to, cotton, wool,
&c., I can only say that, when we have too much flax for Sir,- The subject of the growth and preparation of the flax-purposes, then it will be time to try and use it for Linum- Usitatissimum, or, as we call it, the raw flax plant, other purposes ; but, until that occurs, 1, for one, shall or line stumps, is one in which I have taken great inte. continue to direct my attention only to provide an easy, rest, and in the introduction of which I have spent much economical, and workable system for producing from the time and money; and I consider it is of very great import- flax straw, according to its quality, an article ready of sale ance, both to the agricultural and the commercial interesis to, and suitable for, the fax spinners and manufacturers. of this country, as well as of her colonies. I am not a
Line stumps, when pulled towards the end of July or theoretical or scientific man, but what I am now about to during the month of August, should be saved on the state is the result of actual experience.
system. (a) Whether the growth of flax is injurious to the soil or buyer buy the whole crop, let it be at
thus saved, if the nót, has been a much disputed point, but experience ena- carried to his sheds, where he rolls off the bolls bles me to assert, that where the crop has been taken in and seed, and sells the best as seed, crushing up a fair rotation, and not as a stolen crop, where the land the bolls and worst seed to re-sell to the farmer for has been properly chosen and prepared for it, and care feeding purposes. If, on the contrary, the buyer purtaken that its preceding and succeeding, crops do not chase the line stumps alone, the farmer must extract the same substance from the soil, it has been found, from the very nature
once proceed carefully to take off the bolls and seed,
the preparation required, to be advantagcous in lieu of injurious. Whether the growth of fax is remunerative to the producer, among flat is injurious to the fibre, fails when tested by practical ex.
(a) I may here state that the notion that saving the seed of other crops, is also a disputed point, but again experience perience. Properly managed, an equal quantity and quality of shows me that, if the growth be properly attended to, it fibre may be produced from line stumps with the seed saved, as will be found to be amply remunerative. I believe that can be obtained by sacrificing the seed, and, therefore, what the farmers would find it pay them, even if the stumps folly it is to waste this very valuable part of the crop.