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their estates to those who would have the power of turning them to the best advantage-to men of capital and energy, who have the means and inclination to encourage improvement, would the people be losers? Would not the land remain in cultivation, and in superior cultivation to that which it had been accustomed to receive ? Are men of capital, whose means are far ber yond the claims they have to answer, or needy inheritors, whose pecuniary necessities and high notions of aristocratic excellence are hourly leading them into fresh extravagancies, the most likely to assist agricultural or any other pursuits ? Every county in England can give examples of the improvement of those estates that have passed from the latter to the former occupants. If we look to the next grade of clamourers in support of the Corn Laws, we find individuals, not, indeed, directly oppressed by their pecuniary necessities, but collaterally so from their unnatural envy towards the other interests of the country, which demands from them an expenditure under the false notion of maintaining their station, which makes them grasp at every phantom of policy that can be conjured up to further their darling objectman inordinate ambition to elevate their own “ order” at the expense of every other in the British empire: an object, by the way, as easy of permanent attainment, at this period of society, as to reach the clouds by the assistance of a rope of sand. If some of this latter description of landowners, in the plenitude of their arrogance and vexation at the destruction of their favourite theory of Corn Law protection, should sell their interest in the soil, ought that circumstance to cause any great grief? Estates would, in that case, be transferred from indolent, haughty, but, at the same time, mean-spirited possessors, who hesitate not to grind down the poor for the indulgence of their false pride, to wealthy and active purchasers, who have no false predilections to gratify, and are qualified from inclination and opportunity to enter upon improvement, and consequently fair competition. If changes of property were thus to occur, by reason of an abolition of the Corn Laws, to a much wider extent than they would do, we should have no apprehension about it; but a firm resolve on the part of the Government, supported by the determined voice of the people, and the good example of energy set by new occupants of land (who are not looking for war prices, and in purchasing estates would draw their capital from occupations where exertion is requisite to insure inoderate returns for that capital,) would have a wonderful effect in arousing old landed proprietors to a sense of their duty, their independence, and their popularity. At present they are the most degraded of pensioners; without permanently benefiting themselves, living out of the sweat of the poor man's brow, not as kind superiors, but as cruel taskmasters. In the case that we have pointed out, landowners would betake themselves to the consideration of agricultural amendment, and would begin to look to their own resources; and every experiment they made in honest sincerity would give them encouragement to proceed. If numerous examples confirm our assertion, that new dynasties in estates have improved the condition of them, it is fair to infer that the same proofs of amelioration would take place upon a more extended change occurring from the necessities or obstinacy of the old ones parting from them upon terms in accordance with present circumstances (not as land was sold twenty years ago), which would leave scope for those who purchase, to meet those circumstances successfully. These persons have no preconceived prejudices, as to growing wheat in preference to cattle, or butter, or cheese, or any other article of agricultural produce. They would look around them, and see where a bona fide profit is to be made, and they would arrange their land for tillage or pasture accordingly.
If this country, from causes either natural or acquired, cannot grow wheat upon such low terms as it can be bought, upon what fair reasoning are we to grow it? It would be as rational to make port wine here, at a quintuple cost to the price it can be bought at in Portugal. For the sake of growing that which we can buy cheaper elsewhere, we import butter and cheese ; and with this assistance, the former article is at a price that renders it almost a luxury, even to the middle class ; and the cheese chiefly consumed by the lower orders in the metropolis and its neighbourhood, and indeed in most
populous towns, is a worthless description, made in Holland, without poss sessing any nourishing quality, and pronounced by medical men to be most indigestible and unwholesome food. Meat of every description is at a price that renders it unattainable by the poor more than one day in the week; and very frequently, in many families, it is not tasted for weeks together. The consumption of malt liquor, that wholesome and strengthening beverage, at one time deemed, as it were, indigenous to England, is so much reduced by the use of enervating spirits, equally destructive to the health and morals of the people, that even the positive demand for it is not equal to what it was when the population was only six millions. This unfortunate substitution of ardent spirits for a wholesome beverage is mainly attributable to the licensing system, with all its unjust and mischievous concomitants, which we shall probably take occasion to notice somewhat in detail at a future time, and which we now only advert to for the purpose of showing an additional reason to prove how futile, if a sound course of public duty be pursued, are the apprehensions of those who imagine that land would go out of cultivation in England, if she did not grow the great proportion of wheat for the consumption of her population. In this short statement, how important are the opportunities for the increase of cultivation! What an area does it present for activity in the growth of meat, wool, hides, tallow, barley, butter, cheese, &c.! What a market does it open for agricultural produce, in the ameliorated condition of manufacturing operatives, by reason of having it at a price within their reach, which now is not the case even with the first necessary of life. If wheat can be grown as cheaply as it can be bought, it is well; but Vit cannot, why impoverish yourselves by producing it? Because, say some trite reasoners, you will become dependent upon foreign powers for your supply of bread. And if you are, is not the Polish farmer as much dependent upon you for money, manufactures, or any other commodity he may want, in exchange for his corn, as you are dependent upon him for it? It is only the division of labour upon the great scale; and if the foreign farmer can grow wheat upon cheaper terms than we can, English enterprise, and capital, and skill, will make him, and every one he is connected with, largely dependent upon this country for various supplies of other articles, his consumption of which will at once enrich our manufacturers, agriculturists, and every other department of national industry. We have thus concisely endeavoured to show, that if the Corn Laws were abolished, the land of England would not go out of cultivation: but there are two other circumstances that we will advert to, as confirming the nesessity for the change we urge. A tax of eight millions annually is raised out of the country in the shape of Poor's Rates, when at the same time you compel the poor, by law, to eat bread at a high price, and narrow their means of maintaining themselves by honest industry, inasmuch as you destroy the channels through which that industry can be made available ; you check the power of consumption; you do your best to throw the operatives of the country out of employment, and are obliged, year after year, to increase the burdens of the already overloaded taxpaying community for the support of the labouring classes, rendered comparatively unproductive by your own acts. Posterity will be incredulous, when they read this damning fact of the folly of this enlightened generation, and will wonder by what legerdemain it was deprived of its reason upon this great point of national policy! An excess of population is dreaded, but that can only occur when labour and food is not in sufficient abundance; and to obviate the difficulty, and allay apprehensions upon the subject, it is thought wise and prudent to diminish as much as possible the demand for labour, and prohibit the importation of the first article of human subsistence! We think that we have done enough to show the impolicy of the Corn Laws, and the injustice and pressure of them upon the lower and middle classes ; but it may at the same time be well to turn to the course of taxation as referable to the oppression it produces upon those ranks of society, and see whether they are not sufficiently loaded with other imposts to be relieved from that most irritating one, commenced in derision, and continued in defiance of the best interests of the people-a tax upon bread. Of the other duties, we find that the Excise produces twenty millions, eighteen of which are comprised of those on malt, hops, beer, glass, cottons, spirits, licences, tea, leather, soap, candles, bricks, and tiles-commodities principally in use among the middle and lower orders; above two-thirds of the Customs are paid by the same classes; and the remainder of the taxes, in amount about thirteen millions, with the exception of 1,200,000l. land-tax, which falls principally upon the higher ranks, is shared equally between them and the middle class.
In conformity with our promise given in the last article upon this subject, we notice here the result of our inquiries relative to the last harvest. There appears to have been pretty generally throughout the country a few fine days at the beginning of August, which were taken advantage of by the farmers in most instances where their corn was in a fit state to carry, and that wheat is of the finest description. With this exception, which amounts, we understand, to about one-fifth of the whole, we fear the crop of wheat has been housed in a very damp condition. In some instances, on very high land, and on a sandy soil, it has generally been got in dry, which it is roughly calcula. ted by those who have been through the country, may increase the quantity of wheat drily housed to one quarter of the crop. A great proportion of the other part of the wheat will require to be kiln-dried. Barley and oats have not suffered so much as might have been expected, and the same, we believe, may be said generally of beans and peas.in
It may not be altogether irrelevant in this place, calling the attention of the country, as we have done, to the necessity of adopting sound principles in the commerce of the chief article of life, to advert to a report that has gone abroad, of a change having taken place in the sentiments of Mr. Huskisson upon matters of trade, and that he was beginning to retire from his own policy, and to have misgivings as to its practical results. This is the first opportunity we have had of referring to this “ weak invention of the enemy," and we do so now to give it a positive and unqualified contradiction. If he has been misreported, either at Liverpool or Manchester, he could not guard against such misrepresentation; or if, in speaking in the midst of distressed manufacturers and traders, many of whom miglit unjustly attribute their difficulties to his measures, Mr. Husinkson should have been more than usually guarded in his expressions, and in the fulness of his heart, in declaring his sorrow for the commercial embarrassments, he might have used less sanguine terms than formerly he had, as to the success of that policy which he had so largely contributed to produce; it was creditable to his taste and feelings ; but what. ever he did say, we are warranted in asserting no change has taken place in his mind; and we understand from many leading characters who heard that distinguished individual on his recent tour, that by no distortion of language could it be inferred that he had, in the slightest degree, deviated from his former opinions regarding his commercial policy. Having said thus much with respect to that statesman's recent conduct, we hope that he will not consider us as improperly alluding to him, who has already done so much in developing the resources, and arousing the energies of his country, in his efforts against partial interests and monopolies if we urge him, in pure consistency, and practically, to prove to the British empire his thorough conviction of the wisdom of his own measures, which, so long as the Corn Laws continue, must be incomplete and inoperative; to bring his powerful talents, his extensive information, his matured judgment, in active collision with that hateful monopoly of the agriculturalists, in comparison with which all other monopolies are insignificant and harmless. But by whomsoever they may be supported, or by whomsoever they may be deserted, in honest sincerity to the people of England, we say, cease not to agitate this great question until you have carried it. Do not be deceived by too sanguine anticipations of success, and thereby sink into apathy; and, on the other hand, be not depressed by opposition, however powerful-by sophistry, however plausible by clamour among the interested few, however loud; and, above all, be not satisfied with half measures. Be strong in the confidence of your own overpowering resources, and recollect what must be the effect on the advocates of injustice in its most galling form, of the opinion of the British community, loudly, resolutely, and unceasingly expressed, until they shall blot out of their statute-book the foul stain of that injustice.
Finally, we would say to our countrymen, watch attentively the conduct of ministers at the opening of the next session of Parliament; and, if you find them not prepared to strike boldly at the root of those enactments that at once increase your expenditure and destroy your means of meeting it, exert that gigantic power that a free constitution has given you; and you will speedily scatter as chaff before the wind every vestige of their destructive effects.
THE NEW POLICE. The reformation of the existing system of police in the metropolis has occasioned much discussion, and like all beneficial innovations in our prejudice-ridden community, has been violently attacked. Those who have censured the measure untried are worthy of little regard, but monstrous indeed is the perverseness and blindness of those who assert that no change was necessary. It was impossible for any police to have been worse organized, or more loaded with abuses, than that which preceded the new; and it was rather owing to the moral disposition of the people, than to any power of detection or prevention in the guardians of the peace, that crimes of greater magnitude were not oftener committed - tenfold oftener; and committed, too, with impunity. Nothing was easier than for clever rogues to practise their depredations undetected. Of the crimes detected, the detection, nine times out of ten, arose from the offender's own clumsiness and want of foresight. The utter deficiency of any means of prevention; nay, the temptations to persons employed as guardians of the public property and safety to promote the consummation of the crime, were so evident, that they were never denied, and certainly, if lessened of late years, were never done away with entirely. The system of rewards to officers for doing their duty, their scanty stipends, and the waste of money and time in criminal prosecutions and the consequent compromises, were all terrible defects in our police system. Next, in respect to parish watching, we have always been of opinion that parties patrolling the streets at short, unfixed intervals during the night, is a far better plan for public security than aged or sleepy watchmen, often careless, often accomplices of rogues, and frequently so reckless of their duty, or so well rewarded for seeming carelessness, that burglaries are perpetrated, according to their own story, under their very noses, and yet are unobserved ! We forbear to notice the offences of these watchmen themselves against the peace, the brutal conduct they too often exhibited, and the exactions they levied at times upon passengers, or worse, upon unfortunate women of the town, who were too often obliged to share some portion of their scanty and infamous earnings with them, to avoid the fulfilment of threats which were wholly unprovoked. But these matters have been already touched upon in the newspapers, to the police reports of which, when confined to the substantial matter, it is incredible how much the country is indebted. Let a criminal fly from the metropolis to the provinces, and with common prudence he may easily remain undetected for all the police can do. Provided his person be not remarkable, or well known to them, to what part of the country shall they follow him? Where is their clue? Let the newspapers be dumb respecting an offender, as the lawyers wish them to be, and he escapes. Reverse the thing. The police
reports fly into every corner of the provinces : the strange comer to every country village and town is watched, and people have their conjectures about him. His case is read before his face : perchance he is confused, or soon flies to some other spot, and induces suspicion ; there the fatal newspaper meets him again. He is arrested, found to be the “ true man," and delivered over to justice. Newspapers, well circulated with such descriptions, are worth twenty passport systems, and do not interfere with public liberty. Nor does a police hand-bill, or “Hue and Cry,” answer the purpose, because few people ever see it, and none will purchase it. By publishing accurate police reports, the general mass is aroused to the offence and offender, and every individual takes an interest in his detection. Away then with the trash of the lawyers about police reports! What can be their motive for opposing them, unless it be a sort of sympathy with the channels which supply their daily bread, and which the diminution of roguery would seriously affect! A free press, in reporting police examinations and inquests, is a national treasure of inestimable worth.
But this is digression. The new system of police which Mr. Peel bas set in motion cannot, in the short time it has been established, furnish either a due estimate of its value or its defects. One thing is very certain, that it must be superior to the old plan, and that it has put an end to the system of district officers and parish watchmen, which in a large city was an incalculable evil. The combination of the whole body of police under one direction was absolutely necessary to promote unity of action. What could be more absurd than a watchman refusing to take an offender into custody because the latter was a few yards beyond his beat!
There is a most foolish principle sedulously inculcated by lawyers respecting offenders, namely, that they shall not be allowed to criminate themselves. It is very well for a counsel on the side of a prisoner to urge this upon the arraigned party, and it is a humane and proper thing in a judge not to allow a confession to be evidence, which is drawn from a prisoner under hope of mercy; but what can be more opposite to the ends of public justice, and the punishment of offenders, than the perpetual caution given him by every petty magistrate not to criminate himself? It is the bounden duty of all officers concerned in the administration of justice and the protection of the public, to get at the truth or matter-of-fact in the case before them. No innocent man need fear any thing by the utmost exposure. It is sufficiently humane that the prisoner know he cannot be forced to answer any questions respecting his guilt or innocence to which he does not choose to respond. We repeat it, that the truth alone is the object to be bad in view by the authorities in these cases, and that all lawful and fair means should be had recourse to that it may be obtained. This excessive regard for guilt has been strengthened by the absurd axiom of still more absurd brains, that a judge is counsel for a prisoner, which, in fair reasoning, means that a judge is bound to get the prisoner clear, if possible, guilty or innocent; for what else has a counsel to do for his client? Now this which the judge is bound to do, according to the lawyers, stamps him a rogue if he act up to it, for he is bound to deal impartial justice. He has, or ought to bave, before him on the bench the criminal's examination before the committing magistrate, which, compared with what comes out on the trial, would settle,