had occurred as to the article of wheat. With respect to the protection to be afforded to the farmer, the agriculturists themselves had one and all declared, before the committee of 1821, that the act of 1815 had produced nothing but distress. Amongst others, Mr. Webb Hall and Mr. Wakefield said, that the act of 1815 had produced no good, and that they had not expected any from it. From the general statements contained in periodical publications which were understood to be under the influence of the landed interest, it appeared, that the depression, under which that body laboured in 1821, had continued to a certain degree up to the present period. How then did the case stand with respect to independence of foreign supply, which was the main point urged in discussing the bill of 1815? The amount of foreign wheat imported in 1817 was two million three hundred and twentyfive thousand quarters, being only a hundred thousand quarters less than were imported during 1801 and 1802, which were years of great scarcity. In the same year, 1817, seven hundred thousand quarters of barley were imported, although barley was an article very rarely imported; and the amount of oats imported in 1817 was nine hundred thousand quarters, which was more than had been imported at any previous period. Most certainly we had not been independent of foreign supply since 1822. On the contrary, he need not remind the House, that government had been under the necessity of permitting an importation beyond the law. Not only had the present system thus failed out and out in effecting any one of its objects, but it had done posi

tive mischief, by aggravating all the evils both of occasional excess, and of occasional deficiency. Under it, if corn came into the country at all, it must come suddenly, and in great masses, because the time for admitting it was limited. In case of a deficiency, the high price affixed, and the length of time which elapsed between the periods for striking the averages, exposed both the farmers and the public to the hazard of ruinous speculation and monopoly in the interim ; while, in case of an excess, it was necessary that the price should sink far lower than, under an unrestricted system it need do, before the grower was allowed to relieve himself by exportation. Do as we might, we should never be independent of foreign importation.

Since then, the existing law, in so far as it was operative at all, was operative only to do harm, what solid objection could be urged against the present bill, which, by enforcing a steady and temperate demand, would prevent all exagge rations either of deficiency or of abundance? There could,., he thought, be no comparison, in point of advantage, between, scale of duties, even though it should be in some instances pro hibitory, and an absolute prohibition. When he was told that corn could not be grown upon the terms proposed, he was disposed to be somewhat incredulous, good deal of the calculation went upon arbitrary estimate, and the existing state of things disproved the assertion. The average price of corn assumed by the new law was 60s.; and, the fact was, that for the last eight years, the ave rage price had been under 57s. He admitted, that the agricultural interest had been in a state of


comparative depression during that time; but during the last year or two it had been rallying; and no stronger proof could be given that agriculture was worth following at the present time, than that capital was flowing towards it. A great deal of money had lately been laid out in the improvement of under-draining; and the importations of manure were increasing every year. A few examples of this last fact might perhaps have some value. In the article of bones, our importation in the year ending in January, 1824, had been to the amount of 14,000l. In the year 1825, it was 44,000l.; in the next year, it increased to 86,000l.; and in the last year, it amounted to 95,147% In another article of manure, woollen rags, our importation in the year 1824 was three hundred and fifty tons. In the next year, it was three hundred and forty-one tons. In the year 1826, it was six hundred and fifteen tons; and in the last year, four hundred and twenty-eight. In the year ending January, 1824, we imported a hundred and seventy thousand five hundred cwts. of rape and linseed cake; in the next year, four hundred and ninety-five thousand seven hundred; in the next, six hundred and eighty-six thousand nine hundred and sixtythree; and in the last year, five hundred and ninety-seven thousand six hundred. But, said the agriculturists, foreign grain displaces British grain; the quantity imported will be so great, and the price so low, that the market will be glutted. Neither experience nor fact justified these anticipations. The four hundred thousand quarters of wheat which we annually imported from Ireland, must necessarily displace so much

corn grown in Great Britain; yet it was not found that we sustained any injury, for the stimulus given to our manufactures had increased our consumption, and with it of course our demand. As to the quantity which we might be expected to import under the new law, some idea of it might be formed from the quantity which we had hitherto imported. Our total importation, during the twenty years ending in 1815, had been eleven million of quarters. Three of these years had been years of scarcity, which had consumed four millions of quarters out of the eleven millions. It might fairly be calculated, that our yearly importation would not exceed, upon an average of one year with another, six hundred thousand quarters. Just as little ground was there for the apprehension of the agriculturists, that foreign grain would come in at ruinously low prices. They reasoned, as if, with the most grievous depression in the price of grain, the prices of all other commodities, freight, navigation, and all other charges, would remain the same; they supposed two things which were incompatiblea stagnant market, and high prices. But an infallible result of low prices of grain would be that of affecting the prices of all other commodities. There were instances of the effect of a demand in raising prices abroad, and they were such as ought to allay all apprehension of the evils so much dreaded by the agriculturists from that frightful part of the world, the Black Sea, that source of the phantoms which seemed so greatly to bewilder the whole of the landed interest. Mr. Jacob's evidence had stormed that fortress, by proving that corn, at one time

with another, cannot leave Odessa, unless the price it produces rises to 60s., since it cannot be delivered in England at less than 44s. independent of the duty, whatever that may be. By the latest accounts from New York, the cost of wheat brought to the English market could not be less than 54s. per quarter, besides the duty. This was sufficient to prove, that, if ever delusion existed in the world, it was shown in the dread entertained by the agriculturists of a continual superabundance by the importation of foreign corn; and he trusted that the House would not allow itself to be frightened by such phantoms into a determination to support a system, of which it was none of the smallest evils, that it sowed dissention between those whom it professed to protect and the other great interests of the nation. The bill before the House gave the landed gentlemen an opportunity of removing that animosity, which, beyond a doubt, had been awakened against them. The country was generally satisfied upon the main question there was very little of popular feeling upon it and if the bill should proceed, there would soon be no more heard of those distressing and angry complaints against the landed interest. He entreated them not to lose the opportunity. They ought to be aware, that, in times of pressure and difficulty, there might come a crisis, in which there would no longer be an option as to the rate and manner of admitting foreign grain. There might come a time of extremity, in which government would find itself constrained to attend only to the interests of a starving population, when the pleas of humanity and justice would become

all powerful. They were also bound to consider, in settling a question of this important nature, the growing intelligence of the age, the enlightened mind of the community, and the power of the public press; and he was greatly mistaken if they would not find themselves before long under the necessity of viewing it in regard only to the real justice of the question.

The amendment, however, was pressed to a division, and the se cond reading of the bill was earried by a majority of 243 to 78. It passed a committee with no other alteration than a clause authorizing the king to prohibit, by an order in council, the importation of grain from any country where British vessels should be subject to a higher duty than was imposed on the vessels of such country coming hither. Colonel Wood proposed, as an amendment

That foreign wheat should be entirely prohibited so long as the weekly average was under 62s.; and that oats, barley, and other inferior sorts of grain, should be dealt with in the same way, subject to the scale of relative values already agreed upon and affixed to them. Sir Edward Knatchbull proposed-that the duty to be paid by the imported grain should be estimated by the amount of the home price at the time of its importation, and not at the time when it might be taken out of bond, and brought into the market ; with a proviso, that the duty so levied should never be more than 20s. a quarter; and that the duty should not be actually paid until the time when the corn was taken out of bond. It was said, that without this provision, the effect of the law would be, to give an

advantage wholly unreasonable to the speculators in foreign corn, who held their grain in bond. If they imported when the price was 60s., the duty immediately charge able to them, if they carried their corn to market, was 20s. a quarter, But if they held back, and the price rose to 65s., then, while the home agriculturist gained an advance of 5s, a quarter on his commodity, the foreign speculator gained an advance of 15s., for he gained 5s. upon the advance of corn in price from 60s. to 65s., and 10s. more upon the diminished

amount which he had to pay in duty. The opinion of the House, however, was not taken on either of these propositions, nor on an amendment moved by lord Althorp, that the averages should be taken every three weeks, instead of weekly. On the 12th of April, the bill was finally read a third time and passed; and, on the same day, the House adjourned for the Easter holidays to the 1st of May, a new writ being ordered to be issued for the borough of Newport, Mr. Canning having accepted the office of first lord of the Treasury.


Tuness of the Earl of Liverpool-State of the Cabinet-Difficulties in the way of appointing a Premier-Interregnum of the Ministry Mr. Tierney opposes a Vote of Supply on that ground-Sir Thomas Lethbridge gives Notice of a Motion for an Address to the KingDissolution of the Ministry-Mr. Canning is made Minister-The greater Number of his former Colleagues immediately resign-New appointments-Mr. Canning's Coalition with the Whigs.


S the fate which awaited the Corn-bill in the House of Lords was affected, or was believed⚫ to be affected, by the changes which took place in the interim among the members of the government as it was only on the adjournment of parliament that the extent of these changes was publicly known as it was during the adjournment that the new arrangements were formed-and as these arrangements in a great degree deprived the proceedings of the legislature, after parliament had reassembled, of all interest which was not connected with their causes and history, we here suspend our detail of parliamentary business, to mention the dissolution of the old government, and the formation of a new ministry.

The Earl of Liverpool had been present, apparently in good health, at the opening of the session; had on the 12th of February moved the Address to the king on the death of the duke of York; and had given notice that he himself would introduce the intended alterations of the Corn-laws into the House of Lords. Within a few days afterwards, he was suddenly attacked by a paralytic stroke. The immediate and more violent

effects of the disease yielded to the power of medicine, but its permanent consequences were of such a nature as to remove the minister for ever from public life. The office of premier was thus unoccupied; the government was left without a head; and, unfortunately, the difficulties of appointing a successor, which are never small where so splendid an object of honourable ambition awakens the desires of rival statesmen, were greatly increased by the very nature of that cabinet over which lord Liverpool had presided. For some years, it had not been characterized by perfect unanimity of sentiment regarding more than one of the most important public questions. Catholic emancipation was a known and acknowledged source of differ ence of opinion amongst its members; mutual forbearance regarding it, and an understanding that every minister should follow upon it his own private convictions, without attempting to lend to his opinion the influence and patronage of his particular department, were sufficient to prevent wrangling and dissention at the council table, but could not supply the want of that perfect and mutual confidence, which arises only from unanimity of sentiment.

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