ere long change. If the increased the extension of the issues of the Bank supply proves very great, it may in of England from twelve to twentytime come to reduce the price of gold, eight millions a-year. A result preas compared with silver, fifty, eighty, cisely the same must take place over or even a hundred per cent. Gold the whole world from a lasting and is more valuable than silver, only be considerable addition to the metallic cause it is more scarce : if it be- treasures by which its exchanges are comes equally plentiful, its value will conducted. If the gold in circulation, gradually sink; and if the quantity or which may be put into circulation, afloat in the earth should ever come is greatly augmented, the price of to be as great as that of silver, it everything must rise, whether it is would come to be of no greater value. paid in gold or silver, just as the price This effect may appear either in the of everything rose during the war, fall of the value of gold as compared whether paid in specie or in paper. with silver, or notes exchangeable Gold then bore such a monopoly price, into gold, or in the rise in the value from its being so much in request for of silver as compared with that of the necessities of war, that the guinea gold, or notes exchangeable into that at last came to be worth twenty-eight metal. This effect has already taken shillings. That was the enhanced place. Silver is 3 per cent dearer as price of gold, as compared with silver; compared with gold than it was a year it had risen thirty per cent in conseago : and this change will doubtless quence of the absorption of gold specie continue. This is the first and ob- in the Peninsular, German, and Rusvious effect of a great addition to the sian campaigns. But the change of gold treasures of the earth ; and even prices resulting from the extended this is a considerable benefit; because, issue of paper was much more consi. as it has been produced by the aug- derable; it bad increased not thirty, mentation of the amount of the circu- but a hundred per cent, and that lating medium of mankind, it must equally, whether the price was paid in facilitate the acquisition of it for the gold, silver, paper, or copper. purposes of commerce, or for sustain- This change will be universal. It ing the undertakings of industry. is a mistake to suppose that it will be

But though this is the first, it is by limited to the countries, such as Eng. no means either the only or the most land, in which gold is the established important effect of a great addition standard of value. It will affect to the gold treasures of the earth. By equally, certainly, though perhaps far the most important and beneficial somewhat more indirectly, the nations, effect is to be found in the gradual but such as France, where silver is the certain rise of prices, whether measured standard and great medium of exin gold, silver, or paper, which inevi- change. The reason is, that by addtably results from any considerable ing considerably to the general circuaddition to the circulating medium of lating medium of the globe, it brings mankind. This effect is precisely ana- a larger quantity to be balanced against logous to the great rise of prices which every article which forms the subject took place during the war, in conse- of commerce, and consequently raises quence of the extended issue of paper its price when measured by any part which was made after 1797 to sustain of that circulating medium. This its expenses. It is well known that it effect may be seen every day in ordimore than doubled the cost of every nary life. A plentiful crop of wheat, article of consumption : it raised the especially if it continues for several price of wheat, in fifteen years, from years in succession, lowers the price 55s. to 110s.* This effect resulted from not only of wheat, but of every other



8. d. 47 1

1809, 496

1810, 54 0

1811, 81 6

1812, 80 3


8. d. 106 0 112 0 108 0 118 0 120

grain crop in the country, and con- among moneyed men. It diminishes the sequently raises the price of every terror of the withdrawal of the prearticle of commerce when measured cious metals, which, when it once by the amount given for it in any of seizes them, is productive of such unthese grain crops. And the same ef- bounded calamities ; and thus renders fect took place on a great scale, over the granting of accommodation on the whole world, for centuries to- their part both more abundant and gether, when the mines of Mexico and more regular. Paper becomes more Peru were discovered, which, although plentiful, because gold, on which it is ehiefly productive of silver only, yet, based, has flowed into the coffers of by the large quantity of that metal the banks in larger quantities, and which they yielded, raised prices to a thus at once augmented their own very great degree universally, and that treasures, and diminished the risk of equally whether those prices were their being drained away by the nepaid in gold, silver, or copper.

cessities of other men. The effect of The effects hitherto considered are this change in a commercial and those on the value of the precious manufacturing community is incalmetals themselves from a considerable culable. We can form a clear idea and continued increase in their supply from woeful experience, of what it is. in any part of the world. But in à It is precisely the converse of Sir R. commercial and opulent community Peel's measure. such as Great Britain, where the greater It is impossible to give a better part of its undertakings are carried picture of what this great Currency on by means of money advanced by Extension Act of Nature will do for inbanks in their own notes or those dustry in all countries, and especially of the Bank of England, on the secu- the commercial, than by saying that rity of bills or other obligations, the it will as nearly as possible reverse effect of a considerable increase in the the effects which Mr Cobden, the supply of gold or silver is far more great advocate for the cheapening extensive. Such an increase dimin- system, said, in his evidence before the ishes the great weakness of a paper Committee on Bank Issues in 1840, circulation, that of being dependent he had experienced in the preceding on the supply of the precious metals, years in his own business from the and liable to be contracted when they contraction of the currency conseare withdrawn. An inconvertible quent on the great importation of paper, issued in reasonable and not grain in 1838 and 1839 :excessive quantities, and adequately guaranteed, would answer the pur- “I could adduce a fact derived from pose just as well in a particular coun- my own experience that would illustrate try, and effectually secure it against the heavy losses to which manufacturers the terrible disasters consequent on

were exposed in their operations, by those the alternate expansion and contrac

fluctuations (in 1837) in the value of tion of the currency; the former in

money. I am a calico printer. I purchase ducing the commencement of under

the cloth, which is my raw material, in takings of which the latter disabled the house three or four months' supply of

the market; and have usually in wareperformance. But the world is not wise material. I must necessarily proceed in enough yet to perceive how easy and my operations, whatever change there effectual a remedy this simple expe- may be--whether a rise or a fall in the dient would provide against the great- market. I employ six hundred hands; est and most extensive calamities and those hands must be employed. I which now afflict humanity; and so have fixed machinery and capital which great is the power of vested capital must also be kept going ; and, therefore, which such calamities benefit, that it whatever the prospects of a rise or fall in is probable several generations must price may be, I am constantly obliged to descend to their graves, or become in- be purchasing the material, and contractsolvent, before it is generally adopted. In 1837 I lost by my stock in hand

ing for the material on which I operate. But the extension of the metallic cur- L.20,000, as compared with the stockrency of the globe, though it cannot alto- taking in 1835, 1836, and 1838; the avegether remove, materially lessens this rage of those three years, when compared dreadful danger. It inspires confidence with 1837, shows that I lost L.20,000 by my business in 1837; and what I wish to however, the alteration is great and add is, that the whole of this loss arose striking. The addition, first, of six or from the depreciation in the value of my eight millions of gold, annually raised, stock.

rising by degrees to sixteen or eigh“ My business was as prosperous ; we teen millions—which doubles the anstood as high as printers as we did pre- nual supply of the precious metals for viously; our business since that has been as good, and there was no other cause for

the use of the globe-being diffused the losses I then sustained, but the de

over an immense surface, and finding preciation of the value of the articles in its way more or less into the coffers warehouse in my hands. What I wish of all nations, may not produce a particularly to show, is the defenceless great or even visible start of prices at condition in which we manufacturers are

any one time.

But the change will placed, and how completely we are at the be incessant; and before many years mercy of these unnatural fluctuations.

have elapsed, the result, if the inAlthough I was aware that the losses

creased supply continues, will be were coming, it was impossible I could do otherwise than proceed onward-with

great and apparent. In the first inthe certainty of suffering a loss on the

stance, the effect will appear in arreststock ; to stop the work of six hundred

ing the fall of prices which has so hands, and to fail to supply our customers, long been going on, and which our would have been altogether ruinous; that

legislative measures have all been is a fact drawn from my own experience.

calculated to increase. But after I wish to point to another example of arresting the fall, it will speedily a most striking kind, showing the effect induce a rise ; and this rise will for a of these fluctuations on merchants. I long period be so steady and conhold in my hand a list of thirty-six ar- siderable as to produce a very great ticles which were imported in 1837, by increase in the remuneration of the the house of Butterworth and Brookes of labouring classes, and immensely to Manchester, a house very well known; benefit them. There is no speculation Mr Brookes is now boroughreeve of Man in this : it is only supposing that the chester. Here is a list of thirty-six articles imported in the year 1837, in the

increase of gold is to produce the regular way of business, and opposite to

same effect as the increase of silver, each article there is the rate of loss upon from the discovery of the South Ameit as it arrived, and as it was sold. The rican mines, did three centuries ago. average loss is 37 per cent on those The effect of the same change, by thirty-six articles, and they were import- diminishing the weight of debt and ed from Canton, Trieste, Bombay, Bahia, taxes, will be still more signal and Alexandria, Lima, and, in fact, all the in- beneficial. Among the many and termediate places almost. This, I pre- appalling evils of which a rise in the sume, is a fair guide to show the losses which other merchants incurred on simi

value of the circulating medium, and lar articles.”

consequent fall in that of everything

else, is productive, there is perhaps It was these disastrous losses which none so widespread and calamitous in made Mr Cobden a Free-trader. He its effects, as the adding to the weight wished to cheapen everything as his of debts and taxes, and thus weighing own produce had been cheapened. down the energies of the productive The contraction of the currency, and classes, upon whose efforts the whole its being made dependent on the re- prosperity of society depends. It is tention of gold, was the origin and that which has been the great cause root of the whole evil and all the of the long.continued depression and disasters the nation has since under- agony, interrupted only by fleeting gone.

gleams of prosperity, of the last thirty Such a change, however, the reverse years, as the sudden expansion and of all this, like all those produced by contraction of the currency consenature, is so gradual as to the vast quent on its being made dependent majority of men to be imperceptible. on the presence or absence of the Like the gradual extension of the day precious metals, has been of its in spring, or the change of temperature, frightful oscillations. The taxes now the change is so slight from day to day paid by the nation, as measured by that it eludes even the closest obser- the price of wheat -- the true meavation. From one month to another, sure-are, after five-and-thirty years

of peace, twice as heavy as they were that dreadful fall of wages which, ever in 1815, after twenty years of a costly since the peace, has been felt to be war. This is what renders it so diffi- increasing, from the constant reduccult for any government to maintain tion of prices arising from the destrucarmaments, either at sea or land, at all tion of the South American mines, and commensurate to the public necessi- the simultaneous measures adopted ties; which has weakened our national for the contraction of the currency in influence, and degraded our national Great Britain. The unjust monopoly character, and exposed us to the de- of realised capital will be arrested, plorable state of weakness against at least for a long period. The unjust foreign aggression, to the dangers of depression of industry, by the conwhich, the Duke of Wellington has tinued fall of prices, will be gradually said he has found it impossible to terminated. But so gradual will be awaken any Administration for thirty the change, and so unseen the operayears. The Government see the pub- tion of the vivifying element thus let lic dangers, but they are disabled from into society, that even the classes guarding against them, because Par- most benefited by it will, for the most liament, stimulated by suffering con- part, be ignorant of the cause to stituencies whom the fall of prices which their improved circumstances has involved in constant difficulties, have been owing. They will be will not vote the necessary supplies. blessed by the hand of Nature, they It is the same with the weight know not how or by whom, as, under of mortgages, jointures, family pro- the former system, they were cursed visions, bonds, bills, and debts of by the hand of man, they knew not every description. They have all how or by whom. been doubled in weight since the bill Already the beneficial effects of of 1819 contracted the currency; and Californian gold have been felt over hence the inextricable embarrassments the whole world, and nowhere more into which nearly all classes of the strongly than in this country. It is community have been precipitated, well known that prices of all articles except the moneyed, whose fortunes of commerce, except corn and sugar, have every day been increasing in have risen twenty or thirty percent real amount, from the same cause within the last year; and the Freewhich has spread ruin so generally traders consider that as being entirely around them.

owing to their measures. If so, it is When it is said that the effect of singular how corn and sugar, on which Californian gold will be to reverse all the inundation of Free Trade has this—to reduce gradually, and proba- been chiefly let in since 1846, should bly before twenty years have elapsed, be the only exceptions to the general half the weight of debt and taxes now rise. It is singular what contradictory felt as so grievous a burden by the effects they ascribe to their system : community-it is affirmed that it will at one time it is lauded to the confer, perbaps, the greatest bless- skies, because it tends to lower ing which a beneficent Providence prices, and cheapen every article of could confer on a suffering world. In consumption; at another, because it England it will gradually and to it is said to raise prices, and encoua certain extent, so far as average rage every branch of industry. Both prices are concerned, undo all that effects cannot be owing to the same the Bullionists and Free-traders have system: to ascribe them both to it been doing for the last thirty years. is to say that a certain combination It will remove a large part of the of gases produces alternately fire and frightful evils consequent on the mo- water. At all events, if Free Trade netary measures of Sir Robert Peel; brings about a rise of prices, what and if seconded by a revision of our comes of all the arguments which import duties, and a moderate tax for went to recommend it on the score of fiscal purposes on all foreign articles reducing them? The truth is, how. brought into the country, it would go ever, Free Trade has nothing whatfar to repair the devastation produced ever to do with the recent rise of by the selfish legislation of the last prices of manufactured articles, por thirty years. In France it will arrest with the extension of the national

exports which has taken place. These ports amounted to L.51,406,430, or an happy results, the passing gleam of increase upon 1835 of L.4,634,160, or 8 sunshine, have been entirely owing to

5-10ths per cent. In 1845 they were other causes, among which Čalifornian L.60,111,082—an increase on 1840 of

In gold bears a prominent place. Free L.8,704,652, or 16 9-10ths per cent. Trade has tended only to continue 1849, 1.63,596,025, an increase on 1845

of L.3,484,943; and in the present year, and perpetuate the misery and de

supposing the increase continued in the pression which attended its first intro

same ratio, he calculated that that induction.

crease would on the year 1845 be about This argument of the increase of L.4,350,000, or 7 2 - 10ths per cent. our exports last year (1850) having Would Free-traders boast of their exbeen owing to Free Trade, has been so ports after that ? They talked upon admirably disposed of by that able this question as if the country had, under and intrepid man to whom the nation the system of protection, been in a peris under such obligations for the light fectly dead and stagnant condition, and he has thrown on these subjects, and

that the agriculturists were like the clods

of the earth, and less capable of improve-, the courageous way in which he has

ment. Why, it was under protection everywhere asserted them, in a late

that our ships were employed to go to public meeting at Rugby, that we the island of Ichaboe, from which guano cannot do better than quote his was first imported into this country; and words :

it was under 'protection that that island “ The Free-traders had boasted much

had disappeared from the face of the of their system as having increased the ocean, and every cwt. of its guano had amount of our exports; and he (Mr been brought here and spread upon the Young) had been continually trying for soil. He rejoiced and exulted in the a long period to get from them the names

march of science as much as any man ; of the countries to which those increased

but it was an arrogant and an unfounded imports went. At length he had the assumption on the part of the Free-traders fact ; and the result would be most start

to monopolise to themselves, as the result ling as applied to the arguments and pre

of their system, those improvements in dictions of that party before the corn law

agriculture which were going on under was repealed. The countries he would protection with railroad speed, and to take were Russia, Sweden, Norway, which, in truth, their measures had only Denmark, Prussia, Germany, Holland, given a check, and not an impetus. Belgium, and France; and he found that

But then he was asked, what have you to in the year 1845 the quantity of corn im

say to the United States ? He would ported from all these countries, compris

tell them. He found that the exports ing, as they did, the whole of northern L.11,971,028 in 1849 ; but in 1836 they

to the United States amounted to and central Europe, amounted to 1,741,730 quarters, whilst the declared value of

were not less than L.12,425,605 ; so that British and Irish manufactures exported

the exports in the former exceeded those to those countries was L.17,504,417. But

in the latter year by L.454,577. Surely last year the corn imported from those

facts like these would dispose of a few of countries had increased in quantity to

the Free-trade fallacies, and we should 6,857,530 quarters, whilst our exports to

not hear them again repeated, at all them had decreased to L.15,274,639. events.”—Morning Herald, Nov. 28,

1850. These figures showed that from the whole of northern and central Europe we took The restoration of peace on the Conlast year no less than 5,115,800 quarters tinent was the principal cause which of corn more than in 1845, and that there again raised the amount of our exports was a decrease in the value of our ex- to the Old World. This appears deciports of L.2,229,778. Again, last year sively in the returns: the exports the declared value of our gross esports of Great Britain to Germany alone, amounted to L.63,596,025, but in 1845 it which, in 1848, had sunk to less reached the sum of L.60,111,082 ; so

than £4,000,000, rosc, in 1850, to that in the course of these four years the increase was only L.3,484,943. He

£6,078,355. The cessation of purfound also that our exports in 1830 were

chases to the Continent, during the L.35,842,623, and in 1835, L.47,372,270, two preceding years, in consequence being an increase on the five years of of the alarm consequent on the French L.11,529,647, or 32 2-10ths per cent. and German revolutions, only made That was an increase under the opera. the rush for English manufactures tion of protection. In 1840 the ex- greater when the restoration of tran

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