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every winter and spring. They are sure of the Marquis's attachment; for he is, especially in politics, a very constant man, and, though things are a little changed with him since the time when he used to make his tours in India, and sail in barges like that of Cleopatra, he must have, in his past deeds, a vast fond of pleasing reflection, and stand in no need of present employments. Mr. GEORGE JOHNSTONE, whom the Morning Chronicle, last year, reported to be dead, is, I perceive still alive; and, he appears to have spoken against the Marquis, though he has an office of some sort (during pleasure too) under the ministers. From this it is very easy to form a judgment as to what the wishes of the ministry were. The truth is, that the ministets wish to have the support of the marquis and his eleven friends in the parliament; but, in the of fices of state, they can dispense with such support. They will say, that he meant well; that he thought he was doing his best; but there they will stop, and, I greatly commend their prudence. You hear people say, "they must take in Lords Welles. ley and Melville, or they cannot go on.' But these people do not seem to consider that they have got Lords Wellesley and Merille by the firmest of all possible holds : I mean, of cours, the faithful attachment to principle of those noble lords. have them safe. I'll engage that nothing will seduce them from the ministry; that is to say, as long as the latter are found to merit the keeping of their places, and the support of so decided a majority in the two Houses of Parliament.- As to the administration of Lord Wellesley, in India, we have long been feeling its effects; but, we shall soon see a little more of them than we have hitherto seen. A committee is appoin ted to inquire into the East-India Company's affairs, of which inquiry, I shall be deceiyed if the result be not a heavy additional tax upon the people of England. Botley, 24th March, 1808.
DEFENCE OF AMERICA.
Sir,-In your register of the 27th Feb. (p. 335) you make a variety of remarks on the Orders in Council of November last, asserting as facts the very reverse of the truth, on points of much importance to your general arguments. I have waited the appearance of your succeeding register, in hope that some abler pen would contradict tho e rash assertions, but as that does not appear to be the case, I venture to do it, confiding in your candour, so far as to admit my letter into your next numTESCORES. 4
ber. I will first premise (to save you all the trouble of your usual ingenious conjectures,) that I am interested in a mercantile house, trading with the United States; you shall therefore, if you please consider me, as counsel for the said States, but at the same time grant me the indulgence, that is always conceded to counsel, that of convincing by evidence, and by fair arguments drawn from that evidence.-In the paper alluded to, you say, "The neutrals do submit" (to the capture by France of their ships bound to Engiand)" for neither of "them make any public remonstrance, or
protest against the Decrees of France." You say this, in the face of the notorions fact, of the immediate explanation of the French decree, given by the Minister of Marine Decrès, to the American envoy at Paris; of the equally notorious fact, that down to the date of our Orders in Council, no vessel has been condemned, either in France or Spain for trading with England, and that only two instances had then occurred, even of capture, one by a French, and another by a Spanish privateer, both of which were restored, though loaded with English goods and English passengers. To this last case, I can speak from my own knowledge, and assert, in this public manner, that the American ship Shepherdess sailed from this port for New York, in the month of June last, loaded with English goods, and having on board numerous English passengers, that she was taken by a Spanish privateer, and carried into Bilboa, that the American resi dent at Madrid immediately interfered in her favour, that she was restored, (the priva teer being condemned in costs,) and is since safely arrived at New York, the letter from her owners announcing that fact, now lying before me.- -I am well aware of the subterfuge resorted to by those, who defend the Orders in Council,-that Decrès' assurances to Mr. Armstrong were only his opinion, but that the plain meaning of the French decree, issued at Berlin is, that all ships trading with England shall be made prize of. This is really pretending "to know better than the Doctor," for one would naturally suppose, that the opinion of a French minister, on a French decree (and still more: the uninter rupted course of acting thereupon,) was of more authority than that of an English lawyer. As the case truly stood, the French blockade had just as much effect on England, as the former title of King of France, maintained by our monarch, had on the people of that country; and I cannot help thinking, that as they bore this galling yoke, of a use less title, on our part, for a good many years,
say against the Americans should be received with a greater caution, than that should be, which a trader to America may offer in their favour, in the same degree as revenge is generally esteemed to blind men's intellects more than their interest.—I rely on your inserting this letter in your next Register, and am, Sir, &c.--AN AMERICAN MERCHANT.-New Broad Street, March 7,1808.
we after having suffered their empty block-party yourself, and therefore, whatever you ade, for a few months only, might have endured it a little longer, with those feelings of contempt, which it was alone calculated to inspire I now come to the gross mistatement you have made of a plain matter of fact. You say, (p. 357) "as matters stood "previous to the Orders in Council, a ship "load of tobacco came from America to England with all the additional price, which arose from the high insurance, occasioned by the danger of capture in consequence "of the French decrees; while another ship load of tobacco went to France free "from such high price, because there was "no danger of capture from us." So far from this assertion being true, the fact is, that it is wholly otherwise. The premiums of insurance through the year 1807 up to the news of the affair of the Chesapeake, were at peace rates, being only from 3 guineas down to 2 guineas per cent, according to the season of the year, or the goodness of the vessel. The house in which I am a partner, paid in April, 1807, from New York to London 2 guineas per cent. on one vessel, 2 guineas on another; in June, from New York to London 24 guineas, New York to Liverpool 2 guineas; in July, from New York to London 2 guineas. These quotations are from actual policies, taken at randoin from a bundle. During the same period, similar voyages from America France were from 3 to 4 guineas per cent. having always been about I guinea per cent. higher than to England, owing to the chance of their being detained by English cruizers, in which case underwriters are pretty generally liable to pay some expenses. This statement will not, (because it cannot) be contradicted, and I call on you to give the sane publicity to the truth, as you have already (unwittingly, I doubt not) given to the falsehood. And it is but fair to observe, that this rate of insurance is a criterion, better than all other speculative deductions, from which to judge of the practical import of the famous Berlin decree of Buonaparté.—I have distinctly told you I am an interested man, and I have as distinctly told you, that I desire only to be believed, if my facts or my argu-fidently state, that we export more human ments deserve it. But, you, Sir, are also an food than we import; that our import of interested person. You conceive yourself to corn does not equal our export of other kinds have been personally ill treated in the Uni- of provision. I wish this were the fact. I ted States, and it is currently reported, that read your statement with an earnest desire you said to a fellow-passenger with you to to find it correct, but I fear, that when you England, that you hated the United States, come to reconsider it, and to couple it with and, that if ever an opportunity occurred to some observations I am about to make, you blow up the flame of discord between the two will be under the painful necessity of drawcountries, you would make the most of it. If ing a different conclusion. You calculate this be true, Sir,you are not a very uninterested that the population of Great Britain (11 mil
IMPORTATION OF PROVISIONS.
SIR,--The great and feeling interest which every individual has in whatever relates to the plenty, and consequent cheapness of food, will form a sufficient apology for my addressing you upon the subject of your remarks upon Mr. Young's letter, which you have published in your Register for the 20th of last month.If you are correct in the conclusions you have drawn, and this country is independent of foreign supply for the subsistence of the people, persous of every party will have reason to rejoice; but if you are in error, if our existence depends upon an import of provisions, then should a painful anxiety be felt, and men of every party unite in endeavouring to discover the cause of this fearful state of things, and to devise means to avert the ap proach and weight of that distress, which may compel the country to listen to terms of peace, compromising the interest, tarnishing the honor, and even perhaps endangering the safety of the nation.-Should present abundance lead us to disregard the lessons of the past, it will be too late to apply a remedy when the pressure of dearth comes to be felt. The tremendous power, and unchecked tyranny of the enemy upon the continent, have closed all the corn ports of Europe against us; and should we even remain at peace with America, that country is unable to supply the deficiency of a scanty crop. Thus precluded from all hope of effectual foreign assistance at the moment of distress, it becomes necessary to plan beforehand the means of so increasing our supply, as shall render the nation secure from the effect of an unfavorable season. You con
lions of people) are supported at an average cost of 4s. a head a week, or a weekly expence of about 2 millions, which exceeding the money amount of our imports, you conclude, we rely upon foreign assistance for only one fifty-second of our consumption. Ingenious and plausible as is this statement, the error of it is quickly discoverable by those who are acquainted with the habits and food of the different parts of this island. -Excepting in years of extreme scarcity, the population of Scotland and the northern counties are supported without foreign assistance upon barley and oaten bread, and that portion of the population which is supported upon wheat, and amongst whom the foreign importation is divided, cannot in any case exceed 8 millions, but is seldom more than 7. Take it however at 8 millions, and instead of any theoretical calculation of 4s a week a head, let me put my statement into the quantity of wheat actually consumed and imported. It is universally allowed, that on an average one individual with another who eats wheaten bread, consumes a quarter of wheat a year. With the amount of the importation of barley, peas, beans, and rye, I shall not trouble you, as it is inconsiderable, though a great quantity of oats have been usually imported. The importation of corn, on aa average of the last 5 years, ending with January 1807, is 1,133,757 quarters a year, upon your own premises of 11 millions consuming wheat. This is less than a tenth of the support of the people, or the consumption of full five weeks and a half; and upon mine of only 8 millions, amongst whom the foreign supply is divided, it is more than a seventh, or the consumption of full seven weeks and a half. Thus, instead of relying upon foreign importations for one week's consumption, we depend, upon your own premises, for above five weeks, and upon mine for more than seven weeks and a half. I can anticipate your objection to this calculation, namely, that this import is not all in wheat. Granted. But then recollect, that I have not included the import of rye, meal, Indian corn, oatmeal, rice, Dutch cheese, hams, bacon, and a very long et cetera. Now rice alone in some years has been imported to the extent of above four hundred thousand hundred weight. Still you may perhaps think I over-rate the amount, or rather proportion of imports; but should you think so, permit me to remind you of the years 1800 and 1901. The averaging of 5 years is very good, and ap-haps some small amount of Irish butter, I pears fair upon paper, but it is not always warranted by practice; and I feel confident,
that you no more than myself, argue for the vanity of victory, but that we equally seck to discover truths, important to the best interests of our country. Now, Sir, we are considering the means of procuring the supply of a commodity (human subsistence) which, from various causes, is of annual produce, and of a perishable nature.-The produce of a plentiful year is little more than our annual consumption, and will not allow of being hoarded for any great length of time. Hence, though we have plenty this year, we are not secure from dearth the next. This was painfully felt in the years 1800 and 1801. In 1800 we imported 1,384,345 quarters of wheat only. In 1801 we imported 1,464,518 quarters of wheat only. This, upon your datum, is a consumption of 7 weeks, and upon mine of full 2 months, without reckoning the additional import of rice and other grains, which was a further subsistence of at least a fortnight!! or nearly one fifth of our consumption !!! This is no theory, it is plain matter of fact; and the only consolatory answer which can be given to it, is that which you have offered, namely, that we export in other ar ticles an equal or greater quantity of human food. Yet, to support your answer, you instance only one kind of food exported, and that to only one place-cheese to Ame rica. Who ever heard of a ship load of cheese cleared out for America? Yet it is common for ships to enter inwards from Holland wholly laden with cheese, butter, and hams.It is true, we export some provisions to Guernsey, Jersey, Gibraltar, our American colonies, the West Indies, our African settlements, and the East Indies, as well as to Botany Bay; and while we retain these possessions, and pursue our present colonial system, we shall continue under the necessity of making this export. Indeed, as things are at present, the demand for pro visions which causes and is supplied by this export, ought to be considered as part of the demand and consumption of the empire, as a consumption we cannot diminish, as a drain and export we cannot lessen, and therefore as a lien upon our provision stock, which must be reckoned in every calculation upon the subject, instead of a surplus capable of being retained at home, and applied to meet the deficiency of a bad harvest. Had the sum of this export of provisions been to a foreign country, your argument would have been good to the extent of such export; but excepting the article of cheese and per
am not aware of any export of provision to foreign parts, of which we could avail our
selves in a season of scarcity and want. In addition to this general statement and reasoning, permit me to call your attention to the history of our corn trade and laws for the last century.
From 1708 to 1773, wheat was
the average export of 222,121 qrs. yearly From 1710 to 1760, the average export of all sorts of grain was 600,000 qrs. yearly From 1700 to 1756, only two years occurred in which wheat was imported.
From 1746 to 1765, both inclusive, the quantity exported exceeded the quantity imported by 6,649,609 qrs., or at the rate of 332,480 qrs. yearly But from 1773 to 1798, we have on an average imported 346,374 qrs. yearly we have on an ave
From 1795 to 1800, rage imported
From 1800 to 1806, rage imported the
617,369 qrs. yearly we have on an ave enormous quantity of 1,447,500 qrs yearly And our export during these latter periods, or from 1777 to 1804, have been only 5,400 qrs. yearly, and that small quantity has been chiefly to our own colonies.By the foregoing table it appears, that from having a large annual export of grain enriching the country, and affording security against every contingency of seasons, we have gradually become an importing nation, depending for a large portion of our subsistence upon foreign supply. For the last 40 years we have been exchanging our gold and our silver for subsistence, and now a new order of things has arisen. It is now no longer a question of commercial policy; no longer a matter of profit and loss, whether the past system is to be pursued. However willing we may be to enrich other countries, to vivify the agriculture, and stimulate the industry of other nations, we shall not be permitted to purchase the agricultural produce of the continent. All the corn ports of Europe are closed, and all the wealth of these islands will be unable to purchase a supply of food from the continent. To such observations as I have been addressing you, I have not unfrequently heard it remarked," wheat is only about 70s. a quarter." So much the worse on every account: the price is too low to stimulate an increasing and productive tillage; this low price deceives us into a dangerous security. Even suppose it to arise wholly from a bountiful season, and in nothing to result from the présent corn laws, still by next August or September it will be all consumed, and then a month's hard rain, or should mildew blight our crops in one week, what will be our prospect? how general
will be the distress and pressure of scarcity? to what country can we look for aid? Upon import from America we cannot depend, even if we continue at peace with the United States. Thus, then, it appears to me, that a due consideration of the subject brings the painful conviction, that we rely upon foreign import to an alarming and dangerous extent; that from an export of six hundred thousand quarters of corn annually, we have gradually come to require an import of nearly a million and a half of quarters; that in years of scarcity we depend upon foreign supply for nearly a fifth of our consumption, and that in ordinary seasons we depend upon importation for a seventh part of our subsistence. Should these remarks be deemed to merit your attention, and the dangers which I fear await us, appear of sufficient moment to call for serious consideration and the application of an immediate and efficacious remedy, I will in another letter proceed to investigate the causes of this fearful state of things, and discuss the merits of the principal remedies which have been proposed, and endeavour to suggest some further ones to the public notice.--I am, your's, &c.EDWARD WAKEFIELD -Duke street, Westminster, 14th March, 1808.
SIR;Your correspondent C. S. (p. 938, vol. 12,) could not find any meaning in those " plausible" doubts, on which ventured to ask for instruction, and which appeared in your Register of 14th Nov. p. 766; but to assist my ignorance, he begins by charging me with sinister designs, because "I have dragged out his conclusions "before your readers, and left behind the "curtain those of Mr. Pitt and Lord H. "Petty," as if such words might not have been omitted for sake of brevity, and of the adage, nullius in verba. C. S. had reduced their poetic calculations into a prose brief,he adopted the proof not without contempt of their authors; and now he flies to his deified name for shelter from the rule of three. His quotations of Lord H. Petty's quotation of Mr. Pitt's second-sight was needless, for every stock-holder had by rote how that angel confessed what he foresaw; (timely and well-acted confession) that a nation, out of debt, must be in the high road to bankruptcy. C. S. goes on to dissipate my doubts thus: (p. 940)
questionably they are ignorant of the ef "fects of competition and capital, who can "doubt the extent of the mischiefs that "must result from the competition of 600 "millions with a capital of 100 millions.”
It is not to the purpose. I expressed no doubt of any such thing. What I said was, that if the 600 millions be discharged, by means of the Sinking Fund, that such competition cannot exist, on any addition to the circulating capital; therefore, your correspondent's colloquy between Jacobin and Solomon, setting the Thames on fire, and his nine times quoted phrase of Pitt's, are all alike irrelevant. He says, (p. 941) ". now "that the extensive calamities of a SUDDEN "extinction" (impossible) "of the debt is admitted on all hands!!" How, a certain consequence to follow impossible premises! No, but if it be extinguished by means of the Sinking Fund, which must take up before it pays down, I doubted if that competition is possible. The trus tees to the Sinking Fund have taken up suppose 140 millions of the 600 of debt. I ask did the money which they paid away for those 140 millions, encrease the circulating capital or not? If it did, his premises are false, and if not his conclusions are false. C. S. asserts, that, "anominal encrease has the same effect on real mo" ney us a real encrease could have, and "all he contends for is that it must nominally eucrease to the amount of the "debt, and therefore that the real de
preciation must be in the proportion "which the debt bears to the circulation." This is irrelevant, unless it contemplates payment of the debt without the aid of taxes, and that the debentures in circulation are no part (real or nominal) of the circulating capital. It has no effect on the doubts which I have suggested in a single sentence, that payment of the 600 millions of debt by means of the Sinking Fund, which is in fact by means of taxes taken out of the Circulating Capital, cannot produce any increase what ever. C. S. continues (page 943)
"" we contend for the nominal increase on the "well ascertained ground that if we expend the identical £10. in the market 10 times over in one day, we have nominally sent £100 in that day, and therefore depreciated the value of money as much as if we had actually sent £100 at one time." I know not how such axiom is applicable, or "well-ascertained," and confess I have my doubts of its truth. His third sub-division asserts that my "notion" is old, although in his first page he says that" if it be truly "just, it is really new,"--but be it old or new, I intreat Mr. Cobbett himself to inform
* I have no means of ascertaining this um-and wish Mr. Cobbett may correct it, as a just view of it, is of great importance.
a society of Irish who love him because he loves his own country in earnest, whether the Sinking Fund can by any contrivance take up a single debenture out of the mar ket until it takes the value of that debenture out of circulation, or if 140 millions of debt already paid off, were gathered out of a pocket where that sum was not. As to C. S. notable remedies for the ruin now in full march, viz." to take peace any how-to "surrender the naval dominion-to go "back to where our forefathers left us"to teach our population the use of arms, "and agriculture to our soldiers, &c. &c." (p. 947) I only say, that it is a pity he omitted the plan of that law giver called Gonsalez in the Tempest," I would by
contraries execute all things-no traffic "would I admit,-no magistrate,-LETTERS "should not be known,-poverty, riches,
none,-bounds of land, vineyard, olive, none, no use of metal, wine or oil,no occupation, all men idle,-all,-and "woman too, but innocent and pure.treason, knife, gun, or use of any engine, would I not have,-but nature "should bring forth all abundance to feed my innocent people."-C. S. concludes, "show us that no real or pominal increase will take place if the national debt be paid, and then we shall confess our error, "but till then we maintain, &c. &c." It is not reasonable for a professor of prophecy to throw the burden of proof upon his ignorant audience. It calls to mind honest Swift's Tale of a Tub, and Lord Peter's argument, to prove that the bread which he gave his brothers for dinner, was not bread, but mutton.-I am, Sir, &c.-Osgur.