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adulteration or disgrace. Had the Bank even perished for ever, the agricultural and landed interest would have remained entire, and the injury to the commercial interest would probably have been small in comparison with what it has actually suffered, and is still suffering, by this double alteration in the value of the current medium, arising solely out of the Bank Restriction Acts.

7th. The depreciation of the Funds during the war, may be considered in a great measure as the amount or exponent of the chance or probability, that our own expenditure, or the power of the enemy, would ultimately render both the Bank and the Nation insolvent. While the enemy's power continued entire, the depreciation of the Funds was great, the 3 per cents. being sometimes under 50. But the moment his power was so unexpectedly and miraculously laid prostrate, and every chance or possibility almost, of defeat, or of protracted warfare was at an end, the Funds rose and bank paper regained its former hold on the confidence of the public, and became again exchangeable for its nominal amount, whether of gold or other commodities, of which it would now purchase one third more, at least, than it would have done when the power and resources of the enemy continued unbroken. Or, in other words, prices fell, as the paper currency, which was the only currency, regained its station in the public confidence.

8th. That the prices of commodities would have fallen at the peace, in the proportion nearly of the previous depreciation of the current medium, or 33 per cent., there cannot be a doubt, independent of the criminal neglect of a Corn Bill, and other protecting duties on foreign importation : with this difference only, the fall would have been more slow and gradual, and the mischief done by it propor. tionably less. The fall of prices would, in that case, not have gone below 33 per cent. on the average ; whereas, by childishly suffering foreigners suddenly to glut the market with agricultural produce, which they were able to raise at a cheaper rate than the native growers, by all the difference of the lighter taxation existing in foreign countries compared with ours-by this unfortunate and ever to be la. mented oversight, prices were instantly reduced not merely 33 per cent., but in most instances 50 or 60 per cent., to the total ruin of the occupiers of land, and the almost total ruin of its owners; while through their destruction, ruin and consternation and misery have overspread the nation, with the exception only of the fundholders and monied interest, and the various classes who derive their subsistence from the taxes levied on the rest of the community. For the immediate consequence of the fortunate termination of the war was, the increase of the real value, force, and efficacy, of funded and monied property, in proportion to the former depreciation of the curren


cy, and to the present depression of land and of its produce ; being equal to an addition of 50 per cent. to the efficient income, and of 300 millions to the efficient property or capital of the fundholders, at the expence, chiefly, of the landed interest ; as by this unforeseen and Harlequin juggle of paper money, arising out of the Bank Restriction Acts, together with the unprotected state of the agricultural interest, one third of every landholder's estate, and one half of every farmer's property, stock, capital, and produce, from John o'Groat's to the Land's-end, was virtually and effectively pared off and transferred to the stockholders, capitalists, and the numberless functionaries and pensioners, of whatever description, who are supported at the public expence.

9th. That this enormous confiscation and transfer of property, although unfortunately legalised, is in its nature unjust, cruel, impolitic, and wholly inconsistent with every principle of equity or moral rectitude, it is impossible to deny. And, although there cannot be the slightest suspicion, that Government deliberately intended by these measures to entrap the landed and agricultural interest, and to defraud them of one third or one half of their estates and property, it is wholly undeniable that such has been the result. For it is.as clear as the sun, that the alterations in value here complained of, were not the occasional and natural Auctuations in the price of commodities, arising from natural or moral contingencies, but wholly artificial and factitious, produced entirely by the will and power of the legislature: the effect of which has been as clear and distinct, although a little more circuitous, 28 if it had been enacted, that every person who was indebted to another twenty pounds to-day, should be obliged to pay him thirty pounds to-morrow. It is, moreover, evident, that the Bank Directors have, through the favor of Government, and the immensity of their concerns, acquired the command of the current medium to such a degree, that the property of every man in the kingdom is completely at their mercy : a power, one would think, which is not less derogatory to the dignity and sovereignty of Government, than injurious to the best interests of the State.

10 For reasons, which to the Ministry of the day were of Course satisfactory, it was resolved by them and their adherents, stoudly and pertinaciously to deny the depreciation of bank paper, in direct contradiction to the common sense and conviction of all the world. But granting they were sincere in this opinion, and right in the measures pursued-granting that the end justified the means ---granting that they were thereby enabled to sustain the Bank and the tottering fabric of Paper Credit to obtain loans, and to carry on the war with a vigor which would otherwise have been impossible-granting that through this measure alone it was brought to a successful termination, and that thereby the national independence, and the property of every individual, were preserved from utter destruction--granting all this, the inference is plain and obvious :-If the property of each individual has been saved by this great and novel financial experiment, let each individual bear his share of the cost of the salutary but expensive remedy. And since in its operation it has been found to bear, with almost its whole weight, on one particular class of the community-the landed interest, and those who have payments to make good whom it has injured to the amount of 30 per cent. and upwards, while the fundholders, capitalists, and annuitants, and all who have money to receive, have gained in an equal proportion, or come clear out of the struggle without contributing a farthing, - let a fair salvage be struck, and let those classes be subjected to their just and equal share of the cost of that defensive and preservative war, in the success of which they were so deeply inter: ested, and by which they have profited so largely.

11th. The most obvious means of accomplishing that purpose are the following:

1 st. A Tax on Dividends, and the Interest of Money, Annuities, Salaries, &c., as an equivalent for the Land Tax, Poor's Rates, and various other rates, to which the land is almost exclusively and most unfairly subjected. Or,

2nd. The reduction of the interest of money from five to four per cent. and dividends in proportion, with the prohibition of that most destructive system of usury-lending on Annuities nedeemable. Or,

3rd. By raising the nominal value of the existing coinage, so that a guinea might represent twenty-eight or thirty shillings. Or,

4th. By a larger issue of bank paper, and abandoning for an indefinite term, the idea of cash payments by the Bank. Whereby the same effect, of reducing the current medium to its value, during the war, would in some degree be accomplished-although certainly in a much less eligible way, as, independent of many other objections, it would of necessity be liable to perpetual fluctuations.

By the single or united effect of one or more of these measures, combined with a full and adequate protection to native agriculture, the balance between money and land and other property, might be again restored. - Or, in other words, the landed interest and industrious classes, would recover some portion of that property of which they have been so cruelly although unintentionally despoiled ; which by its universal diffusion through its wonted channels of circulation, instead of being concentrated in the purlieus of the Stock Exchange, would afford an instantaneous and effectual relief, to the present overwhelming national distress." I have the honor to be, with very great respect, my Lord,

Your Lordship’s most obedient

and faithful servant,


It may

be remarked, that I have not, in the foregoing pages, adverted to the present high price of that most important article of agricultural produce, Corn. I have passed it unnoticed, from the full persuasion that it is only temporary, arising from an extreinely scanty crop all over Europe: that it will prove but of short duration, and cannot therefore have any permanent bearing on the argument. To a few fortunate individuals, it has no doubt produced a most seasonable relief; but to the landed and agricultural interest at large, it has been rather prejudicial than otherwise; by enhancing the price of many articles of necessity, rendering living and labor dearer, and increasing in general the expense of cultivation. And instead of causing a proportionable rise in other articles of agricultural produce, it seems to have a directly contrary effect. Never was Grazing su unprofitable as now, and dairy farining still more ruinous. A grazing ox, which five years ago would have yielded a profit of twenty pounds, will now yield scarcely seven. A colt, which would have sold for twenty to lwentytive pounds, would at present fetch less than ten. Cbeese, which was then sold for ninety to ninety-five shillings the Cwt. will now bring from forly to fifty shillings

only--and other articles iu like proportion.



20th. July, 1820.

Three years have elapsed since the foregoing observations were committed to paper, during which the course of events has afforded ample means of estimating the justice of the principles and opinions therein inculcated, and of ascertaining the inefficacy of the measures pursued by Government, for the relief of the national distress. For the relief of the landed interest--that main stay and pillar of the state-nothing has been done, or nothing of the smallest moment or efficiency. Ministers have hitherto appeared to lend an unwilling ear to the representations of the agricultural distress, and have displayed on all occasions a decided bias to the funded and monied interest. Commeree and manufactures have always engaged a greater share of their attention than agriculture, the first and greatest manufacture of all; being equal, nay, superior, to all other manufactures and commerce put together. Not only have their numerous and respectful petitions for relief from burdensome imposts, which they are no longer able to bear, been disregarded ; not only have their claims, to be placed on an equal footing with their fellow subjects, by protection from foreign competition, been rejected almost without a hearing; but in the midst of their unparalleled distress, and in addition to the overwhelming and unequal taxation with which they are already borne down, additional taxes, to the amount of three millions, have been imposed, which chiefly bear on agriculture : and the resumption of cash payments has been enforced, although of all things the most ruinous to the landed interest, being nothing less than a confiscation of one third of their remaining property, in order, as it would seem, to bestow it as a free gift, on the fundholders and other monied men. Distress and difficulty continue in the mean time to increase on every side, affording the most complete contradiction to the hackneyed assertion of Ministers and their adherents, that the distress complained of was nothing more than the natural effect of the transition from war to peace, and would work its own cure by time and patience.

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