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but objected to the duty on kelp, which obliged the manufacturers to make use of the inferior article, Scots kelp.
Mr. Baring expressed his full approbation of the principle of the new measures, and deprecated the opposition made on the part of particular interests. But he was desirous of extending the principle to the corn laws.
Mr. Lindsay and General Ferguson objected to the extent of the reduction on linens; Mr. Cripps to that on woollens; Mr. Wilson, of London, wished the reduction to be more gradual. Mr. Littleton, of Staffordshire, appears to have been the only member who expressed an apprehension of danger from the new system, especially in regard to ornamental China ware. Sir Henry Parnell thought that the linens would bear the reduction, and warmly supported the principle, urging the interests of the consumers of manufactured goods. Mr. Benett proposed to equalize the duty on the import and the export of wool. Mr. Hume urged the propriety of reducing the duty on Baltic timber. Mr. Huskisson defended it, as a protection to our North American colonies.
We are now desirous of deducing from this history of Mr. Huskisson's measures the principle of his system; but here we are compelled to acknowledge, that our task is not altogether free from difficulty.
In the minute formerly cited,* wherein Mr. Huskisson, in reply to a misrepresentation of our intentions by Prussia, lays down the principles of the British system, he states it to be our object “ to reduce our tariff to the lowest degree consistent in each particular article with the two legimate objects of all duties; either the necessary collection of the public revenue, or, the protection absolutely requisite for the maintenance of our own internal industry."
By various passages in Mr. Huskisson's speeches, and indeed by a common understanding, it appears to be established as his intention, that while national industry is to be protected against the competition of foreign commodities, this protection is in no case to be effected by prohibition, or by a duty exceeding thirty per cent. on the value of the article.
It is to be observed, that if this be the system of Mr. Huskisson, it is not the system of the merchants of 1820. They do not admit the fitness of protection, and they recognize no distinction between probibition and protective taxation.
We confess that we can neither understand the principle of such distinction, nor ascertain precisely the reasoning upon which Mr. Huskisson intended to justify and to regulate the protection of native industry.
* Vol. ix. p. 274.
According to the principles of the petition, even modified by considerations of subsistence and security, no protection can be justified, which will deprive the British consumer of the power of obtaining any foreign article at the lowest price at which it can be procured, subject only to such tax as the state may have imposed for the sake of revenue. To say he shall not purchase the article at all, or, he shall not purchase it without a charge imposed for the purpose of checking his purchase, appears to be in principle the same thing. Both must rest upon the doctrine which it has been Mr. Huskisson's peculiar boast to explode.What is the measure of the necessity of protection to native industry? Is it to be the difference between the expense of raising or making a particular commodity in this country, and in any other in which it is produced ?
If so, this is all, or nearly all, that the advocates of the restrictive system desire. And it is entirely inconsistent with the intention of giving to every country, by means of commerce, the benefit of the facilities of production as to particular commodities which every other country possesses. Properly followed up, it would lead to the prohibition of foreign goods, the produce, we will
say, of a warm climate or dry soil, except on such terms as would raise their price in this country to that at which the like goods would be raised here, including the expense of supplying (if it be possible) by artificial means, the deficiency of solar heat. This construction would be so contrary to the known opinions of Mr. Huskisson, that we must at once reject it. But we are not quite so certain that, from Mr. Huskisson himself, and from other professed adherents of his system, we have not heard what would lead us to suppose that a distinction is made as to the price of labour; and that the difference between the wages of a native and a foreigner is deemed a legitimate subject of restrictive taxation.
We cannot see the reason of this distinction. We suppose it to be founded on one or both of these considerations : First, that the difference of wages is occasioned by an artificial or political cause, namely taxation : Secondly, that the restriction has, in this case, immediately in view the industrious employment aud consequent subsistence of the people.
On the first, we have already observed, in discussing the necessity of protecting manufactures against general taxation; the second appears to us to rest upon a fallacy. If, upon a principle which is, at the least, intelligible and plausible, we adopt the employment of the people as a ground for protecting our productions or manufactures against foreign competition, we must give them that protection against the foreign product, abstractedly from any considerations of the means whereby the foreigner is enabled successfully to compete with them. The fallacy consists in considering the protection to rest upon a principle of equitable adjustment of the interests of native and foreigner; whereas, if it be justifiable at all, it can only be justified upon the principle of preferring the interests of the native to those of the foreigner. We protect the native manufacturer against the foreigner, either for his own sake, as one of ourselves, or for the sake of the rest of our community, who will have to maintain him if deprived of the means of obtaining recompense for his labour: unless we protect him effectually, we shall not accomplish our purpose in either view of it.
On these considerations, we doubt the accuracy of the distinction frequently made between prohibition and protection, as parts of a permanent system, abstractedly from temporary considerations. There is no difference except in degree, and not always that; since a protective duty, even though not high in its rate, is often equivalent to a prohibition.
When the question is not of a permanent system of protection, but of the transition from a system of restriction to one of unrestrained intercourse, the substitution of a protection, however highly cast, for a prohibition, is a considerable step, because the protection admits of easier modification, till it may lose its protective character and quietly subside into a state of freedom. And, still more, a return from protective duty to prohibition is a great step in retrogression, which places at an immeasurable distance the free trade which our principle upholds.
The distinction between prohibition and protection appears to us so unintelligible, as part of a permanent system, that we can scarcely believe it to have been so intended by Mr. Huskisson ; and we conclude that when he professed to protect national industry, he referred to the industry already engaged in a particular branch of employment; in other words, he only desired to protect “existing interests." He felt, as the merchants, whose petition he admires, avowedly felt, the vanity and impolicy of the artificial encouragements of productions unsuited to the climate or circumstances of the country; but he was more alive than the petitioners to the distress which would be occasioned by the sudden withdrawal of that encouragement where it had existed.
We hope, then, that notwithstanding some apparent inconsistencies, Mr. Huskisson's systematic policy and the priuciple of
the late measures are really such as we have endeavoured to recommend. We should unwillingly part with this belief, but we are satisfied with the correctness of our own views.
We fully admit the necessity of so managing the transition from a protective to an unrestricted system, as to occasion as little as possible of individual distress; but it is obvious, that unless we constantly bear in mind that the transition is to be made, our measures will be unavailing. We may proceed very gradually; we can perhaps hardly proceed by steps too slow, but we must step continually forward in the direction which we have determined to take.
To examine whether the transition has been prudently managed will be a part of our duty, when, in a future number, we resume and conclude this important discussion. We shall then consider the results of the changes which have been made. But we cannot quit the subject now without declaring our conviction, that the consequences of the new measures, so far as they have gone, have been favourable;—that our exports of commodities produced by British industry have been greatly aug. mented; that the increased importation has consisted chiefly in raw materials, or in desirable commodities not produced in England; and that even as to those very few branches of industry, bearing a scarcely estimable proportion to the whole of commerce and consumption, in which there has been an increased competition of foreigners, it is at least very doubtful whether British industry, even in those particular branches, has not been enlarged by the change.
All this we hope to show as clearly as, we trust, we have exhibited the soundness of the principle of freedom; and we shall contend that it is the duty of parliament to give to that principle a wider operation.
Art. IV. -- Corpus Scriplorum Historie Byzantina : Editio
emendatior et copiosior, consilio B.G. Niebuhrii instituta: viz. Syncellus, 2 tom.; Malalas, 1 tom.; Chronicon Paschale, 2 tom.; Agathias, 1 tom.; Dexippus, Eunapius, &c., I tom.; Constantinus Porphyrogenvitus, 2 tom.; Leo Diaconus, 1 tom.; Nicephorus Gregoras, 2 tom.; Cantacuzenus, 3 tom. 15 tom.
8vo. Bonnæ, 1829-1932. The fortunes of the Byzantine or Eastern Empire present phenomena unparalleled in the annals of the human race: no other government of which we have either read or heard could have resisted for half a century the operation of any of the single causes that during a thousand years combined for its destruction. Externally surrounded by foes superior in number, in discipline and in valour, it seemed as if its safety was guaranteed by cowardice, and its security confirmed by defeat. Internally were at work all the causes that usually effect the destruction of states; perfidy and profligacy triumphant in the palace, ferocious bigotry based at once on enthusiasm and hypocrisy ruling the church, civil dissensions equally senseless and bloody distracting the state, complete demoralization pervading every rank of society from the palace to the cottage-such were the elements of ruin, not antagonized but combined, whose destructive energies slumbered not during ten centuries, and were yet resisted during that long lapse of ages by an empire, which, to call feeble, would be sadly to overrate its strength. Constantinople, designed by its founder to be the capital of an empire that should unite the power of the western and eastern world, and make its rulers successors at once of Cæsar and of Cyrus, combined in its government all the faults of Roman and Persian despotism, possessed the merits of neither, and surpassed the duration of both. The centralization of feeling which made every citizen through the vast extent of the Roman dominions regard the City of the Seven Hills as “ the home of his soul,” was lost when the palladium of empire was removed from the banks of the Tiber to the shores of the Bosphorus; but craft, cunning, fraud, treachery, and all the vices of unlicensed despotism accompanied the court, and were the only faithful companions of its emigration. The tinge of eastern habits and feelings which the imperial government received by its closer approximation to Asia, brought to the monarch no additional assurance of safety; the submission of the Asiatic is blind and unreasoning, a prostration of intellect as well as of body; he submits to tyranny as he would to fate, and regards the decrees of despotism as fixed as those of destiny. In outward form the Greek crouched as low as the Persian, the doctrines of passive obedience and non-resistance fell more glibly from his tongue; but there was a mental reservation in his loyalty, a secret condition understood in his allegiance, and he hesitated not to join in conspiracy or revolt, if the emperor professed an obnoxious doctrine, disregarded the reveries of some favoured theologian, or admired the blue more than the red chariots of the circus. The problem to be solved in the history of most dynasties is " why they fell,” but the Byzantine alone perplexes us with the inquiry,