HC Deb 07 March 1834 vol 21 cc1266-346

The Order of the Day for resuming the Adjourned Debate on Mr. Hume's Motion was read.

Mr. Ewart

confessed that nothing surprised him more than to hear hon. Members last night call upon the House to set this question at once and for ever at rest by voting against the Motion of the hon. member for Middlesex. Now, he was con- vinced, that if there was any one mode less calculated than another to set this vital and important question at rest, it was that which they recommended. He could assure the House that there was no mode of getting rid of this question but by listening to the claims of justice, and granting to the people their just demands. He had heard with some astonishment the eloquent speeches of the right hon. Baronet (Sir Jas. Graham) and the other Gentlemen who had taken his views upon the subject, when they insisted that the agricultural interest was the foundation of the entire national prosperity, and that upon which the welfare of the country mainly depended. He did not expect to hear that exploded doctrine of the French economists revived at the present time. It was true, that our trade flourished best when our agriculture was also in a prosperous state; but this formed no ground for an exclusive protection. Let them extend the principle of trade; let them give every facility to our traffic with foreign nations; let them extend their power of exchanging goods to an unlimited extent with all the nations of the world; and then they would find that all branches of our productive industry would be in a prosperous and a thriving state. It had often been repeated by the right hon. Baronet, in his speech of last night, that the great vent for the consumption of our manufactures was the home market; that that market far surpassed the demands of the foreign market; and that it was generally looked upon as synonymous with the agricultural interest. He would like to find who it was that caused this great home consumption, seeing that two-thirds of our trade and manufactures found a market abroad, notwithstanding all the efforts of these great home consumers. Besides, it was so far from true that our trades and manufactures depended mainly on a home consumption, and that our foreign commerce was small, that it had increased to a prodigious extent; and if they were wise, they would make use of every means in their power to increase it. He would take, for instance, the cotton trade, two-thirds of which was made up for exportation. Thus the greatest consumer of this article was the foreigner; and so it would be found, upon inquiry, with regard to many other articles of our leading manufactures. It was stated by the right hon. Baronet, that it appeared before the Agricultural Committee of last Session, that all the interests of the country were in a flourishing state, with the exception of the agriculturists; and the right hon. Baronet asked, "Why should we aim a blow at the only suffering interest, and interfere in a manner that might be dangerous to its safety? "The answer was, the supporters of an alteration in the existing system of Corn-laws interfered because they thought the agricultural interest stood on an unsound foundation. It appeared, from the evidence taken before the Committee, that the great evil of agriculture consisted in the uncertainty which grew out of the present system. It was necessary, therefore, for the sake of the agriculturists themselves, that the question should be decided and fixed upon a firm and permanent basis. The right hon. Baronet remarked, that the hon. member for Middlesex, in his enumeration of the burthens upon the landed interest, had omitted the Land-tax, one great grievance under which the agricultural interest laboured. He did not expect to hear this circumstance stated by the right hon. Baronet; for if there were anything in which the landed interest had been especially benefited of late years, it consisted in the relief which it received with respect to the Land-tax from the growing demands of commerce. He remembered, when he heard that observation, that Adam Smith said: "How much more oppressive would not the Land-tax be, if it were not for our increase of trade and manufactures. But, by the rise in trade, the landlords gained the difference which the rise caused by an increased demand for their produce had occasioned. The right hon. Baronet referred to the year 1765 to prove the little advantage resulting to this country from a free trade in corn-but that did not now apply, as commerce was more extended, and the prices would be more equal. They were told that, if this question were carried, it would be impossible to maintain that evenness of prices which had existed for the last few years. Now, he believed that those who would take the trouble to inquire would find that there had been fluctuations within that period to a considerable extent. Again, they were reminded of the great danger which would arise to the country from the want of a supply in the event of a war; but of what use were such arguments as this? How much better would it not be to knit ourselves in with other nations, to unite with them in commercial and trading intercourse, by which such supply could always be commanded? We seemed to he actu- ated by what Mr. Pitt called those diabolical principles, which supposed that nations were natural enemies, and recommended always taking precautions against suspected war. Let them look to America: with that country the strongest bonds of peace and union, founded on commercial intercourse, existed. It was true that we might confine ourselves, as to the article of raw cotton, to our East and West India possessions; but it was wiser and more prudent to keep open our intercourse with America with respect to this article (although there might be a war), and to carry on our exchange of the manufactured for the raw produce. This was far better, far more politic, than to have recourse to such secondhand means of doing business. The supporters of this Motion were anxious to place our agricultural interests upon a firm and secure footing, by which it would be enabled to develope all its energies, and shake off the pressure under which it at present laboured. By doing this they would place the land in a state of permanent security; but the first step must be an entire alteration of the present sys-tem. He remembered that, in one of the famous speeches of Lord Chatham on the American war, his Lordship called upon the Lords to consider to what it was that their estates were indebted for their increased value. It was all entirely owing, he observed, to the vast increase of trade and commerce between this country and America. This he (Mr. Ewart) felt to be a striking truth, and he had often wondered that a similar thought had not arisen in the minds of the agriculturists of the present day, particularly as they were so much more enlightened and better informed on these subjects at present than they were at that period. One most observable effect of the increase of our commerce, trade, and manufactures, was the manner in which prices were equalized throughout the country. It was the duty of this country to provide employment for all its subjects, and to procure returns for its exports. That would be the best check to the foreign market.—not that he would, as a general principle, oppose the foreign market; but he advocated this doctrine with a view to encourage and promote our own industry. If any one thing more than another could give a benefit to our shipping interest, it would be to give facility for getting returns from foreign countries in such of our ships as conveyed to them the produce of our manufactures. Such a course of dealing would prove of the utmost importance to our commercial and manufacturing interest, to whom justice should not be denied; and the chief means of rendering them justice would be to give them food at as cheap a rate as our continental neighbours were able to obtain it, Unless food was cheap, it would be impossible for us to exchange commodities with the natural customers of this country. The hon. Member referred to the opinions given before a Committee of this House, by Mr. Lloyd and Mr. Gurney, which went to show, that this country was suffering from a redundancy of capital, which redundancy could only be relieved by a system of free trade. Capital should be freely allowed to get vent in a time of peace, and especially so when prices were low. As nations became politically free, and formed sound opinions upon their own welfare, it would be almost invariably found that they would have recourse to a system of free trade,—indeed as nations advanced in civilization that would invariably give the labouring classes a greater power for enforcing their just claims. In the United States of America this doctrine was particularly exemplified; for there the unjust claims of the superior classes were successfully resisted. Those just claims should be attended to in time, lest the labouring and oppressed classes, urged forward by an unjust resistance on the part of the agricultural interest, should (which God forbid!) assume an attitude calculated to bring matters to an awful and perilous crisis. Not only were the sentiments of the community naturally most favourable, in a free state, to freedom of trade, but every increase of intercourse made them more disposed towards it. They had only to look to the extensive combinations which had taken place in various parts of the country, and to consider of their many great facilities of intercommunication, to be convinced of the fact. He was fully convinced that this question, if not settled according to the dictates of justice, would soon become the cardinal question of the country; and he could not resist the opportunity of warning the superior classes against any decisions of the Legislature calculated to excite irritated and dangerous feelings. It was with regret that he had heard the right hon. Baronet, who led the Opposition to the Motion, justify his views by confessing a predilection for the landed aristocracy, or that such considerations should have any weight in influencing his resistance; for, he was sorry to say, the pre-eminency of the landed aristo- cracy was already too great. And he felt it to be his duty to say that, if any fatal mark characterized the present times, it was a pampering of the landed aristocracy at the cost of a pauperized and uneducated people. He would maintain, that the best course to be pursued would be gradually to unshackle the chains of the people, and that the first step would be to withdraw all restrictions upon the food of the people. Without wishing to draw any invidious comparisons with the interests of the landed aristocracy, as advocated by the right hon. Baronet, he must without hesitation declare that the commercial and manufacturing interests of the country were not treated fairly, or in any way done justice to. It was for foreign nations to show us first the immense and permanent importance of our manufacturing improvements. It was not until M. Dupin first visited this country, and called the attention of France and Europe to the manufacturing resources of England, that we awoke from our lethargy, and began to find out that they were objects worthy of our most serious attention. It was Dupin who first told England the full extent of her manufacturing discoveries; and also that we neglected to raise any national memorial to the man who made them—a man whom the ancient governments would have delighted to honour by statues and inscriptions in every quarter of their dominions. When he heard the descendants of the landed aristocracy so strenuous against those in trade and commerce, it was quite legitimate for him to put in a word for one among the many of those great men to whom the present wealth of England, and her superiority in all the arts of life, were owing. He deprecated, in the advocacy of the interests of those classes, however, all intention of establishing them on the injury of any other class. He wished equally well to all, and simply desired to see them on a fair and equitable footing. He claimed for them no superiority, and he would not willingly allow any to others. He would conclude by reminding the House of the words of the French political economist, Garnier, "that everything which interferes with the natural price of commodities is a national misfortune." On these grounds he established his claim for the interference of the Legislature. The present Corn-laws were a grievous monopoly, and, as such, should no longer be permitted to exist.

The Earl of Darlington

would trouble the House with a few brief remarks; but thought it a duty he owed to his constituents, as well as to the landed interest, with which he was connected, to enter his protest against the extraordinary doctrines broached by the hon. member for Middlesex, when proposing his Motion. From the well-known importance of the question before the House, in addition to the fact of his being the Representative of a leading agricultural county, he had given it a great deal of his attention; and he did not hesitate to pledge himself, that not only were the statements of the hon. member for Middlesex erroneous, but the inferences he deduced from them perfectly untenable. He had that day presented a petition on the subject of the distressed condition of the agricultural interest from the county which he had the honour to represent; and, as the statement it contained was one likely to throw considerable light upon the cause of that distress, he begged to recommend it to the serious consideration of the House. It was couched in strong but at the same time very respectful language. The petition, among other things, stated, that the petitioners had now for a long period endured great distress, but they submitted to it with patience, in the hopes that better times would arrive; owing, however, to the great fall in every description of agricultural produce, and the numerous burthens imposed upon them in the shape of poor and other rates, they stated they found it impossible, although living in the greatest state of frugality, to continue as they had done to bring up their families in that station to which they were entitled. Thus, instead of becoming better, according to the promises which had been held out to them, they had become worse. He admitted that great improvement had taken place in the science of agriculture, and, were it not for this improved system of husbandry, the agricultural classes would be even worse off than at present. The Act of 1815 was not, as was said, passed for the benefit of the land-owners alone. It was proposed by the statesmen of that day, not merely as a boon to agriculturists, but as a fair compromise between the contending parties,—the producers and the consumers. It was intended on the one hand to prevent scarcity, and on the other to check that inordinate supply of foreign corn which would be sent over under a free trade in a time of peace. The question really at issue was, whether it was for the general interest of this country to feed its population as far as possible from the produce of its own soil, rather than depend on the precarious supply to be obtained from other countries. At a public meeting which was held in his county, a master manufacturer got up and stated it as his opinion, that it would be better for England if all the land now in tillage should be laid down to grass. To those who partook of such opinions, it was certainly useless to offer any arguments in defence of the Corn-laws. But to those who thought it a matter of good policy, that, at least, a certain supply of corn should be drawn from our own soil, he would say, how was it possible, that the English farmer, burthened as he was, could compete with the farmers of the Continent? All other trades had protection; why should not the agriculturist have it? Surely he was not less deserving of it than others; if anything, he had a stronger claim. In the silk and glove-trade our artisans were considered inferior to those of France; but, in agriculture, we were superior to every country in the world. All that the agriculturists asked for was, a fair field and no favour. On fair and equal terms the English farmers would not shrink from competition with those on the Continent. But with the heavy charges upon the landed interest, such as tithes, the county rate, the Church-rate, the highway rate, and others, together with the necessity for their paying for labour in proportion to the weight of taxation, how was it possible for such fair and equal terms of competition to exist? How was it possible for the landed interest of England, with these burthens, to compete with the foreigner, who had all the advantages in his favour of cheap labour and comparative exemption from taxation. Convinced as he was of the fact, that, in the union of interests between the manufactures and agriculture of this country consisted its commercial importance, and that from that union was derived the strength which had enabled it to compete with the whole world when cast entirely on its own resources, he much regretted to perceive that sort of sordid jealousy which was expressed on the part of the manufacturing and trading interests towards their agricultural brethren—towards those to whom, in fact, they owed their origin and importance. The manufacturers generally lived in large towns, associated together, and took an active part in politics—consequently, whenever their interests were affected, they assembled and made known their grievance; whereas, the agriculturists living scattered, amidst hills and dales, frequently suffered much more distress than the manufacturer, without the existence of that distress being made publicly known. As Member for a large agricultural county, and as being able to speak positively on the condition of the agriculturists generally, he felt it to be his duty to correct a misapprehension and a prejudice which had gone abroad as to the wealth of the landed proprietors. The majority of the landowners would be found to be small owners, and not so wealthy as had been represented. It had also been insisted, that the operation of the Corn-laws went solely to benefit the landowners at the expense of the land-occupiers; but he was prepared to show, that the contrary was the case. It was said, that the landlords had not reduced their rents in accordance with the small profits of the land. He was not there to uphold a system of high rents; but, he believed, that rents had been reduced fully equal to the fall of prices. Of course, in making this assertion, he was obliged to say it applied generally, and that, in particular cases, it might not be true. Again, he was told that the landlords were a most avaricious set of persons—that they were extortioners. All he could say in reply to this general charge was, that that was not the character of the British landlord. He knew that a relative of his own had lately, in addition to several reductions since the war, reduced his rents from eight to fifteen per cent. He believed, that several other landlords of England had been equally considerate towards their tenants; and, he had no doubt, that many more of them were equally kind and philanthropic as far as their ability could second their will. If a man were obliged to reduce below a fixed point, he might as well be required to give up his whole property. Let hon. Members only compare the rent and expenditure of a farm in 1813 with the same in 1833, and they would then find how agricultural profits had been deteriorated. Much had been said respecting the number of unemployed agricultural labourers; but the fact was, that the farmer could not afford to pay for the same number of labourers as formerly. Where he once had twelve, he could now scarcely afford to keep six. It was true, that he had to pay for those unemployed individually out of the Poor-rate, but then the amount paid in the latter case was not more than half so much as in the former. The wages of labour had arisen in proportion to the rise in the price of provisions during the war; but they had not fallen in proportion to the fall which had since taken place in the price of provisions. Since the Corn-laws had been in operation, the greatest possible advantages had occurred from them to all the various classes of the community. The object in view had been to establish a steadiness in the price of corn, which they had, in a great degree, succeeded in accomplishing. The noble Earl here entered into a detail of the average variation of price since the time of passing the measure, and contended, that the variations in price were smaller than ever was known before. In the present year, although the harvest had been exceedingly bad, yet the variation in price was only 17s. a quarter. The present laws had, moreover, the effect of ensuring us a good supply of corn: at the present moment, he believed, that there were above two millions of quarters of corn in bond in England. With regard to a fixed duty on the importation of foreign corn, his opinion was strongly against it; on account of the difficulty of saying what ought to be its amount, and the impossibility of levying it at a period of scarcity. If they could calculate upon always having the same seasons and the same crops, then, indeed, a fixed duty might be very desirable; but as that was not the case, he was decidedly opposed to it. At the present prices he maintained, that a fixed duty of 25s. would be an insufficient protection. He repeated his declaration, and would appeal to every farmer in the country in support of it. And then how was a fixed duty to be collected in the time of scarcity? How was it to be collected when the population were starving? Who was to enforce that collection? If protection could not be given to the landholder at the very moment when he most needed it, the law professing to afford it would be an absolute fraud. With regard to the present prices, it must be felt and acknowledged that they were very low, and the consequence was, that the tenantry were suffering, and the landed interest altogether in a very depressed condition. Nor was there any reason to believe that that condition would soon be ameliorated. One great cause of the present low price of corn was the quantity of wheat imported from Ireland. He did not complain of that importation; he only stated, that it was one of the causes of the present low price in this country. He felt that he ought to apologise to the House for not moving the Amendment of which he had given notice. His not doing so was not occasioned by any change in his own opinion; but having been requested by a high authority—having been requested by a member of his Majesty's Government—to abstain, in order that the opponents of the Motion of the hon. member for Middlesex might not be divided, and that that Motion might be defeated by as large a majority as possible, he had felt it right to abandon his intention; trusting that those whom he had originally consulted on the subject, and who agreed with him respecting it, would acquit him of any intentional discourtesy towards them.

Mr. Poulett Thomson

said: often, as it had fallen to his lot to address the House, which he always did with feelings of great anxiety, yet he could unfeignedly assure it that he never rose to address it under stronger feelings of that kind than those which he experienced at that moment. He had the misfortune to differ in opinion from many of the distinguished friends with whom he was in the habit of acting, and, above all, he had the misfortune to differ from his right hon. friend, the First Lord of the Admiralty. It would, however, he unworthy of the little character which he trusted that he had been enabled to obtain—and he should be unworthy of representing that great constituency which, unsolicited, had done him the honour of sending him as its representative to the House of Commons—he should be a traitor to the opinions and votes which he had always hitherto given upon this subject, if he did not, unhesitatingly, but still with great diffidence, proclaim the views which he entertained upon it. "I must first," said the right hon. Member, "correct a statement made by the noble Lord who has just sat down. That noble Lord has stated, if I understood him correctly, that he had withdrawn his amendment, because it was the desire of the Government that the Motion of the hon. member for Middlesex should be lost in as small a minority as possible. I deny that. The circumstance of my being a member of the Government, and yet voting with the hon. member for Middlesex, is an answer to the statement of the noble Lord."

The Earl of Darlington

On what authority does the right hon. Member deny my statement?

Mr. Poulett Thomson

The authority upon which I deny the statement is this—that it is an open question in the Government, for the truth of which. I appeal to my noble friend sitting near me, and it is on this ground that I am here as a member of his Majesty's Government, though not in the Cabinet, advocating the opinion, and voting for the Motion of the hon. member for Middlesex.

The Earl of Darlington

What I said was this: I said that a communication, sent as an appeal to me to withdraw my Amendment, came from a high quarter in his Majesty's Government. I had it, in point of fact, in writing from one who is not only a member of the Government, but also a member of the Cabinet.

Mr. Poulett Thomson

If that be all the statement of the noble Lord, it does not at all impugn my assertion. What may be the opinions of the individual members of the Government, be it the head of that Government, or any other member of the Cabinet, is a different question; but if I misunderstood the noble Earl in supposing him to say, that it was the wish of his Majesty's Government, taken collectively, to leave my hon. friend, the member for Middlesex, in as small a minority as possible, then I hope he will excuse me for such an unintentional misinterpretation of his meaning; but if I did not misunderstand him, then the very fact that I am here, a member of the Government, holding the official situation which I do, advocating and prepared to vote for a change in the Corn-laws, is, I think, a sufficient answer to his assertion.—The right hon. Gentleman then proceeded to observe, that he was sorry that this circumstance had given rise to any heat, as his object in discharging the duty which he had to perform was, to keep in mind the example of the hon. member for Middlesex, who had introduced this subject with the utmost good temper, with calmness, and with the absence of every topic which could excite anger and animosity in those whom he addressed. He felt the necessity of following that example the more, because he could not. disguise from himself, from the appearance of the House last night, that he was about to speak to an unfavourable audience. At the same time, he felt bound to urge upon the majority, if he had the misfortune to differ from the majority in opinion, that every thing which he had to say could only put weapons into their hands to be used against him; and being the strongest, although they differed from him—nay, because they differed from him—he was sure, that they would feel bound to extend to him an indulgent and patient bearing. He had stated, that he would endeavour to keep his share in this discussion within the bounds of moderation and good temper. If any thing, in the course of his remarks, should fall from his lips which might seem to reflect upon personal interests—and this question, unfortunately, appeared to have been mixed up with personal interests—he trusted that what he had already said—namely, that he differed on this subject from his best and nearest friends, would be sufficient to convince hon. Gentlemen, that such an offence on his part must be unintentional, and that he could not mean any personal disrespect. He agreed with every Gentleman who had yet addressed the House on the other side of the question, and particularly with his right hon. friend, the First Lord of the Admiralty, that it would be most desirable that now should be the time to bring this question to a final issue. He wished, in the utmost sincerity of heart, that it was possible to bring it to such an issue now. Above all, he agreed with his right hon. friend in thinking that this question ought not to be argued on the individual interests of one class or another; it was with regard to the general interests of the community at large that the House was bound to legislate. Upon these grounds, in spite of what had been said last night, he should not find any fault with those who were to be the judges on this question. Whatever might be the individual interests mixed up with this question, so far as it regarded the landlords, he was satisfied to place the decision of it in the hands of the Gentlemen of the House of Commons; being quite convinced that, though they might, in his opinion, form an erroneous judgment, they would still act fairly, honourably, uprightly, and conscientiously. In the course of the debate, his right hon. friend, the First Lord of the Admiralty—to whose Speech he must refer as being the most able which he had yet heard on that side of the question—had stated that, in arguing the case on the principle of the general interests of the country, he must go through the various interests, and show that the Corn-law was advantageous to them all. His right hon. friend had certainly made what he should term rather a landlord's speech—a speech which, whatever might be its merits in other respects, was certainly calculated to catch as many stray votes as possible. He did not quarrel with his right hon. friend for that, although he should presently venture to criticise it; but he hoped that, after his disclaimer of all intentional offence, and after his acknowledgment that he should be guilty of great impropriety were he to say any thing imputing motives of personal interest to any speaker, he might be permitted to submit the arguments of his opponents to a close examination, without exciting their animosity and ill-will. He hoped, too, that the question would be argued without any of those sneers against political economy, and those declamations against philosophy, which did not enforce argument, though they might gain cheers. He had heard, he owned, with much regret, his right hon. friend indulge a little in such sneers; in that his right hon. friend only resembled other hon. Members, for he believed that there was no man who came down to that House prepared to talk on a question like the present, who was not, in his own opinion at least, the very beau ideal of a political economist. It might be that, like the man who talked prose all his life without knowing it there might be some hon. Members who, talking against political economy themselves, talked political economy without knowing it; though, perhaps, none of the best. His right hon. friend should have recollected also, that a sneer at philosophy might be in his hands a double-edged weapon which might cut both ways, for unless he was very much mistaken, he had seen propounded in pamphlets, not very foreign from the question, doctrines, which qualified their author for taking out his diploma in the university of Lagoda, with the unanimous approbation of the philosophers of the celebrated island of Laputa. He trusted, that they should hear no more of such observations, but that the question would he argued on its own merits. His right hon. friend, the First Lord of the Admiralty, and other hon. Members who had followed him in the debate, had very fairly and candidly divided in their argument the various interests concerned in this question. His right hon. friend had said, that he would divide the country into four classes—the landlords, the farmers, and the agricultural labourers on one side, and the consumers on the other. [Cries of "No."] He said yes; he gave his hon. friend credit for it; for nothing could tend more to the eliciting of truth, than that hon. Members should understand each other clearly as to the terms they used. The landlords, they were told, were mainly interested in the decision on this subject. His right hon. friend, at the close of his speech, had told the House, that a political consideration entered into the question—that it was necessary to maintain the landlords in the position which they occupied at present, and that the continuance of the existing relations between them and their tenants was indispensable to the tranquillity and well-being of the country. Be that as it might—and for the present he would not dispute it—he thought that, in the exposition of the view which he took of the subject, he should be able to show that the interests of the landords were not involved in the continuance of the Corn-laws as they at present existed, but that those interests would be better consulted by a change of those laws. He had no occasion to argue that point at length, for he had only to refer to the speech of the hon. member for Surrey whose observations last night elicited so much applause from a large portion of the House, and seemed to be accepted by them as a correct representation of their case. In speaking of the condition of the landlords, the hon. Member, speaking from his own knowledge, and from the experience afforded by his own farms said—" Forty years ago, I was receiving 20s. an acre. The charges upon it at that time were so and so; the charges on it are the same now, with an addition of 6s. more. I receive no more rent now than I did then. The only difference in my condition as a landlord then and now is that then my rents were well paid, and now they are ill paid." Now, he wished the House to re collect that forty years ago there was no Corn-law save one, and that was inoperative, for the importation of foreign corn was free; and yet, on the statement of the hon. member for Surrey, his condition was the same now as it was then, with only this distinction, that formerly his rents were well paid, and that now they were ill paid. To this part of the subject be would again return, but he would now turn to another class of arguments. The noble Lord, who had preceded him had said, that that man must be perfectly ignorant of affairs in the country who could say that the farmer was not more than any one benefited by the present restrictions on the importation of foreign corn. Now, for his own part, he could not conceive on what grounds the farmer, unless he were burthened with a lease for a term of years, could be interested in the existence of restrictions upon the trade in corn, even supposing prices to he affected by it. To the farmer it must be matter of indifference, if he had not a lease for a definite term, for he employed his capital in farming just upon the same principle as capital was employed in any other trade; and on taking a farm from year to year, would take care to give only so much for it as would leave him a fair return for interest, risk, and labour. If indeed he had been deluded in the prospects held out to him when he took his lease, he must be a sufferer by the present state of prices; but if his farm were merely taken from year to year, it was difficult to see how the farmer could be interested in the continuance of restrictions. But what had been the effect of the legislation of Parliament upon the farmer. What had been the condition of the farmer under the legislation of the last nineteen years? If there was any man who had a right to complain of their legislation it was the farmer, who had been deluded by it into taking his farm on terms which were positively ruinous, and who had suffered severely in consequence of that delusion. What said the Corn-law of 1815? what was the language then held to the farmer both in that and the other House of Parliament? He was told, that the price of corn would not fall below 80s. a quarter, and upon that assurance numbers of honest and industrious farmers embarked their capital in farming speculations. Then came the Corn Jaws of 1827 and 1828; and what promises did they hold out? He supposed, that his right hon. friend would not dispute the accuracy of his quotation from Mr. Canning's remarks in introducing the Corn-law of 1827, which as regarded the question under consideration, were equally applicable to the present Corn-law, the Corn-law of 1828, which, indeed, the hon. member for Essex did denounce at the time as worse than the Corn-law of 1815. Mr. Canning's language, on introducing the Corn-law in 1827, was as follows—I think this project 'will tend to equalize the price, and keep 'that equalization of prices stead). The 'market will, indeed, assume such a steadi-'ness, that instead of a fluctuation between '112s. at one time and 28s. at another, 'the vibrations will probably be found to 'be limited within the small circle of from 'about 55s. to about 65s.'* It was upon that promise that the farmer went; and how had experience justified that promise? On turning back to the list of prices since that Act was passed, he found that, on the 25th of January, 1831, the * Hansard (new series) xvi. p. 770. price of wheat was 75s. 11d., and that on the present day, it was 48s. and a fraction. By the assurance of this Bill, the farmer had been deluded, and had more than any one a right to complain of the injury which the law had inflicted upon him. So far from being benefited by this Legislation, the farmer had been deeply injured by it. The noble Lord, he believed, would assent to that remark, for the noble Lord, if he did not misunderstand him, implied that the farmers had taken their leases upon a calculation that they would get at least 62s. per quarter on wheat; whereas, they had not received it by 8s. or 10s. His right hon. friend, the First Lord of the Admiralty, had touched very gingerly upon the case of the farmer. The noble Lord who had just spoken, had done so too; and they had both failed in convincing him, that the farmers who had taken their farms in 1815 and in 1828, in the expectation of getting 80s. and 60s. respectively for a quarter of wheat, had not been injured by the operation of the law. He would next refer to the case of the agricultural labourer. What had his right hon. friend said upon that subject? He had rested the whole of his case upon one hypothetical assertion, made by Mr. Oliver in his evidence. He begged hon. Gentlemen to recollect, that Mr. Oliver said, not that if the Corn-laws were altered, but that if the Corn-laws were altered in a particular way, certain effects would follow. He had assumed, that if there was such a fall in the price of corn as would throw out of cultivation 2,000,000 acres, there would be thrown out of employment 250,000 labouring men, with families dependent on them; making altogether,000,000 persons. That was an argument founded upon an assumption of Mr. Oliver's—an argument based upon no solid foundation whatever—an argument that had been refuted by none so strongly as by his right hon. friend, for at least one half of his arguments went to show, that the result of the change proposed by the hon. member for Middlesex, would not be a reduction in the price of corn. But if the result of the change would not be to lower the price of corn, what would become of the arguments of Mr. Oliver, which were built altogether upon the supposition that there would be a great fall in the price of corn, which would throw a vast quantity of land out of cultivation? But what reason was there, he wished to know, for the supposition, that, under the operation of any such change, a great quantity of land must he thrown out of culture? What had been the fall in price for the last fifteen years? It amounted to 15s. or 20s. a quarter. Did any one suppose such a reduction would he caused by repealing the Corn-laws? He knew that it could not be the case; and he had no hesitation in avowing it, for he was not one of those who went about in public places promising cheap bread—nay, bread almost, for nothing—if the Corn-laws were repealed; on the contrary, whenever he had had occasion to address any large body of his countrymen, he had told them, that at the present prices, the abolition of those laws would cause little, if any, reduction; and that opinion he was then ready to repeat. He had always contended, that steadiness of price, not any considerable fall of price, would be the consequence of a judicious alteration: but greater cheapness would be the result, because there would be an increased and a more regular demand for labour; and the labouring classes would get more wages, and would be able to purchase more of the necessaries of life, for the amount they received. What reason was there to apprehend a reduction of price? All the arguments which had been urged by his right hon. friend on this part of the question had been built upon the simple assumption of Mr. Oliver. Take away that assumption—let the assertions of his hon. friend receive as much credit as Mr. Oliver's,—and they would go to show, that the price of corn would not fall materially, and that no agricultural labourers would be thrown out of employment. That was the answer, borrowed from his right hon. friend, which he gave to the argument his right hon. friend had borrowed from Mr. Oliver. Upon the subject of the general interest, it was true his right hon. friend had boasted of the discovery of some new machinery, some "vicious circle," as he had called it, by which, supposing the people of this country to have the power of purchasing their corn as they could get it cheapest, they were somehow or another to find themselves getting from bad to worse, and that at last in consequence of this odd hocus pocus, which he knew not how to describe, except as the "vicious circle" mentioned by his right hon. friend, they were to find themselves ruined and starved in consequence of a perfect plethora of good things. To this point, however, he would return. He would now pass to the point he had first alluded to—viz., what benefit the present Corn-laws conferred on the agri- cultural interest, on the landlords, the tenants, and the agricultural labourers. He did not wish to advance any further argument to prove the negative of the proposition, that the Corn-laws have been beneficial to the landed interest, than that contained in the book before him, the Agricultural Report itself, framed in the year 1833, after eighteen years' experience of the operation of the Corn-laws. This report told a tale—would to God it were any other!—a tale of ruin to the agricultural interest, which he, for one, most sincerely lamented, and would most anxiously (and he believed never more than by the vote he should give that night) seek to remedy. In that report, to which he wished to pay all possible respect, (though he was bound to say that he did not think it was absolute wisdom) he found a description of the declining interests of those engaged in agricultural pursuits. He found it stated, that the capital of the farmers had diminished since 1821. Now, the Committee of 1821 had previously declared, that prices did not give remunerating returns for capital; but it was hoped, that the savings which had been effected might enable the farmer to go on, and eventually regain what at that time he was losing. In the report of last year he found a regret expressed, that these flattering hopes had not been fulfilled—that the capital of the fanner had been expended and lost—and that his condition now was infinitely inferior to what it was in 1821. Further, it was said, that the productiveness of the soil was diminished; but, in this last inference, he (Mr. Thomson) did not agree; he thought he could controvert it; but he would take it merely as the declaration of the Committee, which would stand in favour of his argument. The Committee of 1821 had declared their opinion, that the produce of the country was sufficient for its consumption, except, perhaps, on extraordinary occasions, and that it was therefore unwise to depend upon foreigners for the supply of corn. But twelve years had been sufficient to sweep away all the conclusions which the Committee of 1821 had come to, for the last Committee expressly said, that, in ordinary seasons, the produce of our own soil was not sufficient to render us independent of foreigners for a supply of corn. The law had sought to establish that independence; and, after eighteen years of suffering—eighteen years of decay—eighteen years of privations and vicissitudes,—what was the result? Why, we had become dependent on foreigners, while, by our exclusions. we told them not to grow us a supply. The report, of the Committee of 1833 gave a lamentable description of the condition of the small landed proprietors; it drew a picture of the distress of the smaller yeomen which needed not to be represented to the House, but which no man who felt an interest in his country's welfare, could do otherwise than lament. To this, then, they were come, after eighteen years' experience of the operation of the Cornlaws,—of those laws which they were now again told were indispensable to the interest of the landlord and the tenant. Here was a report made by a Committee of the House, after mature deliberation, which declared this fact,—that our produce was diminished, that our yeomen were suffering deeply, our farmers ruined, and that our boasted independence of foreigners in the supply of grain was at an end! Upon this representation, he would take his stand as an argument, if he had no other, against the existence of the Corn-laws. Eighteen years had elapsed since they were established; and it appeared, from evidence, that the state of the agricultural interest had been, during that time, retrograding from bad to worse—from comparative prosperity to absolute ruin. Try, then, he would say, another system,—try the system, which, as he would presently show, had been found to operate well for the landlord, for the tenant, and the labourer; and, at least, do not persevere in a course which experience showed had been attended only by increasing misery, and increasing wretchedness to the very interest which you were anxious to protect. Nor was the extent of the baneful influence of these laws discerned when their effect on the agriculture alone of the country was considered. What, let him ask, had been their effect on its commerce? He meant to consider the question of the restrictions on the importation of foreign corn as a general one, and to show how it had operated in depressing our manufactures and commerce. What were its effects in 1815, when, though peace was declared in Europe, the different states, harassed by a long war, were distracted in their internal arrangements, and when the United States were still engaged in war? What were its effects then, when, from one end of England to another, the powers of steam were developed,—when spinning-jennies and flax-frames were in active motion,—when, in short, all those different arts for which this country had been so much distinguished, and which we had then carried far towards perfection, were utterly unknown to the greater portion of the natives of both hemispheres? Above all, there were few restrictive laws in the different States,—none of those prohibitory tariffs which now encircled every frontier. We had then a field for our industry and enterprise. The advantage we had maintained in Europe was entirely owing to our success in manufactures, and that might have been preserved. We were at least fifty years in advance in all that could render manufactures successful; but we neglected the opportunity; we failed to seize this advantage, and in lieu of it imposed the Corn-laws; and continuing in this course of policy, we obliged the other nations of Europe, in self-defence, to manufacture for themselves,—to turn their ingenuity and skill, rude as it was, to the cultivation of mechanical arts, in which we then alone excelled.—To turn their ingenuity and skill, did he say? To form those qualities newly, for previously they possessed none. We obliged them to enter into competition with us, to make those articles for themselves which we would not suffer them to purchase from us, because we refused to receive in exchange those commodities which they alone could give in exchange. Thus, by rapid steps, we forced them to be our rivals, when they would gladly have become our friends and dependents. He would pause for one moment, to observe on an expression which had been used in this debate by the hon. member for Middlesex, and which he did not think had been very correctly appreciated. The hon. member for Middlesex said, that he felt inclined to treat this question as a European question. Though he was disposed to assert, that it was a European question, inasmuch as it involved the prosperity of other nations, and their commercial relations with us, still he did not urge that view of the case. He was prepared, on the contrary, to consider the question as a British question alone, and did not wish to consider it in any other light. But let it be recollected, when British interests were talked of, what were the interests invested in, dependent upon, and living solely by, foreign trade. It was easy to say, that foreign trade should not be encouraged, and that British manufactures should be upheld; but the last was dependent on the first. British trade was a trade with foreigners. He would tell those who wished to check foreign trade, that they were thirty or forty years too late. He would not go into any statement with regard to population: he would not ask whether 960,000 families were dependent on the agriculture of Great Britain, or 1,400,000 on manufactures and commerce; for he did not wish to separate their interests, to support one interest at the expense of another; but he would ask, of what worth would the land of the country he,—where would be the market for its agricultural produce—without its manufactures? What was the relative position of the two classes? The cultivator of the soil readily found a market at home; he was not obliged to go to foreign climes to seek a market for his produce, nor was he compelled to regulate the cost of his commodities according to the price they obtained in other countries. He could get the very best price for them, which the competition at home, or the diminution of the means of the manufacturers and consumers enabled him to secure; and the Legislature compelled the manufacturing and commercial classes, against whom a monopoly was created on behalf of the land-owner, to give almost whatever price he might demand. Now, what, on the other hand, was the condition of the commercial and trading interests? Were hon. Gentlemen aware, that our exports varied from 34,000,000l. to 36,000,000l. annually, the produce of our manufactures and industry. But could the British manufacturer regulate his prices by the demand at home? Could he obtain the equivalent of his labour valued by the equivalent of labour at home? No; he was obliged to send his produce to distant climes, to contend with the natives of those countries who laboured for almost nothing a-day—to despatch them to find a market even in the interior of Africa, and in the most distant regions of the globe. Was it not, when the two interests were compared, a sufficient advantage on the side of the agriculturist?—was it not sufficient that, for all the produce of the soil which had to be sold to the consumer, the agriculturist had the priority of that market, in which the manufacturing and commercial classes were the principal customers? Even if the restriction were taken off the importation of corn, the agriculturist would have only to contend with the foreign grower, after he had been saddled with the different charges for freight, insurance, transfer-commission, and merchants' profit. Our manufacturers could not effect their sales under such advantageous terms, but had to submit to all the charges he had mentioned before they could produce their commodities in the market. There was, then, on the one hand, an almost unlimited market for the produce of agriculture close at hand, while the market for the manufacturer was at a distance, and his near agricultural neighbour had all the advantages of the expense it would cost the manufacturer to send his goods abroad. To his sales, there was a bar in the expense of transport; to the sales of the farmer there were no such bars. There was, in the nature of circumstances, a great advantage in favour of the agriculturists; and why should they not be contented? But, with regard to the effect this restrictive system had upon industry generally, his right hon. friend had said, "How were your complaints warranted, when the fact was, that in spite of this restriction, the trade of the country had increased, and the export of manufactures had been increased with those countries whence com comes, and you had not to complain of any loss of trade?" He entirely agreed with his right hon. friend's qualification, when he asked whether an augmentation of manufactures, and an increase of exports, could be considered inconsistent with a system of restriction on the importation of foreign corn. Who said it was so? But when the vast amount of raw material imported into this country was considered—when it was recollected, that Great Britain was in a manner the manufacturing work-shop of the world,—it would easily be seen that the question resolved itself into one of degree. His assumption was, that had it not been for the restrictive laws on corn immediately following the peace, British manufacturing industry would have taken a flight unequalled even in the days of Arkwright or of Watt, and supplied without competition the whole of the world, instead of being, as now, scarcely able to compete with foreigners. It would he easy to refer to documents in proof of this assumption. His right hon. friend (Sir James Graham) had, in his observations, merely repeated the arguments made use of by a noble friend of his (Mr. Thomson's) in the other House of Parliament—arguments which he should be ashamed of himself, if he did not refute, because they were calculated to involve the question in mystery. His right hon. friend had said, that in order to show that our! exports had gone on increasing to those countries from which we imported corn, he would read a statement of either the official or declared value of our exports, whichever the House pleased; neither were particularly called for, and his right hon. friend read a statement of the official value, He wished, instead of the official value, that he had given their declared value, because the question was not exactly one of the quantity, but of the value of exports. By the statement of his right hon. friend, it; appeared, that some increase in exports had taken place between 1828 and 1832; but he had had the curiosity to ascertain what his right hon. friend had not stated, the declared value, not only during that period, but also during the years 1818, 181,9, 1820, 1821, and 1822. During those years, there was some corn imported, but not near so much as in the period selected by his right hon. friend. This was the result of his inquiry. The total declared value of the exports from this country of British produce and manufactures only, during the years quoted by his right hon. friend, viz. from 1828 to 1832, was 82,425,000l.; while in the five years he had referred to, viz. from 1818 to 1822, the declared value of the exports was 92,312,000l., showing a diminution of 9,887,000l. It might be, however, objected to this argument, that it embraced a period in which the influence of alterations in the currency might have produced extraordinary results. But he would say, that putting the question of currency aside altogether, would any hon. Member answer in the negative to this proposition, that under a freer system of trade, instead of a diminution, there would have been an immense increase in the declared value of the exports? He had stated, and he would repeat, that few men could really judge of the extent of mischief and injury which had been inflicted upon trade, first, by the imposition of the Corn-laws, and secondly by a continuance in them-While those laws remained unchanged, what did the House think we were to say to those countries, against whose commercial restrictions we were constantly protesting? What, if the United States of America passed an almost prohibitory tariff upon British manufactures, if Prussia attempted to establish a commercial supremacy over the whole of Germany, if Russia refused to open her ports to our manufactures,—what answer must we expect from those countries to our remonstrances? They would say, "Can you ask from us the adoption of a more liberal system while you close your ports against the only article we produce? Can you, with any show of justice, call upon us to revise a system which we have adopted in deference to your example, and which we hope to follow with equal success? Were we, indeed, to preach up to those people the true doctrines of trade, and tell them, that restrictive duties were bad while we ourselves continued to enforce them? [Hear!] He accepted that cheer; it did not shake him in his view of the case; and if anything could convince him of its soundness, it would be that which was alluded to last night, and which was received almost with a sneer—the present commercial state of France. The condition of France at the present moment exhibited a state of things which was an illustration of what he had always contended for, that, let the disposition of the Government be what it might, if one people exchanged with another the articles of their respective produce,—if it were their mutual interest to be each other's customers,—they would be found, as in France now the vast proportion of the people were found, absolutely knocking at the doors of the Legislature, with a force not to be resisted, and demanding the acquiescence of the Government in measures of free commercial intercourse. This might, ere long, be the case in other countries and might eventually happen in them all. The progress might be slow; it might be attended with difficulties; but perhaps it was not the less certain; nor would it be less wise in the Legislature not to oppose itself to that course. Why not, then, follow the plain and direct course, and get rid at once of those restrictions on trade, which were the only impediments to social intercourse? and why give an opponent a handle, by professing one thing and doing another? He would not trouble the House with reference to many papers on the subject; but he hoped, at the same time, he might be permitted to read one which touched on this very point. It was an extract from a paper published not many years ago; and from it would be seen the kind of spirit which had been excited upon the Continent against us, and how much we had lost by our obstinate perseverance in those laws of restriction. The paper was dated in the year 1829;and it came from Berlin. [Mr. Baring: Is it a newspaper?] No, a private communication; and if he were to mention from whom it came, it would receive the respect of the right hon. Gentleman opposite. The right hon. Gentleman then read a paper, which stated, 'that the liberal part of the public Press in Germany was calling clamourously upon their Governments to adopt means to break down the commercial ascendancy or monoply, as it was termed in these writings, of England; that the Allgemeine Zeitung, the paper which had the most extensive circulation and in-fluence of any published within the con-federacy, had taken the lead in these declamations, and was publishing a series of articles, in which it was expressly stated, that the commercial advantages of Eng-land must be reduced, and her prohibition of importation be met with corresponding restrictions by the States of the Continent; that it would be found necessary to establish a second "Continental system," and to exclude British manufactures from the markets of Germany until the ports of England were opened for the agricultural produce of the Continent. The writer proceeded to say, that he was aware the Allgemeine Zeilung was not to be considered the official organ of any of the German Governments; but that it spoke the language of a very powerful commercial party in Germany; and that when the proprietor of that paper was consulted by their Majesties of Bavaria and Wirtemberg before any negotiations of commercial intercourse were commenced, it was impossible for these anti-English feelings not to find their way into the Councils of the States.' He read this as a proof of the feeling which existed on the Continent on the subject of our restrictive system. He instanced this as evidence of the sentiments entertained. The hon. member for Essex (Mr. Baring) might rest assured that the paper just quoted came from the band of no mean authority; and it was no trifling matter, for the prosperity of a large portion of the people of this country depended on it. He would now come to the question move immediately before the House, as to the mode of settling the question of the Corn-laws, by referring the point of a fixed or a fluctuating duty to the consideration of a Committee. He found, that all the arguments he had heard alleged against such a course resolved themselves almost entirely into one. The argument made use of by the Committee in their Report, the argument of his right hon. friend (Sir James Graham), that of the noble Earl, the member for Shropshire (the Earl of Darlington) were all meant to show, that a fluctuating scale of duties produced a fixity of prices. He found, that the noble Lord (the Earl of Darlington) had withdrawn the Amendment of which he had given notice, and which was to declare, that a fluctuating scale of duties was better than any other scale of duties that could be framed. He (Mr. C. P. Thomson) was glad to find that the noble Lord had done so. He did not believe that the House would have been induced to assent to such a Resolution; but if it consented to such a Resolution, it would fairly be entitled to be put on a footing with that House of Commons that declared that a one-pound note and a shilling of a depreciated currency were equivalent to a guinea, which was selling at the time for 27s. or 28s. The noble Lord's Motion had been withdrawn; and he begged to recall the attention of the House to what the question before them really was. It must be considered to be this, and nothing else: was the present scale, as applied to corn, preferable to a fixed duty? He agreed with those who said, that the object of the hon. member for Middlesex was not to impose a precisely fixed duty, but the principle of his proposition rested upon that basis. It certainly was true,—and he wished to call attention to the fact,—that the hon. member for Middlesex did not desire, in affirming his Motion, to pledge the House to the imposition and continuance of any fixed duty. The exact terms of the Motion were these:—"That the House do resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House for the purpose of considering the Corn-laws, (9th George 4th, cap. 60,) and of substituting, instead of the present graduated scale of duties, a fixed and moderate duty on the import, at all times, of foreign corn into the United Kingdom, and for granting a fixed and equivalent bounty on the export of corn from the United Kingdom." Now that, he would submit, was not to be considered by any means as binding the House to any particular amount of duty, to any rate or mode of imposing such duty, or to any scale according to which it might be increased or diminished; all these considerations were very properly left to the Committee: they were now only called upon to decide between a fixed and a fluctuating duty. Having thus far proceeded with the question, he should beg leave to ask hon. Members, as well on the one side of the House as on the other, what constituted the main argument in support of the present system? It was founded upon this:—that the varying scale of duty produced fixity of prices. If there was anything which could be said in an especial degree to form the great, and, as it was esteemed, the conclusive argument, in support of the system, it was this; yet he believed there was not a man living who, possessing an ordinary share of understanding, and applying his mind, free from prejudice, and with an earnest desire to ascertain the truth, who would not candidly declare, that the facts did not support any such conclusion. For his part, he found it impossible to avoid giving the flattest denial to the assertion, that the operation of that varying scale was to produce fixity of price. His right hon. friend, in arguing this point last night, had made a quotation from a letter of Mr. Huskisson's. He (Mr. C. P. Thomson) had cheered him, not for the reason that his right hon. friend then supposed, but on an entirely different ground. His right hon. friend quoted the opinion of Mr. Huskisson, with the view of showing that that distinguished statesman approved of the Corn-law of 1828, whereas the letter had reference to the Corn-law of 1827 He (Mr. C. P. Thomson) should have been much surprised if the late Mr. Huskisson had expressed himself in such terms of approbation of the Corn-law of 1828; and if he did so, he must have changed his opinion at a much later period. For the memory of Mr. Huskisson he entertained the profoundest respect: unconnected, as he was, with him in politics, he (Mr. Huskisson) had been to him an object of admiration; but honoured as he had been, when a very young man in Parliament, by his kindness and advice, he became one of esteem and attachment; and he (Mr. C. P. Thomson) should be most ungrateful, did he not speak of him with the highest respect, in terms of the sincerest regard. When looking to the sentiments expressed by that distinguished man, the circumstances under which they were delivered ought to be borne in mind. Mr. Huskisson was, at that time, defending himself before his constituents, for not having gone the length of a total prohibition. On such an occasion, surely it was natural that he should use the most specious arguments that presented themselves. He did not mean to imply that he insincerely used them; but it was unfair to bind a man to certain opinions he had expressed, if he had subsequently honestly withdrawn them. He should, therefore, call the attention of the House to what were the later opinions of Mr. Huskisson, when he had arrived at maturity in his opinions, and at independence; and when he was no longer looking to the attainment of the same objects he had in view when he wrote that letter.

The Earl of Darlington

asked, if the right hon. Gentleman meant to cast an imputation on the character of Mr. Huskisson?

Mr. Poulett Thomson

said, he would be The last man in that House to throw the slightest imputation on the character of Mr. Huskisson; and he had no doubt whatever but that he entertained the opinions expressed in the letter at the time he wrote it. The opinions of Mr. Huskisson, which he should quote, were expressed on the 25th of March, 1830, two years after the Corn-law of 1828 had come into operation, and were as follow:—'It was his unalterable conviction, that they could not uphold the existing Corn-laws with the taxation, and increase the national prosperity, or preserve public contentment; that those laws might be repealed, without affecting the landed interest, while the people would be relieved from their distress, he never had any doubt whatever'. Here, then, was the answer he should give to the declaration of Mr. Huskisson, quoted by his right hon. friend. It was the opinion of the same statesman, when it might be considered that his sentiments on the subject had been more matured. But what, after all, did the letter of Mr. Huskisson state? It found fault principally with the alterations that had been made in the policy of the country in 1765; and it declared, that, for a long time, the country had been pursuing a vicious course of policy. It stated, that a free trade in corn would be detrimental to all interests, by producing fluctuation, and rendering this country dependent upon foreigners for its supply. Now, how far Mr. Huskisson had changed his opinion on the subject, he (Mr. C. P. Thomson) had already shown. But he would bring against Mr. Huskisson another authority, who had answered him so completely, and had referred to so many facts, and had gone into such exact calculations, and had adduced such important arguments on the subject, that it would be unnecessary for him (Mr. C. P. Thomson) to do more than request the attention of the House whilst he referred to a few passages. They were from a work that he would recommend to the attention of every hon. Member in that House; and he was sure that his right hon. friend would not be inclined to undervalue it. The book he alluded to was entitled "Free Trade in Corn the real Interest of the Landowner and the true Policy of the Slate; "by a Cumberland Landowner. He (Mr. C. P. Thomson) was anxious to refer to that work, because he found his own opinions and sentiments expressed in much better language, and in a much more forcible manner, than he could put them. With respect to the alteration made in the year 1765, he found this passage:—'Since the year 1765, at which time a great alteration was made in our Corn-laws, the supply of British corn, cattle, &c, and of almost every other sort of merchandise, has increased most amazingly.' Further on, he found the same writer proceeding to say,—'We have, then, the most conclusive evidence, founded on facts and experience, that neither an extraordinary increase in the supply of labour, nor of corn, has been followed by a fall of prices; on the contrary, they have been nearly doubled; and were more than doubled between the years 1780 and 1806, when the trade in foreign corn was most free, and our foreign commerce most prosperous.' He (Mr. C. P. Thomson) could not help saying, that he had been delighted to find, when he wanted an answer to Mr. Huskisson's letter, that he could refer to so able an authority as the writer of that book. When he had such weapons at hand, he did not want any other armoury to go to. He would read another extract from the pamphlet, in answer to Mr. Huskisson's remark, that a free trade in corn would be detrimental to all interests. 'To propose to enrich a nation by forcing a permanent scarcity of corn, and by obstructing the natural course of trade, is, indeed, at variance with common sense. The con-sequences cannot be mistaken:—the embarrassment of our shipping, mercantile, and manufacturing interests,—want of employment, and desperate poverty among the labouring population,—an increase of crime, and a tendency to emigration,—a loss of our currency, and a fall of the prices of labour and of corn,—a diminution of the public revenue, and a derangement of the public finances,—and, more than all, the certain eventual ruin of the agricultural interest itself;—these are the bitter fruits of a blind and selfish policy Rapaciously grasping at undue gain, and losing hold of advantages placed within its power.' In another place, this writer contrasted the state of Poland with that of England in these terms:—'When England, the land of marine affairs and of commerce, and the best workshop or manufactory in the world, attempted to sell corn in opposition to Poland, a country in want of these advantages, she perverted the natural order of trade; she sold that which it was most profitable for her to buy; and, destroying the means of her natural customers to buy what it was most profitable for her to sell, she artificially lowered the prices of every descrip- tion of merchandise throughout the long period of sixty-four years. So much for the crusade against the natural order of commerce. No sooner, however, was a sound system of trade in corn adopted, and large importations made, than; he medium price of middling corn again rose most rapidly. As a proof how remark ably the freedom of the corn trade had a happy re-action on the general commerce and manufactures of the kingdom, Dr. Adam Smith has observed,—that "the Yorkshire manufacture declined, and its produce did not rise to what it had been in 1755 till 1766." But the author of the pamphlet did not stop here: he was not satisfied with Dr. Adam Smith's observations, and he proceeded to say,—'So far Dr. Smith simply notices the fact, but he appears to have overlooked the cause. He points out the revival of our trade, and fixes the date of this amendment; but he has failed to recognize its precise coincidence with the change in our Corn-laws, and with the commencement of the free importation of foreign grain into this country. Till 1815, the corn trade was free, and commerce prospered. In that ill-fated year the prohibitory system became operative; and as in 1766 trade and manufactures revived precisely at the moment when the restrictions on the import of foreign corn were removed, so, in 1815, when these restrictions were again imposed, commerce languished, manufactures failed, and universal distress over-spread the land.' Before he laid down The pamphlet, which he then held in his hand, he should say, that it contained the most satisfactory answer both to the quotation from Mr. Huskisson's letter, and to The speech delivered last night by his right hon. friend. It might be matter of taste; but he confessed, he should much rather take the opinions of the Cumberland Land lord than anything that might proceed upon the subject, even from Mr. Huskisson himself. He would now proceed to the question of fluctuations. Now, how did that matter stand? He would ask, whether there had really been, as had been asserted by almost all the hon. Gentlemen who had opposed the Motion, that there had been less fluctuation in the price of corn under the last Corn-bill, than at any former period? ["Hear."] To what period did the noble Lord who cheered refer? Were they, in imitation of the Report of The Agricultural Committee, to refer back only for a period of fifteen years? What fair comparison could they possibly insti- tute. within that period? The noble Lord perhaps would say, that he (Mr. Thomson) ought to take years of peace. His right hon. friend (Sir J. Graham) was interrupted yesterday by an hon. Gentleman, who said, that a comparison could not be made between years of war and peace. His answer was—that he would then take periods before and after 1827. That was no answer at all; for in the year 1827, in his opinion, though not in that of the hon. member for Essex, they had a worse Corn-law than at the present time. He thought, therefore, hon. Gentlemen could not institute any comparison between the present time and any period in which the Corn-law of 1815 was in operation. Then to what period must they go back—to 1797? But that would carry them into the difficulty before referred to, for, with one slight exception, the whole period between 1790 and 1815 was a period of war. He would, therefore, go back to the period of peace, when the trade in corn was almost free. He was aware, that it was stated in the Report of the Agricultural Committee, that there were no accurate returns of the average prices of corn previous to the year 1790. There were, however, some Returns of the price of corn, which would lead to tolerably correct conclusions. He confessed, that he was surprised to see it stated, in the Agricultural Report, that there were no Returns previous to 1790. Did the Committee look to the Act of 1770? Were they ignorant of it? He knew that under that Act, the averages were not struck in so perfect a manner as they were then, or as they were even in 1815 or 1792. At the same time, however, under the Act he had just referred to, some important averages were made. By the Act of 1770, the average price of corn in the London market, should be published in the Gazette at fixed periods. He would take, therefore, the average price of corn for a number of years then, and compare it with the averages for a similar number of years from 1829. He found, that taking the five years from 1829, the highest average price of wheat for any year, was 66s. 4d., and the lowest average price was 52s. 10d. that was to say, the average price of the year 1831 was 66s. 4d., and the average of 1833 was 52s. 10d.; thus making a difference between the average of the highest year and the lowest year of 13s. 5d. He would now take from 1771 to 1775 inclusive,—the five first years under the operation of the Act of 1770. He found during that period the highest average price of corn for any one of those years was 52s. 8d., and the lowest yearly average was 47s. 2d.; thus making the greatest difference only 5s. 6d. instead of 13s. 6d. He would then take the five years from 1781 to 1785, inclusive. He found, that the highest average for any of those years was 52s. 8d., and the lowest 44s. 4d.; thus showing the greatest difference to be 8s. 4d. Now, he begged the hon. Members to recollect, that the greatest difference in the average of the five years under the Corn-law of 1828, was 13s. 6d. He would ask them, therefore, whether what he had just read was not sufficient to show that there was greater fluctuation in prices at present than there was formerly? Did it not show, that the Corn-law that had been passed to prevent fluctuation, had failed in its object? But he would not stop there. He was prepared to contend, that taking yearly averages did not furnish any thing like a correct criterion by which to judge of the extent of fluctuations in the course of a year. The price of corn at one period of a year might be 80s. a quarter, and at another 40s.; and yet the yearly average might make it appear 60s. Under such circumstances, the country might labour under all the evils of the greatest fluctuation in prices, and yet it would not be apparent. He would, therefore, adopt a course which he thought would make the matter much clearer to the House. He would take a period since the passing of the last Corn Bill, and take the highest and lowest average prices, not for years, but for periods of six weeks. He would compare those averages with similar averages that had been made of the price of corn between 1783 and 1791. He obtained the latter averages from Returns printed in the Gazette of the price of corn in the port of London, and signed by the Lord Mayor. The Returns undoubtedly were only the returns of prices of wheat in London; but that would rather tell against his argument, than if he took the whole country, as it must be quite clear that, in a single market, the price was much more liable to fluctuation than when the sales of the whole kingdom were taken into account. He would take from 1783; and he found that the highest and lowest average prices of corn, as given by the Lord Mayor, and published in the Gazette, were as follows:—

s. d. s. d s. d.
In 1784 the prices varied from 48 2 to 41 10 difference 6 4
In 1785 37 5 to 34 6 difference 2 11
In 1766 36 2 to 33 10 difference 2 4
In 1787 44 10 to 36 1 difference 8 9
In 1788 45 1 to 42 9 difference 2 4
In 1789 54 11 to 47 0 difference 7 11
From that statement, the House would see that the largest amount of difference was 8s. 9d.; the lowest 2s.4d.; those had been the fluctuations under a system which had been referred to as greatly inferior in its working to that which had prevailed since the year 1828, when a measure was introduced, which professed so to regulate prices that they should always vary between 55s. and 65s. That was Mr. Canning's statement, and on his statement the Bill was passed. Now, if prices were even kept within that range, he should deem it too extensive; but, how stood the fact, and what had been the operation of the Bill?
s. d. s. d s. d.
In 1828 the prices varied from 75 3 to 56 0 difference 19 3
In 1829 75 3 to 56 3 difference 19 0
In 1830 72 11 to 56 1 difference 16 10
In 1831 73 5 to 60 5 difference 13 0
In 1832 63 5 to 52 5 difference 11 0
Any hon. Gentleman who took the trouble to examine the Returns, would see that the boasted effects of the graduated scale, which was to limit the fluctuations within a range bounded by 55 and 65, had been to create an extent of fluctuation far greater than its projectors at all anticipated, and extending much beyond any amount of fluctuation which ought to exist under a sound and well-regulated system. He contended, also, that a fluctuating scale of duties was most injurious to the consumer, and was, above all, injurious to the party hon. Gentlemen said they were anxious to protect. The fluctuating scale had proved most deceptive to the farmer. By means of that scale, immense importations of corn had taken place far beyond the power of the market to take off at once; and the consequence had been that the farmer had suffered most severely. Sometimes a low average had been obtained for the purpose of importation, by holding back the corn on hand, and running up the price, until the duty had been reduced to the minimum; then the reaction had taken place, and the fall been accelerated by the weight of what had been thus introduced into the market. He did not like to trouble the House with referring to papers, but there was one other which he felt called upon to direct attention to. He wished to allude to what took place in 1830. It would be in the recollection of many hon. Members, that it was much feared that the harvest of 1830 would prove a very bad one; the greatest fears were expressed on the subject, and above all, on the Corn Exchange. The price of corn rose rapidly in June and July, and the duty decreased to the extent of 2s., 4s., and 6s. a-week on the quarter, but still not a single quarter of corn was brought out of the bonded warehouses. The harvest came on, and was a moderate one; although it was not of the average quantity, it was of good quality. The farmer of course expected to obtain for the deficiency, a higher price for his corn. Just previous to the harvest, however, the prices had risen to that extent that the duty fell to nothing, and the consequence was, that in the course of six weeks, namely, from the 5th of August to the 30th of September, during which period, it was thought that the harvest would be deficient, not less than 1,250,000 quarters of wheat were taken out of bond, and carried into the market. The consequence was, that prices fell to a ruinous extent, and the farmers could get nothing like a remunerating price for their corn. He begged the House to recollect that that was under a law framed for the protection of the farmer—under a law that was to give him complete prosperity. He asked whether it would not have been much better for the farmer if there had been a fixed duty? The farmer naturally calculated on getting something more than the average price for his produce, in proportion to the diminution of the crop; but he found, just as the harvest came in, instead of prices rising or continuing high, that in the course of six weeks, the price of wheat fell no less than 11s. 3d. per quarter, from 72s. 11d. to 61s. 8d. He contended, that a fixed duty of from 8s. to 10s. the quarter, under which foreign corn could at all times come into the markets of this country at a moderate price, would have prevented this occurrence and the consequent loss. He now begged to call the attention of the House to the effect of the fluctuating law upon our shipping. In order to reach a given market before the average changed, it was necessary to ship the com without loss of time; and hence it followed, that the instant the ports of this country were thrown open for the admission of foreign corn, the vessels on the spot were used for the purpose. It therefore happened that by far the larger proportion of the foreign grain imported into our ports reached this country in foreign, and not in British, bottoms; but would this be the case if the present Corn-laws were not in being? Undoubtedly it would not, and consequently he was justified, in saying, that these laws operated most injuriously upon our shipping interest. One of the witnesses examined before the Com- mittee on Trade of last year, Mr. Young,—a gentleman who did not take the same view that he (Mr. Thomson) did with regard to the shipping interest, and whose opinion he would, therefore, the more readily quote upon this particular point, gave the following evidence: Mr. Young was asked— Do you think that having a larger proportion of the carrying trade of corn would be beneficial to you?—Yes, it would; if there was a fixed duty upon corn, I have no doubt it would be beneficial to us, for, at the present time, if the ports are opened, orders go out to the foreign ports; the foreign ships are at home and get freighted; and, before the English ships can get out, the principal part of the orders are filled up, and the freights get lower; we are, therefore, disappointed when we get there. Do you consider that the alteration from a fluctuating to a fixed duty would be the means of giving additional employment to the British shipping?—Yes, it would. Mr. Hedley, another witness whom he questioned on the subject, gave evidence to the same purport. Mr. Hedley was asked— Do you think the shipping interest would be benefited by an alteration of the Corn-laws?—I think, if there was a fixed duty, it would give very great increased employment to British shipping, instead of foreign, in the early part of the year. At the present moment, when any prospect of bad weather occurs during the harvest, or even in the spring of the year, the orders are sent out so quickly, that there is not time to send English vessels out, and the foreign vessels are taken up forthwith. Now, if there was a fixed duty, there would be none of that speculation, and we should have a supply of corn of a superior description; there would be a regular import instead of a fluctuating one. I think, if there were a fixed duty, British shipping would become the carriers of nearly all the corn. You have stated that you think the English shipping interest would be benefited materially by the change in the Corn-law you have mentioned; would not that depend upon the comparative expense at which foreign and British ships could be navigated?—I think that British shipping could be navigated as cheap as foreign; and even if it could not, I should prefer British shipping in bringing corn; you have no dependence upon the foreigner bringing corn; he perhaps runs into foreign ports, and you have nothing but trouble and vexation with him; a great many of them have run into Norway, &c. He came now to the effect produced by this fluctuating law on trade, and that was his principal objection to it. He had already stated, that he did not give in to the delusion, that if the Corn-laws were repealed or modified to the extent of the present proposition, corn would be much cheaper. He did not expect any such thing; but his opinion was, that the price of wheat, under such circumstances, would be much more equal. Now, it was apparent to common sense, that their object should be, if they were obliged to take large supplies of corn, such as they did at present, from foreign countries (and the report of the Agricultural Committee stated that we depended on foreign supplies in ordinary years)—their object, he repeated, should be to make the most of what they were obliged to take. Now, under the existing Corn-laws our trade in corn with foreign countries, owing to the fluctuations and the irregular demand, was looked upon by them as an absolute nuisance. When a rise in the price of corn took place here, the consequence was a sudden demand from this country for corn from foreign countries, so as to disturb their prices to an incredible extent. The demand came so suddenly, and was to such an extent, that the effect of it was to derange their system, and completely unsettle their markets. It appeared from an article that was recently given in a paper published by authority in Germany, that the demand from England for corn came generally so suddenly there, and so greatly disturbed all their internal operations, that it was considered by them rather as an injury than a benefit. But this was not all. Did our present trade in corn with foreign countries, large as it was, induce them to take English goods in return? Did it tend to produce among them a taste for English manufactures? No such thing. There was no doubt that a trade, under an equal and fixed duty, and a constant communication, would produce such an effect. Could there be a doubt that such would be the case, considering that during the last five years we had imported an amount equal to 6,000,000 quarters of wheat from foreign countries? Could it be denied, that if such a trade were carried on upon equal and steady principles it would tend to diffuse a taste for, and to promote the consumption of English manufactured goods on the Continent of Europe? But, as the existing law stood, foreign corn came to us at rare intervals, and at a high price. How much of that price which was eventually paid for foreign corn in this country went into the pockets of the producers of it? After the charges for warehousing, for interest of money, for insurance from fire, were deducted from the price which it fetched, it would be found that a very small proportion, indeed, of the total sum paid for it went into the pockets of the producers of the corn. Now, that was one of the main objections to the existing system of Corn-laws. With the present fluctuating duty, while we had to pay a high price for foreign corn, the revenue did not gain by the increased price. The producers of the corn were not gainers by it. In fact, a great proportion of that price was money actually lost. He would appeal to hon. Members whether the interest that was necessarily charged for corn laid up in the warehouses of Dantzic for three or four years, and then deposited in the warehouses in London for two or three years, was not lost to those who had produced that corn, as completely and entirely at if it had been money thrown away? As he had said before, a great proportion of the various charges to which foreign corn was subjected, must be regarded as money thrown away. When he was connected with business, the calculation was, that kiln-dried wheat could not he kept for less than 8s. or 10s. a quarter annually. Therefore, there was a positive loss to that amount—replaced by nothing—conferring advantage on no one—which might be saved by an alteration of these laws. But then they were told, that if the present system were altered, they would depend too much on foreign countries for their supply of corn. Now, in reply to that argument, it was only necessary to refer to the Report of the Agricultural Committee, which showed that, at this moment, we were dependent on foreign countries for a very large supply of corn, and that supply too obtained under all the disadvantages incidental to the fluctuating duty at present in existence. Was it not reasonable to suppose that if that duty were a fixed and equal one, though that supply might be obtained much cheaper, it would be obtained on fairer and juster terms? The advocates of the present proposition had been taunted with the supposition of placing this country at the mercy of foreign countries for its supply of corn in time of war. He was surprised to hear his right hon. friend last night repeat that taunt, and quote Mr. Huskisson, to the effect, that Europe, under such circumstances, might shut her ports against us. What was the fact?—and fact was in this case a thousand times better than theory—why, that in the middle of the last war, when the greatest efforts that were ever resorted to, were made to shut us out from the Continental markets, we actually imported a larger quantity of corn than we had ever imported at any previous period; no less in amount than 1,400,000 quarters were imported into this country at a time when we were at war, and when, according to the extract read by his right hon. friend from the pamphlet of Mr. Huskisson, this country would sink under the opposition of the Continent. His right hon. friend, the First Lord of the Admiralty, had shown last night, that the fluctuation at Rotterdam, under a system of free trade in corn, was still greater, within the last three years, than in Great Britain, where the trade was fettered by restrictions. But the cause of the changes in Rotterdam might in a great measure be traced to our Corn-laws. That market, from its proximity and convenience, was immediately affected by our market, and being the theatre of speculation, prices were more affected there than even here. Then they had been told, that even if a fixed duty should be imposed upon the importation of corn, the prices would not be lower than they were at present. His right hon. friend, while the whole of his arguments went to show that the adoption of such a duty would be the ruin of the agriculturists, had also contended that, under such circumstances, the prices would not be lower than they now were. His right hon. friend showed that the average price of wheat in Volhynia and in Ireland was almost precisely the same. Was not that circumstance a sufficient answer to those who said, that if a fixed scale were adopted, the landlords would be ruined, and the farmers severely injured? If prices were the same in Volhynia and Ireland, the preference would be sure to be given to the corn from Ireland, because of the necessary charge of 10s. or 15s. per quarter on the transport of Polish corn. Now, for his part, he knew not how his right hon. friend could reconcile his statement, that prices would not fall in consequence of the adoption of a fixed rate of duty, with that ruin to the farmers and landlords which he had so confidently predicted as the inevitable result of such a measure. They had been told that the landowners were entitled to peculiar protection, as the land had peculiar burthens to bear. He was not the person to object to what was fair and right; and if it could be shown, that the landowners were subjected to greater burthens than other classes, he would say, that they should be protected. He was well aware that the doctrine he was about to propound was one that was not calculated to render him popular; but he would not for that reason shrink from declaring his sincere opinion of what he conceived to be just. He agreed with his hon. friend, the member for Middlesex, that as this law had only existed since 1815, the landowners had no legal claim on the country for compensation, but he thought they had an equitable claim. He would not dispute that the landowners had a claim to a certain degree of protection. He would give them compensation for it. Let them make out their bill of costs; and he for one would pay it with a great deal of pleasure. He would say, let the landowners be remunerated for any charges to which the land might be specially subject. His right hon. friend had referred to Mr. Ricardo, as being of that way of thinking. He knew that Mr. Ricardo was; but what did that Gentleman say besides? He had calculated those charges, and had said, that a fixed duty of 10s. was nearly double the amount that was required to compensate the landed interest. His right hon. friend had quoted Mr. Ricardo as if he were with him, and against the imposition of a fixed duty; but he would find, that the authority of Mr. Ricardo was against him on that point. Mr. Ricardo proposed the adoption of a certain fixed duty, as being a full and sufficient compensation to the landowners. Let them adopt that plan, and do not let them throw away the various sums which he had shown were thrown away in the shape of different charges under the existing system. By the adoption of such a plan as that of a fixed duty, there was no doubt that the revenue would be a gainer; and, under such circumstances, he would not object to appropriate the amount of duty thus received towards affording that relief to the landowners to which they should prove themselves entitled. He feared, that he had rather trespassed on the time and attention of the House; but he was sure that the great importance of the subject would be a sufficient excuse with the House for going so much into detail with regard to it. He had endeavoured to go through, and he hoped with some success, the arguments which had been urged on the other side of the question. The argument of time alone had not been touched upon, and upon that he would only observe, that if ever there was a time for making such a change as that now proposed, properly and beneficially, it was the present. They had heard it much dwelt upon, that the price of corn was now at 48s., and that it could not fall much below that. He would answer for it, that any importation which could take place at the present moment, more especially when he looked at the state of the south-east of Europe, where corn was almost as dear as it was here, and where the Government was actually marching the population to the corn, because, to do so, cost less than it would to carry the corn to the population. He would answer for it that any quantity which could be sent in now would not disturb the existing price in England. As the only argument which had been adduced against a change was that arising from a fear of a fall in that price, it was clear, that now was the time to effect a change. But there was another powerful argument for it:—They could legislate now with calmness, with deliberation, and with wisdom. Let them wait till the price of corn should rise—let them wait until one of those fluctuations should, under the dispensation of Providence, occur, through a failure of the harvest in this country, with a failure also of the harvest in France (a prior customer to us in the markets of the continent) with those markets not abundantly stocked, hardly sufficient, in fact, to supply their own demands,—let them wait till that time should arrive; and then a change in the Corn-laws would be called for in much less respectful language than he should wish ever to see addressed to that House. They could now legislate, holding the balance equally poised between all the different interests connected with this great question. Let them but legislate wisely on this subject now, and they might secure that continental market for their manufactures which delay might deprive them of; let them but adopt this proposition now, and they might meet effectually that continental combination which was at that moment arising in different parts of Germany to shut out English manufactures from their markets. Let them postpone what, must eventually be done with regard to the Corn-laws, and that combination would have spread so widely, and become so deeply rooted, that it would be inaccessible to argument and impossible to be overturned. Above all things he would say to the House—" Act now." Let them act now, in order to answer that notion, which, in his opinion, arose from ignorance or mistaken ideas, namely—that, in the first place, very cheap bread would be the result of such a measure as that now pro- posed, and that, in the next place, the effect of the existing law was to deprive the people of food. That feeling, however mistaken it might be, existed, and they might depend upon it that it was diffusing itself generally throughout the country. Such an opinion could not be put down by argument; and the only effectual means of putting it down—the only effectual mode to convince the public of the fallacy of the notion, consisted in that House resolving to resort to a different system. He, for one, would submit cheerfully to the decision of that House, whatever it should be; but he would not answer that such would be the feeling out of doors. He was afraid, that he could not doubt what that decision would be. They would, most probably, pronounce in favour of the existing system; they would, most probably, declare that that system was the right one; but he could not conclude without expressing his opinion, in the words of Lord Liverpool, that, in spite of any decision they might come to, a restriction on the food of the people could not endure.

Mr. Baring

said, that in consequence of what had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, he felt it necessary to address a few observations to the House. He begged to call the attention of the House to the particular position in which this question stood. Last year Committees were appointed,—one to inquire into the state of commerce, shipping, and manufactures, and another to inquire into the state of the agricultural interest. The Report of one of those Committees was, that there existed a great depression in the state of the agricultural interest, whilst the other reported that there existed great improvement, prosperity, and success in the various branches of the trade, commerce, and manufactures of the country. Now, as far as regarded the agricultural interest, the distressed situation in which it was at the time the Committee made its Report had since been aggravated. It subsequently occurred that the noble Lord, at the head of his Majesty's Government in that House, in affording the only relief which he stated himself enabled to afford from taxation, gave that relief, in opposition, as he distinctly said, to his own opinion, to the inhabitants of great towns. That noble Lord had, however, on another occasion, referred to the benefits which, he stated, were about to he conferred on the agricultural interest in the commutation of tithes, and in the alteration which it was intended to make in the Poor-laws; and he had assigned those benefits as reasons for the determination to which he had come with regard to the class to whom the relief from taxation should be afforded. On the first day of the Session the noble Lord (Lord Althorp) stated, in answer to a question put to him on the subject, that his Majesty's Government would not propose any alteration in the Corn-laws,—those laws which the farmers considered, and in his (Mr. Baring's opinion) truly considered, as the best protection for their interests. The noble Lord's expressions were these—"that if any hon. Gentleman should propose any alteration, he would do so without the sanction of Government; and he (Lord Althorp) could add, that the Government would not support it." He had quoted the noble Lord's declaration from those well-known means through which the public were made acquainted with what passed in that House. That declaration had gained the noble Lord many votes in the division on the Motion with respect to the Malt-tax; and this he could state, with certainty, that it had diffused general confidence throughout the country, affording, as it did, to the agricultural interest, the assurance that his Majesty's Government would lend no countenance to such a proposition as that now before the House. He had mentioned these circumstances as an introduction to the observations which he had to offer in reply to the arguments of the principal champion on this occasion of such a proposition—that champion being none other than the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Board of Trade in that House. He did not suppose, it was true, though he had heard it insinuated, that one-half of the members of the Cabinet were determined to support this proposition. This, however, he would say, after what had already occurred—one member of the Cabinet, the right hon. Baronet, opposing, while another member of it, the right hon. Vice-President of the Board of Trade, supported such a proposition—that, seeing the impression which the noble Lord's (Lord Althorp's) declaration on a former occasion, to which he had referred, had produced throughout the country, the feeling in the country amongst the agricultural interest would be, that faith had not been kept with them as they had a right to expect. He had no intention of following the right hon. Gentleman who had preceded him through all the arguments which, he had adduced on this subject. He would, in the first instance, just advert to two circumstances which he considered well worthy of consideration at the present moment. One of them was this—that, in this country there had, for many years existed, under different degrees, what was called and considered a protection for agriculture. The right hon. Gentleman who had just spoken had stated, that that protection had originated in 1815. Now, in making that statement, the right hon. Gentleman had, unconsciously, no doubt, completely misrepresented the fact. Even before 1815 there was a greater degree of protection than at the present time. The right to protection, on the part of the agriculturists, was no new thing in this country—it had, no doubt, often varied considerably in amount; but, he believed, that throughout the whole lives of the active portion of the present generation, a certain degree of protection had always existed. Before 1815 that protection extended till the price rose to 60s.; after the law passed in 1815 the amount of protection was increased until, at last, they came to the measure of 1828. The right hon. Gentleman stated, that he had opposed that law. He would candidly say, that, at the time, he did express some dislike to the details of the measure then proposed. ["Hear," from Mr. Hume.] His hon. friend behind him, in cheering that statement, seemed to think that he (Mr. Baring) had, in 1828, disapproved of the extent of protection then proposed to be afforded. Now, the very contrary was the fact, for his objection to that measure then was, that it did not give sufficient protection, It was difficult, however, to predict truly what would be the effects of a measure with such complicated machinery. The trial which that measure had since had altered his opinion, and he was ready to agree in the sentiment contained in the Report of the Agricultural Committee, that, on the whole, taking everything into consideration, that measure, with its varying duty, had worked well. It was quite possible that hon. Gentlemen might point out particular years and circumstances which would lead to another conclusion; but, taking all the particular occurrences that had taken place together, and the agitation that had been excited against those laws, he was convinced that no more satisfactory arrangement could be substi- tuted in their place. He was prepared to maintain, that the outcry against the Corn-laws did not originate in any evil which had been felt by the people under their operation, but had been got up by a class of persons who went about and told them, "Here is an interference with your food; if you get rid of it, you will get bread cheaper, and have a loaf for half the price you now pay for it." When statements of this description were made by persons, though even for doubtful purposes, it was not to be wondered at that unpopular feelings should be generated. He happened to know, however, from an individual well acquainted with the state of feeling on this topic existing at present in the city of London—a city with which he had formerly been himself nearly connected, and was, consequently, acquainted with the feelings of its inhabitants, that the respectable tradesmen of that great Metropolis by no means joined in the clamour and outcry which had been raised with reference to the Corn-laws. This information, from an individual (as he had already stated) well acquainted with the state of feeling, served to confirm him in the opinion which, from his own observation, he had previously formed. The outcry and clamour which had formerly prevailed had been increased by articles published to the world from the pens of foreigners, who, themselves, had corn warehouses in the granaries of this country; and to this interference could be, in a great degree, attributed the agitation which pervaded many classes of the community, with reference to the laws now under the consideration of the House. Whatever might be the advanced state of education amongst the people of any nation, or whatever had been the progress in point of information and intelligence of any population, it could not be doubted that it was easy for any man, so disposed, to raise the flame of discontent and discord by such statements and publications as those to which he had alluded. The right hon. Gentleman who had spoken last, as well as the hon. member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Clay), and the hon. and gallant member for Bolton, all of whom were Members for three great districts recently added to the representation of the country, had, each in their addresses to the House upon the present question, added to their entreaties threats, such, as he had always predicted, would be heard in that House after the Parliament was reformed, that if that which was sought by them was not conceded by the Legislature, it would be done with a vengeance from without. He admitted, that this threat had been thrown out under very guarded expressions; but whatever threats might be made, and whatever might, be the terms in which they were conveyed, so long as he had a seat in the Legislature, they would fail to influence his judgment, and, he was satisfied, would fall harmless upon the great mass of the Members of the Commons House of Parliament. The hon. member for Middlesex cried "hear," as if he (Mr. Baring) had said that his disapprobation extended to the protection that was given by the measure. He had not, nor could he make any such admission. He conceived that that protection had proved sufficient, notwithstanding he doubted it at the time the change was proposed; and, although the machinery was complex, he was bound to declare, that in his humble judgment, the system of averages then established had worked well. First, the right hon. Gentleman said, that the present protecting low duty did not do the farmer or the labouring population any good; and, secondly, he had dwelt with much triumph in anticipation upon the immense good to be done to the foreign commerce of the country by its abolition. Now, there was one argument which the right hon. Gentleman had used in maintaining these propositions which he hoped would be weighed well by the people. He had told them very plainly, that he was not about to give them cheaper bread. He had said, indeed, that farmers were to have better prices for their corn, and therefore were to be better off. He did hope, that when Gentlemen went about to harangue upon these topics at public meetings, where political incendiarism was so easy, that they would take care to bring into their account this declaration of the right hon. member for Manchester. Upon these two different points he would trouble the House with some remarks. First, with regard to the state of the farmer and the labourer. He had always considered, that this was a question of protection to those classes, though, in 1815, he opposed as strongly as he could do the increase of the protecting duty from 66s. to 80s. He felt it his duty, then, to do so because the country had just emerged from a war of unprecedented duration, and affairs were in a state of great derangement as to the currency and the necessary winding-up of the war establishments; and he therefore thought, that, at a time so unsettled, to pretend to make a new law to regulate the importation of corn would not be prudent, and consequently he opposed any increase of the protecting duty. The great adversary against whom he had then to contend, who, according-to the Gentlemen who supported this Motion, was the opponent of protection—was Mr. Huskisson, who maintained, that the first thing they had to do, was to secure an independent supply of food for the population, and, in order to effect that, supported the increased duty and increased protection to the farmer. This was what he contended the House was now bound to do; but this was not the doctrine of Gentlemen who professed to be carrying into effect Mr. Huskisson's principles. When the right hon. Gentleman, the member for Manchester, talked of not taunting the people with being theorists and philosophers, the objection he took to the philosophers, if they were worthy of being called philosophers, was when they thought of throwing their schemes into all old communities, such as existed in this country, placed as they were in the midst of other old communities which surrounded them on all sides throughout the European system—a system made up of old prejudices and old associations, commercial, manufacturing and political—and from which it was impossible, that men could be driven for such a purpose. With such materials as these to work upon these pseudo philosophers argued as if they were dealing with a new community just established at the Swan River, where he certainly recommended, that they should go and apply their principles, for there, at least, they would destroy nothing, whatever they might fail to create. Where was the man who could not take into his view all the disturbing causes that must arise to impede the operation of first principles in old settled systems full of complicated interests, engrafted upon and interwoven with every engagement of society? No such man was to be found. He was in reality a child in intellect, who attempted to deal with these things without taking all the elements of the case into his consideration. He was always ready to listen to these philosophers on first principles; but he must always insist, on judging for him- self, how far their doctrines were applicable. The right hon. Gentleman, the member for Manchester, and those who supported him, particularly the hon. member for Middlesex, had dwelt upon the superior advantages of a great manufacturing country, and a great commercial country, over every other. The House was told, that if they only listened to these advisers, if it would only adopt a free trade in corn, we should double our manufactures, there should be no end to our foreign commerce, and that, instead of a distressed agricultural population, as they pretended we now had, all the country would be divided into ornamental plots of ground, and all the people would be as flourishing and prosperous as the manufacturers now were. He must confess, that it appeared somewhat strange, if all the other interests were in such a palmy condition, that they should be complaining of the protection enjoyed by the agriculturists, who they said were ruined. Why, it was the rich man begging at the poor man's door. But was there any reason to look for this increase in our foreign trade, or any increase at all in demand for our manufactures arising from such a source? In his opinion, no sacrifice they might make, would propitiate the other Powers of Europe, all of whom had exclusive systems of their own, to receive our own manufactures to the injury of their native productions. "They will receive you," said the hon. Member, "with great attention. Your great philosopher, Dr. Bowring, will be puffed from one end of the Continent to the other in their newspapers, as the greatest genius that ever came amongst them—but you will get nothing else from them." But even if the right hon. member for Manchester, and the hon. member for Middlesex, were to join their exertions—and thus complete the trio—to those of the illustrious Doctor, they would fail to persuade either France, or Prussia, or the small states of Germany to make any concessions on those important points. This was the experience they had had; they had given the right hon. Gentleman from year to year to bring them proofs of any return for the sacrifices they had made; and now where were they? He was one of those who thought that free trade was most desirable if its accomplishment were practicable, and that considerable sacrifices should be made to obtain it. But the right hon. Gentleman must now know, that when he came in contact with official men in Paris—he had formerly reason to know that it was so from his own experience—it was the easiest thing in the world to get every possible assurance of their desire to return the advantages you gave them, except the act of doing it. Well, but the right hon. Gentleman had told them that there must now be something done in France, for the people of Bordeaux were making such a stir—that something must be done. Let him call to the recollection of the House, what was the peculiar situation of the people of Bordeaux. They were for a free trade with all the world, because they wanted to sell their wines, and wine was drunk everywhere. They cared not whether the manufactures they consumed came from Manchester or Rouen. The people of Lyons were much in the same position. They knew that we had given them a great advantage in letting them supply us with silk without receiving any corresponding concession; and if we attempted to withdraw that permission, no doubt the people of Lyons would cry out loudly for free trade. But would the manufacturers of Rouen, or the manufacturers of hardware in France, consent to receive our manufactures? It was a fine thing, no doubt, to know that the people of Bordeaux and the people of Lyons wished to sell their silks and their wines, and were very favourable to the right hon. Gentleman's plans; but it was necessary that the other interests in France should be of the same mind; and, without that, the popularity of free-trade doctrines in Bourdeaux and Lyons, was hardly a ground upon which the House would prudently proceed to a repeal of the Corn-laws. He certainly had lately read in some newspaper, that one of the Cantons in Switzerland had made a declaration embracing the purest principles of political economy. If it had come from a club of economists it could not have been more orthodox, and no doubt the right hon. Gentleman had regarded it as a triumphant proof of the march of his principles. But it unfortunately happened, as he found on looking at the map, that the place was surrounded by mountains, and was so situated, that no other people in the world could have much intercourse with them. There was a time when it was sufficient to gain the ear of the Minister in France, to effect changes of this nature. But now France had a Representative Government, and, as in England, a measure of that sort had to run the gauntlet of all the interests to be affected by it, before, it could be carried into effect; and would never come to the issue which the right, hon. Gentleman vainly hoped to see. The same with respect to Russia. She pursued her own prohibitive system, holding; the door in her hand, and shutting it upon us whenever, for the protection of her own manufactures, it should be convenient. He thought, too, that there might be political causes which would prevent a very cordial or extensive commercial intercourse with Russia; but she was alive strictly to her own interests; and that would be the first motive of her reluctance to receive our manufactures to any great extent. But, then, the right hon. Gentleman came to Germany, and in Germany he told thorn there was a great cry oat for free trade, which could not long be resisted. The right hon. Gentleman had read to them, as the foundation of his hopes in Germany, a letter which referred to sonic articles which had appeared in the Allgemeine Zeitung, and he had thought it necessary, in order to strengthen his authority, to inform the House that the persons who wrote in newspapers were great men in that country. He did not know whether the right hon. Gentleman meant that no great, men were writers in newspapers in this country—but he must certainly have had some reason for making the distinction. Now the gist, of those articles was a statement that the people of Germany were bent, upon breaking up the monopoly possessed by England in the German markets for her manufactures. It stated that the Government of Prussia, with the greatest skill and art, had succeeded in bringing all the little principalities of Germany into a union for this object; and that, it was apprehended that even the King of Hanover would be prevailed upon by the same seductive means to join it. This appeared to him to be an odd sort of prospect for the extension of the market for our manufactures. That question was not. at all one of corn. If we were to go and offer Prussia, who had manufactures of her own in Silesia, to take her coin, would she not laugh at us if we expected her to take our manufactures in return for it? Before any legislation should be adopted upon so important a question, he must express his hope that the right hon. Gentleman and the House, would get from other sources than an article in the Allgemeine Zeitung, a knowledge of what the feelings of the people of Germany were. He thought it would be well if the Government generally attended to this caution, He was sure that if the noble Lord at the head of Foreign Affairs had taken half the pains to defeat the plans of Prussia in forming this commercial confederation against the interests of this country that he had taken in other things with which the country had nothing to do, he would have been much more advantageously employed. He would not, however, further state his views as to the utter neglect which the Government had betrayed upon this important point of its duty, as that would probably form part of a separate discussion. At the same time he could not avoid saying, that the noble Lord he had alluded to had not, on this point, paid proper attention to the best interests of this country. Reverting to the question before the House, he must observe, that no material advantage could arise to this country, no important addition to her foreign trade, by altering the present mode of receiving corn from the Continent. The alteration proposed—substituting a fixed for a varying duty—would give them, it was supposed, steadier prices and a better average at home; but that he denied; there might be improvements made in the details of the system; but it could not affect the foreign markets in our favour to any sensible extent. We received, he admitted, a considerable quantity of corn from abroad, and those who proposed that we should take it at a fixed duty, would admit it at all times whenever parties might choose to import. On the contrary, those who were in favour of the system of a varying duty, would take corn when we wanted it, and not take it when we did not. That was the difference, in his opinion, between the two parties at issue upon the present question. Now, what, were the circumstances under which the House was asked to decide this difference? At the present time there was a million of quarters of foreign wheat in our warehouses. With a fixed duty, the whole of that might now be poured into the market. Would any gentleman—he did not appeal only to those who were acquainted with agriculture, but to any gentleman who had never been beyond The sound of Bow-bells—would any gentleman pretend that we now wanted this corn in the country? Every man must admit that we did not. During the last two years, Providence had blessed the farmers of this country with good harvests, and consequently foreign growth was not required, and, not being required, the law, wisely as he said, would not suffer it to come in and complete the ruin of the home-producer, already struggling with the utmost difficulty against the prices to which he was obliged to submit. The best reasoning was, in his opinion, always that which resorted to immediate practical proof. And he would ask the House, if it would not be worse than madness in them to be puzzling their brains with theories, and acting upon far-fetched subtleties when these facts were standing before their eyes? The law provided granaries to receive foreign corn in readiness if we should want it, so that if any thing should happen, like a deficient harvest, or any other cause of scarcity, to make a large demand upon foreign resources necessary, it was satisfactory to know that London had been made a dépôt from which the country could be supplied. Arrangements had been made by which the corn was warehoused on the banks of the river, where the corn lay as cheap or cheaper than in any other country, and was ready for every emergency. By this system, too, we had the additional advantage of becoming the carriers of corn, and employing our ships in taking it to other countries if it should not be wanted here. The right hon. Gentleman had told them, that by the departure from this system, great additional wealth was to be created, and the population of the towns doubled. He certainly was not disposed to undervalue the importance of commerce. He owed much to it, and was deeply sensible of the advantages it conferred upon a community. But, when the right hon. Gentleman talked of converting the rural population into new masses living in towns, he begged to say that that was not exactly the state of things which took his fancy. If he looked at what the hon. member for Oldham in some of his writings had aptly called the "great wen," certainly he could not join in those sanguine anticipations of the right hon. Gentleman. The population of London was already a million and a-half; and if this were to be doubled, he feared they should soon have certain practical illustrations of the change in such an interference with their debates as might not add much to the calmness and deliberation of their proceedings. If such a change were produced, he should regard it as a serious calamity to any country; but, above all, to a country situated as this was. Mr. Huskisson, upon the occasion to which he had already alluded, observed, that the greatest calamity which could befal the population was that of being dependent upon foreign countries for its food. But if that population came to be doubled, and at the same time its independent means of producing had been next to extinguished, what must be the extent of that calamity? But he doubted, that there would be any such increase in the manufacturing population resulting from such a change. They might succeed in bringing the farmer down to the earth, but not in raising the manufacturer to the height on which the imagination of the right hon. Gentleman had placed him. He would now pass to some observations of the right hon. Gentleman as to the condition of the farmer and the labourer, as it would be affected by this Motion. The right hon. Gentleman had described the claim to protection as a piece of covetousness on the part of the landlord, and the farmer and the labourer as having no interest in its maintenance. How that could be made out with regard to the farmer, he thought any Gentleman who mixed much with that class, and knew what their condition was, would be very much at a loss to understand. Was not his whole capital included in his stork and in his farming implements, and of what value could these be when his farm was no longer to be cultivated? He had no other resources to fall back upon. He wished the farmer had the Three-per-Cents to go to—hut that was not the case; his all was in his stock and implements, and they were to be rendered valueless. And yet the fanner, it was said, had no interest in this question, which belonged exclusively to the proprietor. Why, the proprietor might get out of his difficulty in time, if not too deeply encumbered; but the poor farmer, with all his capital, must be the immediate sacrifice. But the misfortunes of the farmer were nothing. What was to be the state of the peasant? There was no gentleman in that House, whatever tone he might think the representation of large populations entitled him to hold, to whom he would concede the possession of one particle more anxiety for the condition of the great mass of the labouring people, which to him had always been the first consideration, than he felt. With regard to the power of the rural labourer to apply himself to manufacturing pursuits, that had been so admirably put by the right hon. Baronet, the First Lord of the Admiralty, on the previous night's debate, that he would say nothing upon that point. In fact, the shepherd could no more be turned into a manufacturer, than a manufacturer into a shepherd. The mistake of these philosophers was, if the right hon. Gentleman would excuse him for calling him a philosopher, and for adverting again to the theories of these gentlemen, that they were too apt to treat masses of men like a steam engine, which they could stop at a moment's notice, and set them on again as it suited their views. No sooner had they, in the process of their speculations, turned out 10,000 agricultural labourers from their work in cultivating the land, than, by a touch, as it were, of their harlequin's wand, the whole body were to be set down making nightcaps and scissors. He would assure the right hon. Gentleman that, however easy this might be in political economy, it was not in practice to be done. But even supposing these labourers were not all to be put to such occupations, what was to become of those who remained employed upon the cultivation of land? This was quite evident—that if they were to compete with the same description of labourers employed in producing corn in foreign countries, they must live the same. Now, without going extensively into the subject, he would appeal to the opinion of Mr. Jacob, as given in his work on this question. It was clear they must either leave the cultivation of corn altogether, or cultivate it as cheaply as the foreigner did, and if they did so, they must bring the labourer down to the same condition as his rival. It was, therefore, one of the most important points in the argument, to show what that condition was. He would undertake to say, that if there was any class in the country who would be brought to entire ruin by the alteration of these laws, it was the agricultural labourer. Mr. Jacob, in his evidence, being asked what was the food of the people in the countries from whence corn was exported, said, "I have been in every district, and never saw a loaf of wheaten bread in any place eastward of the Rhine. I have seen a roll of the size of my fist brought to table when an Englishman or any other foreigner was present, but the food of the people is a black rye bread." Why, in the part of Hampshire where he lived, the poor not only got good wheaten bread from their employers, such as they ate themselves, but the Magistrates forced the employers by law to provide it. And if they compelled the farmer to compete with the foreigner, he must feed his labourers in the same manner. Before they came to that, he was for making a struggle, and seeing if they could not go on as they were. When he said for making a struggle, he was far from admitting that the condition of our labouring poor was bad. On the contrary, he would confidently ask any impartial man acquainted with the different countries of the world, whether there was any other part of it in which he had seen the people in the enjoyment of so many comforts? He said, that this would be the result of viewing the English population in the mass. But if they took it by the test of actual consumption of any particular article, they would find the same results. That might be a sort of Custom-house way of deciding the point, but it was a good one. He would take an article between a necessary and a luxury—the article of sugar. If they looked at the consumption of sugar in this country, they would find that our population consumed as much sugar as the whole population of Europe put together. Why, was not this a proof that they were not arrived at a state of things calling upon the House to make a great change in our system such as this would be? He did not mean to say, that he would refuse all change or improvement where there might be room for it; but he would not abolish the system, and take in its place any substitute that might enter the brain of a theorist, because he chose to say that they were suffering from an evil which did not exist. He should trouble the House with a very few observations more—one of which would turn upon the mistakes which the theorists made with respect to their calculations of the manner in which the surplus agricultural labour would be absorbed by the manufacturing demands. They had, in their view, omitted to mention, nor had they once taken into account the effect upon labour which was always produced by the passions of men, and by "the combinations which every now and then were formed amongst the workmen in the various trades and callings." His right hon. friend opposite (Sir J. Graham) had very happily illustrated this, by an example which he gave the House in the case of certain coopers, who had been enabled, by this system, to realise an income by mere manual labour much beyond that which was generally earned by that class of workmen. Now, he had no objection to see this or any other class of labourers in possession of any amount of income, provided they obtained it by fair means. Indeed, he most heartily echoed that sentiment of the King of France, who desired to see every subject of his with a chicken in the pot, and a crown in his pocket. But surely no person would desire to see combinations formed for the purpose of deterring others from having recourse to the same means of earning a livelihood, or for the purpose of extorting a higher rate of wages from the masters. Yet this was an elementary ingredient in the consideration of this question, for all the free-trade advocates say, that when so much land is driven out of cultivation by the admission of corn at a low duty, the displaced agricultural labourers can have recourse to manufacturers, who will be able to employ them, in consequence of the increased demand which will arise for their goods. Now he himself was able to give the House an instance of the extreme to which competition and combination was carried in the person of a poor blacksmith in the county which he had the honour to represent, who, he was anxious should become more expert in shoeing horses than he found him to be; for this purpose, he sent him up to London, to the master of a veterinary forge, to learn the practice of his art. The poor fellow stayed in London six weeks, and after that time he returned to the country, nothing improved in his manner of shoeing horses; and he explained the circumstance by informing him that when he went to the forge, the men who were there employed had gone in a body to their master, and had refused to work any longer for him if he suffered a stranger and an interloper to interfere with them. He only gave this as an in-stance of the extent to which combination amongst the artizaus and manufacturing classes went, in interfering with the free circulation of labour; and yet, in the very teeth of such examples, the theoretical advocates for an abolition of the Corn-laws would throw an immense population of agricultural labourers out of work, who, being unable to get it elsewhere, must, of necessity, fall upon the agricultural parishes for relief; and the poor half-ruined farmers who had scarce sufficient for their own wants, would have, in addition to their heavy burthens, to submit to the legal obligation of supporting these labourers—He had only one further observation to make, and that was upon the question which had been so often mooted as to whether the duty ought to be a fixed duty, or a fluctuating one. He had listened with extreme attention to every speech which had fallen from the free-trade theorists, and, he must now confess that he was totally at a loss to know by what arguments they supported their opinions in favour of a fixed duty; nor had he, though he had watched every sentence most carefully, been able to discover any proof that the change they desired to effect was desirable. The question of protection, or no protection, to the landholder, he could understand; and he could also understand the application of the theory of free trade to the trade in corn; and although he must confess that he thought they carried it too far in this case, he acknowledged they were perfectly intelligible; but, on the other point—namely, the advocacy of a fixed duty—he declared that he had never comprehended the policy of it, nor the reason for it, nor had any satisfactory explanation been afforded him. The present system of Corn-laws worked well, and had done so ever since they were passed, and that was all that could be desired. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. P. Thomson) had disputed the fact; but the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman in support of his opinion had certainly not carried conviction to his mind, and he would refer the right hon. Gentleman to the returns for the last six years, by which he would find that the average showed that a much steadier price had existed in the corn market than could be shown under any former series, under the old system. Nay, more, every gentleman who gave evidence before the Committee acknowledged the same fact. By the present system a steady market was maintained, at least as steady as the nature of the article admitted. But if any person should, in reply to him, assert that great variations had been known in the price of corn at certain unequally returning periods, he, in answer, must say, that such a circumstance was incidental to the very nature of the article itself; it was a perishable article; and, in all times, in every nation, its price had undergone extraordinary fluctuations, owing to this very circumstance alone; and if the right hon. Gentleman opposite pretended to say, that the system which he would substitute would change all this, he feared he was hunting for the philosopher's stone which he would never find. Mr. Jacob, in his Report, said, that in the year 1832, corn in France was 85s. a quarter, whilst in England it was only 70s. So that it was evident, that other countries besides Great Britain were subject to high-price bread. He repeated—nor did he think he could repeat it too often—that the present system of Corn-laws gave not only steady prices, but it also kept them down much lower than they ever had been under any former system. He now would only apologise to the House, and express his thanks for the attention with which they had honoured him—and he would conclude, by saying, that if the country should be so unfortunate as to listen to the mad project of the theorists on the subject of their food, all he hoped was, that they would adopt the plan at once, and have the trial over in as short a time as possible; and, above all, he hoped that the House would never consent to expose the agriculturists to the hon. Gentleman's ruinous plan—the most ruinous, he would say, of all that had ever been proposed—of squeezing them from a duty of 10s. down to nothing—for, of all the horrible conditions in which it was possible to place that unhappy class of people, the agriculturists and landholders, the state of the success of the hon. Member's Motion would be the most horrible; and he could compare it to no other than that of a person who, having dislocated his limb, was daily tortured by an ignorant surgeon, forcing his joint, little by little, back into its place every day, giving him fresh agony with every operation. They had already had one pretty convincing proof of the misery incurred in passing gradually from one state of things to another totally different. The last fifteen years' experience of the changes in the currency had given them a taste of this gradual working, and they had now surmounted that, and, thank God, got to a better state of things; but, having once undergone that ordeal, he most fervently hoped that the country would never listen to any plan by which they would be forced to endure such protracted torture as would be the inevitable result of their assenting to the proposal of the hon. member for Middlesex.

Mr. Fryer

said, he had heard with sorrow and pain the speech of the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down. The question before the House was one deeply affecting the happiness of the people, and yet the hon. Member had treated it with derision.

Mr. Baring

felt himself entitled, when such an accusation was brought against him before that House, to call upon the hon. Member who made it to state what expression he had made use of to bear him out in making such a charge.

Mr. Fryer

said, he could not recall the particular words of the hon. Member. It was the general tenor of the hon. Member's speech, which left the impression upon his mind, that it was couched in terms of derision. The fact was, that the object of the present resistance to the Motion of the hon. member for Middlesex was, to raise the price of food by protecting the present enormous rents obtained by the landholders, and he could only declare, that if the Motion of the hon. Member were not carried, he should, on some future day, bring forward a Bill for the total repeal of the Corn-laws.

Mr. Wolryche Whitmore

said, that after the able speeches which had passed on both sides on the present occasion, he should trespass for a very short time on the attention of the House, and even, were he mentally so disposed, his bodily indisposition would interfere to prevent him. Being, however, the representative of a very large constituency, he might, perhaps, be excused for presuming to offer his sentiments upon the subject of the Corn-laws. He appeared there, not in the character of a philosopher, for to that he had no claim, but, as a farmer and a country gentleman, and as such he had no hesitation in avowing, that he concurred in no shape whatever in the doctrines maintained by the hon. member for Essex, nor did he believe that such an alteration in the Corn-laws as would allow of the introduction of corn at all times on payment of a certain and fixed duty would prove either injurious to the agriculturists, or to the landed interests. It was his impression, from the earliest period at which he had devoted his attention to the subject, that the present system, as a protective system, was a fallacy; and the experience of every year, as well as the closest observation of the working of that system, only convinced him the more that he was right, and confirmed him in his view of the subject. That system professed to keep up the price of corn; but did it really effect its object? He denied that it did. He allowed that, in times of scarcity and of a deficiency in the crops, the present Corn-laws might secure a high price for corn; but the very moment a plentiful crop comes, the system fails as far as the maintenance of high prices was concerned. What was the case in the year 1822? An enormously high price was obtained for corn in the year 1817, in consequence of the failure and deficiency in the crops of 1816. These prices continued through the years 1818 and 1819; but look at them in the year 1820, when an abundant crop caused them to fall, until they cause, in the year 1822, to the lowest price at which they had been known for a space of fifty years, the price of wheat being in that year only 38s. a quarter. Now, let him ask, did not the agriculturists suffer during the period of low prices? and even now, when the prices which, owing to deficiencies in the crops during the years 1828, 1829, and 1830, had gradually risen, were, and had been declining during the last three years, until the price of wheat was 48s., and was likely to fall still lower? With two such examples before them, was he not justified in saying, that there was sufficient proof afforded by them of the truth of his assertion, that it was impossible, under the present system of Corn-laws, to maintain high prices, except in seasons of scarcity and famine? In fact, the Corn-laws, ever since the year 1815, had aimed at an impossibility; for they aimed at establishing a monopoly, whilst they did not go to the root of the matter by imposing an entire restriction on importation. He wanted to establish a monopoly price without limiting the quantity. Per- haps the House would suffer him to state to them what, he considered was a just picture of the results of removing the restriction which now existed on the import of corn. In the first place, he was not one of those who considered, that the alteration of the present law, and the imposition of a certain fixed duty, moderate in comparison with the present duty—such a duty as that which he proposed last year, a duty of 10s.,—that the price of corn would, in ordinary seasons, fall below from 50s. to 53s.; and he did not think that any system would be able to maintain a higher price than that, except in the years of considerable deficiency. But when years of deficiency occurred under the system which he proposed, he was satisfied, that the farmer would be indemnified by a rise in price proportionate to the deficiency of crop. At that late hour he would not trouble the House with any details, but would simply state, that the Dantzic prices had varied exactly as the English ports had been opened or closed to the admission of foreign corn—being very low when the ports were closed, and very high when the ports were open. For instance, in the year 1820, the price of wheat was 31s. a quarter, and it got gradually lower until the year 1826, when it was only 17s. a quarter, being absolutely a drug. But suddenly, in the years 1828, 1829, and 1830, when owing to a scarcity here, the ports were open, it rose to 50s.; but the circumstances on which he most relied in coming to the conclusion, that the price of corn would never be higher than 52s. a quarter, if a certain duty of 10s. were imposed on its import, was that from the year 1791 down to the year 1825, the average price of corn in Dantzic was not higher than 45s. 11d.; and if from these years we were to deduct the years of scarcity, during which the price of corn had risen to an enormous height, the average price would be found to be only 33s. 6d. Now, add to this the cost of freight and other incidental expenses on its transmission and warehousing in this country, as well as a reasonable profit to the merchants,—estimating all these at 10s. a quarter, the price would only be from 43s. to 44s.; and if to this the fixed duty, which he proposed, of 10s., were added, the whole would not be more than the price which he had named, as that likely to be the highest. He was aware that the subject was a dry one, and he knew that the attention of the House must be fatigued; but he hoped that hon. Members would extend to him some portion of indulgence in the execution of the thankless office he had undertaken. The hon. member for Essex had contended, that the greatest injury would result from the adoption of a fixed duty, and that the labourers of this country would be reduced to the same state, and forced to eat the same kind of food, with the serfs of Poland. He thought, that if no immediate injury was inflicted on the farmer by this alteration, it was but fair to infer, that no prospective loss would be entailed upon him. The views of the hon. member for Essex went to stint the wealth and population of England. The hon. Member seemed to fear any change in the manner and extent of cultivating the soil; but if, as the right hon. Gentleman stated, prices would not be seriously affected by a fixed duty, the only change in cultivation would be, that it would pay better, and thus a change might be made with advantage to the agriculturist. In another, though a less direct way, the agricultural interests would be materially benefited, when the vast resources of England were fully brought into play, and developed, as we had power to develop them; and when the commercial and manufacturing strength of the country was restored, they would be materially benefited by an increased demand for their produce. Again, the reduction of taxation consequent on the abolition of the present Corn-laws would indemnify the farmer for any trifling loss which he might at the outset sustain. This was one of the reasons by which he was urged to advocate the change; and if those further changes were effected which the noble Lord (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) had alluded to, and the Poor-laws—that incubus which pressed upon the land and ate it bodily up—were revised, he was persuaded that little was to be feared from any increase in the population; but that agriculture would prosper, and rents would increase in the same ratio as they had recently decreased. He would only trespass further on the time of the House, whilst he stated, that he recognised the principle of a universal free trade. Nor did he see why any impediment should be placed to free trade in corn; but he did not concur with the hon. member for Middlesex, if he meant to say, it was desirable that a change in the rate of duty on corn should occur from year to year, until it was wholly abolished. Why he voted with him on the present Motion was, because he understood it to affirm the principle, that the duty on corn ought to be fixed at a low rate; and that being the case, he unhesitatingly supported the Motion.

Lord Althorp

wished merely to state the grounds on which he should give his own vote. He should meet the Motion of the hon. member for Middlesex by a direct negative. He believed he need not state to those who had done him the honour to listen to his opinions, that his own sentiments were favourable to an alteration in the existing system, although his views of the alteration were not quite so extensive as those entertained by the hon. Member. But this was not a question merely theoretical; there were many circumstances connected with the question to which due weight must be given, before any man could determine what line of conduct he should pursue on this occasion. Now, he did not see that there was any present exigency which demanded any immediate change, nor did he perceive any near prospect of such an exigency; while, on the other hand, it was well known that great distress existed among the agricultural part of the population, and that distress would certainly be aggravated by any such measure as that now proposed, if it were only by the great alarm which it would occasion. The condition of the commercial and manufacturing interests was greatly improved, and under these circumstances it would be most unjust to benefit the latter at the expense of the former. He had lately had an opportunity, while looking over some annuity tables, calculated on as many as 4,000,000 lives, of examining the comparative mortality in this country, both at the present and in past times, and in other countries; and he found that not, only was the average mortality much decreased in this country of late, but that, as compared with other countries, the inhabitants of Great Britain had considerably the advantage. This was a sufficient proof that the situation of the general mass of the population was very much bettered. Looking at the circumstances to which he had before referred, he must say, that it was not merely necessary to see whether a measure could be commenced, but also whether it could be carried through. He should therefore give the Motion his decided opposition, although against his theoretical opinion, as often expressed in that House, of the policy of some such measure. He must, however, take notice of a charge of inconsistency brought against the Government by the hon. member for Essex, who referred to an answer given by him to the hon. member for Lincoln (Mr. Handley) on the first night of the Session. He had stated, that it was not the intention of the Government, as a Government, to introduce any measure for the alteration of the Corn-laws, and that the Government, as a Government, would not support any such measure if introduced. Of course, he need not say, that they had not given their sanction to the Motion brought forward by the hon. member for Middlesex, and he believed that every Cabinet Minister would vote against it. There were certainly some members of the Government whose opinions on the subject were so well known, that it was felt impossible to ask them to vote against the Motion of the hon. Member; but they would vote as individual Members of that House, and not as members of the Government. Having made this explanation, he would no longer occupy the time of the House, as he had not risen to answer any Gentleman who had spoken on either side. He should not attempt to answer those with whom he theoretically agreed, and of course he should not answer those with whom he was to vote.

Mr. Henry Handley

bore testimony to the correctness with which the noble Lord had repeated the answer he gave to the question put by him. But, in 1822, a year of parallel distress with the present, the noble Lord, when on the Opposition side of the House, said, that the only remedy for the distress of the farmer was to be found in a diminution of taxation; still, when the noble Lord was, upon a recent occasion, called upon to make a small reduction in the duties imposed upon agriculturists, he refused to do so, and this, although he was at the same time determined to grant a boon to another interest. He would beg to tender to the right hon. Baronet (Sir James Graham) his best thanks for having anticipated him; and he should think those who concurred with him, in putting forward every argument which could bear upon the sub- ject, and in coming forward manfully as the champion of a cause which he had so much at heart, and which he supported with such admirable ability. He was happy to leave the cause in his (Sir James Graham's) hands, and from the impression which the right hon. Baronet's speech had evidently made upon the House, he had no doubt of the result.

Mr. Cutlar Fergusson

thought it was I important that they should distinctly understand the question upon which they were to vote. The hon. member for Middlesex, according to a common, if not a very correct or convenient course of parliamentary tactics, particularly practised of late, had made a different Motion from that of which he gave notice. His notice was, that he would move for a Committee to consider of the Corn-laws, and of the propriety of substituting, instead of the present graduated scale, a fixed duty, with the ultimate view of establishing a free trade in corn. This last most important part of his notice he had left out of his Motion, no doubt, hoping to get a few more votes. He trusted, that no Member of this House, who did not agree with the hon. member for Middlesex in his opinion as to a free trade in corn, would be induced to go into the proposed Committee; for they might depend upon it that, in the event of success, the hon. member for Middlesex, or some one of his supporters, would next Session move for the abolition of his own graduated scale of decreasing duty, in order at once to have a free trade in corn, without duty, and without restriction. On former occasions, he had asked the hon. member for Middlesex to agree with himself, and with those who supported him, as to the exact object he had in view. He had still to make the same request; for it appeared, that in respect to what would be the result of this proposition, if adopted, the hon. Member did not agree with himself, nor had any two of his supporters agreed with each other. They could not agree upon this most important point, whether the proposition, if adopted, would cause the price to fall, to remain stationary, or to rise? In the first part of his speech, the hon. member for Middlesex said, that it would cause the prices of corn to fall, and that we could not have a reduction in the price of manufacturing produce without a reduction in the price of labour, consequent on a fall in the price of corn. In a sub- sequent part of his speech, however, the hon. Member said, that the adoption of his proposition would occasion no alteration whatever in the prices now obtained. Surely so important a point ought to be settled before they made this fearful experiment, which might destroy the agricultural interest for ever, without bringing relief to any class, or to any individual in the nation. If no reduction was to take place in the price of bread, what became of the cheap-loaf cry? What became of the harangues made on this subject? What would those persons say who had got their seats in that House by promising to get the people cheap bread, by the total abolition of the monopoly of the landlords. "Abolish this monopoly—the odious and detestable monopoly,—and you will have cheap food," was the language held from one end of the country to the other, at the last general election; and it now turned out, according to the opinion of the right hon. the Vice-President of the Board of Trade, who supported the Motion, that the repeal of the Corn-laws would leave the price of corn as it was. Would the House, then, upon the vague speculation of the right hon. Gentleman,—that, by adopting the principle of this Motion, the sale of a larger quantity of manufactured goods might be effected on foreign countries,—run the risk of sacrificing that interest which had always been held to be the main stay and support of the country?—would they sacrifice the agricultural interest—including the landlord, the farmer, and the labourer? In order to obtain the extension of the market for manufactured goods of which the right hon. Gentleman spoke, we must not merely take from abroad our present supply of com, but a further and additional supply; and any such addition to the quantity of foreign corn imported must be so much profit and so much employment taken out of the hands of the British agricultural classes, to be given to the landholders and the serfs of Russia. It was clear, that every quarter of wheat now produced in England, and which was to be produced, in future, in foreign countries,—that every acre of land now under tillage, which was, in future, to be left uncultivated, must so far deprive of work the agricultural labourer of England; and how would the political economist provide for the agricultural population thus thrown out of employment? The right hon. Gentleman objected to the phrase "political economists," but there was a want of a phrase by which to designate the right hon. Gentleman and his friends. The political economists said, that they would provide for the agricultural labourers on the principle of absorption. But into what class could they be absorbed? Was it into that of the hand-loom weavers, who had not the means of earning bread? There was no employment for the agricultural labourer, save that which he exercised at present;—and, beyond all question, every agricultural labourer thrown out of employment must go upon the Poor-rates, and that, too, when from the operation of the same cause, those who chiefly contribute to the Poor-rates, will be deprived of the means of supporting them. There was one point brought forward by the right hon. the First Lord of the Admiralty, which had not had that importance attached to it which it deserved—he alluded to the danger of dependence for food upon foreign Powers, a point of vital importance in this question. The right hon. the Vice-President of the Board of Trade said, in answer, that we were dependent upon them already. No doubt, we incurred that danger to some extent at present; but was that a reason why we should increase the danger? The fact of our being now partially dependent upon foreigners was an additional reason against giving any further spur to the importation of foreign corn. At least arrest the evil, if it could not be remedied. The name of Mr. Huskisson had been mentioned in this Debate; and his authority in favour of the existing Corn-law had been questioned by a friend, not only on the faith of an alleged change of opinion of Mr. Huskisson at a period subsequent to the time of his addressing the letter to his constituents, but also on the motives which might then have actuated him. The liberty which the right hon. the Vice-President of the Board of Trade had taken with the memory of a deceased friend was not to be wondered at, when the right hon. Gentleman treated a living friend sitting near him in the same manner. He did not judge of the etiquette to be observed between friends sitting on the same bench on this open question; but, in the course of this Debate, he had heard as hostile attacks made upon friends as ever were made by enemies; for no Gentleman sitting could say more to an opponent, than "I will not only attack your argument, but will prove your inconsistency, by quoting your writings against yourself." There was not the slightest doubt that the pamphlet which the right hon. Gentleman reserved to crown the efforts of the day, was a publication which he threw in the face of his friend, saying, "This is what you professed formerly,—see what you profess to-day." As his right hon. friend would not, perhaps, find another open question for some days, he seemed determined to make the most of the opportunity. With respect to the late Mr. Huskisson, the right hon. Gentleman had referred to a speech of Mr. Huskisson, made in March, 1830, on the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman, for a revision of the whole system of our taxation. Mr. Huskisson was favourable to the inquiry proposed by his right hon. friend; and was reported to have said, that the Corn-laws could not be maintained together with the taxation, as it then existed. But he could venture to assert, that Mr. Huskisson never retracted his opinion, "that whatever arrangement was made with respect to the Corn-laws, we must take care not to put ourselves in the power of foreigners." He was intimately acquainted with Mr. Huskisson's sentiments on these subjects, and knew, that to the last, it was his opinion, that a great country like this should not be subject to foreign powers in the article of food. Mr. Canning's first Bill for a graduated scale of duties, it was well known, was Mr. Huskisson's Bill; and he would, certainly, rather have retained it, as it passed the Commons, than in the shape in which it was afterwards brought forward, in consequence of the Amendment of the Duke of Wellington in the House of Lords; but the amended Bill, in principle, did not differ from Mr. Canning's Bill, and was, in fact, also supported by Mr. Huskisson himself. Mr. Huskisson's opinion on the matter must be taken, not from a speech on taxation, in which the Corn-laws were incidentally mentioned,—and in which speech, however, he found no contradiction of the former opinion,—but, in justice to him, they should look for his opinions in the course of debates, in which the very subject of the Corn-laws was the question directly before the House. Now, on the 18th of June, 1827, in the debate on the Corn-law which had been substituted for that of Mr. Canning, twelve years after he had addressed the letter to his constituents, he used this language:—'It had been quoted against him, that he had held that England ought not too largely and too frequently to depend upon other countries for its supply of corn. He maintained that doctrine in the year 1815; he held it now, and thought nothing so dangerous to this country, as to rely too largely and too frequently on foreign countries for supplies of corn. He wished to make this country independent of the foreigner commercially, as well as politically. The Committee might be assured, that so long as it was the interest of foreigners to produce distress, or cause us political discomfiture, they would endeavour unwearyingly to do so.'* Such were Mr. Huskisson's opinions as to the disposition of foreign Powers towards us; and how completely they were borne out by facts throughout the whole of Europe, was quite evident. The right hon. Gentleman said, "Admit the corn of foreigners, and they will receive your manufactures. So it was said with regard to a State which did not want to send us corn, but wine, and in reference to which it was said, that if we would change our policy towards her, by receiving her produce on more favourable terms, she would deal more liberally towards us in respect to the duties on our manufactures. We lowered the duty on French wines; but what had we got by it? Not a single concession was made, or proposed to be made, and our manufactures would continue to be wholly excluded from the market of France as before. In the same way it was said, that, by taking the corn of Prussia and her confederates, we might procure a change of policy on the part of that Power, and of the other German States which had joined in the combination against us. Perhaps the noble Lord, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, might be in possession of official communications from the Prussian minister, expressing the readiness of Prussia to take our manufactures if we would take Prussian corn; but the noble Lord was silent upon the subject, and the right hon. Gentleman only stated it on the authority of the Allgemeine Zeitung. It might be a convenient reason to give, in the newspapers, that Prussia could not * Hansard (new series) xvii. p. 1335. admit our manufactures, because we did not receive her corn; but the real reason was, that she wished to rear a manufacturing interest of her own. She believed that it was by such a course that we reared our manufactures, and brought them to the perfection they had attained, and in which they were still protected by our policy. With the same view France protected her own manufactures, and excluded ours. Russia and America had the same desire to raise a manufacturing interest; and whatever foreign political economists might say in their communications with us, such were the real political grounds on which the States to which they belonged acted, and seemed determined to act on. To return to the danger of the dependence on foreign Powers for a supply of corn, he found that in the year 1832, exclusive of the produce of our colonies, we imported 3,270,000 quarters of corn of all descriptions. Of this quantity, we received from Russia, 937,000 quarters; from Prussia, 481,000 quarters; and from the rest of Germany, 395,000 quarters. Thus, from those Powers which were in league to check and harass the manufactures and trade of England in every possible way, she received about three-fifths of the total quantity of corn imported from abroad. This was an important fact; for it showed on what States we should have to depend, to a much greater extent than at present, for our supply of food, if there were a free trade in corn. America was at too great a distance, and the expense of producing was there too great, to enable her to furnish us with corn on equal terms with the countries he had mentioned, or to induce her to cultivate the land with a view to supply our market; so that England would have to trust for her supply of food chiefly to Russia and Prussia, and the states which must obey those great Powers. The result would be, that the supplies of food might be stopped by ukase, or edict, in one day, and the country reduced to famine. It was true, that the interest of those States would suffer for a time, but they would make the sacrifice, if their object were to strike a great and decisive blow at England. Independently of this, there was the danger of scarcity in the countries that might be expected to supply us, and it was not to be supposed that they would, in such a case, administer to our wants in place of their own. He would, at that period of the debate, abstain from pursuing the subject further, being sensible of the indulgence already shown him. Had he spoken at an earlier period of the debate, he should have been induced to have gone somewhat at large into the whole question, and to have considered, particularly, whether a graduated scale, or a fixed duty, was to be preferred upon principle. He would content himself with saying, that having long occupied his thoughts with this subject, however ineffectually, he had brought his mind to the conviction, that a graduated scale was that which best suited us—that it accommodated itself best, and with the least pressure to the wants and necessities of the producer as well as the consumer—that it gave protection to the one where protection was required—that it secured to the other, better than any other system, a supply at moderate and steady prices, and relieved him in cases of excessive prices, when the duty ceased altogether. To the fixed duty, the objection, that it could not be levied in extreme cases, had never yet been answered; and, if they were to have recourse to Orders in Council, there was an end of legislation, and the security of the agriculturist would depend not upon the law, but on the pleasure of the Ministers of the Crown. The duties on the graduated scale affording protection to the agriculturist when he most wanted it, and when the people could, without inconvenience, dispense with the supply of foreign corn, gave way by degrees, till they vanished altogether, as the wants of the people became urgent; whereas, a fixed duty could not bend to circumstances, and there was no remedy for its oppression in times of scarcity, but an act of arbitrary power, which, by a sudden opening of the ports, would cause, at once, such an influx of foreign corn, and produce such a glut in the market, as would be fatal to the agriculturist, whose ruin, he was satisfied, would, without benefit to any other class, be speedily brought about by the adoption of the proposition of the hon. member for Middlesex.

Mr. Poulett Thomson

observed, in explanation, that he had not said the pamphlet alluded to by him was the production of the right hon. Baronet.

Mr. Cutlar Fergusson

had not attributed that to the right hon. Gentleman. He had only remarked, that everybody knew it was the production of the right hon. Baronet.

Mr. Brotherton

said, that, as the Representative of a large manufacturing constituency, he should declare his opinion that the Corn-laws were not consistent with policy or justice. It was said, by an eminent writer, that "what was morally wrong could not be politically right." There could be no good in preventing men from going to whatever market they liked for food. It was said, that we ought not to depend on foreign nations for food. But did we not depend on them for cotton and other commodities, which were to us the source of so much wealth? There should be reciprocity, not only between individuals, but between States, for that was the only basis of advantage. The question before the House was one between the Aristocracy and the people at large. The people demanded relief, and the Aristocracy refused it. The agriculturists were in distress, but a wrong notion of the cause of that distress prevailed. He would make a few tabular statements to the House, in order to enable it to form some estimate of the nature and working of the Corn-laws. The average price of the quartern loaf, from 1790 to 1800, was 8d.; from 1800 to 1812, 14d. Thus, the 6d. advance on the loaf made, during that period, a difference, taking the population at 16,000,000, of 37,000,000l. In 1793, the rates were 2,000,000l.; in 1812 they were 6,000,000l.; but then the quartern loaf was 16d. Now the rates were above 6,000,000l., with a debt of 800,000,000l., while the loaf was 8d. The farmers, therefore, were worse off than they were in 1793; for now the price of the loaf was the same as it was then, and their rent was double. The rents in 1792 were different, as were the debts, from what they were at present. At the commencement of the war the landlords pledged themselves to defray the debts they incurred to support that war, which was chiefly urged on by their persuasion, and involved the commercial classes in the same obligations and difficulties with themselves; but to the present hour they had not paid one penny.

Sir George Phillips

said, it was the opinion of his constituents, to which he was bound to defer, that the present laws should not be disturbed until their operation had been fully and fairly tried. The landed interest, he admitted, was entitled to that protection which Mr. Ricardo had pointed out; and that, unless such protection were given, in proportion to the burthens which pressed exclusively upon that interest, great injustice would be done to them. The proposition of the hon. member for Middlesex did not imply such protection. He could not, therefore, assent to it. It would be impossible for the Representatives of agricultural districts to persuade their constituents that, in voting for the Motion of the hon. member for Middlesex, they were not opposed to a protecting duty of every kind.

Mr. Duncombe

, denied that the Corn-laws had been established for the purpose of benefiting the landlord at the expense of the other classes of the community; and he was fully prepared to contend, that they had answered all the objects for which they had been framed. What were those objects? They were to secure to the country an adequate supply of corn at a moderate, fair, even, and steady price; and also to give to an important and large body of labourers employment. There was but one other observation he was desirous of addressing to the House, especially considering the labours of the House, and the length to which the debate had been carried. He defied any person to show that, under the existing Corn-laws, there had been any, even the smallest, want of supply, or that there had been any material fluctuation in prices, as compared with what had occurred under any other system. It was unnecessary for him to go into any detail whatever in support of those assertions, for they had been most fully substantiated by the statistics quoted by the right hon. Baronet, the First Lord of the Admiralty. But not only had the laws answered the purposes to which he had alluded, but they were also just and necessary for the due protection of the agriculturists. Every person at all acquainted with the details of agriculture must know, that the prices under the existing law had not given at all an undue advantage to the landed interest. The average price of corn last year was 53s. per quarter; and no person could say that that was more than a bare remunerating price to the grower. Since last year the prices had materially fallen; and, therefore, to talk of further reducing them, and that by legislation, was to talk of committing an act of complete injustice. He had the honour of representing a large agricultural district; and he certainly felt deeply anxious for its welfare; but when the present Corn-law was proposed, he was the Representative of a manufacturing district, and he could, with justice, say, that his views had undergone no alteration. He must state, too, that while he represented a manufacturing district, he was in frequent communication with his constituents, and that he ever found them anxious not to injure, or to sacrifice, the agricultural body, but to afford them that protection to which they were justly entitled. At the period when the present Corn-law was enacted, he might truly say, he occupied a position of strict impartiality. He had acted in that spirit in the support he had given to it; and, as experience had fully justified that support, it should not now be withdrawn.

Viscount Palmerston

assured the House that, in rising at that late period in the debate, it was not his intention to detain them by any lengthened remarks. He was not going into the Prussian tariff, or into the new regulations of the French customs; but he was anxious that the opinion which he was about to express by his vote should not be misunderstood. He would, therefore, simply state that opinion, without, at that hour, obtruding the reasons on which it was founded. If he understood the Motion as it was first framed by the hon. member for Middlesex—that was, to introduce a free trade in corn—he would certainly have opposed it, as he considered that such a proposition, if carried, would be attended with most prejudicial effects; but viewing the Motion then before the House as one which went only to the consideration of what was the amount of the protecting duty, with a view to its gradual diminution, he concurred with his noble friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He did not see any objection to such a proposition in the abstract; for he agreed with his noble friend that such diminution, if gradual, and did not come down to too low a scale, would not be injurious to the agricultural interest, or occasion any great reduction in the price of corn. Looking, however, to the present circumstances of the country, and seeing, that under the present Corn-laws the supply was ample and the prices steady; and seeing, moreover, the distress which pressed upon the agricultural classes, he did think that to carry such a resolution as that now proposed by the hon. member for Middlesex was not advisable at present. Having said this, he must add, that he should prefer the introduction of a Bill, rather than such a Resolution as the hon. Member proposed, for a Bill would be at once tangible, while the Resolution would lead to inquiry, which would occupy time, and leave the public mind in great doubt and uncertainty as to the result. He would, therefore, join with his noble friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and oppose the present Motion.

Viscount Howick

said, that he would not have taken any share in the Debate but for the remark of an hon. Baronet (Sir G. Phillips), who had said, that the Representatives of agricultural districts would find it difficult to persuade their constituents that, in voting for this Motion, they were not opposed to all protecting duties. Now, as he was, perhaps, the only Representative of a purely agricultural district who would vote for the Motion of the hon. member for Middlesex, he felt it necessary to state, that he gave his support to the Motion, but without concurring in the speech by which it was introduced. He would vote for the Motion which had been placed in the hands of the Speaker, because he was favourable to a fixed duty instead of a fluctuating duty. He had voted in 1828 for the same principle, because he felt that duties which, in their nature, were fluctuating were most injurious to the agricultural interest. When he saw the distress in which the agriculturists were involved, and when he heard of the prosperity of the other classes, he could not come to any other conclusion than that the present fluctuating duties were the millstone which hung round their necks. On this ground he would vote for the Motion of the hon. member for Middlesex. He felt convinced that a fixed duty would bring more money to the Treasury, and would enable his noble friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to take off some of the burthens which now pressed upon the agricultural classes without affording relief to any other classes.

Mr. Benett

rose to repeat what he had said on a former night, and what, after the diversity of opinion he had heard on this subject, he was more and more convinced of—that the only security for the country was a great reduction of the taxation which now pressed it down. He did not stand there as the advocate of the landed interest but of the labourers; and he would never support a measure which would make the inhabitants of the country as decrepid and sallow as those of our manufacturing towns.

Mr. Hume

rose to reply. He could assure the House that, after the indulgence which had been shown him in opening the debate he should feel it his duty not to trespass long in reply. He must however, observe that the Government appeared to him to stand in a very extraordinary position. They had a Cabinet which, as far as he could learn, in a great degree coincided with the proposition which he had made, and yet which was not prepared to come forward and vote for it. The members of the Government, it appeared, were left at liberty to vote on the question as they individually pleased. In fact, this question was, as the Roman Catholic question had formerly been, an open question. Now, he should say, that if ever there was a question which a Government was bound to take in hand, this question was that one. He must say, that the Government had deserted their duty in thus treating the subject. It was true he had the support of some of the Ministers, and he thanked them for it. It was also true, that some of the Ministers had supported the Motion by their arguments, though by their votes they intended to oppose it. The noble Lord (Palmerston), for instance, had reasoned one way, and would vote the other. Then there was an hon. Baronet (Sir G. Phillips) who had argued for the proposition, but meant to vote against it out of deference to those who sent him to that House. Really there was no dealing with such conduct. He thought the noble Lord (Lord Althorp) had not done well in meeting the Motion with a direct negative. He must say, that that course could not by possibility be in accordance with the sentiments of the noble Lord, judging those sentiments from the language which that noble Lord had used on more than one occasion during the present Session. From the commencement made by his hon. friend (the member for Kirkcudbright) he had fully expected to have been demolished. His hon. friend had spoken loudly and long; but it had hap- pened, as he had frequently found it, that those who talked most effected the least. ["Hear, hear," and laughter.] He was addressing himself to his hon. friend, and not to those hon. Members who interrupted him. He (Mr. Hume) had pledged himself that if any hon. Member could show, that the landed interest was peculiarly taxed more than the other interests, he would at once forego his Motion, and vote for the maintenance of the present protection. He had fully expected that his hon. friend would enter upon the task, for he was a man of many promises; but he had done no such thing. [Mr. Cutlar Fergusson: The First Lord of the Admiralty had.] The right hon. Baronet had done nothing of the sort. In fact the whole of the speech of the right hon. Baronet was answered by his previous pamphlet.

Sir James Graham

rose to explain. It was proper that he should set his hon. friend right upon the point to which he had alluded, especially as similar allusions had been made by his right hon. friend the Vice-President of the Board of Trade. The pamphlet to which allusion had been made was really the work of a Cumberland yeoman. It was not written by him (Sir J. Graham), but he had assisted in its publication. He certainly was not responsible for its arguments or its statements.

Mr. Hume

said: Well then, the speech the right hon. Baronet had delivered last night, had found an answer in the pamphlet of the Cumberland yeoman, to which pamphlet the right hon. Baronet had contributed. There was therefore, but one point in the able and eloquent speech of the right hon. Baronet to which he felt it necessary particularly to advert, for that speech was a mere string of fallacies, not more applicable to the Corn-laws than were any of the fallacies in the book of fallacies published by Jeremy Bentham. The point to which he alluded was this: The right hon. Baronet had said, that the landed aristocracy were a great and important body. They were so, and he (Mr. Hume) wished to see them wealthy and respected. But the right hon. Baronet had told the House that they were in difficulties—that they were encumbered with debts, settlements, and mortgages, and that they must have protection or be destroyed; which meant, that for the support of the landed aristo- cracy the rest of the community must be taxed. That was his explanation; and he knew of none other that could by possibility be given. High prices were to be maintained in order that high rents might be continued, and high rents in order that the landed proprietors might have large incomes; which was, that one class of the people might be supported to the injury of the rest. If Government acted upon that principle—and he was sorry to say that from what had occurred he found it would, it would adopt a most erroneous course. The hon. member for Essex had called him a philosopher. [" No, no."] The hon. Member had spoken of philosophers and political economists, and of the hon. member for Middlesex so completely in connexion, that it was impossible for the listener not to associate them together. Now, he should like to know what a philosopher was. Really when a Member had been attacked, the House usually had the courtesy to admit of a reply. But he would not follow the example too frequently acted upon, and quarrel about words; nor would he go into any long examination of the speech of the hon. member for Essex. He would prefer refuting the hon. Member's speech on this occasion by quoting another speech upon the same subject which had been delivered by that hon. Member, and leave the one speech to answer the other. The speech to which he alluded, had been delivered by Mr. Alexander Baring on the 27th of February, 1815. The hon. member for Essex this evening denied that the Corn-laws were continued for the benefit of the landowners, and he boldly asserted, that the farmers and agricultural labourers were the chief persons interested; but on the 27th of February, in that year, Mr. Baring said. 'That the labourers in agriculture had no interest in the present question. He believed the prevailing sentiment among the tenantry was, that this was the landlords affair, and not theirs, for they could only pay to him what they could afford, after defraying other expenses. But to talk of the labourer was altogether ridiculous.'* To night the hon. Member said, that it was a problem as clear as any in mathematics, that the poor agricultural labourers would be ruined, if the repeal should be made. He left the hon. Member to reconcile his * Hansard, xxix. p. 965. observations of this evening with those of 1815. Was the hon. Member now prepared to support that which he had then denied? He agreed with the sentiments of 1815, that the Corn-laws were upheld with the view and in the hopes of raising the rents of land; but they failed in that object. The hon. Member had accused him of theoretical views in expecting an increase of manufacture and an increase of trade, by a repeal of the Corn-laws. The hon. Member said, we should look to our own farmers and our own produce, and not trouble ourselves with France, where he could tell the House, there was little to be expected from the efforts of Dr. Bowring, even if aided by the Vice-President of the Board of Trade, and the member for Middlesex to complete the trio. There were monopolists in France, who had power to prevent freedom of commerce; but he would read the speech of Mr. Baring on the 22nd of February, 1815, as to such conduct. The hon. Member said, that—'The question was, whether they were to afford such relief to the agricultural interest as would enable landed proprietors to keep up the rents and value of land, and the price of food beyond that at which they would naturally be—* * That according to the calculation of Adam Smith, the sum then paid by the people for the support of the landed interest was about 18,750,000l. And that by the measure then proposed, of raising the import price to 80s., a further sum of 14,000,000l. would be given, making in all 32,750,000l. as a tribute from the people to the landowner. * * Some countries were suited to corn—other countries possessed mines, fisheries, and other means, by which men could gain a subsistence, but were not adapted for corn. If Malta and Norway had, in this manner, taken it into their heads to make themselves independent of a foreign supply of food, they might long have scratched their barren rocks and hills before they could have produced one-tenth part of the subsistence which they procured, in exchange for their fisheries, and the other branches of industry, which nature had placed within their reach.* * There was no limit to human industry, but on the principle of forcing a supply from your own soil, population never can exceed your own produce; the con-sequence of which must be, that you must cut down your population to your produce, instead of regulating the sup-ply of corn by your population. This was not lengthening the bed to the man, but shortening the man to the bed.* * No man would pretend to say, that it was right, by means of an Act of Parliament, to keep up an adventitious rent for the benefit of the owner of the soil, or that the House should be called on to do more, than to enable the farmer to proceed with the cultivation.'* The hon. member for Essex had said, that the repeal of the Corn-laws would be the sacrifice of the landed interest; that he thought the prosperity of England de pended on the upholding the landed interest by the Corn-laws; and that he, Therefore, was contented to remain as we were. To all this, he begged to read part of the speech of Mr. Baring in 1815, as an answer—'That he could see no reason why that House should oppose the return of things to their ancient and healthful state, by attempting to bolster up the price of corn by artificial means, which must prove injurious to the vital interests of the country.'† Such was the speech delivered by Mr. Alexander Baring in February, 1815, and he left it to answer The speech of the hon. member for Essex in the present debate. There was only one other matter he wished to notice. He had omitted the concluding part of The notice he had originally given, simply because he wished to bring the subject unfettered before the House. He wished for hon. Members to have an opportunity of acting freely. He now left the question in the hands of the House, conscious that he had done his duty in bringing it for ward, and hoping that the House would do theirs in the way in which they dealt with it.

Mr. Baring

said, that as the hon. member for Middlesex had referred so particularly to a speech which he had made twenty years ago, he must just say in explanation that that speech had been directed, not against the present amount of protection, but against a proposition which had been made to increase the protection at that time contended for.

The House divided—Ayes 155; Noes 312: Majority 157. * Hansard, xxix. pp: 966, 967,972, 973,977. † Ibid p. 832,

List of the AYES.
Kemp, T. R.
ENGLAND. Kennedy, J.
Aglionby, H. A. Lambton, H.
Attwood, T. Langton, Colonel G.
Baillie, J. E. Langston, J. H.
Baines, E. Labouchere, J. C.
Barnett, C. J. Lester, B. L.
Bernal, R. Lister, E. C.
Bish, T. Littleton, Rt. Hn. E.
Blunt, Sir C. R. Lloyd, J. H.
Bolling, W. Lushington, Dr.
Briggs, R. Marshall, J.
Brotherton, J. Marsland, T.
Brougham, W. Martin, J.
Buckingham, J. S. Molyneux, Lord
Buller, E. Moles worth, Sir W.
Buller, J. W. Morpeth, Viscount
Bulwer, H. L. Morrison, J.
Bouverie, Hon. D. P. Ord, W. H.
Buxton, T. F. Palmer, General
Chichester, J. B. Parker, J.
Clay, W. Parrott, J.
Crawford, W. Philips, M.
Dashwood, G. H. Phillpotts, J.
Davenport, J. Penleaze, J. S.
Davies, Col. Rippon, C.
Dawson, E. Robinson, G. R.
Divett, E. Roebuck, J. A.
Dundas, Hon. J. C. Rolfe, R. M.
Dundas, Hon. T. Romilly, J.
Dykes, F. L. B. Romilly, E.
Ellice, Rt. Hon. E. Ryle, J.
Ellis, W. Russell, Lord
Etwall, R. Scholefield, J.
Evans, W. Shepherd, T.
Evans, Colonel Smith, V.
Ewart, W. Stanley, Hon. H. T.
Faithfull, G. Stanley, E. J. N.
Fenton, J. Scrope, P.
Fielding, J. Seymour, Lord
Fielden, W. Stewart, P. M.
Fleetwood, H. Strickland, Sir G.
Fort, J. Strutt, E.
Fox, Colonel Tancred, H. W.
Fryer, R. Tennyson, Charles
Gaskell, D. Thicknesse, R.
Gisborne, T. Thompson, Alderman
Grey, Sir G. Thomson, Rt. Hon. P.
Grote, G. Todd, R.
Guest, J. J. Tooke, W.
Gully, J. Turner, W.
Hall, B. Vernon, Hon. G. J.
Hardy, J. Walker, R.
Harvey, D. W. Walter, J.
Hawse, B. Warburton, H.
Hawkins, J. H. Waterpark, Lord
Hodgson, J. Wedgwood, J.
Howard, Captain Whalley, Sir S.
Howick, Lord Whitmore, W. W.
Hughes, H. Wigney, J. N.
Humphery, J. Wilks, J.
Hutt, W. Williams, Colonel
Hyett, W. H. Wood, Chas.
Ingham, R. Wood, Alderman
James, W. Wood, G. W.
Jervis, J. Young, G. F.
SCOTLAND. O'Connell, D.
Abercromby, Rt. Hn. J. O'Connell, M.
Bannerman, A. O'Connell, M.
Dalmeny, Lord O'Connell, J.
Dunlop, Captain O'Dwyer, A. C.
Ewing, J. O'Reilly, W.
Gillon, W. D. Ruthven, E. S.
Loch, J. Ruthven, E.
Murray, J. A. Vigors, N. A.
Ormelie, Lord
Oswald, R. A. TELLERS.
Oswald, J. Hume, J.
Parnell, Sir H. Torrens, Colonel
Sharpe, General PAIRED OFF.
Stuart, R. Buller, C.
Wallace, R. Codrington, Admiral
IRELAND. Duncannon, Viscount
Evans, G. Oliphant, L.
Lalor, P. Potter, R.
List of the NOES.
ENGLAND. Chetwynd, Capt. W. F.
Althorp, Lord Childers, J. W.
Anson, Hon. G. Clayton, Col. W. R.
Astley, Sir J. D. Clive, E. B.
Astley, Sir J. Clive, Hon. R. H.
Atherley, A. Cockerell, Sir C.
Attwood, M. Collier, J.
Bankes, W. J. Cookes, T. H.
Baring, A. Cooper, Hon. A. H. A.
Baring, H. B. Cotes, J.
Bell, M. Crawley, S.
Benett, J. Cripps, J.
Bentinck, Lord G. Crompton, J.
Berkeley, Hon. C. F. Curteis, H. B.
Barnard, E. G. Curteis, Captain
Bethell, R. Dare, R. W. H.
Bewes, J. B. Denison, W. J.
Biddulph, R. Denison, J. E.
Biddulph, R. M. Dillwyn, L. W.
Blackstone, W. S. Donkin, Sir R. S.
Blandford, Marquis Duncombe, Hon. W.
Boss, J. Dundas, Capt.
Bowes, J. Dundas, Hon. Sir R. L.
Brocklehurst, J. Eastnor, Viscount
Brodie, W. B. Egerton, W. T.
Bruce, Lord E. Edwards, J.
Brudenell, Lord Estcourt, T. G. B.
Bulteel, J. C. Fancourt, Major
Buller, C. Finch, G.
Burrell, Sir C. Fitzgibbon, R
Burton, H. Fitzroy, Lord C.
Byng, G. Fitzroy, Lord J.
Byng, Sir J. Foley, E. T.
Calcraft, J Foley, J.
Calvert, N. Folkes, Sir W.
Carter, J. B. Forester, Hon. C. W.
Cartwright, W. R. Fox, S. L.
Cavendish, Hon. C. Frankland, Sir R.
Cavendish, Lord Fremantle, Sir T.
Cavendish, Hon. Col. Gaskell, J. M.
Cayley, Sir G. Gladstone, W.
Cayley, E. S. Glynne, Sir S. R.
Chandos, Marquess of Gordon, R.
Chaplin, Colonel Goring, H. D.
Chapman, A. Goulburn, Rt. Hon. H.
Chaytor, W. Graham, Sir J. R. G.
Grant, Right Hn. R. Marryat, J.
Greene, T. G. Maxfield, Captain
Grey, Hon. Colonel Mildmay, P.
Grimston, Viscount Mills, J.
Gronow, Capt. R. H. Moreton, Hon. A. H.
Grosvenor, Lord R Moreton, Hon. H. G.
Guise, Sir B. W. Mostyn, Hon. E. M.
Halcombe, J. Miles, W.
Halford, H. Neale, Admiral
Halse, J. Neeld, Joseph
Handley, B. Newark, Lord
Handley, H. Nicholl, John
Handley, W. F. Norreys, Lord
Hanmer, Sir J. North, F.
Hanmer Col. Ossulston, Lord
Harcourt, G. Paget, F.
Hardinge, Right Hon. Sir H. Palmer, C. Fysche
Palmer, R.
Harland, W. Palmerston, Viscount
Heathcoate, J. J. Parker, Sir H.
Heathcote, G. J. Pease, J.
Heneage, G. F. Pechell, Sir S. J. B.
Henniker, Lord Peel, Rt. Hon. Sir R.
Herbert, Hon. S. Peel, Colonel J.
Heron, Sir R. Pelham, Hon. C. A. G.
Herries, Right Hon. J. Pendarves, E. W.
Hill, Sir R. Penruddocke, J. H.
Hodges, T. Pepys, C.
Hornby, E. G. Philips, Sir G.
Hoskins, K. Pigot, R.
Hotham, Lord Pinney, W.
Houldsworth, T. Ponsonby, Hn. W.
Howard, P. H. Price, Sir R.
Hope, H. T. Pryme, G.
Hudson, T. Pryse, P.
Hurst, R. H. Ramsden, J. C.
Irton, S. Reid, Sir J. R.
Ingilby, Sir W. A. Richards, J.
Inglis, Sir R. Rickford, W.
Jephson, J. Rider, T.
Jermyn, Earl Ridley, Sir M. W.
Jerningham, Hon. H. V. Robarts, A. W.
Johnstone, Sir J. V. Rooper, J. B.
Jolliffe, H. Ross, Charles
Keppel, Major Rotch, B.
Kerrison, Sir E. Rumbold, C. E.
Kerry, Earl of Russell, Lord J.
Knatchbull, Sir E. Russell, Charles
Lambton, Hon. E. Russell, W. C.
Langdale, Hon. C. Sanderson, R.
Leech, J. Sandon, Viscount
Lefevre, C. S. Sanford, E. A.
Lemon, Sir C. Scarlett, Sir J.
Lennard, T. B. Scott, Sir E. D.
Lennard, Sir T. B. Scott, J. W.
Lennox, Lord W. Sebright, Sir J.
Lennox, Lord G. Shawe, R. N.
Lennox, Lord A. Simeon, Sir R. G.
Lewis, Hon. T. F. Skipwith, Sir G.
Lincoln, Earl of Smith, J. A.
Locke, W. Smith, J.
Lumley, Viscount Smith, Hon. R. S.
Lygon, Hon. Colonel Somerset, Lord G.
Lyall, G. Spry, S. T.
Madocks, J. Stanley, Rt. Hon. E.
Mangles, J. Staunton, Sir G. T.
Marjoribanks, S. Staveley, J. K.
Stewart, John Gordon, Hon. Capt.
Stormont, Viscount Grant, Right Hon. C.
Stuart, Lord Dudley Hallyburton, Hn. D. G.
Stewart, W. Hay, Colonel A. L.
Surrey, Earl of Jeffrey, Right Hon. F.
Talbot, C. Johnstone, J. J. H.
Talmash, A. G. Macleod, R.
Tayleur, W. Maxwell, H.
Thompson, P. B. Rae, Sir W.
Throckmorton, R. G. Ross, H.
Tower, C. T. Stewart, Sir M. S.
Townley, R. G. Trail, G.
Townshend, Lord C. Wemyss, Captain J.
Tracy, C. H. IRELAND.
Trelawney, W. L. S. Barry, G. S.
Trevor, Hon. G. R. Belfast, Earl of
Troubridge, Sir E. T. Blaney, Hon. Capt.
Tullamore, Lord Browne, D.
Tynte, C. Blake, M. J.
Tyrell, Sir J. T. Castlereagh, Viscount
Tyrell, C. Christmas, J. N.
Verney, Sir H. Conolly, Colonel
Vernon, G. Coote, Sir C. H.
Villiers, Viscount Corry, Hon. H.
Vincent, Sir F. Copeland, W. C.
Vivian, J. Daly, J.
Vyvyan, Sir R. Dobbin, L.
Wall, C. B. Fitzgerald, T.
Ward, H. G. Gladstone, T.
Warre, J. A. Hayes, Sir E.
Watkins, L. V. Howard, R.
Watson, Hon. R. Jephson, C. D.
Welley, G. E. Jones, Capt. T.
Weyland, Major Knox, Hon. Col. J. J.
Whitbread, W. Lambert, H.
Whitmore, T. C. Meynell, Capt. H.
Wilbraham, G. O'Callaghan, Hon. C.
Williams, W. O'Connor, F.
Williams, Robert O'Ferrall, R. M.
Williams, T. Roe, J.
Willoughby, Sir H. Shaw, F.
Windham, W. H. Sheil, R. L.
Winnington, H. Stewart, Sir H.
Winnington, Sir T. E. Sullivan, R.
Wood, Colonel T. Talbot, J.
Wrottesley, Sir John Tennent, J. E.
Wynn, Right Hon. C. Walker, C. A.
Yorke, Captain C. Wallace, T.
Adam, Admiral Darlington, Earl of
Agnew, Sir A. Rice, Rt. Hon. T. S.
Arbuthnot, Hon. H. PAIRED OFF.
Bruce, C. Bulwer, E. L.
Callander, J. H. Ebrington, Lord.
Elliot, Hon. Capt. G. Grant, Hon. W.
Ferguson, Captain G. Vincent, F.
Fergusson, R. C. Wason, R.
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