« EdellinenJatka »
directors, and their commissioners of rule, to be applied in every dea throughout the country (who, in rangement of commercial relations. general, would be fellow merchants But, in truth, former instances did of the applicants) it was answered, not apply to the case which now that the commissioners for issuing existed ; for, in all former instanthe Exchequer bills in 1793, the pre-ces, excepting perhaps one, the cedent on which the friends of such derangement had arisen, not as at a measure principally relied, were present, from the course of trade merchants of the City, with two itself, be it good or be it bad, but exceptions, and three of them were from the positive influence of poBank directors. Besides, it would litical events, during periods of be only what took place every day actual war, and had arisen, moreat the Bank, “to which merchants over, under the reign of the restrica were constantly repairing with tion on cash payments. But there bills and securities, for the purpose was a great difference between the of obtaining cash. The Bank did adoption of such a measure, when not accept such securities without growing out of a political crisis, ascertaining the credit and respect and the application of it to the reability of the parties; and what lief of commercial distress, when greater danger was there of injury the latter had connection to individual credit in the one case with any political emergency. than in the other?
Even the instance of 1793, to nothing to be ashamed of: the ne which the opponents of the cessity of relief was already pro- present arrangement so claimed; the applicants were sol- stantly referred, was, in a great vent; they had property to the degree, inapplicable. The differfull amount of the demands upon ence between it and 1826 was them; they did not ask credit this, that, whatever might have merely on personal security, but been the primary causes of the disthey gave for it more than its tresses which prevailed in 1793, amount in solid value; and the the breaking out of the war had best proof that mercantile men a great and decided influence in themselves harboured no such ap- aggravating and prolonging them. prehensions, lay in the fact that the There was then a great fluctuation different deputations from the of affairs, and much distress, ariscountry had expressed their una- ing, however, not from private nimous satisfaction with the ar- speculations, which the nature of rangement which had been adopted. trade itself would cure, but from
Again, the argument drawn public events which had produced from former issues of Exchequer the most serious consequences on bills to some similar ends was bad the mercantile world. That was in principle, and inapplicable in a derangement which was the conitself. Although recourse might sequence of public events, and gave formerly have been had to a par- the sufferers a claim on the governa ticular measure, it did not follow ment for relief; but the present that the measure was good, and pressure had been created by, no ought to be repeated ; far less that public events, nor could such a a direct interference, which was al- claim properly exist in the eleventh together alien from the duties of year of profound peace. If we government, should become a sort had advanced to the agricultural
interest in 1822, the four millions office of their commissioners was which they craved; if we had lent almost unfrequented. The applicato Ireland in 1823, the million tions for advances were made with which she asked for, in her dis- the utmost moderation. None were tress; if, in the same year, we had required beyond what were absoadvanced to the West-Indian pro- lutely necessary; and, in every prietors the five millions which instance, the parties shewed the they wished to relieve their em- strongest desire to have only the barrassments; and if we were now smallest sum which would suffice to lend five millions more for the to meet their immediate wants. assistance of the merchants; go The adoption of this measure vernment, in the course of four rendered it necessary for the secuyears, would have lent no less a rity of the Bank, to introduce a sum than fifteen millions ; and new bill, or rather to anticipate who would pretend that such a the operation of an act of the presystem was right; or that a single ceding session, regarding the law example, which led to such con- of principal and agent. By the sequences, ought to be followed, common law of England, an agent even if it were applicable ? or factor, holding goods of his prin
With one alteration, namely, cipal,' and being in possession both that the Bank agreed to lend on of the goods themselves and of the collateral security, as well as on the documents relating to them, alsecurity of deposited goods--a though he might effectually sell change which would, it was the merchandize, yet he could not, thought, in some measure remove by the general rule, effectually the objection of injurious notoriety, pledge it; and, in many cases, by enabling the merchant who had where he had so pledged it, goods, to lodge them with private apparently in the character of friends who would be accepted as owner, the lender's claim had been personal securities--the measure disappointed by that of the real was immediately carried into exe
Accordingly, in 1811, cution. Commissioners were ap when the Bank had made advances pointed by the Bank in the princi- on the security of deposited goods, pal provincial towns.
it had been protected from this missioners were almost uniformly danger by a special provision. mercantile persons belonging to The evils of the general rule had the place for which they were been so severely felt in the merappointed ; and, although prudence cantile world, that, in the session required such an arrangement, in of 1825, an act had passed, modiorder that local knowledge might fying the law, and providing that secure prudence of procedure, yet goods pledged by a factor, should it greatly increased the unwilling- be as effectually pledged, in reness of many to disclose the state gard to the innocent lender, as of their affairs, their necessities, if the factor had been the real and their resources, to their own
But this act was not to local competitors. The whole sums come into operation till October applied for, fell far short of the 1826;. it having been thought three millions which the Bank had proper to give foreigners, so much set apart to this object; and, in interested in the powers and some of the provincial towns, the liabilities of their agents in this
country, due time to become aca banks, were measures purely of quainted with the change which prospective security. They could had taken place in this important not supply, nor could any measures department of our mercantile law. supply, capital to the manufacturer, The Bank, however, in consenting that he might again employ the to advance three millions, in the families of his work-people: they present instance, made it a condi- could not remove, and no measures tion of their compliance, that the could immediately remove, the protection of this statute should be glut which prevailed in many of extended to them immediately. the principal foreign markets, and Accordingly, a short bill was create a demand for cotton yarn brought in, and passed, to enable and calicoes from Lancashire and persons in the possession of goods, Glasgow, or works in iron and steel and possessed likewise of the from Birmingham or Sheffield, documents conferring the pro- which should again call for the perty of them, although such industry of the cotton-spinner, the persons should be merely factors or weaver, and the grinder: and still agents, to pledge them with the less, therefore, could they, or could Bank as effectually as if such per- any measures, provide cargoes for sons were the actual owners. It vessels, whose unfreighted owners, was confined to deposits made with and unemployed mariners, were the Bank: the time limited in the loudly complaining. As there were act of last session for the general many who thought that more imapplication of the principle to all mediate relief might be given, and such transactions, was left un not a few who maintained that, for touched.
purpose, it was only necessary Such were the measures recom to repeal certain measures which mended by ministers, and adopted had lately been adopted, the attenby parliament, not so much to re tion of parliament was again directmove the existing distress, as to ed towards the assistance which palliate its symptoms in the mean might be derived from emigration, time, and to provide a sort of from changing the corn laws, and security against the recurrence of from giving up the more liberal some of the causes which had pro- policy which had been lately introduced it. The advances by the duced into our commercial interBank, indeed (to be considered, in course with foreign nations. some measure, an act of govern Extensive emigration is, perment), were sources of immediate haps, the last expedient to which assistance; but this assistance was a country, whose strength lies in confined to a limited class; and its population, ought to have rethat class itself made use of it, not course in order to escape from to push their usual mercantile and a temporary inconvenience, and is manufacturing occupations, and at all times, a remedy, the effect thus restore employment to the of which can only be temporary. artisan, but only to maintain their If the numbers be such as to afcredit, by discharging their instant ford any effectual relief to those and pressing engagements. The who remain, they can be so only suppression of small notes, and the by consisting of those who have unlimited enlargement of the nothing, who can neither emigrate number of partners in private nor settle, at their own expense,
and who must therefore be remov- year increased tenfold the claims of ed and settled by laying an addi- emigration upon its notice as a tional burden on those who are
means of relief.
In Scotland, left; for it is but few who quit even the landholders of a county their native land, (unless urged by applied to ministers to supply enpolitical feeling), while they re-couragement to intended emigrants, main in that state of competency, and, among the
artizans themselves, which is implied in the ability to societies were formed for the puremigrate and settle. The adven- pose of projecting schemes of emiturers who, not long ago, went gration, and obtaining assistance out from Scotland to Van Dieman's towards their completion, as well Land, did so at their own expense; from the crown, as from other but what effect did the exile of so public and private sources. Gosmall a body produce on any in- vernment felt, that whatever might terest in the country? If, again, be done in that way, ought to be the numbers which are removed preceded by much inquiry and be so great, that, even after the deliberation, and a perfect knowexpense of their removal has been ledge of the effects of what had borne, a greater degree of comfort been already done. While, therewill appear among those who re- fore, they declined to act upon main, then it would seem that such crude and hasty suggestions, this very increase in the means they did not deny that the matter of comfortable subsistence would, was one of grave importance, or in a short time, re-produce the shut the door against its considerasuperabundant population which tion; and, on the 14th of March, had been thrown off, and bring a Mr. Wilmot Horton moved for the new necessity for recurring to the appointment of a select committee same temporary palliative. Ire- to inquire into the expediency of land has never been benefitted one encouraging emigration. He exatom by the shoals of labourers pressed his hopes that the principle whom she annually disgorges on of emigration would be found to the shores of Scotland. Emigra- be a sound one, and rested these tion can never be effective, except- hopes on what had been effected ing on a large, and a continued hitherto. In 1823, parliament scale ; and as such it ought never to had voted fifty thousand pounds, form a regular feature in the ad- for the purpose of enabling a cerministration of a government, tain number of men, women, and and, least of all, in one, a large children, to emigrate to our North portion of whose population de- American colonies. The number rive their means of subsistence of persons who availed themselves, from manufactures. Those who on that occasion, of the encourageare removed will generally, if the ment held out by government, scheme be well conducted, be amounted in all to two hundred greater gainers than those who and sixty-eight; and the expense remain behind.
incurred by the country for each During the last four years go- person was twenty-two pounds. vernment, on more occasions than These persons, from being in a one, had lent its aid to emigration state of extreme misery, were now to Canada. The general misery comfortably and prosperously setwhich prevailed during the present tled. This first experiment hav
ing been successful, it was fol Considering the degree in which lowed up, in 1825, by the emin public attention, among all classes
, gration of two thousand and had been lately directed to the twenty-four persons, men, women, existing state of the Corn-laws, and children ; but the average and the ideas which had gone expense of sending them out abroad that they were a principal had been less than it was two cause of the distresses of the poor, years before, for it amounted to it was not to be expected that, only twenty pounds a-head; and, among so many plans for removing from official, and other respectable these distresses, their repeal or sources of information, it appeared modification should be overlooked. that they were all prospering and On the very first day of the sea comfortable. These emigrants had sion, lord King had moved an been sent from Ireland ; and they amendment to the address, pledgwere in fact paupers, without ing the upper House to take these means of procuring a subsistence laws into its immediate consideraat home, and utterly incapable tion; and the tables of both Houses of providing for themselves and were covered, almost nightly, their families, and yet without with piles of petitions, partly from families they would not be The agriculturists, praying that the result, therefore, seemed to be, law might be allowed to remain that, for twenty pounds, a person as it was, but, in greater number, might be comfortably settled in from artizans and manufacturers, Canada, with the prospect of inde- praying for its instantaneous rependence before him, who, if he had peal. And it is certain that these remained in Ireland, could have opposing petitions tended much hoped for nothing but the wretch more than any thing else, in the edness of penury. It had never minds of the unenlightened, to been in the contemplation of go- place the two interests in that vernment to supply all the expen- supposed hostility towards each ses necessary for carrying such other, in which no well-informed experiments farther: their object and moderate-minded man was, to shew, by a few trials, to found them to stand. The workthose who might be interested in ing classes universally looked on forwarding such a system, and in the Corn-laws as the first and removing a redundant population, great source of their distress, for the case with which it might be they could comprehend this posicarried into effect, without any tion that, the cheaper the corn very great expenditure of funds, the cheaper the loaf: they knew and the beneficial consequences re that they could live more comfortsulting from it. The object of ably, if they obtained a certain the proposed committee was, to quantity of bread for three-pence, collect information, examine the than if it cost them sixpence, and question in all its bearings, and farther they went not. Nay, bring out, as far as possible, all there were senators and writers its probable results.
oppo who still taught them, that the sition was made to the appoint- simple solution of this complicated ment of the committee, but no and important question was to be thing followed upon it during found in the two words "cheap the session.