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Englishmen are to go into the interior of India, and be connected in any way with the soil, we want an alteration in the existing law of tenure. The soil of India is invested really in the hands of the goverment. It has been their policy, as I have stated, that no independent Englishman should ever be allowed to hold a fee simple in India. Well, we are trying to break that down. We find the old civilian notion still existing, but we are backed up by practical men who have resided in India, and it is gratifying to find men long acquainted with Indian habits and views strengthening us in the great work we are undertaking.
We ask, in the next place, that our agents shall be protected, in making advances to the natives, by a simple and effective law for the enforcement of contracts. At present there is not sufficient protection to property or security for advances to the ryot. But the government say“We are considering that question ; we will do all we can to aid you in that object.” And Sir Charles Wood has lately laid on the tables of the House of Commons a bill for improving the law courts of India, more especially having a view to the introduction in the interior of English barristers as magistrates. I believe that this, if carried out, will be of very great assistance to us. Then, we propose to government a practical object in our present emergency. There is a portion of Central İndia, called Berar, very little known to Europeans. It is a large and widely-extended cotton-growing district. The cotton is chiefly consumed in the interior, but small quantities occasionally go to Calcutta for shipment to China. The river Godavery flows through this district 600 miles to the sea. Its navigation is, however, impeded at several points by rocks, to remove which obstacles an outlay of £400,000 or £500,000 would be requisite. Were this effected, cotton might be brought from Berar to Coringa (the port of shipment) at a cost of one-eighth of a penny per pound. We have, therefore, pressed this subject upon the government, and our views have been supported by Sir Charles TrevELYAN, the late governor of Madras, and Sir William Denison, the present governor.
The great Peninsular Railway Company are constructing a line to Nagpore, in Berar, a distance of 560 miles from Bombay. By this line cotton may be laid down in Bombay at a cost of one-third of a penny per pound (for freight ;) so that in two directions this part of Central India may be opened for the transmission of produce for export. Sir Charles Wood, whilst concurring with us as to the advantages to be derived from the opening of the Godavery, feels himself committed to the completion of the railways now in progress in India, and has promised to use every effort for the completion of this Berar line within the next two years. But already we find this and other railways are giving considerable aid in the transport of cotton, and that the native dealers readily avail themselves of their use; and as they gradually approach completion, we may look for much greater facilities for the transmission of cotton from the interior. I will only add, in conclusion, that in all the departments of government with which we have been brought into connection, we have found the warmest interest existing as to the promotion of the objects of the association ; and when assistance can be rendered, we may rely upon its being done.
THE COMMERCE AND NATY OF BELGIUM.
I. THE FLEMINGS IN THE NINTH CENTURY. II. MARITIME LAW OF THE ELEVENTH CENTURY.
III. FLAX AND HEMP CULTIVATION IN THE TWELFTH CENTURY. III. TRADE OF ENGLAND, SCOTLAND AND IRELAND WITH THIE FLEMINGS.
We are indebted to the London Athenaeum, of September, for a criticism on the work of Van Bruyssel, on the Commerce and Navy of Belgium. The writer says that for the last half-century history has dwelt chiefly on the efforts that have been made by European nations for the advancement of their material prosperity, commercial and industrial. Never before was so much activity displayed in furtherance of this object. Electricity and steam have given an impetus to the efforts of the people, and the result must be a revision of the laws of commerce and a reform of the tariff. The division of labor, which has only been applied hitherto to individuals, must from henceforth be made applicable to nations. But in order to understand what objects are more especially adapted for the purposes of trade and commerce, we ought first to acquaint ourselves with the past traffic and navigation of each nation.
This is what M. VAN BRUYSSEL has attempted to do with regard to Belgium, from the time of Cæsar to the downfall of the Low Countries in 1830. He has shown how much a small population, gifted with perseverance and energy, may effect in a few centuries. He begins by describing the knowledge possessed by the Morini, Menapii and others on the coast, in working iron, making cloth, coloring wood, and in manufacturing different varieties of tissue. The inhabitants of these countries were also good sailors, and at a very early period established Belgium colonies in England. When the Romans came they found many of these colonies in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and elsewhere; the Venta Belgarium, which became the modern Winchester, was the centre and chief of these establishments. Mr. Wright, in his history, has shown that the Menapii went even to Ireland for commercial purposes at that remote period.
The conquest of Gaul by CÆSAR put an end to this commercial activity, and it was not until long afterwards that the Belgians were again permitted to pursue their industrial occupations. The law prohibited the importation of certain products into Belgium, such as wine, oil and iron. The author here gives a detailed account of the different articles furnished by the Low Countries to Rome under the emperors.
At the decline of the Roman empire there was a long period during which commerce and literature were at a complete standstill in the north of Europe. Under CHARLEMAGNE new regulations gave a fresh impulse and vigor to trade. It was then that, for the first time, was established the uniformity of weights and measures. Under his son, Louis I., we find Ostend mentioned as a small seaport. Ships of various kinds were already made use of for commercial as well as for warlike purposes, all of which are carefully described in the work before us.
In the ninth century, says SIGEBERT DE GEMBLOUX, Antwerp had already attained a certain importance as a place of traffic. ANDERSON, in his "History of Commerce,” shows that the Flemings had, from the year 836, held an interchange of products with Scotland, which the Scots
found very advantageous, especially for the sale of their salt fish. The inhabitants of Aldenbourg were, even at that time, in the habit of going regularly into Wales on fishing excursions, killing their fish with lances and arrows.
About a century later, BALDWIN III., Count of Flanders, instituted regular annual fairs in all the principal towns, which attracted a great many foreigners, and were instrumental in making Bruges, Courtrai, Calais and Thourout very prosperous cities.
To prove the prosperity produced in Flanders by commerce, it suffices to show that twelve or fourteen rich Flemings helped William of Normandy in his conquest of England, by supplying him with soldiers, ships and money. Among other names cited we find GILBERT of Ghent, Philip and HUMPHREY of Courtrai, BERTRAND of Melle, RICHARD of Bruges, and many more. M. THIERRY is wrong in saying, in his "History of the Conquest of England,” that the Count of Flanders refused all assistance to William. The latter even promised to pay his father-inlaw an annual rent of 300 marks in silver as the price of his supplies. This is stated by the English historian, MALMESBURY, and the Flemish chroniclers, MEYER, ONDEGHErst and DESPARS. Twenty ships were equipped by Flanders for this expedition. After the conquest many Saxons of noble birth took refuge in the Low Countries, and among others, the mother and the sister of HAROLD. It is to be regretted that M. Van Bruyssel has not alluded to the latter, as her tomb, with an inscription giving the details of her sorrows, was found some years ago among the ruins of the church of St. Donat, in Bruges. This circumstance was well worth mentioning.
In such warlike times there were no laws for the regulation of commerce. The first appears in the eleventh century after the conquest of Jerusalem by GODFREY, of Bouillon. He established what are called the assizes of the kingdom of Jerusalem, the second part of which relates entirely to the rights and duties of maritime transactions.
Under HENRY I., of England, a considerable number of Flemish manufacturers and tradesmen settled in Pembrokeshire, where they constructed a road of great extent, called Flemings' Way, to facilitate traffic. Their cleverness in weaving wool and flax was so remarkable, that GERVASIUS, in his chronicle, says that it was in them an inborn gift of nature. TYTLER, in his history of Scotland, tells us, also, that the influx of Flemish merchants at the end of the twelfth century was one of the great causes of wealth in that country; and MACPHERSON, in his “ Annals of Commerce,” states that they were the first who introduced the cultivation of flax and hemp into England, as is mentioned in a charter of Westminster, in 1175.
A little later we find that some of the cities of Flanders possessed the largest emporiums of merchandise to be found in all Europe. William, the Breton, thus describes in his poem of the “Philippidos” the amount of wealth in the harbor of Damme, when Philip AUGUSTUS, king of France, came to attack Flanders with 1,700 ships. He speaks of the port of Calais :
“The merchandise brought there by foreign vessels exceeds all belief. Masses of bullion, heaps of oriental wools, wax, cloths, Hungarian furs, grain, wines from Gascony, iron and other metals, and a number of other products from England, which were collected at Damme preparatory to exportation into other countries, bringing large profits to speculators."
M. Van Bruyssel gives interesting details on the forms of the different vessels of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and on the commercial relations between Belgium and Europe during the same period. England, Scotland and Ireland traded with the Flemings in woods, leathers, lead, coals, cheese and salt. They received from Norway various sorts of birds; from Denmark, horses; from Russia, furs; Bohemia, Hungary and Poland, sent wax and gold and silver ingots; from Aragon came saffron, rice, almonds, &c.; from Germany, wine, corn and iron. Fez, Tunis and Morocco traded in furs and sugar; Constantinople, in alum and fruits; Egypt, in spices; and from Palestine, Armenia and other parts, came silks and gold and silver cloths.
The researches made by the author are very considerable. His long residence in London enabled him to examine the repositories of ancient documents; and the reader will be rewarded for perusing this book, more amusing in parts than many works of fiction, and replete with information hitherto but little known to the public.
We reprint the extended remarks made by Mr. Thomas BAZLEY, (M. P. for Manchester,) at the recent meeting of the British Association. The facts communicated by Mr. Bazley are valuable in themselves, but his ignorance of the political features of the United States is somewhat curious, and no doubt leads some persons astray in their estimates of the workings of commerce and legislation in this country. Mr. Bazley, for instance, says " the North has robbed the South by unjust exactions ;" for which he has no ground in fact. He alludes to the operation of the tariff. Now it is well known that the South has not been forced to buy northern goods when it preferred foreign. The duties paid by the South amount, perhaps, to fifteen millions of dollars annually on foreign goods consumed by them, or about two dollars per head. It is the North, mainly, that pay the duties on iron, woollens, liquors, &c. The South has the same advantages, and even greater, in the establishment of domestic manufactures, and could (in a time of peace) produce their own cotton goods as well as the North, if they thought proper. In fact, the South could manufacture cotton without the expense of double freight, double commissions, double insurance and loss of time, now involved in sending their raw cotton to remote parts, all which expenses are paid by the northern and European manufacturer on goods consumed in the southern States,
“ A protective system has been fostered in the North, founded very extensively upon the pirated inventions of this country," (England.). Here Mr. BAZLEY is equally at fault. If he will recur to the history of England for the past hundred years, he will find that it was by the protective system that England has built up her credit, wealth and greatness; and to this day
maintains a tariff more severe than the “odious" MORRILL tariff, which is so loudly abused by English politicians and their press. Great Britain last year levied custom-house duties amounting to twenty-two millions sterling, or about $110,000,000. The United States, with a population two millions larger than that of Great Britain, has levied in no one year over sixty-four millions of dollars. The ten years, from 1850—1859, the aggregate custom-house duties levied by the United States were $531,000,000, or an average of fifty-three millions of dollars; whereas Great Britain levied during the same period two hundred and fourteen millions sterling, or $1,070,000,000, or about double the former.
Upon the single article of tobacco, mainly exported from this country, Great Britain has levied, in ten years, duties to the amount of two hundred and twenty millions of dollars! This is far more than the duties levied by the United States upon all the goods imported from Great Britain. Indeed, England has no ground of complaint against us as to the tariff. Let her reduce her custom-house duties to a level with our own and we will be content. Mr. Bazley's remarks were as follow :-Ed. M. M.
A century ago the population of Manchester was below 30,000, whilst now 350,000 persons reside in and occupy it. Population and wealth have wonderfully increased and ramified to other places; but now, in the zenith of prosperity, a mysterious hand has written upon our walls the words of caution and of admonition. During the last fifty years upwards of 20,000,000,000 pounds weight of cotton from all sources have been consumed in Great Britain, and the value would probably be not less than £750,000,000 sterling, or might equal a sum of the amount of our national debt, the chief supply 'having been obtained from the United States of America. Upon a fair computation, the import of that material, which has so largely employed the capital and labor of this country, has yielded a profit of not less than £1,000,000,000 sterling to the people of the United Kingdom within that period. The wonder is that so large a supply of cotton could be procured from that one source, the United States; and when we reflect that this country possesses a monopoly of the vast extent of territory found in the whole world capable of producing this raw material, the inference is most palpable, that there has been developed the most successful agricultural industry in the States of America, which has been either ever contemplated or realized; whilst in British colonies and dependencies apathy and neglect have prevailed. If the legislature had little sympathy with the great industry of Lancashire, the interests of our foreign possessions might have induced our rulers to stimulate productions in them, which would have found compensating markets at home.
The advocates of large and of independent supplies of raw cotton, from all possible sources, have never desired governmental favors, their object having been to promote the removal of repressing obstacles, and to procure, by the aid of a sound colonial policy, at least a fair share, in proportion to the extent of our foreign possessions, of not only cotton, but of every other product which they might more abundantly have yielded. During the last year the consumption of cotton in Great Britain was 85 per cent. from the United States, 8 per cent. from other foreign sources, and 7 per cent. from British territory.
The present position of the trade is most precarious and dangerous. Existing stocks and prospective supplies of cotton may enable the mills