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Letter IV. to Mr. Roscoe
Perish Commerce.-Observations upon Mr. Young's two First Letters touching
Orders in Council.-Jesuits' Bark Debate
American States.-Answer to the American Merchant.-The Order in Council
Westminster Election.--The High Bailiff's action and Sir F. Burdett's application
Table of the Number of Christenings and Burials within the Bills of Mortality, from December 1807, to May 1808, inclusive.
VOL. XIII. No. 1. LONDON, SATURDAY, JANUARY 2, 1808.
It is the boast of the partizans of the late minister, William Pitt, that the Commerce of England was doubled during his administration.- When he became minister, the interest of the National Debt (paid annually out of the taxes) amounted to something more than nine millions of pounds sterling; and, at the close of his administration, it amounted to more than twenty four millions of pounds sterling.--During his administration, he added five-fold to the Assessed Taxes; he created the Income Tax; and, by what is called the Land Tax Redemption Act, he made that tax perpetual, and caused the alienation for ver of a considerable part of the property of the Church and of all charitable foundations.During the year after be became minister (1785) the money paid on account of the Poor, in England and Wales, amounted to 2,004,238 pounds, the average price of the quartern loaf in that year, being sixpence three farthings; and, during the year 1803 (two years before the end of his career), the money paid on account of the loot, in England and Wales, amounted to 4,267,955 pounds, the average price of the quartern loaf, in that year, being ninepence farthing.- -During his administration, the get of "Habeas Corpus," or personal-safety act, was suspended for several years together.When he died, in January, 1806, the parliament came to an unanimous decision to cause his Debts, to the amount of 40,000 pounds, to be paid out of taxes raised upon the people; and, further, caused him to be buried at the public expense, and voted a monument in honour of his memory, in Westminster Abbey Church, also at the public expense, and that too, upon the ground of the services which he had rendered the country.
SUMMARY OF POLITICS. PORTUGUESE EMIGRATION. -I think, that enough was said, in my last Number, to dissipate all the bubbles, which the full grown babies of the London press had been, for several days, blowing out for the amusement of others like themselves; but, since the writing of the article here referred to, I have seen some instances of their frothy folly that I cannot forbear to notice. Upon this occasion, as well as upon all others, the two factions are opposed to each other; but, this is one of these events, which both represent as auspicious for the country, and, of course, the point in dispute is, which faction has the merit of it. If merit there be, however, it manifestly appears, that to neither of them does it belong; for, the letter of our envoy, Lord Strangford, as well as that of Sir Sidney Smith, our admiral, leave it clearly to be inferred, that, if the Prince Regent of Portugal could have remained upon the terms of joining Napoleon against England, he would have remained; and, indeed, to be satisfied of this, what have we to do but to refer to his hostile proclamation? But, Napoleon would not suffer him to remain upon ose terms; so that, the merit of the enigration, for which the two factions are quarrelling, like two (dogs for a bone, belongs to Napoleon, or, if it must be divided, the Prince Regent is -the only one who has any fair pretensions to ashare. And this being the case, Napoleon having been assured, that an epigration to the Brazils would be the consequence of his refusing to suffer the Prince to reign in Portugal, is there not some reason for us to hesitate, before we give way to such unbound
ed joy at the event? Napoleon is not very much in the habit of doing that which he foresees will produce goed to us. But, I agree, that his opinions are no rule whereby for us to judge of what is for our good. ↑ agree, that the case must rest upon its own intrinsic merits; and, I think I have shown, in my former article upon the subject, that the emigration cannot, in all probability, tend to our good. Of an opinion widely different, however, are the wisemen of the London press. The Courier says: "The
escape of the royal family of Portugal "from the grasp of the tyrant, and the
prospects which that event opens to our "view, have produced the greatest satis "faction. Already has commerce directed "its attention to the Brazils, and several
ships have been engaged to convey thither "the produce of our industry."--I doubt it not. There needs no assurance on the part of this writer to convince me, that the event has produced great satisfaction amongst the inhabitants of Finsbury Square and Thames Street; nor have I the least doubt, that the Brazils will soon become a grand out-let for the produce, or fruits, of the industry of the people of England, having indeed, shown, in my former Number, that a good round sum out of our taxes will be wanted to support the new government of her most faithful majesty, But, I see, in this, nothing to give me satisfaction, and nothing that ought to give satisfaction to: any man, who has the good of England at heart.The Morning Chronicle, as if he were pitted for a wager against his " brain"less brother," says: there is at this
mement actually cut down in the Brazils,
"timber sufficient for the construction of "20 sail of the line. Our West India "islands can be amply supplied from the "Brazils with provisions, lumber, and every article of necessity.' -Timber for twenty sail of the line! What was it cut down for? And who cut it down? The event, which has now taken place, could not have been anticipated in the Brazils; and, if it bad, whence were to come the hands to cut down the timber? The whole of the population does not surpass half a million of souls, scattered over an immense territory. The Europeans do not work, and the African slaves are employed in raising them provisions and in working the mines. It would require, I should think, one half of the working population to be employed for a whole year to cut down and rough-hew timber sufficient for twenty ships of the line, supposing a sufficiency of the various sorts of timber to be found in the country, which is not the case. And, if one half of the working population were employed in this way, is it not evident, that one half of the people must cease to eat ; or, that one half of the mines must cease to be worked? This assertion, therefore, respecting the timber cut down in the Brazils, is not less silly than false. Still, however, it is, as to both these qualities, far surpassed by the assertion respecting the capability of the Brazils to supply our West India colonies" with
colonists of other nations. But, supposing all this to be overbalanced by the advantage of getting the lumber from a country other than the American States. Yet, what good is this grand event to us in this respect? We have another of our own, Nova Scotia, covered with all sorts of wood, from the pine to the hazel, and we have, nevertheless, found, that it is impossible thence to draw the lumber necessary for our West India colonies. The reason is, that we have not there a sufficiency of spare population to prepare the lumber for the West Indies, and we never shall have as long as the banks of the Hudson, the Delaware, the Potomack, the Ohio, and the Mississippi invite to the tilling of a climate more genial. By compelling the West India colonies to receive no lumber except from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, we should, doubtless, induce people to reside in the last countries; but, as their food would cost much more labour to raise it than it costs to raise food for the hewers of wood in the American States, the lumber would come at an increased price to the West India planters, English West India produce would be dearer than the produce of the West India colonies belonging to other nations, what we used of it i England we should be obliged to give more of the fruit of our labour for, and, as to foreign countries, there our planters would be undersold by the planters of every other nation. This is the reason why our West India islands have not been supplied with lumber from our own American colonies; and, leaving the difference in distance out of the question, the same reason exists with respect to the Brazils, where the population is short of half a million at the end of two hundred years; and, into which there have been imported from Africa, during that time, not less than two millions of negroes. The population of the Brazils is a forced population, a population kept up by importing men into the country, by purchasing men to live and work there; and I leave the reader to judge of the understanding (or learning) of the man who asserts, in the most unqualified manner, that our West India colonies can be supplied with lumber by a country, where each workman costs, upon an average, at the first purchase, two hun
provisions, lumber, and every article of "necessity." The Morning Chronicle will say it is unfair if 1 suppose him to include amongst articles of necessity, the clothing and hardware requisite in the West Indies; and, therefore, I will suppose him to mean only the wood necessary for buildings and for cooperage, and the food necessary for the people to live upon. First, as to the wood, the inhabited part of the Brazils is at a distance from the centre of our West India colonies, five times as great as that which divides those colonies from the centre ports of the United States of America, or from Nova Scotia; so that, supposing there to be a spare population in the Brazils sufficient for the preparation of the several sorts of Jumber; supposing there to be a sufficiency of saw-mills and of other conveniencies under the scorching suns of the Bra-dred guineas.But, if it be so grossly abzils; and supposing there to be iron and shipwrights in abundance in that country, the lumber must arrive in the West Indies at an expense which would soon cause the plantations to be deserted, English sugar necessarily being quite unable to bear a moment's competition with that raised by the
surd to assert that the Brazils are capable of supplying our West India colonies with lumber, what shall we say of the other proposition of this writer, namely, that they are capable of supplying those colonies with provisions? First, what are the sorts of provisions, with which the West India