תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

To promote the same great end, docks and warehouses, as might, Mr. Wallace farther stated, that in time, exempt commercial men he intended to propose an almost from it entirely. He was himself entirely new regulation of the one of those, who certainly felt warehouse duties and system; and the advantages of the dock system for that purpose he should sug. in the highest degree, both with gest, that all goods imported into respect to its operation on the this country should be divided revenue, and to the protection into two classes. In the first from plunder which it extended class, he should place all those to the merchant. All these adwhich i paid the highest duties, vantages, however, he thought it and of the consumption of which was very possible fully to retain in this country there was the and to preserve, and yet allow a greatest danger. These should fair competition between the be kept in warehouses of a parti- docks and stores generally. cular description ; being either in Much benefit from that competidocks, or surrounded by walls, ortion would unquestionably accrue specified by warrant from three to the public. “He should farther lords of the treasury. This hav- propose, that in the bill all the ing been done, goods so ware- regulations upon this subject, housed should have the advantage which were dispersed at present of being exempted from taking through a variety of acts, should out, examination, re-weighing in one single statute be brought and liability to such allowance altogether under view. for deficiencies as it was custom- The last restraint on our comary now to subject them to. The merce, which Mr. Wallace mensecond class of goods he should tioned, was the great amount of propose to place in warehouses of the lighthouse and harbour dues. a less secure description, and in He stated, that he had received a all cases of suspicion, they should letter on this subject from a conbe liable to re-weighing and re- sul abroad, who mentioned that examination. He should wish an he knew several instances of average of the deficiencies allow- masters of vessels, sailing under ed under the present system to instructions from their owners, be taken; and a certain scale of not to enter, under penalty of allowance made for deficiencies losing their employments and taking place in goods deposited in emoluments, any British port, warehouses the best secured: excepting in cases of the most that allowance to be extended, imminent peril. These instrucafter a proportionate rate, to tions wer

to tions were given in consequence goods deposited in warehouses of of the very heavy demands, which à less secure description. Upon were made on foreign ships in the subject of these deficiencies our harbours. Now it must be generally, he thought that goods, apparent, that, in nine cases out of in many cases, could not be ex- ten, if the near approach of what empted from the inconvenience; a master might consider to be and in point of fact, he was not imminent peril

, was to be the sole desirous that they should be ; for condition of putting into a British that circumstance might operate port, the ships must be lost. On to induce the building of such every ground, therefore, both of

advantage to the country, and of strongly in favour of the proposed humanity to those engaged in na- alterations, and leave was given vigating our seas, he should pro- to bring in the bills. I was not pose to have these burthens re the intention of the ministers to moved, or alleviated as far as carry them into effect in the precould be effected. Such was the sent session; their purpose, in outline of those propositions, bringing them forward now, was which he had felt it his duty thus only to direct the public attention generally to submit to the house. to the subject, that parliament The right hon, gentleman con- might, in the subsequent year, cluded by moving the following come to the discussion of it with resolutions - That the chaire all the advantages of mature reman be directed to move the flection, House, for leave to bring in a bill Mr. Wallace's propositions were to repeal divers ancient statutes reasonable and practicable means and parts of statutes, so far as of promoting the prosperity of they relate to the importation the kingdom. Other schemes into, and the exportation from were obtruded upon parliament, England, of goods and mer. of more than Utopian absurdity. chandize from and to foreign A Mr. Owen, the principal partcountries :" also, “ to move, forner' in a large cotton factory at leave to bring in a bill to explain New Lanark, in Scotland, had and amend the several acts for long imagined that he had discothe encouragement and increase vered an infallible mode of curing of shipping and navigation; and all the evils usually attendant on to regulate the importation of poverty. His trade, for many goods and merchandize into Great years, had been a prosperous one; Britain, so far as relates to the he had, accordingly, been able to countries from whence and the afford liberal wages to his work. ships in which such be made :" men, and, by good economical also “ to move, for leave to bring arrangements, more especially by in a bill to make more effectual making those whom he employed provision for the permitting goods live almost in common, and by imported into Great Britain to freeing them, in a great measure, be warehoused or secured without from the charge of superintendpayment of duty."

ing and educating their children, A desultory conversational de he had enabled them to live in a bate ensued." Several members, degree of comfort superior to among whom were Mr. A. Baring what is usually enjoyed by the and Mr. Hume, expressed the labouring classes. What he had highest satisfaction with the mean accomplished at New Lanark, sures now in the contemplation might, he thought, be extended of government; some of the Irish to a whole country, and even to gentlemen talked of the danger the whole world; and he had ocof removing the transit duty on cupied himself for some years in linens; and some, who were con- propounding an unintelligible nected with the shipping interest, scheme for this purpose. In the raised their voices in defence of capture of his visionary dreams, the existing navigation laws. The he altogether forgot that there general opinion seemed to be were two circumstances in which Vol. LXIII,

[G]

New Lanark and a large country motion, on the ground that a few differed widely. The first, and good hints for the improvement most important, was, that under of our workhouses might possibly existing circumstances, the popu- be borrowed from New Lanark. lation of New Lanark had con- Lord Londonderry confessed that stant and profitable occupation; he could see no good, which was and, therefore, any precedent likely to be derived from dividing drawn from it could apply only the country into parallelograms; to cases, where the persons to be and as for the people, they would delivered, by his plan, from the all be reduced, under such a sysevils of poverty, were previously tem, to mere automatons in soremoved from poverty itself, by ciety, fit for no purposes of existthe advantages which large capi- ence, but to labour under the talists found in giving them regu- superintendence of a species of lar employment and liberal wages. civil drill sergeant. Such a sysThe second circumstance of dif- tem would never be congenial to ference was, that economical ar- the high feelings of the British rangements could be introduced nation; it might be applicable to in a cotton factory, which would the management of poor-houses, be altogether inapplicable to a but never could be adapted to dispersed population, employed the spirit of a nation of freemen. in agriculture, retail commerce, He protested against parliament's or even many species of manu- being dragged on to try any loose factures.

abstract questions ; and upon that Absurd as the plan was (if the principle it was, that, ready as he name of plan can be given to that, ever felt to applaud a benevolent which was never presented in any suggestion, he must oppose the definite shape, but was always appointment of this commission. wra ptup inoracular abstractions), Mr. Canning stated, that it had it was now gravely brought under been his intention to be absent the consideration of parliament, from the discussion. Having,

by the same Mr. Maxwell who, however, been induced by the in the former session, had con- urgency of Mr. Owen, to promise

demned machinery, as one of the that he would attend, and be great causes of the general dis. guided in his vote by what he tress. That gentleman, on the might hear said for or against the 26th of June, moved “ that an plan, he felt it necessary now to humble address be presented to say, that after the most impartial his majesty, praying that he will consideration of the subject, he be graciously pleased to issue a was determined to decide against commission to visit New Lanark, the motion. First, the general in order to examine the condition application of the plan would lead and treatment of the working to the complete destruction of class of that establishment; to in- individuality, and to the amalgaquire into any further arrange. mation of the population into ments, that Mr. Owen may pro- masses, which was totally repugpose to adopt; to inspect the nant to the principles of human labours of the workmen, and to nature, and, above all, to the report the same to the House.” genius of this country. The inSome members supported the ference which was drawn from the excellent management of Mr. abstained from assigning any reaOwen's establishment at Lanark, sons for their faith. Mr. Maxwell that it would be successful when did not press his motion to a diacted upon on a more extended vision. scale, was perfectly fallacious. The principle of the poor-laws Individuals must be congregated had long been questioned; their together upon some known and numerous defects had been pointed intelligible principle. It was a out to notice; their pressure on known principle which connected the agricultural interest was setenants with particular landlords, verely felt; and their demoralizand workmen with particular ma. ing influence on the lower classes nufactories. But on what prin- was scarcely any longer a matter ciple thousands of persons could of doubt. It was agreed, on all be congregated together in Mr. hands, that some change in them Owen's establishments, he could was desirable, nay, was absolutely not conceive. If a number of necessary; but the subject was individuals should unite together so delicate, and encompassed with as volunteers, supposing all the so many difficulties, that even the difficulties opposed to such an most experienced were afraid to undertaking to be overcome, there venture on the task. In the prewas nothing to prevent the so- sent session, however, Mr. Scar. ciety, which, as it had commenced lett brought forward a specific in delusion, might end in disap- plan. It consisted of three prinpointment, from becoming the cipal parts. The first declared the seat of the worst of passions. assessments of 1820 a maximum, He wished also to state, and he which was never to be exceeded : hoped he might do so without the second excluded from parooffence to Mr. Owen, and without chial relief persons who grounded incurring the charge of bigotry their claim merely on their inor cant, that the House ought to ability to obtain work; the third pause, before it proceeded to set deprived justices of the power of the first example of a community removing paupers. The measure existing in Christendom, in which met with keen opposition; and, there would be no religion. indeed, it was so crudely framed,

None attempted to answer these that it did not deserve success. arguments ; and the few, who pro- Mr. Scarlett finally consented to fessed themselves more or less withdraw his bill. votaries of Mr. Owen, cautiously

CHAP. V.

Finance--Mr. Hume's Labours to effect Retrenchment-His Motions

with respect to the Army, Navy, and Ordnance Estimates-His proposed Retrenchments with respect to Receivers-general and Distributors of Stamps ; Committee appointed to inquire into that Subject-Mr. Western obtains leave to bring in a Bill to repeal certain Duties on Malt: The Bill rejected on the second Reading-The Agricultural Horse Duty repealed— The Budget Mr. Hume's Motion for an Address recommending Retrenchment-Mr. Bankes proposes an Amendment-A similar Address carried in the House of Lords.

THE

HE different estimates for sufferance, and their past dura

the year were submitted to tion is admitted as proof of their the House in the ordinary man- necessity. Mr. Hume brought ner; but they were there ex. back the details of the expendiposed to a scrutiny more than ture to first principles; he sugusually severe. Mr. Hume en- gested to men in office many tered into a close examination of points, of which they probably the smallest items in the accounts,

were not aware; hę forced them and pointed out numerous in- to consider, what might be done stances in which the

expense was in the way of retrenchment; even unnecessarily great. Many of in resisting his propositions, they his proposed reductions were, were compelled to make many doubtless, impracticable; but many concessions, and were taught to of them were free from all objec- feel the necessity of adopting tion ; and though his amend- economical principles of adminisments were negatived, they pro- tration. The nature of our plan duced gradually a strong impres- will not permit us to record the sion on the House, and on the details of the retrenchments, which ministers too. The heads of de- Mr. Hume recommended; all that partments are seldom acquainted we can do is, to mention the prinwith the minute arrangements of cipal propositions made by him, their offices ; without meaning to with respect to the most importbe extravagant, they are not ant heads of the national expenaware, that all that is done might diture. be accomplished at a less charge; When the army estimates were superfluous expenses are intro- taken into consideration, Mr. duced by accident and by care

Hume moved, lessness; having once come into

" That there were in the serexistence, they are continued by vice of Great Britain and Ireland

« הקודםהמשך »