wholly lost to the nation—is now, with some of the regulations of this famous a population of 28,000,000, not able act may have proceeded from national to raise in round numbers above animosity, they are all as wise as if 251,000,000 on an average of years dictated by the most deliberate wisdom. by taxation, and is brought to the As defence is of much more importance verge of ruin by the purchase of than opulence, the act of Navigation £33,000,000 worth of foreign grain is perhaps the wisest of all the comin 1846 and 1847, and the expendi- mercial regulations of England."* It ture of £35,000,000 in 1816, and appears from the parliamentary £25,000,000 in the first six months tables compiled by Mr Porter, that, of 1817 on domestic railways, every while the British tonnage with the shilling of which last sum was spent Baltic powers had increased from at home, and puts in motion industry 1801 to 1821, under the protective within the nation.

system, to a very considerable degree, The next great change was made theirs with us had declined during the in the year 1821, when the recipro- same period; under the reciprocity syscity system was introduced by Mr tem, our tonnage with them had on the Huskisson. This subject has acquired whole decreased to a third of its former great importance now, from the amount, while their shipping with us avowed intention on the part of had, during the same period, quadrugovernment, scarcely disguised in the pled. It further appears, from the same opening speech of this session of Par- tables, that the great increase which liament, to follow up the labours of has taken place during the same period, the committee which made such labo- has arisen from the prodigious growth rious inquiries last session, by a bill of our colonial trade, or increase of for the total abolition of the Naviga- the countries with whom we had tion Laws. We shall not enlarge on concluded no reciprocity treaties, but this subject, the vastness and impor- left them on the footing of the protectance of which would require a sepa- tion of the old Navigation Laws. And rate paper. Suffice it to say, there- though the profits of shipping of all sorts fore, that here too, experience has have received a vast addition, from the decisively warned us of the pernicious enormous importations consequent tendency of the path on which we upon Sir R. Peel's free-trade meahave entered, and of the truth of sures, yet the returns of these years Adam Smith’s remark, that “though prove that the greater part of this

[merged small][ocr errors]

* Wealth of Nations, vol. ii. b. iv. c. ii. p. 195.

+ Table showing the British and Foreign tonnage with Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Prussia since the Reciprocity treaties with these powers in 1821.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed]

increase has accrued to foreign states opposition, for two years; and when and powers, which may at any at length the evil had risen to such a time turn the maritime resources height that it could no longer be thus acquired against ourselves. endured, the leading agitator, after Suffice it to say, as an example of being convicted in Ireland, was libethis truth, that of the ships which, rated, in opposition to the opinion of in 1816, imported four million nine a great majority of the twelve judges, hundred thousand quarters of corn by the casting-vote in the House of into the British harbours, no less Peers of a Whig law-Lord. British than three - fourths were foreign liberality, when the season of distress vessels, and only one - fourth Bri- came, was extended to the famishing tish. Nevertheless, so insensible are Irish with unheard-of munificence ; political fanatics to the most deci- and while the Highlanders, who sufsive facts, when they militate against fered equally under the potato failure, their favourite theories, that it is in got nothing but from the never-failing the full knowledge of these facts that kindness of British charity, Ireland, government are understood to be pre- besides its full share of that charity, pared to introduce, even in this received a national grant of TEN MILsession of parliament, a measure for LIONS STERLING, of which no less than the abolition, or at least the essential eight millions were borrowed by Great abrogation, of the Navigation Laws. Britain.

The third great change made during What have been the results ? Has the last quarter of a century has been crime decreased, and industry imin the government of Ireland. Here, proved, and civilisation advanced, if any where, the liberal system has under the liberal system? Has atreceived its full development, and tachment to the British government has had the fairest opportunity for become universal, and hatred of the (lisplaying its unmixed blessings. stranger worn out, in consequence of The Catholic disabilities, which we the leniency with which they have had been told for thirty years were been treated, and the unparalleled the main cause of its distressed con- generosity with which their wants dition, were repealed in 1829. A have been snpplied? The facts are large measure of parliamentary re- notoriously and painfully the reverse. form-larger than the most vehement Hatred of the Saxon was never so Irish patriots ventured to dream of — general or so vehement; idleness and was conceded in 1832. Corporate recklessness were

so widereform succeeded in 1834 ; the Pro- spread ; destitution was never so unitestant corporations were dispossessed versal; life and property was never of power; the entire management of so insecure,-as after this long system all the boroughs of the kingdom was put of concession, and these unparalleled into the hands of the Romish multi- acts of private and public generosity. tude; and a large portion of the county The Irish Repealers declare, that magistracy were, by the appointment though Ireland, like England, has of successive liberal Lords Chancellor, been blessed with an uncom mmonly drawn from the better part of those of fine harvest, there are four millions the same religious persuasion. The of persons in that country in a state Protestant clergy were deprived of a of hopeless misery ; and supposing, fourth of their incomes to appease the as is probably the case, that this Romish Cerberus; and, to avoid the statement is exaggerated, the authenvexation of collecting tithes from tic reports to Parliament on the state persons of a different religious belief, of the poor prove that there are above they were laid directly as a burden on two millions of paupers, or a full the land; Maynooth was supported by fourth of the population, in a state annual grants from government; the verging on starvation. Anew so-called system of national education was modi- Coercion Bill has been brought into fied so as to please the Roman Catho- Parliament in consequence of the great lic clergy. Monster meetings, where increase of crimes of violence, and, sedition was always, treason often, above all, of cold-blooded murders; spoken, headed by O'Connell, were and on the necessity that existed for allowed to go on, without the slightest its introduction the present Secretary



of State must speak for himself. Sir entirely new basis by the act of George Grey said, on November 30, 1832. We do not propose at present 1847, on moving the first reading of to resume any part of that great the Coercion Bill, that during the six debate, in which at the time this Mamonths ending October 1846, the gazine took so prominent a part. We heinous crimes of violence over Ire- have seen no cause to change any of land stood as follows:

the opinions then expressed, and only “ Homicide,


pray God that the predictions then Attempts upon life by firing at

made may not be too faithfully verithe person,

55 fied. As little shall we inquire wheRobberies of arms,

207 ther the changes which have since Firing into dwelling-houses, 51 ensued, and under which the nation is For the six months ending October 1847, now so grievously labouring, are or the number increased to

are not to be ascribed to the constiHomicides,

96 tution of government as then framed, Attempts upon life by firing at and the urban ascendency which the the person,


bestowing of two-thirds of the seats in Robberies of arms,


the House of Commons upon towns Firing into dwelling-houses, 116

necessarily occasioned; we are content It would thus be seen that there was a to accept the constitution, as newfearful increase in the amount of these modelled by the Reform Bill, as th:c four classes of crime. The whole of constitution of ourselves and our Ireland was implicated in the shame and children, and to support it as such. disgrace consequent upon this large increase of crime. Looking at the police of the country is substantially vested

We know that by it the government returns for the month of October, (for in the majority of eight hundred tho!lfrom that period it was that those crimes commenced to increase at such a fearful

sand clectors. We aim only at esrate,) he found the following results for plaining facts and dispelling illusions the whole of Ireland :

to these electors. Suffice it to say,

therefore, that, whether the Reform Bill Homicides,


has worked for good or for evil as reFiring at the person,

32 Firing into dwelling-houses, 26

gards the industrious classes; wheRobberies of arms,


ther it bas substituted or not substi

tuted moneyed for landed ascendency; Making a total of cases, 195 whether or not the first devil has Looking at the districts in which tliese

been expelled, but straightway he has crimes were committed, he found that returned with seven other devils worse the total number of all those crimes com

than himself, and the last state of initted in three of the counties of Ireland, the man is worse than the first -- in i. e., Clare, Limerick, and Tipperary, was any of these cases the liberal party to the whole of Ireland as 139 to 175, or have got nothing to say, and have no that 71 per cent of the whole amount of title to complain of the results which crime was committed in those three coun- bave followed. They got every thing ties, which did not include more than 13

their own way; they remodelled tlie per cent of all Ireland.”

constitution according to the devices Such has been the result of liberal of their own hearts; and if they are government during twenty years in now suffering, they are reaping tlie Ireland. And it is particularly worthy fruits of the seed which they themof notice, that the three counties in selves have sown. which this unenviable pre-eminence But of all the innovations of the of atrocious crime exists, viz., Clare, liberal party, that of which the conseLimerick, and Tipperary, are pre- quences have been most disastrous cisely those in which the Romish within the sphere of their immediate faith is most inveterate, and the influence, and which have now been authority of the priesthood most demonstrated in the most decisive unbounded.

way by the results of experience, are The next great change introduced the changes they have made on our by the liberal party, was by the car- West India colonies. They exhibit a rying through of the Reform Bill, and series of alterations so perilous, so settling the constitution upon an irrational, so disastrous, that we do not hesitate to say they are unpa- almost without being noticed in the ralleled in the anuals, extensive as European kingdoms; it was thus it they are, of human folly and perver- almost disappeared, insensibly and sity. Only think what they were ! without a convulsion, in Spanish

We first, in 1807, abolished the South America. slave trade in our dominions. So far Instead of this wise, judicious, ani there can be no doubt that the step really humane course, what have we taken was both just and expedient- done? Why, we first, by the act of just, because the iniquitous traffic in 1834, abolished slavery altogether in human flesh should, at all hazards, be the British dominions, upon giving a stopped in a Christian state; expe- compensation to the proprietors, cient, because we already possessed, which, large as it was, was not, on an in the colonies themselves, a large average, the fourth part of the value negro population, perfectly capable, of the slave population set free, at the if well treated, of keeping up and expiration of a prospective apprenincreasing their own numbers, and ticeship of seven years ; and at the performing all the field operations end of four years, deeming that first requisite for the cultivation of pro- time too long, we set them free altoduce, which at that period employed gether! We thought, in our wisdom, two hundred and fifty thousand tons that a nation required no longer time of British shipping for its transport, to serve the apprenticeship to freedom and maintained a population that than a freeman did to become expert consumed £3,500,000 worth of British in a trade. We proposed to do in manufactures. But as the British

a few years what nature could only colonies were thus deprived of the aid accomplish in centuries. The conseof imported forced labour, which the quences, so often and so fatally prerival sugar colonies of Cuba and the dicted, immediately ensued. The Brazils enjoyed, of course it was in- emancipated black population either dispensable that the labour of the refused to work, or did so at such black cultivators in the British islands liigh wages, and in so desultory a should be perpetuated, and the pro- manner, that the supply of sugar prietors maintained in the means of rapidly declined in the British islands. getting that work from them which It, in consequence, rose considerably in they were prohibited from acquiring price in the mother country; and upon from foreign labourers. The way to that, partly under the influence of the do this, and withalto give the greatest free trade mania, partly from a desire possible security and means of im

to appease the clamorous multitude provement to the black population of in the British towns, who had begun which they were susceptible, was evi- to feel, in the enhanced price of that dent, andwas clearly and forcibly point- article, the inevitable consequences of ed out at the time. It was to main- their own actions, we did a thing so tain slavery in the meantime, doing unjust, so monstrous, so cruel, so every thing possible to mitigate its inconsistent with all our former proseverity, till the negro population had fessions, that we believe the amals of come so much under the influence of the world may be searched in vain for artificial wants as to be ready, for their its parallel. It was this :enjoyment, to submić to regular and Ve first reduced to a half of its continuous toil ; to regulate their days former amount the protective duty of forced labour, and give them some on foreign slave grown sugar, and days in the week to work for them- then, by the act of 1846, in pursuance selves, of which they might reap the of Sir R. Peel's principles, and with fruits; and to allow every negro, who his approbation, passed an act for could thus amass a sum equal to his the progressive reduction, during price, to purchase his freedom from three years, of the duties on foreign his paster. By this simple system, sugar, until, in 1849, those on foreign no one could become free without and colonial were to become equal having proved himself fit to be a frec- to each other! That is, having man, and therefore the whole evils of first deprived our own colovies of premature emancipation were avoided. their slave labour for less than a It was thus that slavery wore out fourth of its value, we proceeded to admit foreign sugar RAISED BY SLAVES the rapid decline in the produce of the to the supply of the British markets, West Indian islands, even before this on terms which in two years will be last coup-de-grace was given them by those of perfect equality. We have the application of free trade prinseen what came of the attempt in the ciples to their produce, it is painfully Mauritius, to compete with slave-la- evident that a result precisely similar bour by means of the labour of freemen. is about to take place in the British Even though the attempt was made colonies.† And it is little consolation under the most favourable auspices, to find that this injustice has recoiled with the colossal capital of Reid, upon the heads of the nation which Irving, and Company, and an ample perpetrated it, and that the decline in supply of hill coolies to carry it the consumption of British manufacon, the immense wealth of that tures by the West India islands is house was swallowed up in the becoming proportioned to the ruin we hopeless attempt, and it became have inflicted on them. bankrupt in consequence. Experience But most of all has this concahad long ago proved in St Domingo tenation of fanaticism, infatuation, that the black population, when not and injustice proved pernicious to the compelled, will not raise sugar; for negro race, for whose benefit the that noble island, which, anterior to changes were all undertaken. Happy the emancipation of its slaves by the would it have been for them if the Constituent Assembly of France, British slave trade had never been raised and exported 672,000,000 abolished ; that they had crossed the pounds of sugar, now does not export Atlantic chiefly in Liverpool or Glasa single pound; and instead of con- gow slave-ships, and been brought to suming as then £9,890,000 worth of the British West India islands ! For French manufactures, does not import then the slave trade was subject to a single article. * To provide against our direction, and regulations might this evidently approaching crisis in have been adopted to place it on the the supply of sugar for the British best possible footing for its unhappy market, we have thrown open our victims. But now we have thrown it harbours to slave-groun sugar from entirely into the hands of the Spaevery quarter of the globe; and from niards and Portuguese, over whom we

* Dumas, viii. 112 ; Mackenzie's St Domingo, i. 312.

+“Of the progressive decline in the powers of production of the West India poś. sessions generally, some idea may be formed from what has been observed in Jamaica ; for though that island labours under some peculiar disadvantages, that fact merely increases the force of the argument which is derived from its past experience :A verage of the five years ending 1807—last of the slave trade,

£3,852,624 Average of the five years ending 1815--date of the Registry Act,

3,588,903 Average of the five years ending 1823-date of Canning's Resolution, 3,192,637 Average of the five years ending 1833— last five of slavery,

2,791,478 Average of the five years ending 1813—first five of freedom,

1,213,284 “ The House of Assembly, from whose memorial to the government (June 1847) we borrow these facts, makes the following remarks on this instructive table :

** Up to 1807 the exports of Jamaica progressively rose as cultivation was extended. From that date they have been gradually sinking ; but we more especially entreat attention to the evidence here adduced of the effects of emancipation, which, in ten years, reduced the annual value of the three principal staples from £2,791,478 to £1,213,284, being in the proportion of seven to sixteen, or equal, at five per cent., to an investment of about thirty-two millions of property annihilated. We believe the history of the world would be in vain searched for any parallel case of oppression perpetrated by a civilised government upon any section of its own subjects.'" I EXPORTS TO British West India COLONIES :1827, £3,583,222


£3,574,970 1828, 3,289,704 1841,

2,504,004 1829, 3,612,085 1842,

2,591,425 - Porter's Parl. Tables, xii. 114.

« 前へ次へ »