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vantage of considering the subject, it appears that the contribution of this remaining sum of 375 millions would be required in the following proportions ; viz.
Millions. 15 per Ct. From landed property in cultivation 1200 180,000,000 Tithes belonging to the laity, exclusive of tithes in possession of the clergy
80 12,000,000 Mines and minerals
75 11,250,000 Canals, tolls, and timber
50 7,500,000 Fisheries
10 1,500,000 Dwelling-houses
[ 263,250,000] Agricultural live and dead stock
230 34,500,000 Steam-engines and other machinery
60 9,000,000 Manufactured goods, and goods in process of manufacture
140 21,000,000 Foreign merchandise deposited in ware
houses, either paid for, or virtually paid for, by debts owing to this country by foreigners
40 6,000,000 British shipping
4,050,000 Domestic property, viz.. Furniture, jewellery, plate and other effects
248 37,200,000 [111,750,000]
This attempt,” as Dr. Colquhoun expresses it, “to estimate the private property in Great Britain and Ireland," has respect to the year 1812, and is founded upon low rates of estimate. Although some allowance must be made for the alteration in money prices, which would be incident to the projected measure, it is presumed, notwithstanding, that the sum to be assessed would exceed two thousand five hundred-millions. A tendency to improvement, rather than decline, in rent, which is the chief basis of this estimate, at least until the full, final and complete liquidation of the debt, and the cessation of the burdens incident to the liquidation, might be anticipated. The proposed reduction of the public bur
1 Exclusive of waste lands, at present unproductive, estimated by Dr. Colquhoun at 132 millions, after excluding all such as are incapable of any improvement adequate to the expense.
? The rent of the cultivated lands of England and Wales is taken at something less than twenty shillings per acre, valued at twenty-five years' purchase. , dens, and the increase of demand upon the national industry, might be expected to enable the country to sustain the present rates of rent, and probably, in some instances, something more, with cheerfulness and advantage. A liberal return from the land to the proprietor is necessary to the general prosperity
The contribution to be required from private property is three hundred and seventy-five millions.
Or, at the rate of eighteen millions seven hundred and fifty thousand pounds per annum for interest, until the principal sum be paid. If, however, government stock should be received, or allowed to be cancelled, at the par of 100, in satisfaction of the principal sum to be assessed, the reduction of duties and taxes, in respect
of the assessment on three hundred and seventy-five millions, might decline to fifteen millions : the assessment would, in this case, be less effective, because one hundred pounds, three per cent. stock, would cancel a principal debt of one hundred pounds sterling ; but, if all government stock below the 5 per cent. stock should be fixed, for the purpose of the redemption, at a lower rate than the par of 100, the reduction of the duties and taxes, in respect of the assessment of three hundred and seventy-five millions, would approximate to the first-mentioned sum accordingly, and if one hundred pounds sterling only, and not stock, were allowed to cancel one hundred pounds of the assessment, the assessment and the correspondent reduction of duties and taxes would extend to the full sum of eighteen millions seven hundred and fifty thousand pounds, first-mentioned.
The lowest sum, or fifteen millions only, will be adopted for the purpose of these observations.
The proportion to be borne by the landed proprietor, in respect of lands in cultivation, is one hundred and eighty millions. Or, at the option of the proprietor, an annual payment of interest, at 5
per cent.,' amounting to nine millions.
The proportion of which, to be borne by each of the three divisions of the United Kingdom, is as follows: 2 viz. Millions.
thereon, S Scotland 150 22
1,125,000 Ireland . 300
the tax bo not redeemed at
· The interest to be advanced to 6 per cent. the expiration of ten years.
2 Dr. Colquhoun, page 56.
The landed proprietor, in respect of the cultivated lands, on the supposition of the non-payment of the principal sum assessed, would be required to pay the annual sum of nine millions ; the proportion for England and Wales being five millions six hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds; for Scotland, one million one hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds ; for Ireland, two millions two hundred and fifty thousand pounds.
One great end of political association is the complete cultivation of the soil; and a market for the produce, beneficial to the grower, is necessary to that end.
If the United Kingdom were divested of external relations ; if the intercourse and business of the nation were confined to the ordinary civil and social relations (abstracting the consideration of a public debt'), and were limited to its own shores; the price, at market, of agricultural produce, if constant, or only affected by ordinary causes, would be unimportant. The trade in agricultural produce, for the products of the useful and ornamental arts, would pro.ceed to as great extent at a high price as at a low price; the price would be purely conventional, between parties necessarily connected with, and dependent upon each other, and if a permanent advance upon a price previously and duly adjusted, between the produce of the
country and the products of the town, were to be made by the cultivator, the manufacturer would keep the balance in adjustment, by advancing the price of his products, and so vice versá : the alteration, although inconvenient, would be, without consequences, permanently prejudicial.
But the United Kingdom is not so isolated, and could not have maintained the pre-eminence in arts, and the ascendency in arms, without the stimulus and encouragement of external commercial relations. The extent and duration of the national power depend upon the power of competing with foreign nations in external markets : a price, comparatively high, even within the British Isles, creates uneasiness and dissatisfaction, and has the effect of a bounty on illicit traffic; in a British colony, the same effect follows, accompanied by a higher degree of uneasiness and dissatisfaction ; and in an open market, is followed by the entire loss of such market.
Agriculture, the principal source of national power, receives its chief impulse from the population of towns and cities, the popu
See Appendix (A.)
lation of which, in the United Kingdom, is constituted to very considerable extent, by persons employed in artificery and manufactures for the transmarine trade, and in the consequent business of export and import: the transmarine consumer of British manufactures and produce creates a market, within the kingdom, by means of the persons whom he calls into employment therein, as well as an external market for the whole combination of materials, skill and labor, of-which he requires the supply.
The market, therefore, which is required for the encouragement of the agriculture of the United Kingdom, must be supplied at prices which will command a preference, in competition with the prices required by other countries for similar productions; and, unless it be supposed that prices may be advanced, without narrowing the transmarine market, it is not possible to devise any duty or tax which will not bear prejudicially upon the landed proprietor, nor to repeal any duty or tax without advantage to the landed proprietor.
The operation of public imposts may, in some degree, be illustrated thus
On the supposition that the landlord and tenant were identified in one person, that the community, as such, were not charged withi any expense or burden ; that the ordinary price of a bushel of wheat were three shillings and ninepence, and that the price of other agricultural products and of the products of the town were adjusted accordingly; in this case, ten bushels of wheat would return to the grower one pound seventeen shillings and sixpence.
If, in addition to the cultivator and the artificer and manufacturer, a third party, namely, the order of clergy, be created, to whom one bushel of the ten, and one-tenth of other agricultural produce be delivered without payment, the remaining nine bushels must be sold at four shillings and twopence per bushel (and other agricultural produce proportionally), in order to produce to the grower, the same sum of one pound seventeen shillings and sixpence: but that sum, if obtained, would not equally compensate the grower, because the rate of wages and the price of the products of the town and of all articles of supply and consumption, to be in future purchased by him, would advance in price, in consequence of the advance in the price of agricultural produce. The products of the town must advance, or the artificer and manufacturer must suffer. In a state not absolutely depressed by duties and taxes, the re-action from the town upon the country would be experienced in the advance of price in the products of the town;'
Qualified, in some measure, should the manufacturing class be too numerous, and by competition keep down the price of labor, or should the grower would discover, in the event, that the rate of four shillings and twopence for the nine bushels of wheat would not replace him in the situation of effective power in which he stood before the abduction of the tenth bushel : the sum of one pound seventeen shillings and sixpence would not command labor, either in working the farm, or when embodied in the products of the town, to the extent that the same sum commanded labor when he delivered wheat at three shillings and ninepence for the bushel. He would, therefore, endeavour still further to advance the money price; if that object were effected, a further re-action would be experienced, a second retort from the town upon the country ; which would again be followed by a train of alternate cause and effect, until the country and town should have divided the burden between them through the medium of a money price. The advance of money price is the process by which the burden is equalised on the productive classes. In the end, corn and goods produce more money, but then, money procures less corn and goods. The circulating medium receives an increase in quantity, either in metallic or paper currency, but the pound sterling recedes in effective value. In the progress of society, the clergy may be called upon to return some part in direct imposts; and, under some circumstances, may share in the effect of the advance of money prices ; but the charge of the maintenance of the clerical order must, in effect, be borne by the productive classes. The alteration of money price cannot prevent this effect.
If a fourth party be established, by the institution of a political government, a contribution for the maintenance of the government is required from the cultivator and the manufacturer in common ; each, in consequence, advances the money price of the produce or goods which he vends, each seeks an indemnity in the increased money price; an indemnity which neither can find, and the effort terminates as in the instance of the clerical order; the burden is equalised or nearly equalised on the productive classes. In the end, corn and goods produce still more money, but money, again, procures less corn and goods. The circulating medium again receives an increase in quantity, but the pound sterling, also, again recedes in effective value. Persons on the government establishment may, eventually, return some part in direct imposts, and if not kept in progressive advance of pay or allowance, will share, in some proportion, in the advance of money prices : but the charge
machines be invented or improved for the reduction of manual labor; but the course of argument may be allowed for the purpose of this illustration, without enlarging on these particulars in this place.
· See Appendix (B.)