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the author cannot suppose that it would have been hidden in holes and locked up in coffers, if government had not providentially taken it under its care and thrown it into circulation. He cannot imagine that the six or seven millions, which were annually squeezed out of the pockets of the agriculturists by the abominable income-tax, would have been buried in their fields; and even if it had, they would in this period of distress have known where to look for relief. No; it would not have remained idle and inert: it would have been productively employed; and all those heavy debts and mortgages, which they were compelled to incur by such abstractions from their annual returns, and which now involve them in ruin, would have been avoided, both principal and interest.

One more remark on this momentous subject we are desirous of pressing on the attention of Mr. Lowe; viz, that an increase of taxation has always been followed by a corresponding increase of pauperism. For the truth of this assertion we can appeal to documents which he will not dispute, because we collect them principally from those with which he has himself furnished us in different parts of his work. Average Amount of Poor-rate in the

Amount of the National Debt at the Peace of three Years ending with 1750 - 700,000 Aix la Chapelle in 1748, £78,000,000 * 1760 - 965,000 Paris in 1763,

134,000,000 1770 - 1,306,000 1780 - 1,774,000 Versailles in 1783,

238,000,000 1790 2,567,000 1800 - 3,861,000 Amiens in 1802,

452,000,000 *

1810

* In referring to Dr. Hamilton's valuable work on the National Debt, p. 65., and table iii. p. 256., (second edition,) we find some discrepancies between his statements and those of Mr. Lowe, who gives round numbers. For instance, Dr. H. makes the funded debt, at the peace of Aix la Chapelle, 78,298,3131., and, at the peace of Amiens, the funded debt, including the loan of that year,

£567,008,978 Of which redeemed, 67,225,915

Balance, - 499,783,063, instead of 452,000,0001. No reduction of the national debt took place during the short peace which followed the treaty of Amiens ; and the funded debt on the 1st of February, 1813, amounted to

£812,013,135 Of which redeemed, or converted into life-annuities, 212,422,938

Balance,

599,590,197 The national debt at the Revolution, 1689, was 1,054,925

These Average Amount of

Poor-rate in the three Years ending

Amount of the National Debt at the Peace of with 1810 - 5,407,000 1812 - 6,680,000 / Paris in 1814, nearly 700,000,000 to which adding the debt of Ireland, somewhat more than

2

100,000,000 we come to the present total debt, in round numbers,

800,000,000

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1814 - 6,297,331

Thus far we have taken the returns of the poor's rate from the present volume, pp. 185–187., and the amount of the national debt at corresponding periods from p. 293. We shall now proceed to confirm our opinion that it is the pressure occasioned by taxation, rather than a high price of corn, which has caused the extension of pauperism; by shewing from returns to the House of Commons of the sums expended in maintaining the poor since the peace of Paris in 1814, accompanied by the average depreciation per cent. of the currency in each

year, that those sums have regularly increased as the price of corn has diminished, -not, certainly, in consequence of that diminution, but in spite of it; for it is notorious that the price of corn has been declining regularly, and with very little fluctuation, ever since the peace. Returns to the House of Commons of sums

Average Depreci.

ation per Cent, of expended on the maintenance of the poor from the currency. Mar. 25. 1814, to Mar. 25. 1815, £5,072,028 25 2 6

1816, 5,673,490 16 14 3
1817, 6,859,992 16 14 3
1818, 7,822,735 2 13 2
1819, 7,468,384 2 13 2
1820, 7,329,594 4 9 0
1821, 6,958,445 2 12 0
1822, return not received ; cur-

rency at par.
These returns vary somewhat from those which Mr. Lowe
has collected in his Appendix, p. 59. : but not very mate-
rially, except in the year 1815, where he has made the amount

These discrepancies, however, are not material : our object is to shew that the progression of the debt has been accompanied by a corresponding progression of poor-rates, making every fair allowance for the increase of population.

The number of those who receive parish-relief in England and Wales, without reckoning children, amounts to nearly a million : more than one-twelfth part of our entire population !

5,418,8461.

5,418,846. He has added to each year the corresponding price of the bushel of wheat: but we are too well acquainted with the manner in which averages of the price of corn are taken to place the least reliance on them. In the years 1820 and 1821, prodigious quantities of corn were so much damaged by wet and mildew, that no purchasers could be found for them at any price; they were consequently given by farmers to their live-stock, sometimes in the straw, sometimes out of it; and therefore the averages must necessarily have been struck from the price of good samples alone. It will be observed, perhaps, that the last two years present a diminution instead of an increase in the amount of poor's rate : but it is merely nominal. Mr. Peel's Bill for the resumption of cash-payments passed in 1819, and its effect in restoring the value of the currency to its old standard was to reduce the apparent, while it added to the actual, pressure of this and all other imposts. The total of public burdens, which on the 5th of January, 1793, amounted to 17,656,4181., progressively rose to 78,431,4891. in 1815, being more than quadruple the former sum; and although an insignificant remission has taken place since the peace, yet the total amount on the 5th of January, 1822, was 60,671,0251., which acquired additional weight by the act of 1819. It was under a depreciated currency, which existed for twenty years, that the greater part of the national debt was incurred; and it is under a restored currency that the taxes to discharge the interest of it are now paid. By far the greater part of the burden of maintaining the clergy and the poor falls on the agriculturist; and it is his growing inability to employ and remunerate laborers which continues to throw a greater number of them on the parish. In the year 1822 he paid his poor-rates, as he is paying them now, with an undepreciated currency, the average price of wheat certainly not exceeding 40 shillings per quarter; and in the year 1814 he paid them with a currency depreciated more than 25 per cent., and when the average price of wheat, according to Mr. Lowe, (p. 59. Appendix,) was 98 shillings per quarter. We repeat the position, therefore, that it is the pressure caused by taxation, rather than any high price of corn, which has occasioned the extension of pauperism.

It must not be inferred that we consider a high price of corn to be a public good. There is a natural, direct

, and necessary connection between the band that produces and the mouth that consumes. Happily for the rest of the community, all the corn-laws in the world would be unable permanently to uphold a much higher price of corn in this country than in the countries on the Continent: but, if they could uphold it, this would be done to the manifest injustice of every other class in society; to the destruction of the manufacturing and commercial interests in the first place; and then, by recoil, to the destruction of the agriculturists themselves. The only way of relieving the farmer is to diminish his outgoings, and, which is of equal importance, the outgoings of his customers; who are not fewer than every man, woman, and child in the empire. Inasmuch as taxation, direct or indirect, affects the farmer, it raises the cost of production, and he requires to be compensated by a corresponding rise of price on hís produce : inasmuch as it affects his customers, it disables them from paying that compensating price, and it therefore diminishes consumption by diminishing the means of consumers.

would may be a correct statement, and a correct result: but we do not exactly see why the author has included tythe

Mr. Lowe has made the following comparative statement of our public burdens, (i. e. taxes, poor-rate, and tythe,) and our taxable income:

The same reduced to Our taxable Income Annual Burdens in a uniform Stand- computed by a Years.

the Money of the ard; viz. Money uniform Standard; particular Year. of the same Value viz, Money of the as in 1792,

Value of 1792. 1792, £22,000,000 £22,000,000 £125,000,000 1806,

60,000,000 46,000,000 170,000,000 1814,

80,000,000 50,000,000 188,000,000 • The reduction to a uniform standard is indispensable to a correct conception of the amount of our burdens and revenue at different periods. By that reduction, the aggregate of our taxation, poor-rate, and tithe, amounting in 1806 to the very large sum of 60,000,0001. is brought, adopting the proportion of 130 to 100, to 46,000,0001. of the money of 1792; and the still larger sum of 80,000,0001. raised for the same purposes in 1814, becomes lessened in the proportion of 160 to 100, to 50,000,0001. of 1792.

• It remains that we bring our reasoning to a point, by ascertain. ing the proportion borne at different periods by our burdens to our means. This is done by a calculation founded on the preceding tables, but modified by some considerations which shall be explained in our chapter on National Revenue and Capital. The result is that our burdens bore to our resources,

Great Britain distinct from Ireland. • In 1792, a proportion of nearly

18 to 100
1806,
of

27 to 100
1813, or 1814, of

27 to 100
Great Britain and Ireland.
1822, a proportion of

28

to 100 This

among

among the public burdens. Properly, the public burdens of the country signify all that is raised from the people for the use of the state : but tythe is paid to the church, not to the state ; nor is it raised from the people generally, being levied on particular species of property. Fundholders, mortgagees, bankers, merchants, manufacturers, professional men - none of these bear any part of the impost. Moreover, as a large portion of tythe is gathered in kind, an estimate of its aggregate amount must be of questionable accuracy. In adopting the proportion of 130 to 100, in order to reduce the nominal amount of taxation in 1806 to the standard of currency

in 1792; and the proportion of 160 to 100 in order to reduce the taxation of 1814 to the same standard, Mr. L. must have taken, we think, not the average depreciation but the depreciation at its lowest point. In 1806, the average value per cent. of the currency was 971. 6s. 10d., and the depreciation 21. 135. 2d. In 1814, the average market-price of gold per oz. was 5l. 1s. 8d., making a difference per cent. between that and the Mint price of 301. 6s. 8d. The nominal amount of taxes in that year was 83,726,0001., which, reduced to the currency of 1792 or to the present currency, was 58,333,000l. ; and the total expenditure of the United Kingdom in that memorable year, including the expences of the debt and the sinking fund, amounted to the unparalleled and frightful sum of 137,348,0001.!

The fluctuations in the value of a non-convertible currency, issuable by the Bank ad libitum, were so great and rapid, that it is scarcely possible to estimate the rise of prices during the war, either in specific articles or specific years: but, from various calculations, Mr. Lowe infers that, from 1792 to 1806, (fourteen years,) a general rise of prices took place to the amount of 30 per cent. : from 1806 to 1814, (eight years,) a farther rise of 30 per cent. ; and from 1814 to 1822, (eight years,) that a fall has taken place of nearly 40 per cent. This rise of prices during its progression was a very delusive indication of prosperity; since the augmented price of commodities only required a larger sum of money because it was of less value.

It is evidently impracticable for us to present our readers with any thing like an abstract, or summary, of a work which is full of arithmetical calculations and financial documents, pregnant with facts, and barren of speculations. The writer presents no specious declamations to delude, no general reasonings à priori to prejudice, but confines himself to facts and to deductions drawn from them. It has very rarely happened that we have not yielded to his inference; and sometimes, when at first we have felt dissent, an explanatory passage has

brought

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