WHO, BESIDES THE PAWNBROKERS, ARE BENEFITED BY FREE TRADE ?
MORNING Jourtmod.—We reply, the Fundholders. With them, Mr. Hus-
kisson, the Liverpool commission agents, and a few leading merchants of London, originated the system which has embarrassed five-sixths of the po- pulation of the country, in order that the incomes of the remaining sixth part might be increased. With them began the clamour for low prices, for the prices before the war, for the prices of the Continent of Europe. They represented that it was necessary for the prosperity, and the very existence of the trade of this country, that its scale of wages, profits, and prices, should be approximated as nearly as possible, to the wages, profits, and prices of France, Germany, and Prussia. The parties who commenced this outcry had their own narrow and selfish objects in view. Their incomes were fixed, so far as the funds were concerned, so far as their money lent upon mortgage either at home or abroad, so far as their annuities depending upon settle- ments, their rents upon long leases, their pensions and their pickings from the taxes were concerned. They, therefore, calculated that, if they could buy with twenty shillings what cost them thirty before, they would be all this difference the gainers. They consequently clamoured, wrote books, in- vented calumnies, hired the economists to advocate their cause, petitioned Parliament, dunned poor Lord Liverpool by night and by day, and succeeded in persuading the Legislature and Mr. Peel to convert our paper into gold, to
break down the barriers that protected our manufactures against foreign competition, to open our ports to all the flags of the world, to encourage the corn growers of Poland, and discourage the corn growers of England. They succeeded beyond their most sanguine expectations. The principles which they recognised, and which they induced Parliament to recognise, were the most fallacious that ever were considered sound by an assembly of rational men. They were false and pernicious, and the manner in which they were supported was little less than fraudulent. But they succeeded in palming them upon the country. They were adopted amid the boisterous cheers of the House of Commons. They were carried into effect amidst the noisy mirth of our grave senators, and the loud cries of distress from a de- sponding and starving people. Panic came, the ruin of thousands followed, heart-rending distress ensued, the state of pauperism was at the door, barter stared us in the face—yet these absurd and accursed measures, founded on erroneous principles, bottomed on calculations glaringly false, and evidently intended to deceive were perversely and pertinaciously carried, as far as was practicable into effect. The fundholders, therefore, the pensioners, the servants of the Crown, the clerks in office, Mr. Canning, Mr. Huskisson, Mr. Robinson, the exciseman, the revenue officer, the soldier, the sailor, the pawnbroker, the gaoler, the turnkey, and the executioner, all were benefited by the change—the rest of the community were injured! As a nation we have been rapidly on the decline ever since the introduction of these liberal improvements.