23 DECEMBER 1843, Page 7



The morning papers report "a great Anti-League movement in Es- sex "; the overt sign of which is a meeting of the Essex Agricultural Pro- tection Society, at Chelmsford, yesterday. Mr. Robert Baker, of Writtle, was called to the chair. Several gentlemen of great local influence were present, and about six hundred farmers. Among letters of concur- rence, from Lord Rayleigh, Sir John Tyrell, Sir G. H. Smyth, and other leading Protectionists, was one from Sir George Chetwynde, ask- ing for the rules of the Society, in order to form one in Warwickshire. It was ostentatiously put forward by the speakers, and repeated as if some doubt attached to the matter, that the Society originated among tenant-farmers ; and there was as ostentatious a hanging-back on the part of the landlords. The Chairman and other gentlemen urged seve- ral of the usual arguments in favour of agricultural protection ; and more than one person asserted it as an established fact that the object of the Anti-Corn-law L-ague was to reduce the price of corn and also wages. Among the positions assumed by Mr. Baker was the fact that " there were few in this country who had not at least a sufficiency of bread." There were some cries of " No, no ! " and " Yes, yes !" on which he added-" In Essex, he knew that that was the case ; and, except when thrown out of employment, it was rare that a labouring man had not a sufficiency of bread.' A long and argumentative resolution was moved and carried, which declared the object of the Society to be, not only to oppose the League, but all measures tending to deprive the agricultur- ists of due protection. Another resolution proposed a subscription to expose the gross falsehoods of the League through the medium of the press. Mr. C. F. Towers, of Weald Hall, came forward as the first landlord to subscribe, and contributed 50/.