25 NOVEMBER 1843, Page 1

The universal ferment which indicates the maturing of the Anti-

Corn-law agitation even to the stage of completion, may be traced in the fresh tumult among the journals. It was provoked by the declaration of the Times, on Saturday last, in favour of immediate concession to the demand for a radical change of the Corn-laws. Of course, the consistency" of the Leading Journal was Distilled. It has, however, little difficulty in making out a sufficient case of "consistency," since it has never let a year-and-day pass without doing suit and service as an adherent of Corn-law reformation. Not that the Times is or ever has been a " Total-repealer ": it is for "a moderate fixed duty," and seems to think that the conces- sion of so much might dissolve the League, by satisfying the re- spectability and intelligence of that body. That any considerable" number of the Leaguers absolutely desire a "fixed duty," and wily join in the cry for." repeal" as an extreme demand to obtain less, or because they despair of obtaining less, is an assumption. Besides, the League has succeeded in creating such distrust of the Corn-laws, that if a "fixed duty" were enacted, and were not at once to be followed by the expected gain, the whole question would be re- opened in six months ; and the remnant of the Corn-laws would be the object of as much odium as the whole ever has been, just as the new Corn-law is as much abused as ever the far worse old Corn-law. In fact, all parties are in a state that enables them to unsettle every thing, without being any one of them powerful enough to fix, by an act of its own will, upon a partial measure, and say that that shall stand. The most powerful of parties, in itself, is that which consists in the single person of Sir ROBERT PEEL; but it cannot maintain its stand upon a compromise. No side will permit it. Sir ROBERT has not sufficient power to main- tain against the three opposing parties—the old Protectionists, the Moderate-duty men, and the Total-repealers—the principle of his own measure, a compressed sliding scale. Let the struggle be transferred to the post of the Moderate-duty corps, and they could as little fight alone against the other three parties. The old Pro- tectionists talk as if they were anxious to fling Sir ROBERT PEEL overboard, as the cause of all the mischief and of their decay, after they bore him into office. Their counsellors gravely advise them to consider of these things : having gravely considered, what will they do? Fraternize with the Whigs to turn out PEEL? or wage war of extermination with Peelites, Whigs, and Total-repealers ; making a Premier of the Duke of BUCKINGHAM or Sir JOHN TYRELL P—borrowing the worthy Baronet's hint, that when tra- vellers in the East do not want to go too fast, lest there should be stragglers, "they put a jack-ass in front !" Can the Protectionists find a Premier—or a Cabinet—or a majority in Parliament— or a constituency to make such a majority ? The questions answer themselves. There is no settlement of the question that would be undisturbed but such as brings it at once to the bottom—abolition anti Corn-laws of a protective or restrictive kind. That indeed goes to destroy and expunge the thing in contest. There might be some retrospective talk about the policy of such a sweep ; but the settlement could not be disturbed—Corn-taws, abolished, could never be refistablished. Each party is against all the rest, and therefore powerless: nothing set up by either could long stand ; but the Total-repealers have the advantage that they insist on a settle- ment to be permanent, not in a prolonged exercise of their will, but in its own fundamental character.