2 JANUARY 1841, Page 30


Will you state to the Committee the amount of Customs for the past year; and, if you can, distinguish the several amounts which are consi- 41ered aaprotective cm our manufactures, or on our Colonial produce, from those which are levied for fiscal purposes P—The net amount of the'revenue for the year ending 5th January 1840, or for the fiscal year 1839, was 22,962,610/. In the whole schedule of duties (of the Customs Act, 3 and 4 W. IV. C. 56) there are 1,150 articles enumerated, each having a fixed specific duty charged cat them. The unenumerated articles come in under a fixed ad valorem duty : the one ad valorem duty is 5 per cent. which is levied on certain articles named, as hair, unma- nufactured painters' colours, medals, ore, raw fruit, &c. &c. not other- wise enumerated ; this duty is limited to a few articles : the other ad valorem duty of 20 per cent, is on all articles not in any way named in the tariff. There are ad valorem duties on named articles, as on oil, not otherwise enumerated, or charged a duty of 60 per cent.

Can you state the several articles upon which you consider a duty is levied as a protection to British manufactures?—The amount of the revenues received for the year I have named, on twenty enumerated heads of articles of British manufacture, is 402,5751.; on unenumerated articles there is, beyond this, 40,380!.; total on manufactures, 443,355/.

Does that amount of 443,355/. constitute, as far as you know, the whole amonnt of protection given to the manufactures of this country ?— With the exception of the amount received on cotton manufactures and woollen manufactures, the duties of which are not considered protec- tive, inasmuch as neither the manufacturers of the one or the other re- quire any protection ; on the contrary, they have stated to the Board of Trade that they want no protection whatever. It is a revenue-duty of 10 per cent, on cotton manufactures, and of 15 per cent. on woollen manufactures.

Mr. Villiers. Can you state that in some cases a duty cannot be pro- tective, from the relative cost of the articles as they are produced at home and abroad ?—It is a curious fact with regard to some manufac- tures that are protected, the linen and silk manufactures for example, that those two branches of industry have been more frequently in a greater state of distress and misery than any others. But are there not some facts connected with this trade, from which we might infer that no duty imposed upon the foreign article could offer any protection to the same kind of article produced at home, such as our producing and exporting largely of the article at the time that there is a duty upon it when imported P—The fact of the duty being 1:0 per cent., and the revenue derived on cotton manufactures being only 6,584/., are evidence, with perhaps a few exceptions in regard to Germany, that those goods are produced or sold here as cheap as in other countries,. and that they require no protection : but as fax as I have been able to as- certain, in regard to cotton and woollen manufactures, the manufacturers themselves, immediately after the peace, declared that unless they changed their system they could not succeed; that is, they must manu- facture in large quantities ; that instead of going upon the old system of large profits, they must go upon the principle of small profits and great sales.

In consequence of going upon that better system, is the result that they produce those articles cheaper than the manufacturers abroad ?- They have produced them hitherto cheaper than the chief manufac- turers abroad ; but they have found latterly in the Mediterranean, that the woollen cloths of the South of France are produced cheaper than ours; coarse cloths• from the South of France meet us in the foreign market, and have driven our cloths out of the Italian markets and the markets of Egypt to some extent.

Do you suppose that those cloths would come into competition with our own if this duty were not imposed P—No ; a duty of 10 and 15 per- cent. is no protection: the expense of transport, if they produced them on the spot so much cheaper than ours, would be equal nearly to 10 and 15 per cent. Every duty, if paid, is protective that exceeds the cost of transporting the goods, produced at the same price, from the country where they are produced to the country where they are sold. Chairman. Can you state the amount of cotton manufacture which we exported last year?-17,694,803l. in value of woven articles, that is exclusive of cotton twist ; the cotton twist exported was 6,857,8261. in value; both together amounted to 24,552,129/.

Do you consider that when we export so large an amount of cotton manufactures, the very small sum of 6,584/. received on imports is a proof that the manufacture generally requires no protection P—Cer- taltily. Will you state the amount of exports of woollen cloths of the same kind as those for which we have received 25,113/. of duty on imports? —The declared value of the exports of woollen manufactures for last year was 6,278,0994 exclusive of woollen yarn, the value of which is stated at 401,188/. Have you any means of knowing how far the manufacturers of woollen cloths and yarns consider that they require protection?—Since I have been at the Board of Trade, we have had several woollen manu- facturers, amongst various other manufacturers, at the Board, and they have invariably to me disclaimed requiring any protection whatever.

Mr. Gore.] You say that the woollen and cotton manufacturers have stated that they require no protection, and that therefore you do not call those protecting duties ?—Yes. Mr. Villiers. And you express the same opinion with respect to woollens that you have done with regard to cottons, viz, that the duty cannot act as a protection when we export so large a quantity P—Cer- tainly. I am not prepared, however, to say that this duty will not very soon become a protection, inasmuch as the manufacturers in the South of France, and in some of the cloth manufactories in Verviers, Eupon, and other places in the neighbourhood of Aix-la-Chapelle, and in West- phalia, and also in Saxony, possibly in Moravia, may produce woollena at a cost so much less than oars, as may be equal not only to the ex- pense of transport, but also to the 15 per cent. on the import.

But your reason for considering it not a protection is, that people get what they want at the cheapest market, and if they could get it cheaper in another countr the would do so ?—They would.

y y Chairman. Would not the lower price of foreign goods have an effect in lessening the exports of our woollens, instead of their coming into this market?—What I would observe with regard to the expert of our woollens, particularly to the States of the Germanic Union, is this, the actual amount of our export to those countries has not diminished since the establishment of the Prussian tariff over the whole of those countries ; but I found in all parts of Germany, that Americans, and other purchasers for South America and Cuba, came to the fairs of Leipzic and Berlin, and also Vienna, to purchase woollens and cottons

at those markets, for the markets of South America, Cuba, and the United States, which we abed entirely to supply before.

Mr. Villiers. When you say that the export of our woollens has not diminished to Germany, do you speak of those States included in the Germanic League ?-Yes; there is no doubt that the consumption of our woven manufactures has decreased in those States : but very extra- ordinary facilities have been afforded under the Prussian system for the transport of goods : the consequence has been, since the year 1833, that a much greater quantity of British manufactures have been sold to be sent through and out of the States under the Germanic Union, into other countries, from the facility which has been extended by the Prus- sian Government in respect to the inland warehousing. All importers of respectability residing within the Germanic States are allowed to bring their goods to their own warehouses : in the towns where fairs are held they are weighed when they are put in ; at the end of six months the goods remaining are reweighed. On being first weighed, the duty is charged to the merchant in the customs-books ; they receive credit at the end of six months for all that has been sold for transit, and for what remains on hand, paying up the difference of duty for what has been sold for consumption : for the goods then remaining on hand the duty is charged against them for another six months ; and the facility thus created by the Prussian Government has been found to be very conve- nient to the importers, for they generally receive the money for the goods they sell before they pay the duties. The goods sent out in transit are chiefly smuggled into Poland and into Russia, or carried to the East through Germany, so that they are not consumed in the country.

Do you know that the consumption of British woollen goods has di- minished in those countries within the last few years ?-The consump- tion of British woollens and British cottons has diminished, I think, to the extent of one-half, in all the Rhenish States. But the general declared value of British and Irish produce and manufactures exported from the United Kingdom to Prussia, Germany, and Holland, during the years from 1833 to 1838, both inclusive, has been during these years as follows-

Prussia. Germany. Rolland. Total.




4,355,548 2,181,893 6,681,620 1834


4,547,166 2,470,267 7,153,856 1835 188,273 4,602,966 2,648,402 7,439,641 1836 160,722 4,463,729 2,509,629 7,134,073 1837 131,536 4,898,016 3,040,029 ...... 8,069,581 1838 - 155,223 4,988,900 3,549,429 8,693,552

Mr. Thornely. Who now supply the consumption that we supplied formerly 2-Cotton manufactures are supplied by the print-manufac- turers of Berlin, Westphalia, and Saxony, and also by some very large manufacturers established in Wirtemburg and in the Great Dutchy of Baden, and also by the Swiss manufacturers. Chairman. Are you able to state whether it is on account of the better patterns of the prints, or the cheapness of the fabrics, that they are sold so largely P-It is owing certainly to the cheapness; many of the patterns are exact imitations of those of Manchester and France.

Mr. Villiers. It is in the heavy coarse woollens that we have lost our market in Germany P-In the very heavy coarse woollens we have lost the market, not, as many people assert, from the high duty in the Prussian tariff, but from the cheap German production of the coarser goods. Sir G. Clerk. You stated, that notwithstanding the Prussian tariff, an equal quantity of British woollen goods was still imported into the States under the Germanic Union ?-Yes.

For the purpose of being refixported to the countries in the East of Europe ?-They are smuggled contraband into Russia by the Jews of Brody ; and they are also exported through the whole Continent of Europe, by the Danube, to the countries of the Black Sea. If the American merchant finds it more convenient to purchase German goods at the great fairs of Berlin and Leipzie for exportation to America, can you state why it would not suit the smugglers in the East of Europe to smuggle German manufactured goods instead of British, at a cheaper price ?-The reason given to me by one of the principal importers of British goods, was this : he said that it required a long period before the people of the East changed their customs and habits, and that it had been the custom at Manchester for the last half- century to manufacture particular goods for the inhabitants of those countries.

Mr. Villiers. You do not doubt that when they discover that they get as good an article from the German manufacturers at a cheaper rate, they will buy the articles of them P-Mr. Koch, our Consul at Frankfort, has written to me frequently within the last three years, stating that the way in which we should lose our market would be by the inhabitants of the countries which we supplied changing their habits ; that they would give up the habit of using our manufactures : that is the ground of alarm which he has always expressed, and this has already been verified to some extent in Germany. Mr. Tkornely. tire any considerable quantities of woollen and cotton goods brought into this country to be bonded for exportation ?-

I have heard of some that were sent to Glasgow ; but we consider it contrary to law for them to put English marks upon foreign goods. I have various specimens of British marks and cards that were printed for the sales at Frankfort; and, if I recollect well, the place where they were printed was Birmingham; and those are sent out to America, &c. in packages : they are sent, I think, not in the same cases with the goods, but in another box to be put upon the goods when they arrive.

Sir G. Clerk. Is what you consider to be the prejudice of some of the inhabitants of the Eastern States of Europe in favour of English goods, that they prefer the texture of the article manufactured ; or is it a prejudice in favour of the goods from their having the name of English goods ?-I should think partly from their having the name of English goods, and partly from their being the same kind, colours' and patterns, as those they have been accustomed to wear and to purchase. Chairman. Will you state on what principle you have selected those twenty enumerated articles as articles on which the duty has been laid to protect our manufactures, and not for the purposes of revenue ?-The articles selected here were selected incidentally, not with a view of their bei°8 laid on either for protection or for revenue, but merely to show

the very small amount of duty that we receive altogether upon manu- factures: and this, more strictly speaking, is the result of a synopsis I have made of our Customs-duties as regards revenue, to show how great a number of articles we enumerate with a specified duty, and how very small a number of those contribute essentially to the revenue.

Will you deliver in that paper which you have prepared upon tha subject ?

[The witness delivered in the same, which is as follows.] The net produce of the revenue of the Customs (inwards) of Great Britain, for the year ending 5th .£

January 1840, amounted to 20,956,551 Ditto ditto of Ireland 2,006,059

Total .M,962,610 Of the above revenue, there is levied on 146 articles 22,881,850

On all other tariffed and enumerated, and on all other

unenumerated articles 80,760 Total £22,962,610 On the following 10 leading articles of importation, the revenue levied in the year ending 5th January 1840, was

I. Sugars and molasses £4,826,917

2. Tea 3,658,763 3. Spirits 2,615,413 4. Wine 1,849,308 5. Tobacco 3,495,686 6. Coffee and Cocoa 794,818

7. Fruits of all kinds 462,002

8. Timber and dye-woods 1,668,584

9. Corn, Grain, Meal, and Rice 1,131,075

10. Provisions (including Bacon, Hams, Butter, Eggs, &c.) 368,560 • Total amount £20,871,136 On the following 6 articles, the duties levied in the year ending Janu- ary 5th 1840 were as follows, viz.-

1. Seeds of all kinds £145,712

2. Oils of all kinds 69,90 3. Spices of all kinds 98,26'1 4. Hides and skins 94,987 5. Tallow 181,999 6. Wool (Cotton and Sheep's) 556,225

Which added to the duties levied on the 10 articles

in the preceding list, viz 20,871,136

Gives a grand total on 16 unmanufactured articles of £22,018,284

Total net revenue £22,962,610

Balance received on 1,136 minor articles 944,326

Therefore the duty levied on all the remaining 514 articles, including all raw materials and manufactured goods, is 55,674/. less than one million.


Duty. X

Brass Manufactures 30 per cent. 1,710 Boxes of all kinds 20 If 2,769

Bugles is. per lb. 2,140 Earthenware, China, &c. 15 to 20 per cent. 5,623

Clocks and Watches 25 per cent 9,628

Copper, Manufactures of 30 „ 731 Cotton, Manufactures of... 10 per ct. and made up 20 „ 6,584

Embroidery and Needlework 30 fl■ 8,875 Flowers, Artificial (not of Silk) 25 „ 5,299

Glass Bottles, and all other sorts of Glass ...30 to 120 „ 27,304

Hair and Goats' Wool, Manufactures of 30 >I 3,097

Hats of Chip and Straw 20s. per dozen 1,729

Leather Gloves 20 to 40 „ 18,505

Manufactures of Leather, including Shoes and Boots 30 „ 6,095 Paper and Paper-hangings, 3d. per lb., and ls. per square yard, and Hangings 1,573 Plaiting of Chip and Straw 17s. to 208. the lb. 19,637 Silk Manufactures various duties, 20 to 40 per cent. 247,361 Toys 20 3,793

Cologne Water 1s. per flask, or 30s. the gallon 5,009

Woollen Manufactures...15 per cent, and made up 20 per cent. 25,113

Total duty levied £402,575 On Manufactures, except so much as is included in the 80,7601 received from the remaining enumerated tariffed and non- enumerated articles ; say one-half on Manufactures 40,380

Total on Manufactures £443,355 Duty levied on Raw Materials, exclusive of Cotton and Wool, Dye-woods, Oils, Tallow, Seeds, Hides, and Skins 500,971 Total Duties levied on Manufactures and minor Raw Materials £944,325

Sir G. Clerk. Have you enumerated the whole of the manufactured articles upon which duty appears to be charged?-No ; there are the non-enumerated articles into which manufactures with others enter, but -which only produce 40,380/. Mr. Villiers. Do you think the smallness of the amount collected can be any test of the amount of protection ?-No; I do not think the mere smallness of the amount is any test. For example, take an article on which the duty has undoubtedly been laid as a protective one, that is on silk manufactures : notwithstanding the high duty, the legal im- ports yielded 247,361/. net revenue, more than one-half of the whole amount of duty yielded by all other manufactures imported ; which shows that while we receive a great revenue on silk goods, silk manu- factures are manufactured so much cheaper in other countries as to be able to bear a duty of from 30 to 40 per cent, in this country. Both facts are at the same time evidence of the fictitious rotten state of ma- nufactures requiring such protection. Does the amount of revenue collected upon any article afford an test of the extentof protection ; because, if the article is highly protected, the amount of revenue would be very small, would it not P-Not in all cases : it would be very small if you produced the articles as nearly as possible at the same price as you would produce them in another country, that is, with the difference of the protecting duty : if you make

the protecting duty but very little more than the difference between the expense of producing in the two countries, you would have a small re- venue; but when you come to the silk manufacture, which yields a revenue of 247,000/. a year, and when we are well convinced that the contraband trade in silk is carried on to a great extent, and that if upon all the silk introduced into this country the duty was paid, the Treasury would receive probably more than 400,000/., it is evident that the silk introduced, after paying the cost of transport and paying the duty of from 30 to 40 per cent., must be manufactured much cheaper, other- wise it would not yield a profit by being imported into this country. Chairman. You say that you do not consider the duty would be re- quired except for those new articles, which for their rarity and fashion might be used here : what are the grounds for forming that opinion ?— The grounds are, that we have the metals so much cheaper in this country, and the power of working them so much more readily than they have in other countries, having the fuel and the metal not far distant from each other.

Are you able to state how far, in Germany, our brass and copper manufactures have been interfered with by the Prussian tariff, or any late regulations ?—No. I do not think they have been much interfered with ; because the Prussian tariff applied to the consumption of more than half the population previous to the Union, and the brass manufac- tures of Solingen and other places in Westphalia were at all times pro- duced nearly as cheaply as ours, and better suited for the consumption of the country.

Have you had any opportunities of knowing how far the manufactu- rers of brass and copper articles in England consider a protecting duty necessary ?—As far as I have had any opportunity of knowing or hear- ing, they require no protection whatever. With regard to porcelain, you have stated that 5,6237. is received on the importation of poreelain : what is the amount of exports 2— 768,496/.

Are you able to state to what markets they principally go, and how far taking off the duty on the imports would interfere with them ?— With the exception of the porcelain of France, I do not think that any otheepould come into much competition with ours at the present time ; and I-think that lowering the duty would have very little effect, either one way or the other, upon them.

Are you able to state, from your acquaintance with Germany and France, the relative price there, and how far our articles of earthen- ware are in demand ?—For our coarse pottery, the sale or demand has nearly disappeared altogether in Northern Germany. Since the change in the Austrian tariff admitting it at a low duty, a great increase has taken place in the demand for all kinds of British earthenware. Mr. Villiers. You are not aware of earthenware being produced cheaper anywhere than in England ?—None, except some very coarse delft ware in Holland.

Chairman. Are you able to state how far the duty on clocks of 20 per cent, operates as a protective duty, and whether it could be re- duced ?—The duty of 20 per cent, upon clocks is considered as a pro- tective duty, both by the German and French manufacturers ; but clocks still come in from Germany, from 'Awitzerland, and from France. Mr. Villiers. Have you any knowledge that clocks, watches, jew- ellery, &c. are produced cheaper abroad than in England P—Clocks and watches and certain fancy articles of jewellery are produced both at Vienna and in Switzerland and Paris cheaper than in England ; but they differ very much both in quality and fashion.

Chairman. When you speak of France, is it not a fact, that a very large proportion of the watches used in France, and sold as French, are manufactured in Switzerland P—A great portion of the works of the i

French watches are manufactured n Switzerland, and put together at Paris : formerly the introduction of the works and watches into France was prohibited, but the officers of the customs discovered that every attempt to stop their coming in proved abortive, and therefore they lowered the duty upon all Swiss watchworks to a mere nominal duty; since that time the watchmakers of Paris have been supplied chiefly with the works of watches from Switzerland, and they are put together at Paris : some of a highly superior kind are entirely made at Paris, but the cost is at least equal to that of the best English manufacture.

Sir G. Clerk. Is a considerable quantity of that glass imported into this country-7—No; the duty is a prohibition : glass being an article of great bulk and precarious carriage, is totally shut out from contraband trade.

Chairman. Is it within your knowledge that the materials for manu- facturing glass are cheaper abroad than they are in England P—No ; I think not.

Mr. Gore. The glass-manufacturers protest strongly for the con- tinuance of the duties ?—The glass-manufacturers are among the very few who ask for the protecting-duties. Mr. Villiers. Do you know why they seek that protection ? is it owing to the Excise regulation, or owing to their opinion that glass would be produced cheaper abroad P—Most of them, as far as it appears to me, ask for protection from ignorance of the matter.

Chairman. Are you able to state how far the duty on hats, which you state to be 208. per dozen, and which produced last year 729/., acts as a protection 2—The duty on hats of chip and straw is derived I believe altogether, or nearly altogether, from the Leghorn hats imported into this country : this duty of 20s. per dozen I consider a very high duty upon that particular kind of hat, the Leghorn hat. If that duty was taken off, would it come into competition with any branch of English manufacture P—We have no similar branch of manu- facture in this country : the hat-manufacturers in London and the country are a description of manufacturers, I am told, quite different from the manufacturers of Leghorn hats: the only difference that could arise would be, that some of those Leghorn hats might be worn instead of others manufactured in this country.

Mr.' Williams. Do not you think, that if the duty on Leghorn plait were taken off entirely, it would lead to a very great increased con- sumption of the Tuscany plait, and a comparatively decreased consump- tion of the plait produced at Dunstable and other places in this country ? —No ; I think not.

Mr. Thiirnely. Is it believed that the duty of 20s. leads to any smug- gling of this article P—I believe that there is scarcely a boat comes over from Calais, or a vessel which arrives, in which smuggling in various

articles to some extent does not take place. I had a German servant the year before last, and I discovered afterwards that inside his hat he smuggled several of those bonnets : he bought a large hat with a broad crown, and he contrived to smuggle several Tuscan hats rolled round within the lining of that ; and he boasted of it afterwards, and stated the profit he had made. Chairman. There is an amount of 8,875/. levied on embroidered works, by a duty of 30 per cent.: can you state what the nature of that embroidery is, and how far it answers as a protection for similar work in this country ?—The duty of 30 per cent, must be con- sidered as a protective duty ; but in reference to its protecting the manufactures of this country, I believe that the embroidery and needle- work that is imported is chiefly fancy-work, of high cost and very fine workmanship, and that it interferes very little with the consumption of the home manufacture in this country. It was laid on as a protecting duty ; but reducing the duty would not, I think, enable the foreign em- broidery to come much into competition with the manufacture of this country.

If the duty, which is now so high as 30 per cent., was reduced to 5 or 10 per cent., would it not interfere with the ordinary work in embroidery of this country, supposing that to be of an inferior quality P—The only embroidery that would be likely to come into competition with the embroidery in this country, would be embroidery from Switzerland. They embroider near St. Gall and its neighbourhood, at Appenzell, &c. at a very cheap rate; but nothing else would come extensively into competition.

There is one other large item or duty on import of leather gloves, 18,505!.: are you of opinion that if the duty on gloves were lowered, that would interfere greatly with the industry of this country ?—It might for a short period interfere ; but I doubt very much whether the con- traband does not interfere more than the other • because I know that French gloves can be purchased in London at about the retail price of Paris, and they must of course be introduced by contraband.

Are they not admitted at so much a dozen ?—Yes. Have you any means of knowing what the effect of lowering the duty would be P—My own opinion is that the effect of lowering it would be to increase the legal imports, and at the same time the revenue, probably to double the present amount ; but even then the actual importation would not be much greater than it is now. Are you aware from whence the leather principally comes which supplies the gloves in France and in England P—The leather is prin- cipally French leather ; at least it is altogether prepared in France; and the French complain very much of the high duty we impose upon the very leather that those gloves would be made of in England.

Mr. Williams. Do you consider that there is great smuggling in

gloves going on at the present day am aware that great smuggling is going on : I have had communication with the head of the Customs in France, and with others, who have assured me that cases and boxes of gloves have been sent down to Boulogne and Dieppe, for the express purpose of being smuggled into England : the French keep employ& in Paris at the gates, and therefore they know the quantity sent from Paris; • but the French customhouse-officers at the seaports assist fre- quently in getting the goods off. Do you know what the charge is for smuggling P—Nine per cent, upon certain qualities of silk and fine gloves • but for 10 and 12 per cent. you can get all but the heavy goods insured into this country.

Chairman. Then is. it your opinion that this high duty promotes and encourages smuggling, and consequently interferes with the revenue, without saving at all the labour of the country ?—Certainly ; it is a truism which experience has proved in every country in Europe, that the moment the duty is higher than the premium for smuggling, it ceases to be protective. There is another sum of 6,095/. levied at the rate of 30 per cent. on the import of leather manufactures, including boots : do you consider that rate of duty requisite in the present state of our manufactures?— There are two circumstances connected with the leather manufacture ; the one is, that although we took off the Excise-duty from leather, yet boots and shoes are quite as high in price as they were previously ; and the next is, that the price of boots in London is much greater than the price in Paris : this duty has been imposed as a protecting duty, but whether it ought to be continued as such, is another matter. The business of the Paris tradesman is chiefly a cash business ; the business of the London leather-manufacturers, I am informed, is almost invariably credit business ; and that makes one of the great differences.

There is 1,573/. entered as import-duty on paper, at a duty of from 3d. to 9d. per pound : what kind of paper is that 1—The paper that is imported is pnncipally paper for furniture-hangings ; and the protection at present is about 100 per cent. One of the principal paper-manufac- turers, Alderman Venables, stated to me that, with reference to writing- paper, this country did not fear any competition. But the paper-hanging manufacturers are loud in their complaints against any change : they say that they require at least a protection of 100 or more per cent, upon paper-hangings; which is strangely at variance with that which is admitted by the paper-manufacturers who supply the paper-hanging manufacturers, that they are not afraid of competition with other countries.

It is represented to us that the French excel in designs ; that they have better opportunities of getting better designs than the manufac- turers of this country ?—The mechanical part of printing paper in this country is represented by the printers or stainers as being much more expensive than in France. There is another item, the hair and wool manufacture, upon which you state the duty is 30 per cent., producing 3,0971.: what is the nature of those articles ?—They are shawls principally, as I am informed.

What branch of manufacture do they interfere with P—They do not interfere with any branch of British manufacture ; those that come in are principally manufactured articles, as shawls ; but thaws of every description are manufactured as cheaply here as in other countries. What would be the effect of taking off this duty of 30 per cent.?— The importation would certainly augment, but not to any great extent. I should think the manufacturers in this country would never be op- posed to the reduction.

Are you able to state how far that duty of 20 per cent. on toys ought now to be continued P—No : I am of opinion that if the duty upon toys

were 100 per cent., it would not be a protection ; and I find that almost all the toys used in this country are imported from Frankfort and other places in Germany, by way of Holland and Hamburg : they come from Switzerland and Bavaria, and the Central States of Germany ; but 10 per cent, would be quite a sufficient fiscal duty.

Mr. Villiers. Is there any reason whatever why we should not pro- duce toys as cheap as they do abroad ?—Yes ; those articles are made in the winter-season at Nuremberg, and in countries where the people have little other, employment, and in the woody parts of Germany.

What do you mean by no other employment : if the people work at that, they would work at nothing else P—But they work at it only in the winter-season, in bad weather, and in the evenings of long nights ; and they do not pay a timber-duty, which in England would form a heavy portion of the expense ; the wood is obtained by them in the country.

Chairman. There is one other article of artificial flowers producing 5,2991. of duty, on which there is 25 per cent.: are you able, from any information you have received, to state how far that acts as a protecting duty, or whether it might be reduced or altogether taken away without interfering with the commerce of the country ?—At the present duty of 25 per cent., a great number of artificial flowers are imported : they are manufactured particularly in Catholic countries ; a very great number of the artificial flowers are manufactured in the convents, by persons who have little other employment. I think the duty might be reduced to a mere revenue-duty.

What would be the amount of revenue-cjuty which you would recom- mend P—Ten per cent. The amount of premium for smuggling is al- ways a pretty fair test of the duty being too high.

Mr. Williams. Are artificial flowers smuggled to any extent ?—I am not aware ; but you can get any light article smuggled into the country for 10 per cent.

Chairman. Why do you put this down as being one of the protec- tive duties ?—I put all duties above 10 to 15 per cent, as protective du- ties, except upon articles upon which we lay very heavy duties be- cause we have not the same article in this country. The duty on brandy we must take in two senses ; in the first place, protective, as protecting British spirits, and in the next as protecting West India spirits, rum : it is also a revenue-duty.

Mr. M‘Gregor's Second Examination-9th July.

Can you state the other articles on which duties are imposed to pro- tect the manufactures in the United Kingdom, besides those which you enumerated at the last meeting of the Committee P—Of the 349 articles in the tariffs on which duties are imposed, which yield only a revenue of from is. to under 1001., seven of them only yield above 90/. Will you proceed to state what are the manufactured articles in the sicond schedule on which jrotective duties exist, yielding more than 100/ P—There are 132 articles in the tariff yielding from 100/. to under 500/. Of those there are 30 manufactured articles, which yield a total revenue of 6,539/. [Only a few of these articles are subject to a pro- tecting duty.] Then we come to the class from 500/. to 1,0001., in sche- dule No. 3. There are 42 articles in the tariff which yield a revenue from 500/. to 1,000/ each ; of which there are 14 articles manufactured, and which 14 articles yield a net revenue of 9,856/. Does it appear by the returns that that high duty of Si. 16s. 9d. per ounce upon gold plate has been a complete prohibition of the article ?— Except so far as smuggling goes. What premium does that duty of 3/. 16s. 9d. per ounce give to the smuggler upon every pound of gold plate ?—It is about 61/. per pound of 16 ounces weight. I am quite aware that gold plate is smuggled, and silver plate also : I was told by a gold and silversmith at Milan that he contrived to send gold plate and silver plate to a house in London with- out any duty, except the premium to the smuggler. He came to me at Milan to ask if there was any probability of a reduction of duty upon plate : I said no, I do not think there is. We made a change imme- diately previous to that, by letting in plate without smashing it ; and as the Austrian Court had just ratified the treaty, this manufacturer came to know whether we had.made any reduction in the duty upon gold and silver plate : I said no, and that I was afraid we should not for some time. Well, he said, if you come to me I will show you boxes piled over boxes that I will manage to send to London. He paid about 10 per cent. to the smugglers, and he paid something higher for insurance than he would otherwise have paid ; and that was all it cost him for the risk of loss.

Have we not, by these prohibitory duties, been prevented from ob- taining valuable specimens of art of the most exquisite kind in plate, which would otherwise have been brought from the Continent ?—No doubt. I would have purchased myself articles of silver plate, but I knew that I could not without being either guilty of smuggling or else pay- ing a duty that was prohibitory. On plate of silver gilt, the duty is 68. 4d. per ounce, revenue 561.; plate of silver, part gilt, 6s. an ounce duty, 38/. revenue ; silver, ungilt, 4s. 6d., revenue 98/. What is the next class P—It is from 1,000/. to 5,000/ There are 107 articles altogether, producing 244,7331.; of which articles 30 are manu- factured, yielding only 65,9201 revenue. In the negotiations that you had in Austria, France, and the German and Italian States, as a Commissioner of the Government for the ar- rangement of commercial matters, what has been the opinion expressed generally with regard to our tariff; and what has been its effect upon your negotiations P—In negotiating for a reduction of duties upon articles of British manufacture when imported into any of those coun- tries, the duties upon articles the productions of those countries when imported into England became on every occasion the subject of discus- sion; and I was bound to admit in each of those countries, that the duties upon their productions, generally speaking, were far higher than the duties which they imposed upon our manufactures. They in- variably quoted our own tariff against me when I pleaded for reductions in theirs.

In what state is our tariff on articles imported into England, as com- pared with the tariff of any of those countries, as to the number of' articles and the rates of duty ?—The simplest tariff on the Continent is the tariff of the Germanic Union of Customs.

Do you mean as to the number of articles, or the rates of duties?— Both as to the number of articles and the simplification of the duties. The number of rates of duties in the Prussian tariff amount to about 43. How many are there in the English tariff?—Eleven hundred and fifty. What is the greatest amount of duty levied per cent. on the value of the articles in the Germanic Union ?—The basis of the Prussian tariff

was calculated to be an ad valorem duty of 10 per cent. upon every article, with the exception of articles used in manufacture ; raw mate- rials of every description being admitted entirely free, or upon a no- minal duty equal to what the French call a droit de balance, or a duty sufficient to defray the expenses of entry and keeping accounts, and also to ascertain the quantity of articles imported : but the duties upon manufactures being by weight, they vary from about 2 per cent, ad valorem, to, on articles of very coarse manufacture, as high as 80 per cent. in some instances.

Mr. Villiers. Is it not the fact, that the duties levied under the Prussian tariff have not been levied quite as we expected P—Under the Prussian tariff the belief generally was that the new tariff had been adopted for the first time by the whole population of the Union, amounting to about 27,000,000 of people ; but previously to the Ger- manic Union, with regard to the customs, there had been for a long time in Prussia a higher tariff of duties upon woollen cloths, and some other articles, than the existing tariff. And in other States, as Bavaria, with a population of nearly 5,000,000, and Wurtetuburg, with a popula- tion of 1,700,000, Hesse Electorate, with a population of 700,000, and the Dutchy of Hesse, with a population of 800,000, all these, with Prussia, having a population of 23,700,000, had duties nearly as high, and in some instances higher than the existing tariff. In the other States having in all the remaining population of 3,300,000, the duties were

States, than at present ; in the Dutchy of Baden and Nassau much less ; and in the free town of Frankfort there were no duties except town-dues. In Saxony, with a population of more than a million and a half, the import-duties were very trifling : and it is a valuable fact in commercial legislation, that in Saxony, a country by no means natu- rally rich, yet there, without any protection whatever, manufactures of every description have thriven more than in any other part of the Con- tinent of Europe.

Chairman. You mean to say that Saxony, of all the German States now in the Union, had a lower rate of import-duty on manufactured articles than any other, and that its manufactures flourished better ?— Saxony alone had a mere nominal duty, no protective duty whatever ; and yet the woollen manufacture, cotton rnannfacture, and linen manu- facture, had arrived in Saxony at a degree of perfection unknown in any other part of the Continent of Europe. Mr. Villiers. Is not there a difference in the mode of levying the duty from what was proposed or intended ; namely, that the duty is levied by weight, and not ad valorem ?—The intention was to make the basis of duties 10 per cent.; but when the question of levying the duty for all the states of the Union came to be settled, levying the duty by weight was preferred, as all the States have now but one common cus- tomhouse, and as each State of the Union receives out of the aggregate a proportion of that revenue according to its actual population : for example, out of every hundred dollars or florins raised, Prussia alone receives 55; and of the remaining 45, the other States receive the propor- tion due them according to their population. Prussia and Saxony, and some other States, feared that in those States bordering on France and Switzerland, if the duty were made an ad valorem duty it would lead to corruption on the part of the employes on the frontiers in letting in goods at lower values than the real value; and they finally decided that upon all articles liable to be smuggled the duty should be levied by weight ; and the consequence has been, that upon coarse goods of low value the duty averages as high as about 80 per cent.

Chairman. Can you explain why Saxony, without protection to her manufactures, was at the time of the Union in a better state than any other ?—The reason given to me both in Saxony and Switzerland was simply this, and the same reasons were given to me in Bohemia : the Saxon and Swiss manufacturers stated, not only themselves, but others that I met with in those countries, that they considered all manufac- tures which were established, or had grown up by protection, were generally in an unsound state, inasmuch as they were supported by fictitious protection which placed them out of the natural position which they would have taken if they had commenced as they did in Switzerland, merely by producing as cheaply as they could by industry and by an economical system of living. The Swiss and the Saxons both went upon the principle, that if we can manufacture without any protection, we can then send our commodities as we have done to other markets in the world ; and Saxony has at all times been enabled, in spite of the prohibitory system of Austria, to send her surplus manufactures into Bohemia, and from Bohemia they find their way into Hungary, to Vienna, and to the Italian States.

Has not Austria for many years refused the admission of most of those manufactured articles except at very high duties 1—Until the period of my mission to Vienna, the introduction of nearly every article of manufacture was completely prohibited by the Austrian tariff. What was the effect on the manufactures of Austria of the completc protection they had up to that period P—When the prohibitory laws of Maria Theresa and Joseph the Second were entirely revoked in prin- ciple, it was with the understanding that the diminution of duties should be made gradually, inasmuch as those manufactures had risen under them; - and they only required sufficient protection to give them time to come down to what they have termed a natural state, and with an un- derstanding that the maximum duty upon manufactures should never exceed 20 per cent, upon any article of manufacture whatever. But I am of opinion that the Saxon population of Bohemia, who are the principal manufacturers, will very soon cry out even against a duty of 20 per cent., that they will wish the duty to be neither more nor less than the amount of the actual premium for smuggling goods. I find that to be very generally the opinion. One part of Bohemia is in- habited by a Saxon race, who are a manufacturing people, and the greater portion is inhabited by a Sclavonian race, who arc chiefly an agricultural and pastoral people. Can you state whether the protective duties that have existed to so great an extent in Austria, have produced in Anktria superior and more

extensive manufactures than they otherwise would have had P—No ; not only have they not done so, but the manufacturers were merely lingering in a state of bare existence, while the manufacturers in the poor countries of Saxony, immediately beyond the frontier, were in the

most flourishing condition ; and it was in defiance and in spite of those prohibitions that the Saxon population in Bohemia, who are remark- able for economical habits and for industry, were enabled to exist in Austria.

You have mentioned Switzerland as a country that has acted on the principles of Saxony : were there any protective duties in Switzer- land ?—None whatever.

What has been the effect of that on the manufactures of Switzerland: what has been their state under that system P—The manufactures of Switzerland can only be said to be established since the peace of 1813: the country during the French war, and previously, had been so dis- turbed that it was impossible to establish any manufactures, except mere coarse spinning and weaving, within the houses or the peasantry: they never turned their minds to manufacturing upon an extensive scale int after the year 1814; they never had any protection, but they went upon the system, which they perfectly understood, that if they could not manufacture cheaply and sell cheaply, they could never export their manufactures.

What is the state of their manufactures now, up to this period, since their attention was more particularly drawn to it ?—The state of the Swiss manufactures now is such that their cotton goods come into corn- petition with ours, and meet us with very great advantage in our East- ern markets ; and they are sent to the United States, and to the Brazils, in very large quantities.

By what conveyance do they obtain the cotton with which those ma- nufactures are carried on 2—That is much against them ; for the diffi- may of carriage is such that cotton must cost the Swiss for carriage to the place of manufacture at least double what it costs the Lancashire and the Lanark manufacturer ; the expense of carriage is very great to Switzerland.

Then, notwithstanding that increased expense in the carriage of cotton from the sea to Switzerland, and Switzerland having no protection what- ever against imports from any other country, they are still able to ex- port and come into competition with British manufacturers ?—Yes, es- pecially in cotton manufactures.

Mr. Villiers. You allude to Switzerland, to show that manufactures in that country thrive more without a protection than others do with it?— Certainly ; not only to Switzerland, but to Saxony and Bohemia. The Bohemians themselves stated that the great difficulty they had to struggle against was the protective system. The words of their petitions to the Austrian Government at the time I allude to were these: we can com- pete with the fair trader, but we never can expect to compete with the contraband. When I went in 1836 to Vienna, on the first interview I had with Prince Metternich, he entered into the subject at once, and said that very extraordinary changes in opinion had taken place ; for that since the formation of the Germanic Union of Customs, the manu- facturers of Bohemia had stated in their petitions that they had some hopes of being able to compete with the fair trader, bat that they never could compete with the contraband.

Chairman. And that led to the changes which were made P—That chiefly led to the changes which were made after that. A curious fact disclosed itself in 1836, during a Congress of the Delegates from the different States of the Germanic Union at Munich, while I was there. The Saxons complained very much of the Prussian tariff, and that the duties had been imposed by weight ; they said that it destroyed their competition; that the higher the duties were the more was their com- petition destroyed. Mr. Villiers. Do you mean that the Saxons complained of the Ger- manic tariff?—They complained of the high duties ; they said, the high duties will destroy our markets ; if the high duties give any protection at all, it is a protection to the new establishments at Berlin, and at Baden, and in Wurtemberg. Mr. Williams. How could the high rate of duty injure their manufac- tures 2—The high rate of duty created for the time a greater demand for labour in the other States of the Union, and which labour, they com- plained, would fictitiously come into competition with theirs. Are not many articles in the Prussian tariff so very high in duty as to amount to a complete prohibition P—There is no doubt that there are, upon coarse goods of small value which cannot be smuggled but as to fine goods, the French contrive to send in a vast quantity for con- sumption.

Does it not amount to a prohibition almost upon every article manu- factured of cotton P—No, very far from it ; but upon coarse shirtings, worth 2d. or 3d a yard in England, the data- amounts to 60, 70, and 80 per cent.

Will you mention any article made of cotton that is admitted now under the Prussian League into consumption P—It is not the duty upon the fine articles of cotton that prevents their entering into consumption. The fact is, that although the Prussian manufactories do not produce goods to come into consumption in the United Kingdom, yet they pro- duce goods now so cheaply that they are meeting us in the markets of the world : they are producing a superabundance of the light goods of the same kind that we should send into Prussia; and consequently, from that quantity of production of their own, they do not require oars, and will not have them. In the first place, taking the population of the Germanic Union, they have at all times been accustomed to manufac- ture flax and wool into coarse articles for domestic consumption; that is a manufacture that has been at all times carried on within their own doors : but till 1814, Germany had been so disturbed with wars, that they had no time nor security to direct their attention to manufactures upon a large scale ; but after the years 1813 and 1814, when the people of Germany were compelled to become agriculturists instead of being engaged as soldiers in the course of two or three years they produced a great superabundance of agricultural products, and not being able to find markets for that produce either in England or in France in both which the high duties shut out that produce, the excess Of labour formerly employed in war and afterwards in agriculture went into the manufactures of Westphalia and Silesia. The argument they made use of to me upon every occasion both in Prussia, in Saxony, and in the Rhenish States, and particularly at the two Congresses held at Munich and at Dresden, was this, You compelled us to become manufacturers : we have not mines of gold and silver, and you would not take what we had to sell you : if you had taken what we had to give, we should have continued to produce it, because we found a market for it; but as you would not take it, necessity. compelled our people to look out for other occupation, and they were intelligent enough to turn their attention ex-

tensively to manufactures. The German grazier now exchanges his cattle and his beef for fabrics with the home manufacturer, and the corn-dealer and the miller provide bread for the manufacturer, and take his goods and use them in return. This was the common saying in Prussia, where every man is intelligent, and where every man thinks, and where as soon as he sees an effect he immediately inquires into the cause.

Chairman. What enables them to produce so much cheaper than we do, seeing that we have so many advantages in respect of coal, and machinery and skill ?—The reason they produce as cheaply in most in- stances as we do, arises from no other cause, in my opinion, than that they have an abundance of all that is necessary to maintain life within themselves; and their industry being directed to manufactures, they are more independent of other countries than those countries are which have not an abundance of food, and wood for fuel and for their buildings.

Mr. Villiers. You mean, that living is much cheaper than in Eng- land?—Yes ; they have abundance of bread, and sufficient of animal food, and other articles that form the first necessaries of consumption. The artisan in the cotton-manufacture can subsist himself with equal comfort in Germany at half the expense at which an English artisan can support himself; in Westphalia, and the neighbourhood of Frank- fort, and in Bavaria and Austria at less than half. Chairman. If corn and meat and other articles of the necessaries of life were as nearly on a level as a free trade would bring them in Eng- land and in Germany, what twould be the effect in your opinion upon the existing manufactures there P—I have no doubt that the result in those countries would be a diminished demand for labour in manufac- tures, and a greater demand for agricultural labour. Will you explain how that diminished demand would take place, and how it would affect the demand in this country P—A diminished de- mand would take place in this way, because labourers could not work in those countries for the same wages at which they work now ; and not being able to work at the same wages, many of them would be thrown oat of manufacturing employment, to seek for employment in other pursuits ; and the consequence would be, when matters found their level, that instead of wages being actually higher, wages would become lower, from the want of employment. Would not that increased price of food in those countries produce an increased price of the manufactures which now meet the English ma- nufactures in other parts of the world ?—No doubt of it. Would not, therefore, the necessary result be, that the amount of ma- nufacture would be decreased there, and the demand for English manu- factures would be increased here 2—No doubt of it.

Are you aware that German stockings, and silks and woollens, find great demand now in America, and meet oars in that very market?— Yes, I am quite aware of that.

Mr. Thornely. Is not that a circumstance that recently occurred ?— No it has been growing up for the last ten 7ears. Mr. Chapman. Would it not, in your opinion, be advisable that all articles of foreign manufacture should be admitted into this country on the same rate of duty as is imposed on British manufactures by our own internal taxation, and on the same principle of reciprocity as is now ap- plied to British and, foreign shipping P—That is my opinion - but my experience would lead me to go something farther than that. Provided their taxation on commodities is so high that it is much above an equi- table taxation for the purposes of revenue, and provided that oars also may be kept so high, then if we maintain upon each side those high re- ciprocal duties, we are neither doing more nor less than maintaining a war of material interests ; we are warring against one another. But the principle of reciprocity on the basis of only revenue-duties, I per- fectly agree to. Mr. Villiers. You mean, that a corresponding duty should be im- posed upon the foreign article with that which is imposed upon the same article produced at home ?—Yes, provided both be no higher than an equitable revenue-duty. Mr. Williams. Do you expect that the workmen of this country, having to pay more than one-half of their wages in taxation, in one way or another, can compete with the workmen of other countries, from whose wages scarcely any portion is taken in taxation P—Cer- tainly not the workmen of this country, if so great a proportion of his wages is taken in taxation, and so small a portion of the wages of the other.

If a workman in Saxony, who is almost entirely free from tax, can live as well upon 5s. a week, English money, as an English artisan can live upon 9s. a week, supposing those two workmen to be equally ca- pable, the Saxon workman, of course produces articles, as far as labour is concerned, for nearly one-half 'what the English workman could do : would you in that case take the labour from the English workman, and let him go and starve, if he has no other resource, and give it to the Saxon workman ?—With regard to taking the labour from the English workman, that can only be effected so far as you can prevent the Saxon workman sending his goods into this country, to be consumed in this country : but if the admission of the Saxon goods would take away the labour from the English workman, it would follow that it would-be useless for us to attempt manufacturing for exportation to other coun- tries, where the Saxon labourer, being enabled to manufacture so much more cheaply than we could, would meet us with such advantages in a foreign market : he must, according to the very circumstances sup- posed in the queston put, Meet us with an advantage of from 40 to 50 per cent.

Chairman. The competition would arise whether we admit his goods or not here ?—Yes, whether we admit his goods or not ; and the con- clusion which I should arrive at would be, that the British manufac- turing labourer would be driven out of employment for the exportation trade, by that very operation of production with an advantage of 40 to 50 per cent. in the cost of subsistence in favour of the foreign manu- facturer.

Mr. Williams. By way of illustration, take the case of a stocking- manufacturer, a branch of manufacture in which the Saxons have particularly excelled, and in which they have taken pretty nearly all the foreign ikarkets from us : would you say that the principle was a correct one, to admit the importation of stockings manufactured in Saxony into this country free from duty, which would as a matter of course supersede the trade entirely at Leicester, Nottingham, and other parts of England, where stockings are made ?—I certainly would admit them at an equitable duty, not exceeding 10 per cent., whether that would destroy the trade at Leicester and Nottingham or not : but even if it did, I should say that it would be better for the whole country to subscribe sufficient to support all those people at home who are now being employed in that manufacture, than to continue a tax in perpetuity upon this cotuitry ; it would be humanity towards the manufacturers themselves.

Do you think it is an honest policy towards the laboaring people of this country to allow their employment to be taken from them and sent to foreign countries 2—You cannot prevent it. Will you explain why you think it is not possible to prevent it ?— Yon cannot prevent the demand for the labour of the artisan of this -country being transferred to another country, by any possible duty or restriction which you can place upon the admission of those articles coming into this country for consumption : you cannot prevent foreign countries from sending their productions to such other foreign countries as will take their productions from them, and especially when the con- dition of those manufactures has become so flourishing as to cause apprehension as to the admission of those goods into this country for consumption : it is impossible for us to prevent other nations going to purchase those manufactures at a cheaper price than they can get ours for : in the next place, we cannot prevent our manufacturers losing their employment by any prohibitory or protective duty, because, whatever that duty may be, if it tends to keep up the price of manufactures in this country, it is at the expense of every person who consumes the manufactures produced ; consequently, that being a tax upon the general riches of the country, you will limit the quantity that will be consumed. If I am not able to wear two or three coats in a year, if by taxation you limit my means of purchasing two new coats, I must do with one. You -cannot prevent the diminishing of labour by restricting consumption.

Mr. -Villiers. Do you conceive that the operation of our present protecting duties is to prevent other countries from becoming manufac- turers ?—The object of them was so ; but the effect is totally different The cotton-manufacturers and silk-manufacturers upon the Continent -dread nothing so much as that we should lower our duties ; I do not mean upon manufacturess merely, but upon every thing. If we lowered our duties so as to admit foreign commodities which we want in this -country at something like the price of commodities in foreign countries, we should then get into a natural state, in which the trade would main- tain itself, and we should not be liable to those fluctuations that all pro- tected trades are subject to. I can assure the Committee, that the manu- facturers of Germany, especially, apprehend the repeal of our Corn-laws more than any thing that we can do. The public authorities again, in -Germany, who have only the great public interests to administer, never asked us for a moment to take of any duty upon manufactured articles ; the great demand was to take off the duty upon timber and upon corn. Mr. Villiers. You gave us a list of articles upon which duties were imposed for the purpose of protection: what do you consider to be the -effect of those duties generally ? Do you consider that they encourage the particular trade in the articles here, and that those trades would be lost if those duties were removed ?—Certainly not.

Then you consider, that though they were imposed for protection, they have failed in effecting that purpose 2—Undoubtedly they have • Do you consider that we have as great advantage in this country in -producing those articles as foreigners would have ?—No, we have not for all ; but the advantages and disadvantages are totally unconnected with the protective duties upon the manufactured articles.

Do you mean that those articles could be produced cheaper abroad than they are in this country P—Under a different system of commer- cial legislation, I believe they could not be produced so cheap in other -countries as they can in this.

Is there not occasionally a difficulty in producing an article, in con- -sequence of the protection imposed upon some other article ?—No doubt of it.

Do you not conceive that all protection amounts to a tax upon the -community ?—Certainly ; it is quite evident.

That is implied in protection ?—No doubt of it.

And therefore the tax for protection upon one article increases the cost of producing another 2—Certainly; no doubt of it.

And therefore, sometimes a duty is imposed for the purpose of pro- tection, because we have protected some other article P—Certainly ; not -only a solitary duty upon one article for protection, but it is a duty for protection connected also with another protecting duty that bears upon it. A protective duty may not only be what it always is, a general tax, but a particular tax on some other article of manufacture. The protective ditty on food is a general tax on the nation, and a particular tax on manufacturing labour, navigation, &c. Our difficulty, therefore, in competing with other countries, frequently -arises as much from taxes for protection as from taxes for revenue ?— Certainly, more than from taxes for revenue upon commodities. Taxes upon raw material, for the purpose of protection, would present great impediments to the production of other articles ?—No doubt of it. Mr. Etaart. Supposing the cost of subsistence and of the raw mate- rial were the same in this country as in other countries, do you think there would be any chance of other countries underselling us in the labour market P—Certainly not, with our natural advantages of posi- tion, which no other country possesses in the same degree, and the in- telligence and industry of Englishmen : although the English are not -so economical as the people of other countries, yet with our advantages of capital and skill, if we can change our system of legislation, we may, in every manufacture we now possess, meet foreign manufactures in every market in the world. The manufacturers of other countries are only apprehensive that we should change our system of taxing food. I speak only of the manufacturers ; the consumers are of a different opinion.

Is it your opinion that, other things being equal, labour is cheaper in this country than in any other country in the world?—As to labour in this country, you must take it either at the money value of labour, or you must take it at what the labourer can get for his labour ; that is, what the labourer can get for the money price of his labour. As to the real wages of the labourer in this country, they are much less than in Saxony.

And the mere rate of wages alone does not prove the superior cheap- ness of production, but you must take into the calculation the advan- tages of capital and machinery ?—Capital, and machinery, and other elements, such as coal and iron, and the advantages of our harbours for exportation, and many other internal advantages as to carriage and intercourse. The conclusion to which I have come, after laborious investigation in almost every country in Europe, is briefly, that we should have nothing but fiscal taxation, that is, duties for revenue only : have no protection at all, but only equalize upon equitable prin- ciples your system of taxing the population for revenue, and you may then meet the people of all other nations with your manufactures iii every country in the world, and in most articles undersell them. Mr. Chapman. When you state that the labour of Saxony, and ge- nerally on the Continent, is really dearer than the labour of this country, do you mean to apply that to maritime labour ?—No; strictly speaking, I do not apply it to maritime labour. I apply it to maritime labour thus far, that the provisioning of ships is much lower on the Continent : if shipowners on the Continent even gave the same wages, which they do not, as our own, yet they carry on their shipping more cheaply than we can, because the provision which is found by the shipowner for his crew forms an essential part of the wages. Again, if a Dutchman, or if a Prussian, were compelled to victual his family ashore at the prices paid in England, his wages then would not be to himself more than one-half what the same wages are in Prussia ; but as he maintains his family in Prussia, the low wages he gets enables him, by the cheapness of provisions in that country, to live as well as an English sailor will who maintains his family in England. Chairman. Do not therefore the circumstances you have stated operate very much against the British shipowner, in his competition as a car- rier, in every part of the world ?—Not a doubt of it.

Have you not found, in whatever part of Europe you have been, that increased expense to be almost the only impediment against the British shipowners becoming the general carriers of the world P—No doubt of it. One of the great advantages that the American ships and also the ships of Hamburg have over ours, is that the provisioning of their ships costs them so much less than our ships. I have taken great pains to ascertain what proportion the wages of a ship and the provisioning come to, because many do not enter into the question as they should do in calculating sailors' 'wages; they do not add to that the amount of provisioning the ship, which is in every sense of the word a part of the wages, and wages is what the British shipowner has greatly to compete against. If he could only provision and equip his ship at the same rate as the Hamburg shipowner can, he could most successfully com- pete with him.

Then, under that impression, would not you think it right, if no pro- tection remains, to take away all restrictions from British shipping ?— With respect to British navigation, I would say, take away all restric- tion as respects the materials of which the ship is built, and as respects the provisioning the vessel, and as respects the wages of the seamen. Chairman. And after that, you would have no fear of the English shipowner deriving a fair profit and increasing his trade P—There is no doubt of it. We see what the British shipowner has been able to do under the difficult circumstances which he has to labour under; and by his more than ordinary maritime skill as to the direction in which he sends his ships, succeeding as he does at the present moment, and straggling against competition, if you took away thase restrictions, the tonnage of England would soon, I am convinced, amount to double what the tonnage of England at present is. Mr. Williams. How is it that the Governments of those:countries have never adopted that feeling which you say is so general against pro- hibitory duties P—The Governments of most countries, excepting those of Saxony, Switzerland, and Holland, on the contrary, were led away by the visionary splendour of being able to supply themselves within their own countries with every thing they required. It commenced in France under Colbert, and it was imitated by other monarchs'.; but it has turned out that those countries in which those protections have been completely established, have not at all thriven in consequence of those protections ; and where they have occasionally thriven, they have done so in defiance of them. I have in my possession a representation from the manufacturers of silk at Lyons and other parts of France, who wish to have no protection at all for their silk manufactures.

Mr. AV Gregor's Third Examination-131h July. Chairman. Will you state to the Committee what are the duties which have been imposed to protect colonial produce ?—There are high du- ties, which in fact amount to prohibitions, viz., with regard to fish, fo- reign, with a few exceptions, is prohibited ; the produce of British colo- nial fisheries is nearly all admitted free of duty. Among the other leading duties, are those on raw sugar, from colonial possessions, 24s. per cart.; and from other countries, not refined, 31. 3s., and on all re- fined, Si. 8s.

Are none of our sugar colonies allowed to refine sugar P—The high duty prevents them : they do not now use any refined sugar of their own growth ; they use foreign sugar refined in bond here, Brazilian and Cuba slave-labour sugar. How far does the same export take place to other colonies ?—The other colonies are altogether supplied with foreign sugar, the produce of slave labour, and refined here in bond.

Mr. Villiers. Are all the other colonies, not sugar-producing colonies, supplied from England?—Yes, with refined sugar. Do we compel our other colonies to take sugar from us ?—Yes. Sir G. Clerk. Can you state what quantity of foreign sugar is entered for home consumption at that high duty, 63s.?—Foreign sugar was not entered for consumption till the week ending the 5th of this month, and during that week 415 cwt, were purchased and paid duty of 66s. 2d., which is 63s. duty, and 3s. odd, which the five per cent. imposes. Chairman. Has that discriminating duty then operated as a complete prohibition until the present time ?—It has. Mr. Villiers. What would be the effect of allowing this foreign suer to Come into the United Kingdom at a lower duty, upon the price us the countries where it is produced; would it have the effect of raising the price ?—It would have the effect of raising the price in proportion

to the increased demand, but it would not have the effect of raising the ..p.rice to the extent that is generally believed, inasmuch as there are va-

ztous states in Europe, with populations amounting in all to nearly one -hundred millions, consuming no other sugar whatever except that of _slave-labour produce. If the prices in Brazil were raised, would it not enable the free- labour states to compete better with them ?—No doubt it would raise -the price. By lowering the duty there would be two effects produced ; the price of foreign sugar would rise, but not to a great amount, and there -would be an increased degree of competition from the increase of price. The high price here limits the consumption in this country ?—It does; .the consumption of sugar at a moderate price ought to be more than double what it is now.

Chairman. What are the articles that are under restrictions in the colonies, in order to protect the sale from this country ?—The articles which are under restriction to protect the sale from this country are salt provisions of every description, a duty of 12s. per cwt. on pork and beef, and then a heavy duty upon flour ; and in truth every article of provi- sion is more or less taxed or prohibited ; salted and dried fish is prohi- bited from a foreign country.

Mr. Blake. Are not wood and timber also protected ?—.Yes ; and, with respect to food, the planters in the West Indies complain that they are forced to get labourers from other countries, especially from the United - States of America, who are accustomed to be fed differently from ne- -groes under the slave system; and that now, since they are compelled to have free labour, they consider it a hardship not to be able to get their food at the lowest possible price.

Chairman. Can you state what proportion of the increased charge these protective and prohibitive duties, by increasing the price of the articles required, will make in the manufacture of sugar ?—I have made no calculation ; but the duty imposed upon food being io fact a duty imposed upon wages, must have a very injurious effect in the West Indies, especially under the free system. This is a tax imposed upon one colony to protect another?—Yes; and to protect the British agricultural interests too.

Is not all fish excluded from the colonies, except British ?—Yes. Can they import flour direct from the United States ?—They can, on paying a duty of 5s. a barrel.

Mr. Tharnely. Have you received any information that the high price of sugar is likely to be an impediment to the usual preserving of fruit this season ?—To a very great extent. Do you believe that a great deal of fruit would be lost in consequence of that high price ?—I believe if the usual quantity of fruit should be preserved this year, it will withdraw so great a quantity of sugar from consumption as to raise the price to is. 6d. per pound, and that only the opulent can consume it at that price.

Mr. Villiers. Have you any doubt that it is the protecting duty on sugar that causes it to be raised in price ?—No doubt of it ; the dif- ference between colonial sugar and other sugar is simply this, colonial sugars sell at a price to justify paying a difference upon the consump- tion of foreign of more than 40s. duty.

Mr. Blake. Supposing we reduced the duty on foreign sugar, and in consequence there was an increased demand for foreign sugar, would -not that stimulate an increased production in foreign countries of such sugar ?—It would, but not to the extent generally supposed. I find, generally, that we make our calculation as if we were the only -consumers of sugar ; whereas, on the continent of Europe, exclusive of France, there are about one hundred millions who consume nothing -but slave-labour sugar ; and our extra demand would be only the dif- -ference of the quantity we should require between what our own colo- nies would furnish us and the whole quantity that we should consume.

Mr. Villiers. Have you ever considered what the annual loss is to the revenue from this protective duty ?—I consider at least about 3,000,0001.

Chairman. Do you mean to say that the consumption would be so much increased if the duty upon foreign sugar were lowered ?—Yes ; the consumption of sugar, taking the whole of this kingdom, is three. -quarters of an ounce to every individual a day : the calculations, made when I was at Vienna, and also when I was in Paris, were, that each individual who took coffee or tea twice a day consumed two ounces and a half, which is more than double the quantity that we have consumed. This is exclusive of all that would be required, and that to a great extent, in the preserving of fruits, and in various other ways, such as home-made wines, pastry, and many other preparations into which -sugar enters.

Mr. Villiers. Had you occasion to observe, while you were in Austria, what was the effect of doing away with the monopoly on sugar ?—The effect of doing away with the special monopoly was quite extraordinary; in a short space of time it gave more revenue than the whole net cus- loms revenues had previously given. Chairman. State what were the circumstances which produced so great an increase to the revenue ?—Previously to the time when the trade was opened, which was in 1838, the whole trade of refined sugar in the Austrian dominions was in the hands of a few licensed importers -and dealers, who had not only been licensed individually, but it was like an hereditary licence, given to them by Marfa Theresa ; under which they had the privilege of importing all their sugars for home consumption, limiting the import alone to this protective importation ; the consequence of which was, that they themselves, from want of • capital, or from other circumstances, could not supply the whole de- mand for sugar in the country ; but they managed under these patents to import an immense quantity, which yielded them enormous profits. The nature of the change was, that the whole sugar trade in the coun- try was thrown open, not only to natives but to foreigners ; but there was a protection of 7s. given to them afterwards for the sugar which they actually used in refining; the consequence of which has been, that having reduced the duties upon all foreign sugar from 22 florins per ventner of 123 lbs., what they formerly were, to 15 florins, and thrown the trade open, and also reduced the duty upon refined sugar to 18 forins per centner, the revenue has increased and the smuggling diminished, so as to give a net revenue, from sugar alone, greater than the net revenue of the entire customs was before.

Chairman. Do you consider that the effect of lowering the price of sugar in England would be attended not only with an increase of re- venue of 3,000,000/. to the State, but also with all the comforts arising from that greatly increased consumption 1— I have no doubt of it. My estimate is 3,000,0001. in addition. Mr. Escort. Have you ever calculated the amount paid by the con- sumer for the present monopoly of the sugar market ?—The consumer pays, at the present moment, about 50 per cent. in addition. Mr. Blake. Is not the consumption in England, in proportion to the population, greater than in most foreign countries ?— It is greater among the opulent portion ; but certainly much less among the poorer class. Has not the consumption of tea and coffee lately extended itself among the middling and poorer classes as a substitute for spirituous liquors ?—Yes.

And therefore, as sugar is a necessary accompaniment to that, is it not, in a moral point of view, very important ?—Yes.

Mr. Ewort. Would it be possible for those persons who feel an incli- nation to make a distinction in the discriminating duty between free and slave-labour duty, to do so under existing treaties ?—No, not until: 1844, before which period the treaty with Brazil cannot expire.

That treaty binds us to take their produce ?--By that treaty we have stipulated that all British produce and manufactures shall be admitted for consumption in Brazil at a duty the maximum of which is not to. exceed 15 per cent.; we have no stipulation whatever as to receiving. their produce, except as to its paying no other or higher duties than, that of the most favoured nations; but the Brazilians are anxious to break up the treaty ; and, on breaking it up, to give us notice that they will prohibit all our manufactures entirely if we do not receive their sugars._ Chairman. Do you know to what extent our manufactures go in the Brazils 1—About five millions' worth annually.

Mr. Villiers. It is the best market we have for cotton manufactures?- -Yes, unless it be the United States, for all manufactures.

Chairman. Unless we receive their produce at reasonable duties, they will prohibit the introduction of our manufactures ?—Yes, or impose duties which shall shut them out whenever the present treaty expires.

Would not the rejection by the Brazils of the manufactures of Glas- gow, Manchester, and Birmingham be productive of great distress in this country ?—Yes, and very general dissatisfaction.

Mr. Villiers. And the condition of our operatives would be worse- than that of the slaves in the Brazils1—Yes : the slaves, however de- plorable their condition otherwise, are always provided with substan- tial food, sufficient clothing and lodging ; our operatives have no security as to any maintenance, except from the poor-rates, which form one of our greatest general taxes, and which is chiefly caused by our- protective duties.

Mr. Blake. Suppose we were to admit foreign sugar from free-labour countries, would not that withdraw so much free-labour sugar from the- general markets of the world?—No, it would merely increase the demand' for foreign, and greatly increase consumption and the comforts of our people.

In order to supply the general market with the amount of sugar so withdrawn from it, there would be an increased demand for slave- labour sugar 1—On common commercial principles, where a portion of what is consumed is withdrawn, if you could get the same article else- where, you would go in search of it, where purchaseable at any profit o but I believe you would increase the consumption of free-labour sugar by purchasing all sugars in the cheapest markets. MI restriction on buying and selling is a despotic interference with industrious and enter- prising liberty.

Therefore, if we attempted to discourage slave-labour sugar hr- allowing only the importation of free-labour sugar, should we not be liable to have our efforts thwarted by that principle ?—Entirely.

Mr. Villiers. Then you think our West Indies will never be able to, compete with the slave-growing countries ?—With respect to the West Indies, the protection necessary would be very small, provided you allowed them to get their supplies without imposing any duties upon. those supplies, and if you allowed them to get wages-paid labour where- ever they could get it cheapest.

Mr. Ewart. Is not it to be apprehended, that any interference with the freedom of trade, even upon a moral principle, may possibly recoil upon ourselves ?—All interference with the general freedom of trade is to be apprehended, and it has always affected not only morals, but the prosperity of those countries.

Even if we draw a distinction between free-labour and slave-labour sugar, it would not ultimately succeed 1—It will never succeed; no commerce can flourish as it should if you choke up its natural channels.

Do you think it is the effect of monopolies to encourage improve- ment, and to increase the quantity, or to make the parties satisfied with a bad system of cultivation, and a lessened quantity ?—It makes. them satisfied with a cheaper and more slovenly cultivation, no doubt.

Mr. Blake. If foreign sugar were admitted on free competition with the West Indian sugar, would not that operate as a great discourage- ment to the West Indian ?—I think, under present circumstances' if you admitted it at the same duty, you would destroy the market for the West Indian sugars.

Do you then think that that increased cheapness would not operate as a discouragement to the production of sugar in the West Indian market? —If you were to extend the other facilities and advantages that I have stated to the West Indies (and without that I do not believe that you could. make the reduction), then I believe that the West Indians would be- in fully as prosperous a state, and perhaps more so, than they are now ; that is, if you allow them to get their free labour and their stores and articles of consumption wherever they can get them cheapest. At present you tax the English consumer of sugar by two opposing charges ; the first to protect the West Indies by high duties on foreign sugars ; the second by taxing West Indian production, in making labour dear by restrictions on the means of procuring wages-paid. labour, and by imposing duties on the food for maintaining labourers.

We collect, four millions upon the West India sugar ?—About four millions and a half may be considered the average revenue.

Do you not believe that we could collect that amount upon foreign sugar without imposing any duty upon West India sugar ?—No, I think not ; the West India sugar would come into consumption, and you. would only get so much foreign sugar as would pay you the difference of increase over the West Indian, which now yields more than four millions.

Mr. Swart. Can you state what the West Indians are paying for refined sugar, compared with the price which we pay for sugar of the same quality ?—They pay about one-half of what we pay for refined sugar of the same quality.

You think a small reduction of duty will not produce a sufficiently extended addition to the revenue ?—In respect to sugar and tea, they are different from almost every other article of consumption ; when .sugars are cheap, the labouring classes consume a good deal; when sugars are dear, they are excluded from consuming any at all. They buy it from the retail dealers in quarters of pounds, and ounces ; -unless you reduce it a penny per pound, they cannot, in the small quantities they purchase, have any advantage, and you deprive them of that advantage unless you reduce it a penny the pound. The rich .class of consumers use as much sugar now as at any other time.

Mr. Macgregor's Fourth Examinalion-151h July.

Chairman. You have in your last day's evidence given an opinion relative to the sugar duties ; have you anything further to observe relative to the high duty on sugar, as affecting the price of sugar in this market, and its consumption ?—Since my last day's evidence I am in- formed that the decrease of consumption among all the labouring classes, and even among the artisans, has been very great indeed ; that the grocers generally find that the sale in small quantities has very greatly decreased. It has also been stated to me by various persons -in the sugar trade, that instead of the prices diminishing, they must inevitably rise, and several parcels have also been sold during the last week, after paying the 31. 3s., and the five per cent. 'additional duty.

Will you state what has been the effect of the high differential duty on coffee ?—The effect of the high differential duty on coffee has been the legal evasion of the law, in principle, as to the way of bringing .coffee to this country.

Mr. Thornely. Cargoes of coffee have been sent from the United Kingdom, and from ports on the continent of Europe, to be landed at the Cape of Good Hope, and to be brought back to the United Kingdom for the purpose of supplying the necessary consumption here? —Yes : from the 26th of April, 1838, to the 24th of March, 1840, It appears by the returns that 81 cargoes, importing more than 21,000,000 lbs. of foreign coffee, had arrived in the United Kingdom from the Cape of Good Hope [which is considered as being within the limits of the East India Company's charter] ; the duty being on that mode of carrying coffee 9d. a pound, that is less than if imported direct from foreign countries : the duty if imported from the country -of the growth of the principal part of the coffee would amount to 1,150,000!.; the duty saved by the indirect importation would be 750,0001., supposing all to be entered for consumption.

Chairman. Do not those greatly increased expenses keep up the price of coffee in this country ?—They have two effects; the expense of send- ing coffee to the Cape of Good Hope is about one penny, and conse- quently it arrives in this country at about 5d. less duty than if it came direct from the countries of its growth ; but if the duties were reduced to an equitable fiscal principle the article would be cheaper and the -consumption of coffee in this country would no doubt increase enormously.

Mr. Villiers. Have you made any calculation as to the loss to the revenue at present from the differential duty on coffee ?—The nominal doss to the revenue at the present time must be about 250,0001.

Does not the refusal on the part of England to take coffee from the Brazils limit very much the introduction of British manufactures into that country ?—Within the last three or four years the limitation has been going on ; not that the amount of exports have been decreased, but that they have not increased according to that which would naturally take place in all new countries, like the Brazils; the Bra- zilians now are consuming, and will assuredly go on greatly increasing the consumption to the proportionate exclusion of British, of the manufactured goods of Germany, of Austria, of France, and Switzerland.

Chairman. Do not the facilities afforded to the import of coffee and other articles, the produce of the Brazils, into the north of Europe, tend gradually to create a mercantile navy there, which England might lave maintained if she had had a free system ?—I think the greater portion of the whole trade of the Brazils with the north of Europe might lave been carried on by England if the trade had been free.

Mr. Villiers. Do you happen to know what the price of coffee is in any of the states of Europe as compared with England ?—The difference when the duty is paid is about 80 per cent. Chairman. Have you any observations to make on the differential duty on colonial spirits ?—The difference of duty between colonial spirits and continental spirits has chiefly affected our trade with France; and I have no doubt that if we were to lower the duty upon French brandy, the French would diminish the duty on many of our manuactures.

In speaking of colonial spirits, do you see any reason why the spirits imported from India should not be at the same rate as those from Jamaica ?—No ; I have always considered that they ought to be put upon exactly an equal footing. The differential duty on timber is 5s. for hard wood, and 10s. on pine and fir, from our colonies, as compared with 2/. 15s. upon timber from foreign countries, being a differential protection of 450 per cent. ; *hat observations have you to make upon that ?—My opinion is, that the differential duty upon foreign and colonial timber is exceedingly injurious to the manufacturing interests, and indirectly to our naviga- tion, inasmuch as we are prevented from supplying in return those :foreign nations with our manufactures, which they would take in about -the same proportion as we took their timber, or their other productions which they may have to give us. Does not the high differential duty oblige ship-builders and others Who use timber in England to pay a very high price for inferior tim- ber ?—Certainly, for all kinds of timber. In what way would the revenue be affected if the duties on foreign and colonial timber were equalized ?—By lowering the duties or equal- izing them, my opinion is that you would raise the revenue now de- rived from timber, which is 1,603,1941., to at least 2,500,0001.

How would you effect that?—! should fix the duty uponall colonial timber, with the exception of oak, teak, elm, cedar, and juniper, and other wood required for ship-building, to 105. per fifty cubic feet of measurement, including deals and staves, adding 5 per cent, on the deals and staves for revenue, as being partly manufactures; and I should tower the duty upon foreign timber to II. 10s.; not that I consider this the best, but I consider it the best you could do under the existing system. I would prefer Is. 6d. per load on colonial, and 22s. 6d, on foreign timber : then all classes would he greatly benefited, timber being so extensively required in all kinds of buildings down to the poor man's cottage, and for so many implements and countless other uses. If the duty were to be levied ad valorem, even at the same rate, it would in amount be higher, from its greater value, on foreign timber.

Would not that change be prejudicial to our colonies ?-1 think not, if you take away the useless restrictions with which we shackle their trade.

Have you not resided in the Canadas, and had an opportunity of judging of what the effect would be if the duty were raised on Canada timber ?—I have resided in all the British North American colonies, and my opinion is that if we remove our restraints upon the trade of those possessions, we shall not be long required to continue any protective duty whatever ; but while we continue our colonial restrictions, we shall be obliged to continue some of those protections ; we liming, by our legislation, caused merchants and others to embark in undertaking& their capital, which it would be unjust to destroy by other legislation except upon equitable principles. To what restrictions do you allude as a counterpart to our admitting timber into England at this lower rate of duty ?—The restrictions are chiefly in respect to our confining the colonies to certain limits of trade and navigation.

Would you recommend then those restrictions that you have men- tioned to be withdrawn ?—Entirely ; I would remove all British cus- tom-houses from the colonies.

What effect would that have upon the mercantile navy of England; have you ever considered that ?—I consider that removing those restric- tions would be no disadvantage whatever to the mercantile navy, inas- much as if you increase the colonial mercantile navy, you increase the British ; the navigation of those countries will be quite as applicable to supply the British navy with seamen as that in the mother country. No inconvenience or disadvantage can arise from that cause.

Then are the Committee to understand that the change you propose in withdrawing the restrictions from the British North American colo- nies, and in reducing the duty upon foreign timber coming from the Baltic, would be beneficial both to England and to the Canadas ? —I think so ; the province of New Brunswick alone, from existing circum- stances, from the labour and industry of the country having been directed so much more to saw mills and timber cutting, than to agri- culture, would experience inconvenience and loss which ought to be guarded against, on the principle of equity, for some time; but none of the other colonies would to any serious extent experience injury. Some individual houses would ; but it would be economy for this country, and it would only be justice, to remunerate them for their losses, pro- vided we effected a change which would give us at least an additional million of revenue, with far greater advantages to our manufacturers, shipbuilders, and to our whole population.

Mr. Villiers. Do you consider that the timber trade is of great im- portance to all those colonies ?—Only to the colony of New Brunswick, and a few mercantile houses at Quebec and Montreal.

Have you ever considered the policy of encouraging them to employ their capital in the timber trade ?—Morally I have considered it perni- cious; but I would never think of restricting industry or enterprise.

Have you ever observed how far it prevents them from employing their capital in agriculture ?—Yes; and I consider that entering upon the timber trade, except occasionally for employment during the first years of settlement, has been injurious to the agriculture of a country.

Chairman. Without entering into the details of all the differentia duties in the list you have given in, will you state, in your opinion, how far colonial produce in general should be protected ?—I must re- peat what I have stated, that while we continue those restrictions upon the colonial trade we shall be obliged to continue protection something equal to those restrictions towards the colonies ; and in reference to British ships trading with British possessions, it will be found abso- lutely necessary to let those who build them, and who fit them out and provision them, do so in regard to the materials of construction, the stores and provisions, without those restrictions as to duties and pro- hibitions which prevent their being constructed and fitted out at some- thing much nearer the expense of building and fitting out ships in foreign countries.

Then you consider that that protection which we have given, and those restrictions which have been laid on the colonies, have actually- been detrimental to the colonies as well as to England ?—Certainly ; one example I will give : the colonies are not allowed to import one single pound of tea from the United States of America, but they either get their tea direct from this country, or else by smuggling from the United States ; another example is, that they send vessels from the colonies to Madeira, and other ports, with fish, but they cannot bring back wines direct without paying a differential duty of 71.10s.

• Mr. M' Gregor's Fifth Examinalion-161h July.

Chairman. If a cargo of fish is sent to Madeira or Cadiz, can a British vessel, in returnire, to Newfoundland, or to any of the colonies of North America, carry back their wines without paying the differential duty ?- No; they must pay 71. 10s.

Can you state for what purpose that duty was levied ?—It was under the presumption of protecting British navigation.

Then, to the full extent of that, the commerce of our colonies is burthened ?—Yes, to the full extent of 71. 10s.

Do the colonies complain of that ?—They have made representations, particularly of late, against levying this duty.

Do you consider that the colonists themselves would be in favour of those restrictions being withdrawn ?—I am confident that not only would they be in favour of their being withdrawn, but would consider it as one of the greatest boons we could extend to them. As far back

as 1834 the people of the Canadas expressed the opinion distinctly : " Remove these restrictions and prohibitions, and you may legislate as you think wise and fit in regard to the timber duties." What effect do you consider those restrictions have on the mercantile navy of England; do they tend to increase that navy ?—Very little; because all those articles pay the same duty, though imported in foreign ships into those countries. I should think they have no favourable effect. A very specious argument may be made out ; but, practically speaking, I should think not. In every relaxation of the existing restrictions on commerce, is It not to be expected that that country which has the greatest extent of navigation, viz. England, will benefit most by such relaxation P—I believe that every relaxation is advantageous to England. I consider further, if England were to legislate upon the pure equitable principle of imposing only revenue duties, and were to impose none whatever for protection, then all other countries in the world might impose either prohibitions or taxes in whatever way they pleased ; and notwithstand- ing that, British manufactures would always find their way to a much greater extent than at present into every other country. Have you, in your communications with different parts of the Con- tinent, found any disposition to have those restrictions which have been so long existing removed ?—I have, while travelling over various countries on the Continent, and when residing at the courts of those countries, always had the tariff of England quoted against me on every occasion of discussing international trade and intercourse. What is the differential duty on foreign fish and oil imported into England ?—The duty on "train oil, blubber, spermaceti oil, and head matter, viz, the produce of fish, or creatures living in the sea, taken and caught by the crews of British ships, and imported direct from the Eshery, or from any British possession, in a British ship, Is. per ton ; on the same, taking or preparing foreign shipping, 261. 12s."

Does not that heavy duty raise the price of all train and fish oils, and does it not fall heavily on the manufactures of the country ?—Not a doubt of that.

Mr. Thornely. Does it not to that extent raise the price of the manu- factured article, when it is produced in this country ?—All articles re-

quired in manufactures must, to the extent of their value, or the extent of the fictitious instead of the real price, affect the price upon manu- factures.

Chairman. Then, consistently with your former opinions, that duty should be altogether removed, or very much reduced P—It should, like every other duty which I would retain, on returning to sound fiscal and mercantile principles, be altogether a revenue duty.

What are the prohibitions and duties which have been imposed to protect British agriculture and grazing ?—I have made out a list of the principal articles, which I beg leave to hand in.

(The Witness delivered in the same, which was read, as follows:) The following articles are prohibited, to protect British agricultural and grazing interests : viz, corn and flour, and meal of all kinds, by prohibitory duties, except when the price reaches what would amount to what would be called famine prices in other countries : malt ; beef and pork, fresh or slightly cured; lamb and mutton ; cattle, sheep, and swine.

High duties are levied on the following articles, to protect British agricultural and grazing interests: tongues, 3d. each ; bacon, 28s. per cwt.; pork, salted, 12s. per cwt.; sausages, 4d. per lb.; potatoes 2d. per lb.; beer and mum, 3/. Is. Id, or about 2s. per gallon ; ale, Other than mum, 21. 13s.; beans, kidney or French, 10d. per bushel ; fruits,

various duties ; cider, 211.10s. per tun; hay, 24s. per load of 36 trusses ; lard, 8s. per cwt.; onions, 3s. per bushel; lentils, 10d. per bushel ; pearl barley, 17s. 6d. per cwt.; mustard and caraway, and many other seeds.

What is the effect of those duties on the price of every article of the :fame kind produced in the United Kingdom ?—The effect of those duties and prohibitions is twofold; the one is exclusion in regard to bread and salted provisions, except when the prices rise to what may be called great scarcity prices; the other is to keep up the prices generally of the same articles in England.

In doin,, so, do not they impose a tax on the consumers of this country, equal to the difference of price of the whole of those articles ? —Being the necessaries of life, they impose upon all the consumers of the United Kingdom the greatest tax to which they are subjected. Mr. Villiers. Whatever adds to the cost of living takes from the wealth of the country ?—No doubt.

Have you ever heard any estimate of that kind, with respect to bread or flour ?—With respect to bread and flour, the difference which the labourer pays in money is from 40 to 80 per cent, more than the foreign consumer.

Chairman. You have stated that the additional price amounts to the heaviest tax which the people of England have to pay ; do you in that allude to the general amount of taxation paid to the Treasury ?—No, I allude to the general amount of taxation and other burdens to which wages and income are subjected, because there are many taxes which do not go into the Treasury ; such as poor rates, church rates, &c., which are taxes upon income or upon wages.

Taking the gross amount of revenue paid into the Treasury at 60,000,0001. a year, have you been able to form an opinion what pro- portion this additional taxation on the food of the country would be ?- I consider that the taxation imposed upon the country upon the pro- duction of wealth through labour and ingeouity, by our duty on corn, and the provision duties and prohibitions, are far greater, probably much more than double the amount of the taxation paid to the treasury.

Mr. Villiers. And it makes that taxation for revenue felt more than it is felt by other countries ?—Yes; the other taxes are greatly in- creased by this taxation ; for instance, the poor rates are greatly in- creased.

But the taxation for the revenue is a fixed amount ?—Yes.

Therefore the less the people's means are for paying that tax, the more they must feel it 2—Yes.

The higher the tax upon food and articles of necessary consumption, the less must be their means of paying that revenue tax ?—Certainly: one great extra taxation occasioned by the price Of food is that of throwing people out of employment, preventing tlienz from earning

anything, and by having no resourceshut the poor rates for their main- tenance, taxing all rents. Rents in the great cities and in the towns are taxed far higher. I believe, than agricultural rents are by the poor rates.

It diminishes the fund for the employment of labour ?—Yes; it seems a contradiction, but still it is a fact borne out by inquiry, that

whenever the price of food is high in this country you find there are a greater number of the labouring people unemployed ; and not only that, but the wages of those employed in consequence of so many being thrown out of employment is less then when food is plentiful. At the present time the wages even in the agricultural districts of Somerset- shire, Devonshire, Staffordshire, and Warwickshire, are less than wages have been known for several years back.

The abundance of employment is generally observed to be greatest where food is cheap ?—Yes, in all countries ; in France it has in- variably turned out so ; in the Austrian dominions, as far as I have been able to trace, on every occasion it has, I believe, been so.

Has it not been the result of producing economy in production, and enabling the public to consume the article cheaper, that you increase the wealth of the country and increase the demand for labour ?—Cer- thinly ; and with reference to cheap food, it is one of the great principles of public and domestic consideration in countries where the people have been always most employed ; Flanders and Holland, for example.

Chairman. Will you explain how those protective duties produce great fluctuations in the demand for labour, and, consequently, the dis- tress which occurs among the working-classes from time to time ?—In the United Kingdom those fluctuations have been principally the con- sequence of short crops ; and from there not being a steady demand in England for the agricultural produce of other countries, other countries have not been prepared at all times to supply us ; because, in conse- quence of our system of oversees and fixed duties, a degree of uncer- tainty has always prevailed on the Continent relative to the British market. The consequent shortness of supply, causing high prices for bread and other articles of food, diminishes the means of purchasing and paying for other articles for home consumption,while the increased price of food, at the same time, diminishes employment in manufactur- ing labour for exportation to other countries ; and the demand for la- bour is also decreased by the diminished quantity for home consump- tion, leaving a great surplus to be exported, and which surplus supplies the place of the manufactures that were previously produced when the prices of provisions were low. The steady moderate price of food, the dependent steady demand for labour, the equally dependent demand for manufactures, and the increased or decreased application for parish relief, by those employed, or thrown out of employment, being made ia fact by our legislation, not on any measure of certainty, but on the- changes of the wind, or the rise and fall of the barometer.

Are we to understand that so much of the wages being expended, in the price of food, there is an inability to purchase other articles:- required, and consequently those articles remaining on hand, menu.: facturers are obliged to seek an outlet for them abroad ?—Certainly.

Does not that produce an apparent increase in the quantity of goods. exported, whilst the manufacturers may suffer a great loss by that, and the state of our artisans here be very distressed?—Certainly ; the in- creased amount of exports must not always be considered as showing an. increased production, nor yet must they be considered as showing am increased demand for them in foreign markets ; the great bulk of that increase of exports which appeared during the last year consisted of goods that have been manufactured for home consumption, and which were sent to foreign countries for the purpose of finding a market, and not from their having been ordered or prepared according to order.

Then are not all such exports productive of loss to the manufacturer instead of profit, as in a healthy state of commerce ?—Certainly; and there is another great evil that arises, which is, that those goods which in the declared value might appear to be nearly equal to the value ot corn imported in scarce years, yet do not pay for that corn ; bullion is. sent out of the country instead, because the corn is invariably paid for- th money in other countries? and those goods which are consigned to. foreign countries are not to the countries generally from which the corn. comes, but to other countries, to look for a market.

Mr. Villiers. That you refer to the mode in which the duty is im- posed in this country, and not to any necessity arising out of the com- merce with corn-growing countries ?—No ; if there were a fixed duty,. however objectionable that fixed duty might be, there would be some-- thing like certainty as to the trade in corn between foreign countries and England. Chairman. If there was a fixed duty, though that fixed duty might increase the price of corn in England, would it not, by creating a trade in corn with other countries, induce those countries to take from us in payment such articles of our manufactures as might be found suit- able to their use ?—Certainly: in that case the trade would be like most other trades not placed under variable and uncertain restrictions; it would lead to a more natural exchange of commodities between the two countries ; corn would be exchanged for manufactures.

Does not the present system occasion sudden demands for corn which can only be paid for in bullion ?—Certainly. What, in your opinion, would be the effect of reducing those protec- tive duties to such an amount as might be considered a revenue duty,. so as to admit a general continued trade in all the articles ?—The ex- pense of the transport alone of corn from most countries in Europe to this country, must be considered sufficiently protecting to the agricul- tural interests of this country ; but at a moderate revenue duty of from 45. to at the highest 8s. (but 4s. I should say) per quarter, the effect would- be this, that neither the demand for labour nor the price of food would be subjected to such distressing fluctuations as they must be every now and then subjected to in the United Kingdom ; and not only that, but it would enable us, with our means of manufacturing commodities, to meet fairly with our fabrics all other countries with their manufactures. in the markets of the world.

The present state, then, of the prohibitive laws obliges the people of this country to pay a double tax, a tax to the state, and a tax to the grower of these article ?—Not only a double tax but a much greater one • it is a tax, in fact, upQn the growers themselves, and upon the landed proprietors themselves. So that all classes of the community suffer by that means ?—Yes, and especially the landowners. What changes, then, would you recommend in the present scale of custom duties, so as to continue our commerce on equitable or fiscal principles ?—I should propose to repeal the present corn and provision laws altogether. What would you substitute ?—If it became necessary to have a reve- nue tax, I should endeavour to fix that revenue tax as low as I possibly could fix it; considering it at the present moment, and looking at vari- ous other matters, I should, in the first instance, be content with even 85. per quarter on wheat, but I by no means think that 8s. should be continued as the duty upon wheat. Mr. Thornely. Do you prefer a fixed duty to a sliding scale ?—Yes ; a sliding scale would be a very temporary advantage in any way what- ever ; a fixed duty is a certainty, and it would cause a more regular trade with all other countries.

Mr. Villiers. I believe a sliding scale is a system of duties that is not imposed upon any other article but corn ?—No other.

Should you say that a large revenue would be collected if there was a low fixed duty on corn and other provisions ?—Certainly; the greatest revenue we can collect is from those articles which are most consumed, and certainly of corn the people would consume the most. Look at the great quantity of bread the French, Germans, and Belgians eat. And that would relieve the people from taxes levied on other articles, and bring wine and provisions more within their reach ?—Yes; and not only that, but I am convinced that, with the present corn laws, it will be impossible to maintain the present rents of land, inasmuch as if the present corn laws are continued, the inevitable consequence will be that persons of capital in this country and men of ingenuity will do what the landlords cannot do ; that is, they will remove with their capital and their industry to other countries, whereas the lands cannot be removed; and if you remove the manufacturing industry from the neighbourhood of agricultural lands, you reduce the rents of those lands, as has taken place under similar circumstances in every country in the world. In the neighbourhood of many commercial towns, Liverpool and Manchester, for example, lands which pay a rent of from 31. to 61. per acre, would scarcely be considered fit for any sort of cultivation in places distant from the seats of trade and industry. These lands would become what they were formerly, only fit for rabbit warrens. In various parts of Germany the rents are not one-tenth part of what they were 100 years ago, occasioned entirely by the removal of the manufactures : for ex- ample, in the neighbourhood of Augsburg, which was once a flourish- ing imperial city, the rents at that period were immense ; the landlords were, during the prosperity of trade and manufactures, led to build some of the finest palaces in Europe; those palaces are now deserted, or turned into post-houses, or inns, or barracks, or hospitals; nobody is living in themfof the name or family of those who constructed them. The same may be said of every town where manufactures once flou- rished, and which bad laws and had government have been instru- mental in destroying. Desolation has been the consequence of the withdrawal of that flourishing industry, and the same is to be found in every other country in every period of the history of mankind, under similar circumstances.

Should you say that there was any tendency of late years for capital and labour to quit this country and settle in other countries 1—Very great ; insomuch so that all the cotton factories in the neighbourhood of Vienna, in consequence of the cheapness of provisions, are in a very fair and prosperous condition ; but the directors and foremen of those manufactories are chiefly Englishmen or Scotsmen, from the cotton manufactories of Glasgow and Manchester. We find in France, that the principal foremen at Rouen and in the cotton factories are from Lancashire ; you find it in Belgium, in Holland, and in the neighbour- hood of Liege : you find British capital going into Belgium, France, and Germany to a very great amount; and this very British capital em- ployed there producing manufactures which meet us in the markets of the Mediterranean, the United States, Cuba, Port Rico, South America, and the East Indies.

Does the lower price of provisions abroad induce many people not engaged in trade to quit this country, and to settle abroad, that the price of living is so much greater here than it is there ?—There are four or five millions annually drawn from incomes in England spent in France alone, and a great amount in Italy; the city of Naples is al- most entirely supported by English expenditure. Chairman. Do you believe that if trade was conducted upon the prin- ciples you recommend, the price of living in this country and abroad would very nearly be equalized ?—The effect I believe which would take place, would be, that the prices here of the necessaries would assi- milate more nearly to those of the Continent ; that you would raise the prices on the Continent, and lower them in England ; that you would make incomes, even if they were to be somewhat diminished, from the rents of land and the funds, to pay for a much greater proportion of all that is necessary and luxurious in life.

Mr. Villiers. And we should at the same time retain all our natural advantages, and the advantage of a very large capital ?—Certainly. Chairman. That would enable us, undoubtedly, to maintain our pre- eminence, as the richest and greatest manufacturing country in Europe?

—Certainly ; and without those salutary and vital changes in our legis- lation, I do apprehend that both our trade, and our navigation, and our manufactures, must inevitably decline. You have stated a great number of articles which are entered in the tariff of the customs of England, the complexity of that tariff, and the difficulty which foreigners have to understand it; and you have also explained the simplicity of the tariff now existing in the Germanic em- pire: are you prepared to state what changes you would propose in the present custom laws of England upon fair and equitable principles, such as you have in your evidence alluded to ?—I have examined with great care what I consider would be the effect of a beneficial change in

our tables of customs' duties upon a more equitable and more fiscal basis; and finding that a very few articles pay nearly the whole revenue that the Treasury receive from the customs, I consider nearly all others

as amounting to nothing but burdens, restrictions, and delays upon the industry and the prosperity of the country. I have made out a new pro

formd table or tariff. It is not what I consider would be strictly just, but I consider it one which we might adopt with the greatest possible advantages and safety under existing circumstances. I have reduced the whole tariff to 20 leading heads, instead of 1150 rated articles.

Do you mean that your tariff consists of 20 heads, with 20 different kinds of duty only for the introduction of all those articles which are now entered under 1150 heads ?—With very little variation, 20 dif- ferent kinds of duties ; but on the great bulk of importations, not more than five or six different duties.

What principle have you adopted in this new tariff ?—I have adopted the principle of making 10 per cent, the maximum of all duties upon manufactures.

What is your principle with regard to raw produce, or articles re- quired in our manufactures ?—I should adopt the principle of taxing raw produce and general manufactures at the same rate of duty ; but as we cannot tax the raw materials at 10 per cent., and as I believe it im- practicable at present tcareduce the duty upon manufactures below 10 per cent., I have adopted a different duty for raw materials. With the exception of dyewoods, upon which I retain five per cent., for the pur- pose of revenue, I propose to levy upon raw materials, of all kinds, to be used in manufactures, in science and in the arts, a duty of 21 per cent. ad valorem. Those articles only produce 351,0001. of revenue at the present moment, some of them pay no duties. But I would retain what the French call "draft de balance," or a duty to ascertain the quantity on the registered importation. Have you adopted the principle of ad valorem duty, or do you admit the goods by weight or tale ?—Ad valorem duty, with very few excep- tions; those exceptions I retain for the purpose of revenue solely.

Taking the quantities imported of the different articles during the past year, to which your evidence formerly alluded, have you made any calculation as to what the revenue would be on that reduced scale which you have prepared ?—I have estimated that by the changes which I pro- pose in corn and timber, and other articles of customs ; in the place of 22,962,6101., which they yielded last year, they would yield at least 28,850,0001.

Admitting manufactures at a duty in no case exceeding 10 per cent., and raw produce, with one or two exceptions, at a duty of 21 per cent., would there be an increase to the revenue of three or four millions ?- Six millions I should anticipate ; but I have made a few exceptions in regard to manufactures. I have, for the present, retained those which have been reared under the fictitious system of protection at 20 per cent. ; such articles as glass, silk, paper, leather, linen and hemp manufactures.

In the management of the customs, what would be the effect as re- gards the expense ?—The effect would be great simplification, and con- sequently in a few years great diminution of expense.

There are in the present tariff a number of articles which are taxed, but which afford little or no revenue ; what do you do with them 1— Those which afford little or no revenue are of two classes ; some are admitted duty free, and others again are so highly taxed that they do not come into consumption, being articles that could not be smuggled with any facility ; they are not supposed to come in contraband, and they do not come in at all, on account of the high duties in passing through the custom-house.

In the table you have prepared, have you taken them all into con- sideration ?—I have ; I have made out a list, which I beg to hand in. (The Witness delivered in the same.) PRO FORMA TABLE OR TARIFF OF NEW CUSTOMS DUTIES,


Proposed Present Revenue Aterrmas. Rate Rate for of Duty. of Duty. 1839.

I. Animals ; viz. .£ s. d. X s. d. x Asses each 0 10 0 Prohibited.

Goats 0 2 6 Ditto Horned Cattle 0 10 0 Ditto Horses, Mares, or Geldings 1 0 0 1 0 0 399 5,000 Mules 0 10 0 0 10 0

Sheep 0 2 6 Prohibited Swine 0 2 6 Ditto Ale, Beer, or Mum... .per barrel 0 10 0 2 13 0 36 2.50

2. Carriages, all sorts, per 100/. val. 10 0 0 30 0 0 501 1,000 3. Coffee and Cocoa per lb. 0 0 9 0 1 3 Produce of and imported from

all British Possessions, includ- 794,819 1,000,000 big the States under British

protection in the Peninsula .. 0 0 5 0 0 6

4. Cotton Wool, Sheep's Wool. Goat's ditto, and all other

kinds of Hair, Re cwt. 0 2 6 0 2 11 The produce of. and imported from a British Possession 0 0 6 0 0 6

5. Food, viz.

Wheat per quarter 0 8 0 Prohibited, except nearly at famine prices Estimated Revenue on Proposed Scale, 559,645 603,000 of all kinds 10 p. ct. ad v...C1te

Fish, British taking. free .pr.hiibtily teit zo o


Fruit of all kinds 20 p. et udv. 10 to.2.00 p.ct. 437,04 600,00f. Hay per load 26 0 0 1 4 0 5

Barley Rye, Peas, and Beans

Oats 0 4 0

Maize or Indian Corn Buck Wheat, Bear or Meg

Flour per 1961bs. 0 4 0 Barley and Oatmeal, Indian

Corn, Meal. Re per 1961bs. 0 2 0

Rice, not being rough cwt. 0 8 0 if ii" o Rice rough, or Paddy 0 1 3 0 2 6

Rice from British Possessions, } 0 0 6 1 0 1 0 Re. cwt. 1 rough 1

Potatoes 0 1 0 0 2 0

Onions per bushel 0 2 6 0 3 0 Muccaroni ....... . ..... per lb. 0 0 1 0 0 2 1,792

Beef and Pork. salted.. per cwt.} 0 0 12 0 Ditto, smoked 8 0 { 1 8 0 Sausages per lb. 0 0 4 Bacon and Hams per cwt. 0.12. o 1 8 0 Beef, Pork, aud all kinds of

Butcher's Meat, fresh ....cwt 012 0 Prohibited Butter Cheese 0100 1 0 0 0 8 0 0106

per 120 0 0 10 0 0 10 12.014 FEgtis


1. " • ' 1,089,779 2.000.000 }a2.297) 1:840 213.077 100.419 3,823 800,0000


Awrict.sa.•Pirtri Rate

of Duty. of Duty.

• • ; •

33,170 50,000 70,032 100,000 145,322 150,000 89.202 100,000

13. Spirits—

From British P,ssessions: Distilled. of all kinds (except Aquafortis. and Spirits of Tur- pentine to be used to Mann. 0 14 0 1 2 6 2,615,442 2,500,000 factures) per gallon Produce of. and imported from 0 8 0 0 9 0 a British Possession Liquors nod Spirits, Sweetened or Prepared, the Produce of, and Imported from any British Possession. 0 10 Aquafortis aucl Spirits of Tur- pentine per cat. 0 10 14. Tallow ' per cwt. 0 3 Produce of, and imported from a British Possession 0 1 15 Tea per lb. 0 2 16. Tobacco 0 2 • From British Possessions 0 1 Manufactured 0 3

17. Sugar, C,aved, and in any way

Refit'. d per cwt. 2 10 Muscot do. B:ovrn and Yellow 1 10 Produce to„ a al imported from BAH 1-ossessions, Cloyed. Wit,te. and in any way Retitled 1 0 0 Ditto, ditto, Muscovado. 0 15 0 Refined 2 10 0 O 1139 0 9 0 Molasses 0 14 Produce or and Imported from British Possessions ...per cwt. 0 6 0 Syrups and Presets es in Sugar O2 0 0 6 per lb 0 O2 0 0 6 Succades and Honey 0

Wine per gall. 0 20 and additional 20 per cent. Produce of. and imported from British Possessions per gall. 0 2 0 19. Wood— Mahogany, Rosewood. and all other Fancy Woods for FlIttli- 1100 5 0 O\

tore, per Load of50 cubic feet 0 7 6 41. & 11.10s. From British Possessions Board and Deals of Mahogany Rosewood and all Fancy Woods

for Furniture per Icad 1 10 0 and additional 10 per cent. Ditto from British Possessions.. 0 7 6 aud 5 per cent. ad val.

Oak. Teak and Elm. Cedar and Juniper. and Mahogany from Honduras, for Ship-building

per load 0 10 0

Deals and Boards of, per 50 cubic feet 0 10 0 and 5 per cent. additional.

Oak, Teak, Elm, Cedar. Jun'pere and Hardwoods, &c. Product' of, and imported from Britiss

Possessions 0 5 0 Pine and Fir Timber. a tot Spar of all kinds, per load of 50

cubic feet 1 5 0 Deals, Boards or Staves of, per

load of 50 cubic feet 1 5 0

and 10 per rent. additional. Pine sod FirTimber and Spars. Produce of. and imported from a British Possession. per load

of 50 cubic feet 0 7 6 and 5 per cent. additional.

Dye Woods of all kinds 5 p.ct.ad veld° to ROO p.ct. 20, Raw Materials of all kinds, to be used in Manufactures, in s Science, and in the Arts, 21- Variou du- ties, and

per cent, ad valorem 2* ditto 1.,,,tc.200

Export Duties of all kinds to be per cent. ' abolished, with the exception per- haps of Coal.

Total Revenue for 1839 £22.962,600 Total Estimated Revenue by proforma Tariff, say.... £28,850,024

Mr. Blake. You estimme the produce of your new tariff at upwards of 28,500,0001.; is not that estionste founded in some degree on con- jecture ?—No ; I look at the increased consumption that must inevit- ably arise by the alteration I propose in the sugar duties, by the alteration in the timber duties, by the removal of prohibitions, and by

6. It digo, Cochineal, and Verdigris per lb. 0 0 4 0 1 6 Indigo from British Possessions 0 0 3 0 0 3

7. Hides and Skins of all kinds— Undressed p.ct.adv. Var. duties}

p Dressed or Tanned 5 ditto 10 to 50 . ct.

8. Mapufactures, viz.— Of Silks, all kinds Of Paper (excepting Writing 20 to 500 p.ct.

Var. duties'. Of Glass (exclusive of Excise).

Of Leather and Skins, Boots

Shoes, Gloves, &c. Of Linen and Hemp (except

20 per ck Paper) Canvass) Of Cotton, Wool. and Hair Of Metals, Mineral. Clays, and Earths. Stone, Wood, Precious 10 per et. 10 to 30 p. ct. Stones, Feathers, and all other Manufactures, not otherwise enumerated or charged

9. Metals and Minerals, and Stones of all kinds— Raw or Smelted 1 p.ct. ad v.. Var. duties -I Forged or Hammered 5 ditto 10 to 30 p. vi. -I10. Oils of all kinds .. per 100 values 10 ditto 110 400 From British Possessions and

I from West Coast of Africa .... 2i ditto... per cent..

11. Seeds and Grains—

Fla x , Hemp, and Rape Seed. qr 0 1 0 Mustard Seed 1 0 0 Ditto ground 20 per cent. Carraway Seed 1 0 0 All other Seeds and Grains, not et herwire enumerated, per cwt. 0 2 0 12. Spices of all kind per lb. 20per cent{ ... Various 10 ditto... 600 p. ct. ad val. duties, 20 to 0 1 0 0

o • 032

6 0 1 0 O 0 2 1 6 0 3 0 3 0 2 9 0 0 6 0 25,258 Ee,936 90,000

1. 181,999 180,000

3.658,800 4,000.000

13.495,686 3.200,000 o } 3 3 0

} 1 4 0 All for. , 1,603,194 2,500,000 merlymore than 250 per cent. Various du- ties, from 5 to 200 per cent.

8 8 0 56


351,153 393,775 i

I4,893,733 7.880,000

1,849,710 2.000,000 27,326 247.362

1 2,681 24.874 14,192 316.425 126,930 443,30

Revenue Estimated for Revenue on 1839. Proposed Scale.

37.624 30,000 62,676 55,000 500,000 300,000

the alterations in the corn law and provision duties. I have mado very moderate calculations, according.to consumption and according to po- pulation.

Is not your estimate partly founded upon the expectation that there trill be an increased consumption of certain articles in consequence of their being sold cheaper ?—Certainly ; but I have taken as the basis what I have known practically to take place in making something like similar changes in other countries, particularly in Austria. Therefore, founding yourself upon that experience, you are led to feel considerable confidence in that estimate ?—.Yea; I not only feel considerable confidence, but I consider that I have limited my estimate, which is based upon the results of laborious inquiry, to less than what the customs' revenues would produce in a very few years. I do not mean to say that in one year we should gain this amount. What effect would that proposed tariff have upon the internal in- dustry of this country ?—My belief is, that if you adopted this tariff you would not only give full employment to every healthy individual among the labouring classes, but that you would, in a great measure, except among the sick and disabled, destroy the call for the poor rates altoge- ther, especially if you fixed the duty on wheat at 43. instead of 8s. per quarter, and reduced the duties on other kinds of grain and flour and meal in the same proportion. Would there not be some branches of British manufacture which would be materially interfered with by foreign manufacture if your tariff were adopted?—! do not believe there would ; and even if there were, it would be the cheapest purchase in the world to pension off all those who would actually be injured, such as the always protected, but certainly the most wretched of all manufacturers that I have ever seen, the Spitalfields silk wearers: I do not believe that any others would be injured. To the protective system alone do I attribute wretched-

ness among the manufacturers; without such fictitious protections they would have been better and more wholesomely employed ; therefore the sum of protective duty is, properly understood, neither more nor less than an allurement to-become miserable.

Chairman. Would not any inconvenience, if any such arose, to the mercantile interest of the country under the tariff you propose, be less than is now experienced in the alternate gluts and the want of employ- ment in our manufacturing districts?—Certainly ; but I may repeat that the cotton manufacturers abroad dread of all things that we should reduce our food tariff, as that would be injurious to themselves ; they do not want the market of England for their manufactures, but they wish to be able with their fabrics profitably to meet England in the other markets of the world.

Mr. Blake. Do you think that the alteration you propose in the duties on agricultural produce imported from abroad would interfere materially with British agriculture ?—No, I do not all. Do you think the production of corn in this country would be di- minished ?—I think the production of corn in certain parts which have been forced into corn cultivation would be diminished, but not other- wise.

Mr. Villiers. You do not think the soil would cease to be used ?— No ; I believe that the rents of lands, generally speaking, in this coun- try would gradually increase, in consequence of the greater demand for labour creating a greater demand and ability to pay for fresh or green vegetable food, and especially for animal food. Mr. Blake. From the encouragement which you expect your tariff would give to commerce and manufacture, do you expect that the po- pulation and wealth of the country would rapidly increase ?—Certainly I do. I depend upon this change in the duties diminishing emigra- tion, and giving full employment in this country ; and I look at the quantity of additional bread which in that case would be consumed ; the people of England do not eat one.third the bread they ought to eat, nor the people of Ireland one-twentieth that those of France do. Do you think, in consequence of that increased populationand wealth, the population of this country might consume an increased quantity of imported corn, without diminishing the demand for the agricultural produce of our own country ?—I think so, taking all kinds of agricul- tural products. In the course of ten years you would want at least ten millions of quarters of grain additional, if you were to produce as much as you have done in the last six years in the United Kingdom ; but then you would not produce 30 much, but you would change a great deal of the land into grazing and culinary vegetable land. Ten millions ap- pears to be a great quantity to introduce into the population we have, but it is but little more than the third of a quarter to each individual. When I made out this, I allowed one-fourth less per individual of bread to the population of this country than to France.

SIR JOHN GUEST, M.P.—Examined 13th July. Sir JOHN GUEST, whose personal experience of the iron trade ex- tends over thirty years, stated that the produce of iron in this country had been raised from 125,000 tons in 1796, to more than a million and a half tons in 1839. The importation of foreign iron, which was prin- cipally used for making steel, and which from 1760 to 1786 was 40,000 tons per annum, did not average more than half that amount from 1830 to 1838. The protecting duty in this country was nugatory, and its re- duction would not affect the interests of the iron trade ; while its re- moval would be beneficial to the consumer and to the manufacturer of steel goods. He was not aware that the iron trade required any pro- tection at all.

MR. JAMES HANLEY.—Examined 13th July, Mr. HANLEY, a musical instrument maker, declared that tha supe- riority of our manufacture of those articles required no protection ; but the introduction of lower and cheaper articles would increase the general demand, by spreading musical taste. The high prices create a monopoly, which has much checked the sale.

JOHN BOWRING, ESQ., LL.D.—Examined 15th July. Will you state what was the immediate object of your missions abroad ?—The general object has been to report on the general state of our commercial relations with those countries, and to suggest any modifications ttohe Governments which might lead to an extension of those relations. What, in your judgment, constitutes a protecting duty ?—It appears to me that every duty is a protecting duty which excludes any foreign article coming in competition with the home article, or which raises the price of the home article by putting a duty upon the foreign.

Mr. Villiers. Is not the purpose of imposing that protective duty to compel the consumer at home to consume a dearer article instead of one that he could procure cheaper from abroad ?—Obviously, it is to exclude the foreigner from the field of competition, by raising the price in the interest of the protected commodity.

Chairman. Creating a monopoly in that country where the duties are so imposed ?—Creating a monopoly where the duties are so high as to exclude the foreign article, and creating a higher price where the duties are protective but not prohibitory.

What is the objection to protective duties, in a fiscal point of view ? —Their immediate operation is to diminish trade, and the diminution of trade clearly diminishes the elements of taxation. In countries where the protective system has been carried to its greatest extent, the

revenues are least productive. In France, for example, the custom- house levies per head under a protective system only about one-ninth of that which is levied in England per head under our system, which is more liberal. In America, where the maximum tal protection, or the maximum of duty, is 20 per cent., it is well known that the custom- house revenues are the great resources of the treasury. What is the operation of those protecting duties on the general inte- rests of the country ?—A great objection to a protecting duty is, that it levies an enormous amount of indirect taxation; and that this taxation wholly escapes the public treasury. If any example be taken, it will be seen how it works. I have made an estimate of the probable amount of taxes levied on the people of this country by the inhibition of the import of live stock and butchers' meat. I have grounded it on the statistics of the only country where I have got anything approximative as to consumption. Prussia consumes 485,000,000 lbs. of butchers' meat, with a population of about 14,000,000. I estimate that the con- sumption of butchers' meat in this country cannot be less than 50 lbs. per head per annum ; it has been frequently estimated at double that amount. Now this, on 25,000,000 of consumers makes a consumption of 1,250,000,000 lbs. per annum. If the prohibition of foreign cattle and foreign butchers' meat only raise the price here one penny a pound, it will be found that there is an indirect taxation of more than 5,000,0001. sterling levied upon the community. If the added value is 2d. a pound, which I am disposed to think is nearer the truth, it will be then seen that 10,000,0001. are taken from the community in consequence of the prohibition of foreign meat ; and if it should appear that the esti- mate is correct, which many statisticians have considered as the average of consumption in this country, viz. 100 lbs. per annum, that is, about a third of a pound per day per individual ; if the consumption be as great as that, then 20,000,0001. sterling are levied annually upon the consumer upon that article alone. I have taken another example in the case of sugar, on which there is a protecting duty, to favour the colonial interest. The returns that have been obtained in different quarters appear to show that the consumption of the United Kingdom is about 17 lbs. per annum per individual; upon that, if the additional price paid be 2d. a pound, which is a very low estimate, that is a taxa- tion of about three millions and a half sterling, growing out of the pro- tection which colonial sugar has in preference to the sugar of other countries.

Have you any means of stating what the consumption of sugar in any other country of Europe is as compared with England ?—The con- sumption in Great Britain is returned at 17 1-10th pounds per head ; I think that is estimated on a population of 24,000,000. The consump- tion in France by the last returns is about 4 3-10th pounds per head ; but I imagine it to be somewhat greater than this, inasmuch as the sta- tistics do not give any very correct estimate of the amount used of beet- root sugar, that being a home production. In the states of the Ger- man League, the consumption is 3 9-10th lbs. per head ; and it is esti- mated that the average consumption of Europe, taking in all the coun- tries of which Europe is composed, is about 2 lbs. per head. Then that protective duty operates much more severely on England in proportion than on other countries ?—Clearly. With reference to England, it is obvious that it is about seven times as great as upon the population of Europe generally, inasmuch as the consumption of sugar is seven-fold greater. I have taken another example with reference to a flue- sting duty, the duty on corn ; supposing that, of every sort of corn, the consumption of this country is 45,000,000 of quarters ; I do not speak of wheat only, but corn generally ; upon that, if the rise of price, in conse- quence of the exclusion of competing foreign corn, be 5s. per quarter, it is clear that the corn laws impose an indirect taxation of more than 11,000,8001. sterling upon the community ; and the general objection with respect to all those protective duties is, that it is impossible to calculate their extent, that the amount taken from the consumer is not to be reached or estimated.

Do they diminish the consumption of other articles by raising the price of artHes which are of absolute necessity, and thus preventing the buying many other articles which might be of convenient or of se- condary luxury ?—There is a diminished demand for the protected article, and also a diminished demand for that labour which would pay for the nonprotected article. You have stated the effect of a protective duty on the consumer; what effect has it upon the revenue of the country ?—lt is clear that where protection acts as a prohibition, and the foreign article is ex- cluded, there can be no revenue at all ; it is destructive of revenue, when the imports are diminished by its operation, which is in fact the argument which we mcst effectually urged upon the Minister of Finance in France, in the negotiations with which I was charged with Lord Cla- rendon ; that at that time they were receiving somewhere about three millions and a half sterling net revenue upon a population of 35,000,000, whilst in England, under a system less protective than theirs, we were, upon a population of 24,000,000, getting nearly 20,000,0001. of net re- venue.

Can you give any examples of any branches of trade having risen to a state of great prosperity in different parts of the world, without any protection being given to them ?—You may take, for instance, two of

the most extensive manufactures, the cotton trade in England, and compare it with the cotton trade in France; it is known that the cotton

trade in England is the least protected of our trades—that it was in fact a persecuted trade in it origin ; that taxation was levied upon cot- ton goods, in the interest of the woollen trade ; that cotton manufac- turers have been throughout the advocates for free trade, yet the deve-

lopment of that trade in England is perfectly unexampled. In France the cotton trade is the most protected of trades : it was protected from its origin; it is only within a few years that the finest numbers of cot- ton twists have been admitted into France; there is an absolute prohi- bition on all articles of cotton manufacture except the very high num- bers of cotton twists, which are used for making lace. The cotton trade has made very small progress in France compared with the cotton trade in England; the state of the cotton labourers is frequently one of very great suffering ; the number of bankrupts among the cotton manufacturers in France has been great, and when the home market is glutted there is no means of relief by going to the foreign market, in- asmuch as the price at which they produce, the fictitious price created by the protective system, is much higher than the prices of the nations with which they compete. The consequence is, that as a means of re.

lief, the government have been in the habit of giving a large premium on exportation, which is another taxation levied upon the French people ; they paying in the first case a much greater sum than they need pay for the cotton garments they wear ; and secondly, paying the cost of the increased price upon the article which France exports, in order to enable her to get rid of her superfluous production.

Has not France every facility of obtaining the raw material of cotton as cheap as England 1—Clearly ; and in one respect an advantage, that she is more adjacent to the Egyptian crops.

Are the Committee to understand you to say that the increased price of all kinds of cotton goods, whilst France has the sante facility as

England, arises entirely from the protective duty ?—Mainly so ; and I

would mention that the only manufacture in France towards which a liberal system has been applied is the manufacture of silk ; foreign cotton goods are excluded ; foreign silk goods from any part of the world pay a duty of from 13 to 15 per cent.; yet so sound and healthy is the manufacture of silk upon the whole, that France is able to export

four-fifths of the whole of the silk goods she produces. So that while of cotton, protected in every conceivable way, the amount of her ex- ports is trifling, and principally growing out of other circumstances, that of her superiority in taste, her exports of silks are, as I mentioned, four-fifths of the whole which she manufactures.

Are you aware what quantity of manufactured ribbons and silk is imported into France from Switzerland ?—There is a considerable im- portation of the low qualities of silk goods, and of ordinary ribbons, into France from Switzerland.

Do they pay duty ?—They pay a duty of from 13 to 15 per cent

Is the silk trade in any way protected in Switzerland, from whence those ribbons are imported 1—By no means. There is no duty on im- port or export in Switzerland.

Then do you mean that Switzerland, being quite free from any pro. tective duty, is able to manufacture silk ribbons, and import into France

those silks, paying a 15 per cent, protective duty ?—Yes. There is no country in which the development of the sound manufacturing principle has been so great as Switzerland, which has not a single protection of any sort in her legislation.

Are there not branches of cotton manufacture at this time flourishing in Switzerland more than in England or in France ?—Many such.

Are there not difficulties which Switzerland has to overcome in pro- curing the raw material, from its being at such a distance from the sea- ports, which England and France have not ; and do you consider that she is able thus to meet the manufactures of those countries, by the principle of the freedom which has been long established ?—Her ma.

nufactures are far removed from the ports where she buys the raw ma- terial; the cost of transport is very great ; and when she has manufac- tured the raw material she has to send it to a distant port of shipment Undoubtedly her disadvantages are peculiar ; but those are more than compensated by the general principles of her legislation.

Mr. Villiers. Have you ever had any opportunity of hearing or learn- ing what the effect of the protective system has been upon improve-

ments in production, such as improvements in machinery ?—I think

the operation of the protective system may be found in the phrase of one of the gentlemen who were some time ago sent from the cott6n

districts in France to Paris to advocate the continuance of the prohi- bitory system ; and his phrase was, " We have been slumbering under the tree of protection."

I believe, at Coventry and other places, they used machinery which they had used for a number of years, without adopting any improve- ment ?—Certainly; they were " slumbering under the tree of protec- tion."

Chairman. From the knowledge you possess of the general state of trade in Europe, and in the United States, what will be the effect if we

continue the protective duties in England on the different articles pro- duced by those countries ?—I think we must anticipate hostile legisla- tion.

On what grounds do you give that opinion ?—On the ground that many countries have made representations of this character, " We are willing to adopt a system of reciprocal modification ; and if you are not willing to meet us on that ground, we must adopt a system of further protection, and even of prohibition."

Do you mean representations made to the British Government, or in what way ?—I may mention a fact which has come immediately under my cognizance, and which I have reported to the British Government :

At Berlin, in the late Congress, offers were made to negotiate mutual modifications in the tariff of Germany and the tariff of England, and those offers were accompanied by statements, that unless there were a mutual modification of tariffs, those governments would be forced to raise the duties on British manufactures. I have received within the

last week papers containing the discussions which have taken place in the Chamber of Baden, where they have proposed an augmentation of 100 per cent upon the duties upon cotton twist, which is one of the largest of the British exports. I know also that the Chamber of Coin-

mevecte Saxony has taken up the subject with the same intention ; so that those very states which a few months ago were really willing to meet us on terms of friendly reciprocity, are beginning to take more and more of a hostile attitude, and are demanding heavier duties upon British commodities.

Then is it your opinion that, if those modifications of the duties on the import of corn and timber into England were made, we should meet with equal facilities in the introduction of our manufactures into the warehouses of other countries ?—Yes ; but I ought to state that the difficulties of the case are daily increasing, and that the manufacturing interest is daily strengthening itself in those countries. But I would also add, with regard to the timber duties, that very friendly proposals have been made from Sweden, and that she is willing to consent to a modification of her tariff in the interest of British manufactures if our timber duties could be modified here.

Ate you aware that articles of British manufacture have, within the last two or three years, been excluded from continental mar- kets, by any circumstances connected with our fiscal rules ?—Very many. When the German Commercial Union was first established, in 1832, and previous to its establishment, many attempts had been made by the German states to bring about a change in the British tariffs; and it is my belief that the union itself never would have been formed, if liberal commercial treaties could have been entered into with the states individually composing the union. Then if the Commercial Union has been the result of our refusing to give those facilities to the importation of their produce here, what, in your opinion, will be the result of our persisting in our present rates of duty on those articles ?—That the manufacturing interest there will strengthen ; that the agricultural interest will become subordinate to it ; and that the tariffs against English manufactures will be increased.

Will not the necessary result be a still greater diminution of our exports to that country from year to year ?—Certainly. The changed nature of our exports to that country is very remarkable. They formerly consisted wholly of manufactured articles, cottons and wool- lens, ready to be cut into garments ; but though the money amount of our trade has not diminished with those countries, they now take a very different species of commodities. Of cotton prints there is scarcely any exportation, but there is a greatly;increased demand for cotton twist. So again for woollen goods there is a very considerably diminished demand, but a large increased demand for woollen yarn. For all the materials which have undergone the first process of manu- facture the demand has increased, but the tendency of the demand is more and more towards the import of the raw material.

• Mr. Villisrs. The progress of the manufactures in Europe, particu- larly in the German states, has not changed your opinion as to the erroneous policy of protecting duties generally ?—It has strengthened my opinion, because they have introduced many elements of distress which they had not before; this demand by them for an additional duty on cotton twist has grown out of the distress which they are suffering by the misdirection of capital ; they state that they have already lost a million and a half of dollars, in consequence of their attempt to create a new industry, and they want to get their losses back again by taxing the consumer; it would be more to the interest of Germany that the spinning manufacture should not have been in- troduced.

Though they should become exporting countries, ultimately it will be at the expense of great loss, and present distress to the consumer ? —Yes, and a sacrifice of great commercial wealth to the community.

Ultimately, it may be the case that they will become exporting coun- tries ?—Yes.

And that they may meet us in neutral countries in the articles that they export P—They meet us in many.

Our success in rivalry will depend upon the relative cost of production ?— Yes. I believe we have created an unnecessary rivalry by our vicious legislation ; that many of those countries never would have dreamt of being manufacturers if we would have taken their agricultural produce ; but there is now going on a transition in many parts of Germany, in which manufactures and agriculture are united, and many interests are vibrating between manufactures and agriculture. Our Legislature will decide whether these persons, who, while they have looms in their houses, have fields and gardens round their dwellings, shall devote themselves most to the labour of the field or the loom, so that their future condition and their future rivalry will depend upon the course we shall pursue.

Would the exports of foreign manufacturers prove that they might not have been better off without the manufacture P—Certainly not. It might happen that capital directed to agriculture would have given them 10 per cent., whilst abstracted from agriculture, and employed in manufacture, it would give only five ; but being once embarked in manufactures and machinery, it cannot easily return hack to the place it occupied before. There has been a great abstraction of capital from agriculture to apply it to manufactures, but it is not so easy to restore it to the former con- dition.

Chairmen. If England were to receive the raw produce of Germany, corn, timber and flax, would not both England and Germany increase in wealth, and afford greater employment to the people of both coun- tries ?—Yes • by communicating to each other mutual benefits and mutual profits.

England would not be injured by the prosperity of Germany ?—I believe inasmuch as the commercial relations of England are greater than those of any other country, that England is always the country that is the recipient of the greatest proportion of the prosperity of other nations.

Every commercial relation entered into between England and every other part of the world is likely to be more profitable to England than to any other country ?—Yes. England gets the greatest proportion of the benefit.

What would be the fit limits, in your opinion, to duties on imports, if the interests of the public revenue were alone looked to ?—it appears to me that the principle should be to raise the highest amount of re- venue compatible with the non-encouragement of smuggling, and with the greatest extent of demand. Would you apply that to tobacco, and spirits, and silk, which are the articles highest taxed P—I know of no other scale by which the Government can judge of the extent of taxation that could be levied upon the people ; it must do the business of the consumer as cheaply as the smuggler.

Whet do you consider to be the general principle adopted by the English tariff as now established ?—It appears to me that the English tariff has been established without any regard to a general principle ; it is not protective in all its bearings, and it is not made most proauc- tive to the revenue. It is not protective, as the tariffs of France, and Spain, and Austria, and Russia are, of which the object is to exclude all foreign manufactures ; it certainly does not produce that effect, and its productiveness to the revenue is clearly, in many cases, made subordinate to the protective principle. There are some duties that are productive, and there are other duties that are not productive ; and there is, as it appears to me, no general policy, no comprehensive end or object running through our tariff as a system. Then, is it your opinion that if our tariff was altered on the several duties, on the principle you have laid down that the power of raising a revenue for the state would be increased, and that the consumer would also receive greater benefit by the change ?—Yes; I think that the interests of protection and the interests of revenue are frequently wholly incompatible ; and that one of the two ought to be made the object of custom-house legislation. Do you mean that the real fiscal interests of the state clash with the private interests of those who manufacture protected articles ?—Yes; and that the true groundwork of legislation would be, to look to the fiscal interest alone, to consider what revenues ought to be raised from imports, and to take special care that the protective principle should not by any means introduce itself. But if Government was to act on that principle of revenue alone, would not that also inevitably produce an advantage to the consumer ? —Obviously. It appears to me that if the whole of our custom-house legislation were simplified, even beyond the simplification of the Prus- sian tariffs, if some ten or twelve articles in which there is no compe- tition with the home producers were made the main objects of taxa- tion, and upon those articles the highest duty imposed which could be recovered, and if then all other imports were left free, that would be the wisest and most beneficial of any system of legislation that could be adopted.

Sir C. Douglas. Will you state what the ten or twelve articles are to to which you refer P—I would begin by considering the articles which are, upon our present system, most productive, such as sugars, teas, spirits, tobacco, wine, coffee, cocoa, timber, and such articles, stopping at the point where the foreign article competes with any article of British production.

Will you state the reason why you would not include corn ?—I do not include corn because, in that case, the levying a duty upon fo- reign corn implies the levying an indirect taxation in the interest of the British corn grower by raising the price of home-grown corn. Do you believe the amount of taxes produced now by the whole cus- toms, amounting nearly to 22,000,000L, could be levied under the altered system which you have stated ?-1 believe they might.

You have mentioned the simplicity of the Prussian tariff; will you state shortly what that is ?—The general legislation of the tariff in the German Commercial League, not Prussian only, but of all the states, is that a duty of half a dollar shall be levied by weight, per cwt., on all ar- ticles. To that there are twenty-eight exceptions of articles which are wholly free, and there are forty-three exceptions of classified articles which pay various duties, and under those forty-three every article is included that is not either free, or which does not come under the gene- ral principle of levying half a dollar, that is to say, Is. 6d. per cwt. You have spent a considerable portion of your time in Spain, and watched the operations of the high and prohibitive ditties there; can you state the operation and the effect of those laws P—Spain, perhaps, is the country that has pushed the protective system to its greatest ex- tent ; and there is no country whose commerce and whose manufactures have suffered so much, and whose exports are in so low a state. I have very frequently travelled with smugglers, and have seen the way in which their goods are conveyed from one part of the country to the other, sometimes by fraud and sometimes by force; but the laws are • completely inefficient wherever the recompense to the smuggler is large, or where the difference of price is considerable between the price its Spain, and the price in the producing country.

Exclusive of the demoralizing effect, has not the revenue of that country been considerably diminished from what it would have been if the goods had been admitted at a moderate duty ?—Certainly ; the only parts of Spain where there has been anything like a general prosperity, ive the parts in which the prohibitory custom-house legislation has not been introduced ; the Biscayan provinces have a fiscal legislation of their own ; they have always resisted the authority of the general go- vernment to impose prohibitory laws upon them, and the contrast in the condition of the people in that country and every other part of Spain, strikes all travellers.

Are all goods admitted into the Biscayan provinces ?—Not all; but the goods that are admitted, are admitted at an exceedingly trifling duty. Do you consider that the prosperity of those provinces has been through that cause greatly improved P—Certainly ; the value of property there is much greater ; there is a far more general distribution of wealth ; and the whole character of the Biscayans is in every respect more ele- vated than in any other part of Spain.

Then is it your opinion that the condition of the people and the state of the public treasury have been by these means much deteriorated by prohibitory legislation ?—I believe the state of the ports of Spain, and the general misery of the people, is mainly attributable to their bad commercial system ; the grass grows in the streets at this moment of their principal commercial places. You are aware that England, and different continental countries, are taxed very unequally ; how is the heavily taxed labour of this country

to compete with the more lightly taxed or untaxed labour of foreign countries ?—Wages are only one element in the cost of production ; and it is quite clear that we have not the greatest advantages where we pay the lowest rate of wages, for in many such cases the competition is strongest with foreIgn countries. Where we produce to the most ad- vantage will frequently be found to be where we pay the highest wages ; and the reason is obvious : the low rate of wages in this country exists principally where labour is bought in its rudest shape, where there is very little skill, as in the case of the hand-loom weavers ; and this la- bour where there is little skill, is placed in competition with the whole world ; it is a species of labour which is everywhere purchasable, and till production which is brought into the regions where this labour is applied for general competition must be in a perilous state ; those of our manufactures are most successful in which we obtain the greatest aptitude and the most intelligence from the labourer, and in these our great superiority is found over other countries. For example, the Pacha of Egypt has chosen to be a great manufacturer ; the price he pays to his labourers in the cotton manufactories he has established is thirty pares a-day, which is less than 2d.; that is the price now fixed in the manufactories in Egypt. He has the advantage of having the ratv material, probably at two-thirds of the price that is paid here' it being grown upon the spot ; besides that the manufacturers choose for the manufactures of the Paella the superior qualities, before the general supply is sent down to the markets for exportation. Notwithstanding this advantage of having the raw material so cheap, and having labour at a price so incredibly low, he cannot compete with the manufactures of England ; and wherever Eifglish goods come in contact with the Egyptian, they are found to be cheaper. So in the regions in Syria, where the rate of wages is from 4s. to 5s. a week, the Syrian articles compete successfully, and frequently drive out the Egyptian, though it would appear, if the question of wages were the only question, that the Egyptian must have a great advantage over them. The question of the amount paid for rude labour, is not so important a one as it is be- lieved to be.

Will you explain the working of that system, which prevents labour paid at so low a sum competing with the manufactures of this country ? —The least instructed labourer can everywhere produce certain rude manufactures; the consequence is, that those manufactures will be very badly paid for; all those labourers, in fact, who are employed in pro- ducing those common fabrics must necessarily be in a very bad condi- tion, because they find competing labour in every part of the world ; the way to benefit their condition is not by protecting them by legisla- tion, but by extending the field of demand for labour, by increasing their manufacturing aptitude, and directing their attention to labour of a more productive and better recompensed character. You have stated, that of all artisans and labourers in this country, the hand-loom weavers are the most heavily pressed ; how do you propose to relieve that class P—There can be no relief but by a transfer of their labour to other productions ; because, engaged as they are at such a disadvantage with the competing labourers of other countries, their condition must come to be worse and worse.

What countries in Germany have made most progress in manufac- tures ?—Those countries where manufactures have had the least pro- tection.

Which are they ?—Saxony has made far greater progress than any other, and its legislation was the most liberal of all the German states. You have already mentioned Switzerland as an example; have any of the German states been so free as Switzerland ?—None; and I do not think that any, comparatively, has made such progress,

But you have stated, that of all the German states, Saxony has been the freest from protective duties : can you show how its prosperity is proved ?—The government, in 1831, printed some comparative tables, contrasting the progress Saxony had made with the progress France had made, by which it appeared, that while the population of Saxony was as 1 to 21 compared with France, in spinning manufactures she was as Ito 2 6-10ths ; in looms as 1 to 3 1-10th; and in stocking-frames she had considerably more than France herself; so that in the result Saxony, in comparison with France, had eight times more of spinning manufactures, in proportion to the population, six times more of looms, and twenty-nine times more of stocking-frames.

Do you attribute that progress solely to the difference between the commercial legislation in France and in Saxony P—I do ; and Saxony, like Switzerland, had to contend with many disadvantages. She had no port of her own ; she was very far removed from the markets of the raw material ; she had neither ships nor colonies, and not very consi- derable capital; she had few trading relations, for almost the whole of her manufactures have grown up in the present generation. What manufactures have made, and are making, most progress in Germany ?Certainly those which have grown up spontaneously, with- out any protection.

What are they P—The hosiery trade is the most remarkable. I believe, at this moment, the cotton-frames of Saxony are equal, if they do not exceed in number, those of this country. The manufactures which are suffering most in Saxony are the manufactures of modern introduction, particularly their spinning factories, which have grown up since the in- troduction of the Prussian tariff.

What remedy would you propose in order to put an end to the smuggling of silk .?—A reduction of the duty ; it appears to me that if revenue were the only question, a duty honestly levied of 20 per cent. would drive the smuggler out of the field. • Would the British manufacturer be in the least injured by having the goods regularly imported with duty paid ?—I believe he would be greatly benefited.

Sir Charles Douglas. How ?—He would exactly know what was going on ; he would get information of the facts which are now completely concealed from him, and he would see the nature and extent of the competition against which he is struggling ; and I believe also that he would derive considerable advantage himself by the introduction of patterns of those superior articles for which the French are distin- guished.

Cannot he at present obtain patterns ?—He does, but a more exten- sive introduction of foreign patterns would improve the taste of this country, and the demand for superior taste, though in that respect I am bound to say that a great improvement has taken place ; the intro- duction of French goods has already so raised the character of our silk goods, that since the admission of foreign silks we have become very large exporters of English silks.

Chairman. You state that you attribute the increase of the rianufac- tures in Switzerland to perfect state of freedom of import and export, and the absence of all protective duties • may not the low rates of wages paid in Switzerland have in fact enabled the Swiss to drive the English manufacturers out of many foreign markets ?—There are cases, no doubt, in which the low rate of labour has given them great advan- tages; but I am persuaded, that if there were a change in the system at home, we should recover a great deal of the trade that we are now losing; for we have a great number of advantages which are not pos- sessed by the Swiss, or any other nation.

You have stated that you would lay a duty on a few of the most pro- ductive articles ; that you would reduce the amount of duties paid on those to such a scale as to put an end to smuggling ; would that rule apply equally to the manufactured as to the raw article P—I see no reason why foreign manufactured articles should be placed in an ex- ceptional condition.

In the alterations you propose, are the Committee to understand that the duties on all articles which are so low as to be of little amount to the revenue should be quite removed, or made nominal, so as to enable us to keep a statistical account of our exports and imports ?—I think that would be most convenient ; I am for adopting the plan of intro- ducing on such articles what is called by the French the droit de balance, that is, a duty on registration to repay the expense of machinery for obtaining correct statistical returns.

Is it not important to our manufacturers, who have to compete In foreign markets, that every article required by them in the process of the manufacture should he landed from the ship into the warehouse with as little delay, and at as little expense as possible ?—Yes, such facilities always increase trade ; I may mention the fact, that there are two ports in Italy which are free ports, in one of which the transfer of goods is very much facilitated, and in the other very much impeded ; the trade of Leghorn has greatly increased under the freer system ; and that of Genoa, though nominally a free port, has continued stationary under the restricted system. The great facility connected with the warehousing of goods has been among the main causes of the prosperity of the Range Towns.

Does not the existing system in England, which require! almost every article to be warehoused before the duty is paid, tend very mush to increase the expenses of every article manufactured ?—It is both costly and embarrassing. Sir C. Douglas. How would you propose to get rid of that ?— By taking off the duties, which would enable the goods at once to reach the warehouses.

Chairman. Does not the imposition of small duties on bulky and heavy articles, which are unimportant to the revenue, tend greatly to add to the charge of the manufacturer P—The advantage to the revenue is far more than counterbalanced by the annoyances to the importer. Sir C. Douglas.—You stated that the operation of protecting duties was, that it imposed an enormous amount of indirect taxation, the greater part of which escaped the Treasury; will you explain how that is ?—If, by a protecting duty on a foreign article you raise the price of the home-produced article, you then levy upon the consumer the whole amount of the difference in the shape of indirect taxation which does not go to the Treasury. .For example, if the importation of silk goods be a million sterling, and there is levied 30 per cent, upon that million, 300,000/. goes to the Treasury; but if at the same time one million of goods of the same kind is manufactured at home, the effect of that legislation is to raise the price of those 30 per cent., or to take 300,0004 more from the consumer, not one farthing of which goes to the reve- nue, but is an indirect taxation levied upon the community.

What would you do in case of a war P—I believe you could get no security for peace equal to the extension of our commercial relations; and all that I should have done by the removal of restrictions, and the removal of prohibitions, would have been to give to capital and labour its best direction ; and it is quite clear, therefore, that capital and la- bour being employed in the most advantageous way, our position in case of a war would be far more favourable than if capital and labour • had been misdirected by legislation, which I should conceive to be in- jurious.

Still, under those circumstances, you would be unable to obtain those articles of which there is no longer a manufacture in this country, because that manufacture had ceased in consequence of your taking of the protecting duty, and those articles would only be to be got from the country with which you were at war P—That is our present condi- tion with the great articles of consumption; cotton is an article we do not produce, and for which we are wholly dependent upon foreign na- tions.

Chairman. The answers you have given against protecting duties do not exclude the laying on a fiscal duty on any article that may be im- ported, provided it is important for the sake of the revenue that a duty should be obtained P—Certainly not ; whenever the principle is reeog. nised that the object of custom-house legislation is fiscal, to produce the greatest amount of revenue at the least sacrifice to the community, it appears to me that it will be fixed on a proper basis. Sir C. Douglas. You stated that the corn laws imposed an indirect taxation of eleven millions ; will you explain that answer P—That sup- position is grounded upon the calculation that the present corn laws in this country elevate the price to the extent of 5s. per quarter, and that the consumption of corn of all sorts in this country is 45,000,000 of quarters per annum. What in your opinion would be the effect of the repeal of the corn laws touching this subject ?--My opinion is, the first effect would be that the fluctuations of prices would be very much diminished; that there would be a considerable rise on the Continent, and some fail in England; that there would on the Continent be a re.direction of ca- pital to agricultural objects, which is now being devoted to manufac- turing purposes; that there would be a considerable increase of trade, and a demand for labour, and a very great increase in the consumption of corn here, probably equal to the whole !meunt with which foreign cOut!trica would be able to supply us,

. . . . • • -

IL HUME, ESQ.—First Examination, 16th July.

,many years have you been in the Customs and aitments ?—I was thirty-eight years in the Customs, and ye-ars afterwards at the Board of Trade. What classification do you make in the duties now existing ?—Those duties which are levied for the purposes of revenue, and those which are levied with a view to the protection of particular interests. As regards those levied for the revenue, what alterations do you con- skier necessary?—I think that the table is infinitely more complicated and extended than it needs to be.

Mr. Villiers. You are referring to the whole of the customs' duties ? —Yes. The plan has been to name, as nearly as possible, every article which the mind of man almost could conceive, with a particular duty attached to it ; and then, with a view to obtain a duty upon any article which may not have been so named, the table winds up with two gene- ral charges, which are known by the name of the unenumerated duties. The first is a duty of 20 per cent, upon articles not enumerated, which have undergone any degree of manufacture ; the second is a duty of five per cent upon articles not enumerated, which have undergone no de- gree of manufacture. Not many years ago those two duties were, the first 50 and the other 20 per cent.; the object being to secure what was deemed an adequate sum for the benefit of the revenue. Mr. Huskis- son deemed it right to go upon a different principle ; his object was rather to open our ports for new commodities by lowering the duties, with the intention of placing rated duties upon any which might be brought in in large quantities, and might be deemed worthy of being named in the tariff; but it appears to me that he did not, upon that principle, lower the duties of either class sufficiently ; and as the import. ation of any commodities, without an adequate duty, could soon be stopped by imposing a just duty upon them, the risk is very trifling, and the advantage would lie on the side of extremely low duties in the first instance.

Chairman. Would not, in point of fact, that principle justify the lowest possible amount of duty ?—That is precisely the view which I take of it, fixing the lowest duties as an experiment until we see what goods are introduced in consequence of that, and how far it may be right to raise the duties upon any particular commodities. With this view I should propose a duty of one per cent, upon both classes: it appears to me that there is little necessity for a distinction between manufactured and raw commodities : a fixed ad valorem duty in its own nature following the increased value which the degree of manufacture may give.

Then you would keep that one per cent, more for the purpose of sta- tistical registration than any other purpose ?—Yes; I should preserve the duty in order to bring all the goods fully before the notice of the officers of the customs ; they would then periodically consider whether any particular goods were imported in such quantities and of such natures as to be deemed worthy of the imposition of a particular duty upon them ; and even before! reduced the present unenumerated duties so low as I speak of, I should recommend that the customs should re- port their opinion as to the articles which now come in under the 20 per cent, or five per cent., and whether any of them should be in the first instance rated at particular duties.

Would that duty be only a nominal duty, so as to enable the custom- house officers to keep accounts, and would it not at the same time allow the importer to remove his goods direct from the ship, intend of ware- housing them as is now generally done ?—The small duty would bring the goods under the inspection of the officers of the customs, as the present larger duty does, and the advantage of being able to enter the goods at once would be a great boon to the department of customs and to trade ; one entry perhaps would be passed only in the first instance, the entry from the ship, instead of many entries afterwards, as the goods would be taken out by degrees from the warehouse; thus the number of entries "would be greatly reduced: but I should propose that the duties upon a great many articles, besides those that are now unenu- merated, should be so reduced as to remove the necessity of ware- housing.

Are there not at this time many articles with so low a duty as not in fact to be of any importance to the revenue, which merchants are obliged to warehouse; and, instead of one clearance, as you represent, from the ship, they are obliged to have a clearance for every portion ?- I conceive that there would be found to be a very long list indeed of goods, the duty upon which might be reduced to so truly nominal an amount as to leave the merchant with the fullest liberty to take them home at once upon arrival.

That would, in fact, without injury to the revenue, facilitate every commer6a1 operation to a very great extent 1—Very much, and of the Customs also. The small amount of duty proves that it could not in- jure the revenue; and there are many commodities which are re-ex- ported after some trifling or different degrees of process are performed upon them.

Are there not many bulky and heavy articles at present, unimportant to the revenue, which are attended with considerable inconvenience to the importer, by being obliged to be warehoused ?—I have no doubt that, taking item by item, it would be found that there are many such, not only as to warehousing, but also as to the great trouble that there is in weighing or measuring them,considering the small amount of duty. Mr. Villiers. Have you ever considered whether the duties upon those articles that afford but a trifling revenue have been imposed for the purpose of protection, and whether they afford that protection 1—A very large list of articles might be made, in which no principle of protection would interfere ; the principle I am speaking of might be very strictly applied to many articles in the table without removing any protection.

It is not the smallness of the revenue raised upon the article that proves that the protection is small ?—No, it often only proves that the protection is very great, and sometimes that it amounts to a prohibition. What you have pointed to is, that duties are imposed that are attended with great inconvenience to the mercantile interest, and with no advan- tage to the community ?—Precisely ; many of the articles I allude to are those which have undergone great reductions, and though unpro- ductive to the revenue, still the duty is too high for the convenience, I

may say, of the trade, while the revenue has no interest in the ques- tion. I would take, for instance, the article of gums : there are eleven articles of gums, which are very regularly imported, paying from 4s. to

6s. a cwt., altogether the eleven only producing 2391. in the year ; those I would put for instance at Is. a ton. There are five other articles of rather more importance, at 6s. a cwt., producing 12501.; I would put them also at Is. a ton. Then we come to four articles of gums ; gum

arable, lac dye, shell lac, and gum senegal, those produce 16,1951.; I should be equally desirous of putting them at Is. a ton ; but some question of revenue might arise which might impede it, seeing that the produce is considerable. Then under the -article of colours there are seven named which produce 2331., paying from Is. to 5s. per cwt. ; those I would put also at the nominal duty of ls. a ton ; there I con-

ceive no hesitation could arise. The next are eight articles, which pro- duce 23331., with duties varying from 2s. to 4s, a cwt.; those also I

might hope would he put at the nominal duty of Is. a ton. The five material articles, such as madder-root, cream of tartar, smalts, verdigris, and madder, produce together 18,9201.; I should be equally desirous of putting a nominal duty upon them, but the question of finance might interfere.

Chairman. Then would you, in that case where finance interferes, propose an equal rate of duty for each article of that class, so as to simplify the tariff ?—No ; they are not calculated to be put at an equal duty, except a perfectly nominal one. Then there are some articles on which questions of protection arise, and which still, I should consider, are articles of a minor description, such as hides, oak bark, leather, corks, mats, starch, seeds, honey, onions; those are articles upon which one would be very desirous of taking the first opportunity of reducing

the duty as low as possible ; many of them, such as seeds and bark, would be exceedingly useful in our manufactures, and there are ample reasons why the principle of protection should be excluded in regard to them. I am inclined to think that agriculture is more injured than protected by the duties on seeds.

Mr. Villiers. Have you ever considered whether there are articles upon which a protecting duty has ceased to operate ?—I think there are not many in that case ; but I think the converse of the question is very applicable to our table of duties. There are a great many articles which originally were at a low duty, and where no protection was con- templated ; but during the war, year by year, and budget by budget, the duties being yearly increased, many articles had duties at last im- posed upon them, which set people on the alert to make them at home, which was never thought of before, and thus incidentally those became protected. First, revenue alone was the object, but parties made the goods here, and in fact intercepted the revenue. Then there are some articles which, short of the higher degree of protection, are materially protected, such as metals, glass, cordage, oils, staves, paper, butter, and cheese.

Is it your opinion that, generally speaking, all protective duties should be removed, and that it would be the consideration which of them might be exceptions only to that rule ? —I conceive that no gene-

ral measure could be more beneficial to the country than a removal of all protections, prohibitions, and restrictions. I cannot conceive that a

country exporting forty millions' worth of its industry in the year, can effectually and beneficially, for any length of time, protect any partial interest whatever. If the protection is effectual, it can only be so in con- sequence of the prosperity of the country arising from other means ; but if once the country should cease to be prosperous, in consequence of being unable to find markets abroad for this enormous amount of exportation, then the parties making those goods that had before been exported would apply themselves to the manufacture of the protected articles, and thus bring them down to their own level very quickly.

Spitalfields was invaded by Manchester before it was by Lyons. Dur- ing the war, and for a great number of years, while the cotton trade was entirely or nearly our own, there was little attempt to make silk goods in our provincial manufacturing towns, and Spitalfields had the trade nearly to itself. But the first distresses of Spitalfields after the war closed arose from home competition, and not from the importation of foreign goods.

Then one effect of every protecting duty is to direct labour to that particular branch, which the natural state of the commerce of the country does not allow of ?—The first tendency is certainly such, and it is not counteracted so long as other trades which have no protection are still flourishing, and therefore are content with their success.

But you are aware that in Spitalfields there have been for a long time great alternations of prosperity and distress ; do you consider that this distress was produced in either case by the foreign manufactures, or by the home manufactures in Manchester or elsewhere 1—During the period of total prohibition, and before Manchester adopted the

manufacture, the periods of distress must have arisen from changes of demand in a confined market. I do not conceive that the quantity smuggled in at that time could have had any real effect upon the trade. high forced prices, subject to caprice of fashion, must always keep a trade in peril of reverses.

Then what do you mean by stating that Spitalfields was invaded by Manchester ?—Manchester devoted itself to the manufacture of silk goods as soon as the cotton trade began to fail them in some degree, and the profits of the manufacturers in Spitalfields were reduced. There was an interval of very considerable distress in the cotton manu- facture between the high prices of the war and the settling down of the trade to its own level, and then Manchester began to think of the silk trade.

Mr. Villiers. The people in Spitalfields had as much interest in being protected against Manchester as against Lyons ?—Most certainly.

And the principle of protecting them is quite the same in both cases ? —Yes; and you cannot support the manufacture of Spitalfields in its former state, unless you protect them against home competition as well as foreign.

The purpose of protecting is, to support an existing interest that can- not support itself ?—Yes ; it is of no use unless the trade is naturally a losing trade.

And it cannot support itself when the community can get the article cheaper elsewhere1—Certainly not, if the protection was wanted.

Then it is always at the expense of the consumer that the protection is imposed ?—I think that is manifest.

You have always considered it to have that effect?—! have always considered that the increase of price, in consequence of 'protection, amounted to a tax. If I am made to pay Is. 6d. by law for an article which, in the absence of that law, I could buy for Is., I consider the 6d. a tax, and I pay it with regret, because it does not go to the reve- nue of the country; and therefore I do not, in return, share the bene- fit of that payment as a contribution to the revenue. I must be taxed a second time for the state.

Chairman. Then it is your opinion that every protection of a com- modity operates as a tax to the community at large ?—Yes, most de- cidedly.

Mr. Villiers. And, further, as a misdirection of capital and labour ? —Yes; it is tempting parties to embark in a trade by fictitious support, which in the end may prove a fallacious one. I have often wondered how any rulers could consent to incur the responsibility of such a policy.

Chairman. Do not all such protective duties and monopolies occa- sion very considerable fluctuations in that particular branch from time to time ?—I think that every trade thrown out of its natural course by protection is more subject to fluctuations than those which are left to their natural operation.

Mr. Tufnel 1. Then you cannot conceive any circumstances under which a protective duty can confer a permanent and general benefit upon the community ?—I think not. While it operates in favour of the party intended to be protected, it is a tax upon the community, and there is always the risk of its not being able to support itself by its own natural strength ; and the protection may some day fail of keeping it up. The real question at issue is, do we propose to serve the nation or to serve particular individuals.

Chairman. Does not every protection in some degree lessen the efforts of the party protected to meet his competitors in the market ?— In my opinion, from all I have noticed and heard, it has, in a most pe- culiar degree, that operation upon the human mind. It is rather before my own positive recollection, but in conversations long ago, with older men in the woollen trade, I have learnt that at the time of Mr. Pitt's commercial treaty with France, the great import which came upon us was the French broad cloths. Previous to that, our own ordinary cloths were entirely protected by the prohibition of the other. They were of a uniform and very inferior character. In the first instance, the French cloths had a very great sale in this country ; the habit was always to order a coat of French cloth; and no tailor thought of making out a bill without putting the words, "Coat of French cloth ;" and my in- formant assured me that that habit of so charging lasted many years after there was scarcely a piece of French cloth came into the country. The manufacturers of this country, feeling the stimulus of a competi- tion, soon set themselves seriously to work, to see whether they could not make cloth as good as the French ; and the result has been, that, up to a certain point, short of some very exquisite productions, such as are hardly ever required in use, the English make cloths better for the price than the French do, and consequently they have retained the trade to themselves.

Mr. Villiers. Are you aware that for many years, while iron was protected, no improvement in the manufacture of iron took place ?- Certainly, speaking of the coincidence, that is precisely the case. It is well known that the enormous increase of machinery, and powerful machinery, in the iron manufacture is of recent date.

Are you aware that the great increase in the quantity produced in this country was entirely owing to the discovery, in the middle of the last century, of a better mode of manufacturing iron, and was not owing to the protection ?—Yes, and to still later improvements. Chairman. Have you any doubt, from your extensive experience, that monopoly, however secured, prevents those efforts that take place invariably when competition is allowed ?—I have not the least doubt of that; all my observation tends to confirm that opinion, and I think we may refer to human nature to explain it. This I have already illus- trated by the case of the woollens.

Then are we not to conclude that every branch of our industry which has been protected by high duties has made less progress than it would have done if foreign articles of the same kind had been admitted ?—I should say that that would be the case with all those in which we were able to stand against competition. The removal of the protection might end in extinguishing some trades or particular branches of trade. It is very easy, in the poorest country, to draw a little circle round a small body of people, and to pamper and support them with emolu- ments and profits, which they can hardly be said to earn themselves, and which are a heavy tax upon other people ; but where protection has been grossly misapplied, the trade would be given up.

Mr. Villiers. Has it ever fallen within your experience to know that one protection has been made the ground of others ?—I believe that has been pretty much the argument of the landed interest ; they have, upon numerous occasions, treated what they consider the protection upon manufactures as a reason for a protection upon corn. But the cases are as different as possible, agricultural produce never being ex- ported, and the foreign market being the great ground of prosperity to our manufactures.

Is it not the plea with some interests that their protection should be continued, because they are so highly taxed, or pay so highly for the necessaries of life, that they cannot compete with their foreign rivals? —I have heard that argument used; but I think it not only groundless, but that the opposite is the true proposition. A highly-taxed people cannot afford to give protection ; an individual whose necessary ex- penses are great cannot be generous. Would it not afford a ground for not removing the system of protec- tion in one interest, or for removing all protections ?—Yes, I think it would furnish a reason for universal protection, until, in attempting to protect every body from taxation, you protected nobody.

Chairman. Are you not aware that foreign countries, in the duties they have imposed, have very often been led by our example in Eng- land to impose protective duties ?—I believe that to be a very strong impression in all foreign countries; they imagine that we have risen to our present state of prosperity through the system of protections, and 1 that they have only to adopt the same system in order to succeed as - we have done.

When you speak of giving an example to Europe, do you believe that if England would remove those which are protective duties to cotton or to any other manufacture, that might induce the other nations of Europe to adopt a more liberal system of trade, and conse- quently lead to the admission of a larger portion of British manu- factures ?—I think it very probable that even such partial removals would have that effect; but I feel the sirongest confidence that if we were to give up our protective system altogether, it would be impossible for other countries to retain theirs much longer.

Would you remove our own protection without any other foreign country removing theirs ?—Most certainly, and without even asking them. I dislike treating with foreign countries upon any subject except navigation, and that for this reason, that there would be waste in the matter of carriage between different countries ; it would end in the ship always going empty one way on both sides ; this would be a dreadful waste, from which every country would suffer in its commerce. And, again, a ship in one place is a ship in another ; there is no diffi- culty in the comparison, but there is a difficulty in comparing one description of goods which one country makes with a totally different description made in another, and equal terms can hardly be made ; but I feel quite confident if we were entirely to drop our system of protection, in a very little time it would be a race with other countries which should be first, or rather, which should avoid to be the last, to come in for the benefit of that trade which we'would then open.

Mr. Villiers. Do you not consider a retaliatory duty as most adding to the injury which the duty imposed by the foreign country occasions in this country ?—I have always thought so ; I have disliked all treat- ing in the matter ; I would take what I wanted and leave them to find the value of our custom.

Chairman. Take the case of Italian oil, the duty upon which was doubled as a retaliating duty three years ago ; have not the English manufacturers and consumers principally suffered by that ?—I think they have ; I must say that I do not think it was a good mode of effect- ing that object. The Neapolitans taxed some of our goods, and we retaliated by, in effect, taxing others. We made woollens suffer here because they made our cottons and hardware suffer there.

Then that principle you would apply generally to the commercial transactions of this country ?—Entirely so; I should make our laws according to what I deemed best, which would certainly be to give the freest possible introduction of the goods of other nations into our country, and I should leave others to take advantage of it or not as they thought fit. There can be no doubt that if we imported from any country any considerable quantity of goods, and the manufactures of that country were protected, the producers of those goods which we took would very soon find the great difficulty they had in getting their returns; and instead of our soliciting the governments of those coun- tries to admit our goods, our advocates for that admission would be in the country itself ; they would arise from the exporters of the goods which we received.

You have stated your opinion respecting cotton manufactures; would you simply retain the low duty as a numerator, or would you entirely remove the cotton imports from the tariff?—I would have a low nomi- nal duty, with a view to enumerating the article, and keeping the ac- count.

You think the present duties levied may be removed without injury ? —I think not only without injury, but that in one instance it would gratify our East India possessions, or convince them that they were incapable of sending their calicoes and muslins to this country, and thus satisfy them that this country did not impose anything against their industry.

Mr. Chapman. Is it your opinion that the trade of this country would flourish more without the intervention of commercial treaties with other nations?—! think that we should settle our commerce better by ourselves than by attempting to make arrangements with other coun- tries. We make proposals to them ; they do not agree to those. We then after that feel a repugnance to doing that which we ought perhaps in the first instance to have done of our own accord ; and I go upon the principle that it is impossible for us to import too much, that we may be quite sure that the export will follow in some form or other, and that the making of the articles to be so exported will be an em- ployment infinitely more beneficial to this country than that which may be thus superseded. Chairman. Then though a few articles might come in, still on the whole it would be sound policy to remove all protection, particularly against the raw material of which that manufacture was composed?—! think that the letting in particular articles of manufacture which some countries, from peculiar facilities or taste or anything else, make a little cheaper than ourselves, would not at all interfere with the general prosperity of that branch of trade.

Take, for instance, woollens, of which we export in value six or seven millions annually ; do you think it right to keep up a duty of 20 per cent, on all woollens imported ?—I think it must be very unneces- sary; it is against my opinion that it should be so ; but were it taken off, I can believe that some particular fancy articles might be imported that would not be imported now, hut not in a degree by any means to injure the trade, n hich has already a surplus so large, that it i3 gene- rally competing in foreign markets with other manufacturers against whom we cannot protect it.

As we now export woollen goods to so great a value, do you not think that those individual trades or manufactures would soon endea- vour to rival and compete even with those particular branches ?-.--They would either make that attempt, or they would be content with the branches of the trade in which they did excel; but I think they would not be content till they had tried to make the commodity themselves. If they failed there would only be a beneficial division of the trade. Would you apply that reasoning to all the branches of our manufac- ture ?—I think it is capable of being applied to a very great degree ; at the same time I must observe, that in proposing to remove the prot,ec. tions, I by no means mean to say that considerable changes should not 1 / ' take place in the industry of the country. I conceive that the few cases in which the protection does operate are so unimportant in a national image that the parties benefited have no claim whatever to have the whole system kept up for their own peculiar interests.

Ought not a great commercial country like England to have her ex- ports and imports on some definite and intelligible principle, instead of

their being left as they are at the present moment, of various amount of charges and import duties, without any apparent reason for them ?— I think it very probable that in endeavouring to measure the protection to different parties, many errors were committed, and that some are higher in proportion than others are ; but I must observe, that, if the duties were removed, the importations into this country would, I con- ceive, be greatly increased ; and, in some cases, where none now take place ; but I feel perfectly confident that the country is amply capable of devoting itself to profitable trades, so that the general prosperity of the country should be increased ; although, in the earlier stages of the removal of these duties, some few branches might be distressed, and some lost.

Do you consider that those principles which you have laid down ought to apply equally to articles of food of this country, a great por- tion of which are now excluded ?—I conceive myself, if I were com- pelled to choose, that food is the last thing upon which I would attempt to place any protection.

That is the first thing upon which you would remove the prohibition and protective duties ?—Yes. It is very clear, that this country stands in need of a vast deal of agricultural produce beyond its production, which is not to be measured merely by the quantity of corn which we occasionally import, because we habitually import very largely of those articles that are the produce of land, and suited to be raised in this country, besides corn, and which shows that the power of supply is very much strained. Although we view it chiefly in the article of corn, we import a very large quantity of other commodities, commonly and habitually, such as are the produce of our own soil, or fit to be so ; and this proves dearly that we want more than we can produce. The ex- clusion of supply in such a case is cruel privation.

You are of opinion that all those protective duties are in fact a di- rect tax upon the community, by raising the price of every one of those articles to the consumer ?—Most decidedly. I cannot analyse the charge which I pay in any other way, than that part of it is the price of the commodity, and part is a duty, though it goes out of my private pocket into another private pocket, instead of into that of the public. Does that, in your opinion, add to the wealth of the country, or does it check the general industry which is applied in our manufactures ?- I think it cannot add to the wealth of the country, because it is clear that we consume commodities at a greater price than is the necessary price; and consequently we waste labour and capital in the produc- tion, and waste can never ultimately do good, at least to a nation, although some individuals may thrive upon it.

Do you consider the wealth of England to be caused and maintained by her commercial and manufacturing industry ?—Certainly ; if meant U in contradistinction from the produce of the soil; it is only necessary to look round the world, and see what countries there are of much richer soil that are in a state of comparative poverty ; and also to look back to our own history, of no long period, to see that with the same quantity of land we have now, we were a poor country, compared with what we are ; therefore, having always had the land, but not the trade, I must conceive that the increase of our riches arises from the trade, and not from the land.

Has not the wealth of the country arisen from the great increased prosperity of our manufacturing and commercial relations ?—I conceive that it can be traced to no other source. The only difference that I can see in the present state of the country, and the country a century ago, is, that by commerce and manufactures we have acquired riches, and raised up a population which are not only able to consume, but also able to pay good prices for the produce of our land. If the same po- pulation had been raised by other means, they would have been a bur. then to the land, instead of an advantage.

Does not every limitation in the importation of food, and every rise in the price of food, tend to undermine the manufactures of the country, upon which we depend ?—I conceive that it must do so, because we place ourselves at the risk of being surpassed by the manufactures in other countries; and as soon as it happens, if ever the day should or- rive, that we should be put to a severe trial as to our manufacturing power, I can hardly doubt that the prosperity of this country will re- cede much faster than it has gone forward.

Do you mean whenever England shall be unable to compete with foreign markets, in her principal staples, with other countries which are less burthened, and have cheaper food than ourselves, that then the prosperity of this country must begin to wane ?—Whenever foreign countries can so compete with us, from whatever cause, I conceive that our prosperity must decline ; but I cannot help believing that there can be no other cause for that than other countries having cheaper food..

Is not the increased price of food in this country one of the principal ingredients of the increased cost of our manufactures, so as to prevent our competing with other countries ?—I conceive that, in the long run, it must be so ; it either must be so, or the manufacturers and labourers must suffer great privations ; wages would first be lowered as far as possible ; and as many masters would be withdrawing from their trade, it is possible that the supply of labour would be so much greater than the demand, that the reduction might go to the limits of starving or of riots; but it is not merely that, it is the diverting of other countries from manufactures, and inducing them to take to agriculture instead, and also producing an interchange of goods, and creating markets for returns for our goods, as well as finding markets for them to go to. Altogether, I conceive that the reduction in the price of food, and par- ticularly the admission of it from abroad, must tend to prevent other countries from being able to surpass us in manufactures.

You have often heard it stated that the people of England being higher taxed than they are in any other country, would be unable, as regards the price of food, to compete with other countries if the corn laws were taken off P—I have heard that argument, but have always

been surprised at it, because it appears to me that the very circumstance" of our being so highly taxed for the good of the State is a reason why we should not be taxed between ourselves.

You consider that a fallacy P—The greatest fallacy I can conceive ; It is the very opposite of the true proposition.

Mr. Villiers. Do you not consider that we have greater advantages in production than any other country in the world, as regards capital and skill ?—I think that is the only thing that has yet kept us up, but I do not think the advantages are such that we can rely upon them for ever.

'We are losing markpts for our goods in return for corn, and we are ' compelling those countries to establish interests to rival us in other countries ?—I have always thought that when the great change in this world took place after the French war, before which time the foreigners ' had not attempted manufactures to any material extent, and when they had been greatly encouraged in agricultural pursuits, because through the war we had been great importers,—if from that time we had thrown open our ports for raw produce, and removed protections, we should have had our manufactures in a most secure position, for the other countries who are now attempting to rival us would not have attempted it ; but it would be difficult now to get back to the point at which we then were : starting at that point, we were then the only manufacturers. What the people on the Continent want most is large capital, is it not ?—I believe it is; and I believe they are every year obtaining very considerable capital as well as artisans from this country, and even master manufacturers.

Then the tendency of the present system is to drive this large amount of capital to those countries which are engaged in rivalry with us ?- That is the direct tendency ; and one wonders that the trading part of the community have not taken this view of the matter earlier ; and I can only account for it on this supposition, that the most influential and the most advanced have believed and felt confident that the shifting of the trade was a matter of slow operation, and that it would last their time. I think that this makes the great difference between the former supineness of our manufacturers on the subject of the corn laws, and their recent activity on that subject. The day of trial is not now so distant, in the view of the present parties, as it was in that of their pre- decessors, or even of themselves some years ago.

Chairman. Are we not by this system undermining the very means by which public taxation and public revenue are supported ?—I think that we not only check the collection of the revenue immediately, hut that we are also undermining our resburces. I cannot help often look- ing at the consequences with considerable alarm. I think the country cannot stand such a system as this for a long period. Mr. Villiers. Would it not have been the natural course of things in this country for the revenue to have greatly increased, considering how the taxes are imposed?—! have not a doubt that if there were no pro- tecting duties, the revenue would flow in with a very great increase and great ease.

Owing to the increase of population and the increase of wealth ?- The increase of population, and the greater ability of men to pay the State taxes, being relieved from paying taxes to individuals.

If the protective system were altogether removed, the effect would be, to produce a large population, and a well-employed population ?- Yes.

Chairman. Do not the fluctuations in the employment of industry also tend very much to lessen the productive power of the country ?- Yes, I conceive they do.

Produced mainly by the present system ?—Yes, because it is artificial.

Mr. Villiers. You consider it can matter little to the consumer whe- ther- he pays so much more for his food as a tax to the revenue, or whe- ther he pays so much more for his food as a tax for protection P—The enhanced price, from whatever cause, is just the same; I would sup- pose that, instead of protecting land by a duty on foreign corn, the country was left to get corn at the cheapest rate, and then that a revenue was raised for the express purpose of being applied to the support of the land; it would be too palpable, and could not be borne ; but I conceive the effect of the present system upon the consumer to be the same. It would be even better and perhaps cheaper to pay directly' than indirectly, because trade would then be free.

Supposing a tax was imposed upon flour ground at the mill, every person then would pay that ; do you not suppose that that would afford a large revenue ?—Yes, it would, according to the rate. The people might feel it even less than the present protecting duty ? —It would be less noxious.

It is quite possible that a large revenue might be collected by that means ?—Yes, and the public pay the same price that they now do.

A large revenue might be collected, and the public pay even less for bread ?—Yes, because it would be only a charge, and not also an im- pediment to trade. I presume in my questions a perfectly free trade, and a tax upon all flour ground at the mill ?—Yes, an internal duty, and importation free.

The community would not suffer so much as they do at present, and a large revenue might be collected Ly that means ?—I conceive that, if the duty charged at the mill was only about the same amount as that which the public now pay for the purpose of protection, not only the revenue would derive a large supply, but that it would be less injurious to the people. Certainly less injurious to trade P—Certainly, even if it were so high as to keep bread at its present price, notwithstanding the free importa- tion of wheat.

Chairman. Have you ever made a calculation as to the amount of taxation which the community pay in consequence of the increased price of wheat and butchers' meat, which is occasioned by the monoply now held by land P—I think that a tolerable calculation may be made of that increased charge. It is generally calculated that each person, upon the average, consumes a quarter of wheat a year. Assuming, then, the amount of duty that this wheat paid, or the price enhanced by protec- tion, whatever that is, as far as bread goes to be 10s., it would be that amount upon the whole population. Then you could hardly say lent than, perhaps, double that for butchers' meat and other matters ; so that if we were to say that the corn is enhanced by 10s. a quartet, there

would be that 10s. and 20s. more as the increase of the price of meat and other agricultural productions, including bay and oats for horses, barley for beer, as well as butter and cheese. That would be 36,000,000/. a.year, and the public are in fact paying that as effectually out of their pockets as if it did go to the revenue in the form of direct taxes.

And, consequently, are less .able to pay any taxes that the state may require for its support ?—Certainly ; I conceive that having paid the private taxes they are the less able to pay the public taxes.

Mr. Villiers. Supposing that, in order to change this system, some partial injury might be inflicted upon some existing interests, is that rather a ground for compensation, and entering into an arrsgement with those interests, with a view to mitigate the evil, or is it a ground for perpetuating the system of protection :—If a mode could be adopted, and the alternative were whether we should continue the protection or compensate the parties injured. I should not hesitate a moment to say, give the compensation. It is a circumstance that has often struck my mind; • I have very often seen duties kept "up because of the injury which the removing of them would occasion to particular interests, when a comparatively small sum would have compensated the parties. One of our greatest faults is that we will not pay the price of extrica- tion from former errors.

Chairman. Take the case of the timber duties, which you are aware are kept up under the plea of protecting the shipping interest, and in some degree also the colonies ; how could we, if the change was to be introduced, arrange for compensating the parties interested ?- The class of ships considered to be most benefited by the timber duties are the old ships, which it is said would be of no value if that trade was taken away, a- d that is, because their number is too great for the other branches of inferior trade alone. But my opinion is, that if at the end of the Canada timber season, and before any expense is incurred upon the ships in fitting out for another voyage, all those that are the least fit for better trades were to be valued, the whole sum would not be equal to the amount of duty that would be gained in the next season by a judicious alteration of the duties: we might therefore buy up those ships for breaking up, so as effectually to compensate all the parties who conceive that they would be injured by losing that par- ticular trade for that class of ships, and the remaining ships would find ample employment for all that they could want in other trades. The amount of one year's loss given at once as a compensation would save the losses of all subsequent years. This would satisfy the shipowners ; and, as to the Canadians, only give them free trade and they will gladly give it to you in return.

Your general opinion is, that it would be more economical to the country to make arrangements with those protected interests, than to continue the protection at this great expense to the community ?- Decidedly, I think so. There might be some difficulties in effecting the purpose in many cases; but I am quite sure that the cheapest thing the country could do would be to compensate them at once, and put an end to the bad system, which will otherwise put an end to itself, some day or other, and the prosperity of the country with it.

Mr. Hume's Second Examination-201h July.

Mr. Williams. Upon what principle could you recommend a general change of the system in levyin.e the import duties upon articles, by the introduction of which at a less duty the manufactures of this country would be seriously affected ?—Upon the principle of general national benefit. The question is, whether we mean the nation' or whether we mean to serve particular individuals ; I speak, whether from habit, from my own turn of mind, or from official circumstances, in behalf of the nation, or of the country at large.

In the general change you contemptate, you contemplate that a great reduction of the taxation should take place which now so heavily presses upon the working men of this country, and so disproportionately as compared with the workin.b men of other countries, who are producing articles to compete with the produce of their industry ?—If, by the ques- tion are meant taxes upon a particular commodity, I conceive certainly those taxes must be countervailed by at least equal taxes on the rival article imported from abroad. But if the question means the general taxation of the country falling on the subsistence and expenditure of the people, then I must beg to submit in the strongest terms in which I can possibly give any opinion, that the general taxation of the country is no ground whatever for protection ; any attempt to relieve any interest from any portion of that general taxation by raising arbi- trarily the price of the article which they make is only a violent manner of shifting their share of the burthen to other shoulders. If, on account of the general taxes upon subsistence paid by any class of people, you forcibly raise to the consumer the price of the article which that class produces, you then relieve them from taxation, supposing you measure the matter fairly and correctly; and I have never been able to see the least ground why any one class of the people should be relieved from taxation, and why the other parts should be compelled to pay their pro- portion for them as well as their own, Sir H. Parnell. Will you explain what you mean in your last answer by general taxation and special taxation ?—I will illustrate my opinion by speaking of particular articles. We pay in this country an internal tax upon soap and upon vinegar ; it would be very wrong, I conceive, to suffer soap or vinegar to be imported without also being charged with an import duty equal to those taxes ; but the taxes borne by the makers of vinegar and soap in the articles of their consumption and the consumption of their families, their food, their liquors' their sugar, their tea or anything else ; the taxes they pay in thatshapeupon the articles of their consumption are of a very different nature, and those are the taxes with regard to which I mean to express my opinion that there is no ground whatever for a protecting duty, in order that they may be better able to compete with the foreigner, for it is im- possible to do that without causing some other parties to pay more taxes than they otherwise would do. The whole community bear their share of those taxes without any assistance ; of course by the whole community I mean the consumers of vinegar and the consumers of leap.

Mr. Williams. If it can be proved that one-half of the wages of the workingmen in this country are taken from them in taxes, and that very small amount of taxation, comparatively, is taken from the wages of the working men in other countries, who compete with our working men in the production of certain articles, is it your opinion, in such a case, that if the foreigner can produce an article cheaper by his paying less taxes, that the production of his labour should be admitted into this country, and that the trade should be entirely lost to our manufac- turers ?—The comparison which I should draw is not between the taxes which would be paid by the manufacturer of the goods alluded to here, and the taxes paid by the manufacturers abroad, which must vary greatly. I should consider what taxes fall properly upon that class of manufacturers in this country, and those which fall upon the other operatives who cannot be protected in any way. I conceive that every person in this country must pay, out of his own sources, the taxes which fall upon the quantity of taxable commodities which he consumes, and that there is no question as to relieving him of those taxes that can ever afford the slightest ground for throwing them upon other people, by protection against the foreign article of the same nature as that which he makes.

Then is it your opinion that the working men of this country, so large a portion of whose wages are taken from them in taxes, ought not to have any protection at all against the cheaper productions of the work- ing men of countries that comparatively pay no taxes ?—Certainly, that is my decided opinion ; I think the small amount of taxes paid by per- sons abroad is no ground for giving protection to the commodity here ; for this reason, that it is only in such a case shifting the taxes from the party intended to be relieved to others here who are to be the con- sumers of those commodities. You cannot throw the tax on the fo- reigner, but only on other British subjects.

You are aware that, but for the protective duties, the silk trade of this country, the stocking trade of this country, and some other im- portant branches of trade, would be entirely lost on account of the ability of the foreign manufacturers to produce the article cheaper than they can in this country ; would you in that case say that the great in- terests, both as to the master manufacturers and the working men that are now employed in those trades, should be annihilated, which would be the natural consequence of allowing silks, stockings, and the other articles I have alluded to, to be imported into this country free of duty? —I do not conceive that it is so clear a case that those trades would be annihilated if the protection was taken from them, as a part of a gene- ral system of relinquishing all protection ; but I am far from supposing that a change to a totally free system would not make many changes in the employment of the industry of this country, and it is possible that that change might lead to the relinquishing of some branches of the silk, and even of cotton manufactures. But with the reliance that I have upon the effect of a general system of free trade, I cannot bring my mind to believe that we should not make stockings, or manufacture silk very largely in this country, if all protection were removed, pro- vided that the system was general, so that the expense of living of the labourers in those cases which the several questions have so particu- larly pointed at, should be reduced to the natural amount That must certainly be understood to mean that the corn trade should be free; that meat, that every article of consumption should for the future be free ; and were that the case, no change being made in the revenue, I can scarcely believe that the natural effect would not be to raise the product of the revenue a fourth, or perhaps a third greater than it is, without laying on a single additional duty; and in that case we clearly see how easy it would be to relieve those parties who are now much pressed by competition from those taxes, which were considered to op- press them to the greatest degree, and to place them on a fairer footing with the foreign competitors than they now are. I believe the neces- sity of protection is occasioned almost entirely by protection itself.

.12r. Villiers. I understand you to say, that if there is any difference in the cost of living in this country and in other countries, or that we are under disadvantage in competition with them, it chiefly arises from the protective system ?—That is my opinion. With our great command of trade, our navigation, our capital, and our geographical position, if trade in this country was perfectly free, and we were enabled to obtain in the cheapest markets, upon even terms, all the commodities we want, I can see no reason why this should not be one of the cheapest coun- tries to live in that any civilised populous country can be. There are many, matters in which density of population leads to cheapness.

Sir C. Douglas. Is the abolition of the corn laws inseparable from the opinion you entertain that the removal of import duties ought to take place ?—Just so ; that is the great article : and I conceive that otherwise we should expose our manufactures to the most unfair com- petition with foreigners ; not because of the light taxes which foreigners pay, but because of the general cheapness of living, from having corn and other provisions upon better terms than we have. I think that the first necessaries of life should be the first articles to be set free.

Then from that answer the Committee may understand that you mean a total abolition of the corn laws1—Certainly, and I should re- fer the total abolition; I cannot see any ground whatever for any coun- tervailing tax upon coral; I cannot perceive anything in the principle of protection that is peculiar to corn. British corn does not contribute to the public revenue ; there is, therefore, no charge upon it to be coun- tervailed.

Then you would not even allow a small fixed duty 1—My opinion is, that there is no ground for any duty ; the only ground I can perceive is to countervail charges in the production of corn. I know that there are a great many charges which the landed interest conceive to be pe- culiarly on them, and to fall upon their productions ; but as far as I have been able to investigate those charges, I think they have services

in return for them, and they do not go to the public revenue ; they are of a local nature, and I think the farmers are so much better off, and so much more enabled to raise the commodity with advantage by rea-

son of those local charges, since they have facilities in return equal to the payment ; and I do firmly believe that any country that has not

the system of raising funds for the purposes for which those local funds are raised, would be at a great disadvantage in the production of agri- cultural produce. If the corn laws were totally abolished, aud.consequently that part

of our provisions and food were brought in from other countries, do you agree with those who think that a great deal of land would be thrown out of cultivation ?—By throwing land out of cultivation I pre- sume is meant converting arable into grass land. It is a wrong term, I think, to use, though I know it is a common term. I believe that much land would be thrown out of arable cultivation, and I believe that one of the great evils of our agriculture is, the misappropriation of the soil ; I believe there is a great deal too large a proportion of land under the plough and to small a portion under grass. The difficulty of raising lean stock in this country for the purpose of fat- tening is so great, that it is the chief cause of the high price of meat; and I am quite persuaded that if a very large breadth of that arable

land which can scarcely be cultivated to advantage were turned back to grass, the effect would be, to reduce the quantity of corn produced

in this country so much, as to make it impossible for the foreigner to fill the vacuum at a low price, and that the general result would be, that it would produce a lower price of meat, there being a power of in- creased consumption in the present state of the country in the article of meat that is almost immeasurable. When we reflect upon the ex- tremely small portion of meat eaten every day by the most robust labourers in the country, who are of course by far the most numerous portion of the population, if we were only to suppose them to have every day a fair moderate meal of meat, the increase of demand for meat, and for inferior meat,—for cattle not fatted to the highest pitch of perfection, such as would be suitable to the produce of land of in- ferior qualities,—would be so great, that there would be no want of good employment for any cf the land that we possess within our boun- daries.

Do not you suppose that the corn laws have had a tendency to bring the poor lands into cultivation ?—I think they have tended to break up land which had better have remained in grass. If the question means waste land, there can be no doubt that the demand for produce has led to the breaking up of commons, and so :far that is a great benefit ; but it by no means follows that it should be kept permanently under plough when there is a much greater demand for grass. With regard to the effect of the protection on our corn, that can hardly be said to have been the cause of the breaking up of so much land, because I believe it is in the knowledge of most people that the era in which the lands were chiefly broken up was during the period of the war, and that corn was being imported without any restraint whatever through the whole of that period. I believe that many parties have since repented that they have broken up their lands.

Mr. Villiers. It is within your experience that the price of land has risen enormously in this country P—That is a matter of general no- toriety, without any party being able to know precisely how the matter stands ; but as far as the little information I have got upon the matter goes, I believe an exhibition of the rent-rolls of different parts of the country for the last half century would lay before the public eye one of the most astounding accounts that ever was witnessed.

Do you not connect that increase in the price of land with the start in manufactures which we took towards the latter end of the last century cannot attribute it to any other cause ; the war led in the first instance to what may be said to have been a wasteful consumption of food; a large portion of people who were subsisting at home with the greatest economy, were converted into soldiers and sailors, and were supported at the public expense; but the great peculiarity of that period was the commencement of the great increase of our manufactures, the bringing to perfection of Mr. Arkwright's system, the introduction of steam power, and the vast improvements of machinery. We were the first to adopt those improvements, and from the circumstance of the rest of the world being so much more disadvantageously placed in the e war of that time, they were then unable to follow us ; but time and peace have altered the case much, and we cannot expect to reap the same benefits after a certain period from any new discovery, however great it may be, that we did in the earlier stages. The cause of the increase in the value of land was the start in manufactures; but we kept the start the longer by reason of the war.

Is not the general taxation less now than it was a few years ago in this country ?—The taxation is considerably less upon every individual. The sum raised is the same, but the taxes which we have repealed since the year 1819, when the general settlement after the war may be said to have been made, I believe in rouud numbers may be con- sidered at 16,000,0001. or 17,000,0001. a year ; the remaining taxes, in consequence of the increase of population, and what has hitherto been the prosperous state of the country, producing alone a greater amount than they formerly produced, in conjunction with those which have been repealed.

You say that you would not diminish one protective duty without diminishing all: do you mean to say that there is any necessary con- nexion between one duty and another in that respect ?—No ; but I mean to say, that if you denuded the various parties of the protection they now enjoy in some of our material manufactures, unless you also gave them general relief by the removal of protection from all other commodities of consumption, they might be unable to bear the compe- tition which they might be exposed to with their foreign competitors.

That does not apply to duties that are protective of colonial produce, but only to the duties that purport to protect our home produce ?—If we entered into detail, we must look of course to the distinction be- tween the colonial produce and the home produce. The planter in Jamaica looks as much to his protection as the manufacturer in Spital- fields and Manchester does; the effect to him would be the same.

Why should it be necessary to take off the protection on corn, be- cause you took off the protection on sugar ?—I conceive that the pro- tective system ought properly to be removed entirely, and not partially; that one of the greatest burdens upon our industry is the protective system, and that if you were to leave that in 99 articles, and take it off in the hundredth, the party having it taken off in the hundredth would be aggrieved. The protection on corn here affects the cost of produce even in Jamaica.

Chairman. Do you consider that the produce of our British colonies should be protected in our market, if the restrictions and impediments which now exist in the colonies are not removed ?—I ISM strongly of opinion, that all our colonies would-be able to compete with the world, and to become exceedingly prosperous, if they themselves had free trade offered to them; and, having granted that boon to them, I think it would be wholly unnecessary to support them by any protection in their commodities in this country. At the same time I must be understood, that they must be colonies that are placed in all respects upon an equal footing with those countries which produce similar commodities. I cannot conceive, that having 30 years ago abolished the slave trade, and now abolished slavery itself, that any question of free trade can arise between Jamaica and Cuba ; Cuba, with abundance of rich and fresh soil, not only having the advantage of employing slaves, whatever that may be, but notoriously importing the enormous amount of 40,000 or 50,000 slaves every year ; they have, in fact, the slave trade and slavery ; and as the laws of this country have deprived the planter in Jamaica of that means of raising his produce, I conceive that that is a question, like several others, that are taken entirely out of the category of free trade. I consider' for instance, that our navi- gation is interfered with by the laws which are made for the support of the commercial marine, for the benefit of the state marine, and there- fore I conceive that the navigation question is not, except beyond a certain extent, a question of free trade. I think, also, upon the subject of the health of the country, the quarantine laws or regulations, what- ever impediments they may throw in the way of trade, assuming that it is only by those regulations we avoid the plague (however doubtful that may be), still as long as those measures are employed, that is not a question for free trade. These are therefore the eases of national defence, the health of the country and free labour, involving matters of security and morality, which are taken out of the class of free trade, because they are by the law interfered with, for purposes independent of trade. If the British West India Islands could be placed either the one way or the other upon an equal footing, on general principles, with Cuba, Brazil, Porto Rico, and the foreign producers generally of the same commodities, I can entertain no doubt that they would be able to compete with them upon equal terms, and the reason I have for thinking so is, that till a few years ago this country was the mart for sugar and coffee and rum. We produced very largely beyond our consumption, and we were the chief suppliers of other markets.

Are you of opinion that the duties upon timber, shingles, oak-staves, and headings, and other kinds of timber, as well as on beef, pork, and provisions of all kinds, should be reduced, or entirely taken away ?—I conceive that they ought to be entirely taken away ; I believe that they are not levied much for the purposes of revenue ; of course where finance interfered, another question would arise; but if the colony could get its revenue from other sources, those necessary supplies for what were termed the stores of the estates, and food for the negro popula- tion ought, I conceive, to be the last articles to be taxed. DO you conceive that all those duties should be reduced to such duties as the islands themselves, for their fiscal expenses, might be dis- posed to levy P—Certainly ; I conceive it is a great mistake our having ever imposed imperial duties in the colonies. I conceive that no money ought to be raised there for revenue by the authority of this country ; and that under a proper supervision from the Government at home, they ought to be allowed to tax themselves, for their fiscal purposes. Do you know what advantage to the revenue arises from our main- taining British custom-houses in our colonies ?—The British custom- houses are kept up only for the purpose of enforcing the regulations and restrictions, and for those purposes only the imperial duties are levied. If, therefore, that system were to be dropped, and the colonies were to be permitted to trade freely with all countries, the necessity for the custom-houses would appear to me wholly to cease.

Can you state, from any public document, what the annual amount is that has been raised by the British custom-houses, and how much is paid for the establishment, and what amount is paid into the revenue ? —From the account laid before Parliament in the year 1832, it appears that the produce of the imperial duties in the West Indies was 75,3401., and that the charges of management, the payment of custom-houses, amounted to the sum of 68,0281., leaving only 73121. for the revenue. Do not 'the restrictions at present existing oblige the colonists to procure from Hamburgh and ports abroad many of their supplies of food for the northern colonies ?—Yes; and they pay duty upon their arrival, except when taken to the fisheries. Therefore, those duties cannot benefit British agriculture in the smallest degree ?—British agriculture has made such an advance in price from what it was in former times, that there is not now a chance of any product of British agriculture finding a market in her colonies. Time was when the West Indies were compelled to import their corn from England.

Is it your opinion that all those restrictions and prohibitions, whilst they have been injurious to the colonies, have not benefited us, but, on the contrary, have restricted our trade P—My opinion certainly is, that those restrictions have checked the prosperity and progress of the colo- nies, and thereby have been injurious to us. It is very clear, from the result of experience, within a moderate space of years, from the con- version of a large portion of our North American colonies into inde- pendent states, that that portion of their trade with this country which we are sure to have without any protection, has become greater in a state of freedom of trade on the part of the consumer of our goods, than the whole trade was when we had the power of commanding it.

Does that opinion apply to British shipping as well as to other parts of our trade ?—I conceive that British shipping, if relieved from all those disadvantages which I attribute to our protective system, would be able to compete with most parts of the globe. I see no reason what- ever why British shipping should not have increased in proportion to the increase of the trade, unless they were checked by the great charge of outfit, by the duty upon foreign timber, and the consequent high price of English timber in this country, and particularly by the high cost of provisions. I think that if the British shipping interest were relieved from all impediments of that description, and simply required to build their ships here, and to take a due proportion of British sailors, and left to all their best means of building and fitting out, they would be able to compete in general trade with any country in the

world; and certainly with any country in the world capable of becoming a naval power, which is all we should care about.

Do you consiJer that the colonists themselves would be in favour of all those restrictions and protections being withdrawn ?—Those restric- tions upon the colonies themselves, are to the injury of some for the benefit of others. The West Indians have, in the strongest ternis in which they could press their case, desired to have their restrictions re- moved; but some of the northern colonies are the parties who have believed themselves benefited, by compelling the West Indians to buy their produce, or pay a duty for other produce ; but I fully believe that —except where slavery is involved in the consideration—all the cob. zies would give free trade to others, for the sake of free trade to them- selves, with the greatest readiness.

Has not the high duty of 55s. a load on foreign oak the effect of keeping the price of English oak much higher than it otherwise would be ?—I have no doubt that it has that effect, perhaps not to the whole amount, because I believe the English oak is really the best ; but our competitors the foreigners are not able to build their ships with Eng- lish oak.

Will not, therefore, the whole of the English oak which is consumed, whether for ship-building or for any other purpose, be at an enhanced price beyond what it would otherwise be, and does not that become an indirect tax upon the people of Enaland?—It is a tax, in the first in- stance, on the people for the benefit of the shipowner ; and the policy of this country deeming it necessary to support the shipowner under his share of the tax, with a view to the national marine, it must hear, in a circuitous way, again upon the people, as the consumers of all com- modities carried in British ships.

Does it not also become a tax on every man who uses oak in Eng- land ?—No doubt there cannot be two prices for the same commodity ; and not only shipowners build to a great disadvantage, but for every purpose for which oak is used in this country, the consumer is taxed in the same manner. The only difference is, that the shipowner is reim- bursed by his privileges and the common consumer is not.

Mr. Villiers. Might we not, by reducing the duty on Baltic timber, let in the article to be consumed cheaper by the public, and obtain greater revenue from it ?—I conceive that you might with the greatest ease, by varying the duties, keep the price of timber at what it now is, and get a good million a year more in the way of revenue, or by aim- ing less at an increase of revenue, you might reduce the price of the article.

Mr. Chapman. It having been said that the great article of expen- diture in the navigation of a ship is the wages, have you any suggestion to offer whereby that onerous charge could be reduced ?—I conceive that the provisioning of ships should be made as easy as possible. The cost of salt provisions for shipping has been greatly enhanced of late years, in consequence of the constant intercourse between England and Ireland. When that trade was first protected, for the sake of Ireland, it was, like many other of our old protections, necessarily nugatory : The fact was, that Ireland was the cheapest place in the world for salted provisions. Vast quantities were exported to France and other coun- tries, but in consequence of the change produced by steam navigation, we know that fat cattle, and even fresh meat is now easily obtained from Ireland, and that the sailor in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is eating his meat at a price governed by the luxury of the Liverpool or Bristol alderman.

Mr. Villiers. You do not doubt that if the price of timber is raised in this country it must bear very severely upon the cost of the dwell- ings of the poor ?—No doubt, and that is the cause of the insufficiency of the dwellings.

The badness of the dwellings of the poor has been the subject of general remark of late years ?—It has; it is lamentable to see the wretched houses in which numbers of persons dwell.

Chairman. The increased rent of cottages and the expense of erect- ing them presses heavily on the working classes generally ?—It does, in regard, first, to their own dwellings, and next to the general conse- quence on the produce of the country.

Mr. Chapman. Does not the cost of cottages depend on the supply and the demand of the country. In manufacturing towns where cot- tages are wanted a higher rent will be given, and in a rural population where fewer cottages will be wanted, low rents will be given ?—The demand differs according to localities; but the supply is everywhere lessened by the duty on timber. It is sufficient disadvantage to trade, that for cottages in manufacturing towns a higher rent is demanded, for local reasons alone.

Chairman. Are not the hovels in which thousands of our artisans live very small in consequence of the heavy expense in erecting those buildings, and does not timber form one of the principal parts of that expense ?—I conceive that that is the case; and that it is the cause of their ill construction, and that they do not keep out the wet well, be- cause to save timber the builders are apt to make the roofs flat instead of sloping with a good pitch.

Mr. Chapman. Would not the same principle lead to the taking off of the duty on bricks and tiles ?—Yes, certainly; that is, bricks, but there is no duty on tiles.

Chairman. As you have well considered the bearing of the present system, what course would you recommend as respects those protective duties and high duties which at this time exists in the tariff, both as to number and amount ?—I conceive that very great amendment might be made in what I would term the scheme of the tariff. I think that a very large number of commodities might be placed together at some exceedingly low and nominal duty without any injury to the revenue, and with great benefit to the parties importing them, because it would relieve them in many instances from the necessity of warehousing. I think that for the like purpose a reduction of duties might also be made on more productive articles, without much loss; but if it should be held that the revenue could not bear the loss, an exceedingly small increase, and which could hardly be objected to, upon a few great articles, would very easily make up the sum. If, for instance, you re- quire 200,0001. or 300,0001. a year in the customs' duties, with a view of accomplishing a more perfect scheme of collection, and that that sum could not be spared, it is very readily seen how easily that might be

raised by a halfpenny a pound upon tea, a penny a gallon upon wine ; a few trifling charges of that kind upon sonic of the great articles would give the money requisite.

Would you levy the same duty on raw produce which is required for our manufactures as on manufactured goods ?—If the system of mere nominal duties was adopted, certainly I should, and particularly if it was an ed valorem duty, as that would apportion itself. It is often very difficult to determine what is a manufacture and what is not ; and half the object would be lost if we did not relieve the importers from em- barrassment as well as from charges.

And by those means which you have suggested, do you consider the expenses attending the customs' department would be reduced, and also that the difficulties experienced now by the merchant would be lessened ?—I think that the labour in the long-room at the custom- house might be exceedingly reduced by another scheme of tariff, par- ticularly by taking away the inducement to warehouse the goods. The quantities that are taken out at a time from the warehouse are generally very small. That causes the entries to be very numerous; perhaps one importation is divided into twenty or thirty entries.

Mr. Villiers. Do you consider that the revenue presents any obsta- cle at all to the doing away with the protective system ?—No, certainly not ; I conceive that the prosperity of the revenue is greatly impeded by the protective system.

But I wish to call your attention to these articles where the duties are levied, and where the operation of the duties is both protective and fiscal ?—In those cases, if the protective duty were reduced to a rate which the foreigner could readily pay, a greater quantity of the article would be imported, and the revenue be increased. Since in your opinion you ought simultaneously to reduce all the protective duties, you consider that the revenue offers no objection, bat rather an argument in favour of doing away with those duties ?— Certainly ; my hesitation applies to the different interests that might be affected in their trade, and not to the revenue. There can be no doubt that the revenue would instantly be increased by removing or sufficiently reducing the protections. But do you hold that you could not do away with the protection in some cases, without diminishing the revenue ?—I am not aware of any case in which the revenue would be injured by removing the protection.

If you were to diminish the protection on timber, that might effect the revenue P—That would improve the revenue.

And with sugar ?—Yes; you would get no doubt an improvement of revenue ; you would have a very great influx of sugar ; there would be a reduction in price, but still a larger quantity of sugar would come in and pay duty. If, for instance, the protecting duty of three guineas the cwt. on foreign Muscovado sugar were reduced so as to be only 20s. above the duty on plantation sugar, I should not be surprised to see the produce of the sugar duties increased by a million of money.

MR. RICHARD SHEIL—Examined 20th July.

Mr. SHEIL, who had inhabited St. Domingo for eight years, and who is intimately connected with its trade, stated the export pro- duce of that island to be 50 million lbs. of coffee, upon which the differential duty of Is. 3d. per lb.—British plantation coffee paying only 6d.--operates as a total exclusion. As, however, coffee is admit- ted from the Cape of Good Hope at 9d. per lb. duty, many cargoes are sent thither to be shipped for England, and the English consumers pay the cost of the voyage, which amounts to 6s. 6d. per cwt. ; aud he is of opinion that a differential duty of 51d. per lb. would not open the ports of Great Britain to direct importation from St. Domingo, without the cost of going round the Cape of Good Hope. If the coffee of all countries (St. Domingo among the number), except British Plan- tation coffee, were admitted at 8d. duty, British Plantation being charged 5d., he thought that the market would be opened for St. Do- mingo coffee direct. St. Domingo coffee could be sold in London at 44s., as good as Jamaica coffee at 92s. He declared that the high duty on foreign mahogany destroys the export trade for household fur- niture; and that our tariff has a very pernicious effect upon our exports of manufactures to St. Domingo; giving to our French and German rivals considerable advantages. The duty paid on British ma- nufactures in St. Domingo is 12 per cent.

MR. MATTHEW FORSTER—Examined 23rd July.

Mr. Matruaw FORSTER, who is engaged in the trade with the coast of Africa, stated that the high duty on coffee imported direct from Africa (not being within the territory of Sierra Leone) had put a com- plete stoppage to a trade which was growing into considerable import- ance, and which would have led to a more extensive demand for British manufactures. In consequence of the moderate duties, there had been an increased importation of palm oil, from a few tuns to 15,000 or 20,000 tuns a year. The African trade, he said, was capable of large extension under a system of low duties.

MR. JOSEPH WALKER—Examined 23rd July.

Mr. JOSEPH WALKER, of Wolverhampton, declared that the manu- facturers of that town were suffering much from foreign competition. Many articles formerly sent from Wolverhampton are now supplied from Belgium. He does not think the protecting duty of 25 to 35 per cent, is of any avail, as he says, in answer to the Chairman—We have to meet the foreign manufacturer in neutral markets, and have there to sell at the same prices with all our expenses added. There we meet upon neutral ground, with equal expenses, as in the United States, and there we are obliged to sell at his prices, or lower, to get a trade. We cannot do without those foreign orders, and if the foreign manufac- turer does occasionally take the lead and beat us there, our merchants are without orders. I receive orders occasionally under those condi- tions, that I must supply the goods at such a price, at a less price than I have done heretofore. Mr. Villiers. Hitherto the protecting duty in this country has been quite nugatory, inasmuch as you can supply those foreign markets cheaper than the foreign manufacturer can ?—Yes, I am perfectly cer- tain that if the duties were repealed, no foreign hardware would come

into England, inasmuch as in the competition in our home markets we should save the expense of exporting, and they would have it. Chairman. Then as you are able generally to meet the rest of the 'world in the markets of America, and in other foreign markets, you believe that no protective duty is at all required for any of those arti- cles in England ?—That is just the conclusion I come to.

Mr. Villiers. What is the effect upon the trade of your town of other protective duties upon articles of consumption, and upon articles that are used in the manufacture; what effect have those upon the trade, with reference to competition with other countries ?—An injurious effect to us ; there is a duty of 30s. per ton on foreign iron, for instance ; now there is a certain portion of the manufactures of our neighbour. hood that require foreign iron ; therefore we import the foreign iron, and pay an extra price for it in Wolverhampton, because of that pro- tective duty : and yet the manufacturer has to take his goods to a neu- tral market and to sell them at the same price as the foreigner, who has no protective duty to pay. That difference must come out of the wages of labour here ; for we actually export the goods that we make of for.ign iron, and when we export them, we must sell them at the price The foreigner does.

Chairman. You mean to say that that burden obliges you to reduce the wages so as to enable you to compete with the foreigner has the effect of reducing them the whole amount of the duty. Mr. Villiers. You are of opinion that the effect of the protective duty is to enhance the cost of the article ?—Yes.

Then on any article upon which there is a protective duty, and which is essential to manufacture, the effect of it is to enhance the cost of pro- duction, and so increase your difficulty in competing with the foreigner ? —Undoubtedly all the duties put upon the importation of food of all descriptions, on coffee, sugar, corn, and everything of that sort, are a direct disadvantage to the labouring men of England, because it is evident that the manufacturer must sell his:goods at the price at which the foreigner sells his, and in order to do that he must reduce his wages to the workmen.

Has it fallen within your experience to know whether there is any great improvement making in the manufacture of carpenters' tools on the Continent 1—Yes, they are very much improving. Chairman. Then, unless you are able to reduce the expense of that class of articles, so as to sell them at the price at which the foreigner sells his, you will very soon lose the market ?—It is inevitable that we must sell them as cheap; I do not know to what extent the wages of labour will bear reducing, it is a point I cannot answer. But it must come out of the wages oflabour, because the raw material is as cheap or cheaper at Wolverhampton than it is in any part of the world. The raw materials that we use are iron and coal, both of which we have cheaper than I suppose in any part of the world, inasmuch as they are actually under our feet at Wolverhampton.

From your daily communication with the manufacturers of those articles, are you able to state how far the opinion you have now given is held by many of them 1—Yes I concur with them. 'I have made it my business to inquire of the leading manufacturers of Wolverhamp- ton, preparatory to coming up here, as to their opinion, and they all agree with me, every one I conversed with, that the protective duties are inoperative.

Then there would be no objection on their part to remove the pro- tective duties entirely 1--I think not.

Mr. Villiers. They derive no advantage themselves from the pro- tective duties upon their own manufactures, and they suffer great injury from the protective duty imposed upon other articles ?—Just so. Have you a great trade with America in Wolverhampton ?—Yes. Have you observed any difficulty in effecting exchanges with that country ?—Yes, we have great difficulties now.

. Do you know what that difficulty arises from ?—Because we can take one portion of their produce, their cotton, but we cannot take their corn and flour ; in fact, from the Northern States of America we take scarcely anything.

Mr. Thornely. Have wages fallen in Wolverhampton ?—Y es ; in some descriptions of goods the wages have fallen from 30 to 40 per cent. within these six months.

If there were any relaxation immediately of the protective duties on corn, do you believe that the trade would revive between America and England ?—Immediately. Do you say that from knowing that the crops have been abundant in America, and that they would be able to supply this country ?—Yes, from information that I have from America. If we could take the American flour that is now in bond, there is no doubt that they would take our hardware in exchange for it. Chairman. Do the wages of the workmen at Wolverhampton rise or fall with the price of food, and other articles of necessity ?—No, I think not; I do not think it operates. The wages of labour depend upon the demand for the goods, not upon the price of provisions. We witness now low wages and a high price of provisions ; high prices of bread, meat, and groceries.

Mr. Villiers. Have you ever observed what has been the effect of the price of provisions rising upon the home trade; whether it has increased or lessened the demand for goods at home ?—A rise in the price of provisions lessens the demand even in the home trade.

Do you conceive that if people have more than usual to pay for food, that they have less to pay for manufactures ?—Exactly. At the present moment the home trade is bad with us at Wolverhampton. The great consuming districts of our manufactures are the manufacturing districts of England, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and those districts ; and when those are in a bad state there is no business going forward, and nothing that consumes our goods.

Have you any reason to expect, from what you have heard, that the Americans will attempt to raise their tariff on English manufactures ? Yes,] believe that is in contemplation.

Mr. WALKER further stated that the restrictions on foreign trade bore very oppressively upon the wages of labour • and that the increased ex- ports of manufactures was frequently caused! by the low prices, aided by a bad domestic trade. Thus a considerable and increasing emigration bad arisen of the best mechanics and of capital, for the purpose of

making machinery abroad. He thought that the high price of food was the great cause of the disadvantage under which the British manufacturer labours. He mentioned the removal of one large manu- factory of tools and utensils, in which the masters took their capital and many of their men to establish themselves in Belgium.

ALEXANDER JOHNSTON, ESQ.—Examined 23rd July.

Mr. JOHNSTON, a cotton manufacturer at Glasgow, and also a ge- neral merchant, stated that a duty imposed, for the purpose of protecting the cotton manufacturers, of 10 per cent., affords no protection at all. If we must export our surplus manufactures, any duty put upon the import of similar manufactures to this coun- try must be inoperative ; the manufacturers attach no importance to it, and he believed they would at once assent to its removal. The manufactures of Germany and Prance had now made their way to neutral markets in successful competition with British goods. Part of their superiority Mr. Johnston attributes to the advantage of climate, which gives more beautiful dyes ; and the cheapness of olive-oil soap, which aids the development of colour. He thinks the home trade suffers from protective duties. We proceed with his examination:—

Mr. Email. You are an agriculturist as well as a manufacturer ?- Yes; as a landowner in the country, I should be very glad that no protective duty should exist at all; because, if no protective duties ex- isted, there would be a general flow of commercial prosperity, a gene- ral increase in traffic and trade, so that capital would be circulated, and the country generally would he more prosperous than it is; the work- ing man would be more comfortable than he is, and the produce of the land would become more valuable than it is under a system of depres- sion and restriction, while starvation such as at present exists could scarcely occur.

Mr. Villiers. In what way does the protective duty on grain check our intercourse with America ?—It limits our returns from America to raw material for manufacture ; whereas, if we had no protective duties, we should import flour, wheat and rice for the wants of this country, and naturally we should increase our exports to America in return.

Do you know whether the Americans are making any progress in the cotton manufacture 1--I know that they are ; I meet their manu- factures in foreign markets.

Has that produced a great part of the clamour in America for raising their tariff upon our manufactures ?—I believe it has. There are two parties in America, the manufacturing party and the agricultural party ; the manufacturing party are clamorous to have greater protection than they have now, and the other party are clamorous to have access to manufacturing countries, in order to import cheaper than they can supply themselves at home. If the manufacturing party should succeed in America, would the manufacturers of this country feel it ?--They would feel it in so far that the manufacturers in America would supply their home demand to a greater extent than they are doing now, and therefore the exports of this country for American consumption would be lessened. Are the manufacturers in this country at all apprehensive on the score of the American tariff ?—We are afraid that not only America, but the Brazils will retaliate upon us ; that they will not permit our manufactures to be imported into those countries upon th,e same terms as the manufactures of other countries that receive their produce upon better terms than those upon which we receive their produce. Mr. Ewart. What means would best enable you to succeed in competition with them ?—Removing the duties upon the raw material entering into our manufactures, and making our workmen more com- fortable in their position than they are, by lowering the prices of food. Mr. 7k/hell. Supposing the duties on agricultural produce were removed, the effect would be to enable us to have a greater demand for our manufactures in foreign markets than we have now ?—Provisions of all kinds would be cheaper in this country than they are, the work- men would be more comfortable, and in proportion as we imported from foreign countries, we should of course export, and the natural consequence would be a greater demand in foreign countries for out exports, which would of course create an extra demand for the labour of workmen.

Unless the price of your manufactures was lower, how would you be better able to meet the foreign manufacturer than you are now?—We are now compelled to fall back upon a reduction of wages to meet the foreign manufacturers because the cost of the raw material is the same to them and to us, and it is therefore the workmen who suffer. If we do not get 10s. for a piece of goods in a foreign market, and are obliged to take 8s., we must then either cease to send the goods there or fall back upon the wages to reduce it to Ss. Are you aware that the United States have been very anxious to establish commercial relations in the East Indies 1—Yes.

Are you aware that their cotton manufactures to those parts have been increasing ?—Yes. And that they meet ours ?—Yes, they meet us in the Philippine Islands, they meet us in China, and they meet us over the Indian Archipelago generally.

That trade has been lately increasing very much ?—It has. Has there been any increase of capital invested in machinery in the United States lately ?—I believe there has been a great increase in their manufacturing establishments within the last ten years ; but during the last two years, in consequence of the commercial revulsion which has occurred, I doubt whether there has been an increase.

MR. J. B. MOORE AND MR. C. SAUNDERS—Examined 23rd July, Mr. JOHN BRAMLEY MOORE and Mr. CHARLES SAUNDERS merchants in Liverpool, trading with the Brazils stated, in reply to Mr. Thornely, the real value of British manufactures, exported annually to the port of Brazils, to be about 5,000,0001.; which is more than double the amount represented by Parliamentary papers. They calculate the value on the official returns from the Brazil Custom-house. The examination by Mr. Thornely continued, Mr. Saunders being spokesman in the follow- ing-answers:— What are the articles exported from Brazil in exchange fbr the imports

from this country ? —The principal articles are coffee, sugar, tobacco, woods, drugs, and sundry other things. What effect have the protective or differential duties on the produce of Brazil imported into this country upon our commerce with that coun- try ; first, with respect to coffee ?—With respect to coffee, the produc- tion of the port of Rio, last year, was 861,796 bags, or 61,556 tons, amounting to 137,885,440 lbs. The whole of this, with the exception of the trifling amount that goes to the Cape of Good Hope, to avail of the 9d. duty, for English consumption, goes to thc Continent and to different parts of the world. Then the protective duty in this country is such that no coffee is ml. ported direct from Brazil for consumption in this country ?—None whatever.

How do you carry on the trade in coffee by way of the Cape of Good Hope ?—By chartering vessels to go round there and to land it, and to re-export it. The landing and re-embarking is called colonizing. Then it comes on to England, after incurring this additional expense of in- surance, freight, and loss of time, to avail of the 9d. duty. Can you inform the Committee precisely what is the extra expense of carrying coffee from Brazil to the Cape of Good Hope, and bringing it to this country, beyond what would be incurred if the importation were made direct ?—It varies according to circumstances and the state of the weather ; the lowest I should say is about 4s. and up to 55. 6d. per cwt.; it averages about a halfpenny a pound, it varies a little in conse- quence of the weather ; if you have favourable weather, you do it quicker, and save expense of storage ; and if you have unfavourable weather, it may be swelled up from 48. to Sr., or 55. 3d. What is the value of Brazil coffee in bond in this country, as corn. pared with coffee the produce of British plantations of equal quality ? —I should say that Brazil coffee at this present moment is worth per- haps from 42s. to 44s., and Jamaica of similar quality rather more than double that.

Mr. Thornely. Can you state how the protective or differential du- ties on sugars in this country affect our commerce with Brazil in that article ?—Much in the same manner as coffee ; we are obliged to send them all to the Continent, with the exception of what small quantity is consumed here for refining. The duty on sugar the growth of British possessions has been re- cently 248. a cwt., and the duty on foreign sugar 63s. a cwt. ; has the duty of 63s. acted as a prohibitory duty on foreign sugar ?—Quite so until lately ; there is some exception, white sugar having lately paid the high duty in consequence of the great advance in the price of West India sugar. Was the production of the British possessions insufficient for the supply of this country so as to oblige the consumers to resort to fo- reign sugar, paying the duty heretofore prohibitory, of 63s. a cwt. ?- Certainly.

Have the merchants trading to the Brazils any apprehension that the duties on British goods imported into the Brazils will be advanced ?- They have, from the non-admission of their products for consumption here.

Does your correspondence with Brazil lead you to apprehend an advanee of the duties on the importation of English goods ?—It does. Is there anything else in connexion with the trade of Brazil, arising out of protective duties on imports, that you wish to state to the Com- mittee ?—(Mr. Saunders.) I would point out the great obstruction generally that it exposes us to in our business, not being able to get returns to this country, which would enable us to turn over our capital oftener, and it forbids a large consumption of our manufactures in the Brazils. Were we able to take the Brazil produce and consume it here, it would enhance the price in the Brazils and enable them to consume more of our manufactures.

Are you of opinion that an adherence to the present protective sys- tem will endanger our export commerce to Brazil, by causing an ad- vance of duties on the part of the Brazilian government ?—At the expiration of the treaty, when they are able to retaliate.

When does the treaty expire ?—I believe in November, 1842.

Mr. Dirndl. Has the importation of foreign manufactured articles into Brazil increased of late years ?—(Mr. Moore.) Considerably. What articles 1—Hardware, and hosiery in particular.

Are foreign cotton manufactures imported into Brazi11—Foreign un- bleached cottons are imported largely from the United States, and printed minding from the Continent, and a good many prints from Switzerland and France.

MR. P. MARTINEAU AND MR. G. WARNER—Examined 23rd July.

Mr. PETER MARTINEAU, a sugar-refiner of London, and Mr. GEORGE WARNER, a wholesale grocer of London, stated, that for the last quarter there was a less stock of sugar in the port of London than they ever recollected before. They attribute the diminished pro- duction to the emancipation of the slaves, and the diminished supply to the exclusion of foreign sugars. In 1814 and 1815 foreign sugar was admitted on the game duties as British Muscovado sugar, in con- sequence of the scarcity ; but the prices were at that period nearly what they are now, though the currency is now diminished. The urgency is now greater, and the supply is more deficient. The witnesses state that in 1827 relief was given by allowing foreign sugar to enter for refining only, which relief lasted three years. Under the present state of things, the high price of British colonial sugar, which is alone used for the home market, and the monopoly enjoyed by the colonies, add very largely to the cost of refined sugar to the British consumer, and limit the consumption. The refining raw sugar is prohibited in the colonies, for the protection of English refiners ; but they would consent to the removal of the prohibitions, if they were allowed the unre- stricted use of foreign sugar. The fruit-growing interest also suffers much from the high price, which prevents fruit from being preserved. The increase of temperance societies would greatly increase the de- mand for sugar if it were more accessible under a better system. Sugar, which was now selling at 9d. a pound ought to be at 54d. or 6d., in order to secure a large consumption : at the latter prices consumption would increase to an indefinite extent. The net re- venue upon sugar, after deducting a considerable drawback of more than half a million of money, was 5,000,0001. in the year 1828„ so that the consumption of sugar must have been very considerable then. Last year, up to the 5th of January, 1840, the net revenue upon sugar was only 4,600,0001., with no export. Now, reckoning the in- crease of population at 14 per cent, every year, if the price of sugar had continued as low as it was in the year 1828, our consumption of sugar in 1839 ought to have been a great deal more than it was, and the revenue much larger; but instead of that, there is actually a fall- ing off.

MR. JAMES COCKSHOTT—Examined 27th July.

Mr. JAMES Coorsuorr, a merchant in Liverpool, trading to Brazil, mentioned as an example of the unfavourable- effect of the opera- tion of differential duties, that he had now at Falmouth a cargo of sugar, from Pemarnbuco, amounting to two hundred and sixty-five tons, equal in quality to British Plantation, at 61s. and 575., both in bond ; and he could deliver it in London at 25s. per cwt. for the white, and 21s. for the brown, in bond. The difficulties in the impor- tation of sugar from the Brazils was a great impediment to the trade, and a reduction of duty would lead to a considerable increase of our commercial transactions. Pernambuco exports 30,000 to 35,000 tons of sugar annually, which now goes principally to the Continent, and chiefly to Portugal. The present state of our commercial relations with the Brazils renders the means of remittance extremely difficult and inconvenient, and thereby checks the commerce of England with that country. Our cotton manufactures sent to Pernambuco, are now met in that market with cotton manufactures from America; particularly in respect of domestics or coarse cottons.

MR. JOHN BENJAMIN SMITH.—Examined 27th July

Mr. John Benjamin Smith, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Manchester, consisting of merchants, bankers, manufacturers, and traders of the town add neighbourhood, and representing generally the commercial opinion of the town, gave several instances in which the opinions of the Chamber had been given in favour of free trade. In March 1824, the Chamber passed the following resolution—" Resolved unanimously, That in the progress which Ministers and Parliament are making towards a revision and liberalization of our commercial system, this meeting think it necessary to request the Directors of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce to call their attention to the over- whelming restriction under which the commercial interests of this country are placed by the present state of the Corn -laws, which not only tends to give a facti- tious value to the most important article of human food, but to throw obstacles in the way of mercantile operations by materially augmenting the difficulty of procuring returns."

In 1838, there was a petition of the President, Vice-President, and Direc- tors of the Chamber of Commerce of Manchester, for the repeal of the Corn- laws, with this prayer—" That condemning as injurious all monopolies, whether agricultural or commercial, and convinced that the general good will be best promoted by an unobstructed interchange of all commodities with every nation, your petitioners, whilst they acknowledge the necessity of imposing duties upon importations, for the purpose of raising a revenue to meet the necessary expenses of the state, do not recognize the wisdom or justice of levying re- strictive duties upon any one article for the protection of a particular interest, but on the contrary, they desire to see, both in manufactures and in agriculture, the principles of free trade fully established, and they therefore pray yout Honourable House to repeal the existing laws relating to the importation of foreign corn, and to take such measures as will gradually but steadily remove all existing impediments to the free employment of industry and capital." In November 1839, resolutions were passed unanimously—" That this meet- ing having heard with the deepest interest the able address just delivered by Dr. Bowring upon the subject of our commercial relations with the states com- posing the German League, earnestly invites public attention to the incontro- vertible evidence thus afforded, that the governments and people of German,y are desirous of exchanging their moductions for the commodities of lima country, proving from undoubted authority that we are prevented solely by our restrictive laws from embracing the manifold advantages thus offered to us. Whilst this meeting is of opinion that the welfare both of the capitalists ancl labourers composing the manufacturing community imperatively calls for the removal of all legislative restraints upon the trade of the country, it earnestly desires the abolition or modification of the import-duties on the productions of Germany, and that a liberal commercial intercourse may be established with a people whose institutions, common origin, and character, peculiarly adapt theia to become the friends and allies of Great Britain."—" That this meeting re- gards the present as the proper occasion for reiterating its adherence to the opi- nion so often declared by this Chamber, that the prosperity, peace, and happi- ness of the people of this and other nations can be alone promoted by the adop- tion of those just principles of trade which shall secure to all the right of a free interchange of their respective productions ; and this meeting, on behalf of the great community whose interests it represents, feels especially called upon to declare its disapprobation of all those restrictive laws which, whether in- tended for the protection of the manufacturing or agricultural classes, must, in so far as they are operative, be injurious to the rest of the nation, unjust to the world at large and in direct hostility to the beneficent designs of Providence.'

We proceed with the evidence: the Chairman is the interrogator— Can you state what the impression of the Chamber was, as to the effects of those restrictive duties on our commerce 1—The effects of those restrictive duties have been to stop the natural course of trade, and to divert it into other channels: this is remarkably exemplified in the decrease of our cotton manu- factures to some parts of Europe, to those Places in particular whose corn and timber we have refused to receive. I find that the exports of cotton manufac- tures to Russia in 1820 were 702,1251., but in 1838 they had fallen off to 59,137/. Germany and Prussia in 1820 were the best customers we had for cotton goods; oar exports to those countries in 1820 were 2,969,4931.; in 1838 they had fallen off to 887,2961. Our exports to the United Netherlands in 1820 were 979,681/.; and in 1838 they had fallen off to 661,557/. Another effect of the restriction has been to change the character of our trade with those countries. We now export to those countries a great increase of the raw material instead of manufactured goods. Our exports of cotton twist to

Russia in 1820 amounted to 494,3061.; in 1838 they had increased to 1,236,584/. To Germany and Prussia our exports of cotton twist in 1820 were 1,411,987/. ; in 1838 they had increased to 2,265,602/. To the United Nether- lands our exports of cotton twist in 1820 were 55,261/.; but in 1838 it had in- creased to 1,876,269/. A large portion of the cotton twist shipped to the United Netherlands finds its way up the Rhine to Germany- Can you state what the extent of that trade is at present, and in what pro- portion the goods are used for home consumption and what proportion for our foreign trade 2—According to Burn's "Glance," which is received as an autho- rity, I believe, even at the Board of Trade, it appears that the total quantity of cotton spun in England and Scotland in 1839 was 342,826,571 pounds weight ; deducting the quantity spun in Scotland, 30,039,071 pounds, leaves the tdal quantity spun in England 312,787,500 pounds. This was disposed of as fol- lows : exported in yarns, 99,043,639 pounds; exported in goods, 128,298,236 pound,; exported in cotton thread, 2,711,798 pounds; and exported in mixed manufactures and loss in manufacturing goods, 15,983,725 pounds; exported to Scotland and Ireland, 5,936,428; making the total of exports 251,973,826 pounds; thus leaving for home consumption 60,814,674 pounds, which is about one-fifth of the total quantityspun in England. Are you able to state what number of individuals depend on this trade?—It is calculated that the persons employed and parties dependent upon the cotton- trade, amount to about 2,000,000.

Are you able to state, from correspondence with the Continent, what are the causes that the exportation of our cotton manufactures has not increased in proportion to the export of the twist ?—The reason why the exports of cotton goods have not increased, has been the inability of those countries to purchase our cotton manufactures, and to find employment for their own popu- lation. We refused to take the principal articles they had to give us in ex- change—their corn and timber; and therefore, being unable to employ their population in the natural productions of the country, they have been driven to manufacvure for themselves; and now we find rivals where we should other- wire have found customers.

Do you find rivals from any other country meet you in the German market, or have the Germans become manufacturers themselves ?—The Germans have become manufacturers of cotton, and woollens, and hardwares, to a great ex- tent ; and we now supply them with cotton yarn where we formerly supplied them with cotton welds. I have shown that in 1820 Germany was the best customer we had for cotton goods ; she took nearly 3,000,000/. value, and now she does not take one.

If the present system continues, do you contemplate a still greater decrease in the export of our manufactured goods to that country P—Unless we take the produce of Germany and Russia, I look forward to our losing, not only the trifling trade we still have in cotton manufactures, but also the trade in yarn, because Germany is now establishing cotton-spinning concerns of its own, and by and by she will make her own yarn, and be independent of us. With regard to our exports to the United States and South America, what has been their state during the last few years P—The increase in our exports of cotton manufactures to all the countries whose produce we take in return, is as remarkable as the decrease in the exports to those countries whose produce we refuse.

Will you state the countries to which you allude P—I find that our exports in 1820 to the East Indies, to China, and the Indian islands, amounted to 817,000!.; but in 1838 they had increased to 2,660,000/. Our exports in 1820 to Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Rio Plata, Chili, and Peru, amounted to 412,0551.; • in 1838 they bad increased to 1,275,000/. Our exports to the United States in 1820 amounted to 1,158,0004 and went on increasing till in 1831 they had reached 2,518,000!.; at that time America was the best customer we had for cotton goods, but we refused to take the American corn and flour, and in the following year, 1832. they retaliated by raising the duties on cotton manufactures, and the existing tariff was enacted : from that time our exports of cotton goods have fallen off; and in 1838 they amounted to 1,206,0004 being a falling-off of about one-half since 1831.

Returning nearly to the state in which they were in 1820 ?—Precisely: our exports in 1820 to Brazil were 924,0004 in 1838 they had increased to 1,600,0004 and Brazil is now become the best customer we have in the world for cotton goods. What has been the purport of the communications lately received from the United States on that subject ?—I have seen communications from eminent merchants, and one I saw from a member of Congress, who stated that the discussions on the Tariff Bill will come on after the election of the President in November, at the next meeting of Congress ; and an opinion is given that since that question was last discussed, the States of Illinois and Michigan, and ' other States which have recently joined the Union being almost altogether agricultural States, it will depend upon our taking their flour and corn whether the tariff which in 1842 admits cotton manufactures at a duty of 20 per cent. will be renewed, or whether it will be of a more stringent character. Mr. Villiers. Has there ever been any change of opinion at Manchester with respect to the operation of the Corn-laws ?—lione whatever; but the opinion becomes stronger and stronger every day from the growing competition of foreign countries, and the impossibility of extending our trade unless we take the corn and other produce of foreign countries in exchange for our ma- nufactures.

Mr. Emart. And it pervades men of all parties ?--It is not at all a question of party ; men of all parties are opposed to a system which they see so inju- rious to the community. Our total exports of cotton manufactures to Russia, Germany, and Prussia, and the United Netherlands in 1820, were 4,651,2994 and in 1838 the exports bad diminished to 1,607,9904 so that the export of cotton manufactures to those countries has fallen off upwards of three millions sterling per annum. Chairman. That is to say, the manufactured articles, in the value of which British labour forms a large portion, have been decreased, whilst the cotton twist, into which labour enters but little has increased ?—Precisely so. I will state the increase in twist ; I see that there has been an increase in the export of cotton twist to Russia, Germany, and Prussia, and the United Netherlands. In 1820 the exports were to those countries 1,961,554/. in value, and in 1838 they amounted to 5,378,4551., that being an increase of rather more than the diminution on the manufactured article.

Mr. Villiers. Have you ever been led to consider what is the effect upon the working-classes of withdrawing capital from this country ?—The effect of with- drawing capital from English manufacturers, is, of course, to throw out of em- ployment English labourers. Has it been observed that upon the removal of capital any great proportion of English labourers go with it ?—A certain portion of skilled English artisans have gone with the capital, for the establishment of foreign manufactories on the Continent.

is there any objection now felt to transferring capital from this country to any state in Europe ?—The objection is every day diminishing, from the supe- rior security in foreign countries to what there has been : one-half the capital for making the railway from Rouen to Paris has been recently subscribed in England.

Chairman You can speak to the fact of men being required, and leaving the country almost daily P—I know that agents are constantly employed in the manufacturing districts, Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester, Leeds, and Glow, in selecting the ablest workmen to go to foreign countries. Mr. Villiers. Do you believe that the same wages give artisans a greater command over the comforts and necessaries of hfe abroad P—Certainly, greater command over the supply of necessaries abroad than they have in their own country.

Then the temptation is very great to artisans to leave tins country ?—They will not leave it unless they have a great temptation.

Mr. Emart. Can you state whether or not the spinners on the Continent Can spin yarns of a higher number than they could do a few years ago ?—When 1 first knew the trade, we used to export to Switzerland numbers as low as eights and tens, which is about the lowest description of yarn. Switzerland, after a time, established cotton-factories of its own, and then the numbers be- gan gradually to rise ; we exported twenties and thirties : a little time after we exported nothing but forties and fifties ; then seventies and eighties; now they take nothing from us under one hundred and tens. That has been the progress of cotton-spinning in Switzerland; and the same progress is going on in other countries.

Sir C. Douglas. Is it your opinion that those duties, which are supposed to give protection to our cotton manufacturers, can be taken off with advantage to the public, if the principle of the present Corn-laws is to be maintained ?—The protection on cotton manufactures is in fact of no use to us or to the public, because we export four-fifths of all the cotton we receive • and therefore it is clear, that unless we can sell at a lower price than anybody else, we could not export at all.

Chairman. What is the state of the cotton-trade now in Lancashire and in England generally P—The cotton-trade at the present time is in a very de- pressed state.

How long has it been in that state P—It has been in that state now for seve- ral years past.

'Eo what do you attribute that ?—It is attributable in a great measure to want of demand for our productions, both from foreign countries and for home consumption. What does that want of demand depend upon P—The want of demand in America in particular depends upon our not taking her flour in return. Ame- rica at this time has an immense quantity of flour which she would he glad to give us in exchange for our manufactures, if we would take it ; and our work- people would be very glad to get that corn and flour in exchange for their pro- ductions; but the law says that no such exchange shall take place. What has been the state of wages of our workmen here in consequence of that stagnation 3—The rate of wages during the present year for skilled labour has declined 15 to 20 per cent. Then, as provisions are higher this year than they have been for a consider- able time what is the condition and state of the working-classes P—The condi- tion of the working-tlasses is much worse than the mere rate of wages shows; their real wages are probably not one-half what they used to be, because in the first place they cannot obtain full work, and in the next place, if they had full labour they have a double price to give for their provisions; and therefore their real amount of wages is probably not more than half what it used to be in 1835 and 1836, for instance.

Then their wages have not increased with the price of provisions ?—The rate of wages never does increase with the price of provisions, but we always find it has a contrary effect: they always decline with a rise in the price of provisions;

because a i high price of food always diminishes the demand for labour, and the es

rate of wags determined by the demand for labour. Sir C. Douglas. If the present Corn-laws are continued, in what mode can our manufactures be relieved with respect to import-duties P—Our manufactures may be relieved by a reduction of the duties on raw materials; the duty on raw cotton, which amounts now, at the present reduced price of cotton, to five or six per cent, upon the raw material.

Is there any other mode of relieving the manufactures P—An equalization of the duties on sugar and coffee, being articles of great consumption in the manufacturing districts, would also be a relief to the labouring population and the manufacturing interest : the equalization of the duties on sugar and coffee would have two effects, it would reduce the value of those articles to the con- sumer, and it would increase the demand for labour to pay fiw those articles, and would therefore be a great benefit.

Does any other relief occur to you P—There is no relief, in my mind, that would be so effectual as the repeal of the Corn-laws ; and for this reason, that the burden of the Corn-laws is greater, in my opinion, than the burden of all the state taxes put together. Is it your opinion that an alteration of the present Corn-laws, the principle of which is a fluctuating duty, would be of any use if it were put at a fixed duty? —I think a fixed duty would be preferable to a fluctuating duty.

Mr. Villiers. Do you conceive that any state of the kw could be much worse than the present ?—I think it is the worst that can be devised.

Do you mean by a fixed duty being preferable to a fluctuating scale, that the trade in corn would be more likely to be regular P—The advantages of a fixed moderate duty would be this, that you would have a foreign trade in corn at all times. Now the effect of a fluctuating duty is that you only have a trade in corn at particular seasons, when there is a scarcity; the consequence is, that you have to pay for your foreign corn in specie, and therefore it causes derange- ments in the currency, and a thousand evils following in its train.

Chairman. Is not every rise of price by such protective duties an indirect tax on the consumer 7—Unquestionably. Is it in that way that the protective duties on food become a heavier tax than all the taxes collected by the government, to which in a former answer you have alluded ?—Yes; I consider the indirect taxes upon food imposed by the corn and provision laws to amount, as I have stated, to as much as the whole of the state taxes.

Can you explain to the Committee how you have formed that opinion; on what data it is founded P—Assuming that the consumption of grain of all kinds in this country be 60,000,000 of quarters per annum, (Mr. APCulloch, I think, estimated it at 52,000,000 of quarters many years ago); supposing that the effect of the Corn-laws be to raise the price of grain in this country 10s. a quarter higher than it would otherwise be, and supposing that the consumption of all other agricultural produce together be equal to the consumption of grain, then you have a consumption equal to 120,000,000 of quarters of grain, which at 10s. a quarter would amount to sixty millions of money. What, in your opinion, will be the effect of our continuing the present protective system on the cotton and other manufactures to which you have given attention 7—The effect of the continuance of the present protective system, I think will be most injurious to the labouring classes. Our population is increasing at the rate of 1,000 souls a day, and unless we have the marketa of the world open to us, it follows as a matter of course that the competition for labour must daily increase, and as the competition for labour increases, the rate of wages will fall. Then the next effect will be upon capitalists, who, finding that capital can be employed so much more profitably in other countries, will take their capital to those countries. Then the next effect will be upon the revenue of the country, diminishing the consumption of all taxable articles; and finally it will reach the landed interest themselves, who, instead of having a race of industrious and productive labourers to consume their produce, will have a race of paupers to support.

Was it upon these grounds that the Corn-law League at Manchester was formed in 1838 to avert these consequenees?-11 was. Where you not chairman of that meeting of delegates from the different manufacturing towns of England and Scotland who assembled in London to obtain an alteration of the Corn-laws 7—Yes; I had the honour to be the chairman of a meeting of the delegates at Brown's Hotel on the 5th of January 1839, when the following resolution was passed unanimously : "That this meeting, whilst it demands of the Legislature, as an act of Justice, the total and immediate repeal of all laws imposing duties upon or restricting the im- portation of corn and other articles of subsistence, is prepared to resign all claims to protection on home manufactures, and to carry out to their fullest extent, both as affects agriculture and manufacture, the true and peaceful prin- ciples of free trade, by removing all existing obstacles to the unrestricted inter- change of industry aud capital among all nations."

Can you state how far those who were present at that meeting represented the general commercial interests of the country P—There were deputies from Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Derby, Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Glasgow, and other commercial towns.

Mr. Villiers. Having had occasion to consider the present state of the country, do not you conceive that the great want of the labourer and of the capitalist is to find a wider field for their employment ?—Precisely. And that for this purpose it is now peculiarly the interest of this country to extend our commerce by every means that we can ?—Certainly, as the only means of employing our population. And that without that we have the prospect of capital leaving the country and the people becoming destitute P—Just so. Do you believe that to be the general feeling of the manufacturing interest in this country P—It is their feeling : people are getting very much alarmed at the effects of restricted markets.

They are alarmed at the prospect they have before them of the people being discontented, and of being themselves compelled to leave the country ?--The country will not be worth living in by and by, unless restrictions are destroyed, and the world thrown open to the industry of the people. It is easier for a rich man to leave the country than a labourer P—Precisely. The prospect is that the wealth, or the means of employing the labourer, may leave the country, while the labourer may be thrown upon the country for support ?—Yes. Do you consider that the value of land has risen always in proportion as

manufactures have prospered have myself offered nearly 6.000/. an acre for land [in the borough of Salford], on which I remember to have seen wheat growing, and that price was refused.

And that increased value was owing to increased manufactures P—Precisely so. You do not consider that the cotton manufacture is increasing in the ratio in which it was doing some years ago P—Certainly not ; our manufactures have been rather declining the last two years. Chairman. Are you aware that there was an increased export of goods gene- rally last year beyond the preceding year ?—I believe there was.

Does any portion of that arise from the diminished consumption in our borne market, arising from the want of employment and the distress of the labouring classes F—The diminished consumption of our country in cotton goods, accord- ing to Burn, was about 20,000,000 of pounds weight as last year, that is in cotton alone, which is about one-fourth less than the usual consumption.

Consequently, will not that decrease of home consumption have forced the manufacturers to find a market elsewhere ?-0f course they were obliged to get rid of their productions somewhere, to enable them to pay their engagements. So that although there is an apparent increase in the quantity of exports, yet the state of commerce you do not consider to have been profitable ?—It was unprofitable ; and the consumption of the raw material of cotton was less last year than in the preceding year.

MR. THOMAS FIELD GIBSON.—Examined 28th July.

Mr. Thomas Field Gibson, a manufacturer of silk in Spitalfields, who was in business when the reduction of the duty on silk took place, and when the pro- hibition was withdrawn by Mr. Huekisson in 1826, eaid, that the effect of that change upon the manufacturers of Spitalfields had been advantageous. The opportunities which the manufacturers have had of seeing the various manu- factures of France to a much greater extent than before, has enabled them to make some improvement in the manufacture. They have seen a great deal more of the French fancy figured silks than they ever did before, and they have seen the general mode of French manufacture. At the same time, competition has very much excited to exertion. Mr. Gibion stated, that though foreign velvets had been excluded by the duty of 35/. to 45/. per cent., the number of


looms in Spitalfields had not increased; but during the last fifteen years the rate of wages had lowered, which he attributed less to foreign competition than to the competition of other parts of England, where silk manufactures have been established. The demand for silk goods generally has increased since the reduction of duty, and the English production increased as well as the amount of capital invested. He attributes the superiority of the French in the silk manufacture to advantages they enjoy. They are themselves a silk producing country ; they have the raw material themselves ; they are much nearer to the Italian market, and have a much greater choice of the raw material than we have. Then they are better off in climate and in natural taste and skill, in the much longer period that the trade has existed in the country, and in the lower price of labour. Mr. Gibson thinks the introduction of schools of design will have a favourable influence upon the silk manufactures of England. It is his opinion that the lowering of the duty on French silks would he a great injury to British silk manufacturers, and that a large reduction would lead to a very con- siderable increase of importation. But he says that if the Legislature were willing to adopt a system of free trade in every article of commerce, he as a silk manufacturer, is quite prepared to take his chance in the risk of such a scheme. So long, however, as we have a restrictive system, and so long as the land- owner is protected as he is, and the chief necessaries of life are so very much dearer here than in foreign countries, he claimed his full share of protection. The effect of doing away with the protective system would be to equalize prices all over the world; and if the people have to pay much for their food, they have less to pay for manufactured goods. The effect of removing the protective duty would be to put us on a level with the French manufacturer, which we are not now. The rate of wages is determined by the demand for labour. If the people paid less for their living, it would produce an increased demand for the article, rather than a reduction of wages, and the manufacturer would have the advantage. He would be able to maintain his ground then. Mr. Gibson, in advocating the repeal of the Provision-laws, did not consider that the ad- vantage would be so much in a reduced rate of wages, as an equalization of wages in this country and all others, and also the benefit of a greatly-in- creased consumption of all dcscripitons of manufactured articles, lie disap- proves altogether of the system of debentures, which he considers "vicious and clumsy." The debentures give 3s. 6d. per cent, on all British manufactured silk exported, being the return of the duty levied on thrown silk ; but as the quantity exported is not ruulated by the quantity imported, the 3s. 6d. deben- ture is sold for 2s. 6d., leang the tax on thrown silk Is.per pound. Since the alteration of the duty upon the importation of raw and thrown silk, very con- siderable improvement has taken place in our spinning machinery, which is now superior to that of any other country. He believed that he expressed the opinion of a very large proportion of the persons engaged in the silk trade, in stating that the principal ground for adhering to their protection is the high protecting duties imposed upon the necessaries of life ; and if they were re- moved, speaking fur himself; he had no hesitation in saying, that he would claim no exemption for the silk trade, if all trades were put upon one basis of freedom.

MR. JOHN SQUIRE AND A. B.—Examined 30th July.

Mr. John Squire, and another witness whose name is not given, stated that there is a great and growing adulteration of coffee by the use of chicoree, in consequence of the high price of coffee. In the ground coffee sold to the poor there is an adulteration of three ounces to the pound. It is estimated that the people of this country pay on the whole double the price paid on the Con- tinent for coffee, in consequence of the differential duties in favour of the pro- duce of our Colonies.

MR. HENRY HILTON.—Examined 30th July.

Mr. Henry Hilton, a silk-manufacturer of Manchester employing 1,100- weavers, was of opinion that the lowering the duty on foreign silk goods was beneficial to the British manufacturer. NI e are now in a situation to compete with the French in plain goods, even without protection. There has been a diminution of the cost of production, and consequently increased demand. Though the immediate effect was a diminution of wages, it has ultimately in- creased demand for labour and capital. He thinks that in plain silks we have an advantage over most countries, and says he fears the competition of none. He supposes the non-protection of copyright of patterns to be the greatest barrier to improvement in this country, and that this protection would be more useful than the protection of high and prohibitory duties. Our Corn-laws are particularly detrimental to the silk-trade, and prevent its extension in America. At the present time, the silk-trade is in a state of great suffering. He gave it as the result of his experience, that a high price of food is generally accompanied by a decline of wages. Ile believes that the silk-manufacturers generally are willing to forego protection, if there were a free trade in provisions : cheap bread would extend trade ; while a bad harvest might probably compel him to stop from 500 to 700 hands : at present the trade is subject to the caprice of the weather. He thinks the repeal of the protective duties on provisions is not desired by the manufacturers, in order to lower the wages of the operatives ; for that the effect would be to raise them. High wages are associated with prosperity and general content. The admission of foreign silk goods had given a great stimulus to trade and improved machinery greatly. The removal of protective duties would increase the wellbeing of the whole community, and consequently augment both production and consumption.

GEORGE RICHARDSON PORTER, Esq.—Examined 31st July. Chairman. Are you at the head of the Statistical Department in the Board of Trade P—I am.

How long have you been in that situation ?—From its establishment in the beginning of 1832.

Are there any articles of British produce prohibited in France, which, never- theless, are smuggled in ?—1 have no certain means of ascertaining whether that be the case or not. The French Government acts with a very doubtful kind of morality in those matters, and assists its subjects very much in smug- gling, against the regulations of other countries; while it punishes severely in all cases of offence against its own regulations. Do you mean that with respect to articles which are prohibited or admitted at very high duties in England and in other countries, facilities are afforded to send them from France P—I do. I have an exemplification of that before me, in an account of the quantity of brandy exported from France, as given in the French customhouse accounts, and contrasted with the quantities im- ported into the United Kingdom from France ; I find that, from the year 1827 to 1833 inclusive, the quantity of brandy entered as being imported into Eng- land from France very greatly fell short of the quantity exported from France to England. On the contrary, from 1834 to 1838, the quantities entered at our Customhouse, of brandy as imported from France, were enormously greater than the quantities apparently exported from France to England. Of course that can be only through some great error in the customs account of one or other of the countries. It cannot be supposed that the error originates with us, our account being taken of the quantities that are actually landed. The discrepancy arises, no doubt, (rain the fact that the French Government connives at the exportation of brandy from its own ports without its being en- tered at the customhouse, or at the suppression of entries in their accounts. The quantity in the year 1834 imported into England, beyond the apparent export from France, was upwards of 1,200,000 gallons. This is a difference between the two customhouse accounts which leads me to believe that there must have been a suppression of entries in the accounts, Mr. Ewart. It shows that they do not enter all that they export ?—Yes. Up to 1833 inclusive, the quantities imported into England fell greatly short of the quantities exported from France, according to the customhouse accounts of both countries ; the difference of course being introduced by smuggler.. From 1834 up to this period, those facts are reversed as regards the custom- house accounts. There is no reason to aprehend, or to hope that the other fact is reversed, and that smuggling has diminished. [Mr. Porter handed in a table, which showed the exports of brandy from France to the United Kingdom for the first year, 1827, to be 2,254,529 gallons ; the imports from France to the United Kingdom for the same year being 1,697,310 gallons: for the last year of the list, 1638, the French exports were 1,630,709; the English im- ports, 2,350,122.) Can you mention an instance of any other article P—I have a statement be- fore me of the quantities of silk goods exported from France to England in. each year, from 1827 to 1838, and of the quantity of those goods entered at the English customhouses during the same years, showing that the quantity exported from France has very greatly exceeded the quantity imported regu- larly into this country. Mr. Thornely. When you allude to quantity, do you allude to weight or to value ?—Pounds weight. The proportions that have entered regularly in each year have varied from about 41i per cent, to about 63i per cent, in different years ; and consequently, the proportion which has been introduced by smug- glers has amounted in one year to 514 per cent., while in another year it amounted to only 36i per cent. ; but the largest proportion which appears to have been entered regularly in any one year is 63i per cent, of the whole quantity shipped from France to this country, showing that there must have been an illicit introduction to the extent of 36/1 per cent, in that year. This statement I will deliver in.

[The wetness delivered in the same, which is as follows.) Statement of the number of pounds weight of Silk Manufactured Goods exported from

France to England, and of the number of pounds weight of the like Goods lauded and entered at the various Customhouses of the United Kingdom, in each 3 ear from 1827 to 1838, showing the centesimal proportions of the quantities shipped that were entered and not entered.

Quantity Quantity

Exported f m entered at shipped incand btle

ayond Centesimal Proporticza.

France Customhouses

e n titled .

Years. to England. in England. 104.040 ..... 120,840 Entered. Not entered.

53.74 46.62 53.39 179a8..928354 54-72 45.28 ..... 111159;982618 169,208 ,455 41.45 58-55

154 913

149,187 50.87

146.665 166,212

446..87 53.13

202,889 148.196 42'21 5779

175,562 141,946 '9 4471

168.772 130,009

179.977 103.669 56-45 43 55


63.45 3655

166.723 1101:4441 62-17 3743 244,626 4859 62-23 3777

1,713.886 _ 3.589,594 —

1,875,708 51-97 48 03 Amount of duty collected on 1.875,703 pounds weight, 1,961,6781., or II. Os. lid, per pound weight. The same amount of revenue would have been collected if the rate had been 104. lid, per pound, provided the whole quantity shipped from France had passed through the Customhouse. If the duty had beer, paid on the whole quantity imp. red, at the same rate as was paid on the regular importations. the sum received would have been 3,754,1171., or more than the actual receipt by 1,792,4591.

1327 .. 224.880 1828 .. 3.1.084 1829 .. 211,842 1830 .. 589.034 1831 .. 303'642 1832 .. 312,877 1833 .. 351,085 1834 .. 317.5(8 1835 .. 298.780 1836 .. 283,646 1837 .. 169,164

18388 ..


Chairman. It would appear, from what you have stated, that nearly one- half the silks exported from France, avowedly for the English market, are smuggled when they arrive in England P—According to the paper before me, it appears that during the twelve years between 1827 and 1838, 1827 being the first year of the importation of silk goods after the prohibition was removed, and 1838 being the latest year to which the French Customhouse accounts go, there were imported regularly, of the exports from France, 52 per cent. ; and consequently, there were introduced by smugglers, 48 per cent. I am of opi. Mon, founding that opinion upon what I have stated with regard to brandy, that those exports do not form the whole of what are shipped from France ; that a great quantity, beyond what is entered at the Customhouses, is exported, that is, brought to England by means of smugglers ; and consequently, that more than half the French silk goods used in England are introduced surrep- titiously.

Will you state what is the rate of duties levied in this country on French manufactured silk T—It was intended by the tariff at present in force, to levy a duty of 25 per cent, on the value of plam silk goods, and 30 per cent, on the value of figured and rich silks. There is reason to know that in some cases those rates are greatly exceeded by the specific duties which were intended to operate'to that extent, and it forms part of the arrangements at present in pro- gress with the French Government, that we should go into an examination of the specific rates charged upon silk goods, in order to bring them into an agree- ment with what was originally intended, namely, 25 per cent, on plain goods and 30 per cent, on figured goods.

Mr. Ewart. Are English bandannas admitted into France 2—They and all other silk goods are admitted at moderate duties.

Chairman. "What is the rate of duty at which British silk goods are ad- mitted into France P—I do not remember the rate, but it is much under the English rate.

is the trade in that article increasing 2-1 think not.

Do you see any objection to the duties on French goods being reduced here to the same rate at which British silk goods are admitted into France 2—The only reason that I see against it is the clamour that would be raised on the part of the manufacturers.

As regards the means of obtaining the raw material, and the expense of manufacturing the article, do you in that respect see any reason against it ?-- I am not aware of any reason which should so operate, except it be found in -the protection which has been hitherto afforded to the manufacture, a course which always has the effect of settin,,e people to sleep.

Have we not in England, with the exceptien of that portion of raw silk that is produced in the South of France, the same facilities of obtaining silk from Italy, India, and China, as they have ?—We have the same facilities which France possesses of obtaining silk from all parts of the world, with the excep- tion of silk from the South of France, and greater facilities for obtaining China and India silk, of which France is a purchaser in this market.

Mr. Villiers. You think the manufacturers would be alarmed at a reduction of the protective duties on silk; are there any grounds for that alarm on the part of the manufacturers, so far as you know ?—I think not; I think the alarm is not well founded.

Were they not under great apprehension when the duty was first reduced, in 18252—It was the declared opinion of many persons engaged in the manufac- ture at that time, that it would be completely annihilated by the rivalry of the French manufacture.

The exports of our silks have been gradually increasing to other countries, and the home consumption has also been greatly extended 2—The exportation has never been very large, but the home consumption has increased most ma- terially. [In 1821 the quantities imported were—raw, 2,119,744 pounds; waste, 81,297, thrown, 341,154; the duty was reduced in 1824, when the in- crease in raw silk was more than a million pounds, in thrown silk a hundred thousand ; in 1839 the quantities were—raw, 3,745,289; waste, 1,049,890; thrown. 224,855.] The value of silk goods used in England cannot be less than ten or twelve millions yearly. The protecting duty consequently operates as a tax upon the ,onsumers to the amount of two and a half or three millions annually.

Arc ) laws- that one great complaint which the manufacturers are now making throusocut this country, is that they labour under great disadvantage in foreign competition, owing to the protective duties imposed on the neces- saries of life 2—That is the case to some extent.

Are you aware whether that prevails to a great extent among the silk manu- facturers 7—Not particularly among silk manufacturers, but among all classes of manufacturers ; and chiefly among those (the cotton manufacturers) who are least protected.

Judging from the articles that we export to France, and the articles that we import from France, should you infer that the circumstances of the two coun- tries are particularly favourable to a free commercial intercourse between them —There can be no doubt about it.

Are not the duties imposed on various articles of export and import between the two countries in many respects for the purpose of protection 2—I imagine that the trade between the two countries is mainly crippled by the very heavy duties imposed in England upon the staple articles of production in France, such as wine and brandy, and by the system of prohibition which is used in France against almost all manufactured goods. Inasmuch as there are several articles which are produced in France and in England which the people of those respective countries require, the one from the other, do you regard the protective duties imposed upon those articles as a tax upon the people of each country P—No doubt of it.

And they limit the amount of commerce between the two countries P—They limit the commerce between the two countries, and the amount of productive industry which would otherwise be set in motion, thereby diminishing the sum of enjoyment in each country. Mr. Thorndy. Do the French Government impose a duty upon English iron, different from that upon the iron of Sweden ?—They do. Mr. Ewart. The Swedish iron is a superior article P—It is applied to dif- ferent uses.

Mr. Thornely. Still, inasmuch as a protective duty is charged upon the import of English iron, that is a tax upon the people of the country who re- quire the use of cheap iron ?-1 consider it a tax upon the people of France, to the extent of at least 80 per cent, upon the value of all the iron that is con- sumed in the kingdom.

Mr. Ewart. Are not they obliged to admit, for the purpose of making rail- ways, English iron on more favourable terms 2—They have refused to do so.

Mr. Villiers. You consider that that policy is obviously erroneous and un- wise on the part of the French people ?—Decidedly.

Do you consider that it is at all more erroneous than the principle of pro- tection which is acted upon by ourselves P—Certainly not. It is only another exemplification of the same principle, which must be equally hurtful in all countries.

Do you consider that there is any policy, or any justification for the pro- tection that is extended to manufacturers or to agricultural produce in Eng- land ?—1 can see none whatever, except it be the consequence of complications produced by unwise legislation.

Do you consider that the burden of the state taxes which are collected affords any plea for imposing those protective duties P—Certainly not. If it were possible to make foreigners pay any part of our burdens, there might be

some common sense in it ; but certainly it cannot by any means alleviate the national burden to shift it from the shoulders of one Englishman to those of another.

The great proportion of our taxes is collected upon articles of general con- sumption ?--It is so. And therefore, to impose a protective duty upon any article of necessary consumption, by adding to its coat, diminishes the means of contributing to the general taxation ?—No doubt of it. That is your view of the operation of protective duties P—It is clearly my view of the operation of protective duties. Such duties form, however, but a part, and in many cases only a small part, of the burden which they cause to the nation, inasmuch as they add to the price not only of the quantities of the protected articles imported, but also of ell of those articles that are produced within the kingdom. There cannot be a greater mistake than to suppose that additional messes of employment are created by protecting branches of industry that could not otherwise be carried on ; the whole effect of legislative inter- ference in this direction, is that of diminishing the wealth of the country, by causing less profitable to take the place of more profitable employments.

Do you consider that there is any impediment to the removal of these pro- tective or prohibitory duties as they exist in this country P—I consider that the great impediment is in the prejudices of the people, which, until they shall be better informed, will make them averse to any such course on the part of the Legislature, and that there may be also other impediments arising out of the false position in which many branches of industry have been placed by means of what are called protections ; that large capitals have been diverted into channels where they would otherwise not have been employed because of those protections, and that it would be unjust on the part of the Legislature suddenly to withdraw the protections under which it has encouraged the employment of such capital; but that is only another way of stating the =policy of originally adopting such a system of protection. Is that an operation that has already occurred, or is it not a thing which is constantly taking place, that capital is attracted in a wrong direction, and mis- directed in its employment 2—I imagine that if there were no legislative interference, people would very soon come to find where they could profitably employ their capital, and where they could not, and that very few mistakes of that nature would be made, compared with the number that are made under the interference of the Legislature, as shown in granting protective duties.

Is there any prospect offered to us of getting rid of that system, if we are always exposed to the evil of doing what may be considered injustice, by those who have been tempted so to apply their capital ?---The only means which pre- sent themselves to my mind for getting out of the difficulty in which we now are, with justice to those who have been, so to speak, inveigled into a false ap- plication of their capital, would be the withdrawal of protections gradually, so that they might have time either to prepare themselves for competition by im- provements in their processes, or withdraw their capital without loss or ruin to themselves.

You have no doubt with regard to the great staple manufactures of this country, that no injury could be done by withdrawing the protective dutiesl- Clearly so.

Then while they are not benefited by all those protective duties, are the)' not greatly injured by the protective duties for British agriculture ?—No question.

What is .your opinion of the probable effect of the removal of protective duties generally ; is it that it would extend commerce and improve the con- dition of the people ?—I have no doubt that it would do so in this country to a degree of which the world has hitherto seen no example.

In alluding to then protecting duties the removal of which might cause some injury to the interest protected, have you considered what would be the effect on the agriculturist of the removal of the duty by which he is pro- tected2—I believe that the effect of removing all protection, as it is called, im- posed by the Legislature to favour the agricultnrist, would be to place him in a far better position than he is in under that protection; that he would have steady prices ; that he would have continually remunerating prices ; that he would not be subject to those violent fluctuations which have affected him of late years, and which have brought ruin upon a large class of people in this country.

In what way would you expect that the agricultural interest, now highly protected in this country, would be injured by removing the protective duties ?—I imagine that they would not be in any way injured, but, on the contrary, greatly benefited, Then, if you would exercise 'caution in removing the protective duties an agricultural produce, it would be rather with a view to their fears and preju- dices than to any injury or injustice that you think would be done to them?— Clearly so. Then it is your opinion that all protective duties might be removed with unqualified advantage to all interests 7—It is clearly my opinion ; it is only a question as to the mode and the rapidity with which they should be removed. But even with reference to that, you would not expect any evil if they were suddenly removed 2—Certainly not.

You consider that there is not much difference between exporting the pro- duce of the soil and supporting the artisan, the produce of whose labour is ex- ported ?—Certainly not ; but in this country it is only under the latter form that the produce of the soil can be profitably exported. Would you not consider that a duty that enhanced the cost of a raw mate- rial used in manufacture would be even more prejudicial than a duty on the manufactured article 2-1 do not think that there is much difference. Duties on raw materials enhance the cost directly, and duties for protection do the same thing indirectly ; the effect to the consumer, i. e. to the country generally, is equally bad.

Do you believe that the high protective duties upon' articles of colonial pro- duct are advantageous to the revenue 2—I imagine that the revenue suffers from the limitation of the market whence the supply is drawn.

Do you believe that a moderate duty imposed upon sugar imported from all sugar-producing countries would yield a larger revenue ?—It would depend u•pon the rate of duty of course ; but that the duty might be reduced with con- siderable advantage to the revenue, provided at the same time the market of supply were enlarged, I have no doubt. Do you consider that it can in the least signify to the manufacturer whether it is a colonist or a foreigner that takes his manufactures 2—Certainly not.

Mr. Thornely. Is not a considerable proportion of the foreign sugar refined in bond in this country exported to the British West Indies, to Canada, and to other British possessions P—It is.

And our fellow-subjects in those countries are consequently enabled to con- sume refined sugar at a rate very much below the price that we are obliged to pay in this country P—Very much below the price that we are obliged to pay in this country for the worst raw sugar.

Mr. Villiers. The operation of the protective duty now is to limit con- sumption and increase the price 2—It is. I have a paper before me, which shows to some extent the operation of high prices upon the consumption of sugar, which with the permission of the Committee 1 will put in. It is a state- ment of the consumption of sugar in Great Britain during the years 1801-1811, 1821-1831, and 1839, showing the population of Great Britain at those periods, the net revenue derived from sugar in each of those years, the rate of duty

chargeable upon sugar per hundredweight from the British plantations, the amount of duty paid by each individual, equalizing the consumption per head

throughout the country, and the average price of sugar according to the Lon- don Gazette. It appears that in 1801 the duly upon sugar being 20s. per hun- dredweight, the sum which each individual, taking one with another, contri- buted to the revenue in respect of sugar, was 5$. ld., and the average price of sugar in 1801 was 54s. per hundredweight. In 1811, the duty on sugar being raised in the mean time to 27s. the hundredweight, the sum paid for duty per bead was 5s. 3id., the average price of sugar being lowered from 54s., which it W88111 1801, to 41s. 4d. per hundredweight In 1821 the duty on sugar being continued at 27s. per hundredweight, the amount of duty per head was 5s. lid., the average price of sugar being 30s. 2id.; but there is this difference between 1821 and 1811, that the duty in 1811 was collected in a depreciated currency, whereas in 1821 the currency was restored. In 1831, the duty having been lowered to 24s., the amount of duty paid per head was 5s. lid., the average price of sugar being then only 23s. 8d., exclusive of the duty. In 1839, when the average price of sugar was raised to 39s. 44d., the rate of ditty being the same, the contribution per head to the revenue in respect of sugar, was reduced to 4s. 6id. This proportionate falling-off in 1839 was no doubt the result of the high price of sugar occurring simultaneously with a high price of bread. Sir S. Parnell. Are there, in your opinion, any reasons for continuing to act upon the strict principle of the colonial system at the present time, with regard to protecting our colonies, by giving them the benefit of our market 2- I consider that, all protective duties being wrong in principle, the sooner we can get rid of them the more it will be of advantage to the country generally.

Mr. Villiers. Have you had any oppportunity of knowing whether our pro- tective system here is referred to 1st foreigners as an excuse and as an example for them to follow 2-s-It is brought forward by them universally as an excuse for their adopting a similar system.

Do you believe that it would have a very general and great effect upon other Countries if our protecting system were modified or abolished ?—I am sure it would have a very great effect in time in compelling other countries to have recourse to a more liberal system.

Mr. Emart. Have they not imitated us in the restrictive part of our system in the navigation-laws, and do not they constantly cite them against us ; and is not there reason to suppose that they would follow our example in removing such restrictions P—No doubt there is. Time would be required in order fully to produce such an effect; but I have no doubt that would be the ulti- mate effett.

Mr. Villiers. You take a distinction between those duties which are imposed on foreign articles, corresponding with duties imposed at home upon the same article for the purposes of the state, and duties that are imposed as a protec- tion for home manufactures P—Certainly. In the first case it is a duty for re- venue ; and in the second case a duty for protection.

Mr. Thornely. Have you any particular information about the tariff of the United States of America, as being high upon certain articles of British ma- nufacture, in consequence of the high duties in this country on the production of the United States 2—It has been always understood that the tariff of the United States, which, with some modification, is at present in existence, was principally caused by our Corn-laws ; that if we bad not imposed restrictions upon the importation of what are called "bread stuffs" from America, the influence of the wheat-growing States would have been employed, and success- fully employed, in resisting the passing of that tariff. Have you any information of any movement in America, on the part of the manufacturing interests to increase the duty on the importation of British goods beyond the present rate of tariff, unless our Corn-laws are relaxed 2— No further than is seen in the public newspapers. Upon the subject of pro- tective duties I would beg leave, with the permission of the Committee, to read an extract from Dr. Franklin's miscellaneous works : it is to this effect- ." Suppose a country, X, with three manufactures, as cloth, silk, iron, supply- ing three other countries, A, B, C, but is desirous of increasing the vent, and raising the price of cloth in favour of their own clothiers. In order to do this, she forbids the importation of foreign cloths from A. A in return forbids silks from X. Then the silk-workers complain of a decay of trade, and X, to content them, forbids silks from B. B in return forbids ironware from X. Then the ironworkers complain of decay, and X forbids the importation of iron from Cl. C. in return forbids cloth from X. What is got by all these prohi- bitions ?—Answer : All four find their common stock of the conveniences and enjoyments of life diminished." I have a table taken from the annual Finance Accounts, which shows the amount of customs duty received in 1839, upon all articles producing 10,000/. and upwards to the revenue' and the pro- portion which the same bore to the whole customs revenue in that year ; from which it appears, that upon 17 articles only there was received 944 per cent. of the whole customs revenue of the country. Upon 29 other articles there was received 3 9-10ths per cent., so that upon 46 articles there was collected 98 2-5ths per cent., leaving upon other articles—and there are 144 other articles enumerated in the tariff, besides a great many other articles which come in without being enumerated under the head of "all other articles,"—leaving for the 144 others 1 3-5ths per cent, of the whole customs revenue ; so that we burden with taxes 144 articles out of 190, for the sake of collecting 1 3-5the per ceut, of our customs revenue or protection.

MR. WILLIAM HARE AND OTHERS.—Examined 3d August.

Mr. William Hare, Mr. James Pamphilon, Mr. J. B. Humphreys, Mr.Thomas Letchford, and Mr. James Rogers, all keepers of coffee-houses in London, were examined together. They stated that the annual increase of coffee-houses in London has been nearly 100 per annum. There were not above 10 or 12 coffee-houses in London about twenty-five years ago. There are now 1,600 to 1,800. There has been an immense consequent increase in the consumption of toffee in London, and the charge for coffee to the consumer been reduced, in consequence of this competition, from 6d. to ld. and lid. a cup. There is a large and increasing demand, in one case to the amount of 400/. per annum, for newspapers and periodicals, in consequence ; and with the best effects upon the public morals. One of these witnesses stated, that the number who visited his coffee-house daily was from 400 to 450; another, from 700 to 900; another, from 1,500 to 1,600. The taste for instructive publications was improving. The consequence Of lowering the price of coffee and sugar would certainly be most favourable to sobriety and to enjoyment.

MR. JOHN DILLON.—Examined 3d .August.

Mr. John Dillon stated, that he bad been engaged for more than twenty' years in the house of Morrison, Dillon, and Co. Previous to the change its our commercial policy in 1826, there was a large smuggling trade in silk goods ; British silk manufactures were in a state of remarkable inferiority ; but the presence of superior French articleashad done much to improve the public taste and the home production. The Tariffs of 1826, which were intended to establish 30 per cent, as the general rate of duty, had, in fact, established duties varying from 17i to 46i per cent.

We proceed with the evidence.

a airman. What has been the effect of the reduction of the duties on the trade in manufactured silk goods generally 2—I apprehend the effect has been very beneficial both to the public and to the manufacture itself; that it has restored the trade to a much more sound and healthy state than it existedin at that time, and has, perhaps, prevented its extinction in some branches.

Do you mean that some branches of the trade would have expired altogether,

if the duties had not been taken off?—If the duties had not been taken off, it would have been impossible to have checked the extension of the contraband trade, considering the great intercourse existing between this country and France, and that silk is an article of luxury and fashion. The general bad- ness of the silk manufacture of this country, in consmpsence of the protection, as it was falsely called, was conducted on such bad principles that it could not have been carried on to a profit.

[The increase of the importation of silk retained for manufacture, Mr. Dillon thus exhibited—

For the six years preceding the admission of foreign manu- lbs. factured goods 1820 to 1825 2,984,889 per annum. For the six years succeeding the

admission 1827 to 1832 4,131,541 —

For five years 1833 to 1837 4,956,836 —] Can you state what are the kind of goods imported now, as compared with those imported immediately after the trade was opened, or during the smuggling trade ?—When French goods were first imported, they manufactured for the English market a great many kinds of goods which they expected to sell largely. They came in competition at first, I believe, with almost every branch of our manufacture.

That was immediately after the opening of the trade?—Yes. The thing

has, however, now found its level. The great mass of the common silk goods are made in England. The great mass of the middle run of goods are also made in England : chiefly now at Manchester. The French trade has settled down into a rich or fancy trade - they keep that because they appear superior to us, not only in the arts of design, but in every thing in which taste and fancy are required; they not only makes higher description of goods, actually more beautiful, but they put them up in a better manner, and finish them in a better style, and as silk is altogether an article of luxury and fashion, the finish of the goods and the mode of placing them before the customer, is an essential and not a mere accidental circumstance.

Mr. Villiers. Do you conceive that the reduction of the duty had the effect of increasing the demand and extending the taste for silk in this country ?—I think it produced both effects to a very great extent. Can you state whether any improvement has been made in those articles to which you say the French trade is now akfined—namely, figured and fancy articles 2-1 think that even in those branches of trade in whieh we import most French goods, the English manufacturers have also very much improved, and the English manufacturers have succeeded in establishing a trade in the middle run of goods ; for instance, if the average price of the silks produced in Manchester a few years since was 2s., it may be now stated at 38. • their skill and taste have so far improved as to take from the French that class of goods. Chairman. You think that the high rate of duties encourages smuggling ?— I think any rate of duties extending beyond 10 or 15 per cent., which I un- derstand to be the cost of smuggling, must from the nature of the case en- courage smuggling ; and I believe that it does so. If the duty were reduced to 10 or 15 per cent. generally on French manu- factured goods, such as now suit the market here, do you believe that the general trade of the manufacturers of English silk would be ranch interfered with?— I am hardly able to give an opinion as to what would be or would not be for the interest of the manufacturers; but I have an impression that the demand for French goods is almost entirely a demand for those articles that they produce better than we produce them ; and that the demand is for them, because they produce them, or make them up, better than we do. I believe that they would still retain that trade, if the duty were reduced to 10 or 15 per cent., but no more than that trade. Are you aware whether we could extend our export trade in silk manufac- tures, supposing commerce were left unrestricted P—I believe we could very considerably extend it in some directions, but for our restrictive laws. Mr. Eteart. In what directions do you think we conld extend our export trade 2—In the direction of America, if we could take their wheat and corn; and many parts of the Continent of Europe also. Mr. Villiers. Then more labour would be employed in the silk-trade if our commerce was freer with other countries P—Certainly; .3fr. Ewart. Do not we export bandannas now to foreign countries ?— We do.

We did not do so formerly ?—We did not.

Mr. Thornely. Those are the English bandannas, in imitation of the Indian 7—Yes; and India bandannas imported fun printing here. Mr. Villiers. Are you aware of the apprehensions entertained by the silk manufacturers at the time that the duties were reduced 2—Perfectly aware of them ; they predicted the utter ruin of the English manufacture of silk goods, and even two years after the passing of Mr. Huskisson's law, a general meet- ing was held of the silk-trade in the year 1828, at which a committee of twenty- eight persons was appointed to communicate with the Government; and I hold in my hand their final report, in which they use the following language : "The Right Honourable President of the Board of Trade having on that occasion" [that is, at an interview which they hadwith him on the part of the silk manu- facturers of England,] "expressed a desire to have some plan submitted to himi which might procure relief to the silk-trade, consistent with the principles laid down by his Majesty's Government in the year 1826, for the regulation of this branch of British industry, the Committee most respectfully state, that after having given the subject their most mature consideration, they are still of opinion that the interests of the silk-trade of the United Kingdom are so ut- terly at variance with those principles, that his Majesty's Government will ultimately find themselves placed in a position which renders it necessary for them to decide upon surrendering up either the one or the other."

Chairman. Notwithstanding that prediction, is it not the fact that every year the silk-trade has gone on increasing 2—It has.

Were you examined before the Committee four years ago ?—I was.

Do you recollect that the same predictions were strongly urged before the Committee four years ago on the silk-trade P—They were very strongly urged.

And they foretold that if the proposition to reduce the duty on thrown silk were carried into effect, it would be followed by the utter ruin of the silk manufacture in this country in the course of the next three years 2—They did. Notwithstanding those predictions, the statements which you have now made, and certain other returns, show that the trade has been more prosper- ous than any other branch of trade in England P—It has been, upon the whole, prosperous.

Mr. Villiers. Is not it a ground for claiming protection by some intercede, that other interests are protected P—It is. Mr. Villiers. Then the removal of all protective duties, as it would operate with respect to all at the same time, would be attended with no injury 2—I ant not sure that the sudden removal of all protective duties would not be attended with any injury ; but I should be very glad to see the ultimate removal of all protective duties. At the same time, I think it right, to prevent mistake, to add that, as far as my experience goes, I think all legislative interference foe the purpose of protecting or improving trade to be injurious, not only to the community, but to the trade sought to be protected.- have found that as true in practice as it is in theory. Even in cases where he evil effects hare not at

first been visible, they have always appeared in the end. Of course I say no- thing as to taxation fur the sake of revenue, that, I assume, in this argument, should be regulated according to the wants of the state; hut all interference, whether in the shape of protective duties or otherwise, which take the direction of trade and capital out of individual control, is sure to be pernicious in its effects to all parties. This has been the result, practically, in all cases of trade which have come under my notice. From your general experience, and from your constant communication with persons in business, would you say that there was any ground for the continuance of any protective duty, if the protective duties on agricultural produce were removed ?—I find a general opinion in favour of giving up all other protective duties, if the restrictions on agricultural produce were re- moved.

Is not there some reason to apprehend that markets that have been hitherto possessed by this country may be closed against us if we continue our protective system P—Very great reason. We have lost some markets already P—We have. And that has been ascribed chiefly to our restrictions 7—Chiefly to our re- strictions. If there were no other objection to the restrictions, it is very im- portant to remove the objection that always presents itself on the part of foreign countries, that we do not ourselves set the example of a more liberal policy.

Chairman. From your intercourse with foreign manufactures and others, have you any reason to believe that our example in that respect would be very generally followed?—That would depend upon the governments rather than the manufacturers; but I think the example of the English would to a very great extent be followed.

Ewart. Do not foreigners in general consider that the theory of free trade emanated from England, and do not they express their astonishment that our practice is so much at variance with our theory ?-1. have heard great surprise expressed upon the subject very frequently by very intelligent men.

Mr. JOHN MITCHELL—Examined 5th August.

Mr. John Mitchell, a merchant at Leith for twenty-two years, statedrespect- ing the duties on foreign timber, that the duty upon both oak and fir timber is very oppressive, and extremely injurious to the country generally ; and that if the duty were lowered, particularlappon oak timber, we should increase the most important manufacture of this country, namely, the manufacture of ships, to a very: considerable extent. The duty of 56s. 6d. per .50 feet of both oak and fir timber is equal, in regard to fir of certain descriptions, to about 200 per cent., and on oak about 150 per cent. The very finest Norway fir timber, in- cluding the prime cost (equal to about 5d.) and freight, can be laid down at 8d. to nid. a foot, at Leith; the duty upon that would be equal to nearly 200 per cent. But the mode of measurement, called calliper measure, makes the duty still higher to the importer; in some eases adding the number of feet, by measuring empty space, 10 per cent. On fir timber, and upon oak timber It is 25 to 30 per cent, above the true contents. The examination of the wit- ness proceeds. Chairman. Does the placing the Norway timber under this high duty add to the revenue, in your opinion P—On the contrary ; it has prevented one most important. article of commerce from being introduced at all, except, perhaps, one or two cargoes, in all Scotland, during the twelvemonth. If the duty were reduced to the ad valorem rate of 20 per cent., would there then be an increase in the trade, and what amount of revenue do you think would be derived therefrom P—There would be a very considerable addition to the trade, and I should think it would add very considerably to the revenue. Do you think that if that timber could be admitted at an ad valorem duty, such as you have stated, the build of boats in Scotland and in England would assume that solidity and strength which you find in foreign boats P—I cer- tainly think so. I should like to add, that our fishermen are now beginning to proceed further out into the ocean in search of fish, not only herrings, but cod ; and they require much larger boats. They have been accustomed to go in small open boats. Now, if the duty were lowered, they could build the large. decked boats at the same price as they now pay for those small open dangerous fishing-boats. From your own knowledge of what Norway can supply, and of what is wanted in Scotland, are you of opinion that if the duty were so reduced as to admit the importation at the rate of 2d. per foot, much of that timber would come ?— I have no doubt of it to a very considerable extent. The commerce with Nor- way is a very important one. I am able to remember when the duties were lower, and when every farthing forming the net proceeds of those cargoes of timber then imported was expended in Scottish manufactures. In purchases on the spot P—Purchases on the spot : every man in a Norway ship bad what they call a land-day, that is to say, a day of liberty from the ship, and they generally spent every shilling of their surplus wages in manu- factured articles.

At what period was that ?—I should think above twenty years ago. -Mr. Chapman. When you state that Norway timber is in effect prohibited, are you aware that 758 ships came from Norway laden with this timber last year ?—I am aware that 758 ships may have come from Norway, but not with timber ; those were with battens.

Is not the duty on battens in the same proportion as on timber P—It is con- siderably less. Are the Committee to understand, that timber cut up, partly manufactured, can be imported at a rate of from 30 to 60 per cent, less than timber in log, from which those battens are made ?—Yes.

Sir C. Douglas. What is the peculiar advantage of importing log timber rather than manufactured ?—The great advantage is, that we should have a number of men employed in cutting it up to the proper size we want it ; and again, log timber can be employed as beams, and for various purposes to which we could not apply cut .up wood, battens, or deals. Supposing the same facilities were given to logs as to manufactured timber, would you import a greater quantity of logs?—The whole of the Norway tim- ber would be imported in logs. It would be cheaper to manufacture in this country ?—Yes. Mr. Chapman. Do you mean to say that it would be sawed cheaper here than in Norway ?—I believe we can manufacture almost any thing cheaper in this country than on the Continent ; we have the advantage of steam-engines, and we have water-power besides. Chairman. Have we not saw-mills in this country superior to what are to be found almost anywhere else?—We consider so : we have saw-mills near Leith where we cut up very cheap indeed. The cost of transportation in Nor- way from the saw-mills to the sea-side would more than counterbalance the charge which we should be put to in cutting it up. Mr. Etoart. Must not a nation which is so advanced in manufactures as this nation is, always have the power of underselling those which are less ad- vanced ?--Clearly. I should not fear any competition as it regards ships or any thing else, if the duties were put upon a proper footing. Mr. Chapman. You state that if these duties were lowered, you would not fear the competition of any British ship with any foreign one ?—Yes.

Can you state the price which a ship of 400 tons would cost at Leith, ready for Sea P-I should think it would cost from about 12/. to 15/. per ton.

Can you state the price of a foreign ship in Norway, or at Dantzic or Memel P—We are beginning very much to buy ships abroad ourselves, because we find it very profitable to take shares abroad. I have ceased to be a British shipowner some time since, and I join in shares in foreign ships. Are you able to state the exact price of a foreign ship ?—About 10/. a ton. Then is the Committee to understand that 151. would be the price for a capital ship at Leith, and that 10/. would be the price for a capital ship at Dantsic ?—Yes, 121. to 15/. at Leith : a ship varies in value according to the material of which it is composed. What would be the difference of the rate of expenditure in the navigation of a foreign and a British ship ? what is the rate Of wages that is usually paid in a foreign ship, and what is the rate in British ship P—It is about one-half.

Then how do you reconcile the statement you have just made with the opi- nion you have given to the Committee, that British ships and foreign ships would meet on terms of equal competition if these duties were only lowered ?— I stated that you must give both cheap timber and cheap food, and lower the duties on all materials connected with the manufacture of shipping.

Does not it follow that it would be cheaper, and consequently more advisable to build your ship abroad and to bring her here navigated, and to continue na- vigating her with foreign seamen ?—if you continue the present duties it would.

Chairman. Are you able to state whether a considerable amount of British capital is now embarked in foreign shipping?—I have reason to think that there is.

If the duty on timber were taken off, and the price of provisions were mom like that on the Continent, have you any doubt whatever that shipbuilding in this country would rapidly increase ?—I have no doubt of it whatever; nay, I contemplate the possibility of foreigners coming to buy ships in this country. Do you know any reason why the same rate of duty should not be imposed

upon all spars used for ships see no reason whatever ; a small ad valorem duty would be the proper duty npon such very necessary articles.

Can you state the comparative rates of duty paid on similar spare imported from British North America and from Norwry ?—The duty on spars eight and under 12 inches diameter, from British America, is 4s., and from other or foreign ports 1/. 2s. ; and if above 12 inches in diameter, from British America, II,. 6d. per load, and from foreign ports 2/. 16s. 6d. per load. Mr. Chapman. You are acquainted with shipbuilding ?—I am not practi- cally acquainted with it. But you have seen ships built at Leith ?—Yes. Can you state the quantity of fir timber consumed in building a ship of 400 tons at Leith ?—I could not say the exact proportion in value. [Mr. Mitchell estimates that the use of Norwegian pint would add one-fifth to the durability of ships. The lowering of duties would give to the ship- builders a more extensive selection, the importation of foreign oak timber would enable ships to be built in many places where the cost of transport of British oak is now a complete barrier. The Isle of Man has a great advantage, by being allowed to import foreign timber at 10 percent. duty. He thinks the importation would preserve our ports from total dilapidation ; and that faci- lities given to the introduction of foreign timber would give a very great in- crease to the demand for British ships.) Chairman. What is the state of the shipowners at this time T—I generally hear the shipowners who are connected with the British American provinces complain of the state of the trade ; but it is not generally known, and it ought to be generally known, that nearly the whole carrying-trade of that timber from America is carried on by vessels that have been found useless in more important occupations, and which are employed simply because they are of little value; they have perhaps been in the West India trade or in the East India trade, or they are built of very inferior materials, and consequently are suitable only for that purpose. It is Just the most worthless part of our shipping that is used in the American timber-trade.

Sir Charles Douglas. Is that the opinion of people who deal largely in English oak timber P—Yes ; I have heard it generally remarked by most people who have dealt in English and foreign oak timber. Chairman. Are you acquainted with the opinions of men in the timber- trade ?—Yes; having been connected with a committee that sat for the purpose of getting the duties reduced. Then the opinion you now give is the result of considerable attention paid to that subject ?—Yes: I have kept minutes and drawn up petitions, and some time since moved the Leith Town-Council regarding it. Mr. Etoart. Are the ships belonging to those who oppose the reduction of duties chiefly New Brunswick built vessels P—The whole of the ships belonging to one house, amounting to twenty or thirty, or forty, are entirely built in British America, in New Brunswick, I think, Chairman. So that the present duties discourage to a great degree the build- ing of ships in England, and encourage colonial-built shipping?—They do. Mn. Mitchell went on to say that the dwellings of the poorer classes in Nor- way are far superior to those of the English working-people ; they are more comfortable and durable; and when going to decay, new ones are built. He thinks that the removal of the restrictions and impediments to cheap ship- building in England, and the free importation of provisions, would largely extend the field of competition, regulate many of the anomalies of wages, and considerably increase the demand for British manufactures. He has found the Norwegians admit themselves, that while they may get goods, generally speak- ing, cheaper in the Continental markets in Germany, they prefer, as superior in quality, the Scottish manufactures, and that therefore they would buy all they required in regard to manufactures, and necessaries of that kind, in this country. Mr. Mitchell considers that the fair system of levying duty on timber would be a small ad valorem duty, timber being a raw material; and bacon- alders it an oppressive tax to compel the people of this country to go further and pay more for an inferior article. The high duties drive both house and ship carpenters out of employment, and are thus injurious to very important interests, as well as to the community at large and to the public revenue. Be says there would always be a demand for American timber, for peculiar pur- poses; and that the free importation of Baltic timber would, by increasing the general consumption of timber, increase the demand for these peculiar qualities. Be is informed that a great part of the wood brought from the British colonies is cut by natives of the United States, and that a great part of the red pine is actually the growth of the United States ; of course it must be in the parts nearest to the British colonies. He lately read a letter from Baron Humboldt to Lord Castlereagh, which appears to have been published, in which the Baron states that "the wood imported from Quebec is i partly from the woods on the lakes and rivers of the United States ; and the wood n Canada is to a con- siderable extent cut by the inhabitants of the United States, who, being paid in ready money, receive the greatest portion of the price. The wood called red pine grows entirely in the territory of the United States."

MR. WILLIAM LEAF.—Exarnined 6t4 August.

Mr. William Leaf said, that having been a dealer and merchant in the lead- ing articles of British manufacture for twenty-five years, he had watched the effect of the change made by Mr. Huskisson in 1826, which admitted French silks into Great Britain. When the change was proposed, it created very great discussion amongst the manufacturers, and it was steadfastly maintained that it would be impossible for them to carry on the business : both the Spital- fields and the Macclesfield manufacturers contended, that they could not pos. Ably meet the proposed competition, that their mills would become quite value- less, and that both the employer and employed would be ruined and reduced to pauperism. Those fears were not only not realized, but from that time a very gnat increase in the trade took place, much greater than at any former period. We take up the thread of his examination by Mr. Villiers. Can you account for that unexpected result ?—Up to the period when the prohibition was removed, much less improvement took place in the silk manu- facture than in any other branch of trade ; but as soon as it was removed, there was a great stimulus given to the trade by foreign competition, and by improved modes of manufacturing, by which goods were made cheaper and better.

What were the effects of those improvements?—It enabled the English ma- nufacturer still to continue the chief supply of the home market, and it also enabled him to compete with France in our export trade.

Has there been any increased export to America and other countries from the period of the reduction of the duty ?—From that time our export of silk goosEs to America, and to other neutral states, has increased very much up to the present time.

From your observation and knowledge, what are the evidences of this in- crease in the trade to which you have alluded?—W hen I first knew Manches- ter, which was about the year 1816 or 1817, there was but one silk manufac- turer, and he upon a very small scale, and even up to the year 1825, when the reduction of duty on silk toot place, there were but ten silk manufacturers in Manchester, and those ten manufacturers employed about 3,000 weavers, as nearly as 1 can calculate, three-fourths of their produce being mixed goods, silk and cotton and silk and worsted. Those manufacturers have gradually increased to about thirty at the present time, as near as I can ascertain, who employ about 15,000 weavers at the present moment. I speak simply of weavers ; I leave out of the question warpers and winders. Have you made any estimate of the returns of Manchester in silk goods P—I have endeavoured to do so. I estimate the whole return of Manchester in silk goods in 1825 at 450,0001., and now the return in goods entirely of silk is from 1,600,000/. to 1,800,000/. per annum.

Mr. Leaf says, that the distress which so frequently visited Spitalfields during the term of prohibition, has never returned to the same extent since French _goods were introduced. Thou,gh silk is at this moment higher than it has been for the last ten years, yet goods range now from 20 to 30 per cent, lower than they did in 1825 and 1826, arising entirely from improved modes of manufac- turing, stimulated by the competition arising from a freer state of the trade. The average of raw silk imported during the seven years ending 1826, was 2,969,012 pounds ; and during the last seven years to the end of 1839, the average was 5,050,875 pounds. Our exports of silk manufactures, chiefly to our foreign possessions, were only to the extent of 236,1131., and they have increased until, in 1839, they amounted to 865,768/. In 1827 our exports to France were only 4,661/., and since that period they have been gradually going on, till in 1838 they had increased to 56,598/. The evidence continues. Mr. Villiers. Are you of opinion that the relative productions of the two countries would be much altered if the present protective duty were done away with P—I do not believe it would, but I believe that on the great bulk of arti- cles consumed in this county the duty is altogether nugatory; whereas I be- lieve that in articles of design, of taste, and of colouring, our manufacturers here, for other reasons, could not compete with the French; and therefore I believe the protective duties are not of that advantage to the country which they are generally supposed to be. Chairman. What are the other reasons to which you allude P—The other reasons to which I allude are, that I believe the French have naturally a better 113 well as a more cultivated taste; besides which, they have schools of design, and in addition to that, I believe a great advantage accrues in consequence of the copyright of patterns and designs which exists in France, by which every manufacturer enjoys the advantage of his invention for a considerable time. Mr. Villiers. You think that would operate to encourage the manufacture rather than a protective duty?—A great deal more than any protective duty can ever do Mr. Chapman. From your extensive communication with manufacturers, do you find it to be their opinion that all protective duties are useless?—It is an increasing opinion amongst manufacturers. Mr. Villiers. From your observation, what conclusion have you come to as to the effect which high or low prices of provisions have on wages ?—I have in- variably observed that when provisions are cheap the operatives are well em- ployed and better paid ; and that on the contrary, when provisions are very dear, there is little work, and consequently the operatives are less paid. If we were allowed to go to corn-growing countries for corn, we should export more of our manufactures.

You are of opinion that it is not by protective duties that British trade can be extended, but by the absence of them P—Certainly ; my opinion is, that all that the English manufacturers want is, extensive markets for our products, ands free interchange with other countries.

Mr. JOSEPH WHETSTONE.—Examined 6th August.

Mr. Joseph Whetstone, of Leicester, estimates the number of working frames in that district at 13,000 to 14,000; the whole number of persons employed at 30,000; the yearly amount of wages at 800,000!.; of the articles produced at -one and a half million sterling. -There has been a decline of trade for the last three years; the demand has fallen off in the agricultural districts of England as much as in the manufacturing; which he attributes to the high price of pro- visions, which has diminished the means of the labourer to purchase ; because, if his food takes a larger proportion of his wages, it leaves him less to lay out in clothing, and furniture, and other articles. It is the invariable rule in the trade, that when provisions are cheap there is a good demand ; it is a rule ob- served constantly by the manufacturers, and established as a maxim in the -trade. Mr. Whetstone observed that the poor-rates were highest in the years when corn was dear, and lowest when corn is low. In All-Saints parish, con- taining chiefly a manufacturing population, for three cheap years, 1834, 1835, and 1836, the gross amount paid for poor-rates was 3,4951.; and in the three succeeding years, the three dear years, the amount is 4,679/. We follow the examination.

Mr. Villiers. Do you believe that the distress existing in Leicester would be diminished if the Corn-laws were modified P—I certainly entertain that opinion; not only as lowering the /vice of provisions, but as giving us a great extension of trade. They diminish our home trade in as great a degree as they do our foreign trade. Chairman. Are you aware of the amount of the protective duties which at present exist in this country against the importation of such worsted and woollen hosiery goods as you manufacture ?—I believe it is 20 per cent.; practically, it -does not affect our woollen hosiery, for there is not any competition that we have to fear on the Continent at present. The Saxons, who manufacture cot- ton stockings, have not yet manufactured worsted stockings; and I believe the ',entire removal of the protecting duties on worsted or woollen hosiery would not injure the worsted-trade of this country in any degree. Do you speak now the opinion of the manufacturers themselves, that if the protecting duties on the worsted manufacture were taken off, it would not interfere with the British manufacture P—It is the opinion of our largest and principal manufacturers, that it would not have any injurious effect on our manucturee. Mr. Villiers. They would not attach any importance to :those protecting duties P—The bulk of our manufacturers would be glad to see them removed. We pasaell a resolution to that effect at a large meeting held in the spring of this last year ; we had a large town's meeting, and resolutions were passed, declar- ing their willingness to abandon all protective duties on manufactures, if all prohibitory and protective duties on agricultural produce were also removed. Sir Charles Douglas. You consider the removal of those duties insepsrable from the abolition of the Corn-laws P—I think it would be scarcely fair to 'ask the agriculturists to abandon their protection without the manufacturers were prepared to give up theirs. .31r. Villiers. You consider it would only be fair, that if the duties on agri- cultural produce were removed, the protective duties on manufactures should be removed P—I speak as a manufacturer : 1 think I could not fairly ask the agriculturist to part with his protective duty, unless I was prepared to part with my own. Mr. Ewart. With respect to the reduction of the duty on the importation of foreign wool, what effect bad that reduction of duty on the price of Eng- lish wool P—It rather improved the price. It improved the woollen-trade, because it require a portion of foreign wool to be worked up with Eng- lish moo!.

Chairman. What were the effects of that alteration upon the woollen- trade; of the country generally P—The effect on the value of wool was to in- crease the value of English wool; there was a considerable export of English wool commenced, which has gone on increasing up to the present time, and which has tended to advance very much the price of English wools. I would say, generally, that the free trade in wool which was then allowed, was beneficial to the English agriculturist.