The " W. R. Lindsay," an iron ship of 1100
tons burden, the first of a line intended for the Australian emigration, was launched at Newcastle- upon-Tyne on Thursday afternoon. She belongs to Mr. Lindsay ; and after the launch that gentleman presided over a dinner given in the draw- ingroom of the ship, and attended by Mrs. Chisholm, Captain Dundee, Mr. Hutt M.P., Sir John Fife, and the Mayors of Gateklead, Tynemouth, and South Shields. There were also several ladies present; and altogether a goodly company of nearly four hundred.
The loyal toasts having been drunk, Mr. Hutt proposed the health of Mr. Lindsay. Alluding to the great change which had been made in our commercial policy, Mr. Hutt said that timid men were despairing, but that men of spirit and sagacity were pushing forward, with more prudence and sagacity indeed, but with more spirit and resolution than ever.
"If they found one avenue closed against them, they carved out other avenues of success to themselves ; if the old wooden walls, from circum- stances to which he need not advert, did not hold out the same prospects of success as formerly, they turned to other and newer materials of construction; if ship-building on the Thames was too expensive for success, they turned to the cheaper materials and the abounding skill and ingenuity of the Tyne." Mr. Lindsay was greatly cheered ; his reply constituted the main in- terest of the gathering.
He entered boldly into the question of the effect of the Navigation-laws on the shipping interest. From the mercantile marine, in the hour of emergency, the Navy must draw its supplies ; and therefore the prosperity of the mercantile marine was a matter of national concern. Now he, for one, conscientiously believed that the true way of maintaining its efficiency was free unfettered trade. He instanced the increase in British shipping -which followed the relaxations of restrictive laws on commerce and navigation. "They could not yet tell what the effect of the total repeal of the Naviga- tion-laws would be but one thing was clear : if they went to the banks of the Wear they would find the shipbuilders more actively and busily employed than ever, larger ships being now built—ships better fitted for the open com- petition of the seas—than were built before. He had heard it said that these vessels were built on speculation, but he did not believe such stories ; and even if this were the fact, it would make no difference, for he understood nearly all the vessels were sold. This convinced him, that instead of the repeal of the Navigation-laws having done injury to the British shipbuilders and shipownerseit had done them a great deal of good, by teaching them to depend on themselves instead of clinging to the back of the chair of Pro- tection."
He had been opposed to the mode of repealing those laws ; he had thought that Government should have done more to obtain reciprocity : but he had since heard that negotiations had been going on for fifteen years, and as other nations would do nothing it was time we did something for ourselves. If French vessels got higher freight, being free of their own ports, while we paid dues, the French people paid the difference of freight ; and it was not for us to follow the beggarly policy of France and Spain. The eyes of Holland were opened and she,was following our example. He trusted there- fore that the shipowners would banish from their minds all ideas of pro- tection, and reciprocity, which was but protection in another shape and under another name; and, making the beat use of their energies, advantages, and resources, he knew that the flag of England—that flag which had braved a thousand years the battle and the breeze, and which everywhere had been the harbinger of peace, Christianity, and civilization—would never be furled. ahem were many things to be done to aid the shipping interest, but these consisted of the removal of obstacles. He had written to Mr. Cobden, and asked him who was to take the lead of the shipping interest in the House of Commons ? Mr. Cobden said he would heartily cooperate ; but to give the Free-traders a chance, the shipowners must cease to bleat after protection. Mr. Lindsay expressed his dissatisfaction at the conduct of Lord Derby in appointing himself to an office which he ought to have abolished—the War- dership of the Cinque Ports. One word on iron ships. " He believed that in five or six years there would be very few ships built of wood : and what a marked superiority that would give them over the nation which most inter- fered with them as competitors! America laboured hard to obtain the supremacy of the seas ; but we had a material for building ships which America did not posses; and for which she would have to come to us." Mrs. Chisholm and others afterwards spoke ; and the proceedings closed with a ball.
Mr. William Beresford presided on Tuesday over the proceedings of the " Dunmow Agricultural and Labourers Friend Society." In doing so, he urged upon his audience the good the society was intended to do by promoting their comforts and stimulating their industry. [Here a voice cried, " Raise our wages !"] Whereupon Mr. Beresford said — " He was afraid those who paid wages had not ao muoh to pay them with as they had ; and if the labourer, by an alteration of the law, got a cheap loaf, he could not expect to have the same wages : if they had things at a much cheaper rate, and had nearly the same wages, they were in a much better condition than they were before. [A Voice—" I get only wren Ail. lings."1 You are much better off" said he, "with seven shillings now than with nine shillings before ; but if that man had nine shillings he would want eleven shillings, for a discontented mind is never satisfied."
At the meeting of the West Cumberland Agricultural show at White- haven, on Thursday, Lord Lonsdale admitted that green crops are the products to be encouraged ; for though it is not so advantageous to grow wheat, there seems to be no limit to the demand for mutton and wool.