12 JANUARY 1850, Page 3

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A Protectionist meeting of the "owners, occupiers, and other persons connected. with land in South Buoks," was held at Great Marlow on Tuesday, "to take into consideration- the depressed state of agriculture, and all classes dependent thereon." The meeting did not- pass without some slight opposition. The resolutions proposed began with one moved by Mr. Tramper, a tenant-farmer,—who quoted poetry, English. and Latin, —denouncing the twelve millions of local taxation on real property as a "serious hardship." In seconding this, Mr. Toovey complained,. that while the land-owner and tithe-owner are amply protected by law in sub- stantiating their full claims, it is the tenant-farmer and labourer that are exposed to the destructive evils of competition. Mr. Gaskill wanted to go

further, for more immediate relief than-a tedious Parliamentary process to convert local taxation : he would stick to repeal of the Malt-tax. The objection was hissed, and the resolution. carried.

Mr. Disraeli introduced himself aszoming there to acquire .a knowledge of the genuine feeling. of the farmers on their position arid prospects; and. he exhorted them to treat both as they should be treated by men of business.

As to the Malt-tax, its repeal has been repeatedly proposed in Parliament,. and as often failed ; and as to immediate relief, he left that to quacks. He admitted, however, that there is no class of-men more dangerous to the agri- cultural interest than those proprietors who wish to enjoy at the same tame the advantages of high rents and low prices. Following up a-long Protec- tion speech, he laughed at Mr. Mechi's farm, for aftbrding, like one-of that

gentlemen's bagatelle-tables, calculation and amusement ; insisted on Mr. Huxtable's admitted losses ; and to the reproach that- farmers do not keep accounts, retorted with the notorious peccadilloes of commercial men in ma- naging the enormous railway capital of the country almost without any ac- counts whatever.

Coming-to the immediate business of the day, Mr. Disraeli avowed that he was "not one of those who believe that any attempt to persuade the present

Parliament to retrace its demi would lead to any satiefaetory result'; the desirable change is rather to be expected from- a "-demand that taxation should be adapted to the altered position of public affairs." "Nb man can 'getup in this room and say that a person who has 20,0001, invested in the mills more bound to support the paupers of the country than one who has 20,000/. invested in the Funds. This question of land is ziot merely a land- lord's question-; and for this simple reason—the proprietor of the soil is pro-

prietor merely of a raw material, and nothing more. He has a right to get for it -what the circumstances of the country will permit him to get. You

have no right to legislate about it. You have, in fact, abrogated a late law

because it wag said it raised rent; and if you abrogate the law because it raises rent, I defy you to pass a law to lower rent: The question between the

"p tor and the tenant is simply a question between two individuals. I say

not for the sake of the proprietor, but for the sake of the tenant. What is the tendency of- the great change which is recommended P It is to lower

the proprietor and make the proprietor himself the cultivator of the soil—to blot out an important portion of thenticklle classes—to reduce the :population to two classes, the proprietor and the savage peasant." Nothing proves the importance of the movement for freeing agriculture from peculiar burdens, more than the conduetof that eminent man Mr. Cobden. He notices with contempt the vague clamours for protection, but he thinks the other move- ment very apt-to lead to "misconception, mischief, and-inconvenience"; he- therefore denounces it -as insidious, and proper to be-opposed in every way.

Twelve months ago, Mr. Cobden would not condescend to offer any rea- sons against it ; now -he volunteers; the reasons; mid he further volunteers to come with them to Aylesbury, and- open the minds of the deluded fermiers of Bucks. "Why, all this proves the harpoon is in- the great fish. ( Loud cheers.) We have get him. I feel that I have him ou the hook, and-there I mean him to remain. (Renewed cheers.) I don't mean to land him easily. I'll give him line enough; I shall play with-him; he shall flounce in the water; but if-I don't at last Aland the large trout on the verdant turf, sup- ported the electors of Backs, I mistaken."- (Tremendous cheers.), Mr. Disraeli would scrupulously avoid entering the discussion of local taxation at present-; as, although he had every confidence in his cause, he- had-no incli- nation to give his opponentstwo or three weeks to prepare an answer for "another place." All he would say was, that the armour used at Leeds would require to be reburnished, and very much brightened, or it wouldn't do. He knew there was some little panic abroad in the South,• but he should be sorry to think the electors of Buckinghamshire shared that fear. Mr. Cobden was not going to eat the territorial aristocracy of the kingdom ; indeed, he had not the slightest intention of doing what he had threatened. They know better in the North; the peculiar style of oratory called the "go-ahead oratory" —a bad imitation of the Yankee style—is there well understood. The genu- ine Yankee is a very fine article. The illimitable resources of his unex- hausted wilderness are a spur to his enterprise and with respect to his courage, he is only placed 111 collision with inferior races and decaying societies. But John Bull has to achieve all against difficulty, and to meet

antagonistic elements entitled to respect. Public men in this country seldom succeed in accomplishing anything without good sense and good tem- per. Mr. Cobden seems to have loth both.- I must admit, however, that Mr. Cobden has some excuse. He succeeded in bullying a Minister, and there- fore he thinks he may now bullya nation." In case we at all change the laws which were passed by a panic-struck Administration, we are threatened

• with revolution—by an apostle of peace. Opposed to all warfare—except civil war—he intends to achieve his purpose by moral means. Mr. Disraeli had analyzed the moral means by. which he had seen much done and more pretended ; and he found they consisted of three qualities,—enormous lying, inexhaustible boasting, and intense selfishness. "These are the moral means • —the means of the Manchester School, which Mr. Cobden is to explain in our county-town tomorrow." "I have received an invitation to meet him ; in fact, I ought rather to say, I have received a challenge to most him. Tomorrow evening, in Aylesbury, he is to explain the great principles of financial reform and representative amelioration. I really think, if Mr. Cobden wished, as he announced at Leeds, to enlighten the farmers of Buck- inghamshire, he had better not come in the evening. If he had dined at the table of the farmers as I am doing, Mr. Cobden, being a man of ability, might have made his way ; but, instead of that, he is to appear at a tea- party. He is going—to use the language of the North of England—to a stoarry ; and I have been invited to meet him. My answer I give publicly —I hate writing letters—and my answer is, I meet him at soirees seven months of the year; and whenever your interests are concerned, I hope I shall not be afraid to speak my mind even to Mr. Cobden. But what buf- foonery, in a man who ought to have been a Cabinet Minister if his prin- ciples are right—what disgrace to the present Government—to the pohtical society of England, that a man who, if his principles are right, ought to be the foremost man of the country, the counsellor of his Sovereign, the great advocate of the People—the man to whom all ought to look—that he should skulk down in a train to a miserable county-town when nobody is there' in order that lying newspapers may say that Mr. Cobden had appeared in the ;heart of Buckinghamshire--that the people had been converted by the ex- pression of his opinion, and that! did not dare to meet him ! ((heers.) Do - the present Government believe Mr. Cobden to be right, or not ? (Cries of ".N.o.'") If they do, why do they refuse him entrance into their body ? And if they refuse him, they themselves have obtained power under false pretences; they themselves are political swindlers, who took advantage of the passions, caprices, and ignorance of the hour, to advance and aggrandize themselves. I confess I rather deplore that a man of Mr. Cobden's ability

• and position should go to a tea-party tomorrow, accompanied by _la grotesque .antl Hudibrastic crew, the greatest bores either in or out of the House."

Mr. Cobden, in fulfilment of his promise to go into Buckinghamshire and explain how he managed with his farm-tenants, appeared at Aylesbury on 'Wednesday evening, at a very large gathering in the County Hall, described as one of "farmers and labourers—agricultural, mechanical, and others—a great number of whom came from a distance." The meeting was ostensibly called to further the objects of the Parliamentary and Fi- nancial Reformers : so there were other speakers than Mr. Cobden,—Mr. Lattimore and Mr. Houghton the tenant-farmers of Anti-Corn-law League fame • Mr. James Taylor, of Birmingham, the originator of the Freehold-qualification movement ; and Mr. Feargus O'Connor. The in- terest of the meeting centres in Mr. Cobden's speech : it was compara- tively brief, and was attentively listened to on the whole, with such oc- casional signs of disapproval as show that the audience was agricultural either in fact or sympathy ; and at its close a large part of the audience dispersed. On Mr. Cobden's appearance there was general cheering, then some hisses, which in turn were drowned in repeated cheers and "loud laughter." Referring to arguments used at Aylesbury six years ago, Mr. Cobden de- clared himself there now to maintain, that by every test showing the pros- perity or adversity of a nation, we stand better now without the Corn-law than we did when we had it. Our exports and imports are better • pau- perism is declining, even in the agricultural districts,—as Mr. Baines will /how the Protectionists when Parliament meets ; and the labourers are every- where earning more money and getting more for that money of the neces- saries and comforts of life. ("It is not so with the agricultural labourers.") "If they are an exception, we must find out why." In every'other branch of industry the rate of wages has improved—it has among the straw-plait- makers, the pillow-lace-makers, so numerous in Buckinghamshire, and the chair-makers. [A person denied that wages had risen in the straw-plaiters trade : but Mr. Cobden said he had the fact from some of the most extensive -employers. Another called out, that wages had not risen in lace-making : on which Mr. Cobden remarked that there was more employment.] If, there- fore, every other interest in the state is thriving, why Is agriculture de- pressed ?—Because of its false system and unsound baths ; because calcula- tions had been made on Act-of-Parliament prices, and now individuals find -they must be content with natural prices. Mr. Disraeli rightly says that land is the farmer's raw material—he is the capitalist who works it up. 'True; and if he can get it cheap, he can make a profit on it. But do you ever hear of cotton-spinners going to Parliament with the cotton-merchants and petitioning for a law to keep up the price of cotton ?—or the grocers of Aylesbury asking their customers to join in raising the price of the sugar in their hogsheads? It was said that agriculture could not be carried on with wheat at forty shillings the quarter. Now this was the matter Mr. Cobden had come to ex- plain—how he arranged with his tenants to enable them to go on with wheat at forty shillings a quarter. ("How large are your farms?" Laughter.) "ru tell you all about it. I happen to stand here in thequality of a herd- lord,—filling , as I avow to you at the beginning, a most insignificant situa- tion in that character. I possess a small estate in West Sussex, of about 140 acres in extent, and a considerable part of it in wood. It is situated in a purely fanning district, in the midst of the largest Protectionist proprietors in Sussex ; the land is inferior ; it has no advantages ; it is nearly ten miles -distant from a railroad ; it has no ehimnies or growing manufacturing towns to give it value ; it is precisely the kind of land which we have been told again and again by Lord John Manners, the Marquis of Granby, and other Protectionist landlords, cannot be cultivated at all with wheat at forty shil- lings, even if it were given to the cultivator rent-free. It came into my possession in 1847. (" You got it from the League funds." Laughter and eheere.) Yes; I am indebted for that estate, and I am proud here to ac- knowledge it, to the bounty of my countrymen. (Great cheering.) That estate was the scene of my birth and of my infancy ; it was the property of my ancestors; it is by the munificence of my countrymen that this small estate, which had been alienated by my father from necessity, has again come into my hands, and that I am enabled to light up again the hearth of my fathers : and I say that there is no warrior duke who owns a vast domain by the vote of the Imperial Parliament who holds his property by a more honourable title than that by which I possess mine." (Loud and repeated cheers.) His first visit to his land was paid in 1848, when prices were high ; but as he never expected those prices to continue, he prepared for the coming competition with the foreigner by cutting down every hedgerow tree, authorizing and ad- vising the tenants to remove every fence, and instantly draining at his own cost that portion of the land which required it. "In the course of the last year, however, I received a letter from one of my tenants, saying—' When I took this land from your predecessor, it was upon the calculation of wheat being at 56s. a quarter ; it is now little more than 408., and I should like to have a new arrangement made.' I wrote in reply— The proposition you make is reasonable : we will have a new bargain. I am willing to enter upon an arrangement, estimating the future price of wheat at 408. But whilst I am willing to take all the disadvantages of low prices, I must have the benefit of good cultivation, and therefore we will estimate the produce of the land to be such as could be grown by good farmers upon the same quality of soil.' Now, from the moment that this reasonable proposition was made, there was not the slightest anxiety of mind on the part of my tenants—not the least difficulty in carrying on their business of farming under a system of free trade as well as they had done under the system of protection. From that moment the farmers on this email property felt them- selves no longer interested in the matter of free trade and protection; and the labourers felt that they had as good a prospect of employment as they had be- fore, and they had no interest in the question of ection." He admitted that he received a reduced rent, notwithstandinghe had drained the land, given the game, cleared the trees, and moved e fences. But he was getting some rent—the reduction was indeed not so very large from the rent he got before ; and the land war still cultivated, and "-both farmers and la- bourers are employed and contented." What then becomes of the asser- tion that it is impossible to carry on agriculture in this country with wheat at forty shillings a quarter ? the landlords have no possible excuse for making it. But such simple natural arrangements would not suit them: it would make a dull, dry, unprofitable business of what is now made a piece of agitation, which ought to be called moonshine. Had he been a Protectionist he might have made money in this way. "When my tenant; wrote to me to say there ought to be a fresh agreement between us, what would have been my answer had I been a Protectionist ? I should have said, That is true, my good Mends: we will have a meeting at Great Mar- low or at High Wycombe, and we will petition Parliament to pass a law to protect you.' Well, we should have had a meeting; my tenants would have been invited to attend, and would have shouted, We are all rowing in the same boat ' ; and after two or three hours of dull speeches, you would have had a conclusion with three groans for Cobden.' " (Laughter. A call was made for" Three cheers for Cobden"; which were enthusiastically given.)

A disturbance here occurred which rose to such a height that the Chair- man only restored order by ordering all disturbers to be taken into cus- tody. Then Mr. Cobden resumed.

After such a meeting, the full rents would have been safe till next audit. A new excuse would then be required, and the farmers might be told to come to the meeting at Bond Street to memorialize her Majesty—not to petition the Commons. This sufficing till another audit, the last excuse would be that of agitating for a dissolution of Parliament,. and that would make the rents safe for a full three years longer, as that agitation would last quite such a period. In the mean time, the tenants are ruined by the drain for old rents under unameliorated holdings : "I am not sure that a large por- tion will not be ruined by the tactics of the Protectionists at the present moment." The question is purely a rent Question; and if the business of farming cannot be carried on, it is because the rent is too high in proportion to the produce. "I do not say that in many cases the rents of the landlords might not be excessive, provided the land were cultivated to its full capacity. But that cannot be done without sufficient capital; and that sufficient capital cannot be applied without sufficient security, or without a tenant-right, or a lease amounting to tenant-right We want to bring the landowner and the tenant together, to confront them in their separate capacity as buyers and sellers ; so that they may deal together aa other men of business, and not allow themselves to play this comedy of farmers and landlords crying about for protection, and saying that they are rawing in the same boat, when in fact they are rowing in two boats and in opposite directions."

Mr. Cobden cautioned the farmers against the diversion which Mr. Dia- raeli is practising—" the new red-herring thrown across the scent of the farmers. They are told that protection cannot be had just now ; but in the mean time they must have half the amount of the local rates thrown on the Consolidated Fund. I am really astonished that anybody should have the assurance to get up, and, facing a body of tenant-farmers, make such a pro- posal to them for the benefit of the landowners"; for everybody knows that the poor-rates, county-rates, &c., are rated on the landlord's rent, and not On the tenants capital—his oxen and ploughs, &a

In conclusion, Mr. Cobden declared that the tenant-farmers have an in-. terest wholly distinct from that of landowners, small squires, or land-agents; and he urged them to meet in their several localities m order to a distinct understanding. amongst themselves, without which they never could combine to obtain such conditions as would enable them to carry on fanning antler a system of free trade.

Meetings were held at Leicester and at Horsham on Saturday. n At the Leicester meeting, the Marquis of Granby and Lord John Man era were the principal speakers ; at the Horsham meeting, Mr. Paul Foaket, from the Central Protection Society. At both, resolutions which de- clared that free trade has had a fair trial, and threatens widespread ruin, were passed ; and a petition to the Queen, praying for a dissolution of Parliament, was adopted.

Meetings were also held by the Protectionists at Stafford and at Ely, on Thursday. The meeting at Stafford had been advertised some days, and much industry had been exhibited in getting together a large number of favourable tenant-farmers. But Stafford is noted for its "sturdy shoe- makers" of Radical politics ; and though the meeting was ostensibly one of Protectionists, and was convened in the Shire-hall, the townsmen re- solved to prevent the proceedings from being unanimous. The farmers were some four hundred strong, the townsmen more numerous. Lord St. Vincent moved that Lord Talbot take the chair; and in the course of a speech said something which raised shouts of disapprobation from the townsmen ; the farmers cheered ; and a contest of shouts led to a contest of blows and missiles. Some amounts say that both parties were well armed, as if they had meant to fight ; but a Free-tradeea account says that the shoemakers were unarmed, till the farmers had beaten them with the loaded ends of their heavy riding-whips. Before long, weapons were in use on both sides, and blood was shed in all directions. The farmers were driven into the galleries, and in comparative quiet the oratory recommenced. But Lord Newport had scarcely begun a speech ere the fight was renewed with violence. The farmers being again worsted, a strong bialy of police were called in, and the townsmen were ejected from the b .Exasperated by this de- feat, they attacked the windows, and scoured the streets for increased numbers to burst open the hall-doors. While Lord Talbot was speaking, a whole window-frame was driven bodily in by an immense stone cast against it. Large stones flew about the room ; and one which passed close to Lord Talbot's head wounded a reporter on the forehead, so seri- ously that he was removed to the Judges' room for surgical aid. The crowd outside seemed about to succeed in forcing open the hall-doors, and as it was evident that the County Constabulary would be too weak to resist them, a message was conveyed to the Mayor for the aid of the town force. The hi ayor is said to have sent a refusal of the aid. As his message was delivered the door was finally burst open, and fighting was renewed on the hall-floor. Mr. Adderley the Member, with firm self-possession, ad- dressed the disturbers on their dastardly conduct, telling them with indig- nation that it convinced him of their unfitness to be trusted with the suf- frage they claimed. He hastily moved an address to the Queen, praying for the dissolution of Parliament ; and the motion was seconded : but the tumult becoming more and more dangerous, Lord Talbot dissolved the meeting, and headed a body of gentlemen and farmers in retreat to a neighbouring inn. On the way, Lord Talbot received a heavy blow on the chest from a brick : he coolly told the mob they were acting very un- like Englishmen. Fighting was kept up for an hour or more all over the town-square ; numbers were severely hurt ; and the farmers were ulti- mately fain to seek refuge in the hotels and the railway station.

The meeting at Ely was marked by a direct vote of want of confidence in the two Members, Mr. Townley and Mr. Yorke ; on the ground of their deeming it impossible to get back the sliding-scale. A motion to place a petition for protection in the hands of the three Members was negatived, and it was resolved to intrust it to Lord George Manners alone.

"Lord Wharneliffb has declined to join the Protectionist movement The reqUisition for a meeting at York to consider the best means of obtaining the enactment of "a fixed duty on grain," having been submitted for his Lordship's signature, he has his letter made public by the Yorkehireman, stating that he "can in no degree concur in that proposal." It is his "firm opinion that there is nab' in the present prospects of agriculture to justify such an application to Parliament" ; and he sees "circum- stances in the commercial history of the past few years," which, with the present "ill-defined and exaggerated alarm," account for the " temporary " extreme depression of agricultural prices.

The proposal is made "in a double point of view—as a measure of pro- tection, and as a measure of finance." " So far as the question is to be con- sidered as that of a financial arrangement, it appears to me that this pro- posal is misplaced. It is the business of the Government to judge whether the exigencies of the State require any addition to its income by general tax- ation. If the Government sees no such necessity, for any class in the com-

munity to assert it, is, to say the least, unusual As a measure of pro- tection, in which light it is clear that the proposal is mainly to be considered, I am fully convinced that the corn-duties cannot be restored, and that to ex- pect it is a mere delusion ; than the propagation of which nothing can be more pernicious to the true interests of any branch of industry."

There has been a revolt in the workhouse of Barham Union, near Ips- wich. A great number of young men had recently entered, the farmers having discharged them at Christmas. They were riotously disposed; and though, it is said, the dietary was not bad nor deficient, they behaved vio- lently and demanded more food from the Master. They 'broke into the day- room, tore up seats and the floor, and threw burning coals into the room be- neath ; which, fortunately, had a brick floor. After much more insolence and disturbance, the Master got a Policeman ; they seized a ringleader, but he was rescued; the Master and the Policeman were beaten, and compelled to retreat. The rioters broke into the hall, and ate both their own breakfasts and those intended for the old men. Then they entered the married women's ward. A posse of constables was now obtain' ed, and some prisoners were made. The women now grew violent, and smashed the windows. The mi- litary had been sent for, and a detachment of Lancers arrived from Ipswich; but their services were not required, the Police having quelled the not.

The sufferers by the accident at the Maghull station of the East Lancashire Railway were two women and a man, all in humble circumstances,—John Spencer; Jemima Spencer, his sister-in-law; and Mary Leadburry, also a married woman.

The inquest was begun on Friday last. After witnesses had been ex- amined to prove the identity of the bodies, Samuel Robinson, the guard of the stationary passenger-train, was called, and described the occurrence. His train was on the Liverpool rails ; the carriage to be attached to it had been run on to the other line ; on this line a luggage-train dashed up at a speed of forty miles an hour, killing the three people who had got on the rails, and smashing the empty carriage. Had the passenger-train been on the right line, every passenger would have been killed. The night was rather foggy, but not dark; the driver of the luggage-train could have seen the signa.ls at a distance of from 100 to 200 yards. On hearing this evidence, the Coroner ordered Michael Maron, the driver of the luggage-train, into custody.

A serious accident has hap ed in the Mottram tunnel of the Manchester Corporation Waterworks. T tunnel is now in progress of construction through a hill, to serve as a conduit for the water. Mr. Molyneux and Mr. Taylor, the two inspectors of the works, got into a tab to descend a shaft 200 feet deep. The engineer started the engine too quickly; the inspectors called out to him to moderate the speed ; he suddenly checked it, and broke the cog-wheel of the drum; and the tub ran down with frightful velocity, violently striking the surface of the tunnel. Mr. Molyneux's leg was frac- tured, and three of Mr. Taylor's ribs were broken. The engineer has been taken into custody.