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Joseph Lowe.

The present state of England in regard to agriculture, trade and finance; with a comparison of the prospects of England and France online

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Whereas in peace the number of the
agricultural class so withdrawn is not - 30,000

Leaving a difference of - - M-0,000
or one-twelfth of the whole.

Now if we calculate the produce of their laboui-
on the most moderate scale, not at a twelfth but
at a twenty-fourth of our crop, the result is an ad-
dition to our supply of more than a fortnight's con-
sumption of our whole population, a quantity
which, small as it may seem, was constderablij
larger than our average import during the war.
And as no article is so much influenced as corn,
(Evidence, Agricultural Committee, pp. 229 —
240.) by a slight addition to or subtraction from
the usual supply, an increase, such as we have
mentioned, is sufficient to cause a material change
in the market. Viewed in connexion with the con-
version of pasture lands in Ireland to tillage, it
will, we believe, be found to afford a more ade-
quate explanation of the low price of corn, than any
other cause except the continuance of favourable
seasons.*

* See the close of the Appendix to this Chapter; also the
close of the Appendix to the Chapter on Population.



139

SECTION II.

Situation and Prospects of our Agriadturists.

VVi: have now explained the causes of the great
change tliat has taken place since the peace, of the
remarkable increase in the quantity and reduction
in the price of our produce. Our next object is
to exiiibit the result of this change, and to convey
an idea of the actual situation of our landlords and
farmers.

Estimate of our Agricultural Produce and Rental.

Produce. — Annual value of agricultural pro-
duce, (not only corn but wool, hemp, flax, timber,
&c.) raised in Great Britain and Ireland.

In 1812, our produce, exclusive of seed, was
computed by Mr. Colquhoun, in his well-known
work on the " Resources of the British Empire,"
(pp. 06—89.) at . _ - ji^217,000,00()

Deduct pasture and all produce
used for the food of horses,
horned cattle, and the lesser
animals, about - - - 100,000,000



Value of annual produce for the
food of man, or for the purposes
of manufacture - - - j^ 11 7,000,000



Since 1812, prices have fallen above (iO pcM-
cent. ; but as Mr. C.'s estimate was made greatly
below the currency of the time, the deduction
applicable to his results does not exceed 25 or 30
])er cent. This deduction in prices, large as it is.



140 Situation and Prospects

appears to be balanced, or nearly balanced, by the
increase in the quantity of our produce. To as-
certain the extent of such increase is a matter of
great difficulty, but the probability of its being
very large is supported by several powerful con-
siderations ; viz.

The diffusion of improvements in husbandry.

The addition to our population, and the cessa-
tion of a drain of the able-bodied men for the
public service.

The excess of the population and produce of
Ireland over Mr. Colquhoun's estimate.

The conjunct effect of these causes may, we be-
lieve, safely be computed to form an addition of
25 per cent, to the quantity of our produce, and to
leave the value of the whole not far short of Mr.
Colquhoun's estimate.

Rental. — In 1814 the rental of England, Wales,
and Scotland was carried, as appears by the property-
tax returns, to nearly ^£^43,000,000
Add for Ireland, (con-

jecturally estimated) 10,000,000



Together ^^53,000,000

Add for all omissions and allowances
on the property-tax returns, a sup-
posed amount of - - - . 5,000,000

The great increase tliat has of late
taken place in our produce having
been chiefly on lands already under
tillage, we add for new land brought
into culture since the peace only - 2,000,000



Making in all . ^^60,000,000



of our Agriculturists. 141

Deduct for all abatements of rent since 1814.
made, making, or which must, ere long, be made, one-
third, or 33 per cent, of the war rents,



Online LibraryJoseph LoweThe present state of England in regard to agriculture, trade and finance; with a comparison of the prospects of England and France → online text (page 12 of 40)