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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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increase in our population. Augmentation of na-
tional power ; the prospect of continued peace ;
the means of reducing taxes — are all consequences
of our decided superiority to other nations in the
progress of national improvement.

The examination, in a subsequent chapter, of
the fluctuations in the value of gold and silver,
was prompted by a double cause — the revolutions
in the value of money during the last thirty years ;
and the evident disproportion existing at present,
particularly in the metropolis, between the rate of
wages and the cost of the maintenance of the in-
dividual. A hope of being instrumental in cor-
rectins these anomalies led to researches of which
the object is to give a permanent and uniform value
to money contracts ; to lessen the prevailing objec-
tion to leases ; to give facilities to the commut-



Conclusion. 415

ation of tithe ; and finally, to show annuitants that
it is possible for them to make an abatement in the
numeiical amount of money income without in-
curring a sacrifice.

In our concluding chapter we liave conveyed
our ideas in regard to the operation of a sinking
fund; the comparative weight of English and
French taxation ; the growing nature ol' our re-
sources ; and the prospect of a farther and con-
siderable reduction of our burdens.

It may appear somewhat singular to our readers
that subjects of such general interest should not
long ere this have been fully discussed ; that ques-
tions of such importance to our welfare should not
have been decisively answered. But in such re-
searches the magnitude of the labour is found to
exceed all previous calculation : the number of
persons fitted for it by situation or habits is not
great ; and, immersed as they generally are in
official or professional pursuits, a long period
elapses in this, as in the province of general his-
tory, before an individual is enabled to bestow on
such topics the time and attention they require.



Comprehensive as the preceding investigations
may appear, there still remain for discussion se\e-
ral subjects of great interest.

Our Trade. — Of our commercial history during
the last thirty years, we propose a sketch as cir-
cumstantial, and as carefully grounded on official
documents as that which has been given of our
Finances and our Aj^riculture. The fluctuations
in our trade, the over-rating of our protits during



M(') Cunrln.sion.

the war, tlie tlistinctioii hetwcoi real aiitl nominal
acltlitions to projjerty, are all suhjects which re(}iiire
examination and perspicuous statement.

Emigration, — Though the recent improvement
in the state of" our productive industry has lessened
the necessity of emigration, a disquisition into
that subject would open views connected with
the diffusion of civilization, not only in our colo-
nies, but in many districts in Europe. The state
of these is more backward than can well be con-
ceived by the untravelled part of our countrymen.
Though to send settlers to these neglected tracts
would form no part of our policy, their improve-
ment would be of interest to us, both as opening
markets for our manufactures, and as proving to
continental powers how much it is their policy to
maintain peace, and to seek in the diffusion of civi-
lization that increase of population and revenue
which they have hitherto so fruitlessly attempted
from conquest.

Public Retrenchment. — This question, much as
it has been discussed, still stands in need of an ex-
position unconnected with party views, and found-
ed on considerations strictly statistical, in parti-
cidar the power of money in the purchase of
commodities, and the extent of the change attend-
ant on the transition from war to peace.

Finance. — On this head we have communicated
in the present Aolume only a part of our materials :
to arrange and condense the remainder might
tend to give clearness to official statements, and
to support the arguments for a farther reduction of
our burdens.



Concluaiufu 117

Parallel between England and France. — We
liave exhibited a comparison of the charges on
agriculture, and of the general taxation of the two
countries : but there remains much to com})are in
regard to the sUite of trade and manufactujes ; of
military and other public establishments j of educa-
tion, science, and national usages.

Tithe and Poor-rate. — These subjects acquire
an increased interest from tiie course of recent cir-
cumstances : — the im])robabihty of any great or
permanent rise in agricultural produce : tlie higlily
beneficial measure about to be carried into effect in
Ireland ; and the evident ability of our monied in-
terest to afford relief to their landed brethren,
whenever an eligible plan shall be biought forward
by government. Of this plan the main features
would, })erhaps, be as to tithe, redemption at a
moderate \aluation; and as to poor-rate, the ecjua-
hzation of the burden throughout a parish or dis-
trict, by assessing (see page 18.5,) the income of all
instead of that of the farmer or householder only.

What is the present ])rosj)ect in regard to the
price of conmiodities generally? That a rise is
very unlikely, and that in all ])robability no injury
would accrue to the clergy from their accejMing a
money income in lieu of tithe for a few years,
until, by the purchase of land or otherwise,
arrangements should be made for a permanent
commutation.

Our West India Colonies. — The attention of the
])ublic has lately been directetl to two (juestions, —
a reduction of the duly on East Iiulia sugar, and
the gradual abolition of slavery in our West India
colonies. The discussions in both lia\e liitlierlo



418 Ciynclu.sioii.

been coiiclucted in ii manner of wliicli, to l)oir()W
the expression of a foreign historian, la moderation
7i\'st nullcment h caractcre. Neither party has
shown much sohcitude to observe a medium, or to
ascertain decisively a few fundamental points ;
such as, whether the purchase of sugar in India at
a low price is or is not practicable to a large
extent; or, whether, in regard to the West
Indies, it is not the interest of the planter to co-
operate cordially in the accomplishment of the pro-
posed change, afiter the principle of compensation
shall be distinctly admitted.

These several topics it is our intention to discuss,
in an additional volume, whenever circumstances
shall afford the time requisite for such laborious re-
g,earches.



APPENDIX.



APPENDIX



CHAPTER 11.



(Page 20.) Expence of the late WarSy rccJconing from the
begin7ii72g of 1793 to the beginnmg of\8l6.



MONEY RAISED.



War of 1793.



Years.


j By Taxes.


By Loans.


Total.




£


£





1793


17,170,4-00


4,500,000


21,670,400


1794.


17,308,811


11,000,000


28,308,811


1795


1 17,858,454


18,000,000


35,858,454


1796


18,737,760


25,500,000


44,237,760


1797


20,654,650


32,500,000


53,154,650


1798


30,202,915


1 7,000,000


47,202,915


1799


35,229,968


18,500,000


53,729,968


1800


33,896,464


20,500,000


54,396,464


1801


35,415,096


28,000,000


63,415,096


1802


37,240,213


25,000,000


62,240,213


*263,714,731


200,500,000


464,214,731


Deduct


sums for the ser-






vice c


)f Ireland - -


13,000,000


13,000,000






187,500,000


451,214,731



Dr. Hamilton on the National Debt, pp. 157. 289.
[A]



[2]



The late Wars ,■
War of 1803.



[App.



Years.


By Taxes.


By Loans.


Total.




£


£


£


1803


37,677,063


15,202,931


52,879,994


1804.


45,359,4-42


20,104,221


65,463,663


1805


49,659,281


27,931,482


77,590,763


1806


53,304,254


20,486,155


73,790,409


1807


58,390,225


23,889,257


82,279,482


1808


61,538,207


20,476,765


82,014,972


1809


63,405,294


23,304,691


86,709,985


1810


66,681,366


22,428,788


89,110,154


1811


64,763,870


27,416,829


92,180,699


1812


63,169,854


40,251,684


103,421,538


1813


66,925,835


54,026,822


120,952,657


1814


69,684,192


47,159,697


116,843,889


1815


70,403,448


46,087,603


116,491,051


770,962,331


388,766,925


1,159,729,256


Deduc


t the proportio


n of the above




rais


ed for the servi


ce of Ireland -


- 46,612,106


1,113,117,150



Note. — See a very short but clear summary, entitled, " Statement
of the Revenue and Expenditure of Great Britain, in each year, from
1803 to 1814, by C. Stokes."

Summary. — Instead of dwelling on these complicated
statements, we invite the reader to fix his attention on the
following abstract in round numbers :



War of 1793.

Total money raised by loans and taxes, ex-
clusive of the loans for the service of
Ireland, about - - jf 450,000,000

Deduct the probable charge in Great Bri-
tain and Ireland, had peace been pre-
served, 18,000,000/. a-year. - 180,000,000

Balance constituting the war expenditure - 270,000,000



A pp.] Amount of our Expenditure. [3]



War of 1803.

Total money raised, exclusive of the sums

for the service of Ireland, about - .^1,113,000,000
The deduction for the probable expence

of a peace establishment, may, after

1803, be called 22,000,000/. *a-year,

;is well on account of our augmented

population, as because in the table of

the war of 1803, the charge of collect-

mg the revenue is not deducted ; say

22,000,000/. for 1 3 years - - 286,000,000

Balance constituting the war expenditure 827,000,000

Average war expenditure from 1793 to

1802, both inclusive . _ _ 27,000,000

Average war expenditure from 1803 to

1815, both inclusive - - .. 63,500,000

Total charge of the two wars, exclusive

of an ample allowance for a supposed

peace estabhshment, nearly - - 1,100,000,000



Explanatory Remark. — This amount, adopted in the
text, as representing the total of our war expenditure, may
require some explanation. It is exclusive of the sums
raised for the service of Ireland during the twenty-three
years in question, whether by taxes in that country, or by
loans in England ; on the other hand, it comprizes a large
sum appro|)riated in England not to the war, but to the re-
duction of the national debt. Still, as the amount of
money thus applied did not materially exceed the sums
raised for the service of Ireland, and as it forms no part of
our object to aim at fractional accuracy, we may safely con-
sider the sums thus left out as balancing each other, and
assume the 1,100,000,000/. as a representation of our total
war expenditure.

Addition to the Public Debt. — Though the expenditure of
the war of 1803 exceeded that of the war of 1793, in the
ratio of more than three to one, the addition made to
our public debt was not at all in that proportion ; the war
of 1793 having added to it fully 200,000,000/., that of

r,A] 2 '



[4] Compnris(m of Exports in fVar unci in Peace. [App

1803 about 260,000,000/. In the war of 180S, tlie far
rrieattr part of the expence was defrayeil by the property-
tax and other supplies raised within the year.

Such were the total sums raised for our war expenditure:
but it is fit to recollect that they do not indicate with ac-
curacy the extent of sacrifice connected with the war.
There remain, as we shall see presently, considerations of
great importance on either side of the account ; such, on
the one hand, as the loss arising from the transition to
peace ; on the other, the amount of supply derived from
the extra profits attendant on a state of war.



(Page 25.) — Explanation of the ^^ official Falue of
Goods." — The " official value of goods" means a comput-
ation of value formed with reference, not to the prices of
the current year, but to a standard fixed so long ago as
1696, the time when * the office of Inspector-general of the
Imports and Exports was established, and a Custom-house
Ledger opened to record the weight, dimensions, and value
of the merchandize that passed through the hands of the
officers. One uniform rule is followed year after year in
the valuation, some goods being estimated by weight, others
by their dimensions ; the whole without reference to the
current or market price. This course has the advantage
of exhibiting with strict accuracy any increase or decrease
in the quantity of our exports.

Next, as to the value of these exports in the market.
In 1798, there was imposed a duty of two per cent, on our
exports, the value of which was taken, not by the official
standard, but by the declaration of the exporting mer-
chants. Such a declaration may be assumed as a repre-
sentation of, or at least an approximation to, the current
or market price of merchandize ; there being, on the one
hand, no reason to apprehend that merchants would pay a
per centage on an amount beyond the market value; while,
on the other, the liability to seizure affiarded a security
against under-valuation.

These two scales of valuation, we mean the official regis-
ter and the current price, affiDrd the means of solving a
question of no slight importance, viz. the comparative
value of merchandize in the present age and at the re-
mote date of 1696. Some articles, in particular coffee,

• Chalmers' Historical View of the Domestic Economy of Great
Britain and Ireland. 1812.



Ai'P.J Comparison of E.iporls in War and in Peace. [5]

cottons, hardware, are cheaper than in the rei^n of King
Wilham ; but the great majority were, during the late war,
so much dearer, that it was usual to calculate the real or
market value at 50 per cent, above the oflicial value. Since
the peace the case is greatly altered, the market price of
goods having, as we shall perceive from the following state-
ment, been greatly reduced.



1814.


- - J^.>6,59 1,000


1815.


- - 60,984,000


1816.


- - 51,260,000


1817.


- - 53,125,000



Comparison of Exports in Jl'ar mid in Peace.

1. Total Exports from Great Britain, conjjnisinghome pro-
duce and manufacture, as well as foreign and colonial
goods, the whole according to the official value.

1818. - - .€56,851,000

1819. - - 46,912,000

1820. - - 51,731,000

1821. - - 56,445,000

Annual average of the eight years of peace,

above ._-_ - .€'54,200,000

This is the average referred to in the text, p. 27.

We subjoin, in the nex^place, the declared value of our
exports since the peace ; in other words, their value ac-
cordins: to the state of the markets in each year.

Exports from Great Britain, taking home produce and
manufactures at the value declared by the merchants,
and adding in the case of foreign or colonial goods 25
per cent, to the official value, an addition considerably
less than that which was made in war.



1814.
1815.
1816.
1817.



.€73,489,000
74,372,000
61,138,000
58,032,000



1818. - - €'64,263,000

1819. - - 52,031.000

1820. - - 52,982,000

1821. about 54,000,000



Annual average of the eight years of peace
from 1814 to 1821, both inclusive, men-
tioned in the text, p. 28. - - - j^63,787,500

In either way, the value of our exports is greater since
the peace than during the war.

II. For those who may wish to carry farther these calcu-
lations of our exports, and of their effect on our productive
indusUy, we add a return of that part of our exports which
is illustrative of the extent of our home trade.

[A] :J



[6] Comparison of Exports in War and in Peace, [^rr.



War. Exports of Home Produce and Manufacture from
Great Britain, previous to and during the late wars.



Average of six years ending with 1792

Ditto 1798

Ditto 1804

Ditto 1810



In Money of

the particular

year.



£22,131,000
25,658,000
36,817,000
43,575,000



Supposed to be

equivalent at

the prices of

1792 to



£22,131,000
23,325,000
30,681,000
33,519,000



These sums are calculated by adding 50 per cent, to the
official value, so that ample prices are allowed for the period
of war.



Exports of Home Produce and Manufacture from Great
Britain sijicc the 2)eace, according to the value declared
by the exporting merchants.



Years.


Money of the parti-
cular year.


Supposed to be equiva-
lent at the prices of
1792 to


1814

1815 - -

1816 - -

1817 - -

1818 - -

1819 - -

1820 - -
1821. about


^€47,851,453
53,217,445
42,955,256
43,626,253
48,903,760
37,940,000
38,620,000
40,000,000


^f'37,000,000
42,000,000
34,000,000
35,000,000
39,000,000
35,000,000
38,000,000
40,000,000



The returns for these years of peace, when compared
with years of war, sufficiently establish the g)-eater value of
our exports since the peace. They may appear at variance
with a statement published in a work of very wide circu-
lation, (Quarterly Review, No. LII., p. 534.) in which the
exports of three years of war, 1811, 1812, 1813, are con-
trasted with three years of peace, 1819, 1820, 1821, and
the amount of the former found to be considerably greater.
This, however, is to be understood of foreign merchandize,
and was owing to the extent of our transit trade during the

9



App.] Comparison of Exports m War and in Peace. [7]

years when neutrals had very little direct navigation, and
were obliged to carry almost every article through the me-
dium of this country. But a transit trade may be very
large, without making any great addition to the productive
powers of a country, and our object being to show the con-
nexion between the amount of our exports and the degree
of activity existing among our population, our tables are
confined to returns of our home produce and manufac-
tures.

The reduction to money of a uniform value (that of 1 792)
is expedient for a period in which money lias varied so
greatly : it removes a part of the exaggeration to which we
habituated ourselves during the war, and simplifies the com-
parison with years of peace.

Decline in the Price of Goods. — We subjoin a farther
extract illustrative of the general fall in the price of mer-
chandize since 1818.

Exports from Great Britain, of Home Produce and
Manufactures.



Years.


Official value.


The declared or mar-
ket value.


1818 -

1819 -

1820 -

1821, exclusive of
our export to Ireland


^44,564,000

35,634,000
40,240,000

1 40,195,000


^48,904,000
37,940,000
38,620,000

35,826,000



Prices, as our readers may remember, began to fall
very soon after the peace: yet in 1818 they were still
from 10 to 12 per cent, above the official value. In
1819, a year of stagnant trade, the market value fell to
within 7 per cent, of the olTicial value, and since 1820
it has been below it. By this we are to understand, not
that all merchandize is cheaper than in the reign of King
William, when the standard of official value was formed ;
but that cottons and hardware, (in particular cottons) form
so very large a proportion of our exports as to counter-
balance the rise in woollens, leather, and other articles,
which are still somewhat dearer tiian they were a century
ago. — Returns such as these are of the highest interest to
the political arithmetician.

r.Ai +



[8] C'uiiufxioii between Expenditure inul Jtcvtiiue. [ArF.

Effect of Taxation. — Taxation is injurious chiefly in two
ways: in an individual sense, when the parties assessed
have not the means of indemnifying themselves ; and in a
national sense, when the magnitude of the burden is such
as to reduce the profits of labour and capital materially
below those of other countries. The former receives at pre-
sent a distressing exemplification in the case of our agricul-
turists ; the latter has long prevailed in the Dutch pro-
vinces, at least in the maritime provinces of Holland and
Zealand, in which the charge of defence against the sea is
superadded to heavy demands of a political nature. Such
also has been, in a considerable degree, our own situation
since the peace ; that it was by no means so during the
war, has, we trust, been satisfactorily shown in the text.

We consider, therefore, our taxes during the war in the
light of circulation, without ascribing to them all the de-
trimental effects alleged by the majority of political econo-
mists, and still less the beneficial operation attributed to
them by others. The latter opinion, singular as it may
seem, is nearly a century old, and was supported by re-
peated references to the case of Holland before her decline.
In this country it seemed to receive a striking confirmation
from the stagnation that followed the peace, as the public
did not take sufficiently into account how much the circu-
lation of ^onotcer/ money had been the cause of the general
activity during the war.



[9]

APPENDIX

TO

CHAPTER III.



Rise of Prices during the War.

Ccnmtry Labourer. — Computation of tlie annual expence
of the family of an agricultural labourer, supposed to con-
sist of 5- persons ; calculated chiefly from a table of the
expence of 66 families of labourers, in different parts of
England, collected by Sir F. Eden.

In the year 1792. In 1813. In 182S.

Bread, butcher meat, beer, and 1 £ s. ^' s. ^' s.

other provisions of home > 16 32 17

growth ~ " " J

Tea, sugar, and foreign articles 2 3 3

Rent - - - 1 13 2 2

Fuel and candles - - 2 10 3 10 3

Clothes and washing - -4-7 6 10 6

Contingencies - - 10 10 10

•i^T b J^ b .£S2 b

To'wn Mechanic, — Computed cxjiencc at diflferent dates,
of the family of a mechanic living in a provincial town, and
supposed to consist, as in the case of the agriculturist, of
5* persons.

In the year I79'i. In 18i;{. In 1823.
Bread, butcher meat, beer, and S ,ii' s. st' s. .=€' s.

other provisions of home V20 3S 21

growth - - -J

(Iroceries and other provisions ) , ,^ - /, *.■ ,.
* ^ !• 10 I (i o



-}



imported
Rent of cottage or rooms
Fuel and light
Clothes and washing
Scliool fees, apothecary's bill, }

and other contingencies - S



2


10




\







'1-





3







f)







4





7







11







10





i-'







s





ji


1





.J.\'l





L


t:?





r>'2






[10] liise uj Prices during the War. [Apr.

The Middle Classes. — Comparative estimate of tlie ex-
pellee ill (liflercnt years of house-keeping in a family of the
middle class, supposed to reside in London.



In the year 1792. In 1813. In 1823.

^ S. £ S. £ s.

House rent - - 60 100 90

Assessed taxes and poor rate 18 4-7 4-0

Wages; two women servants 18 22 22

Clothes - - - 60 85 70

Boots and shoes - - 9 18 16

Wine, spirits and strong beer 16 35 30

Table beer - - - 7 11 9

Tea, sugar, and other groceries 22 38 35

Fuel - - - 24 35 30

Light, viz. candles and oil- 60 100 80

Washing - - - 16 25 22

Bread - - - 25 50 25

Butcher meat - - - 25 4-5 30

Milk, butter, fish, cheese - SO 85 70

Education - - -14-0 22 20

Medical attendance - -14-0 20 20

Furniture; annual repairs, and) j^ ^ 24 20

purchases ~ " "/

Incidents, such as postage, sta- k

tionery, charity, pocket dis- >35 55 50

bursements - - J

Expences of a less necessary-N

character, such as excursion I __ _ rr. r» ^30 50 40
to the sea side, or the (

country - - -J

Expence of company - - 35 60 50
Furniture ; interest on the mo- 1

ney invested in its purchase; > 42 63 53

also its insurance against fire \



^^540 0^900 0£750



We are next to exhibit these charges in a more concise
form, classing them under specific heads, and showing the
per-centage, or proportion borne by each head ; thus : —



Ari'O



Rise of Prices during the War.



[H]



Bread, butcher meat, beer, "^
and other provisions of home >
growth or manufacture - -j

Provisions, such as groceries, 1
of foreign produce -J

Clothes and washing

Rent _ _ _

Fuel and light

Contingencies



Expence of the
familyof acoun-
try labourer.
Parts in 100.



55



20
10

_H

100



Expence of
tilt" town me-
chanic.
I'arts ia 100.

42



10

19
8
8

13



100



A family of the
middle class ex-
pending between
500 and 800/.
a-year in Lon-
don, or nearly
500 in a pro-
vincial town.
Parts in 100.



Bread, butcher meat, beer, and "1
other provisions of home >
growth - ~ 'J

Provisions, such as groceries of
foreign growth

Clothes and washing

House rent

Assessed taxes and poor rate -

Fuel and light

Education, medical attendance,
repairs, and occasional pur
chases of furniture

Travelling, entertaining compa-^
ny, and other less necessary >
expences - - -J

Servants' wages - - -

Incidents _ - -



1



*}



25



A family of
larger income,
expending
1000/. and up-
wards.



Parts in 100,
20



18



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 31 of 40)