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The causes of the distress which thus prevail must, therefore, be causes which are common to every country in Europe, but operate most powerfully in France and in Great Britain. The only causes, of this description, which I have been able to discover, are legislative and municipal restraints upon industry, rendered progressively more severe by a continuous rise in the exchangeable value of money. Such restraints become progressively lighter, while money continues to fall in exchangeable value, but their severity accumulates as it rises. Now, money continued to fall in exchangeable value until the year 1810. It has continued to rise since that year.
It is then by restraints upon industry, as it appears to me, that the distress which continues generally to prevail is to be accounted for. Such restraints operate more severely in France and Great Britain than in other European countries, because there is more of industry in France and in Great Britain than in other countries; and such distress is more severe in France than in this country, because industry is more fettered there than it is here. Political causes, no doubt, exist in both countries, which have their influence; but, as it appears to me, effects are frequently ascribed in either country to political causes, which spring from restraints upon in
RESTRAINTS UPON INDUSTRY.
dustry, or are the consequence of combinations among workmen to keep up wages, which must come down with a rise in the exchangeable value of money.
If this be so, we have only to find out what the restraints are which operate upon industry, in order to remove the cause.
Such an enquiry would open a field too vast to be brought to a close within a period to be useful. It is, therefore, necessary to make a selection ; and after showing that our shipping, and the exports of our home produce and manufactures continue to increase, because they are not affected by such restraints, I propose to point out how our home industry suffers from restrictions in our money system ; from the operation of our corn laws; of ill-administered poor laws; and from the manner of our raising a revenue for the service of the state. All these will be found to operate in the way of restraints upon industry. The unfolding of the manner in which they so operate, will also serve to show how their operation, in this respect, may be removed.
I shall state no fact, the evidence of which is not to be found in documents laid before either house of parliament; nor shall I draw any conclusion, except upon grounds which I shall state, so that every reader may verify the fact by re
curring to the evidence of it, to which I shall refer. If I am right in the view which I take of the causes of our continued and continuing distress, others may be induced to follow my example in tracing the operation of other restraints upon industry. But the investigation of the subjects which I have selected, is so important in itself, that the facts which I shall
present with respect to all of them, can hardly fail to lead to the correction of errors which will be found in each of them, even though I should be deemed wrong in the general view which I take of the causes of our distress.
INCREASE OF SHIPPING AND EXPORTS.
INCREASE OF OUR SHIPPING, AND OF THE EXPORTS
OF HOME PRODUCE AND MANUFACTURES, SINCE THE
| In the year 1775, the war with America began.
It ended in 1783, from which year we were at peace until 1793 ; when began the revolutionary war with France, which, with the exception of one year (1802) and another before the battle of Waterloo, finally closed in 1815; since which year we have been at peace.
In order that an estimate may be made by inspection, I annex a table ; showing the tonnage of British vessels and of foreign vessels that cleared outwards from Great Britain in 1775, and every fifth year since that year; with a column showing the amount of the exports of home produce and manufactures exported, with our imports, in every fifth year since 1795; to which I have added the net amount of our customs in 1775, and
A TABLE, showing the Tonnage of Shipping that cleared Out
Exports of British Produce and Manufactures in 1800, and every Fifth Year thereafter ; also Bank Notes and Bank Post B February in every Year thereafter; with the Price of Gol every Fifth Year thereafter, with the Population according t Note. — The Amounts previous to 1805 inclusive, are taken
Accounts laid before Parlia
1775 1780 1785 1790 1795 1800 1805 1810 1815 1820 1825 1830 1831
951,855 103,398 1,055,253 1,260,828 144,132 1,404,960 1,030,058 370,238 1,400,296 1,269,329 654,713 1,924,042 22,831,936 36,929,007 1,284,691 572,961 1,857,652 22,907,371 37,234,396 1,624, 120 1,138,527 2,762,647 33,299,408 47,000,926 1,381,041 751,377 2,132,418 41,712,002 | 49,653,245 1,549,508 433,328 1,982,836 37,820,293 35,569,077 1,711,169 851,354 2,562,523 46,453,022 38,077,330 2,102,147 758,368 2,860,515 60,492,637 37,691,302 2,300,731 896,051 3,196,782 60,090,123 36,652,694
The articles which form our exports, are the following: Alum.
Fish of all sorts. Apparel, slops, and negro clothing Glass of all sorts. Arms and ammunition.
Haberdashery and millinery. Bacon and hams.
Hardwares and cutlery. Bark, British oak, for tanners. Hats, beaver and felt, Beef and pork salted.
Hats of all other sorts. Beer and ale.
Hops. Books printed.
Horses. Brass and copper manufac- Iron and steel, wrought and un. tures.
wrought. Bread and biscuit.
Lead and shot. Butter and cheese.
Leather, wrought and unwrought. Cabinet and upholstery wares. Leather, saddlery, and harness. Coals and culm.
Linen manufactures. Cordage.
Machinery and millwork. Corn, grain, meal, and flour.
Mathematical and optical instru. Cotton manufactures.
Molasses. Earthenware of all sorts,