Obrazy na stronie

standings which God has given of his tail. An error, next of kin them, and how they bewilder their to this, is to take a false object of readers; how they make a sort of comparison, in order to explain half fools of the whole nation. It their meaning; and this is the case is not enough to know that they in the instance before us. The are wrong; that they deceive affairs of a nation are too vast and themselves; it is necessary, or, at too complicated for their minds. least, it is matter of curiosity, to They, therefore, in speaking of see how it is that they deceive such affairs, proceed upon the nothemselves. When the borough- tions which they, in common with mongers were in the height of their other men, entertain with regard exultation, after the passing of to the affairs of individuals; and Peel's Bill, I, in observing upon now please to mark what I say, as that insolent and stupid exultation, an individual is well off in proporsaid that it was a great satisfaction tion to the amount of his income; to perceive the manner in which that is to say, as an individual is those base tyrants had deceived better off this year than he was themselves. They thought that last year, if he get more rent this PEEL'S Bill would lower the price year than he got last; as this is of corn only about three shillings the case with an individual, it and sixpence in every five pounds, must also be the case with a nabecause, said they, that is the tion, which must be better off this proportionate difference between year than it was last year, if its the value of paper and of gold at revenue this year be greater than this moment. "Oh! ho!" said 1, it was last! in my letter from Long Island, of Alas! my good friends of the 1st of August, 1819. "Oh! BLACKBURN, these brutes do not ho!" said I, "that is your hope, is perceive, that, in the case of the Then I can tell you, Gen-individual, the rent is so much "tle Boroughmongers, that your money that comes into his pocket; "devil deceives you; and that, and that, in the case of the na"like all others that sell them- tion, or people, the revenue is "selves to the devil, you will, by so much that is taken out of "and by, find yourselves cheated their pocket; and that, as the in"out of your souls, and see the dividual is better off on account "devil laugh at you.” of his increase of rent, so the nation must be worse off on account of its increase of revenue! This is as clear as day-light to any man of common sense; and if we were to adopt the contrary notion, we should be adopting this monstrous doctrine, that the more a people were taxed, the better that people would be off, which is monstrous beyond any thing that ever was heard of in the world.

" it!

Just so, my good friends of BLACKBURN, with regard to this famous humbug, the "Quarter's Revenue." And now, let us see how the newspaper brutes and the Boroughmongers deceive themselves, with regard to this affair. One of the commonest errors of shallow heads, that are muddy at the same time, is to take one thing for another; to suppose that they have got hold of the bull's horn, when they have actually got hold

But, though this notion would be so monstrous, it does not follow

that it would be so monstrous as ground is there for supposing, to believe that the Government that the Revenue must fall off, as taxes would fall off, in proportion the Rents fall off?

to the falling off in the profits of Now, my opinion is, that rents. trade and of farming. When may all cease to be paid; that every thing falls in price; when Merchants and Manufacturers cotton cloth, for instance, is sold may get no profits at all upon for sixpence a yard instead of their business; that Tradesmen two shillings; when wheat is sold and Shopkeepers may be made for four shillings a bushel in place so poor as to be hardly able to of ten; when the rent of a farm smell a bit of meat, once a month; falls from a hundred pounds a and that the Working People year to thirty; when this is the may be reduced to the lowest case, it seems, at first sight, im- possible state of misery; and possible that the Government can that, notwithstanding all this, the collect the same quantity of taxes. Government may be able to colThe thing has this appearance, at lect as much money in taxes durfirst sight; but, if we look closer ing the year, as it collected beinto the matter, we shall find, that fore this ruin and misery began; the Government may go on col- and that the Royal Family, the lecting taxes to the full amount Ministers, all the Officers and heretofore collected; that it may Soldiers, all the Officers and go on without any impediment in Sailors, all the Tax-gatherers, all the world, if it have but sufficient the Pensioners, Placemen, Sinephysical force to compel the curists, Grantees, Police people, people to pay direct taxes; and, Jailers, and all Tax-eaters of that, as to the indirect taxes, they every description, not forgetting would be likely to increase rather the Fundholders,the Dead Weight than diminish by the falling off of holders, all the paper-money peoprofits on farming and of trade. ple; that all these and their wives This is a capital consideration, and children and footmen and my good friends, of Blackburn; ladies' maids, and all the people for, if it be true that the Govern- dependant upon them, may be ment can continue to raise as living in the most riotous luxury, much money in taxes, when the while the Weaver and the LaNation is starving, or, at any bourer are half-starved, while the rate, when Landlords and Mer- Master Manufacturer is a poor chants are ruined by thousands, depressed devil, with hardly a and when the Working People shoe to his foot, and while the are actually starving in rags by once haughty and insolent Arismillions; if the Government can tocratic Landlord, is compelled to continue to collect as much money creep into the Workhouse, or in taxes, in the midst of all this something very much like it. ruin and misery, as it collected This I state distinctly as my before the ruin and misery began, opinion. It is in direct contradic what ground is there for suppos- tion to the doctrines of the old ing, that the Government will be Sinecure brought to a stand still by the SMITH, whose book is the guide miseries of the people? What of all the Boroughmongers and



well, that, from the beginning of the year 1819 to the end of the year 1822, prices kept falling. We know that merchants, shipowners, manufacturers, all were depressed in the extreme. We know that the farmers were ruined by thousands upon thousands. We know, that the landlords got, for the year 1822, scarcely any rent at all. We know that thousands of farms were let upon condition that the tenant would pay the taxes. We know that the landlords were at last resolved to make an attack upon the interest of the Debt, if the ministers had not consented to pass the Smallnote Bill, and thereby pour out the paper again and make prices rise. All these things we know; and we know, besides, that the depression of manufactured goods was enormous.

the Lord Charleses, their sons | whether rents, prices, and so and nephews. But, I have people forth, have had any effect upon of sense to deal with: I have a the revenue. We know, very great respect for those to whom I am writing; I, therefore, must make good what I say by FACT or by ARGUMENT, or by both. This I am now about to do, and I request you, my good friends of Blackburn; I request you to pay particular attention to the facts and the arguments I am going to employ. In the first place of all, there would be no fault to be found with the taxes, if they fell off in proportion as rents fell off, and as other things fell in price. If, for instance, taxes for the whole year amounted to ten millions, when wheat was at ten shillings a bushel, and if they fell off to five millions when wheat became five shillings a bushel; if this were the case, nobody could find fault with the taxes. But, the fact is, the contrary of this is the case the taxes do not fall off as rents and prices fall off. They keep up to their full mark, though rents fall to next to nothing, and though a large part of the people are starving.

Very well, then, we know that this took place, from the beginning of 1819 to the latter part of 1822. Let us now see, then, what taxes the Government collected in these One need enter into hardly any four years. Those were four reasoning to prove the truth of years, observe, of regularly inthis. There is, in every month of creasing embarrassment and disJanuary, an account made out of tress; mind, I say, regularly inthe taxes received in the foregoing year. For instance, an account delivered in to the Parliament, in January this year, contained an account of all the taxes received during the last year. Now, as we have all these accounts before us, and as we know how prices have stood, how rents have stood, and how the nation has been sitnated for several years past, we shall, by a reference to these severa! accounts, be able to discover

creasing unparalleled distress, because Peel's Bill came into operation by slow degrees. It had four years to come into complete operation, and it was got into the fourth year, and had nine months yet to come before it was in full effect. Now, my friends of Blackburn, pray bear all this in mind, and, then, look at the following account of the taxes collected in those four years. These taxes are the custom-house taxes,

the excise taxes, the stamp taxes, the taxes on the land, the taxes upon our letters; and, in short, all the ordinary taxes that we pay; and, observe, that the working people pay the larger part of the whole. These taxes amounted, then, for the following years, as follows:

In the year







Pounds. £60,318,272 52,882,156 64,038,686 63,048,496 62,604,533 62,150,526

the two next years. Indeed, more than three millions additional was received in each of those years. When we come to the year 1822, you see there is a small falling off; but, in that year, part of the salt-tax was taken off. The whole of the salt-tax used to yield about a million and a halfNow, then, pray look at the years 1823 and 1824. You will find them less than the year 1822; and this is owing to the taking off of the salt-tax, which tax was in force in 1822; cr, at any rate, had only been partly taken off. So that, you see, that the year of I have added the year 1823 "prosperity," 1824, yielded less and the year 1824, for a reason than the terrible year 1822. If, which you will presently see. At indeed, we reckon the salt-tax present, pay attention to the first taken off, the year 1824 yielded four years only. You will re- about 600,000 pounds more than member what has been said above, the year 1822. But, what is about the poverty, misery, and in- 600,000 pounds upon 63,000,000? tolerable embarrassment of these Let us now take another view of four years. You will remember, this matter. It is said, that the that the embarrassments went on proof of national prosperity, the increasing; that the distress, the proof of the comfort of the people; ruin, the suffering of every sort, the proof that they are happy, got to be greater and greater, consists in the keeping up of the from the beginning of 1819 to EXCISE collections. The doc1822. You will remember that trine is, that, in proportion that the distress of the landlords and the government collects money on the farmers was so great in 1822, the excise-duties; in proportion that in numerous instances, men that the sum is great, the people refused to take farms rent free; are happy! It is held that these because the taxes were greater excise-duties, being collected than they would be able to pay upon beer, spirits, tobacco, and without paying any rent at all. other things, which BoroughLook, then, at the amount of the mongers choose to regard as luxtaxes received in those four years!uries to the working people; in You see, that the taxes continued proportion as these things yield a to increase with the increase of great tax, in that same proportion the distress. But, you must be told, that in the year 1819, new taxes, to the estimated amount of three millions a year were laid on. Accordingly, you see the additional three millions received in

the people must be living luxuriously. Now,, then, look at the following figures; bear in mind that only three millions of new taxes were laid on in 1819; bear in mind the embarrassments, the


Years. 1819 1820 1821 1822

Pounds. 27,955,810 .28,298,733 ..28,912,985 ....28,190,948

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ruin, the misery that went on I have referred; and you must be steadily increasing from the be-assured that I should not dare to ginning of 1819 to the end of make this statement from these 1822; bear this in mind; and then accounts if it were not true. bear in mind that, in the following The last table that I have intable, I leave out the three mil-serted relates solely to the EXlions of new taxes, supposing them CISE-duties. I have inserted all to have been laid upon the them for the four years. For the excise, which was not the case. four years of increasing embarI take off the three millions of rassment, poverty and misery. new taxes, I leave the taxes as The paper-money came tumbling they were in 1819; and then I out the next year, that is to say, show you, that, instead of taxes in 1823; so that, in this year, falling off, the amount of them prosperity was coming again. In was actually augmented from the 1824, prosperity was completely beginning of 1819 to the end of come. The king, in opening the Parliament in February 1824, congratulated the hereditary legislators and the faithful Commons, that agriculture was recovering from its depression, and that it was recovering by the steady operation of natural_causes. Mr. Will any one, after this, believe FREDERICK ROBINSON, that a keeping up in the taxes, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and especially in the EXCISE- in the same month of February, taxes, is a proof of the happiness 1824, congratulated the aboveof the people and the prosperity mentioned noble and honorable of the country? You, my friends, persons, that the country was in will not be cheated thus, at any a state of unexampled prosperity, rate. You know well, how flou-that it was in a state of great rishing and happy the nation was happiness, and that the Parlia said to be in 1818. You know ment had the "delightful satiswell that Peel's Bill was passed "faction of looking round upon in 1819. You know that the de-"the face of a joyous country, cline tegan immediately; and "smiling in plenty, receiving you know that, in 1822, calicoes" comfort and prosperity diswere as cheap as dirt, wheat" pensed upon it from the ancient fetched only about four shillings" portals of a constitutional moa bushel upon an average through-"narchy"! It was in February out the kingdom, and that all was 1824, that this wise man described ruin and beggary; yet you now the country as being in this state see, that the Government did not of prosperity. Now, then, let us grow poor; that it grew rich on see how much the Government the contrary; that its taxes aug-collected from the excise in those mented, instead of declining; and two years: you will bear in mind, that the Years. proof of this is to be found in the annual finance accounts to which

1823. 1824

Pounds. 28,032,231 27,779,302

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