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after, or in 1833, it had fallen off to 647,107 tons; a decline of upwards of forty-five thousand tons, of which 36,000 is owing to the decline in the importation of sugar. Such is the official statement of the French Minister of Marine and Commerce, M. Duchâtel; and the decline he alludes to is still allowed by all parties to be in progress. In the mean while, the colonists of Martinique and Guadaloupe have lost a market for 36,000 tons of sugar, estimated by the French writers to be worth to them L.20 per ton, or L.720,000. The value of this sugar in France is taken by the same parties at L.32 per ton, making a total of L.1,152,000; which may be considered the value of the loss of market to the French merchant and shipowner.
But now for the unpitied culprit, the Government. Its whole revenue upon an hundred millions of kilogrammes of sugar, at 49% francs per one hundred kilogrammes, ought to be little short of two millions sterling a-year; but it receives revenue only upon sixty millions of kilogrammes; and therefore it loses at present L.800,000, paid as a bonus to the beet growers, over and above what it pays as a drawback upon refined beet sugar; for, most preposterously, this article receives the same bonus upon exportation as the colonial sugar which had paid duty. This, however, is not all. Even the molasses of the beet sugar receive the bounty. The bounty paid on the exportation of refined sugars in France, that is, on sugar of the first quality, and none else is now exported, is 120 francs, or 96 shillings, per 100 kilogrammes, equal to about 48 shillings per cwt. This is eleven shillings, or nearly one-third part more than the English bounty, itself more than enough to cover the import duty. The 'importation of sugar into France,' says Dr Bowring, 'amounted, 1831, to 81,735,374 kilogrammes, paying duty, francs 39,264,743; while on an export of 9,679,034 kilos, the boun'ties were, francs 11,614,840, being more than one-fourth part of the gross receipts. The duty received on molasses in the 'same period was, francs 1847, and the bounties on exportation, francs 518,415.'* It would appear, from the same report, that in the next year the bounty paid on molasses had risen to 536,930 francs; and that on sugar, to the enormous sum of 18,573,627 fr. In 1820, the bounty paid on refined sugar was but 270,139, and on molasses but 242,606 francs; so that, in twelve years' time, the consumption of sugar and molasses being all the time nearly stationary, the amount of bounties paid on them had multiplied very nearly eight-and-thirty fold. Let us take the year 1831, as a sample
* First Report of the Commercial Relations between France and Great Britain. 1834.
for exposure. The import duty on the sugar exported that year, after allowing thirty per cent for loss on refining, was about six millions of francs; when the bounty paid was, as already stated, between eleven and twelve millions; so that the clear loss to the treasury was little short of L.240,000. As to molasses, the bounty paid amounted to above 275 times as much as the duty received. The difference must have been paid on beet root sugar; and, adding the loss to that sustained on sugar, we shall have a sum exceeding L.260,000. The total net revenue of the customs in France is but three millions sterling; being much less than one-half of what England, less oppressively, receives on colonial produce. It is one-fourth part less than we receive on the single article of tea; and exactly the same as we receive upon the paltry article of tobacco. Even that miserable amount is soon likely to be altogether destroyed, by the potent operation of the beet root sugar manufactory! The whole course of legislation upon this subject, may in fact be looked upon as one of the most perfect receipts. on record for squandering the capital of a people; for taxing them to no purpose; for abridging their comforts; for ruining their commerce and navigation,-in short, as Dr Franklin expresses it, for reducing a great empire to a small one.'
The beet growers now pretend that, with their improved processes, they can produce beet sugar as cheap as cane sugar can be imported, even if there were no duty upon the latter; or at least that they can produce it as cheaply in the market of Paris, and of the other large inland towns. We confess that this does not appear to us very probable, though the Colonial sugar of France is perhaps the dearest in the world. The French liberal writers assert that, whilst their sugars cost fifty francs 100 kilogrammes, sugar of the same quality from Brazil or Cuba may be had for thirty-five.* Here we have the enormous difference of fifteen francs per 100 kilogrammes; which, upon the whole consumption of France, adds the absurd tax' (to use the words of Adam Smith), amounting to fifteen millions of francs, or L,600,000 sterling, to the L.800,000 already named to the L.260,000 lost by bounties-and speedily to the L.1,200,000 now received on Colonial sugar, when it is extinguished by the encroachment of the beet sugar. The price without duty, of the sugar used in France, at L.32 per ton, is L.3,200,000. Of this amount L.600,000 is a tax paid by the French people for maintaining slavery in their own colonies; L.1,260,000 are paid as a bounty to the beet growers; and soon
Question des Sucres, par M. Delaunay, p. 2.
there will be paid to them the whole two millions which ought to be received as import duty; so that the people of France in two or three years more will be fleeced of L.2,600,000 per annum, for the benefit of the landowners of Alsace; while at the same time they will pay more for their sugar, and have less of the article than any people of Europe.
If any one, in a word, desires to know how a people may be plundered, through the instrumentality of bad legislation, he has only to study the history of the beet root sugar manufacture in France. We may further illustrate it, financially at least, by an example. We derive in this country, at present, a revenue of three millions from the article of tobacco, almost the whole of which is imported from the United States of America. To follow the example of France, in respect to beet, we ought to double the present duty of three shillings per lb. upon all tobacco imported from the United States; leaving it as it stands upon colonial tobacco, that is, tobacco produced in the Canadas and West India Islands. At the same time we should permit the free growth of tobacco, throughout the United Kingdom without any duty at all, or virtually with a bounty of 6s. per lb. Canada and Jamaica would probably furnish very little tobacco; but a great quantity, both dear and bad, would be produced in England and Ireland. The three millions of revenue would quickly disappear; but the smokers and snuffers of the kingdom, of the higher orders at least, or, as M. Delaunay expresses it, of those in easy circum'stances,' would to a great extent, be saved from the effects of our patriotism in favour of the landowners, by the kind interference of the smuggler. Part of this system, in fact, was a few years ago in operation in Ireland, and arrested only by an act of Parliament, and the sacrifice of a considerable sum from the public treasury, paid to the growers of tobacco as a penalty for our blunder.
The cultivation of the beet, and the manufacture of sugar from it, is also understood to be carried on to a large extent in the kingdom of Belgium, where it sprung up at the same time, and for the same reason as in France. Belgium having no colonies, the manufacture is carried on under the protection of heavy duties only; and probably the system, although pernicious enough, is neither so complex nor so injurious as in France.
Encouraged by the example of France and Belgium, attempts have recently been made to introduce the beet root sugar manufacture into this country; and within the last few months we have seen an advertisement for a joint-stock company, with a capital of L.300,000, for carrying it on in the immediate neighbourhood of the capital. The machinery is understood to have been constructed on the model of the most
improved machinery of France. If the manufacture should be persevered in, we should not be at all surprised to find it succeed; but, of course, only on the frail and unsubstantial basis of a custom-house regulation. The speculators, of course, calculate that the manufacture is to be carried on under the protection of a prohibitory duty on foreign sugar, and a tax of 24s. per cwt. on colonial, equal to nearly cent per cent on the value. If it should cost them, therefore, twice as much to raise beet sugar as the price at which colonial sugar can be imported, they will still be able to enter into competition with the latter; and they will have the further advantage of using the refuse as food for hogs and cattle. The manufacture, however, must of necessity be of the most unstable character. At present, besides the duty of 24s., there is in favour of the beet sugar the difference in price between colonial sugar, which has, or rather had, till last year, a monopoly of the home market, and sugar more cheaply produced, amounting to certainly not less than 12s. per ewt. Thus, there is at present an actual bonus on the growth of beet root sugar equal to 36s. per cwt., or 150 per cent. The introduction of East India sugar, if it does not altogether break down this monopoly, will have the effect of greatly impairing it; and sooner or later the people of this country will certainly insist upon having this necessary of life from the cheapest sources from which it can be obtained; so that fifty per cent of protection to the beet sugar manufacturer will be taken from him. But why should he even have the protection of the duty, any more than the grower of hops, or the grower or manufacturer of malt? The manufacture can only be carried on by levying an absurd tax upon the people; and by impairing or destroying a public revenue exceeding four millions sterling per annum. The legislature must of course put an end to the manufacture by suppressing it altogether, or by imposing on it the same duty as on colonial sugar; or by greatly reducing the import duty on the latter, which would be still better. In fact we have the satistion to observe that the President of the Board of Trade has given notice of a measure having one or other of these objects in view. This is wise and proper. The beet manufacture would, no doubt, add greatly to the rents of the landlords; but this result would be obtained at an enormous cost to the people and to the Treasury. In truth this is no time to trifle with the subject, for we observe that, in consequence of the diminished consumption of sugar, which has followed diminished production in the West Indies, and high prices here, the sugar revenue, while the whole revenue has increased by two millions, has fallen off by the alarming amount of L.600,000.
ART. VI.---Report of the proceedings of the Section of the British Association on the Mechanical Arts, at the Meeting held at Bristol, in September, 1836. 8vo. London : 1836.
HE imposing mechanical phenomena, so rapidly and unexpectedly developed by the invention and improvement of the locomotive steam engine, and its application on railways, have for several years so engrossed public attention, that other means of facilitating the operations of commerce and expediting the social intercourse of distant masses of people, less fascinating, but not less important, have been comparatively overlooked. The subject of water transport by steam has from this cause received less than its due share of attention. A reaction, however, appears to have been recently produced; and we have now a swarm of projectors, much more largely supplied with zeal than knowledge, who, not content with advancing in the march of improvement with that calm deliberation and salutary caution so necessary to ensure a permanently profitable issue for any great undertaking, would rush to their ends without even informing themselves of the means at their disposal, and proceed per saltum from a channel trip to the circumnavigation of the globe.
Antecedently to the opening of the Manchester railway, the art of steam navigation, so far as it extended to voyages of limited length, had attained to a state of considerable advancement. The seas and channels, which intersect and surround the British islands, had been traversed in numerous directions by lines of steam-vessels. Their establishment has more lately been extended to various points surrounding the coasts of Europe. British, Dutch, French, Italian, Austrian, and Egyptian steamers have been more or less engaged in transporting goods and passengers over every part of the eastern shores of the Atlanticthrough the Mediterranean in all directions-over the waters of the Adriatic, the Archipelago, the Black Sea, the German ocean, and the Baltic--besides penetrating the interior of Europe on the great streams of the Rhine, the Danube, the Rhone, and the Loire. A voyage was effected, in 1825, by a steamer from Great Britain to Calcutta, by the Cape, in 113 days. But this must not be understood as having been accomplished by the power of steam exclusively. The vessel was impelled by steam for 64 days, and by sails alone for 49 days, and no second voyage was ever attempted. The most extensive application of steam to navigation, which has been yet established for any continuance, is a line of communication maintained by the