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Upon the subject of specie in Ireland, we have the following remark.
Those who attribute the disappearance of specie in Ireland to an unfavourable balance of trade, are certainly in error. The payment of the balance, during these last five years, admitting the balance to have been unfavourable, could scarcely have produced a perceptible effect in that country, wherein specie had been accumulating during many years. From the following account of guineas sent to, and received from Ireland, we may infer that the balance of trade had no great effect in diminishing the mass of gold in that country:
• The fact is, that nine-tenths of the gold which has been withdrawn from circulation, are actually hoarded up.
We are not a little surprised that Mr. Newenham should have asserted a fact so contrary to the clearest evidence. By the examination of Mr. Frank before the Irish committee, it appears that 3,000,000 of guineas have been sent out of Ireland since the first of January 1799, and that none have been received. Above 1,000,000 of this passed through his own hands, and the remainder is pretty distinctly accounted for. The amount of gold now in Ireland is estimated at 2,000,000, of which half a million is supposed to be in circulation in the north of Ireland; about 700,000 in the Bank of Ireland; and the residue, or 800,000, in circulation in other parts of the country, and hoarded.
**A great variety of anecdotes, illustrative of this fact, might be related, the following one will suffice: A representative of one of the southern counties of Ireland, a gentleman, on whose scrupulous veracity I have long been in the habit of relying; whose character, indeed, exhibits an extraordinary bright assemblage of all the more amiable and exalted moral qualities, informed me that shortly before he left his country residence last spring, in order to attend parliament, he was waited on by one of his tenants, a farmer, who holds from him about 200 acres, but whose mode of living, with respect to diet, like that of most persons of his description, at least in the provinces of Munster and Connaught, differs, notwithstanding, but very little from the mode of living which prevails among the Irish labourers. The object of the farmer's visit was, as he said, to accommodate his landlord with a few guineas; as he heard they were as scarce in England as Ireland. The latter thanked him; but declined accepting his offer, having provided a sufficiency for his
In the eighth section we have rather an amusing digression concerning absentees. In a pamphlet, said to be written by Mr. Thomas Prior in 1729, it is stated, that the annual remittances to absentees amounted to 627,799l.-In 1778, Mr. Arthur Young computes the landlords' rents in Ireland at six millions, and was of opinion that the money remitted to absentees exceeded one million. Our author thinks there can be no doubt that the rental of Ireland has more than doubled within the last six and twenty years, that the absentees have become more numerous, and that the actual remittances to them do not fall much short of three millions, or one fourth part of the whole amount.-We cannot but think this statement highly exaggerated. The report of the Irish committee states these remittances at only two millions. It is sufficient, however, to impress Mr. Newenham's mind with most alarming considerations, and he proposes to remedy the evil, in some degree, by imposing a tax on the incomes of absentee landlords.
By a law of the state of South Carolina, persons who absent themselves two years are liable to pay double the amount of the direct taxes, until they return. Though a measure of little consequence, as applicable to one of the United States, its general policy may be much doubted, and at any rate the plan here proposed is so vague, and apparently impracticable, that it does not merit much attention. The imposition of such a tax is not likely to conciliate the minds of landlords, or to induce more constant residence upon their estates. When by the gradual progress of civilization and the growing prosperity of the surrounding country, an invitation is held out to opulent landlords to visit their estates, interest as well as pleasure will frequently bring them where more than in any other place they can enjoy their influence and consequence with undisturbed comfort and security. Besides, though the non-residence of men of fortune on their estates is in many respects a great misfortune to Ireland, its effects upon the productive industry of the country are not of the alarming nature Mr. Newenham supposes. We are not inclined to give more credit to his assertions on this head than to the report of the committee, of which Mr. Foster was chairman; but to enter further into this subject at present would withdraw our attention too much from the proper object of the present inquiry.
occasions. The farmer was greatly distressed by the refusal, and entreated his landlord to take the gold, as he feared to keep it any longer in his house. This occasioned an inquiry as to the amount of the sum; and the landlord was not a little surprised at the farmer's producing a bag containing 500 guineas.'
Mr. Newenham next gives us a circumstantial account of different branches of the export trade of Ireland, as an illustration of a rapid increase of its inhabitants. We shall not follow him through his minute details, but will give the result in his own words:
'Let us now, for the better illustration of the subject before us, compress within a narrow compass the substance of the information which we have obtained from a comparative view of the trade of Ireland at different periods.
We have seen that notwithstanding an evident increase of pasturage, the exportation of corn from Ireland has been trebled in the last twenty-one years; and we have found ample reason for being persuaded, that agriculture, which Mantesquieu calls an immense manufacture, is actually six times as extensive in that country as it was anterior to the year 1783. We have seen that the exportation of pork, whereby we are sufficiently warranted in measuring the increase of the lower orders of the country people, has been doubled in the last three-and-twenty years, under the operation of contingent circumstances, tending, in a conspicuous manner, to diminish its exportation; and that before the operation of all, but during that of one of these circumstances, its exportation had nearly trebled in eighteen years. We have seen that the products of the breweries and distilleries of Ireland have experienced a prodigious and unprecedented increase. We have seen that the linen manufacture, which directly and eventually affords employment to such multitudes of people, and of which the value of the surplus produce last year amounted to 3,751,8291. has (a suitable allowance being made for the increase of the home consumption) almost doubled in the last twenty-one years. We have seen from the total cessation of the exportation of an immense quantity of wool and yarn from Ireland, and from the existing evidences of an increase of sheep, that the manufacture, at least of the inferior woollen fabrics, has been greatly extended in that country. We have seen that the importation of the raw materials for the cotton manufacture, which gives employment to so many thousands, has increased in an unparalleled degree. We have seen that the exports of glass, paper, candles, soap, &c. have more than doubled in the last three-and-twenty years; and we have sufficient reason for believing that the aggregate produce of these manufactures is thrice as great as it was five-and-twenty years ago. We have seen some new articles in the list of the exported manu factures of Ireland, and there exists no evidence of the decline of any manufacture in that country, except, perhaps, the silk.
We are then, it seems, perfectly enabled by public documents, of indisputable authenticity, to affirm that, upon the whole, the demand for labour, in Ireland, has doubled in the last one-andtwenty years. And we find ourselves compelled by considerations, which cannot be set aside, to entertain a persuasion that such demand has been much more than doubled in that period of time;
and of course it should seem that the number of people employed has been doubled also.
• We have seen that the importation of coal has been almost doubled in the last two-and-twenty years: that the importation of old drapery has been quadrupled in the last twenty-one years; that the importation of tobacco has been nearly doubled in the last twenty-one years: that the importation of tea has been nearly doubled in twenty-one years: and that the importation of sugar has been more than doubled in the same period.
This amazing increase in the importation of articles for home consumption, cannot, it is true, be considered as indicative of a proportionate increase of population, although the demonstrated increase in the exportation of articles which require the labour of so many thousands, seems to warrant the opinion, because an increase of wealth, and an increase of activity in the prevention of smuggling, may have had very considerable effects, the former in increasing the consumption among the same number of people, and the latter in making the importation appear greater than in reality it has been. But making the utmost allowances for the effects of both, I have no doubt it will readily be admitted, especially by those who are acquainted with the circumstances of Ireland, that the increase in the importation of these articles amounts to a complete proof of, at least half as great an increase of the inhabitants of that country; and consequently that the actual period of doubling is much shorter than that which has been assumed.'
We have no doubt that a man who has seen all these immense, prodigious, unprecedented, unparalleled, and amazing operations, cannot but see a vast population, and wonder at his moderation in estimating the number of inhabitants at only 5,400,000. An increase of trade, manufactures, or of the consumption of particular articles, may indicate an increase of industry, wealth, and luxury; but can never be resorted to as any certain datum on the subject of population. Were the same rule of argument applied to England, the conclusion would be altogether ridiculous.
Notwithstanding this ample demonstration, however, we are furnished with an additional, new, and ingenious proof, in the next section; where assuming the thing to be already proved, that there are at present 900,000 houses in Ireland, inhabited by 5,400,000 people, we are told that there is more than enough of home-made and foreign spirits, tea, tobacco, and sugar consumed in Ireland to give to each individual a fair and reasonable proportion of these articles. How far the different classes of Irish may think themselves obliged to him for his allowance, we cannot pretend to say. We had different ideas, we confess, of Irish sobriety, and cannot forbear smiling at the grave calculations in the following passage,
which apply to 670,000 families, or above six sevenths of the whole population:
• Much has been said on the subject of the drunkenness of the inferior orders of the Irish; and under a persuasion of their peculiar and irresistible partiality to whiskey, it may be thought that a greater average allowance of that article should have been made for families inhabiting single-hearth houses.
In large towns, where, by the way, the observations on the drunkenness of the Irish have generally been made, that fault is, no doubt, very prevalent among the common people. But in the country it is far otherwise. Except at fairs, patrons, wakes, and weddings, those who dwell in the single-hearth houses, such as agricultural labourers, cottier-tenants, small farmers, country artificers, and weavers, are scarcely ever seen intoxicated, and never use spirits at their meals. Now suppose that two persons out of each family went twenty times in the year to the places of meeting above-mentioned, and that they got drunk sixteen times out of the twenty; in such case the quantity of whiskey annually consumed by each family would be only two, instead of four gallons: half a pint of ardent spirits being sufficient to intoxicate most persons. Suppose again that one person in each family, on an average, drank a gill of whiskey every third day (a supposition, however, which no person of observation residing in Ireland will admit), the annual consumption of each family would still be less than four gallons. Besides it must be observed, that some part of the spirits which the lower class of people in Ireland drink, is given to them by those above them, for whom an ample allowance has been made. It is also to be observed, that the use of malt liquor, is every day becoming much more prevalent among them than formerly. Mr. Dubourdieu particularly notices this fact in his statistical survey of the county of Down; and most gentlemen in the province of Munster, especially in the county of Cork, will be ready to attest it. In that county, porter seems actually to be a favourite liquor among the lower orders. Twelve years ago, they seldom or never drank it.'
The whole argument in this section is hypothetical and inconclusive in the extreine.
In the fourteenth section, Mr. Newenham takes a view of the more apparent causes of the disparity in point of increase between the population of this country and Ireland. This comparative view, however, proceeds upon the supposition that a much greater disparity exists in this respect than we believe to be true. Mr. Newenham industriously takes the lowest computation he can find for Ireland at the beginning of the last century, that is to say, captain South's estimate; and the highest supposition that has been offered for England; making the population of Ireland at that period little more than one million, and that of England seven millions. If