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foreign wheat consumed at Manchester, a twelfth part of the cotton goods manufactured there would be carried away by exportation. In the event of a prohibition being laid on the importation of corn, and the demand for cotton goods, to be exported, continuing the same, there can be no doubt, that the exclusion of the 10,000 quarters of foreign wheat would increase the exchangeable value of the 110,000 quarters of home production; and it is equally undeniable, that an increase, thus taking place, in the exchangeable value of wheat, would stimulate the English agriculturist to replace the 10,000 quarters, which the exclusion of foreign wheat had abstracted from the whole supply wanted for the 120,000 weavers at Manchester. But to assume, that if foreign wheat were excluded from the English market, the foreign demand for British manufactured goods would still continue the same, is, in fact, to assume the very point at issue between the advocates of an unshackled commerce, and the supporters of the non-importation system. Those who disapprove of the imposition of restrictions on the importation of corn, are not so preposterous as to maintain that an abstraction of one part in twelve from the average supply of corn, the demand for it continuing still the same, would not increase the money price of the remainder. But they deny that the demand would continue the same. They assert, that if the foreigner were prohibited from bringing his 10,000 quarters of wheat into the general consumption of Manchester, he would at the same time cease to take out of Manchester one twelfth part of the cotton goods manufactured there: one twelfth part of the weavers would be thus deprived of employment; and, in consequence, the demand of agricultural produce, exclusively British, would remain where it was before, and require no more than 110,000 quarters of wheat to supply it. They represent a twelfth part of the weavers and spinners at Manchester, as exclusively employed in fabricating cotton goods for exportation; and assert that, the British corn grower receives no injury from the importation of foreign corn sufficient to supply the wants of the manufacturers thus occupied: 110,000 quarters of wheat, the quantity of home produce assumed asnow consumed in Manchester, will support 110,000 weavers; and this number of weavers will fabricate a sufficient supply of manufactured cotton, to meet the demands for such goods in the British market. If no supply of cotton goods were therefore required for another market, the additional 10,000 weavers would be instantly discarded for want of employment; but while the foreigner is permitted to bring his 10,000 quarters of wheat to Manchester, he gives them constant employment and support, and the cotton goods manufactured by them, he exports and carries into his own country.
The advocates of the exclusion system assert, that if foreign
corn be imported directly into England, a depreciation in the exchangeable value of agricultural produce must be the consequence; but they think, that if this corn be converted into silk, or into any other manufactured article, no such consequence can be apprehended from its importation. But surely no notion can be more erroneous. Let it be supposed that the restrictions on the importation of foreign wheat into England amount to a virtual prohibition, and that the surplus disposable produce of Poland consists exclusively of wheat: the Polish corn grower wants a supply of cotton goods; he knows that these goods are manufactured in England, at a considerably less expenditure of food and labor than they can be fabricated any where else, in consequence of the natural and mechanical advantages which the English manufacturer possesses, over those of other countries, and which diminish immensely the expenditure of human and animal labor; and that therefore they are sold considerably lower in this country, than he can purchase them in any other place. The restrictions on the importation of corn, the only commodity which he has to exchange for the manufac tured goods which he wants, exclude him from the English market; he must therefore establish a manufactory at home, where the articles which he stands in need of may be fabricated, or he will be driven to some other market, where the goods which he wishes to purchase, may be obtained in exchange for the raw agricultural produce of which he has a surplus. If, for instance, he should want a supply of cloth or cotton goods, he must either manufacture them at home, or carry his wheat to some other country, where it may be exchanged for the manufactured articles which he wants. In either of these cases, the exclusion of the foreigner from the English market can, by no possibility, increase the demand for British wheat. It is no doubt true, that a foreign supply of grain is excluded; but so is also the foreign demand for British manufactured goods: and the absence of this demand for exportation, will more than counterbalance the effects produced on the price of corn by the exclusion of foreign wheat.
To this the supporters of the restriction system would probably reply by asserting, that the Polish corn grower would not attempt to convert his wheat into cotton goods at home, because he would find it a more economical plan to carry his wheat to some other market, and there exchange it for some commodity-for gold, or for silk, which he could import into England, and exchange for the manufactured articles which he wanted. This point deserves to be examined with careful attention, as it appears to be the "ignis fatuus" which leads most people astray, and is at the bottom of all the absurdities which are vented and believed on the subject of foreign importation. Let it be supposed, then, that the Po
lish corn grower finds it more advantageous to carry his corn to Lyons, and exchange it for silk, which, being afterwards imported into England, may be exchanged for cotton goods, than to attempt, without the aid of the local and mechanical advantages possessed by, the British manufacturer, to fabricate, in his own country, the inanufactured articles which he wants. Would not this exchange of silk for cotton goods, it be may asked, keep up the demand for such goods in the English market? Undoubtedly it would. But it would at the same time keep down the demand for agricultural produce in England, in the same degree that the direct importation of the wheat carried to Lyons, in exchange for the silk imported hither, would have done. This effect would be brought about in the following manner:-The supply of silk at present manufactured in England, is equal to the demand for silk in the home market. I take silk as an instance, since the same reasoning will apply to all other manufactures. Let this demand be taken at 100,000 pieces, and let it be assumed, that the fabrication of this quantity of silk gives employment to 10,000 manufacturers. The ports of England being closed against wheat, and open for silks, the foreigner would either establish a manufactory where it did not exist before, or add to the quantity manufactured in one already in existence; and would thus convert into silk the whole of his surplus produce of wheat. This silk, being afterwards imported into England, would soon annihilate the home silk manufactory, and throw the 10,000 British silk weavers out of employment; and the demand for agricultural produce would be soon diminished in consequence of the decrease of consumption by this class of artisans. The foreign demand for cotton would, no doubt, in this case, continue the same, and the demand for agricultural produce, to supply the wants of cotton weavers, would also remain the same. The home silk manufacture, however, being thus entirely destroyed by the importation of foreign silk, the demand for agricultural produce, to supply the silk weavers, would also of necessity cease. thus the whole demand for agricultural produce of home growth, would still bear the same relative proportion to the whole supply, and no effect on its exchangeable value would be felt in the market. The same result will inevitably follow, if he convert his corn into any other manufactured commodity, for the purpose of being imported into England in exchange for the cotton or any other wrought goods which he wishes to procure.
It may, perhaps, be said, that the importation of all manufactured goods may be also prohibited, and that in consequence of this prohibition, the Polish corn grower would be compelled to take his corn to some other market, where he might exchange it for another description of raw produce, or for gold, which he might
carry into England in exchange for the manufactured articles which he wants to purchase. The English agriculturist thinks that if the foreigner be allowed to import his corn into this country, unshackled by any check or restriction, the home grower of agricultural produce must inevitably be ruined; but he conceives, that if the foreigner be compelled to pay in bullion, for the articles of British manufacture of which he stands in need, the fortune of the corn grower will be made, the difficulties under which he now groans will instantly vanish, and the magical touch of this bright metal, will restore him to that affluent and prospe rous condition which he enjoyed some ten years ago. The British agriculturist says to the manufacturer-"If you take from your foreign customer, in return for your manufactured goods, corn, wine, oil, or silk-any thing which you can eat, drink, or with which you may be clothed-I am ruined; but if you compel him to pay you in gold which is valuable merely as the representative of these things, my fortune is made." One might imagine that the agriculturist entertains the opinion of the properties of gold, which drunken Barnaby, or drunken somebody else did of Hull ale, who maintained that it was at the same time drink, food, and clothing. Let it be supposed that a wall was built round the island, through which no thing was permitted to pass except this much desired gold would the affluence which many expect with so much confidence from this exclusion, be the consequence? Would not this rigid and complete prohibition of foreign importation prove highly beneficial and advantageous to the grower of agricultural produce? Those who form this expectation should be reminded, that gold is the representative, or the measure of the value of commodities; that the foreigner cannot create gold, and that he must, therefore, take his surplus produce to some market where this gold may be purchased, on which the English corn grower wishes to lay his fingers. But the foreigner can find no such market for his raw produce; he cannot sell it for the gold which he would, if he had it, exchange for cotton in England; and, therefore, the foreigner must keep his corn, or convert it into the manufactured state in which he can use it, and thus provide a substitute for cotton goods; and, consequence, the English manufacturer must look in vain for the appearance of foreign gold. The only circumstance which can create a market or demand for this raw produce of the foreigner, is the establishment of the manufactories, in which his corn may be converted into the manufactured articles which he wants for use; but when these manufactories are once established, and have created a demand for agricultural produce, the motive which alone could induce the foreigner to bring his gold to purchase English cotton goods, will directly cease to operate; he can effect his purchase nearer home, and thus the gold, after which
the advocate for prohibitory restrictions on the importation of foreign wheat now pants, would still elude his grasp. Put the subject in any light you please, still this maxim in political economy will be found invariably correct; "commodities exchange only for commodities" and consequently if foreign produce be ex cluded from the British market, the demand for manufactured goods to be sent abroad must likewise cease.
The perfection to which machinery has been carried in En gland, enables our manufacturers to convert a quarter of wheat into a much larger quantity of manufactured goods, than the foreigner could produce by an equal expenditure of muscular exertion, directed by little skill, and aided by ill contrived and ineffi cient machinery. When the foreign grower of wheat brings his produce into England, he does it for the sake of taking advantage of the superior skill and experience of our workmen, and the supe rior perfection of our mechanical contrivances for the abridgment of human labor. He brings his wheat into a manufactory, in which it may be converted into the wrought state, in which he wants it for use, or for sale. Suppose a foreign corn grower has a surplus of 10,000 quarters of wheat which he cannot dispose of at home in its raw state, but which he could easily sell if converted into cotton goods. He embarks his wheat on board at the nearest port -lands it in England-comes into Lancashire-gives a portion of his cargo in exchange for the raw cotton which he wants; another portion he gives for the use of a cotton mill and its machinery→→→ engages the requisite number of weavers and spinners, and employs them in the manufacture of cotton goods, till the whole of his wheat has been consumed and finally exhausted: the cotton goods thus manufactured he carries with him into his own country, or to any other market which may present a demand for them. Would it not be considered absurd and ridiculous to say, that this foreigner, by bringing his wheat into England-by hiring a mill in Lancashireby employing British workmen, in the fabrication of cotton goods, till his stock of provisions became exhausted-could by any possibility affect the exchangeable value of wheat of home growth? No more can the importation of foreign corn, as long as the manufactured goods, into which it is converted, are afterwards exported, be justly considered as affecting the price of wheat in the British market. For whether this wheat be brought into Lancashire, directly to be converted into cotton goods, under the personal superintendence of the owner, or it be brought thither in a circuitous manner, and pass through many hands, the effect pro duced, by its introduction, on the demand and supply of British produce, must, it is evident, be precisely the same. The occupation of a cotton mill by a foreigner, for the purpose of manufac