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under the window of the watch-house, in Whitechapel Church-yard, attended by an immense concourse of spectators, the expense of his funeral being defrayed by Gentlemen extensively engaged in the business of distillers.

It is computed that six Winchester quarters of barley made into malt, are required to produce fifteen barrels of good beer, furnishing six pots of beer in the day for a year to a hard-working man; and that one half that quantity of barley, malted and unmalted, produces fifty-two gallons of corn spirits, one to ten over hydrometer proof, and upwards of seventy gallons of Gin, as retailed by the publicans, 20 per cent. under proof, furnishing more than five quarts of raw spirits of that strength in the week for a year to the dram-drinker, which speedily renders him incapable of any hard labour.

It cannot, therefore, be a matter of surprise, that the Barley-Growers feel all the severity of bad markets after an abundant crop, from a system not merely of unwise, but of ruinous policy; and it appears to be not only expedient but necessary, to give immediate protection and encouragement to the Brewery, by such increase of the duties on Gin, as may at the same time protect the Revenue from the frauds committed by mixing British spirits with British Plantation rum, subject to higher duties. The increase of revenue, by the equalization of the duties on spirits, distilled by British Subjects, who justly claim equal rights, whether resident in England, or in the Colonial Dominions of the United Kingdom, will, it is believed, exceed half a million sterling considerably ;-a sum which would tend to alleviate the burdens of other taxes that press more severely on the Agriculturists and on the Country at large, than such increase of the duties on British spirits can do on the persons engaged in the Distillery, in compounding and in retailing of raw and rectified spirits.













MARCH 7, 1816.



In pursuance of the notice I gave some time ago, I now rise to move, That this House do resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, to take into consideration the Distressed State of the Agriculture of the United Kingdom. It has been the practice of this House so to do for the purpose of more convenient deliberation and inquiry in times of peculiar danger and difficulty ; and I cannot help feeling thoroughly convinced, that it will be admitted, that none were ever more critical than the present.

I cannot indeed anticipate any objection to this Motion, unless it should by some Honorable Members be apprehended that we should excite additional alarm throughout the country; and, perhaps, create expectations which it would be impossible to realize. Neither of these objections have, however, in my opinion, much weight: in respect to the first of them, I can only say, that the alarm actually existing can hardly by any possibility be increased; and as to the second, however we might lament our inability to fulfil expectations, it is no sufficient reason for our refusing to investigate the causes and extent of our present unexampled distress. I am ready to admit, that the Legislature does by no means possess that power on such occasions as the present, which the public are too apt to imagine: we cannot by an Act of Parliament in an instant alleviate evils, the result of a concurrence of an infinite variety of circumstances. Their sanguine hopes therefore may not be realized; but that is no reason whatever for turning our backs upon the subject. The Public must not be kept in the dark either as to the extent or limits of our power. We must give our most patient and attentive consideration as well in regard to extent as to

the cause of distress, and possible means of relief; and in the result the public must be convinced, that every thing in our power we will accomplish.

Since I first gave notice of this Motion (which is now a considerable time ago) I have received communications on the subject from all parts of the Empire; and they do altogether form a picture of national distress quite unexampled, I am confident, in any for mer time. I had selected a certain number of these letters from the rest, which appeared to me the most conclusive and intelligent, with an intention to read them to the House; but I am aware how tedious written statements generally are; and upon reflection, I have thought that the real state of the country must be more satisfactorily represented by Honorable Members, than by the result of any information, however extensive, which I have had it in my power to collect.

In order to put the House in possession of circumstances which would be conclusive as to the real state of the country, I have called for various documents, which yet are not returned; I allude to an order made by the House upon Sheriffs to give an account of all process upon the body or goods of the people in their respective counties, upon a comparison of the last three years; also an order has been given for an account of Exchequer process against persons for nonpayment of taxes. These are not yet come in; and I am afraid indeed when they do, they will not give us a full representation of the calamity, as a variety of cases of distress and ruin will not come within the scope of these returns.

I have received a few of these returns through the hands of correspondents, and I will shortly state to the House their result. The first account is from the county of Norfolk, the agriculture of which is in high repute; and the distresses of which, in all probability, hardly equal those of other counties; at all events, they may be taken as a fair average of the state of the whole kingdom. It appears in Norfolk, that the number of bailable writs have increased from 540 in the year 1814, to 670 in the year 1815; the number of executions, in the same period, from 96 to 174. My correspondent observes, that this account clearly shews the distress of the county; but I apprehend, he says, the Sheriff's Office does not exhibit any thing like the full extent of the evil, for it does

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