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A TABLE, showing the Number of Stamps issued to the principal London Newspapers in the Years

1830, 1831, and 1832, together with the Amount of Advertisement Duty paid by each.

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$. d.
£ 8. do

8. d. * Times and Evening Mail

- 3,499,986 15,449 3 6 4,328,025 16,506 17 63,836,987 17,351 1 6 * Morning Herald and

English Chronicle 2,310,500 7226 12 62,606,000 7446 1 62,598,491 7743 6 *Morning Chronicle,

Observer, Bell's Life in London, and

Englishman 2,131,799 4673 7 62,269,850 4450 12 0|1,886,124 8794 17 6 Morning Advertiser - 1,157,785 5603 6 6 1,140,000 5591 1 6 1,131,500 5404 17 6 Morning Post 585,050 5586 0 0 684,500 5400 6 6 692,500 4899 9 6 * Public Ledger, Bri

tish Traveller, and

Weekly Times 574,000 4779 19 0 452,318 3746 11 6 302,718 3739 6 Courier

976,500 2701 9 6|1,037,000 2877 10 6 954,250 2083 0 6 Globe 957,000 1839 8 6 1,047,125 1803 7 6'1,102,500

1784

6 0 Sun

747,000 952 7 O 9571000 996 12 6 748,500 816 18 0 • Standard, St. James's

Chronicle, London Packet, and Baldwin's London Weekly Journal

1,281,000 2066 15 0|1,372,600 1716 18 6 1,545,500 1609 0 0 Jobn Bull 249,742 1104 15 6. S07,600

988 1 0 305,000 834 15 0 Bell's W. Messenger 608,000 581 14 0 489,000 533 1 0 487,000 544 12 0 Weekly Dispatch - 1,327,103 544 15 61,732,391 635 12 0|1,555,947

621

1 6 News 220,000 333 18 0 197,000 278 8 6 142,000

224 14 0 *Sunday Times and

Kent and Essex
Mercury

491,000 1034 19 0 508,000 965 13 0 439,500 897 8 0 Examiner

198,543 445 16 0 229,331 384 6 0 216,050 360 17 0 Atlas

277,200 812 14 0 234,500 670 12 0 185,000 576 9 0 Age

318,525 927 9 6 287,000 878 13 6 266,000 720 16 6

In the above table the papers marked (*) were the property of one person, in whose name the

stamps were taken out; so that it was impossible to distinguish the amount consumed by each separate paper.

from each other : and we have also reason to believe, that agents of country papers have been induced by London printers to take out stamps in the name of the latter, which were intended for country use; so that, even with regard to the London papers, perfect accuracy cannot be attained.

“ But in the case of country papers, still less reliance can be placed on these accounts. The supply of stamps to country papers is effected through London stationers and paper-makers, and sometimes also through country stationers. These persons take out large quantities of stamps, and furnish them, from time to time, to the respective newspapers as required. It is only from the returns made by those stationers that the number of stamps used by each country paper can be known at this office. The stationers furnish these returns with much reluctance and irregularity, and frequently omit them altogether. The Board have no means of detecting or punishing any misstatement; and it is believed that, even when furnished, little regard is paid to accuracy.

“ The trouble occasioned at this office ought not to be a consideration, if the returns were really a source of useful and authentic information; but the preceding observations show that no useful results arise : on the con

trary, such returns occasion endless complaints from persons whose circulation is underrated, and on whom positive injury is thus inflicted.

“ It is therefore worthy of consideration, whether similar returns should in future be allowed.”

This reasonable objection to the utility and expediency of the returns did not deter the honourable gentlemen at Westminster from renewing their inquiries; and with a view to more complete accuracy, the expedient of a “ distinctive die” was determined on. This distinctive die, by means of which the name of the paper is affixed to the stamp, came into force on the 1st of January, 1837; since when it may fairly be assumed that the stamp returns give the circulation of each paper with tolerable accuracy. The following table shows the circulation of the principal London papers, and the amount of advertisement duty paid by each during the last four years. During the year 1836, the distinctive die not being yet in use, the returns are still necessarily inaccurate. For the year 1839 the return comprises only the first six months, and does not include the amount of the advertisement duty :

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£ 8817|3,355,000 9600 3,650,000 11238 2,140,000 2,795,291 122 390,000 91 275,000

57 210,000 52172,078,000 4263 11,925,000 4796 910,000 2,132,098

33 132,000 44 126,000 39 60,000 s 4047 2,200,000 4079 2,075,000

4619 1,059,000 2,033,562 240,000 54 236,000

64 118,500 11,402,317 3373 1,525,000 3376 1,565,225 3849 765,000 682,288 2980 797,000 2713 875,500 3191 496,000 442,026 1153 455,500 941 398,000

928 185,000 862,968) 1201 936,000 1088 920,000

1163 450,000 750,5001 731 896,000 406 |1,344,000 949 627,000 12861,111,500 1173 1,075,000

1221 527,500 1,724,138 381 705,000 368 707,500 366 341,500

1 75

679172,000

995,604 384

•Times
* Evening Mail
* Morning Herald
* English Chronicle
* Morning Chronicle
* Evening Chronicle
Morning Advertiser
Morning Post
Courier
Globe
Sun
*Standard
* St. James's Chronicle
* London Packet
Shipping Gazette
* True Sun

Weekly True Sun
Observer
* Bell's Life in London
Sunday Times
Examiner
Atlas
Age
Spectator
John Bull
Bell's Weekly Messenger
Weekly Dispatch
Mark Lane Express
Weekly Chronicle
Satirist
Record
Planet
Patriot
Magnet
Metropolitan Conservative

Journal
London Mercury
Jurist
Colonial Gazette
Charter
Chartist
Era

104,180 202 262,130
5 655

398,000
621,865

300 484,551

369,000

157 896,000 217,600 397 53.5,000 181,180 193 228,625 117,500

247 110,000 220,169 347 146,530 142,000 238 147,000 215,743 428 219,000 688,238 311 876,000 1,670,540 454 2,656,000 103,685 99 168,500 214,300

2,916,500 192,600 279 178,200 267,432 508 800,600

55,000 174,250 2101 249,500

233,500

163 316,976
381

64 329,500
369 275,000
151 1,040,000
291 695,000
201 267,965
221 140,000
288 120,500
211 158,000
434 226,000
288 898,250
495 2,691,000

88 180,750 229 1,681,000 247

154,500 558 302,500

246,000 220 238,500 10 224,500

945

107,800 364 190 563,000 439 320,000 310 146,825 241 65,000 280

55,500 233 46,000 442 117,000 304 451,000 528 1,250,000 176 118,000 356 588,500 331 71,500 543 160,500

29 81,0001 264 137,500 37 108,0001

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By looking a little closely into these two tables, we shall obtain a tolerably correct idea of the mischievous effects which have arisen from their publication. The money received for advertisements constitutes the fund from which the profits of a newspaper must be paid; the money received for the copies sold, unless the sale be very large indeed, is seldom much more than enough to pay the expenses of paper and printing. Now it appeared from the return for 1830, the fallaciousness of which was not at the time suspected, that the Times as a morning, and the Courier as an evening paper, were the most widely circulated; and these two papers were naturally considered by advertisers as the best media for publicity. It will be seen that an immediate increase took place in the amount of advertisement duty paid by those two papers, while with respect to most of the other papers a sensible diminution occurred, from which even now few of them have recovered, although an immense increase has since then taken place in the aggregate number of advertisements published; and in the case of the Public Ledger and the British Traveller, and of two evening papers, the Albion and the Star, not included in the above tables, the effect has been to cause their entire discontinuance; for though the Ledger is still published, it has ceased to be a newspaper, and appears merely as a kind of brokers' catalogue, in which form it is probably, even with the diminished number of advertisements

, a more profitable undertaking to the proprietors than when burthened with an expensive establishment of reporters and editors.

In 1834 the advertisement duty was reduced from 3s. 6d. to ls. 6d. on each advertisement; and in 1836 the stamp-duty on newspapers was reduced from four-pence to one penny. From the four-pence there was a deduction of twenty per cent., while from the present duty there is none; the real diminution, therefore, of the tax is not three-pence, but two-pence and one-fifth of a penny. On the reduction of the stamp-duty, the proprietors of the London papers reduced their publication price from sevenpence to five-pence, thus reserving to themselves the fraction as a bonus, a most important addition to their profits, when the great extent of their circulation is considered.

In 1832 a return was published, showing the number of stamps consumed by all the English and Scotch newspapers; it was as follows:

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In 1836 the reduction of the stamp-duty took place. It came into operation on the 15th of September, and the immediate effect produced by the change may be estimated from the following table:

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There appears, consequently, to have been a large immediate increase followed by a considerable reaction. During the second quarter of 1839 there were published 109 London papers, 233 English provincial papers, 63 Scotch, and 78 Irish papers.

The increase in the London papers, however, is not even so great as would appear from the statement just made. Many publications now stamp a part of their impression, for the sake of transmission through the postoffice, and some provincial papers are, for greater convenience, printed in London. The new papers are almost all weeklies; the daily papers, of which in 1831 there were thirteen, have been reduced in number to ten.

The following return will show the immense increase that has taken place in the number of advertisements, since the reduction of the advertisement duty :

A RETURN, showing the Total Number of Advertisements, and Total Amount received therefrom

in England and Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, respectively, for each Year since the Duty was reduced to 1s. 6d., and for each Year during a corresponding period before the Duty was reduced.

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1834
Duty reduced to 18. 6d. in Great Britain, and 18. in Ireland,

from 5th July, 1833. 5th January, 1835 977,441 73,308 1 162,600 | 8,130 14 8 134,864 | 10,114 16 2

1836 1,038,041 77,853 29 169,360 8,468 12 2 141,171 | 10,587 17 0 1837 1,173,136 87,985 4 8 170,780 8,539 6 0 138,017 10,951 6 O 1838 11,206,680 90,501 0 7 173,580 8,679 4 8 152,518 11,438 18 1899 1,315,5801 98,668 11 5 178,200 | 8,910 12 0 176,411 | 13,230 16 6

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From the foregoing tables it appears, that the number of London daily papers bas diminished, although the aggregate circulation of the daily papers has increased very considerably.

The aggregate circulation of English and Scotch papers has increased from 30,000,000 a year to 50,000,000 a year, although the increase in the number of provincial papers has been very trifling,

The chief increase has taken place in the number of those unstamped publications, of which a small number are stamped for the convenience of transmitting them through the post-office.

The profits on newspapers to the proprietors have increased, in consequence of a larger reduction in the stamp-duty than in the price at which newspapers are sold to the public; and a very large increase must have taken place in the profits of newspapers, in consequence of the immense increase in the number of advertisements.

The increased size of some of the papers has, no doubt, increased the expenses of the proprietors; but, in most instances, the increase in the size has been made only with a view to accommodate the increased number of advertisements.

If then the profits on newspapers have increased to so enormous an extent, without any material increase in the number of persons among

VOL. V.

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whom those profits are divided, it follows that something very much like a monopoly must, in the mean time, have been established; and this monopoly, as we stated in the outset, has been formed, partly by the combination of the existing papers to crush any new competitor that ventures into the field, but chiefly by the publication of the stamp returns.

The publication of these stamp returns has given an unfair advantage to one or two leading papers; it has caused the entire discontinuance of several; and it deters from the establishment of new papers, by the difficulty which it throws in the way of obtaining an advertising connection.

These evils operate in the provinces as well as in London, for in the country, as well as in the metropolis, advertisers confine their patronage to the papers known to have the largest circulation.

A virtual monopoly having thus been formed, the Tory party have taken advantage of the circumstance, to buy up the shares of some of the most widely circulated Liberal papers, which have, in consequence, become the advocates of doctrines the very reverse of those which they formerly supported.

The London daily press, in a great measure, gives the tone to public opinion, not only throughout the whole kingdom, but perhaps all over the world. The diatribes of the Times and Standard against a Liberal ministry are copied into the newspapers of France, Germany, and America, and thus the poison is disseminated far and wide. And let it not be supposed, that the daily repetition of calumny and sophistry can long continue, without producing a powerful effect upon the public mind. Thousands of persons daily read the Times, because it contains the information which is of importance to them, in a more complete form than they find it in any other paper. They detest the doctrines, but having paid for the paper they read them; and being

daily assured that Lord Melbourne is an idle voluptuary, and Lord John Russell the arrantest knave out of Newgate, they begin to suspect at length, that the one does neglect his duty, and that the other ought not to be trusted. Doubts, fears, and hesitation of every kind, are thus engendered, and the mischievous effects are felt when the pollingday comes round. In 1831, when Lord Grey fought the battle of Reform, the stamps consumed by the daily liberal papers were as thirteen to two, compared with those taken out on account of Tory papers; in 1838 the London daily press consumed about 13,000,000 of stamps, of which more than 7,500,000 were on account of the Tories.

This change in the spirit of the press was not produced by any change in the public feeling towards the ministry, though we believe it has since had a great effect in warping that feeling. The great defection, that of the Times, took place in 1834, when Lord Melbourne had only been a few months in office, when he was still universally popular on account of his admirable administration of the home office (no place by the bye for an “ idle voluptuary"), and when, as a prime minister, he had not yet been tried.

The Liberal cause, then, has been weakened, perhaps seriously injured, by the transfer of so much newspaper property to Tory hands, a transfer that would have been comparatively harmless, had not such serious difficulties been thrown in the way of the establishment of new vehicles for the expression of public opinion.

An evil of this sort is one, we hope, that requires only to be made generally known, to insure its removal. We have seen that the existing newspapers are at present in the receipt of much larger profits than for

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