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clover seed, and about fix bushels of plaster of Paris-to the acre ; and by harvest time I had clover all over the piece, about twelve inches high, and which I mowed in about two or three weeks after my wheat was cut; I believe I might have cut a full ton of hay off from each acre; and I am well satisfied, that if I had not put any plaster of Paris on it, I should not have had any grass that I could have cut. I have likewise fold this manure to many people in this State, as well as in New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, &c.; and after trial, their applications to me have been very great, which induces me to believe they have found the like benefits from the use of it as I have myself. .
With respect, I am thy friend, i si . . . . . ROBERT MORRIS." . . :: Philadelphia, Feb. 15, 1789.
“I, Clement Biddle, Esq. Notary Public for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, duly commissioned and qualified, do certify, that Robert Morris miller and farmer of the county of Philadelphia, by whom the foregoing writing, certified by him in his hand-writing, to me well known, is a person of good character and reputation, and that I have been on his farm, and have feen great appearance of improvement in the produce thereof, from the use of plaster of Paris; and am of opinion, that credit is due to his certificate before written, relative thereto. The faid plaster of Paris came from Nova Scotia, and is of great repute.
“In testimony whereof, I have hereunto fet my hand, and fixed my notorial seal, at Philadelphia, this 18ch day of February, 1789.
CLEMENT BIDDLE, N. P."
Thoughts on the Corrs Laws, : • With a view to the proposed new Corn Bil].
By the Editor : At the present time; when the attention of the country is called to consider the nature of the corn-laws, a few observations on that subject will not be deenied unseafonable. . . . . .
. • For a good many years past, our coin-laws have been only temporary enactments, with a view, as it would seem, to give time for discovering what was the best system to be adopted in this important department: It is now propofed to make a permanent law, with the avowed intention of continuing unaltered for a great many years; it is therefore of much importance that "the subject should now bie coolly discussed, to that such errors as may permanently affect tlte welfare of the country may be avoided. i i.
The subject is avowedly of great importarice ; and the investigation of it is attended with intricacy. A difference of opinion therefore, in many particulars, may take place even among those men who have made political economy a principal object of their attention: But among the great body of the people, who have never been accustomed to judge with precision on such intri. cate subjects, a still greater variety of fentiments must prevail. Truth, however, which is all that either party can in this case search for, can only be discovered by a calm unprejudiced investigation'; and it will be well if every person when he begins it will try to d?vest himself of prejudices which tend to consound, but never can enlighten mankind.
In considering the corn-laws, there are two leading questions that require to be separately examined, viz.
ift. Is a bounty on the exportation of corn, under the best regulations that can be adopted, capable of pro
moting the good of the community at large, or the re- ' verse ?
· If this question should be resolved in the affirmative, it will next be necessary to consider, what regulations the trade in this article ought to be put under, so as to produce the greatest good, and avoid inconveniences as much as possible.
With regard to the first of these questions, which shall furnish the subject of our present discussion, men of great eminence have ranged themselves on opposite fides. From the time a bounty on the exportation of corn was granted in Britain, about a hundred years ago, till a few years past, it was the fashion to consider a bounty as highly beneficial. But of late, a man of great eminence, whose name will long be held in respect by political enquirers t, has yentured to reprobate this fyrtem as absurd, and has of course got many followers. He contends that such a bounty on exportation of corn gives birth to many frauds and inconveniences, which
limited freedom to this kind of traífic, as well as to trade of every other kind. .
There is something so apparently liberal in this idea, that it is apt to captivate the mind, and to dispose ingenious persons to with this system may be founded on truth; and the respect that is justly due to every opinion of a man of such eminence forbids that it should be slightly passed over: but in a case of so much importance, it is necessary to proceed with great caution. Since the time that the bounty was granted, this country is well known to have prospered abundantly; and though this circumstance does not furnish an argument that alone thould be deemed conclusive, it affords sufficient grounds for proceeding with the utmost caution hefore this system be departed from.
The great objects to be aimed at in a corn-law, are, to encourage the growth of grain in this country to keep the + Doctor Adam Smith, Author of the Wealth of Nations. VOL. I. 1
average price of that commodity, as nearly the same as possible, and as low as circumstances can permit. The regulations which tend in the most effectual manner to do these things, are without doubt the best; and it is such a system alone that should obtain the support of every patriotic member of the community. As to the plan calculated to keep the prices of grain permanently higher than they might otherwise be, if ever such a plan was devised, it ought to be reprobated with horror by every honest man; or if it could be carried into practice, it thould be guarded again it with the most anxious solicitude. The attempt, however, I think, would be equally vain, as impolitic and villanous.
Agriculture is a manufacture, and must, like other manufactures, be carried on at a certain expence of stock and labour, which expence must be repaid by the price of the produce, otherwise the business cannot be carried on. The same reasoning, therefore, that will apply to manufactures in general, will also apply to agriculture in this respect.
There is perhaps no position less generally liable to exception than this : “ That the surest way of bringing any branch of manufacture to the very lowest price that it can possibly be afforded for, is to provide such a market for that article as can never be overstocked; so that manufacturers, however numerous, shall be always certain of getting money at the time they find it necessary, without being obliged to let the goods lie long on hand, or to sell them greatly below prime cost. The reason for this is plain. When a manufacturer finds a constant ready market for his goods, he is at liberty to extend his business as far as he finds it convenient, and to adopt every contrivance for diminishing the expence, that ingenuity, aided by a suitable capital, can devise; and as the risk in this case is inconsiderable, he is contented with a much smaller share of profit, than would be necessary to induce him to engage in any branch of
business that was more precarious. Hence it ever must happen, that in manufactures thuscircumstanced, larger capitals will be employed, greater ingenuity will be exerted, more permanent establishinents will be adopted than in those that are less steady. In this manner, the actual prime cost to the manufacturer will be considerably 'diminished ; and as the owner will be at the same time induced to be content with a smaller rate of profit than he otherwise would have required, it must happen that from a concurrence of both causes the price of the commodity at market, by a general competition of many individuals, will be reduced to the very lowest rate for which it can be afforded.
Apply this doctrine to agriculture, and it will appear that a bounty on exportation, in a country situated like Britain, ought to tend in a powerful manner to moderate, upon the whole, the price of grain.--By means of that bounty, a more steady market, in years of plenty, is provided for corn on the sea-coasts, than could otherwise be ob:ained for it; and, of course, farmers are never afraid of overstocking the inarket, or of ever spending a thought, how they may diminish their produce, so as not to over-supply the demand.---Their whole attention and care, therefore, will be applied to: wards the augmenting the quantity of their produce, and diminishing the expence of obtaining it.
From this consideration alone, the beneficial effects of a bounty must be apparent to any considerate mind, even from reasoning only. But the truth of this reasoning is still more abundantly confirmed by well-known facts, the only sure criterion of truth in matters of this fort.
Norfolk and Suffolk are the principal places from whence grain has been exported from Britain under the influence of the bounty.-If that bounty tended to raise the price of grain upon the wholé, as those whodisapprove of it contend, it ought neceffarily to happen that the average prices in these countries ought to be higher