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state? Was it during the war, when prices were high, and, in consequence, a great surplus produce was created throughout the state, or has it been since the peace, when the blessings of cheap produce, cheap prices, and low wages, have been fully experienced? We shall give the answer in their own words.

"The fundamental cause of the Trades' Unions is a want of the necessaries of subsistence. This is certified by the deplorable statements of Messrs Cobbett, Fielden, and Attwood, in the House of Commons, with reference to the manufacturing districts, in many parts of which the average income of an individual was not sufficient to buy bread alone. Mr Cobbett, in reply to Mr Macauley, stated that he would pledge himself to prove that 10,000 persons in Leeds did not get three-pence per day, and he affirmed that his colleague had a statement, which he could verify on oath, and which he obtained by his own personal enquiries, that there were 50,000 persons about Manchester who did not receive each 23d per day. Mr Fielden's Tables, published last year, exhibit the following


In 1815, wages per piece to hand

weavers were

4s. 6d. 2s. 3d. 1s. 4d. Now, add to this appalling fact that eight millions of pounds were last year collected for Poor's rates, and I think, without entering further into dry statistical details, it must be obvious to all but the pampered minions of corruption, that distress, long, deep, and hopeless distress, is the cause of the organization of the Trades' Union."- -Trades' Union Gazette, Jan. 25, 1834.

In 1824,

In 1831,


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The same fact is stated in the same terms in the Newcastle Press, Dec. 21, 1833.

"The gigantic organization of the Trades' Unions is beginning, and with reason, to attract the attention of the country. These unions are only one amongst the many signs of that great change which is impending over this kingdom: and which it is now impos

sible either for human cunning or human courage to avert. These unions have sprung out of the long and increasing pressure upon the laborious classes, whose misery has gone on increasing with their knowledge. The fruit is perfectly natural. Education will never bring men to believe that they can be half starved to

all eternity under a just or proper government; or that society has any right to call upon men in general to be miserable, for the sake of the continuation of a system. Of this, the productive classes of England are now fully convinced, and they are as fully determined that they at all events will suffer no longer."

Now this, be it recollected, is the been brought by the adoption of all state to which the operatives have party; by the system of cheap bread, the principles of the democratic During the last five years of the free trade, and the Reform Bill. war, wheat was at 14s. 6d. per bushel, and all classes, and more especially the operatives, were prosperous and contented; for the last five years wheat has been at an average 8s. a bushel, and they have been, by their own admission, constantly getting worse and worse. At present wheat is at 5s. 4d. a bushel, lower than it has been for the last forty years, and the workmen, as they themselves tell us, are so far from thriving, that they are literally starving by hundreds of thousands on seven shillings a-week. Unless these unhappy men were literally infatuated by the monied demagogues who lure them by democratic flattery to perdition, they would see that cheap prices are immediately followed to them by still cheaper wages, and that just in proportion as the price of grain falls, is the quantity of that grain, which they are able to purchase with their wages, lessened also. If by a miracle the price of grain could be lowered to half-acrown a-bushel, its price in Poland, the only result would be, that their wages would immediately fall to sixpence a-day, and the last state of first. that man would be worse than the

The slightest consideration must shew for what reason it is that cheap prices, whether of manufactured or agricultural produce, are immediately followed by great distress to the operatives. The facts, the important facts already noticed, that the produce of agricultural labour in Great Britain is L.246,000,000 annually, and that the home consumption of manufactures is L.88,000,000 annually, while the foreign, even at this time, is only L.60,000,000, alone

explain it. The agricultural producers are the chief and best customers of the manufacturers: they consume a half more than all foreign nations put together. Low prices, therefore, which cripple and depress all branches of home purchasers, who are all more or less dependent on this prodigious flood of two hundred and forty six millions annually poured into the state, cripple and diminish, in just a similar degree, the home market—that is, the market which is half greater than all foreign markets put together. Suppose our exports of manufactures were to fall from L.60,000,000 annually to L.40,000,000, in consequence of some general calamity which had befallen their purchasers in foreign states; what prodigious misery would this spread among our operative workmen; and yet the fall of agricultural produce from 60s. to 40s. the quarter, would contract the home market much more power fully it would cut off eighty millions annually from the funds destined to the purchase of domestic manufactures. These considerations shew decisively that in a nation such as Britain, which rests chiefly on its agricultural produce and manufactures consumed in the home market, the prosperity of the operative classes is mainly dependent on the maintenance of high and remunerating prices to the agriculturists; because it is thus, and thus alone, that their chief customers are provided with funds to buy their goods. In such a state, high prices of rude produce


are immediately followed by still higher wages to all classes in general. Prosperity and credit is immediately diffused through all classes of society; whereas, under the wretched paralysis of low prices, the funds for the purchase of the produce of manufactured industry are constantly contracting, the wages of the operative workman fall to a greater degree than the grain which he consumes, and he is starving in the midst of nominal plenty. This doctrine was long ago laid down by Adam Smith.-"High prices," says he, "and plenty, is prosperity: low prices and depression, are misery."

To illustrate the ruinous state of depression to which the operative workmen have been brought by the combined operation of Free Trade, low prices, and democratic principles, we have extracted, in the Table below, the prices of labour, &c., from 1815 to 1832, with the prices of grain, taken from Mr Fielden's Tables, published by the National Regeneration Society. From them it appears, that since 1815 the price of grain has declined, on an average of years, about twenty-five per cent, but that the wages of the operatives have declined above sixty-six per cent during the same period of their former amount; and that the total returns for "labour, expenses, and profit," under the halcyon days of cheap bread and free trade in 1832, is little more than a fourth of what it was under the high prices of the years immediately succeeding the war.+

Average price of five years, before 1820, 77s. per quarter; of five years before 1832, 63s. per quarter of wheat.


References to the Columns in the Table.

No. 1. Shows the number of lbs. weight of cotton required to make a piece of third 74s. calico.

2. The average price of the cotton per pound in each year.

3. The average of cotton required to make one piece in each year.

4. The average price of such calico in the Manchester market.

5. The average sum the manufacturer had for labour, expenses, and profit, in every year, from 1815 to 1832, both years inclusive.

6. Average price of a quarter of wheat and a quarter of oats in each year, from official returns.

It is as clear as mathematical de- utter worthlessness of all the Demonstration, therefore, that the prin- mocratic projects advanced in the ciples by which the Democratic interest of the monied and consubody are governed, have been proved ming classes in towns to ameliorate by experience to be adverse to the the State, has been fully and uniinterests of the producers of com- versally experienced, that Trades' modities; and that the working Unions, with all their attendant starclasses, seduced and blinded by the vation, perils, and anarchy, have flattery of Democratic demagogues, risen up in the land. But are they who all resided in, and were actu- the way to remedy the evil? Is a ated by, the interests of towns, have complete stoppage of labour on the given a fatal ascendency in the Le- part of several hundred thousands, gislature to the very class in the perhaps a million of workmen, a State to whom all their misfortunes way to ameliorate their condition? have been owing, and whose interests Is, to use their own haughty expresare directly adverse to their own. sions, the "snapping asunder every link in the chain which binds society together, by this inert conspiracy of the poor against the rich," the way to augment the resources of their customers-the rich, without whose wealth to buy their commodities all their labour must go for nothing? Alas! such a convulsion, if it once becomes general, is calculated to inflict a degree of wide-spread misery upon the operatives, compared with which, all they have hitherto experienced would be regarded as the sunshine of prosperity. On this subject, we cannot do better than quote the eloquent words of that stanch

The operative workmen feel this; they are aware that they have been misled, deceived, betrayed; that amidst the incessant eulogies of the Democrats, they have been constantly getting poorer; amidst a continual fall of prices, have had daily less to eat, and that, as Cobbett well expresses it, just in "proportion as education has been thrust into their heads, their clothes have been slipping from their backs."

It is in consequence of the strong, the galling, the heartrending sense of their deception,-it is because the

7. Wages paid to the hand-loom weaver for weaving one piece of third 74s.


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Reformer, Sir D. Sandford, addressed to the Trades' Unions of Glasgow.

of the labouring classes would assuredly be put down, perhaps with much bloodshed on the field and the scaffold. The holders of property are strong enough to defend themselves, by a general rally of the upper and middle ranks in our cities and our rural districts. I do not apprehend a new edition of the Bristol conflagration. I am pretty confident that on the stage of this country, we shall not behold enacted the dismal scenes of the first French Revolution. And if these tragedies were to be repeated in our days, will any member of the working body point out one result, beneficial to that most important but dependent class, to which they could reasonably be expected to give birth?"

"In a contest between capital and labour, taking into account the state of matters in this country, capital must ultimately triumph, at the expense of much confusion and much misery. I can see nothing in this opinion to retract or qualify. It will recommend itself, I think, to the acquiescence of all who examine the question with their eyes open, unblinded by the metaphysical definitions of politi cal economy. The capital by which, in conjunction with labour, our manufactures are carried on, must all be classed under the heads of works and machinery, raw materials, and money. By a unanimous refusal to labour, the workmen may throw the capital of the first description into temporary inactivity; or by an insurrectionary movement, they may destroy both it and the stores of raw material now in the kingdom. Thus may they inflict a heavy loss upon the proprietors; sure, however, in the end to bring want and woe upon themselves. But they cannot at one blow destroy the money already accumulated, or that command of money which credit and connexion give. These potent weapons are in the hands of their employers. Let the workmen meditate upon the inevitable consequence. If one party is to try to starve out the other, the longer purses and wealthier connexions of the masters will carry them through the struggle, and their opponents will gain nothing beyond the suffering attendant on a painful and perilous experiment; or monied capital will take its flight to other lands, where labour assumes a less menacing attitude, and offers the prospect of more secure returns. The labouring classes should remember that capital of this kind, once scared away, is not easily courted back; and they should turn their attention for a moment to certain provinces of Ireland, as a specimen of the condition to which a people may be degraded, chiefly by the absence of capital, arising from the absence of security. Thus I fear that de

spair at last, if not evil design in the first instance, might drive the working population into the frantic excess of rebellion against law, and attacks on property. But he who holds out hopes of

final success to a movement of that character is either a fool or a villain. Even without the aid of a numerous and welldisciplined army, a British insurrection

These observations are deserving of the most serious consideration, and by none more than the wretched, deluded men, who are now tempted by their democratic leaders to attempt what they term an "inert conspiracy" against the whole capital and wealth of the state. Do they really conceive it possible they can succeed in such a design? Is there any example in the history of mankind of such a conspiracy, how "inert" soever, proving successful? Have they funds to enable them to hold out against the capital and resources of the masters, the accumulations of centuries, supported, as they will be, by the banks, the monied men, the government? The Trades' Unions tell, and we grieve to hear the fact, that there are 50,000 families in and around Glasgow, and as many in and around Manchester and Birmingham, who do not know at night that the bread for their little ones will be baked to-morrow. The Liberator boasts that there were 2000

operatives in Glasgow in January last, who had struck work, whose weekly maintenance cost L.500. At this rate, which is evidently the lowest on which a human being can subsist, (58. a-week,) 200,000 operatives million, L.250,000.* Are they prewould cost L.50,000 a-week, and a pared with vast funds of this description to sustain their efforts? And is 7s. a-week, the amount, as they tell us, of their present earnings, a likely source from which to derive them ?

• Liberator and Trades' Union Gazette, Jan. 24, 1834.

But this is not all.-Such vast assemblages of working-men, thrown out of work simultaneously, will, to the end of time, inevitably generate acts of violence and deeds of blood. Oppression towards their fellow-creatures is the necessary and universal result of the congregation of thirty or forty thousand idle, unrestrained men together-nothing short of military discipline can ever restrain them. Among such vast bodies, there will always be found many daring reckless characters, who will not scruple to perpetrate acts of the greatest atrocity, to forward the purposes of the union. It is not in human nature to sit with its hands across, and see strangers introduced to work at reduced wages, and thus defeat all the purposes of the combination, without taking the short and simple way of knocking them on the head. The rapid growth of the atrocious practice of throwing vitriol in the manufacturing districts, proves how general the operation of these principles has become. It is truly observed in a late publication on this subject

are enabled securely to exercise a grinding oppression over the more quiet and inoffensive. They subvert the whole objects of society, defeat the chief ends of the social union, and expose the poor to a tyranny the more galling and dangerous, that it is exercised by men of their own rank in society, and supported by the physical strength of vast masses in the state."

"If the working classes could be brought to combine without using violence towards those who do not enter into their views, the evil, how great soever, would be comparatively inconsiderable to what is now presented; but, unfortunately, this never can be the case. Among the thousands and tens of thousands who are combined together to gain these common objects, there always have been, and always will be, found some reckless and worthless characters who will not scruple to exert violence, or even embrue their hands in the blood of such of their fellow-citizens as, by holding out, threaten to defeat the object of their com bination. To the end of time such worthless characters will be found in all large bodies of mankind; they may be calculated upon as a given quantity to the last days of the world; and therefore, violence, intimidation, and bloodshed may be permanently expected to attend such combinations. The trades' unions, therefore, however plausible in theory, become, in practice, the mere association of violence and tyranny, over industry and peace; they are the engine by which the most lawless and reckless of society

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But suppose that this were not to be the result, and that by a simultaneous strike of several hundred thousand men, over the whole country, the present object of obtaining a deduction of two hours a-day from the period of work is gained -- What will be the result?-Will wages remain at their present level, low as it is, under such a reduction? Unquestionably not. They will, and must fall, just in proportion to the diminution in the produce of looms; and the condition of the workman will be more miserable than ever. By no human contrivance-by no intimidation or violence, or "inert conspiracy," can capitalists and masters be compelled to pay wages, which are a loss to themselves, or abridge materially the present slender rate of profits:-rather than do so, capital will take wings to itself, and emigrate to other and more tranquil lands; and the peopled houses of Britain will be filled with starving millions, deprived by their own suicidal hands of the means of subsistence.

The frantic anarchical course which the workmen are now pursuing, therefore, is as little calculated to afford the many effectual relief, as the blind and infatuated support of the democratic faction in towns has been; while it threatens to produce results more immediately ruinous and destructive than even the Reform Bill, that stupendous monument of general infatuation, is in the course of effecting. The one is a burning delirium, which will at once prostrate the patriot; the other a low fever, which will gradually, but certainly, exhaust his strength.

An extensive struggle has lately broke out in the west of Scot

* Thoughts on the Reformed Ministry and the Reformed Parliament.-P. 37. Stillies. Edinburgh. 1834,

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