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foreign market ; for the Irish competed with allowing foreign spun yarn to come into the them now in the American market. He did market of Ireland, might so far increase the not think that such an exclusion would have a trade as to throw out of employ the women who tendency to raise the wages of labour at home. now spun the yarn; but he thought the introIreland was capable of growing a much greater duction of the cotton manufacture much more quantity of flax than it did at present; and likely to employ the spinners than the weaving with the addition of spinning-mills, it would, he of linen ; cotton being much easier wove, and a thought, produce sufficient yarn of its own much lighter manufacture. He thought that manufacture. He thought that it might be if the Irish manufacturers had the same yarn as desirable, for the purpose of improving the Irish the Scotch, they could make the cloth equally manufacture, to give the Irish manufacturer good; and therefore that it was essential to their the facility of having foreign yarn; but he was manufacture, in some way or other to give them afraid it would operate very seriously against a better description of yarn than what they had the very poorest class of females in Ireland, who been in the habit of using. In the part of the were the spinners, and who were mainly sup- country from which he came, the trade in the ported by it. According to the present price of finer description of cambric had very much far, a female spinner could earn in Ireland diminished; which he attributed exclusively to from 4d. to 6d. a day; and perhaps, two years a diminished demand, in consequence of French ago, not more than half that. With respect to cambric coming into this country. He apprethe improvement that would be the consequence hended that if we had a foreign yarn of as to their home-spun yarn, if it was permitted to cheap a quality, and of as good a quality as the be rivalled by the introduction of foreign yarn, yarn employed in France, we should be able to he did not see that there could be much, except weave as good an article as they wove in France, in the mill-spun yarn; the great defect at He also apprehended that the introduction of present of the yarn was that they spun it too foreign yarn into Ireland might have a tendency fine by hand. He believed that the foreign to restore that part of the trade which had been yarn was spun by hand. That being so, he did lost. When he spoke of the Irish linen, as not know why the Irish spinner should not compared with the Scotch and English that he improve; but so it was ; he did not see any had seen, he spoke of hand-wove linen excluimprovement in the yarn these last twenty-five sively; he was not comparing English hand years. The introduction of a better specimen weaving against machinery. There was some must certainly have a tendency to improve the wove by machinery. Upon general principles, Lame-made yarn. Yarn was not spun in Ire- he thought the introduction of foreign yarn into land any where, to any extent, by machinery. Ireland might lower the price of home-spun There were some persons who did it; but they yarn; a greater supply would reduce the price, chiefly manufactured what they spun them. if an increased demand did not take place. An selre. Mr. Crosthwaite spun a good deal of increased demand for weaving, in consequence yam. The present system he conceived to be of an increased supply of foreign yarn, might precisely the interest and convenience of both tend to support the price of home yarn at its the buyer and seller. Supposing it not enforccd present rate. He could scarcely conceive how by law, he did not think the practice would con- any foreign yarn could be supplied much cheaper tinue of making up their hanks of an exact than the Irish yarn; the price of labour could measure, on account of the interest the spinner not be much cheaper on the Continent than it Tould have in consulting the weaver's conve- was in the west of Ireland. He had heard that nience; but thought they would attempt to the price of foreign yarn was sometimes cheaper, commit frauds. Was decidedly of opinion that sometimes dearer, in the English and Scotch frauds would increase but for the regulations. market, than Irish yarn in the Irish market; Not near so much fraud existed subsequently to and that the English and Scotch had the power the regulation; in fact, very little now the of taking advantage of whichever was the hanks were generally fairer made up. He had cheapest market. He did not know how it was been in the habit of having his yarn bought in at present. Sometimes the Scotch got their flax all the intervening district, from Armagh to from Ireland, and sometimes from the Conti. Strabane and Derry; the chief quantities from nent. If therefore there was an equality in Strabane. He formerly found the county of point of price, he thought there could be no Donegal yarn most unfairly made up, but it was danger, as concerned the home trade, in ad. better now. The yarn that was sold in the mitting the article, if the price of labour were market of Strabane, was principally the manu. as cheap in Ireland as on the Continent. He fixture of the western parts of Ireland. He considered the regulations affecting the weaver believed that the spinning of yarn in the western as necessary as those regulating the yarn market. čistricts of Ireland, was the occupation of almost So far as unbleached linen, exposed in the public all the population that lived in the country ;- market, was concerned, he considered the regula. and be always understood that it was the prin- tions relating to all branches of the trade as neces. ajal support of the female part of that popn- sary to its correct management. He was apprelation. He thought that in a partial degree hensive that the free introduction of foreign yarn would throw a large portion of our spin- valorem. Foreign flax was not at all exposed in ners out of employment, notwithstanding the the Irish market. He was not aware that the advantage of their turning to weaving cotton. duty upon foreign dressed flax, into England, Nor did he think that the increased weaving amounted nearly to a prohibition; he should might more than counterbalance that evil, for conceive it extraordinary, if it did, that there he did not think the spinners of linen yarn in should be a duty to exclude flax, while yarn was general capable of weaving linen. He should admitted on merely a nominal duty. He was certainly consider it of advantage to have the most certainly of opinion that it would be for price of yarn not subject to fluctuations. To the interest of the Irish trade that it should be admit foreign yarn when it became the interest put altogether upon a footing with the English of the weaver to buy foreign yarn, would cer- and Scotch trade, fas ar as regarded the regu. tainly have a tendency to keep the home-spun lations with respect to the introduction of yarn nearer upon an equality of price; but there foreign yarn and fax; and he was also decidedly had been very little fluctuation in the price of of opinion that the trade in general were in yarn for several years back, little or none. The favour of the regulations by inspectors and improved quality of our linen, by the intro- brown seal masters. duction of foreign yarn, might extend our Mr. WILLIAM MARSHALL examined. market, and increase the demand for the article ; Held the situation under the Linen Board of but he did not conceive that that increase of Ireland of inspector-general of the province of demand would be calculated to keep up the rate Ulster. Was aware of a correspondence having of spinning; for when it became yarn the fax taken place between Mr. Currie, the secretary had undergone a considerable part of the manu- of the Linen Board, and several gentlemen confacture; very nearly half, from the time that nected with the trade, upon the subject of linen the flax was pulled till the full completion of the yarn. Had seen that correspondence. In ad. manufacture; the spinning was nearly half of dition to the correspondence, there were some it, as it appeared to him. The home-spun yarn statements from the different branches of the was made of the best quality in Strabane ; the trade. The duty upon foreign dressed flax coarse yarn and the very fine yarn were con- coming into the English market amounted to a fined to Lurgan, and a few miles round. The complete prohibition. Could not see the lenst coarse yarn of the north-west of Ireland was reason why the duty on foreign dressed flax better in quality than that of the north. The should not be reduced as low as the duty upon best was that of Derry and Strabane. He had foreign yarn. He could not conceive why it never made use of any of the county of Down ever was originated. The yarn was advanced and the county of Antrim yarn. In the county in manufacture considerably beyond the flax. of Down or Antrim they were not in the habit In answer to the question whether he thought of spinning yarn of so coarse a quality as in the that the dressing of flax in Ireland would be westward; but they were in the habit of spin. considerably improved by competition with fo. ning yarn of from four to five hanks in the reign flax, he said, foreign rough flax would be pound. The yarn from Strabane was better the means of shewing the farmers the state in than the yarn of a similar description from the which it was sent to market; but he did not westward ; which he attributed to their not conceive that from foreign dressed fax they taking so much yarn out of the same quantity would derive any advantage. There could be of flax; they put a greater body of flax into the no objection to admit the foreign dressed fax yarn, and spun it more carefully. He believed into the Irish market. It came into the Irish that the flax was made up in a very dirty and market at present. So long as foreign yarn was imperfect state in the Irish market, which pre- admissible into Great Britain, he conceived it vented very considerable export of it. The was equally necessary that it should be admis. dressing of flax in Ireland was, he believed, im-sible into the Irish market. He was not aware proving considerably, just now, owing to the of the fact of the difference of price between competition with the English and Scotch market; foreign yarn and Irish yarn. Foreign yarn and he thought that a competition with the fluctuated very much in price ; he had always foreign market would have a tendency to im- understood so; and it greatly depended upon prove it more rapidly. He was certainly aware the demand for the British manufacture ; that that if the flax in Ireland was prepared raised the price or depressed it. He did not see with more precision and more cleanness, it that there could be any danger, as concerned would be in greater demand in the English the preparer of Irish yarn in Ireland, in admarket than at present; but he did not think mitting it into the Irish market. If it were they could compete with the foreign, without a cheaper, of course there would be a considerable protecting duty. He did not know what was advantage to the Irish weaver ; it would ex. the duty that foreign dressed flax was subject to tend the manufacture, and of course that would now; he thought it should be pretty much the equally assist the Irish spinners, as a portion of same protecting duty as corn, and any other their yarn would go into manufacture with the product of the soil; he should not fear a com- foreign. With respect to the ability of Irish petition with the same protecting duty ad linen to contend successfully at present in the foreiga market with the English and Scotch a reduced duty would not have any effect. He linen, so far as regarded the coarse heavy linen, did not think it would have the effect of lower. the British had the preference ; but the Irishing the price that the sower of flax paid when had it in the fine qualities. The foreign linen he hired an acre or half an acre of land, because came cheaper into the foreign market than he had his doubts, from what he had heard of either the British or Irish. In the South Ame- the trade, whether foreign-dressed flax would be rican market our linens were finding their way imported at all. If a considerable import of where the foreign formerly went; it certainly foreign-dressed flax took place, it would have very much increased the trade. He attributed that effect ; but he did not expect that any con. the preference that the foreign linens had found siderable import would take place, and he would in the American market, to the trade being give the reason why: the import of rough flax originally connected more with foreign coun- was to a very great extent, and exclusive of tries, and their receiving them made up in a that, they imported now largely from the conti. particular manner. He could not say that the nent the tows of the dressed flax, leaving the foreign linen was supposed to be a superior ar- dressed article at home. The dressed Aax reticle, as our linen was more fairly manufactured mained to be manufactured on the continent. and made up. As to whether the yarn of which He did not think that that was in consequence it was made was supposed a superior article to of the probibitory duty, because you could, at a the home-made article, he had not seen so much low duty, by importing the raw, have both of foreign yarn as to be able to form an opinion; articles ; and we dress flax in Great Britain, he knew that the foreign yarn was imported from every thing he had heard, better than they into Great Britain for the inferior part of the do on the continent. He was not prepared to manufacture : there were two classes of yarn state what the relative value of foreign and in a piece of linen; one was superior to the Irish linen was at present in the Spanish marother: the warps were made of British yarn; ket, or what it was some years ago. He was the wefts were all supplied by a foreign low- avare that foreign yarn was admitted now in priced yarn. He was not prepared to say that Scotland. That might have enhanced the price the foreign linens in the American market were of foreign linens. He thought that allowing cheaper than the Irish linens; the Irish linens that yarn equally to be imported into Ireland were in considerable demand in the American would have a tendency to enhance the price of market. He certainly conceived that one of the yarn on the continent, and so bring the yarn of things that made every manufacture either dear Ireland nearer upon an equality with foreign a cheap, was the dearness or cheapness of the yarn. He did not conceive there would be any raw material out of which it was made. He falling off of the spinning trade in Ireland in certainly conceived that if foreign yarn could consequence of the introduction of foreign yarn. be imported into Ireland cheaper than home. He did not conceive the importation of foreign spun yarn was produced, it would have a flax would give a considerably increased employ, tendency to increase the linen trade in those ment to the spinners in Ireland; the manufacmarkets where it came into competition with turers prepared their own flax themselves. As foreign linen. He certainly conceived that the much as came into the Irish market would have benefit which the weavers would thereby derive to be spun; but he did not conceive that in would fully compensate for any disadvantage the proportion to the supply of foreign lax into the country might derive from the manufacturers Irish market, would be the increased employ. of yarn being undersold in the Irish market. ment for the Irish spinners; inasmuch as though If we could not spin, it would be better we should we might import some foreign flax into the manufacture it than do neither. Taking the Irish market for a particular purpose, we ex. question of the admission of foreign yarn as re- ported largely of Irish flax at present. There ferring to the trade altogether, if the yarn were was a considerable improvement in the manageraised in price on the continent by bringing itment and dressing of flax within the last six to the supply of Ireland and Great Britain, it years; which he attributed to the exertions that would raise it upon the manufacturer on the had been made for improving the machinery of ontinent, and put the two countries on the the mills, and directing them how to manage same footing. He knew it was stated that and prepare their flax. In his opinion, the prin. 101. 16s. 8d. per hundred was the duty now upon cipal cause of the deteriorated manner in which foreign-dressed flax. If foreign-dressed flax, by the flax was brought to the different markets of the duty being taken off, were permitted to Ireland, was the ignorance of the people in come into the country, he did not think it would every stage of management; from the first sow. have any effect upon the home-grown and home-ing of the seed until it was brought to market. dressed flax, with regard to the general demand The worst part of it was the mode the country for it. He did not think it would have the effect farmer took previous to its going to the mill; of lowering the price that the people in the the improved mills relieved them of one part of wintry were charged for hiring land for the the process. There had been a considerable purpose of sowing the seed. Admitting foreign- improvement, within latter years, made in the Gressed flax in addition to the undressed flax at construction of Alax-mills, occasioned by the

inquiry that took place into it, and the intro- the manufacturer of the article, speaking of the duction of improved machinery by the Linen great body of the trade. Some of the class of Board. He did not think that those improve. individuals that purchased linen in Ireland were ments would have been introduced, without the persons of great intelligence, and some were Linen Board, by the persons interested in not. He could not say that the manufacturers making them. He was not aware that there was of linen, and the different persons who produced any other trade or manufacture in Ireland which the raw article, derived very considerable benefit had the superintendence of a board. There and advantage from their intelligence. The were individuals erecting cotton mills in Ireland. individual weaver, or the spinner of yarn, came He did not think it might be left to the indivi. in contact with the Linen Board by grants of duals concerned in the linen trade to erect such spinning-wheels to the spinners, or hackles to machinery as the trade required, without the the hacklers, or looms to the weavers. There intervention of a Board. They had not done was a decided principle adopted by the Linen it to any extent, with all the assistance the Board by which those grants were regulated; Board had given them; and if some exertion viz. the grantee paying one half of the article. were not made, Great Britain would have the That privilege was not limited to those gen. principal part of the trade. He could not say tlemen who belonged to the Linen Board, but that they looked to the assistance of the Board was extended to every one making application, in preference to their own exertions on the as far as the funds went. He was an officer of subject. The Board had acted as a stimulus, the Linen Board. The cost of erecting one of drawing the attention of people to it that would the commonest flax mills of the country was not have thought of the thing but for the pro. from 151. to 301.; some up to 601.; they varied posals of the Linen Board, particularly in the according to the extent and size of them. The erection of mills and in the cleaning of flax. expense of one of the improved ones was from He was sorry to say that in general, in Ireland, 2007. up to 5 or 6001. The man called a mill people were not apt to think of their interest flax-dresser in the country, was usually of the without having their attention called to the class of labourers, and not a man with a capital. subject. The linen trade was in the hands of He could not say that he had ever heard of the poorer class of the peasantry of the country, persons intending to erect flax mills, who had and they required to be shewn any improvement delayed carrying their intentions into execution before they would adopt it, or know of it; the till it came to their turn to get assistance from cotton trade was in the hands of great capital. the Linen Board. Such a case might happen. ists, and it was all done by machinery. The He did not think that it was the natural tendclass of persons who had erected the improved ency of the Linen Board in Ireland to make mills that he spoke of, for the preparation of flax individuals look more to that Board than to in Ireland, was in some instances the farmer, their own exertions, and their own means, for and in some instances the gentleman, the landthe furtherance of the trade. He did not think lord. The Linen Board had induced that class that any one that had seen the advantage to be of persons to erect those mills, by offering a derived from it, would wait for the grant of the premium of about one-third of the cost they Linen Board for more than probably a very might be put to. In almost nine cases out of short period. He admitted that there were ten he thought that the individual who had persons of sufficient capital concerned in the erected a mill had been led to erect it from the trade in Ireland to erect scutch mills for them. premium that had been held out to him, and selves, without assistance from the Linen with the view of profit, or advantaging his pro- Board ; but he conceived that the holding out perty. In some cases the profit derived from of those premiums, that had been offered from a mill would, and in some cases it would not, time to time, had drawn the attention of persons give a man a fair profit upon the money he to the erection of scutch mills that never would would expend in building a mill. It was ne have thought of them. The suggestions of the cessary to induce people to build a mill in coun- linen trade in Scotland and England, to the tries where flax was not grown, to facilitate the merchants and dealers in flax in Ireland, of the growth of flax. He had found a mill built in a improved method in which the Scotch and En. country previous to any fax being sown in it, glish flax was prepared, was the immediate cause that had considerably increased the growth of of the introduction of the scutch mills. That flax; of course no profit could arise from the information was obtained in consequence of mill for the first two or three years. He had measures taken by the Linen Board. He, the known it to be a losing concern. He attributed witness, had been sent to Scotland and England. his apprehension that in Ireland individuals did It was subsequent to that inquiry, and to his not look so accurately to their own interests as report, that the introduction of those improvethey did in other parts of the world, to the ments in scutch mills took place in Ireland : ignorance of the manufacturing class of people, previous to that, the scutch mills in Ireland had in whose hands the linen trade was, and their been the work of the most rude mechanics. He want of facility to derive information ; every found on inquiry that it required a man of man being the provider of his machinery and intelligence and experience as a mechanic, to erect a proper and well-constructed scutch mill. in that way by the Linen Board had produced It did not belong to any party carrying on the an extension of this manufacture at a much linen manufacture of Ireland, or to any person carlier period in many parts of Ireland than it distinctly engaged in that trade, to be the could have taken place by individual exertions, erector of a scutch mill; the object was to or the progress of improvement: he meant in encourage and assist the farmer in the growth those parts of Ireland that were most deficient and preparation of his fax. The scutch mill of improvement, and requiring encouragement belonged to the farmer's part of the process of most; the south and west. The disposition of preparing fax. In parts of the country where grants by the Linen Board had considerably scutch mills had been erected, where they were tended to call forth individual aid and exertion not before, that immediately produced a very on the part of proprietors, in co-operation with considerably increased growth of flax in that those grants; it had directed the attention of neighbourhood. He did not think, unless some many proprietors to the thing that never would one had been first sent, the assistance of the have thought of it. Similar improvements to Linen Board given, and the attention of the those that had taken place in the scutch mill auntry called to it, that the improvement would had been introduced by the encouragement of have been introduced. The growers of flax the Linen Board, in the wheel, the reel, the were generally people that, many of them, hackel, and the loom ; and those improvements thought they knew a great deal more than they had been latterly very useful to the country, for did; and they thought their mills and their they had been the means of establishing, through mode of treating the flax equally good with many districts of Ireland, societies for bettering those in Great Britain : the British purchasers the condition and giving employment to the of Alax who came over examined their mills, and poor, by going along with the Board in giving took pains to inform themselves respecting the aid to them, and providing them with those im. injury done to the Irish flax; and it was their plements. Not having been in those districts, representations that drew the attention of the he was not prepared to say that the establish. Linen Board to it. He did not think the sub- ment of such associations, in co-operation with stance of the class of persons that were usually the Linen Board, had tended also to extend the the proprietors of the flax scutch mills of the regulations of the trade in those districts where country, would have enabled them to go to the they were not enforced ; but he should conceive expense of the improved scutch mill. Speaking it had. The principle by which the Linen generally of the flax mill proprietors at large, Board determined the proportionate quantities they were generally a poor and ignorant class of of aid to be given to the different provinces of farmers; and the object was to interest a better Ireland was this : the three different officers, of description of persons to undertake those mills, whom he was one, assembled, and met the by making them on an extended scale, and Board at a particular time of the year, when worthy their attention. Although the country the funds were voted by Parliament, or about had already had a practical proof of the ad- that period; after consultation they gave their vantage of those mills, he certainly thought that opinion to the trustees, what proportion of that a necessity remained for the Linen Board giving sum should be applied to the different objects further premiums upon that subject. If the in view, and how it should be apportioned landlords were to give that encouragement them- between the different provinces of Ulster, Mun. selves which was now given by the Linen Board, ster, Leinster, and Connaught ; that was taken it would certainly preclude the necessity of the into consideration by the trustees, and accordLinen Board's attention to the subject. If they ing to their report, they, in some degree, ap. ould be made to see the advantage of it gene-propriated that sum for the different purposes. rally, and should take it up themselves, there He conceived, that if the landlords of Ireland was no one thing that would be of more ad. knew their interest, there was nothing that Fantage to their estates, or pay them better. they ought to erect sooner than those scutch The landlords, in all grants of the Linen Board, mills; and he strongly recommended it to their are some other party, contributed a considerable attention. He believed that it would most proportion of the expense ; the Linen Board, he amply pay them. It did not appear, however, conceived, did not contribute more than about that such an impression on the minds of the one-third of the expense. The Linen Board landlords was sufficient to induce them to erect had, latterly, extended their attention to other those mills, without the interference of the parts more particularly than to the north. The Board at all. He did not, however, believe introduction of flax mills, by the aid and en- that the gentlemen thought that that business ouragement of the Linen Board, had tended to was in the hands of the Board, and therefore, introduce the linen trade into parts of Ireland gave it up themselves, - they must go along in which it did not before exist to any extent. with the Board ; he conceived their attention In fact, the erection of those mills was the only was drawn to it by the premiums held out, and thing that would introduce the growth of flax that the consequence was an inquiry, by those into any district of the country with advantage. gentlemen, about it: they had frequently conHe was fully satisfied that the advantages given sulted him, what advantage would it be if they

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