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was, that they would continue to follow the the question could be again investigated. But, present regulations and mode of carrying on the although the trade might betake itself to the business. The purchasers of yarn would cer- same regulations, as it was carried on by a tainly become sufferers for want of the assist number of poor persons, who had a very bad ance of legislative regulations, if the result was insight into their own interests, he thought that yarn was badly reeled. If they were suf- there would be great danger in the immediate ferers, they would discontinue to purchase, or repeal of the laws. The reason why no regulathey would pay a lower price for the yarn. If tions were necessary in England and Scotland they discontinued to purchase, the persons was, as he conceived, that the trade was carried making the yarn would cease to find purchasers, on in those countries by mills, and not by hand. and lose their market for the produce; or cor. He did not know any way that the trade could rect themselves, and come back to the right be carried on so cheap as it was at present. In mede of reeling. As to the mode in which, in his opinion the tendency of the laws or reguhis opinion, the business of buying and selling lations ought to be directed by the legislature to of linens would go on, he should suppose that encourage the growth of flax in the south and the parties, where there was a considerable west of Ireland. As to the present system of market, must arrange a brown seal; he did not manufacturing, he did not conceive that, with know any other way; they must make some regard to the fine linen, they had any thing to arrangement. The interest on the part of the do but to regulate the trade as it was. With weavers to sell cloth, and the necessity on the respect to the linen laws, he should suppose the part of the buyer to buy cloth, might lead to shortest way would be to repeal all the present such an arrangement between the parties, that laws, and enact a new one, reducing the whole the business of buying and selling might be as of the linen code into one act of parliament, and extensively carried on as it was at present; but leaving out all that was unnecessary and obsohe was clear they would follow pretty closely lete. Selling linen yarn by weight instead of the present arrangement, because it appeared by length was, he thought, rather a disadto him a good one. The first result of repealing vantageous way for the manufacturer ; a great the laws would be, in his opinion, a going back quantity of Irish yarn was sold by weight ; it of the trade; whether they would then, after was called pound yarn. The English mill-spun wards, make those regulations that would bring yarn was sold in England all by weight; but it on again, he could not say ; but he thought then the bundle contained a certain length, and in the first instance the trade would go back, from the weight of it you knew exactly the size because he thought many parties would commit of the yarn. He did not know how the foreign frauds which might not be found out till a yarn was sold. In Russia the flax was bracked, month or a year, or perhaps a year and a half which was merely sorting it into three or four afterwards. He did not think that the de- different kinds, and that was done by a sworn tection of frauds would lead to reformation, and bracker under the government. All the foreign to the settlement of a regular system of transac- fax that came in, came in accurately classed tion between buyers and sellers, till a great deal under some one or other of those kinds; each of mischief had been done. It would be very class had some variety of qualities. He thought hard for buyers to make regulations for them that was advantageous to the purchaser in this selves. He did not know how they could do country : for he did not know how else they it without having some legislative enactment. would arrange it: the flax was often bought on He did not know how they could make a regu- contract, under a given denomination; the lation forcing persons to bring their linen to sworn bracker, on the delivery, determined the market in a particular way, and to reel the yarn denomination between the buyer and the seller. regularly. He did not know how a purchaser He was not aware whether the foreign linen could always take care that he did not buy yard was subject to any of those regulations. fraudulent yarn; he must take it upon trust. He did not know any thing about foreign yarn ; He conceived that the yarn would be deteri- the great argument for Ireland getting foreign orated if it were not for the existence of the yarn was, that it came into England, and they inspectors; if the yarn was not rightly reeled, it used it; and if it was of advantage for them to lost in value. He believed that there had been, use it, why should not the Irish manufacturer this last year, above forty-six millions of yards have a similar advantage. There were three of Irish linen cloth imported into Great Britain points, on the propriety of which, he believed, from Ireland. That manufacture was the prin- all those interested agreed the admission of cipal one that gave employment to the poor dressed fax, of foreign yarn, and of English of the north of Ireland, undoubtedly. He mill-spun yarn. thought it would be a most dangerous measure MR. LEONARD HORNER examined.-Lived to repeal the linen laws at once. If he were to in Edinburgh. Was concerned in the linen higgest any mode, it would be to repeal such of manufacture; principally in the fine trade, that the linen laws as were obsolete, and retain those branch which was known in the trade by the that appeared essential to the welfare of the name of Scotch holland. That description of mamfacture; and at the end of a certain period, I cloth was made by him at Edinburgh. They imported the flax, and sent the article in a lated by the price they got for their tow. There finished state to the market. The flax was im- was much flax-seed sown in some districts of ported in the rough state, and they hackled it Scotland. It was sown for the purpose of and prepared it. To get it spun they sent the making yarn for some particular trades : there dressed flax to agents in different parts of Scot- was a great deal of flax bought in Scotland land, and they gave the flax out to the spinners, which was dressed to make shoemakers' thread. and returned it in the shape of yarn. The He believed that there was much grown for the expense of spinning varied according to the linen manufacture, for the inferior description fineness of the yarn. In the finest species of of linen ; but he was not particularly acquainted yarn that they spun, it would require a very with that subject. It was grown principally good spinner to earn 6d. a day. The rate of by the farmers, he believed ; as a separate busiearnings for coarser descriptions was about 3d. ness, totally independent of spinning. When The difficulty in getting as many spinners as the farmers grew it, they sold the produce they wanted to carry on their trade varied at principally to persons who made a trade of deal. different times of the year. A great deal of ing in raw fax. There was a house at New. business was done in the north of Scotland castle that dealt very extensively with a flax in the same way of spinning. It was a very agent at Bathgate, in Scotland, who dealt very frequent practice to get spinning done in that largely in Scotch flax, and it was principally way. He was not aware that the practice pre-made into shoemakers' thread. It was always vailed of the farmers growing flax and spinning sold in the raw state; he meant in a scutched it in their own families in Scotland, except in state, ready for dressing. In that part of the the Highland districts, where they grew flax; country they did not manufacture it themselves. and in some instances they spun the yarn, and The yarn was made up on a reel of ninety sold it in the state of yarn, but it was of very inches in circumference, the same as the Irish inferior quality. He did not conceive that he reel precisely, and contained twelve cuts, of one could get as good an article as he now got by the hundred and twenty threads each cut. That method he pursued, under such a system of was universally the practice in Scotland. Yarn making yarn as that which he had just de. was sold in Scotland by what was termed the scribed ; because to make good yarn required spindle, or, as it was called in Ireland, the very great care in the selection of the flax, that spangle. The spindle was supposed to contain it might be adapted to the particular fineness of four hanks, of twelve cuts each, containing, in yarn that was intended to be made. He con- all, fourteen thousand four hundred yards. The ceived that the dressing in their way was more buyers of yarn had no difficulty in ascertaining perfect than in the way it was carried on by the the quality of yarn. They ascertained the poorer description of people. The value of yarn quantity by taking a hank, and if they had any depended chiefly upon the quality of the mate. suspicion of it, counting the number of threads rial that was used, combined with good spin- in a cut. In the Highlands there might be ning. That quality would secure that evenness yarn made by small people, and brought into which was necessary for making good cloth. market for sale, but he could not say. He When yarn was made in the way he described believed that in some districts of the Highlands in the Highlands, he did not think it possible there were markets for yarn somewhat similar for a spinner to make that selection of flax to the markets in Ireland, and that the large which was so necessary. Hand spinning was dealers in yarn attended those markets, and carried on to a very considerable extent in the bought it up from the Highland cottiers. That north of Scotland. There were persons in the was a system carried on by people who had north who confined their attention exclusively nothing else to do, who would be perfectly idle to that trade; they imported the flax from unless they had that employment during the Holland, dressed it, and gave it out in the winter months. The way in which the persons same way to spinners, and sold the yarn to who gave out flax to spin, checked the spinners, manufacturers. There were two or three and protected themselves against fraud, was this; houses they had a correspondence with when they gave out a certain weight of lint, and they they wanted to buy yarn occasionally; they must get back a certain weight of yarn ; if they bought it but rarely. If the dressing abroad did not know the parties, they required a depowere cheaper, and as well done as in this coun. sit; but that deposit might be very small, not try, it would be a great convenience to their exceeding the value of a single hank, and that particular manufacture to be able to import did not exceed perhaps 6d. at any time. In dressed flax from abroad, because they did not point of fact, their agents that managed this use the tow. From forty to sixty per cent business knew the people thoroughly in small of the fax they now imported in an undressed villages. The spinners lived chiefly in villages state was made up of tow. That added to the and small towns. They came, perhaps, two or freight and insurance of the raw material, three miles to the spinning agent, to get their and they must sell it at the best market they tax and bring back their yarn. There used to could find: the value of their dressed flax, be yarn spun in Edinburgh on the same plan; technically termed lint, in Scotland, was regu. land there it was the invariable practice for the spinners to leave a deposit. The spinners were thought the weaver could not make a good chiefly the wives and daughters of day-labour. selection of the flax for making his yarn; he ers; farmers' servants; it was merely what must have various qualities of flax growing upon might be termed a by-job; rather than sit idle, the same spot; and it very often happened (and they spun; and, of late years, they found in he believed the practice prevailed to a very great some districts better employment by sewing extent) that he would endeavour to get as great nuslins, and other occupations of that sort. a length of thread as possible out of a given The way in which the weaving was carried on weight of flax, without regarding what was the in Scotland was by sending the yarn prepared quality of the thread when produced: he would for the weaver to agents in country towns, who very often spin flax to four or five hanks, which, employed the weavers, and returned the cloth to make good cloth, ought not to be spun fur. Fore. The earnings of a weaver would vary, ther than two banks. That arose from his not according to the skill of the workman and the having the power of sorting, from his small nature of the cloth, from 6s. to 158. a week. quantity of flax, and from his desire to get as They had no laws whatever now in Scotland great a length of thread as possible. When for inspecting yarn or linen. They had till a weaver required more flax than he grew him. very lately. There were yarn inspectors, who self, he apprehended that he bought the yarn in had the power of going wherever yarn was sold, the markets to make up the quantity. That and ascertaining whether it was of the proper yarn varied very much in quality, not only number of threads, and of a uniform quality ; in the same market, but in different districts. and if it was not so, they had the power of He should imagine that the quality of the yarn seizing it. They had not found the least incon- varied in the bank itself very rarely. The venience from the repeal of those laws. While weaver always took care to match his yarn as in force, they were very little acted upon in nearly as he could ; if he obtained all the yarn those parts of the linen manufacture that he at home, he (the witness) doubted whether he was acquainted with; he never recollected an would be able to make so good a selection of the instance of a yarn inspector ever coming near yarn as would be desirable to make a good article their manufactory. By the old regulations, linen of cloth. He was not particularly acquainted pieces were required to be stamped in the white with the mode of managing flax in Ireland. state before they were sold, in order to ascertain The hackling and dressing was performed, he the soundness of the cloth, and also to fix the thought, in a very slovenly way; they were length upon the piece. But the total repeal of bad workmen any that he had an opportunity of those laws, which took place two years ago, had seeing. He understood there were itinerant leen attended with not the least inconvenience hacklers who went about. On the whole, that or injury to the trade. That he believed was flax was certainly, in most cases, dressed in universally the opinion of the manufacturers of a very inferior manner to the manner in which Scotland. The description of persons who wove he dressed it himself. He believed that that for them were men who had been brought up defective method was general in a very large from their childhood to the trade. They lived proportion of the linen trade of Ireland. He in different parts of Scotland ; their (the wit- never heard of any instances in which dressed ness) manufacture was chiefly in Berwick flax was given out to be spun in the way in shire and Roxburghshire. He should imagine which it was managed in Scotland. He conthat in no instance, or very rarely, they were ceived that such a practice, if introduced into people that occupied land as farmers as well Ireland, would be an improvement in the es employing themselves as weavers. It was linen manufacture; inasmuch as he thought tot at all the habit for weavers to live in farm- it would ensure a better supply of good yarn. houses as labourers. They pursued the pro- The present spinners would be able to ob. fession of weaving singly. He had been in Ire- tain quite as good earnings, he should imagine, land ; in the north of Ireland. He had been and less liable to fluctuation. The fluctuations acquainted with that department of the linen in the price of linen would principally fall manufacture which was carried on in the coun- upon the capitalist, and not upon the labourer. ties of Antrim and Down, and the district With regard to the weaving in Ireland, they around Belfast, for some years; but two years made excellent cloth, as far as the weaver was ago he went to Ireland for the express purpose concerned. As to what a weaver could earn, in of inquiring minutely into the manner in which the year 1823, in the month of July, while he the linen manufacture of Ireland was conducted was there, he inquired into that subject particu. in those districts. His opinion with regard to larly; and the result of the information he colthe growing and preparing of flax in Ireland, lected from the best sources that were open to the manner in which it was produced and pre- him, was this; that for a weaver employed upon pared, was, that where the weaver grew the flax, the finer fabrics of yard-wide linens that were and had it dressed by an itinerant hackler, and sold in the Belfast market, after deducting the had it spun in his family, and afterwards wove expenses to which he was subject, of loom-rent, up, the system was very defective for the pro-dressing, candles for working in winter, and so duction of good cloth. The defect was, that he lon, the clear sum he had to expend on himself and his family did not exceed ls. a day, and that in any respect the manufacture was carried that also included the work of the person who on there upon a better principle than in Scot. wound his weft. He was in the market of land. He did not conceive that the system Monaghan, and saw a quantity of cloth sold ; pursued in Ireland of growing the flax, and spinand in two or three instances, after the web was ing the flax, and weaving the yarn, all by one sold, he got hold of the weaver, and looked at family, was calculated to produce so good an his piece: from his knowledge as a manufacturer, article as the system followed in Scotland. He he knew what quantity of yarn must be in the was not aware how far the system followed in piece, and the expenses of weaving it that he Scotland would be applicable to the circumwould be subject to, and he asked him what stances of Ireland ; but he did not know any time it had taken him to weave that cloth ; and circumstances in the condition of Ireland that he found that, working at the rate of twelve should prevent that system being carried into hours a day, the utmost that was left in several effect with great advantage. He conceived that instances was about 28. 6d. a week. He asked the higher price of those articles of Scotch mathem, in other instances, how much they made in nufacture that had a preference in the market the week, and the answer uniformly was, “A over Irish, entirely depended upon the material “ very poor work, indeed, sir; I do not think that was employed in making them. The supe. “ we get more than 28. 6d. or 3s." That was riority of that material depended upon, first, a description of cloth of a low price. The getting good fax; then, hackling it properly ; weavers seemed to him not to have a very robust and then, adapting the dressed flax to the par. or healthy appearance ; on the contrary, the ticular kind of yarn to be made; all of which impression that was left upon his mind was, that was carried on by the Scotch capitalist in a prethey appeared squalid, and as if they had not ferable manner to what it was by a small Irish had a great deal of good food. He did not know farmer. The Scotch manufacture of fine linen that it would be better if they were collected in was an infinitely small quantity in proportion to towns; the impression upon his mind was, not; the Irish; which, to a considerable extent, he did not see how that would mend their con- he attributed to cheapness of labour. If the dition. He did not examine into their habits of manufacture was conducted by capitalists, his life, further than as he passed through the impression was, that the manufacture would be country seeing the cabins they lived in, which generally improved, and that the condition of were very humble. His object in going to Ire- the labouring classes would be improved, because land was, to investigate the whole process of the they would have more steady wages; whatever linen manufacture, as a piece of general in- those wages amounted to, they would be less formation connected with his business ; with a liable to fluctuation than when the weaver had to view to endeavour to account for the low price take the risk of the market in selling his web. at which Irish cloth was sold ; and generally to Generally speaking, hedid not conceive that there see the mode in which the manufacture was was any circumstance that should prevent the conducted in a country where it was carried on to linen trade in Ireland being carried on to the same a great extent. He had no object of obtaining extent, and with every possible benefit that it had the transfer of labourers from Ireland to Scot- at present, if it was more in the hands of great land. He did not make any proposal to any of capitalists than it was at present. All that he had the Irish weavers to come and settle in Scotland; in view was only an extension of what at present nor had he any such intention. He had no im- obtained to a great extent ; the best sheeting pression when he went to Ireland, that the that he had ever seen made in Ireland was made manufacture had such a preference over the by a manufacturer who employed a great numScotch as that he might derive benefit from in- ber of weavers ; and which cloth never came vestigating the nature and extent of it, and the to the brown market, but was sold directly to manner in which it was carried on; unless in bleachers; he was a very extensive mannfacScotland they could get labour as cheap as in turer; his name was Smith; he thought it was at Ireland. He did not see any thing they could Seapatrick, in the county of Down. He had borrow from Ireland but cheap labour. He never been at Mr. Smith's manufactory; but knew of nothing that could enable Irish linen to he had seen his cloth, and bought his cloth. undersell Scotch of a similar description, except The cloth that he had seen was such as would the cheapness of labour. If Ireland were to sell in the market, in the bleached state, in six employ as good material for the manufacture of quarter sheeting, he supposed as high as 3s. d. the linen as was employed in the Scotch holland or 3. 9d. a yard. When asked, " if he was not manufacture, he did not see that the latter “of opinion then, if the manner in which Mr. would have any preference whatsoever ; inas. Smith had conducted his business proved to be much as the Irish labour was cheaper than the “ advantageous, it would be the best mode for the Scotch, they would undersell the Scotch. A “ interest of the manufacture to let individuals weaver that would be making in Scotland 12s. “ connected with it take an example from the a week, would not make, according to the rate " success of Mr. Smith, and such like others, of payment that he saw in Ireland, above 6s. “ without any legislative attempt to alter the He was not aware, from what he saw in Ireland," whole system per force of law?" he said, that he did not feel himself competent to answer the facture, as he had said before, was only supe. question. He thought the advantages of Mr. rior to the Irish by their using a better kind Smith's system were so great, that were it not of flax, and it was dearer thereby; and a for the obstacles that stood in the way of the ma- | dear article was much more limited in its connufacture in Ireland, it would have been carried sumption than one of a low price. As to whe. to a much greater extent before this time. By ther the Scotch and Irish were at that moment those obstacles he meant the regulations with rival trades, the Scotch could hardly be said to regard to forcing the article to be sold in open rival the Irish in the fine linen trade; there market, and the inspections of yarn. He had was but a very limited demand for that superior always understood that it was forced by law to be article of cloth that was made in Scotland; there sold in open market; and he always understood was nothing that should in the least degree that that was the custom, under certain regu-excite any idea of rivalry on the part of the lations of the law. If no such practice prevailed, Irish manufacturer. They would certainly if there was nothing to interfere with the carry on their trade in Scotland to much more perfect freedom of the manufacturer, from the advantage to themselves than they did, if they first buying of his flax to the sending out of his could have weavers and labourers at such wages linen, he did not conceive it would be necessary as they earned in Ireland, instead of such as to make any alteration of the law. In his visit they paid them in Scotland. He did not get to Ireland he heard of an extensive manufac- any knowledge of the trade, whilst he was in turer at Belfast, who followed the system of Ireland, that operated in any instance to imemploying a number of weavers in his neigh- prove the manner in which he conducted his bourhood, giving them out yarn, and receiving own. He was only three weeks in Ireland. He cloth made in return; but whether it was entirely had been there once before, with the same object, confined to linen, or what particular description in the year 1809, when he staid about the same of linen, he could not say. He understood that period in Belfast and the neighbourhood. He that manufacturer gave out the yarn to the should not think that if Irish weavers were Feavers. He conceived that all his opinions brought over from Ireland to Scotland, they went to the producing of a better quality of would work in Scotland for less wages than the cloth ; and in the answers he had given he had Scotch weavers worked for. He conceived that spoken entirely with that view. He did not | labour was entirely regulated by the demand think that there was any part of Great Britain for it, and the supply, and by the value of prowhere there could be better workmen than there visions. If a single Irish weaver was to come were in Ireland. If a system were established in over, he would probably get the same wages as Ireland, that large capitalists should direct the the Scotch weaver, because his coming would trade, giving out yarn to weavers, he thought produce no effect upon the market; but if five the weaver's condition would be much benefited, hundred weavers were to come over, and there because he would save all the time that he con was not a demand for five hundred additional sumed in going to market. He did not con- weavers, if they were willing to work, the effect ceive that if the present system of carrying on would be a reduction of wages. He should not the linen trade was continued in Ireland, that conceive, if five hundred did come over, that altimately Scotland, from having her trade there would be a demand for their work imme. directed by capitalists, must gain a great ad- diately in the fine linen trade; if there was an Fantage over Ireland in the fine linen trade; increase, it would be gradual; if five hundred because although machinery was applicable in /weavers were to come over to Scotland to any the coarse linen trade, it had not yet been found one district, they would not be able to find em. to be so in the fine linen trade. One cause to ployment; it would certainly lower the wages. which he attributed it, that the fine linen trade When asked, “If it was from a three weeks' was more established in Ireland than in Scot." visit of observation in Ireland, that he land, was its being a more exclusive object of " had undertaken to suggest the prudence of attention to the people of the north of Ireland : " such a vast change as would be operated if his it had been the staple trade of the north of“ opinions were to prevail ?” he answered, Ireland, and fine linen was not a staple trade of that, with great submission to the Committee, Scotland. He knew of no circumstance in the he had not suggested any alterations; he had mode in which the trade was carried on in the merely said what his opinion, as a manufacturer, north that encouraged fine linen in preference was; how the Irish linen manufacture might to coarser linen. He was of opinion that quite be carried to still greater perfection than it had the same extent of manufacture might be pro- reached at present. He did not know any cirduced by capitalists as was produced in the cumstances that should prevent the linen manupresent way in which the manufacture was facture in Ireland from being carried on to its carried on. That being the case, the reason he present extent by capitalists in that country, conceived why the trade in Scotland, which instead of being carried on in the manner in was superior, in his opinion, to the Irish which it now was. With respect to the operamanufacture, did not very considerably in. tion of the present regulations, connected with teise, was that the Scotch fine linen manu-yarn and linen, as a discouragement to persons

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