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IV. Account of the Declared Value of British and Irish Produce and Manufactures exported from the United Kingdom, specifying the various Countries to which the same were exported, and the Values sent to each, in 1838.

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Remarks on the above Tables.-Foreign Competition-The falling off in the exports in 1837, (see p. 36.) was almost entirely owing to the decline in the exports to the United States, which fell off from 12,425,605. in 1836, to 4,695,2251. in 1837. But this extraordinary decline was wholly owing to accidental causes, or to the pecuniary difficulties in which the mercantile class in the United States were involved in the latter part of 1836 and 1837, through the previous abuse of credit, and the revulsion occasioned by the universal stoppage of the banks. It was clear, that how severe soever in the meantime, any check to commerce originating in such circumstances would be of a temporary description; and, in point of fact, its influence soon ceased to have any very perceptible operation, and our exports to the United States were, in 1838, almost as large as ever.

But this is not all. Since the foregoing tables were published, an account has been printed exhibiting the declared value of the principal articles of native produce and manufacture exported from the United Kingdom in 1839. We subjoin this account, and it is seen from it, that the increase in the value of the exports of the 19 articles which it embraces in 1839 over the value of the same articles exported in 1838, amounts to nearly 2,000,000l. (See p. 797.)

It is obvious, therefore, that the statements that have recently been put forth with so much misplaced confidence, as to the injurious influence of foreign competition on our trade, and the consequent decline of our exports, are not mere exaggerations, but are wholly without any real foundation. The competition of Saxony, Rhenish Prussia, and Belgium, is represented as the most formidable; and if we might credit the statements put forth at public

Account of the declared Value of the principal Articles of British and Irish Produce and Manufacture exported in the Years ending the 5th of January, 1839 and 1840.

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meetings, and circulated by the press, as to the wonderful progress of manufactures in these countries, and the destructive influence of the Prussian League on our trade, it might be supposed that our exports to Germany had been reduced to little or nothing. But, how stands the fact? The declared value of our exports to Prussia, Germany, Holland, and Belgium, since 1830, has been

Prussia
Germany
Holland
Belgium

Totals

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9,761,562|

5.918,304 8,116,951 7,565,049! 7,93,915 8,258,128 7,973,349 8.874,498

It appears, therefore, that so far from there having been any falling off in our trade with Germany, and the countries through which Germany is supplied with manufactured goods, our exports to them have decidedly increased, and are greater at this moment than they were before the League was organised, or those improvements of which we have heard so much, had made any progress. It is not competition of the foreigner but of the home manufacturers against each other, that reduces prices and profits, and gives rise to perpetually recurring complaints of the decay of trade. Provided tranquillity be maintained at home, and Britain continue to be exempted from that political agitation that is the bane of industry and the curse of every country in which it prevails, we have nothing to fear from foreign competition. Our natural and acquired advantages for the prosecution of manufactures and trade, are vastly superior to those of every other country; and though foreigners do excel us in a few departments, and may come to excel us in others, so that the character and channels of our trade may, in consequence, be partially changed, there is not so much as the shadow of a foundation for supposing that its amount will be at all affected. On the contrary, it is all but certain that it will continue to augment with the augmenting wealth and population of the innumerable nations with which we have commercial relations.

But it has been said, that though the declared value of our exports in 1839 be considerably greater than in 1838, the quantities of raw cotton, foreign wool, &c. entered for home consumption in 1839 were decidedly less than in 1838; and that, consequently, the extension of the export trade has been owing to the decline of the home demand for manufactures, originating in the depressed state of the manufacturing population. But we doubt whether there be much in this. The quantity of any article entered for home consumption is a totally different thing from the quantity actually consumed; and it is this only that is of the least importance. Now it is plain, that to determine the quantity consumed, we must not only know the quantities entered for consumption, but we must further know the stocks on hand at the beginning and end of the year; and before it can be truly affirmed that there has been any decline in the consumption of cotton goods, it would be necessary to know whether the stocks of such goods in the manufacturers' and dealers' hands had increased or diminished.

It appears from the Parl. Paper, No. 80. sess. 1840, that the cotton entered for consumption, in 1838, amounted to 460,756,013 lbs., whereas in 1839 it only amounted to 355,781,960 lbs., being a decline of about 105,000,000 lbs. But the actual consumption did not fall off in any thing like this proportion: on the contrary, it is stated in the most valuable document published on the state of the cotton trade-the annual circular of Messrs. Holt & Co. of Liverpool, for the 31st of December, 1839 (vol. i., p. 522.)—that the consumption of cotton in 1838 amounted to about 416,700,000 lbs., and in 1839 to about 381,700,000 lbs., being a decline of only 35,000,000 lbs., which was wholly owing to the increase in the price of raw cotton; and we have been assured by those well acquainted with

the facts, that this diminution of the consumption has been fully balanced by a proportionate diminution of the stocks of manufactured goods held by the manufacturers and dealers; so that it would appear that the supposed decrease of the home demand is about as visionary as the supposed disastrous influence of Prussian and Saxon competition. The decline in the entries of foreign sheep's wool in 1839, as compared with 1838, is too inconsiderable to deserve notice; but, such as it is, it is certainly to be accounted for in the same manner.

No doubt, however, there has been considerable mercantile, and manufacturing distress during the last twelve months; but its extent has been ridiculously exaggerated, and it is besides clear that foreign competition had nothing to do with it. The distress that has existed is wholly, or almost wholly, ascribable to domestic causes-to the rise in the rate of interest, and the pressure on the money market, occasioned by the abuses that periodically and necessarily grow out of our vicious banking system, and to the indifferent harvests of 1838 and 1839. But the reader may be assured that there is nothing in the situation of the manufactures and commerce of the country that should excite any alarm.

Although, however, we attach no weight to the exaggerated and unfounded statements that have been so perseveringly circulated as to the decay of trade, we are not certainly of the number of those who think that no change should be made in the commercial policy of the country, or that it may not be very materially improved. Restrictive regulations and oppressive duties, though much diminished of late years, still continue to exert a very powerful and mischievous influence over many departments of industry; and are, in fact (supposing tranquillity to be preserved), the only thing from which it is at all reasonable to apprehend any serious injury. It is in all respects of the utmost importance that every practicable effort should be made for their modification and reduction. They not only diminish exportation, by diminishing importation, but inflict a grievous injury on the consumer, without producing any corresponding advantage to the revenue, to which, indeed, they are decidedly hostile. Perhaps, however, their worst effect consists in the handle and pretence which they afford for all sorts of misrepresentation and abuse. This has been strikingly evinced in the recent discussions as to the Corn Laws. All parties, manufacturers, and agriculturists, seem generally to entertain the most erroneous notions as to the influence of these statutes. The truth is, that, in ordinary years, it is now, thanks to the spread of agricultural improvement, all but imperceptible. During the six years ending with 1837, the average price of wheat in Great Britain was 50s. 2d. a quarter; and we are bold to say, that not a tittle of evidence has been, or can be produced, to show that this price would have been reduced 58. a quarter had the ports been all the while open to unconditional importation from abroad. Hence, were our manufactures really declining, or in a perilous state, which happily they are not, it is idle to suppose that this decline or danger could be obviated by the repeal of the Corn Laws. The influence of the latter is now little felt, except in unfavourable years, when the home crops are deficient; but then it is extremely injurious. This arises not only from the restrictions which they lay on importation at the time, but also from the discouragement which they give to warehousing in ordinary years, and, consequently, forcing the required supply to be suddenly introduced, to the great derangement of the ordinary channels of trade and of the currency. Such a state of things should not be allowed to exist; and seeing that the agriculturists have really nothing to fear from the opening of the ports, sound policy would suggest that foreign corn should be admitted at all times for home consumption, under such a reasonable constant duty (5s. or 6s. on wheat, and other grain in proportion) as may be required to countervail the burdens peculiarly affecting the land. The exclusion of foreign sugar, and the regulations as to the timber trade, are productive of nothing but mischief, and have not, in fact, a single redeeming quality about them: their effect is to add very materially to the price of a most important necessary of life, and of our houses, ships, and machinery, and to deprive the Treasury of at least 1,500,000l. a year of revenue. But were the corn laws and those relating to timber and sugar placed on a proper footing, and some of the more oppressive duties in our tariff, as those on brandy and hollands, adequately reduced, the foreign competition to which we might be exposed would be productive of nothing but advantage. Such competition is, in reality, the vivifying principle of industry, curis acuens mortalia corda. It gives a new stimulus to the inventive powers, at the same time that it supplies new products and new modes of enjoyment to reward the labour of the industrious. It must ever be borne in mind, that the amount of the exports from a country always depends upon, and is, in fact, measured by, the amount of its imports; and while the magnitude of the latter continues to increase, and we freely open our ports to the products of all countries and climates, we may be sure that our exports will equally increase, and be found in every market.-S.

[LIGHT-HOUSE.-The following six new light-houses have been erected on the coast

of France:

1. Island of St. Marcouf, in latitude of 49 deg. 29 min. 55 sec., longitude 3 deg 29 min. west of Paris; he light situated on the fort, about 55 feet above the level of the sea, and may be perceived, in fine weather, at the distance of three leagues.

2. Purt Navalo, on the right side of the entrance of the Morbihan; the light situated on the point, about 70 feet above the sea, and is visible, in fine weather, at the distance of 3 leagues.

3. Cape Ferret, about one mile north of the entrance of the Basin of Arcachon, in latitude 44 deg. 38 min. 43 sec., longitude 3 deg. 35 min. 15 sec., west of Paris; the light situated about 200 feet above the level of the sea, and visible at the distance of 6 leagues.

The above are on the Atlantic coasts. The following are on the Mediterranean, near the mouths of the Rhone:

4. La Camargue.-In place of the small light-houses on the east bank of the entrance of the old Rhone, a new one, of the first order, with a fixed light, has been established on a tower, at the height of about 90 feet above the level of the sea, in latitude of 43 deg. 20 min. 30 sec., longitude 2 deg. 20 min. 30 sec. east from Paris; the light visible at the distance of 6 leagues.

5. Port de Cassis, in latitude of 43 deg. 12 min. 30 sec., longitude 3 deg. 11 min. 40 sec. east from Paris, on the left side of the entrance of the port, 90 feet above the level of the sea; visible at the distance of 3 leagues.

6. Port de la Ciotat.-Another light on a tower at the end of the new mole, on the right side of the entrance of the port, in latitude of 43 deg. 10 min. 55 sec., longitude 3 deg. 16 min. 28 sec. east of Paris, visible at the distance of 3 leagues. This second light will prevent all possibility of mistaking Ciota, for Cassis. Am. Ed.]

[LIVERPOOL. The American editor originally intended to have given a separate article under this head, as well as under that of London; but, on further consideration, he has judged this to be unnecessary, on account of the very full description by the author of the commerce of these cities, in the article Docks, in the body of the work.Am. Ed.] [LONDON. (See LIVERPOOL in this supplement.)—Am. Ed.]

NAUPLIA. (See GREECE.)

NEWSPAPERS.

RETURN of the Number of Stamps issued to the different Newspapers in England and Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, during each of the Three Years ending the 5th of January, 1833. (Compiled from the Parl. Paper, No. 548. Sess. 1839.) N. B. The reduced rate of duty took effect on the 15th of September, 1836.

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RETURN of the Amount of Advertisement Duty paid by the Different Newspapers in England and Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, during each of the Three Years ending the 5th of January, 1839. (Compiled as above.)

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It is seen from the first of the above returns, that the principal increase has been in the circulation of English provincial papers, which has risen from 9,559,585 in 1836, to 16,247,676 in 1838, being a rise of about 70 per cent. In Ireland, the stamp duty, previously to the reduction, was lower than in Britain, and the measure has consequently had comparatively little influence in that part of the empire.-S.

OPIUM. The opium trade, as the readers of the Dictionary are aware, has been, for a lengthened period, prohibited by the Chinese government, and has, in consequence, been conducted as a sort of smuggling speculation. There would seem, however, to be good grounds for thinking that the prohibition of the importation of opium was all along intended to be more apparent than real. At all events, it is certain that the trade has grown gradually up, from a small beginning, to be one of great extent and value; and it is contradictory and absurd to suppose that this should have been the case, had it encountered any considerable opposition from the Chinese authorities. But the truth is, that these functionaries, instead of opposing the trade, or even merely conniving at it, were parties to its being openly carried on; and received certain regulated and large fees on all the opium that was imported. It has even been alleged that a part of these fees had found its way into the imperial treasury at Pekin, though that is more doubtful. The appetite for the drug increased with the increasing means of gratifying it; and there appeared to be no assignable limits to the quan tity that might be disposed of in the empire.

The rapid extension of the trade seems at length to have awakened the attention of the court of Pekin to the subject. We doubt, however, notwithstanding what has been alleged to the contrary, whether a sense of the injurious consequences of the use of the drug had much to do in the matter. This, indeed, is a part of the subject as to which there exists a great deal of misapprehension; and we are well assured, that, provided it be not carried to excess, the use of opium is not more injurious than that of wine, brandy, or other stimulants. In truth and reality, the alarm of the Chinese government was not about the health or morals of its subjects, but about their bullion! They are still haunted by the same visionary fears of being drained of a due supply of gold and silver, that formerly haunted the people of this country. The imports of opium having increased so rapidly as to be no longer balanced by the exports of tea and silk, sycee silver began also to be exported! The court of Pekin could have tolerated what are called the demoralising effects of opium with stoical indifference, but the exportation of silver was not a thing to be endured.-It is, however, only fair to state, that the Chinese statesmen are not all of the Bexley school; and that some of them appear to have taken an enlightened view of the question, and to have emancipated themselves from the prejudices that still influence a majority of their colleagues. The statesmen in question contended, that the taste for the drug was far too deeply seated and too widely diffused to admit of its effectual prohibition; and they, therefore, proposed that its importation should be legalised, subjecting it, at the same time, to a heavy duty. There cannot be a doubt that this was the proper mode of dealing with the subject. In the end, however, the government of Pekin, influenced by unfounded theories, as to the mischievous effect of the export of the precious metals, came to a different conclusion, and resolved to put a stop to the traffic.

No sooner had this resolution been adopted, than a most extraordinary change appears to have taken place in the conduct of the Chinese authorities; and their usual caution seems to have wholly deserted them. They now became as precipitate and violent as they had previously been slow and circumspect; and resolved at all hazards to attempt forcibly to put down the trade. To accomplish this, all foreigners were, in March, 1839, prohibited from leaving Canton; and compulsory measures were at the same time resorted to for compelling them to deliver up the opium in their possession.

How the affair might have ended, had our countrymen at Canton been left to the exercise of their own judgment in this crisis, it is impossible to say; but we have been assured by those on whose statements we are disposed to rely, that they would most probably have suc ceeded in getting out of it with comparatively little loss. Instead, however, of acting for themselves, they had to act in obedience to the orders of Mr. Elliot, chief superintendent of the British trade in Canton; and he, while under constraint, occasioned by confinement te the factory, and without supplies of food, which was withheld by the Chinese, commanded all the opium belonging to British subjects to be given up to him for delivery to the Chinese authorities; declaring, at the same time, that "failing the surrender of the said opium," the British government should be free "of all measure of responsibility or liability in respect of British-owned opium."

We do not presume to offer any opinion as to the necessity or policy of this proceeding on the part of the superintendent; but, in consequence thereof, and of the unjustifiable proceedings of the Chinese, above 20,000 chests of opium, worth upwards of 2,000,000/. sterling, were delivered up to Mr. Elliot by British subjects, and by him to the Chinese authorities; and the latter, not satisfied with the possession of the opium, which it was their duty to have placed in a state of security till the matters with respect to it should be arranged, immediately proceeded to destroy it! Having succeeded thus far, the Chinese next insisted that the foreign merchants should subscribe a bond, pledging themselves not to import opium into any part of China; or that, if they did, they were to be justly liable to the penalty of death. But this condition being refused, and no arrangement having been come to, Mr. Elliot suspended the trade on the 22d of May; and a collision has since taken place between a British sloop of war and some Chinese junks, when several of the latter were sunk.

Sundry grave questions will, no doubt, arise out of these extraordinary proceedings. That the Chinese have the same right to exclude opium from their empire, that we have to prohibit the importation of beef, or ammunition, or to lay a duty on corn, does not admit of any question. But in endeavouring to suppress a trade that had been carried on under the sanction of the authorities at Canton, all of whom had largely participated in its profits, justice required that notice should have been given to the parties concerned of the intentions of government. It is necessary to bear in mind, that the Chinese were in the habit of frequently issuing proclamations against the importation of opium; but as no attempt was ever made to give the slightest effect to these proclamations, the parties engaged in the trade were naturally led to conclude that such would always be the case. Hence the necessity for a distinct intimation being made, that the laws against the importation of opium were, in future, to be bona fide and truly carried into effect, and for fixing some period after which all parties found engaged in the trade would be subject to certain penalties. No valid objection could have been made to such a course of proceeding. The Chinese are clearly entitled to prohibit the

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