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time, raised the rate of interest on exchequer bills when money was scarce If this were so, and that it has such an effect, it should, as being the only strong support of Mr. Hill's plan, have been proved either by facts or reasoning that raising the interest on exchequer bills assisted to relieve the general want. It seems much more likely that the Chancellor found it necessary to do so in order to get those bills cashed and raise the necessary funds, and how Mr. Hill is justified in stating what the views of the Chancellor have been in so doing, or that its effects have been such, we are equally at a loss to know.
Although we have pointed out many errors in Mr. Hill's reasoning on this subject, and although we quarrel with several of the propositions which he advances in support of his theory, we must grant him this much, that, unlike most of the opinions on this varied question of currency, there is not as far as we can see anything vicious in Mr. Hill's plan. We have given our reasons for concluding that these legal-tender exchequer bills would not effect what he thinks they could in times of panic and distress; we have pointed to the true cause of those pernicious evils which we fear are as much beyond human wisdom to provide against, as to insure that in every family in the kingdom there should be comfortable means and a prosperous condition. At the same time with our currency regulated as it is at present,-a system which Mr. Hill dues not seek to disturb-we cannot see any harm that would ensue from the introduction of such bills, and must say that much convenience and even tendency to economise might be the result. The mistake be has made with regard to this new mixed medium is proposing too inuch for it, the result of which is that when we perceive that it must fall entirely short of the originator's notion, and utterly disappoint all who expect it to effect what he proposes for it, few will take the trouble to point out the minor advantages of which it might be productive. We should, however, go the length of saying that free from any dangerous consequences as such a median of currency would be, that it should receive a trial, and we would suggest that, as Mr. Hill has originated a very ingenious although simple theory, that he should return to the subject, and taking lower ground than he has done, should consider and point to the convenience and general utility of such a medium.
Conscious as we are of the vast importance of the subject,
and desirous as we should be to have it enlightened by suggestion and discussion, we trust that in differing with this writer as we have done, our task has been discharged with courtesy and no unnecessary severity, and that in pointing to errors we may not turn from the good work an earnest and well-disposed man, or damp the courage of those who either can or think they can suggest what may be useful, or point out what may be defective.
We had almost forgotten to notice some remarks of Mr. Hill's as to the subject of engaging in extensive public works in times of difficulty and distress for the purpose giving employment. As far as we know this view is original, and is fraught with the highest practical importance. It is one to which we give our entire assent, and to which we think the attentive consideration of those whose duty it is to legislate for us should be drawn. As we have not hitherto extracted much from Mr. Hill's book we shall allow him on this subject to speak for himself :
“Although the changes which material capital undergoes, either in its total quantity, or in the proportions in which it continues foating or becomes fixed, may not have much concern with the commercial derangements under consideration, there can be no doubt whatever of their great influence upon our national prosperity and happiness ; as witness the great potato failure in Ireland. And although it is but seldom that government can safely interfere to counteract the influence of these changes (in capital) upon the prosperity and happiness of society, yet it is obviously important, that in those exceptional cases in which it does interfere, government should throw its weight into the right scale.
For instance :-in times when an unusual abundance of material capital excites men to throw off the ordinary restraints of prudence, and to embark in unwise and perilous enterprises, the government may wisely remove some of the stimulating excess, by applying it in the vigorous prosecution, upon a large scale, of works of national defence and convenience.
Thus the construction of ships of war, the formation of harbours, the erection of fortresses, lighthouses, and public buildings in gene. ral, the making of roads and the fitting out of exploratory expeditions, &c., if judiciously timed, might absorb much capital just when it could well be spared; when, indeed, its useful absorption would moderate the effect upon the public mind of sudden and unusual prosperity.
Further, by this forethought in securing the execution of its great works in times when the means were abundant, the government would obtain the power of avoiding such expenditure in times when the means are scanty; when, indeed, the pressing duty of reproduction, wants all the means, and all the energy, that could possibly be deroted thereto.
Every prudent man, in the management of his individual concerns, will thus, in times of prosperity, take advantage of his increased means, to extend and improve his lands, to enlarge his premises, and to increase his working stock and implements, &c. ; whilst in tiines of adversity, on the contrary, he will husband his resources, by avoiding all expenditure which can be safely deferred.
By a strange perversity, however, the cause of which demands a close investigation, our national concerns are managed in a precisely i opposite way; for we pay no particular attention to our public works in times of unusual abundance, when it might even be an ad. vantage to us to spare the means ; but in times of unusual insuffi. ciency, we actually abstract a serious portion of the then already too scanty meuns, and apply them to the construction of works of no pressing necessity whatever.
That we have not, in times of high abundance, taken the course herein pointed out, as appropriate thereto, must, admitting, the advantages of such course, be attributed to inadvertence; indeed, the necessity for precautionary measures is but seldom forced upon the attention in times of prosperity, nor is there then anything to mark particularly the advantage of the measures herein recommended.
But when we are in a state of famine, it seems obvious and indisputable, that, on the one hand, our manufacturing energy-stimula. ted to its utmost exertion---should be directed to the production of those commodities which will best avail us in the purchase of supplies abroad; and that our commercial energy should put forth its utmost power, in exporting such commodities as fast as they are produced, and in procuring and bringing home food in return; whilst, on the other hand, our agricultural energies should be tasked to their utmost, in carrying on that tillage of the earth, upon the extent, efficiency, and success of which, under Providence, the replenishment of our empty garners at the return of harvest then mainly depends. Nor can the danger and suffering by which we are at such time sur. rounded, fail, one would think, to force these truths upon the atten. tion of all reflecting men.
With so plain a course before our eyes, and incurring such fearful responsibilities if we go wrong, how do we really proceed ?Why, just when every loom and every hammer, every plough and every spade, throughout the whole country, ought to be worked without intermission, we find the workshops and the fields alike de. serted: men able, willing, and even anxious to labour, are seen loi. tering in crowds about our streets in a state of enforced idleness, menacing the public peace. Or, if the government interfere, as it did in Ireland a few years ago, then are these men set to work, not upon the task (at such time urgent beyond all others) of producing something wherewith to procure food from other countries in exchange, nor upon the scarcely less pressing duty of cultivating the land to the utmost, in order that the famine may at least end with the next harvest ; but they are employed upon tasks that have no relation whatever to the urgent necessities of the case,-tasks, indeed, sometimes useless altogether."
ART. VII.-FEMALE ADULT EDUCATION. Adult Schools, A Letter addressed to the Commissioners of
National Education in Ireland. By J. P. Organ, author of " A Plea for the Education of the Working Classes Through the Medium of Evening Schools and Educational Mechanics Institutes," Dublin : M. and J. Sullivan. 1856.
In the twentieth nuinber of the IRISH QUARTERLY REVIEW ne announced to our readers that a history of the industrial phases of the National System of Education in Ireland, together with a notice of the industrial branches of the system of education promoted by her Majesty's Council of Education in England, should appear in the current number of the Review. The subject is so comprehensive a one, and has involved not only the attentive perusal of multitudinous reports and books, but an actual inspection of the leading schools in this and the sister country at rather an inclement season of the year, that we are obliged to postpone the article we have in preparation until the publication of our next, the June number. Amongst the schcols which we visited is one very intimately connected with Industrial Schools ; for it offers to those who are ignorant of book learning and industriously employed during the day an opportunity of obtaining a literary education. In this respect it may be regarded as the complement and converse of ordinary industrial schools. There are other points in the working of the school in question that attach a public importance to it as a type of schools under similar management; a system of management not only little understood but grossly misrepresented, and we æcordingly anticipate our regular paper on the subject of National Industrial Education by laying before our readers at once the following notes of our visit.
Few institutions which we have inspected afforded us anything like the pleasure and satisfaction we derived from a visit wemade to the Evening School for Female Adults conducted by the Sisters of Mercy, in the Callender-street National School, Belfast. This school was established for the purpose of extending the blessings of education to grown females, especially to those who are employed in the mills of the town.
There are thirty-three mills in Belfast and its neighbour
hood, giving employment to upwards of 32,000 persons, and as Macaulay and others have written the panegyrics of the great mill proprietors, and conferred wreaths of commercial immortality upon the town and its people generally, we shall perinit the historian, the traveller, and the economist to tell each his own tale and shall add nothing to it; but there is a phase in the story as yet untold. There are within those leviathan mills, from half past five o'clock in the early morning till six o'clock at night, thousands of youthful females who have never played at the apron strings of a mother, or heard their names called over by a father's voice; and there they are with wan countenances and sickly faces; and they have grown up in their ignorance and the moral helplessness of their orphanage. Besides those who are orphans, there will also be found a large number of others in the mills who are ignorant of the simplest rudiments of knowledge. Yet these are the people who have most need of the firmness of mind and protecting influences acquired by a sound education. Where there is an aggregation of numbers—particularly if there be a lack of education amongst them—there is sure to be moral danger.
The nature of an employment is often favorable or otherwise to virtue. The labor of the field, every body knows, is favorable to simplicity of manners and godliness; wbilst, on the contrary, mill operations exercise the worst influences, vitiate the feelings, poison the affections, and give gloominess to the passions.“ Private vice," says Thomas Wyse, “has but to make a few steps and a few proselytes and it becomes public corruption;" it is not difficult to appreciate the awful calamities a few vicious wretches in a inill can bring upon their ignorant fellow workers, whilst at the same time they are leading society into confusion and immorality. When we find an uneducated woman in one of those immense mills, we find the weakest and most destitute of human creatures in the weakest and most dangerous of places. We see her, the poor mill girl, young in years, mature in the strategies of the world, old in physical conformation and decay, and surrounded by those who are subtle in words, crafty in adventure, loose in principle, and thoughtless in conduct. Her face is always pale and haggard, her eyes are always moist, her brow is ever knitted, her cheeks become more hollow and hectic day by day, her hair grows unnaturally dry, and she saturates it with the foul