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paid in silver, and we are thus obliged Firstly. Because of the large amount to adjust the balance of trade by a large of silver coinage she formerly possessed ; annual exportation of silver. Nothing and can be more anomalous than our present Secondly. Because, unlike us, she has commercial relations with China. The a double standard. Any slight variation figures which have just been quoted in the fixed relative values of these two show that the present commercial pro- metals will induce all payments to be gress of Great Britain is perhaps most made in one of these metals alone. strikingly exhibited by the advancing Every extension of credit enables a cerdemand for Chinese products. Our tain amount of the circulating medium imports from that country are year by to be dispensed with; and it is probable year increasing in quantity and in value, that our vastly increased commerce and and yet our exports to that country trade has required little, if any greater diminish rather than increase. About quantity of the circulating medium for 1844 the value of our exports averaged all those transactions which may be 2,000,0001. Of late years they have described as wholesale ; but, as I have scarcely averaged 1,000,0001., and, small before observed, a great increase in the as is our export trade to China, it is national capital must have accompanied large in comparison with that of other this commercial progress. The wagecountries. Thus the annual exports of fund is a component part of this capital. the United States to China do not ex- Wages are almost always paid in coin. ceed 300,0001., and the exports which This points to another way in which are sent from the Continent are still much of the new gold has been abmore insignificant. Great Britain con- sorbed. The possibility of accounting sequently becomes, to a great extent for the absorption of the new supplies the emporium of Eastern produce. The of gold, confirms the opinion that its products of the East are brought to value has not yet declined. But the England, and then again are distributed fact that there has been no reduction, not only over the continent of Europe, proves that gold would have greatly but even over Canada and the United risen in value had not these supplies States; and the settlement of the been forthcoming. The rise, too, would balances of the Indian and Chinese have been sudden, and therefore most trade is made through England for the serious. The conditions of every monied civilized world. Until 1850 the adjust contract would be altered, the national ment of this commerce required the debt would be a more severe burden, export of only a small amount of silver and the extension of our commerce with to the East; but a drain then com- the East would meet with the most menced, which has advanced with steady difficult obstacle. rapidity, and in 1856 this country alone When feudal Europe ripened into exported to the East the enormous sum commercial Europe, the gold of America of 14,500,0001. of silver. The silver was discovered ; and now that free trade coinage of France has, to a great extent, has inaugurated a new social and comsupplied this silver. 45,000,0001. have mercial era, the gold of Australia and been thus abstracted from her silver California is ready at hand to aid the coinage in six years, from 1852–1858. progress. Gold has supplied its place. The ab- M. Chevalier asserts that henceforth sorption of so much gold in this way the value of gold will rapidly decline at has induced M. Chevalier, in his work least fifty per cent. I regard this as a much “On the probable Fall in the Value of too confident prophecy. The wage-fund Gold,” so admirably translated by Mr. of most countries is increasing, in some Cobden, to describe France as a para- cases most rapidly. This will absorb a chute, which has retarded the fall in the great deal of gold. Our commerce with value of gold. France has supplied so the East is so anomalous, that prophecies much silver
seem to me to be useless. Every year
there is a constantly greater quantity of secret of the change. Previous to the Eastern produce required, and therefore gold discoveries, the chief field for the this increased commerce will very soon investment of capital was agriculture. annually absorb, instead of 14,000,0001. In a young country farming operations of specie, 20,000,0001., unless some great meet with many obstacles. The stock change in the habits of the Chinese in and implements are expensive, no steady duces them to consume more European supply of labour can be ensured ; and commodities. On such a point who will without the investment of a great deal hazard a prediction? Thus, in a few of capital in roads, and other such works, Fears, the East will absorb all the silver produce can with difficulty be brought to of the West. Shall we then be able to market; and when it is brought, the deinduce the Chinese to take gold as mand is uncertain. The same considerreadily as they do now silver? There ations apply to manufactures, and also is another consideration which seems to to general mining operations ; for lead, me to be not sufficiently noticed. A copper, and iron mines require most exchange in the value of gold always gene pensive machinery, and a large co-operarates a counteracting force, whose ten- tion of labour. This explains the usual dency is to restore the metal to its former slow progress of colonies, even when value. Suppose the supplies of gold con- they offer the greatest industrial advantinue to be the same as they are now, tages. But as soon as it was heard that and that after a certain time gold de- gold was spread over a large breadth clines in value. Gold-digging is not-I of the Australian continent, thousands may say, cannot be-permanently more flocked to share the spoil. They only profitable than other employments. Di- took the simplest tools; they needed no rectly a decline in the value of gold capital, but just sufficient food to suptakes place, gold-digging will to many port them while labouring; and each become less profitable than other labour. one felt that he could work indepenThey will therefore cease to dig ; this dently, and risk nothing more than his will diminish the aggregate supply of labour and his passage-money. Ausgold, and this diminution will tend to tralia, having thus suddenly obtained an restore its value. I will now proceed abundance of manual labour, possessed to explain in what way the gold dis- two of the requisites of production; the coveries have assisted the advance of third, capital, was quickly supplied to Australia. Production has three requi- her. The savings of the gold-diggers sites :
formed a large capital, and English Firstly. Appropriate natural agents.
. capital now flowed in even too broad a Secondly. Labour to develop the re stream to supply the wants of this sources of nature.
labouring population. Australia for a Thirdly. This labour must be sus time suffered much inconvenience, betained by the results of previous labour, cause gold digging absorbed much of or in other words, by capital.
the labour which had been previously Long previous to 1848 the great applied to other employments; not that natural resources of Australia were more was earned in this pursuit than in known, vast tracts of fertile land had others, but there is a magic spell in been explored, and her climate had the name of gold. Gold-digging has been pronounced healthy. There was an the excitement of a lottery, and the overplus of labour in our own country, chances of a lottery are always estiand much additional capital would have mated at more than their true value. been at once accumulated had an eligible After a time, other pursuits absorbed a investment presented itself. Little due proportion of labour, and thus Auslabour and capital were, however, ap- tralia possessed every attribute of indusplied in Australia, and her advance was trial success, and her future prosperity slow. We know the discovery of gold was established. changed all this ; let us then seek the About 1848, England was suffering
from those ills which political economy affirm anything with certainty about the attributes to over population. Wages tendency of profits, when capital and were becoming lower, and increasing population both increase ? Any augpopulation necessarily made food more mentation in the numbers of the expensive. Ireland had famine, and labourers must exercise an influence to we had most deplorable distress. I reduce wages, and therefore to raise prohave mentioned that the discovery of fits. But there is another consideration. gold acted more powerfully than any In a thickly peopled country like Great other circumstance to induce a large Britain, the returns of the Registraremigration from Great Britain. Any General plainly indicate that the increase decrease in the number of those who of population amongst the labouring class seek employment must cause a rise of is determined by the expense of living, wages, but emigration from a country for the number of marriages invariably like our own effects even a more im- increases or decreases as food is cheap portant advantage. I have before ob- or dear. Such being the case, there is served that the price of agricultural always a portion of the labouring class produce at any time must be such as whose wages are very little more than will return the ordinary rate of profit to sufficient to provide them with the the worst land in cultivation. If, there necessaries of life. Such wages I will fore, the wants of an advancing popu- describe as minimum wages. Since we lation cause more land to be brought have seen that an increasing populainto cultivation, the food which is thus tion must always have a tendency to raised involves a greater expenditure make food dearer, these minimum wages of labour and capital than that which must, from this cause, have a constant was before produced, and thus as popu- tendency to rise. lation advances food becomes dearer. This acts as a counteracting force to In a thickly peopled country there are reduce profits. We can now attribute two obstacles to the material prosperity another important influence to emigraof the poor :
tion. It raises wages by reducing the Firstly. The number of those com- number of the labouring class ; but peting for employment reduces wages. since, as I, have said, it adds a tract of
Secondly. Food rises in value as it fertile land to our own soil, it cheapens becomes necessary to strain the resources food, and since cheap food prevents a of the fertile land.
reduction in the rate of profit, there Emigration, therefore, has increased will be a greater inducement to save. not only the monied wages, but the real The capital of the country will from wages of our labourers. In some of this cause become augmented, and there our colonies, such as Canada, so little of will be therefore a larger fund to be the fertile land has been cultivated, distributed amongst the wage-receiving that for some time the greater the im- population. When emigration is thus migration is to those parts, the more considered, its vast social and economical abundant will be the supply of cheap importance can be understood. Mr. J. food which will be exported to our own S. Mill, who, perhaps more than any country. Emigration therefore, as it other person, has systematically thought were, adds a tract of fertile land to our upon the means to ameliorate the conown soil. Again, labour is remunerated dition of the poor, emphatically insists, from capital. The amount saved, or in that it is necessary to make a great other words, the capital which is ac- alteration in the condition of, at least, cumulated, is regulated by the returns one generation—to lift one generation, which this capital will obtain. If popu- as it were, into a different state of lation is stationary, and capital increases, material comfort. wages will rise and profits will fall; He attributes little good to slight if, on the other hand, capital increases, improvements in the material prosperity the rate of profit will fall. Can we of the poor, because, unless accompanied
with a change in their social habits, the advantage is sure, as it were, to create its own destruction, by encouraging an increase of population. It seems that there can be no agency so powerful as emigration to effect a decided change in the material condition of the poor. I therefore regard the discovery of gold
to be of the utmost social value to England, for it has been so potent an agent to induce emigration, that it has caused Australia in ten years to advance from a settlement and become a nation, with all the industrial appliances of the oldest and most thriving commercial community.
THE VOLUNTEER’S CATECHISM,
BY T. HUGHES, CAPTAIN COMMANDING 19TH MIDDLESEX ;
WITH A FEW WORDS ON BUTTS, BY J. C. TEMPLER, CAPTAIN COMMANDING 18TH MIDDLESEX, “HARROW RIFLES.”
Why are we volunteering? What's the meaning of it all? What is it that is making noblemen, and men of fortune, and lawyers, and merchants, and tradesmen, and clerks, and artisans, give up their usual pursuits, sacrifice their 'eisure hours (often few enough, Heaven knows), and incur trouble, and expense, and drudgery, that they may acquire the manual and platoon exercises, be able to hit a target at 200 yards, and know how to form open column, and to wheel into line ?
It is high time for us all to be asking ourselves seriously, what we do mean? whether we have any meaning at all in the matter? For, either the nation is drifting into a gigantic piece of tomfoolery, of uniform-wearing, and swashbucklerism, and playing at soldiers, which will last for a summer or two, and then be quietly extinguished, with the approval of all rational men, never to be revived again in our day; or she is rousing herself to undertake seriously one of the hardest tasks which she can set herself, and yet one which, successfully accomplished, will yield results, the worth whereof no living Englishman can estimate.
On the surface of our volunteering there are signs which might lead à casual observer to the tom-foolery belief. We hear of absurd persons going about, arrayed in sashes or sidearms to which
they have no right; the Government has even had, at the request of the commanders of corps, to issue notices and prohibitions against such. In one quarter, distressed and distressing volunteers are whining in the cheap papers that the Guards don't salute them; another set are blustering that their unhappy rank is not recognised at Court, and threatening an ungrateful Sovereign with the withdrawal of their services as a penalty for her want of appreciation. The uniform question has attained a melancholy importance ; there has been much childishness shown in the choosing of officers. Nevertheless, on the whole, he who drew from such surface-signs the tom-foolery conclusion would be mistaken.
Let any man go to a parade of Volunteers, and just look at the rank and file, and he will be convinced. They are as a rule men, and not boys ; full-grown men, with professions and trades to work at, and families to support, or, at any rate, bread to earn for themselves. There is, probably, not one in five of them who has got over the feeling of dismay, bordering on disgust, which comes on him, whenever he finds himself walking about the streets in a uniform; not one in a hundred who has not other pursuits to which he would rather give the time which volunteering swallows up ruthlessly. To many the
time is a serious pecuniary sacrifice. reate gathered it all into eight deathless And yet they come time after time, and lines :work undeniably well while they are at it, and bear meekly in the streets the “Thy voice he hears in rolling drums frequent “Who shot the dog ?” and “As “That beat to battle where he stands, you were," of the youthful Cockney. “Thy face across his fancy comes
You believe, then, that enough Eng “And gives the battle to his hands ; lishmen are downright in earnest about “One moment, while the trumpets blow, volunteering to make it a serious na- “He sees his brood around thy knee; tional movement ? Yes. Then be good “The next, like fire he meets the foe, enough to refer to the question put at “And strikes him dead for thine and the head of this paper, “What do these thee." Englishmen who are downright in earnest mean by it all ?.”
Then again, we mean that we are thoA good many of us, perhaps, have roughly and fairly sick of invasion hardly had time to answer that ques- panics—that in this last twelve years tion to ourselves; our volunteering time we have several times been eating our has been so well filled, what with hearts out in shame and rage at seeing goose step, and squad drill, and manual our great country whipped into wild and platoon drill, and position and terror by wild talk in the newspapers; bayonet drill, and battalion drill, and and that we don't want to stand much skirmishing drill, and these last abomi- more of this sort of thing. We mean nably moist parade days in the parks, something more, too, than being done not to mention bye-days of what we may with panics,—we mean that we want call foreign service on Putney Heath our Governments to steer a straight and or the Scrubbs. However, let us see. steady course through the tangled drift Of course not one of us means just the weed and icebergs of the ocean of modern same thing as his rear file, or right-hand politics : insulting no one, cringing to nu man, or any other man of his corps. one; but standing faithfully and sternly The pivot man of the right section, No. 1, by every righteous cause and every means that he for his part hopes some righteous man. They have not always day to fight a Zouave; while he of the done this of late; we have seen the left, No. 2, desires mainly an appetite for weak bullied and the strong flattered, dinner. Nevertheless, to a considerable and have not enjoyed the sight. And extent we do all mean the same thing. now, when all old forms of national and There are a certain number of objects social life in Europe are pitching in the which we all aim at, though some care heavy rising sea, ready to break from most to hit one, and some another. their moorings, and drift no man know• What, for instance ?
eth where, we want to see our country Well, first and foremost, we mean an ark to which all eyes may turn, and that English homes are to be made abso- which will lend help to all who need it lutely, and beyond all question, safe. and deserve it,—“A refuge from the Love and reverence for home, for our “storm, a shadow from the heat, and the women and children, for roof-tree and “blast of the terrible ones." This she hearth; upon that we found ourselves may be, this she ought to be,-this she before all. That, many of us may be- can never be unless our Governments lieve, perhaps, to be at the bottom of all feel that they have a nation behind true fighting, and of all true preparation them on whom they can rely. England for fighting; whatever war-cry or banner will want her whole strength in the may be in the air, all true fighting must, times that are coming. We Volunteers we should hold, base itself somehow on mean that she shall have it ready for this, or be wild, mad work-probably, use in the most telling form ; and we devil's work. No need to dwell on this believe that volunteering is the way to part of our meaning. Has not our lau- help her to it, and the only way.