On The Effect Of Taxes And Of Legal Restrictions Upon Manufactures





414. As soon as a tax is put upon any article, the ingenuity

of those who make, and of those who use it, is directed to the

means of evading as large a part of the tax as they can; and this

may often be accomplished in ways which are perfectly fair and

legal. An excise duty exists at present of 3d.(1*) per pound upon

all writing paper. The effect of this impost is, that much of the

paper which is employed, is made extremely thin, in order that

the weight of a given number of sheets may be as small as

possible. Soon after the first imposition of the tax upon

windows, which depended upon their number, and not upon their

size, new-built houses began to have fewer windows and those of

larger dimensions than before. Staircases were lighted by

extremely long windows, illuminating three or four flights of

stairs. When the tax was increased, and the size of windows

charged as single was limited, then still greater care was taken

to have as few windows as possible, and internal lights became

frequent. These internal lights in their turn became the subject

of taxation; but it was easy to evade the discovery of them, and

in the last Act of Parliament reducing the assessed taxes, they

ceased to be chargeable. From the changes thus successively

introduced in the number the forms, and the positions of the

windows, a tolerable conjecture might, in some instances, be

formed of the age of a house.



415. A tax on windows is exposed to objection on the double

ground of its excluding air and light, and it is on both accounts

injurious to health. The importance of light to the enjoyment of

health is not perhaps sufficiently appreciated: in the cold and

more variable climates, it is of still greater importance than in

warmer countries.



416. The effects of regulations of excise upon our home

manufactures are often productive of great inconvenience; and

check, materially, the natural progress of improvement. It is

frequently necessary, for the purposes of revenue, to oblige

manufacturers to take out a license, and to compel them to work

according to certain rules, and to make certain stated quantities

at each operation. When these quantities are large, as in general

they are, they deter manufacturers from making experiments, and

thus impede improvements both in the mode of conducting the

processes and in the introduction of new materials. Difficulties

of this nature have occurred in experimenting upon glass for

optical purposes; but in this case, permission has been obtained

by fit persons to make experiments, without the interference of

the excise. It ought, however, to be remembered, that such

permission, if frequently or indiscriminately granted, might be

abused: the greatest protection against such an abuse will be

found, in bringing the force of public opinion to bear upon

scientific men and thus enabling the proper authorities, although

themselves but moderately conversant with science, to judge of

the propriety of the permission, from the public character of the

applicant.



417. From the evidence given, in 1808, before the Committee

of the House of Commons, On Distillation from Sugar and Molasses,

it appeared that, by a different mode of working from that

prescribed by the Excise, the spirits from a given weight of

corn, which then produced eighteen gallons, might easily have

been increased to twenty gallons. Nothing more is required for

this purpose, than to make what is called the wash weaker, the

consequence of which is, that fermentation goes on to a greater

extent. It was stated, however, that such a deviation would

render the collection of the duty liable to great difficulties;

and that it would not benefit the distiller much, since his price

was enhanced to the customer by any increase of expense in the

fabrication. Here then is a case in which a quantity, amounting

to one-ninth of the total produce, is actually lost to the

country. A similar effect arises in the coal trade, from the

effect of a duty, for, according to the evidence before the

House of Commons, it appears that a considerable quantity of the

very best coal is actually wasted. The extent of this waste is

very various in different mines; but in some cases it amounts to

one-third.



418. The effects of duties upon the import of foreign

manufactures are equally curious. A singular instance occurred in

the United States, where bar-iron was, on its introduction.

liable to a duty of 140 per cent ad valorem, whilst hardware was

charged at 25 per cent only. In consequence of this tax, large

quantities of malleable iron rails for railroads were imported

into America under the denomination of hardware; the difference

of 115 per cent in duty more than counter balancing the expense

of fashioning the iron into rails prior to its importation.



419. Duties, drawbacks, and bounties, when considerable in

amount, are all liable to objections of a very serious nature,

from the frauds to which they give rise. It has been stated

before Committees of the House of Commons, that calicoes made up

in the form, and with the appearance of linen, have frequently

been exported for the purpose of obtaining the bounty, for

calico made up in this way sells only at 1s. 4d. per yard,

whereas linen of equal fineness is worth from 2s. 8d. to 2s. 10d.

per yard. It appeared from the evidence, that one house in six

months sold five hundred such pieces of calico.



In almost all cases heavy duties, or prohibitions, are

ineffective as well as injurious; for unless the articles

excluded are of very large dimensions, there constantly arises a

price at which they will be clandestinely imported by the

smuggler. The extent, therefore, to which smuggling can be

carried, should always be considered in the imposition of new

duties, or in the alteration of old ones. Unfortunately it has

been pushed so far, and is so systematically conducted between

this country and France, that the price per cent at which most

contraband articles can be procured is perfectly well known. From

the evidence of Mr Galloway, it appears that, from 30 to 40 per

cent was the rate of insurance on exporting prohibited machinery

from England, and that the larger the quantity the less was the

percentage demanded. From evidence given in the Report of the

Watch and Clock-makers' Committee, in 1817, it appears that

persons were constantly in the habit of receiving in France

watches, lace, silks, and other articles of value easily

portable, and delivering them in England at ten per cent on their

estimated worth, in which sum the cost of transport and the risk

of smuggling were included.



420. The process employed in manufacturing often depends upon

the mode in which a tax is levied on the materials, or on the

article produced. W atch glasses are made in England by workmen

who purchase from the glass house globes of five or six inches in

diameter, out of which, by means of a piece of red-hot tobacco

pipe, guided round a pattern watch glass placed on the globe,

they crack five others: these are afterwards ground and smoothed

on the edges. In the Tyrol the rough watch glasses are supplied

at once from the glass house; the workman, applying a thick ring

of cold glass to each globe as soon as it is blown, causes a

piece, of the size of a watch glass, to be cracked out. The

remaining portion of the globe is immediately broken, and returns

to the melting pot. This process could not be adopted in England

with the same economy, because the whole of the glass taken out

of the pot is subject to the excise duty.



421. The objections thus stated as incidental to particular

modes of taxation are not raised with a view to the removal of

those particular taxes; their fitness or unfitness must be

decided by a much wider enquiry, into which it is not the object

of this volume to enter. Taxes are essential for the security

both of liberty and property, and the evils which have been

mentioned may be the least amongst those which might have been

chosen. It is, however, important that the various effects of

every tax should be studied, and that those should be adopted

which, upon the whole, are found to give the least check to the

productive industry of the country.



422. In enquiring into the effect produced, or to be

apprehended from any particular mode of taxation, it is necessary

to examine a little into the interests of the parties who approve

of the plan in question, as well as of those who object to it.

Instances have occurred where the persons paying a tax into the

hands of government have themselves been adverse to any

reduction. This happened in the case of one class of

calico-printers, whose interest really was injured by a removal

of the tax on the printing: they received from the manufacturers,

payment for the duty, about two months before they were

themselves called on to pay it to government; and the consequence

was, that a considerable capital always remained in their hands.

The evidence which states this circumstance is well calculated to

promote a reasonable circumspection in such enquiries.



Question. Do you happen to know anything of an opposition

from calicoprinters to the repeal of the tax on printed calicoes?



Answer. I have certainly heard of such an opposition, and am

not surprised at it. There are very few individuals who are, in

fact, interested in the nonrepeal of the tax; there are two

classes of calico-printers; one, who print their own cloth, send

their goods into the market, and sell them on their own account;

they frequently advance the duty to government, and pay it in

cash before their goods are sold, but generally before the goods

are paid for, being most commonly sold on a credit of six months:

they are of course interested on that account, as well as on

others that have been stated, in the repeal of the tax. The other

class of calico-printers print the cloth of other people; they

print for hire, and on re-delivery of the cloth when printed,

they receive the amount of the duty, which they are not called

upon to pay to government sooner, on an average, than nine weeks

from the stamping of the goods. Where the business is carried on

upon a large scale, the arrears of duty due to government often

amount to eight, or even ten thousand pounds, and furnish a

capital with which these gentlemen carry on their business; it is

not, therefore, to be wondered at that they should be opposed to

the prayer of our petition.



423. The policy of giving bounties upon home productions, and

of enforcing restrictions against those which can be produced

more cheaply in other countries, is of a very questionable

nature: and, except for the purpose of introducing a new

manufacture, in a country where there is not much commercial or

manufacturing spirit, is scarcely to be defended. All incidental

modes of taxing one class of the community, the consumers, to an

unknown extent, for the sake of supporting another class, the

manufacturers, who would otherwise abandon that mode of employing

their capital, are highly objectionable. One part of the price of

any article produced under such circumstances, consists of the

expenditure, together with the ordinary profits of capital: the

other part of its price may be looked upon as charity, given to

induce the manufacturer to continue an unprofitable use of his

capital, in order to give employment to his workmen. If the sum

of what the consumers are thus forced to pay, merely on account

of these artificial restrictions, where generally known, its

amount would astonish even those who advocate them; and it would

be evident to both parties, that the employment of capital in

those branches of trade ought to be abandoned.



424. The restriction of articles produced in a manufactory to

certain sizes, is attended with some good effect in an economical

view, arising chiefly from the smaller number of different tools

required in making them, as well as from less frequent change in

the adjustment of those tools. A similar source of economy is

employed in the Navy: by having ships divided into a certain

number of classes, each of which comprises vessels of the same

dimensions, the rigging made for one vessel will fit any other of

its class; a circumstance which renders the supply of distant

stations more easy.



425. The effects of the removal of a monopoly are often very

important, and they were perhaps never more remarkable than in

the bobbin net trade, in the years 1824 and 1825. These effects

were, however, considerably enhanced by the general rage for

speculation which was so prevalent during that singular period.

One of the patents of Mr Heathcote for a bobbin net machine had

just then expired, whilst another, for an improvement in a

particular part of such machines, called a turn again, had yet a

few years to run. Many licenses had been granted to use the

former patent, which were charged at the rate of about five

pounds per annum for each quarter of a yard in width, so that

what is termed a six-quarter frame (which makes bobbin net a yard

and a half wide) paid thirty pounds a year. The second patent was

ultimately abandoned in August, 1823, infringements of it having

taken place.



It was not surprising that, on the removal of the monopoly

arising from this patent, a multitude of persons became desirous

of embarking in a trade which had hitherto yielded a very large

profit. The bobbin net machine occupies little space; and is,

from that circumstance, well adapted for a domestic manufacture.

The machines which already existed, were principally in the hands

of the manufacturers; but, a kind of mania for obtaining them

seized on persons of all descriptions, who could raise a small

capital; and, under its influence, butchers, bakers, small

farmers, publicans, gentlemen's servants, and, in some cases,

even clergymen, became anxious to possess bobbin net machines.



Some few machines were rented; but, in most of these cases,

the workman purchased the machine he employed, by instalments of

from L3 to L6 weekly, for a six quarter machine; and many

individuals, unacquainted with the mode of using the machines so

purchased, paid others of more experience for instructing them in

their use; L50 or L60 being sometimes given for this instruction.

The success of the first speculators induced others to follow the

example; and the machine-makers were almost overwhelmed with

orders for lace frames. Such was the desire to procure them, that

many persons deposited a large part, or the whole, of the price,

in the hands of the frame-makers, in order to insure their having

the earliest supply. This, as might naturally be expected, raised

the price of wages amongst the workmen employed in

machine-making; and the effect was felt at a considerable

distance from Nottingham, which was the centre of this mania.

Smiths not used to flat filing, coming from distant parts, earned

from 30s. to 42s. per week. Finishing smiths, accustomed to the

work, gained from L3 to L4 per week..The forging smith, if

accustomed to his work, gained from L5 to L6 per week, and some

few earned L10 per week. In making what are technically called

insides, those who were best paid, were generally clock- and

watchmakers, from all the districts round, who received from L3

to L4 per week. The setters-up--persons who put the parts of the

machine together--charged L20 for their assistance; and, a six

quarter machine, could be put together in a fortnight or three

weeks.



426. Good workmen, being thus induced to desert less

profitable branches of their business, in order to supply this

extraordinary demand, the masters, in other trades, soon found

their men leaving them, without being aware of the immediate

reason: some of the more intelligent, however, ascertained the

cause. They went from Birmingham to Nottingham, in order to

examine into the circumstances which had seduced almost all the

journeymen clockmakers from their own workshops; and it was soon

apparent, that the men who had been working as clockmakers in

Birmingham, at the rate of 25s. a week, could earn L2 by working

at lace frame-making in Nottingham.



On examining the nature of this profitable work, the master

clockmakers perceived that one part of the bobbin net machines,

that which held the bobbins, could easily be made in their own

workshops. They therefore contracted with the machine-makers, who

had already more work ordered than they could execute, to supply

the bobbin carriers, at a price which enabled them, on their

return home, to give such increased wages as were sufficient to

retain their own workmen, as well as yield themselves a good

profit. Thus an additional facility was afforded for the

construction of these bobbin net machines: and the conclusion was

not difficult to be foreseen. The immense supply of bobbin net

thus poured into the market, speedily reduced its price; this

reduction in price, rendered the machines by which the net was

made, less valuable; some few of the earliest producers, for a

short time, carried on a profitable trade; but multitudes were

disappointed, and many ruined. The low price at which the fabric

sold, together with its lightness and beauty, combined to extend

the sale; and ultimately, new improvements in the machines,

rendered the older ones still less valuable.



427. The bobbin net trade is, at present, both extensive and

increasing; and, as it may, probably, claim a larger portion of

public attention at some future time, it will be interesting to

describe briefly its actual state.



A lace frame on the most improved principle, at the present

day, manufacturing a piece of net two yards wide, when worked

night and day, will produce six hundred and twenty racks per

week. A rack is two hundred and forty holes; and as in the

machine to which we refer, three racks are equal in length to one

yard, it will produce 21,493 square yards of bobbin net annually.

Three men keep this machine constantly working; and, they were

paid (by piece-work) about 25s. each per week, in 1830. Two boys,

working only in the day-time, can prepare the bobbins for this

machine, and are paid from 2s. to 4s. per week, according to

their skill. Forty-six square yards of this net weigh two pounds

three ounces; so that each square yard weighs a little more than

three-quarters of an ounce.



428. For a condensed and general view of the present state of

this trade, we shall avail ourselves of a statement by Mr William

Felkin, of Nottingham, dated September, 1831, and entitled Facts

and Calculations illustrative of the Present State of the Bobbin

Net Trade. It appears to have been collected with care, and

contains, in a single sheet of paper, a body of facts of the

greatest importance. *



429. The total capital employed in the factories, for

preparing the cotton, in those for weaving the bobbin net, and in

various processes to which it is subject, is estimated at above

L2,000,000, and the number of persons who receive wages, at above

two hundred thousand.



Comparison of the value of the raw material imported, with the

value of the goods manufactured therefrom



Amount of Sea Island cotton annually used 1,600,000 lbs., value

L120,000; this is manufactured into yarn, weighing 1,000,000

lbs., value L500,000.



There is also used 25,000 lbs. of raw silk, which costs

L30,000, and is doubled into 10,000 lbs. thrown, worth L40,000.



Raw Material; Manufacture; Square yards produced; Value per sq.

yd.(s. d.); Total value (L)



Cotton 1,600,000; lbs; Power Net; 6,750,000; 1 3; 421,875

Hand ditto; 15,750,000; 1 9; 1,378,125

Fancy ditto; 150,000; 3 6; 26,250

Silk, 25,000 lbs; Silk Goods; 750,000; 1 9; 65,625



23,400,000; 1,891,875





* I cannot omit the opportunity of expressing my hope that this

example will be followed in other trades. We should thus obtain a

body ofinformation equally important to the workman, the

capitalist, the philosopher, and the statesman.





The brown nets which are sold in the Nottingham market are

in part disposed of by the agents of twelve or fifteen of the

larger makers, i.e. to the amount of about L250,000 a year. The

principal part of the remainder, i.e. about L1,050,000 a year, is

sold by about two hundred agents, who take the goods from one

warehouse to another for sale.



Of this production, about half is exported in the

unembroidered state. The exports of bobbin net are in great part

to Hamburgh, for sale at home and at Leipzic and Frankfort fairs.

Antwerp, and the rest of Belgium; to France, by contraband; to

Italy, and North and South America. Though a very suitable

article, yet the quantity sent eastward of the Cape of Good Hope,

has hitherto been too trifling for notice. Three-eighths of the

whole production are sold unembroidered at home. The remaining

one-eighth is embroidered in this country, and increases the

ultimate value as under, viz.



Embroidery Increases value Ultimate worth

L L

On power net 131,840 553,715

On hand net 1,205,860 2,583.985

On fancy net 78,750 105,000

On silk net 109,375 175,000



Total embroidery, wages and profits 1,525,825

Ultimate total value 3,417,700





From this it appears, that in the operations of this trade,

which had no existence twenty years ago, L120,000 original cost

of cotton becomes, when manufactured, of the ultimate value of

L3,242,700 sterling.



As to weekly wages paid, I hazard the following as the

judgement of those conversant with the respective branches, viz.



In fine spinning and doubling, adults 25s.; children 7s.:

work twelve hours per day.



In bobbin net making; men working machines, 18s.;

apprentices, youths of fifteen or more, 10s.; by power, fifteen

hours; by hand, eight to twelve hours, according to width.



In mending; children 4s.; women 8s.; work nine to fourteen

hours ad libitum.



In winding, threading, etc., children and young women, 5s.:

irregular work, according to the progress of machines.



In embroidery; children seven years old and upwards, 1s. to

3s.; work ten to twelve hours; women, if regularly at work, 5s.

to 7s. 6d.; twelve to fourteen hours.



As an example of the effect of the wages of lace embroidery,

etc., it may be observed, it is often the case that a stocking

weaver in a country village will earn only 7s. a week, and his

wife and children 7s. to 14s. more at the embroidery frame.



430. The principal part of the hand-machines employed in the

bobbin net manufacture are worked in shops, forming part of, or

attached to, private houses. The subjoined list will show the

kinds of machinery employed, and classes of persons to whom it

belongs.



Bobbin net machinery now at work in the Kingdom



Hand levers 6 quarter 500 Hand circulars 6 quarter 100

7 quarter 200 7 quarter 300

8 quarter 300 8 quarter 400

10 quarter 300 9 quarter 100

12 quarter 30 10 quarter 300

16 quarter 20 12 quarter 100

20 quarter 1 Hand transverse, pusher,

Hand rotary 10 quarter 50 straight bolt, etc. averaging 5

quarters 750

12 quarter 50

2050 1451



Total hand machines 3501



Power 6 quarter 100

7 quarter 40

8 quarter 350

10 quarter 270

12 quarter 220

16 quarter 20

Total power machines 1000



Total number of machines 4501



700 persons own 1 machine, 700 machines.

226 2 452

181 3 543

96 4 384

40 5 200

21 6 126

17 7 119

19 8 152

17 9 153

12 10 120

8 11 88

6 12 72

5 13 65

5 14 70

4 16 64

25 own respectively 18,

19, 20, 21,

23, 24, 25,

26, 27, 28,

29, 30, 32,

33, 35, 36,

37, 50, 60,

68, 70, 75,

95, 105, 206

1192



Number of owners of machines--1382 Holding together 4500

machines.



The hand workmen consist of the above-named owners 1000

And of journeymen and apprentices 4000

5000



These machines are distributed as follows

Nottingham 1240

New Radford 140

Old Radford and Bloomsgrove 240

Ison Green 160

Beeston and Chilwell 130

New and Old Snenton 180

Derby and its vicinity 185

Loughborough and its vicinity 385

Leicester 95

Mansfield 85

Tiverton 220

Barnstable l80

Chard 190

Isle of Wight 80

In sundry other places 990



4500





Of the above owners, one thousand work in their own machines,

and enter into the class of journeymen as well as that of masters

in operating on the rate of wages. If they reduce the price of

their goods in the market, they reduce their own wages first;

and, of course, eventually the rate of wages throughout the

trade. It is a very lamentable fact, that one-half, or more, of

the one thousand one hundred persons specified in the list as

owning one, two, and three machines, have been compelled to

mortgage their machines for more than their worth in the market,

and are in many cases totally insolvent. Their machines are

principally narrow and making short pieces, while the absurd

system of bleaching at so much a piece goods of all lengths and

widths, and dressing at so much all widths, has caused the new

machines to be all wide, and capable of producing long pieces; of

course to the serious disadvantage, if not utter ruin, of the

small owner of narrow machines.



It has been observed above, that wages have been reduced, say

25 per cent in the last two years, or from 24s. to 18s. a week.

Machines have increased in the same time one-eighth in number, or

from four thousand to four thousand five hundred, and one-sixth

in capacity of production. It is deserving the serious notice of

all proprietors of existing machines, that machines are now

introducing into the trade of such power of production as must

still more than ever depreciate (in the absence of an immensely

increased demand) the value of their property.



431. From this abstract, we may form some judgement of the

importance of the bobbin net trade. But the extent to which it

bids fair to be carried in future, when the eastern markets shall

be more open to our industry, may be conjectured from the fact

which Mr Felkin subsequently states that 'We can export a durable

and elegant article in cotton bobbin net, at 4d. per square yard,

proper for certain useful and ornamental purposes, as curtains,

etc.; and another article used for many purposes in female dress

at 6d. the square yard.'



432. Of patents. In order to encourage the invention, the

improvement, or the importation of machines, and of discoveries

relating to manufactures, it has been the practice in many

countries, to grant to the inventors or first introducers, an

exclusive privilege for a term of years. Such monopolies are

termed patents; and they are granted, on the payment of certain

fees, for different periods, from five to twenty years.



The following table, compiled from the Report of the

Committee of the House of Commons on Patents, 1829, shows the

expense and duration of patents in various countries:



Countries; Expense (L s. d.); Term of years; Number granted in

six years, ending in 1826.(Rep. p. 243.)



England; 120 0 0; 14; 914

Ireland; 125 0 0; 14;

Scotland; 100 0 0; 14;

America; 6 15 0; 14;

France; 12 0 0; 5;

32 0 0; 10;

60 0 0; 15; 1091

Netherlands; L6 to L30; 5, 10. 15

Austria; 42 10 0; 15; 1099

Spain(3*) Inventor; 20 9 4; 15;

Improver; 12 5 7; 10;

Importer; 10 4 8; 6;





433. It is clearly of importance to preserve to each inventor

the sole use of his invention, until he shall have been amply

repaid for the risk and expense to which he has been exposed, as

well as for the talent he has exerted in completing it. But, the

degrees of merit are so various, and the difficulties of

legislating upon the subject so great, that it has been found

almost impossible to frame a law which shall not, practically, be

open to the most serious objections.



The difficulty of defending an English patent in any judicial

trial, is very great; and the number of instances on record in

which the defence has succeeded, are comparatively few. This

circumstance has induced some manufacturers, no longer to regard

a patent as a privilege by which a monopoly price may be secured:

but they sell the patent article at such a price, as will merely

produce the ordinary profits of capital; and thus secure to

themselves the fabrication of it, because no competitors can

derive a profit from invading a patent so exercised.



434. The law of copyright, is, in some measure, allied to

that of patents; and it is curious to observe, that those species

of property which require the highest talent, and the greatest

cultivation--which are, more than any other, the pure creations

of mind--should have been the latest to be recognized by the

State. Fortunately, the means of deciding on an infringement of

property in regard to a literary production, are not verv

difficult; but the present laws are, in some cases, productive of

considerable hardship, as well as of impediment to the

advancement of knowledge.



435. Whilst discussing the general expediency of limitations

and restrictions, it may be desirable to point out one which

seems to promise advantage, though by no means free from grave

objections. The question of permitting by law, the existence of

partnerships in which the responsibility of one or more of the

partners is limited in amount, is peculiarly important in a

manufacturing, as well as a commercial point of view. In the

former light, it appears calculated to aid that division of

labour, which we have already proved to be as advantageous in

mental as it is in bodily operations; and it might possibly give

rise to a more advantageous distribution of talent, and its

combinations, than at present exists. There are in this country,

many persons possessed of moderate capital, who do not

themselves enjoy the power of invention in the mechanical and

chemical arts, but who are tolerable judges of such inventions,

and excellent judges of human character. Such persons might, with

great success, employ themselves in finding out inventive

workmen, whose want of capital prevents them from realizing their

projects. If they could enter into a limited partnership with

persons so circumstanced, they might restrain within proper

bounds the imagination of the inventor, and by supplying capital

to judicious schemes, render a service to the country, and secure

a profit for themselves.



436. Amongst the restrictions intended for the general

benefit of our manufacturers, there existed a few years ago one

by which workmen were forbidden to go out of the country. A law

so completely at variance with everv principle of liberty, ought

never to have been enacted. It was not, however, until experience

had convinced the legislature of its inefficiency, that it was

repealed. * When, after the last war, the renewed intercourse

between England and the Continent became extensive, it was soon

found that it was impossible to discover the various disguises

which the workmen could assume; and the effect of the law was

rather, by the fear of punishment, to deter those who had left

the country from returning, than to check their disposition to

migrate.



436. (4*) The principle, that government Ought to interfere

as little as possible between workmen and their employers, is so

well established, that it is important to guard against its

misapplication. It is not inconsistent with this principle to

insist on the workmen being paid in money--for this is merely to

protect them from being deceived; and still less is it a

deviation from it to limit the number of hours during which

children shall work in factories, or the age at which they shall

commence that species of labour--for they are not free agents,

nor are they capable of judging, if they were; and both policy

and humanity concur in demanding for them some legislative

protection. In both cases it is as right and politic to protect

the weaker party from fraud or force, as it would be impolitic

and unjust to interfere with the amount of the wages of either.



NOTES:



1. Twenty eight shillings per cwt for the finer, twenty one

shillings per cwt for the coarser papers.



2. I cannot omit the opportunity of expressing my hope that this

example will be followed in other trades. We should thus obtain a

body of information equally important to the workman, the

capitalist, the philosopher, and the stateman.



3. The expense of a patent in Spain is stated in the report to be

respecitivly 2000, 1200 and 1000 reals. If these are reals of

vellon, in which accounts are usually kept at Madrid, the above

sums are correct; but if they are reals of plate, the above sums

ought to be nearly doubled.



4. In the year 1824 the law against workmen going abroad, as well

as the laws preventing them from combining, were repealed, after

the fullest enquiry by a Committee of the House of Commons. In

1825 an attempt to re-enact some of the most objectionable was

made, but it failed.





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