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Increasing Exports of Cotton Goods.
the next few years,-all the profits of our spinners going into the pocket of the American slave-owners and, while we are informed by the latest accounts from New York and other foreign markets that the rise in the price of goods is by no means equal to the increased value of cotton,' we find that our exports of calicoes, cambrics, muslins, and fustians for the present year show a large increase. During the seven months ending July 31st, 1857, our export of cotton goods to all countries was 1,205,714,000 yards against 1,126,649,000 yards in the first seven months of last year. Of this increase a very large portion went to India, Australia, and the United States, as will be seen from the following figures : Exports of Cotton Goods during the seven months ending July 31,
1856 and 1857.
129,969,947 So far as these returns throw any light upon the subject, it appears that our spinners and manufacturers, who are said to be carrying on their business for the benefit of the cotton planters of America, are so much in love with ruin' as to persist in glutting three of the largest markets in the world with their goods, and at the same time to go on building new mills and factories to spin and weave at a still greater rate than they have done hitherto. In the town to which Mr. Bazley referred, at the meeting of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, 'the prospective arrangements in the shape of new mills * erected or old ones enlarged) for increasing the consumption of cotton actually amount to fifty per cent. beyond what 'they at present consume.' If Mr. Bazley and Mr. Ashworth, two of the highest authorities on Manchester Exchange, are correct in their statements, surely it is high time for the indomitable Plugson, of the respected firm of Plugson, Hunks, and Company, in St. Dolly Undershot,' to look into the matter and see whether he may not possibly be committing as great a blunder as ever was made by ' his Grace of Castle-Rackrent,' or any other territorial potentate, in the days of corn-law oppression.
Viewed in connexion with the great Indian cotton cultivation question, this improvident conduct of the Lancashire spinners and manufacturers is attended with the most disastrous consequences. So far as they themselves are concerned, the feverish state of mind in which they are involved by so unwise and hazardous an extension of their trade unfits them for taking an active and energetic part in the agitation for India Reform, and prevents their paying that degree of attention to such practical suggestions for increasing the regular supply of cotton as might be attended with immediate benefit to themselves and the trade generally. Instead of persisting in the present system, which, with its tremendous fluctuations of ruinous depression and 'terrific prosperity,' is little better than gambling, how much better would it be for all parties were they to take a hint from an ‘ Indian Civil Servant,' who, in the pamphlet intitled Why does not India produce more Cotton ? gives the following useful hints :
"The immense field that is open for the employment of European capital in India has never yet been conceived by capitalists at home. There are fortunes to be made in India with far greater facility than can be commanded in a country where every profession and every trade is overstocked. Without competing or attempting to compete with the native producer of the raw material, it would make the fortune of any man who, with a few thousand pounds of capital, would set up improved steam-worked machinery wherewith to clean cotton thoroughly up the country, and to screw it into bales fit for shipment to England at once, at a seaport within easy reach of the great entrepôt of Bombay; whence it could be despatched home without being exposed to plunder by native boatmen, or adulteration in repacking at the latter port. Let those who have the capital and the energy requisite for such an undertaking take the hint, and they may make quite sure of a cordial reception from the Company's officers in the localities which they may select. Those gentlemen, from being perfectly uninterested in the matter, except in so far as the good of the country is concerned, can and will give the best information on such topics; and no man having capital to employ in the manner suggested can do better than consult them.'
This is sound and sensible advice, which the spinners of Lancashire would do well to follow up by prompt and energetic action. If they are able to build so many new mills and factories they must have plenty of capital at command; and surely it would be much more prudent on their part to invest it in planning how to increase the supply than in schemes which must aggravate the dearth of the raw material. As regards the new cry of Justice to India, the country will be prepared to regard that cry as sincere when they see that those who raise it are prepared themselves to do something towards insuring that object.
ART. VIII.- Chansons de Béranger. Edition Complète. 1852.
EVERY now and then a child is born into the world whose name is to be added to the list of those which, not one nation alone, but the whole circle of nations, is to remember. Generally, one fancies that there is something in the name itself, fitting it to be so recollected. Such names as Shakespeare, Racine, Goethe, Burns, and Bonaparte, seem as if they had been syllabled over in Nature's mouth ere it was decided that her select children should bear them. So also Nature satisfied herself that the name Béranger would suit for another of her favourites whom she had destined to be born in France. She tried it once or twice, experimentally, on inferior subjects, and then made final use of it for her purpose in the case of a little Béranger, with the apostolic prenomen of Pierre-Jean, who was born in the heart of Paris, in a poor tailor's garret, on the 19th of August, 1780.
Dans ce Paris plein d'or et de misère,
Moi, nouveau-né, sachez ce qui m'avint. What that was, he proceeds to narrate. The poor old tailor, lis grandfather, running to the infant's cries, finds him in the arms of a fairy, who predicts his future fortune. This child,' says the fairy to the tailor, ‘is to pass through three stages in life. 'He is to be first a pot-boy at an inn, then a printer, and lastly, ' a clerk in a public office. In the course of his boyhood he is ' to have a thunder-stroke, but, instead of perishing by it, he is 'to survive, and be a singing-bird.
“ Tous les plaisirs, sylphes de la jeunesse,
Eveilleront sa lyre au sein des nuits ;
Calmait le cri de mes premiers chagrins.' 'What ! cries the disappointed old tailor, ‘has my daughter given me nothing better than a song-maker ? Better he should
hold the needle day and night than die away a feeble echo, in 'mere sounds!
reckoning upon 600,000 hands, at six bales per head, the crop would indicate 3,600,000.
• Now, it is known that such a crop as 3,600,000 bales has never yet been raised in America. The crop of 1855 was put down at 3,500,000; but since it was composed in part of 250,000 of the crop of the previous year, it cannot be affirmed that in any one year the cotton crop has exceeded 3,250,000 bales. The average of the last three
years, the largest crops on record, amounts to 3,200,000. Allowing, as a reasonable estimate, that the increase of breadth sown and the increase of hands shall be ten per cent., 320,000, the coming crop, under ordinary circumstances, would be 3,520,000. Upon this calculation, if sustained from year to year, it would require about three years to increase the crop to four millions of bales, but they do not consider that such extraordinary efforts as those of this year can be repeated. The increase of breadth sown is, I believe, fully ten per cent., and this rate of extension may easily be kept up if there were hands to do it; but let us refer to the negro question, and there we may find an obstacle which is almost insurmountable. According to the average taken of 3,200,000 bales, there would require an addition of 800,000 bales to make up the amount for a crop of 4,000,000 bales. Let us reduce this and call the deficiency only 600,000 bales, and, at the rate of six bales per head, there would be necessary an addition to the negro population of the South of at least 100,000 efficient hands, besides supernumeraries, attendant upon them, and how this enormous increase is to be made up no one ventures to determine.'
Mr. Ashworth speaks here of an annual increase of 10 per cent. in the quantity produced. Should that rate be maintained for the next few years under the excessive stimulus of high prices, the supply of cotton will be almost equal to the demand in 1860, supposing trade to continue as brisk for the next three years as it is at present. But what grounds have we for believing that the planters will be able to extend the cultivation of cotton at the rate of 10 per cent. annually ? From the special report of Professor Wilson, one of the commissioners to the New York Exhibition, we learn that, in the first twenty years of the present century, the average annual increase in the growth of cotton in the United States was only 8*85 per cent. ; in the next fifteen years it had diminished to 7.66 per cent. ; in the next ten it declined to 5.95; and in the five years ending 1850, the increase was only 3 per cent. per annum. We are unable to say what the rate of increase has been since 1850, because we have only the ordinary statements of the American crops since that period, and these cannot always be relied on, as the planters sometimes hold over a large quantity of cotton from one season to another, which has the effect of diminishing the crop for one year, and increasing the apparent amount of the next annual return. In the following table, for example, the crop of 1855-6 is set down as having been 3,527,000 bales, whereas it is now
per lb. 53.
Annual Increase of Cotton Cultivation. 435 generally understood to have been only 3,250,000 bales, the difference between that and the official estimate having been made up by receipts belonging to the previous year's crop :American Cotton Crops from 1851-2 to 1855-6, and Average Prices
of Cotton in Great Britain.
6 d. Assuming Mr. Ashworth's estimate of 3,250,000 bales as the crop of 1855-6 to be correct, the annual rate of increase during the last five years does not appear to have been so high as in the five years ending in 1850. In four years the total increase was only 240,000 bales, showing an annual average of little more than 2 per cent. This, however, does not give a just notion of the rate at which cotton cultivation has increased in America during the last ten years, as will be apparent from a comparison of the following table with the preceding one : American Cotton Crops from 1846-7 to 1850-1, and Average Prices of
Cotton in Great Britain.
per lb. 6jd.
54d. During the five years ending in 1850-1, with prices ranging from 47&d. to 73d. per pound, the average annual production was 2,260,000 bales; during the five years ending in 1855-6, with prices ranging from 5şd. to 6d., and even advancing to 7 d., at the close of last year, the average annual production appears to have been 3,116,000 bales; showing an annual increase of about 7 per cent. over the previous five years. Since the rate of increase, then, has risen from 3 to 7 per cent. under the stimulus of high prices, why should not the same cause produce a still higher rate of increase, so as to bring the supply of cotton up to the demand? Mr. Ashworth’s reply to such a query would be that the only barrier to production is the affair of labour,' and that barrier, as he elsewhere remarks, is ' almost insurmountable.'
Formidable as this barrier may seem, however, it is not insurmountable in the estimation of Mr. Stirling. His mode of dealing with the cotton dearth would simply be to bring free labour into play throughout the Southern States. After re