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historical connexion between the system of agricultural protection and the system of local rates. Local rates existed long before agricultural protection was thought of, and during the time when England was a corn-exporting country: the Corn Law of 1815 was introduced, not as a measure for the exclusive benefit of the agriculturist, but as a measure advantageous to the whole kingdom, by rendering it independent of foreign supplies. In the next place, we would call attention to the effect of centralising our local administration of prisons, poor, roads, &c., now managed by independent local authorities. If the Treasury pays the local expenses, the Home Office must appoint the local officers, and conduct the local management. Instead of magistrates, town councils, boards of guardians, vestries, overseers, &c.. there will be a government service, similar to the Excise, Stamps, and Post Office, spread over the whole country, for the performance of all municipal functions. We trust that those who talk so lightly of transferring the local rates to the Consolidated Fund, will maturely consider the effects of the great constitutional change involved in their proposition.
Since the Protectionist cry has been found to fail, and the judgment of the country has been clearly discerned to be un-. favourable to a reversal of the Free Trade policy, new grounds for confidence in Lord Derby's ministry have been sought: among the first of which is, that the country wants not protection against foreign corn, but protection against revolution. We had thought that during the Exhibition of 1851, the existence of a general confidence in the solidity of our institutions, and of a harmony of all classes, had been a subject of universal remark, and had been particularly observed by foreigners. We also thought that when Lord John Russell, in introducing the Reform Bill at the beginning of the Session, stated that he chose this time on account of the absence of all political excitement, the truth of his statement had not been disputed. It seems, however, that a violent democratic and revolutionary mania now exists in this country, and that our only security against it consists in the continuance of Lord Derby's Government, and in his resistance to ulterior measures of parliamentary reform. Whether this security is to be afforded by such propositions as that recently made by his Government on the Militia Bill, and what are to be the classes excluded from the suffrage, if all militiamen are thought worthy of admission, we cannot
* See the Report of 1813 on the Corn Trade, in Hansard's Parl. Deb. vol. xxv. App. p. 55., and in the Annual Register for 1813; State Papers, p. 371.
1852. Pretended Fear of Democracy and Revolution.
undertake to decide. In the mean time, we suspect that the agriculturists will derive but cold comfort from the doctrine of protection against revolution; and that, to them, Lord Derby, without protection against foreign corn, will be rather like Laplace without his mathematics, or Phillidor without his chess.
Perhaps we may be excused for expressing our belief that the real impulse to democracy will come from Lord Derby himself, and from the policy adopted by his Government. By identifying the landed aristocracy with the odious cause of Protection, and by urging them to reconquer this unjust privilege, he has arrayed them against the great body of their countrymen: he has placed property in the most direct opposition to numbers; and he has given to the popular party the strongest motive and the best justification for resorting to the disfranchisement of small boroughs, for the purpose of weakening the agricultural, and of strengthening the manufacturing and commercial interest. If this has been a truly conservative and prudent policy, Lord Derby is entitled to the praise of giving good advice to his aristocratic followers.
Another attempt to find a substitute for the cry of Protection has been made by representing Lord Derby not only as an antireform, but as a Protestant minister. He is to uphold the principles of Protestantism by altering the system of National Education in Ireland, and by repealing the Maynooth Act. The answers of the Government as to their intentions on these subjects have been characterised by their usual indistinctness and ambiguity: but we cannot believe that Lord Derby, often as he has changed his political opinions, will so far lower his character as to be a party to the reversal of a policy which he' has personally promoted at such recent periods.
Upon these and other questions affecting the great interests of the country, legislation is suspended, until the national verdict shall have been pronounced at the approaching elections. The Parliament then returned will decide the long-debated question of Protection and Free Trade; and when that decision has been made, the state of political parties will be simplified, so that other questions of social and legal amelioration may be discussed with greater advantage than at present. "That this decision will be adverse to the restoration of Protection, and favourable to the maintenance and extension of the Free-trade policy, we have the fullest confidence; and we will only remark, in conclusion, that the argument for the Ballot, the desire of which is undoubtedly gaining strength in
* We may take this opportunity of pointing out that the passage Q Q
VOL. XCV. NO. CXCIV.
the country, will depend, to a considerable extent, on the abstinence of landlords and customers from undue influence over tenants and retail dealers. We look forward with anxiety, but without apprehension, to the result of the general election; relying on the good sense of the country, that it will protect them from the error of the French, who surrendered their liberties, in order to defend themselves against the possible danger of Socialism, and that they will reject the lessons of those interested advocates who study to persuade them that Lord Derby's Government is a safeguard against unreal dangers, and will provide remedies for non-existing evils.
Note to Art. IX. of the present Number.
IN speaking, at page 560., of the unsullied enjoyment we might derive from the progress of the provinces which our kinsfolk in America have severed and may sever from the old inheritance of Spain, we have overlooked one terrible exception, that is the spread of Slavery. For, unfortunately, the flag of the Stripes and Stars, as it advances south, carries slavery along with it. A very able pamphlet, lately published at Boston, U.S., observes, that the process by which a little time ago, Texas was reft 'from Mexico, and turned over to the United States and slavery, is already set going in the Mexican provinces bordering on Texas to the south-west.' In this sense, the tone of a narrative like that of Mr. Squiers is very ominous of annexation.
of Pliny, lately quoted in Parliament by Mr. Walpole, proves nothing with respect to the use of ballot in a modern election. The election of Roman magistrates was, at the beginning of the reign of Tiberius, transferred from the popular Comitia to the Senate (Tac. Ann. i. 15.). The senate, in making this choice, gave their votes openly: but the system of open voting in the election of magistrates, having led to factious violence and scandalous disorders in the senate, the mode of voting secretly was, in Pliny's time, substituted. Pliny augurs evil from the change, though he admits that its first effects were good. In a subsequent letter he says that some of the senators had made a joke of the voting, and had written impertinencies in the tablets, knowing that they would not be discovered. In commenting on this breach of propriety, he uses the words in question: Poposcit tabellas, stilum accepit, demisit caput, neminem veretur, se contemnit." It is clear that this example is not applicable to the case of the modern voter. See Plin. Epist. iii. 20., iv. 25.
Note to Art. IX. of the present Number.
The Boston friend of freedom, looking forward to the aggressions of the Slave Power' upon Central America, adds, 'Should Nicaragua turn out to be the favourite route to California, and especially should a pretty quarrel be allowed to grow out of the pending negotiations on the subject, it is not so far or so safe, but that by force or by fraud, or both, it I might probably be won. And then all of the continent ⚫ between British America and the Isthmus of Darien, capable ' of being profitably turned into slave territory, would be inclosed within the territory of the United States.' (A Chapter of American History. Five Years' Progress of the Slave Power. Boston: 1852.)
No. CXCV. will be published in July.
Athenian Architecture, review of Mr. Penrose's work on, 395—prin-
Church Music, review of works concerning, 123-necessity of some
Derby (Lord). See Protection.
Descartes, Genius and Writings of, review of works relating to, 1-