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IN order to form some notion of the importance of
our trade to Great Britain and Spain, as supplying their defi-
ciencies in human sustenance, it may be worth while to men-
tion a few facts, respecting the corn produce and trade of
England. The detail and the evidence are to be found in
the publications of the Board of Agriculture.

Of the waste lands of Great Britain, that portion of them,
now unimproved, which is capable of tillage, exceeds three
millions of acres, or three-sevenths of the whole lands now
in tillage. The waste or uncultivated land in the island ex-
ceeds twenty-two millions, or nearly one-third of the whole
area, but of this, three millions might be planted with corn and
esculents, on the same imperfect system that now prevails
with regard to the lands actually in tillage, and produce, ex-
clusive of seed and allowance for fallow, seventy millions of
bushels. Five bushels per head, per annum, is a large al-
lowance, but this would give an additional quantity of bread,
equal to the bread maintenance of fourteen millions of per-
sons, which is more than the actual population of the island.

The actual produce, at present, is divided among men,
horses, brewers, and distillers. A scarcity lessens the por-
tion assigned to horses and the manufacturers of beer and

For fourteen years previous to 1789, the annual average
importation of wheat fell short of three hundred and fifty thou-
sand bushels, which is the annual bread of seventy thousand
persons in eleven millions; and of near two millions three
hundred thousand of oats, rye, beans, &c. which if applied
solely to human sustenance, would give bread to four hun-
dred and sixty thousand persons annually. At that period,
therefore, the imports were equal to the ample supply of
more than half a million persons, or about a twentieth of
the whole people. But the oats, barley and rye, were con-
sumed chiefly or wholly by the brewers, distillers, and horses.
This whole import would have been supplied by an hundred

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thousand acres, or a thirtieth part of the waste fit for corn

The imports have greatly increased since that time, but
they must increase thirty fold before they exceed the addi-
tional amount to be drawn from the ground. Why is thus
much imported, and not raised or grown at home? Because
industry and capital can be more profitably employed in trade
and manufactures. When any external misfortune reduces
that profit to a level with agriculture, then the requisite in-
dustry and capital will go to it. The same effect will follow
a misfortune that shall raise the profits of agriculture to a le-
vel with that of trade and manufactures. Difficulties in the
way of exporting manufactures or importing corn have these
tendencies respectively. The consumption of corn in the
breweries, distilleries, and stables, is immense. This distri-
bution depends upon a certain equilibrium of price. If this
equilibrium be affected by a scarcity, the distribution, is alter-
ed. More goes to men, and less to stables and vats. The
resources of the nation in this respect are immense, though
such is the selfishness of luxury everywhere, and the inequa-
lity of fortune in Great Britain, that this equilibrium will ne-
ver vary in exact proportion to the increase of the general
wants. Many of those who keep ten horses now, and con-
sume a barrel of beer, will continue to do it, though a scarcity
of wheat should double or tripple the price of oats and barley.
Others will retrench in like circumstances, but the general re-
trenchment will not keep pace with the scarcity. The brew-
house and stable now absorb what would suffice for six or
eight millions of people, and continued to absorb a great deal
in spite of the late scarcities.

The possible surplus produce of the United States in corn
or edible vegetables, depends on the demand. No limits can
scarcely be assigned to it, but the demand created hy an ex-
traordinary scarcity abroad could not be fully met with by a
proportional and seasonable increase at home. More of the
surplus produce which the standing demand had produced,
would go where the scarcity existed, and the draught of high
prices would be so great, that it would require a price almost
equally high, when commerce is free, to keep the needful
quantity at home.

The corn and edibles, including rice, ship stuff and bis-
cuit, exported from the United States, amounted, last year,

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to two millions of bushels of grain and roots, and fourteen
hundred thousand barrels of flour and meal. This would be
their full years bread to six hundred and eighty thousand
persons, at least, computing the whole as wheat, but the
maize and the potatoes would go proportionably much far-
ther than wheat. This is double the population of Jamaica;
about one-eighth of that of Ireland, and about a fifteenth of
that of Great Britain or Spain. This amount would be fur-
nished by an hundred and fifty thousand acres, taken from
the three millions of fertile land fit for tillage but now, or late-
ly unimproved, and waste in Great Britain.

If Great Britain or Spain were actually affected with a de-
ficiency to the amount of the whole, that we could supply,
what would be the consequence. If it were possible to bring
the whole into a well ordered army, and deal out daily to each
one-fifteenth less of bread than they commonly consumed, the
deduction would not be felt. If it were in the power of law
to lessen, in England, during that season, the quantity of beer
and spirits, one-fifth, or to put to death some of the pleasure
horses merely, there would be as much bread as usual. As it
is, the privation would affect the poor only. The mortality
among them, and especially their children, would be greater,
and marriages would be fewer than usual. The national
system, conduct and power would be wholly unaffected by
these two circumstances, and the next year if plenty were
restored, augmented marriages and augmented births,
would more than fill up the gap. It is doubtful, likewise
the scarcity being confined to bread, and considering the
actual decrease in the quantity remaining, of that portion as-
signed to other purposes than that of feeding man, whether
the distress would be visible at all.

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