LONDON, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 1827.
A meeting took place at Carlisle on the 1st instant, for considering the
expediency of a revision of the Corn Laws. The room was full - the persons
present consisting almost exclusively of master-manufacturers and their
distressed journeymen. As we give below the resolutions adopted by the meeting
on the specific subject for which it was called, it will not be necessary to do
more than state, that in the course of a discussion as animated as was
consistent with a pretty unanimous concurrence in the same opinions, upon the
mischievous effects of the existing Corn Law, the usual and now well-known
arguments were employed against it. The resolutions appear to furnish a
tolerable summary of the most urgent grounds for its abolition, although among
them a certain painful class of evidence to the magnitude of the evil, which was
presented by the meeting itself, will not be discovered - namely, the pallid and
hunger worn countenances of the wretched weavers and their families, who crowded
the lower end of the room - and who, it seems, were born but to starve for the
imagined benefit of some of their wealthier fellow-creatures. A foolish and
boisterous attempt was made by a working weaver, who addressed the Chair, to mix
up the question of universal suffrage with that of a free trade in corn. This
scion of the Jack CADE school interlarded his discourse with denunciations
against men of large property, and succeeded in carrying by dint of numbers a
resolution for Parliamentary reform; but as many respectable gentlemen declared
their unwillingness to sign a petition which touched on any subject beyond that
for the consideration of which the meeting had been called, it was finally
settled that the two petitions should be separated, and each receive the
signatures of those who approved it.
The following are the resolutions: -
"1. That this meeting continues to hold the same opinion of the extreme impolicy
of the present corn laws, which has been expressed at public meetings in this
city on former occasions; and is of opinion that the stagnation of trade, and
the extreme distress in the manufacturing districts, have been in part caused,
and much aggravated, by the exclusion of foreign corn.
"2. That the distress complained of by the agricultural interest, is attributed
by this meeting, in a great measure, to the fluctuations occasioned by the
existing corn laws; which have also been gradually undermining the commerce and
manufactures of the country.
"3. That the effect of our exclusive laws has been to destroy the considerable
demand for the manufactures of this city which existed in the United States of
America, and seriously to reduce it in other quarters of the world.
"4. That the regular admission of foreign grain into this kingdom under such
regulations as may be equitable to all interests, would be gradual, but decided
relief to the depressed trade of the country.
"5. That by thus enabling other countries to exchange the surplus produce of
their industry for that of our own, this country would encourage a mutually
beneficial intercourse with every country in the world, to the unspeakable
benefit of commerce and manufacture, advantageous to agriculture itself, and
favourable to the best interests of mankind.
"6. That petitions to both Houses of Parliament, founded upon the preceding
resolutions, be forthwith prepared, and left for signatures with the
booksellers, till this day week, when they shall be forwarded to the Lord
Lieutenant of the county, and the Members for the City, for presentation."