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I. Reply to the Pamphlet (supposed official) on the State of the Nation
Reform ; with a Proposal for a Constitutioual Reform, founded on Pro-
III. On Liberty, and Rights of Englishmen. By Basil Montagu, Esq.
IV. Sir H. Parnell's History of the Penal Laws against the Irish Catho-
V. Prof. Sandford's Decision on the Oxf. and Edinb. Controversy,
SIXTH EDITION OF A PAMPHLET (SUPPOSED OFFICIAL)
STATE OF THE NATION
THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE YEAR 1822;
THE FOUR DEPARTMENTS
FINANCE, FOREIGN RELATIONS, HOME DEPARTMENT, COLONIES,
AND BOARD OF TRADE, &c. &c.
(INSERTED IN NO. XXXIX. OF THE PAMPHLETEER.]
BY JOSHUA COLLIER.
WITH A THIRD CHAPTER ON THE SUBJECT OF
« Quis furor iste novus? quo nunc, quo tenditis-
VIRG. lib. v. 670.
The pamphlet to which the present is a reply, was generally understood to be published under the immediate auspices of government; and the number of editions it passed through, to satisfy public curiosity, on this very ground, authorized this belief, which was further confirmed by its never having been contradicted by the ministerial press.
Its preface being a technical explanation of its contents, the writer of the present remarks upon it, which must relate precisely to the same objects, sees reason to adopt for the most part as his own, putting the extracts between inverted commas, with certain alterations and additions, which will of course vary the sense occasionally. The liberty we have taken in this respect will enable the reader to understand the substance and connection of the following pages, though he may not have the original work before him.
These are therefore observations on what has been exhibited as a general view of the state of public affairs, from the period of the late treaties to the commencement of the year 1822.
" The circumstances which compose this review had not before been produced to the public with sufficient fulness and distinctness. If some of the matters have been touched upon, and even discussed in parliament, in answer to the observations of the opponents of his Majesty's ministers, or otherwise, they have been discussed only as single measures, and without any reference to their coherence with the system of administration of which they form a part."
“ The ministers of a free and high-minded country cannot be without a due feeling of the value of public character. They know that in public station, still more than in private life, a good name is connected with the due and effective performance of duties; that character is influence, and that influence is power; and that power from influence will extend its operation, where power from law and authority cannot reach; and that the good will of the people towards government has in all ages proved the readiest means of an effective administration. Under these considerations, his Majesty's ministers for themselves, and their friends for them, must
naturally desire to stand well in public opinion. They desire it for themselves, and they ought to desire it for the country.”
« For themselves, they seek public confidence by" studiously, though vainly, endeavouring to make it appear, that they have exercised « a conscientious and effective discharge of their duties ;" and if they had not failed altogether in their proofs, they must have desired, and « desired most anxiously, that a general feeling of the public good, and a general persuasion that the government is industriously occupied in pursuing it, might excite such a spirit of concurrent effort between the people and their governors, as to give manners the effect and authority of laws; and might bring into disuse any statutes, if such there be, required, in more turbulent times, to repress public disorders.”
Our business is to achieve a very temperate examination of the variety of facts and falsities, which enter into what they call this “ statement and review.”
« According to the form which the administration of the British Empire has long assumed, the public business has for a considerable period of years distributed itself into the four main departments of finance, the foreign affairs, home department, and the colonies. Under the first of these departments, that of finance, the first lord of the treasury and the chancellor of the exchequer have it in charge to provide for the maintenance and due distribution of the public revenue, and for the integrity of all those sources of navigation, commerce, manufactures, internal trade and industry, from which such revenue must be derived ; and finally, in cooperation with the other boards appointed for this special purpose, they have to provide for the naval and military defence of the empire, and the maintenance of the docks, arsenals, ordnance, &c. in all the means and materials of future operation.”
“To the home department belong the maintenance and supervision of the public peace, and the due execution of the laws for the support of external order and tranquillity ; whilst the departments of foreign affairs and the colonies embrace, according to their denominations, our relations with foreign states and our own colonies. Following the order of these departments," they proposed to themselves to produce and explain to the public, in a general and succinct view, the former and actual condition of each."
And our examination into this their work will probably show the few difficulties his Majesty's ministers had to encounter, aided by the general spirit of the country; and how much less, even according to their own account, they have accomplished than they desire to make the unwary believe. Hence, they have shamefully neglected to conciliate “the due maintenance of the revenue in all its sources, with the due alleviation of the public burdens. How
they have maintained the public peace," with too much cost to public liberty, “ and under what system they have administered the foreign relations of the empire.”
Our remarks on this review, under the four departments, will necessarily comprehend a general survey of the proceedings of administration, within the whole compass of public business. It will" attempt to " explain" many most important errors, of which they have been guilty (as to millions) as far as they have attempted to enlighten us on the subject, respecting “ the state of our finances,"
compared with « our national resources." We shall examine into · their reflections as to " our existing relation with foreign states ;'” and, “ as a part of our domestic policy, the general system under which his Majesty's ministers have endeavoured," much less o by discipline than by measures of terror and menace, to restore Ireland to the ordinary administration of law." We shall « show” abundant errors in « what has been done for our colonies, and for the commercial interests of the empire;" and subjoin a few observations relating to o what is now in discussion for the extension of our trade and manufactures, and for simplifying and facilitating mercantile business," or rather for continuing to throw every obstacle in its way.
In the order pursued, a distribution is made of the subject matter, corresponding with that of the author on the state of the nation, treating the several departments separately; and such few observations as we have thought it necessary to make on the appendix, to render the whole more compact, are embodied in the work.
Under the first head, that of finance, though respect is paid to the important article of dates, all that relates to mere figures is comprised in a second chapter ; therefore the one embraces chiefly matters of opinion, the other only matters of fact, .
On the whole, if there has been presented to the curiosity of the public, by dabbling in shallow waters, a collection forming a corrupt mass, we pretend only to have employed the arithmetician's art, to reduce it to sterling. Were we tempted to indulge in the liberty of saying another word for ourselves, it would be candidly to avow the feelings of a true JOHN BULL, which will be found to animate us through the piece, that of respect for the laws, but indifference to his Majesty's servants, appointed by a chief set over them, the best paid of any in Europe ; and, presuming on the respect we owe to his exalted station, they will continue (since they take his responsibility upon themselves) no longer to enjoy his confidence than while the people go along with them, unless they become masters. It is well known how much the exercise of such undue authority would be inconvenient in domestic concerns--the thing is, to the full, as simple in the government of states. ,