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Maidstone. —A very numerous meeting took place on Thursday at the Town Hall, for the purpose of forming an association of the farmers of West Kent, to oppose the Anti-Corn Law League.  There were present, Lord STRANGFORD, Sir E. FILMER, Bart, M.P., J.S. DOUGLAS, Esq., M.P., Sir J. CROFT, Sir E.C. DERING, Colonel AUSTIN, Colonel STRATFORD, Captain MONEYPENNY, W.M. SMITH , Esq., J. ELLIS, Esq., T.F. BEST, Esq.,— WARD, Esq., J. STRATFORD, Esq., J. BERENS, Esq.,—HUSSEY, Esq., T.T. ATKIN, Esq., F.B. ELVREY, Esq., J. MALCOLM, Esq., the Rev. Mr. COBB, Mr. DAY, the Mayor of Maidstone, &c.  There were also above two hundred tenant-farmers at the meeting.  Upon the motion of Lord STRANGFORD, Sir F.C. DERING was called upon to take the chair.  The speeches were all of the right sort, and from them we select the following as the address of a tenant farmer:—

     Mr. John OSBORN, jun., of Morden, after some observations on the necessity of protection, said Lord BROUGHAM had declared that the cost of shipment of foreign grown corn was sufficient protection for the agriculturists of this country.   From Hamburg and other ports wheat might be sent into this country at very little more expense than the cost of sending it from some of our inland counties to London.   He, therefore, considered that whilst the farmer was subject to such heavy local and general taxation, protection should not be considered as a boon, but as a mere act of justice.   The effects of free trade, if carried, would be throwing out of employment a vast majority of labourers, reducing the value of the property of the tenant farmer one-third, and obliging the landlord to cultivate his own lands as the farmers who then heard him well knew; and he appealed to their experience in confirmation of the assertion that when prices of agricultural produce were low the labourers had less employment than when they were high;   of what advantage then could it be to the labourer to have cheap bread if he had no employment, and consequently, no means of purchasing it?   And it was to benefit this class that the League ostensibly advocated free trade.  He did not wish to under-rate the Anti-Corn Law league, nor yet to over-rate it, which was what they desired.   They put forward the various sums they had received as subscriptions, whereas the greater part of them out to be considered in the light of speculative investments.   For the League was a speculation, and if they succeeded in carrying out their views, might for a short time to be a very profitable one for its promoters.   The large sums which the manufacturers had given towards this association proved the wealth they gained during the operation of the Corn Laws they were so anxious to abolish. Whoever heard of the supporters of the League coming forward with large sums for any good object?   And yet we find that last year they had invested in this speculation, for such he must consider it, £50,000; and in consequence of their greater prosperity this year, they were considerably increasing it.   For what purpose and how were they expending this large sum of money?  Why, it was impossible to take up a pamphlet or magazine without finding, somewhere between Cox  Savory's teapots and Doudney's shooting jackets, some League appeal or statement.   They acted on the adage that an oft-repeated lie will be believed.   They therefore lost no opportunity of thrusting their statemen's before the public.  Further, a considerable amount was expended in influencing the newspaper press, and in scattering tracts and other publications about the country.   They were met with in all places, and they were as numerous as the plague of frogs in Egypt, and he considered them equally noxious (Cheers)    They got up meetings, and called them meetings of tenant farmers; but they always took care to have them in or near populous towns, where they were sure of getting an auditory attracted by the celebrity of a man like Mr. COBDEN.  But it will be observed that at these by them called agricultural meetings, Messrs. COBDEN and Co. did not use the usual flattering appellations bestowed upon the farmers by these speechifiers when addressing a town auditory.   They did not then call them "bull-frogs," "chaw-bacons," "clod-poles," "hawbucks," "deluded slaves," "brute-drudges;" which they might see had been applied by these worthless to the tenant farmers in No. 10 of the Anti-Bread-Tax Circular.  But during their speechifing in the agricultural districts it suited Mr. Bright, when speaking of these "deluded slaves" and "brute-drudges," to say of them, "No men are more honourable or more well-meaning:"   The landlords, too, had come in for their share of abuse in Nos. 26, 29, 44, 50, 71, 83, 94, 99, 100; and in many others of the same publication they would find them described as "monsters of impiety," "inhuman fiends," "heartless brutes," "rapacious harpies," "relentless demons," "plunderers of the people," as being "insatiable insolent-flesh mongering scoundrel lawmaking landlords," and Mr. COBDEN at a September meeting in Covent garden Theatre, said "the landholders will soon be ashamed to hold up their heads, and own themselves to be English landowners and members of our aristocracy in any enlightened and civilised country in Europe." He quoted from No.1, of the League Newspaper, their own organ.  He would ask them collectively or individually—he would put it to his brother farmers, and he applied to their individual experience—whether the mildest of these epithets could be applied to the landlords of this county. ("No, no," and cheers.)

But what degree of credit could be attached to any statements made by these men?  In different parts of the country when addressing different meetings they were guilty of what he would mildly call inconsistencies.   No. 15 of the Anti-Bread Tax Circular, p.3, the League oracle, says, "if we have free trade the landlords' rents will fall 100 percent."   Mr. COBDEN in the House of Commons on the 15 th of May last, says, "If we have free trade the landlords will have as good rents as now."  The same gentleman in Drury-lane is reported to have said, addressing some children who had attracted his attention in a box, "when you go home tell your aunt in her chair what you want is cheap bread, and when she talks to you of machinery tell her it is cheap bread you want; and I say to you, "addressing the audience, "when you hear the monopolists talking of monopoly and over production, tell them it is cheap bread you want;" but this same gentleman, when at Penenden Heath, is guilty of the "inconsistency," he would use no harsher term, saying " the argument for cheap bread was never mine;" and at Bedford—speaking of the effect of the Corn Laws being repealed—"provisions will be no cheaper."   How could they reconcile these conflicting statements emanating from the same individual.  He would tell them how they might account for them, they were addressed to different auditories having opposite interests; these Leaguers were all tings to all men, and put forward –( unable to read this word-) suited to their bearers without reference to truth or principle. (Hear, hear.)   Again,  in their oracle, the Circular, No. 7, he found, "as a consequence of the repeal of the Corn Laws be promised cheaper food, and out hand-loom weavers will get double their present rate of wages."   In No. 75 of the same publication, "If the corn Laws were abolished the working man would save 3½d. on every loaf of bread."  In No. 34, "We shall have cheap bread, and the price will be reduced 33 per cent."   He might enlarge the quotations, all having the same tendency, if necessary.  He would relieve these League assertions by another statement made by Mr. COBDEN, in his speech at Winchester, "The idea of low price foreign corn is all a delusion."   Messrs. VILLIERS, MUNTZ, HUME, ROCHE, THORNTON, RAWSON, SANDERS, all Leaguers, and the oracle of the League itself, have said, " We want free trade, to enable us to reduce wages, that we may compete with foreigners, Mr. COBDEN, at Penenden Heath, and Messrs. BRIGHT and MOORE, at Huntington, said, "It is a base falsehood to say we want free trade to enable us to reduce the rate of wages."   In the League Circular, No 58, Messrs. COBDEN, MOORE, and BRIGHT have said repeatedly, "It is to the interest of the farmer to have a total and immediate repeal of the Corn Laws,: yet, in their organ the Circular, No. 58, we read, "That a repeal would injure the farmer, but not so much as he fears."   He would ask them what they could think of the honesty or truth of men who made such opposite statements.  Would honest men having honest purposes use them?   No, their object was to sow dissension and discord amongst the agriculturists, and to make all men dissatisfied with the station it had pleased God to place them in (Hear.)   They had but one course to pursue, and it was strictly legal and constitutional, to continue forming societies like the one they then met together to form that day. (Cheers.)   How did the League hope to accomplish their object?  By applying insulting epithets to the farmers—by traducing the landlords—by vain boastings of success—by sowing   the seeds of dissension between the labourer and the farmer, and between the tenant and landlord—and by the grossest perversion of the Holy Scriptures.   (Loud Cheers.)   How were they to oppose this moral pestilence—this hydra-headed monster?  By perseverance and unity.  The three great interests of agriculture must combine, and by their straightforwardness, honesty, and truth they would vanquish this most infamous combination. (Loud Cheers.)

     A protective association was formed on the spot, in aid of which £600 were immediately subscribed.

    ESSEX .—A meeting of the recently formed Protective Society was held at Romford on Wednesday last, when subscriptions to the amount of £1,215 were announced, and the list is still increasing.   The principal speakers were Messrs. BAKER and COPLAND, the latter of whom well observed, "The League claim not only benevolence, but all the wisdom of the country, they tell us that the darkened agricultural districts are in a state of complete ignorance—that the inhabitants are behind their day and generation—and that we who have attended these agricultural meetings have not a shred of argument to advance.   How kind to inform us of this.  I think, however, these societies will show them that the agriculturists have a little more than a shred remaining.   I t may be very well for the League to call you chawbacons, clodhoppers, and apply to you other epithets culled from the streets of London and from Billingsgate, but I say you are bound to come forward and to show to the people of England that the boast of Mr. COBDEN, that the farmers are in favour of the League and against the landlords, in a gross falsehood. (Loud cheers.) They say, we come forward to promote the interest of one certain class without regard to the good of the rest of the community.   On behalf of the agriculturists of Essex, and the agriculturists of England, I repel with scorn that assertion.  We ask not a benefit for ourselves that we do not believe will be beneficial to the country, and we feel that on the prosperity of the farmers is built up the prosperity of the labourers of England, and of the great bulk of the population of the kingdom; and we believe that the tradesmen who are indirectly connected with its welfare would suffer by the change proposed by the League, as well as all those large classes who, in a secondary degree, rely upon the agriculturists." (Loud Cheers.)   The utmost unanimity prevailed.

     HUNTINGDON .—A numerous and highly respectable meeting of owners and occupiers of land was held on Saturday at the Public Institution, Huntingdon, for the purpose of establishing an association for the protection of British agriculture.   James RUST, Esq., took the chair; and we noticed present the Earl of SANDWICH; E. FELLOW, Esq., M.P.; G. THORNHILL, Esq., M.P.; G. RUST, Esq.; the Rev. Dr. BARNES; Rev. R. HAWORTH; the Rev. J. LINTON; the Rev. Mr. JOHNSON; the Rev. J. FINCH, &c.  The following resolution was adopted:—

     "That, in consequence of the hostile designs and widely extended     efforts of the Anti-Corn law League, it is expedient that an association be formed in the county for the protection of British agriculture and native industry, to be called, "The Huntingdonshire Agricultural Protective Society."   That all persons interested, either directly or indirectly, in the prosperity of agriculture in the neighbourhood, he invited to join the society, and to contribute to it their pecuniary and personal assistance."

 

Several excellent speeches were delivered.   Amongst others the Earl of SANDWICH took occasion to refer to a reported speech of Lord John RUSSELL on the 4th Jan., 1822, as speaking his own sentiments fully, and read an extract as follows:—    

 

    "There is a party amongst us, distinguished in what is called the science of political economy, who wished to substitute the corn of Poland for our own.   Their principle is, that you ought always to buy where you can buy cheapest.  They repeat with emphasis that the nation pays a tax of £25,000,000 to the growers of corn.   They count as nothing the value to the country of a hardy race of farmers and labourers; they care not for the difference between an agricultural and manufacturing population in all that concerns morals, order, national strength, and national tranquility.   Wealth is the only object of their speculation, nor do they consider the 2,000,000 or 3,000,000 of people who may be reduced to beggars in the course of their operations; this they call diverting capital into another channel.   Their reasonings lie so much in abstract terms, their speculations deal so much y the gross that they have the same insensibility about the blessings of a people that a general has respecting the loss of men wearied by his operations."

 

     A committee was then formed, and petitions to both Houses of Parliament were adopted, after which about £700 was subscribed in the room in aid of the objects of the association.

 

NORTH BEDFORDSHIRE . —A meeting of the tenant farmers of the northern division of Bedfordshire was held on Friday, at the Falcon Inn, Bletsoe, to concert measures for the protection of agriculture against the machinations of the Anti Corn Law League.   Although distinctly announced as a farmers meeting, several of the principal landowners in that division of the county attended, who, although abstaining from taking part in the proceedings, lest it should be supposed that they regard the repeal of the Corn Law as a landlords question, were willing, by their presence, to testify their approbation of the efforts now made by the tenant occupiers to protect themselves against the League.   Amongst those present were Lord St. JOHN, Mr. T.A. GREEN, of Pavenham; Mr. W. DAY, of St Neot's; Mr. C.L. HIGGINS, of Turvey Abbey; Mr. J. HIGGINS, Rev. J. DAY, of Bletsoe; Mr. T.G. DAWSON, of Woodlands; Mr. J. GARROD, of Olney; Mr. R.L. ORLEBAR, of Hinwicks House; Mr. R. ELLIOT, jun., of Goddington; Messrs. ROGERS, PAINE, BRIGGS, GOLDING , PICKERING, and many other landowners.   Several gentlemen spoke to resolutions enforcing the necessity of protection to agriculture by means of permanent associations pledged to that object, and a subscription having been opened to defray incidental expenses, the meeting separated.   [It has been asserted, and upon apparently good authority, that Lord John RUSSELL, in his recent visit to Woburn Abbey, had attempted to influence the Duke of Bedford to declare in favour of free trade; but it is with equal confidence averred that his grace has resolved not to countenance any project which may be proposed for party purposes, that, in his opinion, may be prejudicial to agriculture.   This rumour has been in current circulation for the last fortnight; as the noble duke cannot be supposed to be ignorant of it, and has not contradicted the statement, the probability is that it is not without foundation .]

STOCKBRIDGE.—On Wednesday last a meeting was held at the Grosvenor Arms, which was attended by some of the most influential landowners and agriculturists in this neighbourhood, to consider the propriety of petitioning to parliament for protection to the agricultural interests of this country; when, after a mature consideration, it was thought necessary and prudent to provide separate petitions for each of the several parishes connected with this union; and we hope this laudable example will be followed by others.

AYLESBURY.—A meeting of between 500 and 600 farmers and others interested in the prospects of agriculture, was held here on Saturday, in the County Hall.   Men of all politics took prominent parts in the proceedings, who seemed to merge all minor differences in order the more cordially to unite and the more firmly to combine to resist the common enemy.   At twelve o'clock, Mr. Edward HORWOOD, of Aston Clinton, was called to the chair.  On the platform were Sir Harry VERNEY, Messrs. PICHFORD, LEDBROOK, LUCAS, ELLIOT, FOWLER, E. HOWOOD, T. HORWOOD, FOWLER, jun., RIDGWAY, HARDING, WING PULVER, &c.  Resolutions condemnatory of the League were adopted, and a protective association was formed.

KELSO.— A numerous and highly influential meeting of tenantry, landed proprietors, and others, convened by the Committee of the Border Association for the Encouragement of Agriculture, was held in the Assembly Room of the Cross Keys, on Friday, for the purpose, as stated in the advertisement, of taking measures for counteracting the machinations of the Anti-Corn Law League.   The meeting was conducted with the greatest spirit, and the following striking facts were brought under its notice by Lord John SCOTT.   We quote from the Kelso Mail of Monday, "His lordship said, the employment of our native labour in agricultural pursuits caused an increased demand for the manufactures of the country; and he would show that it also caused an increase in the export trade in manufacturers.   From the year 1592 up to 1772, the Corn Laws had been framed on the principle of protection; but at the later period all restriction was abolished. From that time agricultural improvement appeared to languish, and commerce decreased; and in 1799 a duty of 24s 3d per quarter was imposed when wheat was at or under 50s the quarter; when duty was 6d.   At this time the general export trade was admitted by M'CULLOCH to be scarcely worth notice.  The official value of the export trade in cotton manufactures was however, stated.   It was very small, being £1,662,369.  In 1804 came the next alteration in the Corn Laws, when the admission of foreign wheat was permitted at a duty of 24s 3d, when wheat was under 63s per quarter; at 63s and under 66s, the duty was 2s 6d; and above 66s, it was 6d; and a bounty of 5s per quarter on exportation was allowed when wheat was at 48s.   In this year, 1804, the value of the exports of cotton manufacture was £7,834,564, and of total British produce £20,042,596.   The number of British ships employed was 4865, and the tonnage 904,932.   In 1815 the laws were made more stringent, even to the pitch of prohibition; for no foreign wheat was admitted till the price in this country reached eighty shillings per quarter.   (Cheers.)  And yet these poor manufacturers, who had been making fortunes so rapidly, not content to allow the landlord to get three per cent for his money, must seek to amass more upon the ruins of their fellow citizens.   In 1822, when the then new corn law was passed, the value of cotton manufactures exported was £24,559,272 and that of all kinds of British produce, exported, £40,194,681.   The shipping was in number 11,087, and in tonnage 1,372,108.  These were the damning effect of the corn law of 1815.  (Cheers.)   The act of 1822 admitted foreign wheat, when the price was at or above 70s, at a duty of 12s; above 70s, and under 80s, at 5s, and above 80s, and under 85s, at 1s, but as the price never reached 80s, this law may be said never to have come into operation; foreign corn was in fact almost prohibited, and native agriculture had this unlimited protection.   But does trade diminish in consequence?  In 1828 the value of the exports of cotton was £28,981,575, and the total value of British produce exported, £51,279,102.   Number of ships 13,436, tonnage 2,094,367.  As we kept going on with this law we found the manufacturer making money with greater and greater rapidity.; and yet they wanted to make it out, among a certain class, by ad captundum and false arguments, that prices would be reduced, and food cheap; but no sooner did they get among the agriculturists than they altered their tone, and would prove that there would not be this falling off, and that prices would not be reduced. (Hear, hear.)   Now if prices would be kept up, why all this nonsense about cheap bread?  Why, it appeared these suffering and famishing millions were to suffer and famish still, just that these men might have the means of amassing more wealth.   The whole affair was rubbish from beginning to end.  (Loud applause.)  They not only put themselves into the position of inducing foreign countries to have the entire command of our bread market, but also to have the means of rivaling us in manufactures, merely that they might be able, in their own short lives, to amass all the wealth possible.   Posterity never did anything for the capitalists, and the capitalists would do nothing for posterity. (Here.)  If they had their measures, not one individual, save themselves, would be better off than before; and as to the famishing population of whom they spoke, they were, it appeared, not to have bread cheaper than now.   It is like taking a hungry man to the window of a cook shop, and showing him all the good things within, without allowing him to taste. (Laughter.)  Well, in 1828, the principle of a varying scale of protection was adopted, commencing at or above 73s per quarter, when the duty was 1s; when the price was 72s, 6s 8d; at 70s and under 71s, 10s 8d; and so on, finishing with a duty of 36s 8d, when the price was under 51s.   This law showed no great relaxation of protection, and it continued in operation up to 1842, when Sir Robert PEEL'S modification was made, with the particulars of which they were familiar.   Up to 1835, at which time a continued rapid improvement  in manufactures was still apparent, the export of cotton was £44,266,903 and the total British produce £73,495,536; and this would show that from 1804, at which time the Corn Laws became highly protective, the export trade in manufactured cottons had increased nearly six fold—(loud cheers)—while the general exports had extended from £20,000,000 to £73,000,000.   (Renewed cheers.)  In 1790, as we have seen, the export of cotton was £1,662,000; in 1804 it was £7,854,000, in 1815 it was £21,430,000; in 1822 it was £24,559,000; in 1828 it was £28,981,000; and in 1835 it was £44,266,000, while at this period the value of the total exports of British manufactured produce was £73,495,536.   This was in 1835; and these official tables being taken from the work of the Free Trader M'CULLOCK, he was unable to continue them further from that source; but he had been handed a paper containing the table for 1837, which showed that the improvement was going on then with undiminished regularity, the total value of the exports that year being £84883276, no less than £11,387,740 advance upon 1835.   All this was pretty conclusive that these laws were not so extremely prejudicial as the lower classes had been led to suppose."  A liberal subscription was entered upon in the room.