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Land, in England, is valuable, because we have highly-paid artisans to consume the produce on the spot.
It is, and long has been my opinion, and I have heard honourable members in this House declare it to be theirs - that it is the duty of Parliament equally to protect all the different interests in the country.
In Great Britain the price of food is at a higher level than in any other country, and consequently, the British artisan labours at a disadvantage in proportion to the higher rate of his food.
I see no reason for giving the capital employed in agriculture greater protection than the capital vested in other branches of trade, manufacture, or commerce.
I maintain that the existing corn laws are bad, because they have given a monopoly of food to the landed interest over every other class and over every other interest in the kingdom.
I am willing to admit that if the agriculturists are oppressed by peculiar burdens, they ought to be relieved from them, or be allowed a fair and just protection equivalent to all such peculiar burdens.
Fortunately for England, all her imports are raw materials.
Destroy or take away the employment and wages of those artisans - which the corn laws in a great measure do - and you will, ere long, render the land in Great Britain of as little value as it is in other countries.
At the present moment the people of England are only three-quarters fed, and the result of this improvement in the export of our manufactures would be, that they would be entirely fed.
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