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made, of the present forms of procedure. But much. valuable time and money may surely be saved by such alterations as fhall be previously examined by your Lordship, and sanctioned by your knowledge and penetration.
In a state of interests and order of ranking, there may perhaps be objections made against 6, 8, 10, 12, or more of the interests produced for the creditors; for the common agent thinks it his duty to notice every defect that he can discover. It is in vain to think that all these objections can be answered thro' the medium of as many different agents, in the course of a fortnight.
But if each objection were separately stated, they could all be answered in that space; and by the simple operation of printing the state and order, the matter would be accomplished at once, at the additional expence of a few pounds; as by that means each creditor, or his doer, could have full access to the state for the whole of the time. And it would only farther be necessary, that the common agent fhould keep each reply separate, so as each creditor might take up to the cne relating to his own case, when he had occasion to represent to the Lord Ordinary, or to reclaim to the court.
The very same means would empower such of the other creditors as chose to object against the state and order, to do so within the same space of time. And by this simple regulation of making each objection a separate question, much time and interference would be saved. The clerks and tht in afsistants would naturally fall into the practice of not lending up any
more of the procefs to each agent than the interest of his own employer. Or, if necefsary, a regulation would be made, that the rest of the process thould remain in the clerk's hands, to be inspected there, during the time of making answers and duplies.
After all the objections are adjusted, there is often time lost in preparing the scheme of division. Such is the tedious nature of a procefs of ranking and sale, that the common agent does not always continue equally anxious to push it on to a conclusion. Weeks, or even months, may sometimes pafs before a remit is obtained to an accountant to prepare the scheme; and when it is obtained, it does not limit a time within which the scheme must be made up and produced.
A new fee to the clerks of court, of so much per cent. is rather an extraordinary remedy, and not to be often resorted to; yet I must own that no other effectual regulation presents itself in the present instance, for compelling the common agent to apply for and obtain the necefsary remit, and the accountant employed by him to make up and produce the scheme, within such precise time as may be deemed reasonable; and one space of time (suppose a month or six weeks), may safely be fixed, in all such cases; for a few days more will serve for framing and calculating a long scheme, than would serve for a a short one. I am, &c.
CONSIDERATIONS, ON THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE
Written a few years ago.
J. For the
THE advantages that have accrued to these kingdoms, from the introduction of large machines for spinning cotton, are so numerous and so conspicuous, as to render any encomiums on such machines unnecessary; yet it may be proper to mention one or two circumstances, that have not been generally attended to: they have served to convince the public of what vast service the use of machines is, in carrying on great works, and have fully demonstrated the futility of every argument, adduced with a design to show that they tend to diminish the number of hands employed in any manufacture, or lefsen the profits of the industrious labourer: If any one yet retains such an opinion, let him examine the counties of Lancaster, Cheshire, Derby, Nottingham &c. where such machines have been most generally established, and he will find his suspicions totally without foundation; the number of hands employed in the cotton works being increased beyond credibility, and the earnings of the industrious, both men and women, raised much higher than they used to
These are facts which admit not of dispute"; and if the spinning cotton by engines on a large scale, has
been productive of such general good, how much
1. Cotton being an article of foreign growth, may imported by any other commercial nation, as the French, Spaniards, &c. in any quantity required, whenever they fhall have introduced such machines as have been already used in England; and that attempts to obtain and introduce them into foreign countries have been made, is well known; but wool, which is peculiarly the growth of this country, and considered the staple commodity of it, can hardly be worked to advantage elsewhere, if, by increasing the consumption of it in our own manufactures, a stop is put to the practice of smuggling it into other countries, by which illicit practice only, foreigners have been enabled to undersel us in distant markets.
2. The land holder would be greatly benefitted by the introduction of large machines in the manufacture of wool; for as the demand for that article may reasonably be expected to increase as much, at least, as that for cotton has done, the breeding of sheep will increase, and the value of land rise in the same proportion. The whole nation will indeed be benefitted in a mode distinct from the enlargement of its commerce; for from the quantity of sheep bred, provisions will be lowered, and from the cheapnefs at which all woollen goods may be manufactured, they will
be brought at lower rates to market. individual in this country will find the advantage resulting to the whole kingdom, from such a wise and truly politic measure.
The laudable attention which the society instituted at London for the encouragement of arts, has constantly paid to the promoting the manufactures of these kingdoms, deserves the highest commendation, and has been attended with the most beneficial effects. Happy would it be, if that society were in such circumstances, as to enable them to offer a premium of sufficient value, to stimulate the ingenious mechanics of this country, to perfect a machine equally well adapted to the preparing and spinning wool, as those in use in the cotton works are to the preparing and spinning that article; but whoever fhall be fortunate enough to complete such an engine, will richly merit a reward far beyond the abilities of the society to grant.
After having considered various modes of raising a sufficient sum of money to reward the person who fhall produce such a machine as will effectually answer the intention required, I beg leave to suggest the expedient of an adequate premium being offered for it by parliament, as was formerly done for the discovery of the longitude, or any other manner as to their wisdom fhall seem more proper; and as there is every reason to believe, that the first hint of machines for spinning a number of threads of wool, cotton, &c. by one hand, at one time, originated with the society for encouragement of arts, see the first volume of their transactions page 33. it