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upon it.
The supply of butcher's-meat to some of the principal
towns, especially Paris, is less copious than formerly. It has
increased greatly, but in a less ratio than the population. Of the
fact there is no doubt, since on this point there are trustworthy
statistics of the past as well as of the present. In 1789 the
consumption of meat in Paris averaged 68 kilogrammes (150 lbs.)
for each person; in 1841 it was but 55 (121 lbs.), and there are
also complaints of a falling off in the quality.

The Quarterly reviewer treats very cavalierly the explanation
given of this fact by M. Cunin-Gridaine, Minister of Commerce
and Agriculture. "This is to be accounted for by the revolution
which has taken place in the working classes; Paris having become
the most manufacturing town in Europe." Industrielle is not
exactly synonymous with manufacturing, but let that pass. On
this the reviewer:- "This seems a strange explanation. The new
population of Paris is to starve on an ounce" (five ounces) "of
meat per diem. How is that? Pooh! says the Liberal Minister,
they are only manufacturers. This solution will not be very
agreeable to those theorists amongst us who confound the extension
of manufactures with the welfare and comfort of the working
people. The more candid Minister of Louis-Philippe assumes that
a manufacturing population must of necessity be worse fed than
other classes." The reviewer is evidently no Edipus. But he
might have found in another page of M. Rubichon's treatise, what
the Minister meant. In a town such as Paris before the Revolu-
tion, in which there was, comparatively speaking, no production at
all, but only distribution-the population consisting of the great
landlords, the Court and higher functionaries paid by the State,
the bankers, financiers, government contractors, and other monied
classes, with the great and small dealers and tradesmen needful for
supplying these opulent consumers, and few labourers beyond those
who cannot be wanting in so large a town-all will see that the
richer must bear an unusually high numerical proportion to the
poorer consumers in such a city. Suppose now that a Manchester
or a Glasgow grows up in the place. It is pretty evident that
while this would add a little to the richer class, it would add
twenty times as much to the poorer. Considering how that the
upper and middle classes in France are great consumers of animal
food, while the poor consume very little, the ration of each poor

person might in these circumstances increase very much, while yet the average consumption per head of the whole city, owing to diminished proportional numbers of the richer class, might be considerably diminished. We have little doubt that this is the fact, and that the great increase in the inferior kinds of animal food introduced into Paris would prove to be for the use, not of those who formerly used the superior kinds, but in a great measure for those who seldom obtained animal food at all.

This, however, does not explain the whole of the change which has taken place; for the price of butcher's meat has also risen in the Paris markets so materially as to be a source of great privation and complaint. The rise may be ascribed to various causes. In the first place, "France has till lately always been a large importer of cattle; and down to 1814 they were exempted from all duty. In that year, however, a duty of three francs was laid on each head of cattle imported;" and in 1822 the duty "was suddenly raised to 55 francs, an increase which has well nigh put a stop to the importation." Secondly, the octroi, or town custom duty, now so burthensome, did not exist at all in 1789, and has been largely increased at various periods, both in Paris and most other towns, since its first establishment. These causes are enough of themselves to account for a considerable part of the enhancement complained of.

But if there were not these causes, there is cause almost sufficient in the very fact of an increased and rapidly increasing population. Paris has added, in fourteen years, between four and five hundred thousand to its inhabitants, an increase of nearly onehalf. The agriculture of a country must be rapidly improving indeed, if an increase like this can take place in a single market without compelling it to draw its supplies from a larger surface and a greater distance, and therefore at an increased expense. Where would London have been by this time, for the supply of its markets, were it not for our great coasting trade, and the invention of steam navigation, which conveys not only cattle but carcasses from the extremity of Scotland as cheaply as they can be brought from Buckinghamshire? The cattle for the supply of Paris must travel

*Macculloch's Geographical Dictionary, art. France.

by land, from distances varying from 50 to 150 leagues (this rests on the authority of a Committee of the Municipal Council of Paris, in 1841), and after so long a journey have either to be brought to market out of condition, or to be fattened in the immediate neighbourhood. Can any one, then, be surprised that a doubled population cannot be so well or so cheaply supplied as one of half the number?

To these three causes of the diminished supply of butcher's meat in the towns, we are not afraid to add a fourth, which, though resting mainly on general considerations, we should not be wholly unable to support by positive evidence. This is, the increased consumption by the country people. They have less animal food in proportion, to spare for the towns, because they retain more of it for their own use.

On what evidence is it asserted that small properties imply deficiency of cattle, and consequent deficiency of manure? That they are not favourable to sheep farming seems to be admitted; but the breeding and fattening of horned cattle seems to be so perfectly compatible with small capital, that in the opinion of many Continental authorities, small farms have the advantage in this respect, and so great an advantage as to be more than a compensation for their inferiority in sheep*. It is argued that the petite propriété must diminish the number of cattle, because it leads to the breaking up of natural pasture. But when natural pasture is fit for the plough, a greater number of cattle than were supported on the whole, may be supported on a part, by laying it out in roots and artificial grasses; and it is well known that on the stall-feeding system there is much greater preservation of manure. The question of petite culture, in relation to cattle, is, in fact, one and the same with the question of stall-feeding. The two things must stand or fall together. Stall-feeding produces, cæteris paribus, a greater quantity of provisions, but in the opinion of most judges a lower quality. Experience must decide.

This brings us back to the causes assigned by the committee of the Paris town-council, for the falling off in the quality of the beef consumed at Paris. One is, the extraordinary increase in the

* See this question discussed in Book I. chap. 9 of the present work, pp. 176-8.

consumption of dairy produce. Milk is now brought from distances of thirty leagues, and within six or eight leagues of Paris no calves are now bred up, all being sold at the earliest moment possible. In consequence, a great part of the beef sold at Paris is the flesh of cows too old to be fit for producing milk. A second cause assigned is, the increase of stall-feeding. But the committee make an instructive distinction. In Normandy, which affords

the greatest portion of the supply, the quality, they say, has deteriorated; but in La Vendée, and the central provinces, the Limousin, Nivernais, Bourbonnais, and La Marche, "there is improvement in weight, in fatness, and from some districts in number," although these countries have also adopted stall-feeding; and in this, say the committee, there is no contradiction, since "what is a deterioration in the rich pasturages of Calvados, is improvement in the petites herbes of the Allier and the Nièvre."

It may now be left to the reader to judge if the case of our adversaries has not broken down as completely on this, their strongest point, as it has done on every other point of any import


We cannot close this long controversy without producing evidence of the extraordinary improvement, extraordinary both in amount and in rapidity, which is taking place in the productiveness of the agriculture of some parts of France. We quote from another work by an authority already cited, M. Hippolite Passy, several times a minister of Louis-Philippe, and well-known as one of the first politicians and publicists of France. This tract, published in 1841, is an examination of "the changes in the agricultural condition of the Department of the Eure since 1800." The Eure is one of the five departments of Normandy, and belongs to the region of which M. Rubichon admits the agriculture to be the best in France; but only (as he contends) because the morcellement has not had time to produce its effects, having commenced in that region only from the Revolution, and he assigns to it accordingly no privilege but that of Outis in the Odyssey, to be devoured the last. Let us now see the facts. This department fortunately possesses an accurate agricultural statistique for the year 1800, drawn up by a préfet who took great pains to be correct in his information. M. Passy's pamphlet is a comparison of these returns with those collected by the present French Government in 1837.

In this interval of thirty-seven years, scarcely any new land was taken into cultivation, nearly all fit for culture having been already occupied. But fallows have diminished from 172,000 hectares to a little more than 80,000. The cultures which supply cattle have increased in a much greater proportion than any others instead of 17 per cent of the cultivated area, they now occupy 37 per cent. Horses have multiplied from 29,500 to 51,000, horned cattle from 51,000 to 106,000, sheep from 205,000 to 511,000, and as their food has increased in a still greater ratio, and there is importation besides, all kinds of live stock are better fed, and have gained in size, weight, and value. The produce per hectare of all kinds of grain, and of most other kinds of produce, has considerably increased, of some kinds nearly doubled. These changes have chiefly been effected during the second half of the period, so that the improvement is as progressive as on M. Rubichon's theory should have been the deterioration. There has been no perceptible variation in the proportion between the grande and the petite culture; nor has the division of properties at all promoted the division of farms. On the soils where small farms are most profitable, large properties are rented to small tenants; where the reverse is the case, a single farmer often rents the lands of several proprietors, and this arrangement extends itself more as the subdivision of property advances. The consumption of food per head of the population has largely increased in the ratio, according to M. Passy, of about 37 per cent; and while the agricultural wealth of the department has increased, according to his estimate, by 54 per cent, the population has only increased 5 per cent*.

Though the Eure belongs to the most productive and thriving region of France, it is not the most productive or the most thriving department. The Nord, which comprises the greater part of French Flanders, and is a country of small farms, maintains, according to M. Passy, proportionally to its extent, a third more cattle than the Eure; and the average produce of wheat per hectare, instead of seventeen, is twenty hectolitres, about twenty-two English bushels per acre.

* During the last quinquennial period, the population of this department, on the shewing both of the census and of the register of births and deaths, has actually diminished.

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