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suggested under this head, may appear to our readers far too bold, too extensive, and too dangerous for adoption ; yet the encouragement afforded by recent financial changes, is well calculated to inspire ministers with confidence in the prospective result of enlarged operations, and to induce an extended application of those principles on which their financial policy has of late years been so wisely based-witness the success of the measures of 1832, when a remission of duties to the amount of 1,600,0001. was concurrent with an actual increase of revenue exceeding 200,0001. To the advantages which would result from the remission of such duties as those now charged on foreign timber, or on such articles of domestic manufacture as glass, paper, &c., none can be insensible; and if our estimates of the disposable means of abolishing that portion of taxes which impedes the progress of the nation in wealth and power, are deemed too sanguine, and our anticipation of the progressive advance of the national means of contribution too favourable, we trust that they will not be attributed to deficient industry in the investigation of the springs of British power, but to that confidence in the buoyancy of the state resources which must, in the course of their researches, grow in the minds of all who attentively examine into the domestic and financial condition of Great Britain.
In discussing these subjects, we have ventured on questions of great difficulty and vital importance; in the review of which, any attachment to party politics would be unsuitable. Happily, in this age and country, a rigid scrutiny into the public actions of public men is permitted ; and we have thus felt free to commend and animadvert on measures in proportion as they appear well or ill adapted to our condition, without regard to the political principles of men in office, or of their opponents.
Convinced that in works wherein the leading design is utility, clearness and simplicity are especially desirable, perspicuity, rather than elegance of style has been our aim. We are far from being insensible to the imperfections which our work presents to the ingenious and intelligent critic; but, conscious that our pages bear the stamp of good intention, laborious investigation, and diligent research, we confidently claim the indulgence of the attentive reader.
Several changes have occurred since the beginning of the present session of parliament, when our manuscript was sent to press ; during the progress of the printing, we have yet found opportunity to notice some of the most important measures of the legislature; with these exceptions, which will be remarked on perusal of the work, the manuscript must be considered to be made up to April 1834. In our observations connected with the science of political economy, we have taken for our guide the doctrines laid down by Boileau, * a writer of great discernment and solid judgment. To Mr. Mc Culloch a special acknowledgment is due, for the use we have made of his able and profound work; nor can we close our preface without expressing our thanks for the assistance we have received from the gentlemen of the House of Commons' Library, and from those of the British Museum. We have also derived great assistance from the writings of other authors, to which we have referred in various parts of the
* Introduction to the science of Political Economy. # Dictionary of Commerce and Navigation.
LONDON, August, 1834.