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Ecen 423,2,4


Sept 6,1929








MY DEAR CHevalier,

It is with the most heartfelt pleasure that I inscribe this work with your name.

I shall never forget the generous warmth with which you expressed your approval of its principles, when years ago, I, a perfect stranger, submitted it to you, as one of the greatest living masters of the Science. I shall ever feel honored by the constant public support you have given me, and especially by your Report on my Works to the Institute of France.

There is another reason why I love to link your name with this book. In one of his last letters, your illustrious friend, FREDERIC BASTIAT,-the brightest genius who ever adorned our Science says that he only longed to be assured, before he died, that his book should call forth another.

My work was written before I had even heard of his name; but when I read his works for the first time, to give an account of them in my Dictionary, I was surprised and delighted to find that he had anticipated me on almost every point; and that I was unconsciously re-constructing the Science on his principles.

No one can feel more sensibly than I do how inferior I am to your lamented friend in literary skill: but our IDEAS are the

same; and I venture to say, with confidence, that had he been living now, there would have been no material difference between us on any point.

No words of mine can add to your well-earned fame. But History will record your unceasing efforts to promote the knowledge of true Economic Science-the surest basis of the prosperity of nations-in your country, and the part you played in negotiating the Commercial Treaty of 1860. History will record the noble stand which you, alone in the Senate of the falling Empire, made against that fatal policy which has brought such unheard of calamities on the pleasant land of France. Would that she had listened then to the wisdom of your counsels! Would that she would listen to you now! For her best hope of recovery lies in her learning and adopting those principles of Economics which you have so eloquently defended.


December 1st, 1872.

Believe me to be,

Ever affectionately yours,





When an author wishes to shew that the view of a science most popularly held is erroneous, and that he has a better one to offer, it is an act of mere justice to himself to lay before his readers a simple statement of the facts upon which he rests his claim to their confidence.

In the year 1847, when I was reading as a pupil in the chambers of my ever-lamented friend Mr. Bullen, whose memory will long be dear to many in the profession, the administration of the Poor Law was felt to be very unsatisfactory in many parts of Scotland. The district of Easter Ross, in which I resided, consisting of nine parishes, appointed a Committee to consider what should be done. This Committee elected me, as representing my father, the largest proprietor in the district, to be their Chairman, and it devolved upon me to devise an improved system of Poor Law Relief. The question being perfectly novel was naturally surrounded by many difficulties, legal and economical. Having devised a system which I thought suitable to the circumstances of the district, I had next to satisfy myself and others that there were sufficient legal powers to enforce it. The Scotch Poor Law consists of a few Acts and Proclamations passed in the 16th and 17th centuries, which were then generally supposed to be obsolete, and had very little practical effect, and the then recently passed Poor Law Amendment Act of 1845. Having carefully investigated these various Acts and Proclama

tions, I was satisfied that, taken collectively, they contained sufficient powers to carry out the system I wished to enforce. I drew up the Report for the Committee, and the district, in reliance on the case I had prepared for them, unanimously adopted the system I proposed, and it proved to be perfectly successful. In consequence of this success the Poor Law Board of Scotland requested me to draw up an account of it, to be laid by them, in their Report, before Parliament. This Report of mine is contained in the Appendix to their Seventh Annual Report, for 1852, and in their Report the Board said

"We have also printed in the Appendix a very full and lucid statement, for which we are indebted to Mr. H. D. Macleod, of the circumstances which led to the formation of the Easter Ross Poorhouse combination, chiefly under his guidance, and of the results that have been obtained by it. This communication, besides the interest attaching to it from its general bearing on the question of the expediency of erecting Poorhouses for rural Parishes in Scotland, has a particular value from the nearer approximation of the social condition of the inhabitants in Easter Ross to that of the population in the Highland districts, than will be found in any other part of the country, where the effects of a Poorhouse have been tried."

On a subsequent occasion Mr. Smythe, of Methven Castle, Perthshire, the Secretary to the Board, stated:

"Your industry and talents became especially known to me while I filled the office of Secretary to the Board of Supervision in Edinburgh, when you took a very active part in forming the Combination for erecting the Easter Ross Poorhouse. I am confident that without your energy and perseverance, that Combination would not then have been formed The views which you at that time so clearly and ably enunciated in regard to the mode of administering the Poor Laws in the Highland Districts, have been of material service to the Board of Supervision, and the example of Easter Ross has now been extensively followed, mainly in consequence of the impulse given by you. It was from a desire to give as wide a circulation as possible to views which to them appeared sound, that the Board referred to your Correspondence in their Annual Report for 1852. The whole system was then new and untried in that part of Scotland, and stood in need of an able advocate."

As this was the first regular introduction of the Poorhouse system of relief into Scotland, as might naturally be expected,

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