If the roads, the railways, the banks, the insurance offices, the great joint-stockcompanies, the universities, and the public charities, were all of them branches of government; if, in addition, the municipal corporations and local boards, with all that now devolves on them, became departments of the central administration; if the employees of all these different enterprises were appointed and paid by the government, and looked to the government for every rise in life; not all the freedom of the press and popular constitution of the legislature would make this or any other country free otherwise than in name.
During my tenure of power, myearnest wish has beento impress the people of this country with a belief that the legislature was animated bya sincere desire to frame its legislation upon the principles of equity and justice Deprive me of power tomorrow, but you can never deprive me of the consciousness that I have exercised the powers committed to me from no corrupt or interested motives, from no desire to gratifyambition, or to attain any personal object.
I am sure that the immediate abolition of the slave trade is the first, the principal, the most indispensable act of policy, of dutyand of justice the legislature of this country has to take, if it is indeed their wish to secure those important objects For we continue to this hour a barbarous traffic in slaves, we continue it even yet, in spite of all our great and undeniable pretensions as civilisation.
Like all other contracts, wages should be left to the fair and free competition of themarket, and should never be controlled by the interference of the legislature.
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