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A nation may gain where the merchant loses; but, wherever the merchant gains, the nation gains equal and so much more as the maintenance and wages of the people employed and the duty on the goods amounts to.-From Money and Trade, by John Law, Esq. (of Lauriston) : Edinburgh, 1705.
Foreign trade may be a loss to a nation ; for, although the merchant be a gainer by his trade, the public may suffer by it; but so much as the manufacturer earns by his business, so much is also gained to the nation.-From The Interest of Scotland: Edinburgh, 1733.
Foreign trade, by its imports, furnishes materials for new manufactures ; and, by its exports, it produces labour in particular commodities which could not be consumed at home. ... The public is also a gainer, while a greater stock of labour is by this means stored up against any public exigency. ... 'Tis true, the English feel some disadvantages in foreign trade by the high price of labour, ... but as foreign trade is not the most material circumstance, 'tis not to be put in competition with the happiness of so many millions.-From Political Discourses, by David Hume, Esq. Edinburgh, 1752.
The Notes that follow, although they have for their basis the recent declarations of the Board of Trade as to Bounties allowed by the French Government on sugar, make greater reference to the Bounty Scheme by which our good neighbours are seeking to play the same game aggressively on British shipping, and still more to the negotiations which are in progress for a new Commercial Treaty with France. They exhibit reasons which induced the writer, twenty-one years ago, to oppose the Treaty that is now in force, and objections which experience and reflection have only confirmed and deepened. A Liberal throughout life, he cannot admit that the question of free-trade, scepticism regarding which he expresses freely and justifies by abundant extracts, may be regarded as a tenet and test of Liberalism. It was not formerly, it should not be now, both for the sake of the nation, and in order to prevent begun or threatened estrangement of the masses of the people. Having been a long while retired from business and active political life, and living in the country with plenty of work to do, he has not easy access to sources of information that would enable him to render his appeal more conclusive and forcible. There are no doubt rich stores of information, if not more sadly demonstrative and clamant, at any rate more recent, and in scope more comprehensive, than those from which, being mostly at hand, he has drawn. He wishes his self-imposed task were better discharged. It is undertaken because so few of the many