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and all his schemes defeated, by the statute-book. (Hear, hear.) It was this that restrained him from trading from one part to another without a licence. It was this which prevented him from dealing in one of the most valuable and lucrative articles of trade, viz. tea. He would not speak with disrespect of the body of the EastIndia Company, but he would say, that it traded under all the disadvantages which have ever been found to belong to a monopaly. He was convinced, from the interest which that body must feel in the national welfare, that they would not refuse to allow others to enjoy what they themselves were unable to enjoy ; and this was all that he wanted to ground his proposition upon. If the private trade were perfectly unrestricted, much smaller vessels might be employed, and many merchants would engage in it who could not fit out a ship of 500 tons burden. There existed many nations whose ports and rivers, were accessible to smaller vessels, who were now never visited. They composed a population of upwards of 70,000,000 ; and he would beg leave to read a passage from a book lately published by a gentleman who had been long employed in the Eastern Islands, showing the facilities for commerce in the Eastern seas, the great wealth which they offered, and the little trade that was now
carried on in them. The noble Marquis recommended this as a field " for our commerce, in case some alterations were admitted in the rights exercised by the East-ludia Company. He was well aware that all such trades must have slow and small 'beginnings ; but he was also aware that it was in encouraging
ing those slow and small beginnings that the legislature of a country was best employed. Не recollected a story, which, though it was not much in itself, deserved some notice from their ļordships, since it had been put upon record by Dr. Franklin, as a complete illustration of the doctrine which he (thé Marquis of Lansdown) was then advancing, Dr. Franklin related that liis wife, conceiving herself to be under obligation to a ship-owner at Maytown,' made a practice for some years, of sending a cap annually to his daughter as a present. After this practice had lasied for some time, the Doctor stated that he accidentally met this ship-owner, in company with a farmer of the same town, in Philadelphia. The ship-owner said to him, "A dear cap that was, 'friend, which you sent to us at Maytown. “ How so ?” replied the Doctor. “Why, since you' sent us it, none of our young
out without one. hereupon interrupted the ship-owner, and told him that he was only telling one side of the story; for he ought to have added, that it was only since those caps had been sent to Maytown that their young women had been accustomed to send mittens to Philadelphia, it being by the sale of their mittens that they were able to procure the Philadelphia caps. (Laughter.) This story he (the Marquis
» The farmer
of Lansdown) confessed was a trifle in itself : but trifles such as these, like the seeds which, first scattered by the breeze, at length fasten on the soil, when they come to operate upon the minds of bold and enterprising men, produce consequences that affect the prosperity and happiness of nations; so it was that the foundations of all those trades were laid, which the merchants of this country had carried on with so much industry and success, and which he trusted that they would carry on with still greater industry and success when they were allowed to enibark in them free from those restrictions by which they had hitherto been shackled. Indeed, when he considered the effects which had followed the opening of a free trade, in the only quarter where it had yet been permitted, he could not for a moment doubt of the benefit which the commercial interests of the country would receive from the removal of those restrictions under which they had hitherto labored. Their Lordships would recollect that six years ago, when the trade to the East Indies was not open, there was no independent British tonnage on the other side of the Cape of Good Hope. At present he was happy to inform them, that there were in the Eastern seas 20,000 tons of shipping in the service of the East India Company, but 61,000 in the service of the free traders. Was there any one among their Lordships, seeing, as they all had seen, the rapid strides with which British commerce had advanced in that quarter of the globe, bold enough to say, that the advantages of a free trade might not be carried still further even there, and might not be rendered productive of even still more important results ? But whilst upon this subject, there was another point which he wished to press upon the notice of their Lordships, and which was this that the free trade employed 4,720 British seamen, whilst the trade of the East-India Company employed only 2,550 of them. This fact particularly deserved their attention, because it displayed the benefits of a free trade, even in quarters where benefits were least of all to be expected. Whenever a free trade to other countries, nearer home, bad been proposed, their Lordships and the country had been told that the opening of such trade would be highly inexpedient, because it would throw out of employment a certain number of British seamen; but, now that the trade was opened to the East Indies, it was proved that it not only did not throw any of them out of employment, but actually opened a field for the employment of an additional number of them. It was true that in the vessels employed in the free trade there were only 7 men to every 100 tons, whereas, in the East-India service, there were 20 men to the same quantity of tonnage; but did that circumstance prove any thing against a free trade, connected, as they ought to connect it, with the fact that the number of seamen engaged in that free trade was greater than the number engaged by the
VOL. XVII. Pam. NO. XXXIV.
East-India Company? Itonly proved the superiorskill and economy of labor, with which individual interest would conduct a trade to profit, when compared with that of a corporation proceeding upon rule and habit without the same stimulus.
of-bi After some further observations upon this subject, the Noble Marquis proceeded to contend that it was a peculiar hardships that in countries where the British had established an unprecedented power, and where they exercised an uncontrolled dominion, an American should be at liberty to carry on a trade in which it was not allowed to an Englishman to engage. The trade to which he alluded was the exportation of tea, from China to Europe, which he understood was in the proportion of ten to one in the hands of the American merchant; nor was this at all surprising, for he not only derived a benefit from the liberty which he possessed, of assorting his cargo when and where he pleased, but also from the liberty which he enjoyed of supplying France, Holland, and other parts of the continent, with that commodity, tea, which the East-India Company did not choose to do themselves, and which their charter did not permit any of their fellow-countrymen to supply their place by doing. The consequence of this extraordinary state of things had been, that, while the British trade at Canton had been stationary during the last thirteen years, their trade had made most rapid increase; and, indeed, during the last three years, had increased a full third of its former value. He would next proceed to showito their Lordships another point in which our commercial regulations gave an advantage to the American merchant trading in the eastern seas, which was not enjoyed by' our own. "Both must go to South America for bullion; and, for the sake of argument, he would suppose that Valparaiso was the port to which both went. The English merchant, after taking in his bullion, is obliged to return to England, and then cannot set sail for India until he has refitted bis ship. The American merchant, on the contrary, sails directly from Valparaiso to his place of destination, disposes of one cargo and takes in another, almost before the English merchant is able
to set sail a second time from England. Indeed, he had been informed, in the course of that morning, that at the present moment certain Americans were-fitting up vessels in the Thames, in order to undertake a beneficial venture, which no Englishman could hazard with safety under the present regulations. Was it right that such a circumstance should be allowed to occur in this, which had been justly denominated the most commercial country in the world? He did not grudge to the United States the advantage of any
trade which their circumstances and situation enabled them to carry on with greater advantage than ourselves; but were we to create our own incapacity ? Was it either right or expedient, that
this country should extend to Americans the privileges of a trade from which she excluded her own inhabitants, who were equally well, if not better, calculated to carry it on, from their habits, their industry, and their spirit of enterprise ? So fully was he convinced of the inexpediency of such a restriction, that nothing could induce him to believe that the East-India Company would not, if applied to, allow Englishmen to supply France, and Holland, and Germany, With tea from Canton, as readily as she allowed the American merchant to do so. He felt this, from the peculiar value of the trade, and the great elements of future prosperity connected with it, to be the most important consideration he had to'urge; and it was the dast topic of a strictly commercial nature on which he should allow himself to comment. He should next proceed--unwilling as he was to touch upon any political question, on an occasion when he hadno wish to excite any politicalfeeling to say a few words upon certain subjects, which, though they were connected with the politics, were not less connected with the commerce, of the country. He was not prepared to say that the British Government ought to exert its influence to procure the immediate independence of South America by no means, but he was prepared to say that, considering the manner in which the trade of its subjects had increased at Buenos Ayres, where it was liable to no restrictions during the years 1810, 1811, and 1812–considering that since the latter of these periods it had even increased there to a two-fold amount, and that similar results had taken place in every other part of that great continent where British manufactures had been introduced, it was bound, by every tie of feeling and of interest, to cement the connexion which already subsisted between the inhabitants of the two rountries, by the utmost good faith, kindness, and liberality. To cement that connexion would not be a difficult task for this country, as there was none better calculated to inspire the South Americans with sentiments of respect and affection. First, it was a maritime country, able to give them support and assistance whenever they should stand in need of it; 'secondly, if it repealed the restrictions with which it had guarded its commerce up to the present day, it would stand before them as a country ready to receive their produce on the most favorable terms, and seeking nothing else, in its relation with them, than the happiness and prosperity of both parties. And why should they not repeal these restrictions ? Their Lordships, he was sure, were well aware that, in the year previous to the commencement of the unfortunate war which terminated in the establishment of American independence, our exports to the United States did not amount to more than 3,000,0001.; whereas at present they amounted to no less a sum than 30,000,0001. Was this great and amazing increase the result of restrictive laws and
provisions ? Certainly not : it was the result of the increased prosperity, and population of those States, and of their becoming, in consequence of it, greater consumers of our produce and manufactures. If such had been the case with North America, did not that very
circumstance render it still more the interest of the British Government to consolidate its friendship with those countries in the south, which were desirous of securing its friendship, which under the odious government from which Spain bad recently emancipateditself, had never been open to us, and which, even under thegovernment which had just succeeded to it, were not likely to be more accessible to us ? The Noble Marquis then stated, that the political state of Ireland must also form an important feature in the future prospects of British trade. If ever there was a people calculated to give employment to capital, and to become great consumers of manufactured goods, it was the people of Ireland. Every exertion made to civilize their habits and improve their political condition, would react upon our own prosperity, and afford a perpetually increasing demand. Our religious and commercial jealousies had cramped her growth; our confidence and sympathy might expand it no less for our own benefit than for hers. He would now conclude; though not very san· guine in his expectations of immediate relief to the presentdistress of the country, he could not, with the feelings which he entertained regarding British enterprise, British skill, and British ingenuity, abandon the hope of ultimate success and revived exertions, whilst there was any part of the globe unexplored, or only partially explored, to which our trade could penetrate. Our merchants, if they were now oppressed with the difficulties which he bady before described, were not, however, deprived of that high character, that good faith, and that persevering industry, which had always distinguished them. In whatever part of the world they appeared they still maintained their ancient pre-eminence; and thus acquired, wherever they went, a preference over those of other nations. These were his grounds of hope ; and on these he looked forward with confidence to the arrival of more favorable times. He had now stated the object of his motion: all that he asked of their Lordships was, to consult the genius of their country, for that
It support which was so necessary to renew and invigorate its resources; and to apply to those principles for the preservation of their commerce, to which they were indebted for its original prosperity. He could assure them, that he had not willingly brought the subject forward, but that it had forced itself, through him, upon the House, owing to the reluctance exhibited by Ministers to entertain it. He then concluded his speech by moving for the appointment of a select committee, to examine into the state of the foreigo trade, and the best means of extending it.