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scheme appears to me; but to the Honourable Gentleman who proposed it to us, I am persuaded it appears in a quite different light, otherwise I am certain he would never have proposed it to this Committee. However, since the generality of the nation have already shewn a great dislike to it, I hope the Honourable Gentleman may be prevailed on to delay it till another Session of Parliament : in such a delay there can be no danger, there can be no great loss to the Public, more especially since the money to be thereby raised, is not so much as proposed to be applied to the current service of the present year. If it be delayed till another Session of Parliament, Gentlemen will then have time to consider it fully, and to consult with their Constituents about it; by that time it may possibly, appear in a quite different light both to me and many other Gentlemen without doors as well as within; and then, if upon examination it appears to be a good thing, as some Gentlemen now seem to believe, it will, without doubt, be approved of by the generality of those without, as well as by the majority of those within.
But I hope those Gentlemen who have now so good an opis nion of the scheme, will not think of thrusting it down people's throats, when they see that the generality of the nation have an opinion of it quite different from what they have ; such a Resolution, such an attempt, might produce consequences which I tremble to think of: and this is another motive which is of great weight to me, I have the honour to know his Majesty, his Royal Person I have formerly had the honour to approach, and know him to be a Prince of so much goodness, that were this scheme represented to him in this light, he never would approve of it; to him it will always be a sufficient reason against any proposition, that the generality of the people have shewn their dislike to it. I love his Majesty, I have a fincere and a dutiful respect for him, and all the Royal Family; and therefore I shall always be afraid of any thing that may alienate the affections of many of his Majesty's faithful subjects, which
I believe would be the certain consequence of the establishment of this scheme; for which reasons, if the Question be now pushed, I shall most heartily give my negative to it. '
Sir Paul Methuen, March 14, 1733.
The prosperity of this nation, Sir, or at least our security, depends upon the tranquillity of our neighbours : while they are at peace, they will always consume more of our manufactures than when they are involved in blood and confusion; and consequently we shall always, in times of peace, have a greater demand for the manufactures of our country than in time of war. Besides, while they continue at peace, the Balance of Power can be in no danger; but the events of war no nation can depend on; and therefore this nation, amongst the rest, may be deeply affected by the extraordinary success of any one Power in Europe. Let us not therefore grudge a trifling expence, when it may evidently contribute towards restoring peace among our neighbours, upon which our own prosperity and security does and always must depend.
Our house is not yet on fire, but our neighbour's is all on a flame; and then certainly it is time for us to prepare the engines necessary for preserving our own. These are a powerful fleet, and a sufficient body of regular well-disciplined troops; ready to march' at the first word of command: This, Sir, will give weight to his Majesty's Councils, it will make all the parties concerned give a due regard and attention to what may be proposed by his Majesty's Ministers for restoring the peace of Europe ; for a Minister, whose equipage consists of a large body of good troops, will always be better hearkened to, than one whose equipage confifts only of a great number of fine pages and useless footmen.
Sir Robert Walpole; Feb. 14, 1735.
As this day seems to be a day of paradoxes, amongst the rest, we have been told one with respect to our trade. We are N 2
told, Sir, that the prosperity of this nation depends upon the tranquillity of our neighbours; and that in times of peace, there is always a greater demand for the manufactures and produce of this country than in time of war. This, Sir, is so far from being a true maxim in trade, that the direct contrary is true. The chief part of the produce of this country, consists in the necessaries, and not the luxuries of life ; and consequently our neighbours will always consume as much of such sort of things in time of war as in time of peace. But the difference is, that when their heads are not distracted, nor their hands diverted, by any foreign or domestic war, they have time to apply themselves to tillage; they have time to apply themfelves to manufactures of all kinds; they have leisure to think of, and to improve all the arts of peace; and by so doing, they furnish themselves at home with a great many of those necessaries which, in time of war, they are obliged to purchase of us. This is not only evident in theory, but is confirmed by experience; for our trade has suffered more by the domestic improvements made by our neighbours, during the last long tranquillity in Europe, than it has done by any other means; except the heavy duties we have laid upon ourselves, and the great trouble, and many fees, and many perquisites we have subjected our Merchants to, both in importing and exporting their goods and merchandize.
Mr. Pulteney, Feb. 14, 1935.
Our great King Edward III. shewed such a regard for our trade and navigation, that upon a complaint from our Merchants of their having been plundered by the Spanish pirates or guarda costas of those days, he immediately fitted out a feet, and went in person to revenge the depredations that had been committed upon his subjects; by which he restored the frecdom of our commerce, and added a naval triumph, to the many triumphs he had before obtained at land. The protection of trade and navigation has always been one of the chief concerns of all great Kings and all wise nations. Even the Romans, who could never be said to be a trading people, fhewed a great regard for it, as appears from the reproof Cicero gave them in his days, for neglecting to suppress the pirates, and to assert the honour of their flag.
Mir. Pulteney, March 30, 1738.
OUR travellers, Sir, who make but very superficial inquiries into the manners or customs of any country they pass through, , may perhaps imagine the people of France or Holland, are more heavily or more oppressedly taxed, than the people of this kingdom, because they hear the people complain there as they do here; but any Gentleman who understands these things, and has made a proper inquiry, may soon be convinced of the contrary; and as for the other countries of Europe, they have not, it's true, such numbers of rich Merchants, masters of manufacturers, and master tradesinen, as we have in this country, which is the reason that many of their poor live in idleness, or starve for mere want, because there are few or no rich Masters or Merchants in the country, that have money to employ them ; but in all countries, where the poor have any employment, they are pretty nearly equally poor; they neither get, nor expect more than a comfortable subsistence by their daily labour : and if you enhance the means of that subsistence by taxes on the necessaries and conveniencies of life, their Masters must increase their wages ; so that all taxes fall at last upon the Masters, foreign or domestic, who must pay for that increase of wages in the price of goods they purchase : but the difference is, that a tax laid directly upon the Master, only prevents his growing rich fo fast, or makes him live less luxuriously, but does not enhance the price of your manufactures : whereas a tax laid upon those things, that are necessary for the fupport of the poor, enhances the price of labour, and consequently raises the price of all your manufactures both for domestic and foreign sale, which at last ruins your trade. There.
fore, if the poor' of this kingdom be more heavily taxed than the poor of any other country of Europe, it is what ought to be remedied as soon as possible ; it is what will give that country a great advantage over us, if they should ever begin to apply themselves to trade, which every country, of Europe is now aiming at as much as they can.
Sir John Barnard, March 21, 1737.