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effect of that act at the time of its firit possible ope-
ration, that is, in the year 1767. On this idea.
how stands the account?

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1765

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- 415,624

1766

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- 415,544 1767 (first year of the Free-port aệt) 467,681

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This author, for the sake of a present momentary
credit, will hazard any future and permanent dis-
grace. At the time he wrote, the account of 1767
could not be made up. This was the very first
year of the trial of the Free-port act; and we find
that the sale of British commodities is so far from
lessened by that act, that the export of 1767
amounts to £.52,000 more than that of either of
the two preceding years, and is £.11,000 above
that of his standard year 1764. If I could prevail
on myself to argue in favour of a great commer-
cial scheme from the appearance of things in a single
year, I should from this increase of export infer
the beneficial effects of that measure. In truth,
it is not wanting. Nothing but the thickest iga,
norance of the Jamaica trade could have made any
one entertain a fancy, that the least ill effect on our
commerce could follow from this opening of the
ports. But, if the author argues the effect of reb

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gulations in the American trade from the export of the year in which they are made, or even or the following; why did he not apply this rule to his own? He had the fame paper before him which I have now before me. He must have seen that in his standard year (the year 1764), the principal year of his new regulations, the export fell no less than £.128,450 short of that in 1763! Did the export trade revive by these regulations in 1765, during which year they continued in their full force? It fell about £.40,000 still lower. Here is à fall of 2.168,000; to account for which, would have become the author much better than piddling for an £.80 fall in the year 1766 (the only year in which the order he objects to could operate), or in presuming a fall of exports from a regulation which took place only in November 1766; whose effects could not appear until the following year; and which, when they do appear, utterly overthrow all his flimsy reasons and affected fufpicions upon the effect of opening the ports. - This author, in the fame paragraph, fays, that “it was asserted by the American factors and agents,

that the commanders of our fhips of war and “ tenders, having custom-house commiffions, and “the ftrict orders given in 1764 for a due exe"cution of the laws of trade in the colonies, had " deterred the Spaniards from trading with us;

" that

" that the sale of British manufactures in the Weft “ Indies had been greatly lefsened, and the receipt w of large sums of specie prevented.”. - If the American factors and agents afferted this, they had good ground for their assertion. They knew that the Spanish vessels had been driven from our ports. The author does not positively deny the fact. If he fhould, it will be proved When the factors connected this measure and its natural consequences, with an actual fall in the exports to Jamaica, to no less an amount than £.128,450 in one year, and with a further fall in the next, is their affertion very wonderful? The author himself is full as much alarmed by a fall of only £.40,000; for, giving him the facts which he chuses to coin, it is no more. The expulsion of the Spanish vessels must certainly have been one cause, if not of the first declension of the exports, yet of their continuance in their reduced state. Other causes had their operation, without doubt. In what degree each cause produced its effect, it is hard to determine. But the fact of a fall of exports upon the restraining plan, and of a rise upon the taking place of the enlarging plan, is established beyond all contradiction.

This author says, that the facts relative to the Spanish trade were asserted by American factors and agents; insinuating, that the ministry of 1766 had no better authority for their plan of enlargement com.arin.mn

P 3

than

than such assertions. The moment he chooses it, he shall see the very same thing asserted by go, vernors of provinces, by commanders of men of war, and by officers of the customs; persons the most bound in duty to prevent contraband, and the most interested in the seizures to be made in coníequence of striệt regulation. I suppress then for the presept; wishing that the author may not drive me to a more full discussion of this matter than it may be altogether prudent to enter into I wish he had not made any of these difcuffions necessary,

THOUGHTS

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Hoc vero occultum, intestinum, domefticum malum, non

modo non existit, verum etiam opprin it, antiquam perfpicere atque explorare potueris. . Cic.

1770.

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