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"that the sale of British manufactures in the West "Indies had been greatly lessened, and the receipt "of large sums of specie prevented."

If the American factors and agents asserted 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 should, 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 assertion 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 sirst 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 rife upon the taking place of the enlarging plan, is established beyond all contradiction.

This author fays, 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 • 'r P3 than, 214

than such assertions. The moment he choosej it, he mall &e 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 consequence of strict regulation. I suppress them for the present; 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 wiflj he had not made any of .these discussion^ necessary.

THOUGHTS

Thoughts

ON

THE CAUSE OF THE PRESENT

DISCONTENTS.

Hoc vero occultum, intestinum, domesticum malum, non modo non existit, verum etiam opprimit, antiquam perspicere atque explorare potueris. Cic.

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THOUGHTS

THE CAUSE OF THE PRESENT

. . DISCONTENTS.

IT is an undertaking of some degree of delicacy to examine into the cause of publick disorders. If a man imppeng not to succeed in such an inquiry, he will be thought weak and visionary;;, if he touches the true grievance, there is a danger that he may come near to persons of weight and consequence, who will rather be exasperated at the discovery of their errours, than thankful for the occasion of correcting them. If he mould be obliged to blame the favourites of the people, he will be considered as the tool of power; if he censures those in power, he will be looked on as an instrument of faction. But in all exertions of duty something is to be hazarded. In cases of tumult and disorder, our law has invested every man, in some sort, with the authority of a magistrate. When the affairs of the nation are distracted, private people are, by the spirit of that law, justisied

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