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Slave abolition,—if it be indeed desirable to assure to Great Britain the command of the Market of Europe, associated as that object is, with the Trade in Manufactured Goods; if it be desirable to assure to Great Britain the undisputed and bloodless Empire of the Seas; the East India Trade, through the medium of the British Carrier, ought to receive all the impulse consistent with the protection of British West India Interests, the preservation of which is de manded by every consideration not involving the further importation of Slaves.
The power of the United States of America results chiefly from Planting and Navigation; and since the acknowledgment of the American Independence, the current of the British Policy has in a high degree been favorable to American Interests.
Those States, when British Colonies, were possessed of the British Market for the produce of their Plantations. Their change from Provincial allegiance to Independence and commercial rivalry, has not been sufficiently marked; and the high rate of Freight incident to the monopoly of the East India Company, too long prevented competition between the Asiatic and American Planter, and precluded the British People from continuing to draw from within their own Empire, their accustomed supplies. The Cotton Wool, Rice and Tobacco of America, under a different system, would have found cheaper substitutes in the Cotton, Rice and Tobacco of India.
Under the relaxation, during the late War in Europe, of that principle of Public Law, by which the Trade between Europe and her Colonies, is in time of War restricted, as to the several States, to the modes under which such Trade is conducted during Peace, and under the advantages which were conceded to her by the Commercial Treaty of 1794, particularly by the 13th Article of that Treaty, respecting the American intercourse with British India; the Navigation of the United States has been equally favored: when the Orders of Council of November 1807, were issued, the European Market was supplied with Tropical productions, chiefly through the medium of the American Flag, especially with the productions of the East; at a period too, when by a gross anomaly, the individual British Merchant was virtually excluded from the East India Trade.
Such are some of the benefits which have been enjoyed by the American, in preference to the British Asiatic and European Subject; the effect has been felt in the recent conflict between the two Countries, and in that conflict it is easy to discern the seminal principle of future Wars, the frequency and duration of which will depend upon their relative naval power.
Great Britain is, then, directed by the best maxims of Policy,
by councils which flow from the heart to the head, by councils which are alike prompted by feeling and by the understanding, to extend her Eastern Agriculture and Commerce.
The regulations which are at present presumed to be necessary to that purpose, and to increase and confirm the influence of Great Britain in the Market of Europe, are necessarily comprehensive in their plan. In number and character, they are few and simple.
It is suggested that direct intercourse in British Ships be permitted between the several British Presidencies in India and the Ports of Europe, for Sugar, Coffee, Rice, and all such other Articles as upon due consideration shall not be excepted, subject only to the following conditions ;-That the Ship shall touch at Gibraltar or Malta, if bound to a Port South of Cape Finisterre, or at Falmouth or Cowes, if bound to a Port North of that Point; not to pay any duty, but to show that she is navigated agreeably to British Law.
And that she shall not receive for a destination beyond the limits of Europe, any Return Cargo, except at Malta, Gibraltar, or a Port of the United Kingdom.
That Cotton Wool and Rice be imported from the British Settlements in the East Indies, into the United Kingdom, free of duty; that the Importation of Tobacco from India be permitted at a reduced duty, and that the free Transit of all Articles, the growth and manufacture of the European Continent, be permitted by way of Great Britain, under the provisions of the Acts commonly called the Warehousing Acts, so far as such Articles are already the subject of direct Trade between Europe and other parts.
If it be objected;
First. That a Trade so permitted in Sugar and Coffee might operate to the prejudice of the British West India Planter.
Second. That by the proposed direct Trade, the business of the British Ports would be diminished.
Third.--That the free importation of Rice might interfere with domestic Agriculture, and that a duty is therefore expedient, by way of Regulation.
Fourth. That the duty on Cotton Wool is low, and, upon all Cotton exported for Foreign use, paid by the Foreign Consumer.
Fifth. That the United States of America receive British Goods in Payment for their Plantation produce, and that the Asiatic is to be paid in Money.
Sixth. That the introduction of Foreign Manufactures even to be re-shipped, would bring such Manufactures into mischievous competition with the British Manufactures.
It is answered to the objections, in the order in which they stand:
Answer to objection as to British West India Sugar and Coffee.
1. That East India Sugar and Coffee are already conveyed direct to the Continent of Europe, in Foreign Ships, and that the home consumption of East India Sugar might be disallowed, whenever the price of British West India Sugar should render such regulation necessary to the protection of the West India Planter.
Answer to objection that the Business of the British Ports would be diminished.
2. That it is essentially in the nature of Commerce to avoid unnecessary charges and a slight observation of the present state of Commercial relations is sufficient to show, that, if Great Britain will not carry on a direct Trade in certain descriptions of commodities, other Nations will so trade.
Answer to objection that Domestic Agriculture requires to be protected against the Importation of Rice.
3. That it is known by experience, that the British Poor will not substitute Rice, for Household Bread, if the latter be within their means of purchase. And if Bread be not within their means of purchase, the voice of nature dictates that the supply of other food should be permitted at the cheapest rate.
Answer to objection that the Duty on Cotton Wool is low and in part paid by the Foreign Consumer.
4. That Cotton Wool is the basis of the most extensive of the British Manufactures.
That the Cotton Fabrics constitute the principal Cloathing of the Poor; and therefore cannot be produced too cheap. That the efforts of the people of the United States of America, and of all Europe, are strongly directed to competition with Great Britain, in Cotton Goods, and that it is therefore inexpedient to levy any duty on the raw material to be purchased in a state of manufacture by the Foreign Consumer.
Answer to objection that the American is a better Customer than the Asiatic.
5. That the efforts which are in progress in the United States of America, to establish manufactories, plainly indicate the contingent nature of the demand of those States for British Manufac
That the demand of Great Britain upon the Agriculture and Navigation of the United States, tends to augment their Manufacturing and Commercial Capital, and consequently to accelerate their second Independence, an Independence of the British Manufacturer.
That the continued dependence of the British Manufacturer upon the Cotton Plantations of America, is to be deprecated, as one of the greatest evils, to which he can be exposed.
That the losses and misfortunes which arose from that cause during the American Embargo, and American War, were very considerable.
That dependence upon that source of supply, would enable the United States of America, at any time, to cause distress and dismay throughout the Manufacturing Counties.
That when the United States, shall have established the Cotton Manufactory, a double incentive to War with Great Britain, will be felt-namely, In the conscious power of distressing her, by withholding the supply of the raw material, and of under-selling her in Foreign Markets, when deprived of that supply.
That the demand of America for British Goods, is not confined, to the Plantation districts, nor in those districts confined to barter; that even if Great Britain did not purchase any American produce, America would be encouraged still to deal extensively with her, if offering the cheapest Market, and that the speculation of some increase, or diminution of American demand for British Manufactures, cannot be allowed to interpose to the prejudice of objects incomparably more important,
That the Asiatic does purchase some of the European Exports, and that a considerable proportion of the cost in England of the raw produce of India is constituted by freight, paid in support of British Navigation and by profit to the British Merchant.
Answer to objection that the free transit of Foreign Manufactures would be mischievous to the British Manufacturer.
6. That permission to assort a. Cargo in Great Britain from her own productions in combination with all the other productions of Europe, would influence very powerfully the direction of Foreign property to British consignment.
That it is well known that extensive consignments of foreign produce are made to the Continent of Europe in consequence of the request for the Continental Manufactures, which Consignments, upon every other consideration would be directed to the Ports of Great Britain.
That the Foreign demand for British Manufactures, must depend essentially upon the relative quality and price.
That the Trade of Transit, as proposed, would, by the increased attraction of Foreign Capital, tend to augment the demand for British Goods in all branches in which competition can be maintained, and that if competition cannot be maintained, the demand on the part of the unrestricted Consumer must necessarily cease.That such Trade would give employment to British Ships on their return from the Ports of the Continent of Europe, and again on their Outward Voyage from Great Britain.
Of the productions of the Tropical regions of the Globe, Sugar is of the most considerable exported Value as it is unquestionably the most bulky.
From the annual value of Sugar, refined and consumed in the raw state, in Great Britain, not less than Six Millions Sterling, it may be inferred that the demand of the Northern and Southern divisions of America, and the Continent of Europe, is an object of great magnitude.-That to supply that demand, labor to a vast extent must be brought into action, a large Commercial Marine be created, and important interests and relations be established: Coffee, Rice and Tobacco are respectively inferior to Sugar, in extent of value and bulk, but claim similar consideration in their relative proportion.
Cotton Wool is not only important as an Agricultural production, and as the subject of extensive employment to Shipping, but as the staple of the most extensive of all the Manufactures. The Annual Consumption of Cotton Wool in Great Britain upon an average of five years ending on the 31st day of December 1816, is 340,000 Bags equal at a low valuation, to Six Millions Sterling.
The greatest Marine carrier of those bulky and valuable products is most prepared for future contest, or is capacitated to controul Nations into Peace; the latter is the high and glorious privilege of Great Britain, if she duly improve the advantages offered in her Indian Provinces.
From Asiatic soil, Sugar and Coffee are to be produced to keep in check the plantations of the Foreign West India Islands, the Brazils, and other parts of America; from Asiatic soil, Cotton, Rice, and Tobacco, are to be produced to maintain competition with the produce of the United States of America.
In Asiatic Ports are to be Freighted the Ships by which, only, the Navigation of Foreign States, can be prevented from great and rapid increase.-Upon Asiatic soil only are the advocates of the Slave abolition to gain their final victory: Upon the British Asiatic Policy in the developement of the unbounded resources of British Asia, depends the ascendancy of the British Name.
END OF NO. XXI.