Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

nish the British West India islands with a more extensive that, in consequence of the failure by the past administramarket for their productions, and with the means of sup- tion of the Government of the United States to comply plying themselves, on the cheapest terms, with all articles with the provisions of the act of Parliament of 1825, by of foreign produce of which they might stand in need. repealing certain restrictions in their laws deemed incom

The act of 1825 was, in fact, a relaxation of the pre-patible with the interests of the colonies, Great Britain vious policy, affording to the West India colonies advan- thought proper,' by order in council, to exclude them tages of trade which they had not previously enjoyed, from the direct trade authorized by that act. But it can and offering the benefit of their commerce to all the world. not, therefore, be supposed that they were thus escluded It will scarcely be denied that this relaxation was dictated because Great Britain had repented of the regulations of by a wise regard for the peculiar wants of those islands. 1825, which she continued to extend to all other nations, Abundant proof of this may be found in the reciprocal pri- though some of them, too, had neglected the conditions vileges granted at the same time to the other possessions of that act; neither could it be supposed that the importof Great Britain, the interests of which might be supposed ance of a direct trade with the United States liad in any to be affected by these regulations; and more especially degree diminished. in the privileges conferred on the Northern possessions, of It is not a fair inference from any measure, neither is it introducing their grain into England at a fixed and mode- avowed on the face of any public document of Great Brirate duty, and of receiving in exchange, and importing tain, that, by the interdict applied by the order in council

, directly from all parts of the world, productions similar to she intended, permanently and unchangeably, to deprive those of the West India islands; and also in the reduction the United States and her West India islands of the benefit of the duty on the Mauritius sugar, in the ports of Great of a direct trade, which had always been deemed of the Britain, to an equality with that on the West India first importance to both. The opposite is the natural insugar.

ference; and it is due to the character of Great Britain, It will scarcely be doubted that these privileges were and to her knowledge of her true interests, to believe that fully commensurate with the object. Indeed, it must be the adjustment of trade with her several possessions by perceived that they were of extensive scope and growing the act of 1825, was, in her opinion, salutary, and that she importance, materially affecting the present and prospec- ought to secure it in every part, and to give it more comtive trade of the West India planters. They conferred on plete effect, by her order in council, the true intent of the Northern possessions a free and direct trade, not only which was to exclude the United States from the direct trade with the European ports, but with the continent of South merely until they should consent to engage in it on terms America, in which are countries daily increasing in re- mutually advantageous. It was thus, whilst her other possessources, and destined, beyond a doubt, when the advan- sions were left in the enjoyment of their privileges, Great tages of their soil and climate shall be properly cultivated, Britain intended to secuire to the West India islands the to become rival growers of the West India produce. commercial benefits which had been designed for them

It may be safely affirmed that these are privileges of by these regulations. greater magnitude than any conferred by the same act on Nor are the answers heretofore given by this Governthe West India islands; and it is worthy of remark, that ment in the course of previous negotiations, incompatible they are still enjoyed by those possessions, constituting a with this interpretation of the order in council

. After source of profit and prosperity; while of those for which applying the interdict for the purposes of the act of 1825, they were given as an equivalent, the West India planter it was not unreasonable that the time of its removal should has been almost ever since deprived.

be adapted to the same ends. It might liave been de. It could not be imagined that the remotest forethought signed, not merely to evince the predilection of Great was entertained of this state of things, by which the West Britain for regulations adopted in 1825, but to manifest to India islands would ultimately be deprived of their most all other nations the mutual advantages of that course of natural and profitable market, and their interests sacri- trade, and to yield to a liberal spirit when that effect ficed to the adventitious prosperity of possessions which should be produced. The language of the late Mr. Can. already, in the privileges lieretofore alluded to, and in the ning, and of Lord Dudley, authorizes this belief. Mr. scale of discriminating duties provided by the act of Par. Canning said no more than that the British Government liament, enjoyed advantages equivalent to any accorded would not feel bound to remove the interdict, as a matter by the protecting policy of Great Britain. Much less of course, whenever it might suit a foreign nation to recould the undersigned permit himself to suppose that the consider her measures; implying, surely, that, under other act of 1825 contemplated any other objects than those circumstances, our overture would not be rejected. In which it ostensibly imported, or that those objects could the negotiation with Mr. Canning, moreover, the Ameri; be permanently defeated by accidental causes.

can pretensions, which, before that time, had embarrassed The undersigned need not here enter into a particular an arrangement, were not conceded; and on that ground, defence of the omission on the part of the United States particularly, Mr. Gallatin's proposition was then declined. seasonably to embrace the offer of the direct trade made by At the time of the negotiation with Lord Dudley, neither Great Britain in the year 1825, and to which allusion has party had felt the effects of a state of things which neither so frequently been male. Whether it be a subject more had ever contemplated, and for which Great Britain had of regret or of censure, it ought to be enough that the never, until then, manifested any desire. claims advanced in justification of it have since been aban Without attempting here to point out the error of Lord doned by those who made them, have received no sanc. Dudley's conception of Mr. Gallatin's proposition, the untion from the people of the United States, and that they dersigned contents himself with suggesting that his answer are not now revived. If it be the intention of Great Britain most particularly referred to the proposition merely in to perpetuate the present state of things from a belief that regard to the form and the time. It neither said nor intiit is more for her interest, she will require no warrant mated, as, had such been the intention, it unquestionably from the past; and if she intend it for any other purpose, would have done, that Great Britain designed, by the the mistakes of the past will not justify a policy observed order in council, permanently to abandon the objects of towards the United States alone, while unenforced against her act of 1825. other nations chargeable with similar neglect. If these It must be admitted that such inference would be inmistakes have led to the mutual injury of both countries, compatible with the views entertained by the present there ought rather to be inspired a disposition to remedy ministry, as expressed in the order in council of 1828 such injury, and to prevent its future recurrence. gratuitously extending and continuing to Spain the privi

. The undersigned, therefore, may be content to admit leges granted by the act of 1825, which she, also, had

[blocks in formation]

forfeited, by failing, up to that period, to comply with the is sufficient, without the aid of other causes which might conditions.

be cited, to produce a state of distress greater even than On no supposition, consistent with ordinary impar. that of which they at present complain. tiality towards a friendly nation, can this order be recon The Earl of Aberdeen will scarcely need be informed ciled, than that the whole subject rested in the discretion that the consumption, in the United States, of West India of the ministry, to be changed and modified at any time produce is very considerable; but it may not be superwhen they might deem it expedient.

Auous to state that, of foreign sugar alone, it is certainly The undersigned, therefore, takes leave to suppose that little less than sixty millions of pounds per annum; of fothe present state of things is new and unexpected in the reign molasses, it is not less than thirteen millions of gallons; colonial history of Great Britain; that the interests and ad- and of foreign rum, it is equal to three millions and a half; vantages dependent upon it are adventitious, subordinate, and yet, in consequence of the present embarrassments if not opposed, to the objects of the act of Parliament of of the direct trade, the importation of British West India 1825, and injurious to the interests contemplated by that produce has substantially ceased. act; and that it was neither intended to be produced nor It does not appear, in the mean time, that the planter perpetuated by the order in council of 1826. He is in- has been indemnified for his loss by any other market. In duced, therefore, by these considerations, to renew his that of London, he certainly has not: it neither requires hope that the real purposes of that order may now be ful- the surplus produce thus left on the hands of the planter, filled, and the cardinal object of the act of 1825 effectually nor offers him an equal price for that which it consumes. promoted.

The freight to New York is one shilling, and to London He would venture to ask, moreover, whether those in- five shillings per hundred weight; the difference of interests which have recently sprung up out of this adven- surance between the two places, also, is as one to six per titious state of things, which depend upon accidental cent. The price of sugar, therefore, ought to be procauses, and subsist upon the sufferings of others more an-portionably higher in the London market. The Earl of cient in standing, and at least equal in magnitude, have Aberdeen will perceive, however, by a reference to the any peculiar claim to be upheld. They connected them- prices current of Philadelphia, Boston, and London, alselves with a course of trade subversive of the leading ready submitted to his inspection, that, instead of being motives of the act of 1825, and necessarily temporary, greater, the price is less in the market of London than in and which it would be unreasonable to convert into a per- that of the United States. The sugar of St. Croix, which Inanent arrangement, unless it could be proved that it had is of an inferior quality to that of Jamaica, is quoted in attained, or was likely to attain, in some other way, all the prices current of the United States at from eight to the objects contemplated by that act.

ten dollars and fifty cents per hundred weight; and while The regulations of the sixth year of his present Majesty's the price of nine dollars and fifty cents, after deducting reign were not adopted without reason, or uncalled for by freight and duty, would nett twenty-five shillings sterling, the condition of the West India colonies. The improvi- the prices in London, it is believed, do not nett more than dent legislation with which their trade with the United twenty-two shillings per hundred weight, for sugar of States has been unhappily restricted, subsequently to the similar quality. The undersigned begs leave also to reyear 1822, had produced embarrassments which all ac- mark, that an examination of the same prices current, knowledged, and which the measures of 1825 proposed for the purpose of comparing the prices of the lower qualito obviate, by extending the market for their productions, ties of sugar, as well as of rum, would present a more strikand enlarging the means of a cheap supply.

ing disparity in favor of the market of the United States. Such, it must be admitted, was the obvious remedy for It may not be necessary to assert the impossibility of the evil; and, if their own picture of actual distress and supplying the West India islands at present without the aid, embarrassment be not overdrawn, the situation of the directly or indirectly, of the United States. If this were West India planters is more in need of its application at not the case, unless the supplies could be drawn from present than in the year 1825. Seldom, indeed, if ever, other possessions of Great Britain, the undersigned will have their distresses been more intense, or their supplica- not imagine that there could be any motive or pretence, as tions for relief more urgent.

between other nations, to exclude the United States, more It is also true that, according to usual custom in periods especially as it is not likely that any other nation could of public distress, the evils which now afflict the West furnish them on terms equally advantageous, India planters have been ascribed to causes various in their But the undersigned may assert with perfect safety, that, nature, and not always consistent. For evils of general for a great portion of their principal supplies, especially prevalence, however, there is always some cause of gene- flour, Indian meal, rice, boards, staves, and shingles, the ral and uniform operation; and it certainly is not unfair to West India islands must be, for a long time, dependent argile that the same circumstances which have led to such upon the United States; for rice, in fact, they must ala calamitous state of things at one period, may lead to ways be so. The proximity of the United States and the similar effects at another; therefore, that an aggravation West India islands to each other; the adaptation of their of those causes which produced the embarrassments pre productions to their mutual wants; the capacity of the valent from 1822 to 1825, may produce the same, in a still United States to furnish the principal articles of promore oppressive degree, at present, and may render them visions, at all seasons, in a fresh state, and by a cheap insupportable hereafter.

navigation; and, above all, the extent and steadfastness of That there is an immense reduction in the value of colo. their demand for the island productions, not only constinial produce, is not a matter of conjectural speculation. tute them the best customers of the planters, but give It will not be denied that it has been taking place gradually them advantages for such a trade not possessed by any since the interruption of the direct trade, until it may be other nation. Even the British Northern possessions, if in affirmed that the nett proceeds of a single hogshead of fact they were equally capable of producing the necessary sugar are less, by ten pounds sterling, than they were in articles, could not enter into competition upon equal terms.

The physical impediments which, for at least half the year, It is not a matter of doubt to the undersigned that the embarrass their intercourse with the islands, compel the total loss to the West India planters of a direct trade with latter, during that time, to look elsewhere for any immethe United States, the most natural source of their sup- diate supplies of which they may stand in need. plies, and the most profitable market for their productions, Not to dwell too minutely on this point, the undersigned by enhancing the price of the one, and not merely lower- will content himself with referring to the general course ing the price, but diminishing the quantity of the other, and extent of this trade in all past times; to the value of

Vol. VII.-Z

the last year.

[blocks in formation]

ness.

the supplies uniformly furnished by the United States, of rice; and it is also shown by the same account, that, of the under all the disadvantages of a restricted and embarrass- amount of lumber introduced since the interruption of the ed intercourse; and to the vast amount which is even now direct trade, nearly one-half of the most valuable kinds, finding its way through indirect and difficult, and conse. which previously went directly from the United States, quently expensive channels, under a positive and total passed through the foreign West Indies; of shingles consi terdict of the direct trade. Surely if other parts, with derably more than one-half; and of staves, a greater number which the trade is not merely direct, but highly favored, were imported from the foreign West Indies in 1828, than were actually able, from their own resources and produc- were introduced directly from the United States in 1825. tions, to furnish these supplies, there would be no recourse It will not cscape tlie aitention of the Earl of Aberfor them to the United States.

dleen that the foreign West Indies derive their means of The undersigned is unable to speak with precision of exporting these articles principally, if not exclusively, the amount of provisions and other articles actually sup- from the United States; and that, while the importance to plied from the United States in the present course of busi- the planters of their direct trade with the latter is thus

There is a difficulty in tracing the trade through exemplified by these statements, it is also shown that the the numerous channels into which it has been diverted diversion of it into indirect and circuitous channels does from its natural course. Tabular statements are not, in all not confer equally substantial advantages upon the British respects, full and accurate; especially when they relate to Northern colonies. merchandise transported across the frontier lines, and pass With this view of the subject, the undersigned takes ing down the St. Lawrence to the Northern possessions; leave to ask, why may not these supplies, which must of such there being but little, if any, account taken in the thus necessarily be drawn from the United States, be custom-houses.

furnished by means of a direct trade? It must be ad. These circumstances render all conclusions on this sub-mitted that the evils of the indirect trade fall upon the ject more or less matters of conjecture. It is the opinion, planters. Among these may be considered the charges however, of the most intelligent persons engaged in the of double freight and instirance, the expenses of transhiptrade, both before and since the order in council of 1826, ment, and the commissions and duties in the neutral islands, and an opinion which, it is believed, cannot be contro- estimated at fifty per centum on the first cost of lumber, verted, that an amount equal to more than a half of that and from fifteen to twenty per centum on provisions. So heretofore exported through the direct channels still con- far as this estimate relates to lumber, it is fully warranted tinues to go by the present circuitous routes. It has even by the official account of the comparative prices of that been asserted by intelligent commercial men, that Jamaica article in Jamaica in the years 1825 and 1828, already subhas not consumed less of the flour, and provisions gene. mitted to the Earl of Aberdeen; and, as it respects prorally, of the United States, though at an additional and visions, the duty of five shillings per barrel on four, and oppressive expense, than when the trade was direct. The in proportion on other articles, as completely sustains it. routes through which these supplies now pass comprehend But to these evils, great as they are, must be added the total not merely the Northern possessions, which have the soli- loss of the market offered by the United States under a ditary advantage of occasionally affording a better assort-rect trade, the extent and advantages of which have already ment of goods, but the islands of St. Thomas and st. been shown, and would have continued for an indefinite Bartholomew, Martinique, Guadaloupe, and the port of length of time, if not interrupted by these restrictions. St. Jago de Cuba.

It is true the cultivation of sugar had been commenced, It is believed that those facts will be fully sustained, so and is extending in the United States, but under difficul. far as certain official returns in the archives of this Go- ties and impediments arising from the nature of the climate, vernment, to which the undersigned has had access, may and the frequent injury of the crops by the variableness he relied on. One of these, being a comparative account of the seasons. It has to contend, also, with the superiof the quantity of provisions and lumber imported into ority, if not the indispensable necessity of foreign sugar the British West Indies in the years 1825 and 1828, the for the purpose of the refiner. The demand of the latter undersigned has already submitted to the Earl of Aber- is steadfast and increasing, being commensurate, not merely deen as deserving of particular attention. It would ap- with the consumption of refined sugar in the United pear from this, that, of the corn and grain imported into States, but the growing trade in it with all parts of the those islands in 1825, amounting to 383,332 bushels, world. The exportation of refined sugar has also been 237,248 bushels were introduced from the United States, further encouraged by a recent augmentation of the draw7,012 from the British colonies in North America, 9,249 back, placing it on an equal footing with domestic sugar from the foreign West Indies, 1,584 from foreign Europe, in respect to foreign markets. Under these circumstances, and the remainder from the United Kingdom, and the while the direct trade remained open, there would, as has islands of Jersey and Guernsey; thus constituting the been said, liave continued a great and augmenting de United States, in the regular course of the trade, the natu- mand for the West India sugars for an indefinite length of ral and cheapest source of supply. It also appears that time. The present restrictions, however, menace the in the year 1828, of the aggregate importation, then re-planter with its total loss, if, in fact, they have not already duced to 351,832 bushels, 27 bushels only were introduced ensured it. In proportion as they augment the embarrass

; directly from the United States; but, from the foreign ments and expense of the trade with the British West West Indies, 126,221; from the British colonies in North India islands, they compel the United States to grow their America, 45,495; from foreign Europe, 464; and from the own sugar, and act

as bounties to encourage and improve United Kingdom, &c. 172,718 bushels.

its cultivation; or they induce them to look for their inIn 1825, there were imported into the same islands dispensable supplics to other islands more liberal in their 202,737 barrels of meal and flour; of which the United commercial regulations. States supplied directly 161,568; the British colonies in

In the mean time, the planters, while they lose a market, North America, 4,232; foreign Europe, 400; foreign West ample, constant, profitable, and contiguous, find no in Indies, 21,090, and the United Kingdom, &c. 15,447 bar- demnification in that of the Northern possessions, whose rels. In 1828, the aggregate importation of the

same arti- consumption is comparatively limited, nor in that of the cles was 206,653 barrels; of which the United States sent mother country; for there, in addition to the low prices directly 940 barrels, and the foreign West Indies, 142,092; already adverted to, they must encounter the sugar of the the British colonies in North America, 36,766; foreign Mauritius, which, being now placed on an equality with Europe, 1,135, and the United Kingdom, 25,331. their own, has increased the amount of its importation, in

A similar result is more strikingly presented in the article the course of five years, from four thousand sis hundred

[blocks in formation]

to a little less, as it is believed, than thirty thousand tons. possessions of Great Britain an equal, or even a better From this state of things, therefore, serious injury arises chance in the West India market; but he requires that the to the trade, both of the United States and of the British United States, as far as they are capable of supplying its West India islands.

So far as that injury presses upon wants, may be permitted, in common with the rest of the the latter, it is confidently submitted whether plenary re-world, to contribute supplies by a direct trade, and that lief can be found, as has been supposed, in the reduction they may be the carriers of such of their own productions of duties upon their produce, unless it be in a manner to as are indispensable or highly necessary to the planters. give them a monopoly in the home market equal to that That the Northern possessions have an interest in the preof which they have been deprived in the United States; or sent state of things, the undersigned does not mean to even then, unless the reduction bein proportion, not mere- deny, nor particularly to state. It is sufficient for him to ly to the loss of the market, but to the increased charges repcat what has been already remarked, that the interests incident to the indirect trade for their necessary supplies. which have grown up in that quarter are adventitious in

The supply of sugar is already greater than the demand their character, and subordinate to all the great consideraof the home market; and the amount of reduction of duty tions connected with this subject. They may be of some could not be a clear gain to the planter, because it would importance in themselves, and yet there may be views of be also attended with a partial fall of the price, and his higher moment and grander scope, to some of which allugain could be in proportion to the latter only. This mode sion has already been made, before which, in every sense, of relief, without a correspondent reduction of the bounty they ought to give way. allowed to the refiner, would be prejudicial to the re It will be difficult to maintain the propriety of the claim venue, but, with such reduction, much more injurious to by the Northern possessions, that they should be secured the refiner; and if, as it may be well supposed, one-half, in the enjoyment of a direct trade with all parts of the at least, of the sugars imported from the West Indies are world, and that it should be denied to other possessions of manufactured for exportation, it is not likely that such Great Britain, to whom it is more necessary, mode of relief would, in any event, be beneficial to the Of the capacity of the British West Indies to supply planter. It is suggested with great respect and defe- with their productions all the demands of the Northern corence, that the more obvious and natural remedy for an evil, lonies, there can be no doubt; yet those colonies, by a diwhich all must admit, would be to remove the cause. rect trade, may introduce similar productions from foreign This would be done by cheapening the supplies, and ex- countries. Why, then, may not the British islands be pertending the market for the productions of the islands, and mitted by the same medium to introduce those articles by authorizing a direct trade with the United States to a which the Northern possessions cannot supply, and for degree commensurate with the interests and necessities of which they are dependent upon others? If the Canadian the islands, and on such terms as are now allowed, for may import from foreign countries, by a direct trade, mersimilar purposes, to all the rest of the world.

chandise of which he is not in need for his own subsistence, The partial application of a like remedy produced a sa- and which he may procure from other colonies of Great lutary effect from 1825 to 1826, and, therefore, it may Britain, why may not the West Indian receive from the well be presumed that a more thorough experiment on United States in the same direct manner that which is both sides, at present, would be still more beneficial. At indispensably necessary to him, and which none of his that time, undoubtedly, the British Northern possessions Majesty's colonies can supply? neither complained nor had cause of complaint; still less The undersigned does not pretend to state, since he is can any such cause have arisen since, as their monopoly unable to obtain the information requisite to enable him to of the direct trade, instead of relieving, has only aggra- state with accuracy, the precise proportion which the provated the sufferings of the planters!

ductive capacity of the Northern possessions bears to the It has been stated to the undersigned, however, as the wants of the West India islands. It is the general opinion opinion of Great Britain, that, while devising measures that the productions of those possessions, especially corn for the relief of the West Indies, it is, at the same time, and other bread stuffs, but little exceed the quantity reindispensably necessary to consider the claims of the quired for their own consumption; and that the amount of Northern possessions to be protected in the enjoyment of those articles, and even of lumber exported by them to certain accidental advantages. Though the undersigned the mother country, the West Indies, and to other parts, by no means admits the justice of these claims, he would is derived principally from the United States, and from observe, that, if they are to receive protection, it ought, some ports of Europe. This opinion would seem to be at least, to be effected in some way not inconsistent with confirmed by the state of the trade between those possesthe meditated relief of the planters. This might be done sions and the United States, and by the encouragement by granting greater facilities for the introduction of the given heretofore, and at present, by low duties, to the inproduce of the Northern possessions into the mother coun- troduction into their ports from the latter of most, if not try--a measure which would not merely benefit them, but all, of the foregoing articles. would ensure important advantages to Great Britain, by The exports from the United States to the British Ameincreasing her revenue, and augmenting and perpetuating rican colonies consist principally of four, meal, Indian the consumption of her manufactures in those possessions. corn, whicat, ship bread, rice, pot and pearl ashes, butter,

But the proposition does not go to exclude the produc- and lumber; amounting annually, according to the circumtions of the Northern colonies, or even to expose them stances of the year, to from two and one-half and three without protection to a competition with those of the and one-half millions of dollars, and little inferior in value United States. supposes, on the contrary, that, as far to the aggregate exports from the United States to the as the former are capable of producing the articles in British West India islands in an open trade. demand, a fair preference is already secured to them in The Earl of Aberdeen has already inspected the official the West India market by the scale of duties prescribed tables of the exports of domestic articles from the United by the act of 1825, an) fully commensurate, consistently States during the year 1827; and though, for purposes of with the interests of the planters, with that object. That comparison, similar tables for 1828 would be more prescale could only prove insufficient if the capacity to produce cise, it is believed they would not diminish, if they did not did not exist, or should depend for its existence upon an add to the weight of those of 1827. From this statement, exclusive monopoly ruinous to all other interests. and a recurrence to the account already explained, to say

It is not for the undersigned, therefore, to object to that nothing of the amount of produce passing down the si. scale of duties as regulated by the act of 1825, though it Lawrence, of which, as has been observed, little, if any, must be allowed to give the productions of the Northern account is taken in the United States, the Earl of Aber

It

[blocks in formation]

deen will perceive that, after a full experiment of the ad-out presuming that any of these opinions are in all respects vantages afforded to the British Northern colonies by the accurate, but making every allowance for the character present course of trade, they are in fact dependent upon of such answers, which, if in any degree erroneous, are the United States for considerably more than double the likely to err in favor of the Canadas, it may be safely and amount of their exports to the British West Indies. confidently assumed that the Northern possessions do not

By these statements, it appears that, in 1828, the British now, and cannot for a great number of years, however Northern colonies exported to the British West India they may be favored and encouraged, produce the requiislands 45,495 bushels of corn and grain, and, as far as the site supplies for the West Indies. They must rely upon trade in 1827 may be considered indicative of that of 1828, other sources, and principally upon the United States, not they received from the United States 88,456 bushels of merely to furnish the deficiency, but as consumers of the the same articles; that, of four and meal, they received West India produce. To this extent, and for these purfrom the United States 136,770 barrels, and exported to poses, the proposition of the undersigned asks for a direct the West Indies only 36,766; and that a like proportion is intercourse. The undersigned would here observe, more. observable in the articles of ship bread, and biscuit, and over, that the Northern colonies offer as little advantage rice. of lumber, the official tables of the United States in their demand for the produce of the British West India are not supposed to afford any satisfactory account; and, in islands, as in their capacity to furnish supplies. He is respect to pot and pearl ashes, the British statement is aware of the erroneous supposition that the United States, silent; though it will probably be conceded th the sup- in their direct trade with the British West Indies heretofore, plies of the latter articles are principally from the United did not take so much of their produce as of specie, to be in. States.

vested, as it was imagined, in the produce of other islands. On looking to the large amount of importations from So far, however, as it may be thought to argue an unfathe United States by the British Northern colonies, the vorable course of trade between the United States and comparatively small exportation from the latter to the Bri- those islands, he may confidently rely for its refutation, not tish West Indies cannot escape observation. That these only upon its obvious improbability, but upon the past, islands require much more than the quantity furnished and even the present course of the trade. them by the North, is shown, not only by the table of their It is obvious that the restrictions by which the trade of direct trade with the United States, but by the amount the United States with the British West Indies has been so furnished at present, under all the pressure of the dis- frequently embarrassed, offered peculiar inducements to criminating duties, from the foreign West Indies. It is a the importation of specie; but on this head the undersigned matter, in fact, that does not admit of a doubt. That the may venture to affirm that the amount of specie has not, at Northern colonies do not, under these circumstances, send any period of the direct trade, exceeded much more than more of the produce received by them from the United one fourth of the importation into the United States States, must be either because a great part of it is absorb through those islands. ed by the demands for the home consumption, or that it is Without stopping to detect the error of supposing any necessary for their export trade with other parts of the thing unfavorable to the general result of trade from the world. The first cause satisfactorily evinces the incapaci- exchange of specie for produce, which Lord Aberdeen is ty of those possessions, even under their present advan- aware is a natural occurrence, incident to commerce in all tages, to augment, in any considerable degree, their own parts of the world, it will be sufficient to observe that, as productions; the last does not merely evince this, but ma- the advantages of the direct trade to the West India planter nifests more strikingly the inexpediency of their claim to a were never doubted, it may fairly be inferred that the er: monopoly of the trade with the West Indies, to the exclusion changes were mutually made in the most profitable med:of the United States, upon whose productions they are um. That specie was occasionally received for part of the themselves dependent, not only for their trade with the supplies furnished by the United States, need not be deWest Indies, but also for that with the mother country, nied; which would prove, only, that, from the general reand with the foreign European ports.

sult of their traffic with other parts, the West India plantIf these facts should be considered as requiring further ers were enabled to deal more profitably in specic for the confirmation, it may be found in the testimony of several produce of the United States—thus attording additional of the most intelligent inhabitants of the Northern colo- illustration of the mutual advantage of their intercourse. nies, taken, in 1826, before the select committee on cmi- But the undersigned takes leave wholly to doubt that spe: gration, by which it appears that, at that period, and pre- cie was so taken for the purpose of being invested in simiviously, Lower Canada did not supply any flour suited to lar articles in the foreign islands. the West India market; and that the whole of the exports Unless an occasional instance of the kind has been proof the Upper Province, not exceeding 40,000 barrels, duced by the pressure of those restrictions which it is were disposed of in the ports of Newfoundland, New now proposed to abolish, the occurrence of it would or Brunswick, and Halifax, and were insufficient for their gue in the merchant the unaccountable folly of submitwants; that Quebec depended, in a great degree, for pro- ting to a prolonged voyage, but reduced freight, and to visions, upon the supplies furnished by the United States; the other disadvantages of a circuitous trade, in the search and that Canada, at the time, found the utmost difficulty in after commodities which lay ready at hand, and which he subsisting her own population. It was further stated in might convey immediately to his market by that testimony, that "there was not sufficient corn grown voyage, and at a better freight. in Upper Canada to induce any foreign market to deal with It will doubtless, however, occur to Lord Aberdeen, them; and that it would be extremely desirable, for some that, whatever may have been the course or nature of the years to come, to introduce American flour into the Cana- exchanges in a direct trade, they were not merely adapted das, in order to make up their deficit for the supply of the to the necessities of the parties, but are not likely to be West Indies.” that, in fact, their own supply to the West improved under the embarrassments of an indirect trade; Indian merchant was very inconsiderable, and that they or that more produce and less specic would pass off formed a very secondary consideration in bis estimation.” through the circuitous than the direct channel. One of the persons examined on that occasion, a legislative Though the Northern colonies may become the car. councillor of Lower Canada, gave it as liis opinion, and as riers, they do not thereby become the consumers, except one which he thought would be taken for granted, that to a’limited extent, of the West India produce. Their the provinces of the two Canadas would not be able, from capacity to consume in produce the value of all supplies their own produce, to supply a single barrel of flour to carried by them to the West Indies, or even of that part the West Indian market for the next twenty years. With going from the United States, will not be asserted; and,

a trect

« AnteriorContinuar »