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favours, he would propose to him an ac- sessed of, previous to the commencement commodation they could have no objection of debates on the merits of the Bill. to, namely, that he should give all his va- The House concurring in sentiment, luable places, pensions, &c. to them, and evidence was agreed to be called, and the those of little or no value, as the Chiltern names of the witnesses being proposed, Hundreds, to the opposition. He asked, Lord Camden delivered it as his opinion, was the letter marked confidential ?" was that to save the House trouble, and afford it a private letter? It was not. The letter every possible information to the members, was of a public nature, and therefore the each witness in support of the allegations hon. gentleman was bound to read it. contained in the petition of the North
The House divided. The Yeas went American merchants, should have such forth.
questions propounded to him by Mr. BarTellers.
clay, who had signed the petitions, as he
might think tended to throw light on the
126 Mr. Thomas Townshend
subject. Lord Camden observed, that the
House of Commons had adopted this 173
method, and as for his part he professed Mr. De Grey
himself entirely unacquainted with the So it passed in the negative.
subject; he should be happy in having a
sensible man propose such trading quesDebate in the Lords on the Bill for tions as might be most likely to obtain restraining the Trade and Commerce of the from the several evidences the information New England Colonies.) March 15. Two required. petitions were preserted against the Bill; The Earl of Suffolk declared, that what the one from the corporation of London, had fallen from the noble lord who spoke the other from certain merchants and last, contributed more than any thing to traders to North America, who conceived confirm him in the vote he should give, their interests likely to be affected by the for that the other House had permitted operation of this Bill. After the sheriffs Mr. Barclay to question the evidence, was had presented the petition from the cor- the very reason why he would wish to reporation of London,
probate the adoption of a practice which The Marquis of Rockingham observed, stood unsupported by a single instance with regard to the city petition, that it recorded in the Journals of the House. originated from a body, the members of His lordship therefore was for having the which demanded every attention, on ac- questions proposed in the usual mode by count of their official respectability. The the House. petition of the merchants and traders, his Lord Camden retorted, that as prece. lordship did not conceive stood in need of dents, if good, merited every respectful the collateral aid of oral evidence, which, attention, he sincerely hoped the House however, was ready to be produced at the would not reject the adoption of a particubar if the House deemed such evidence lar mode, merely because the Commons necessary. The general principles of the had thought fit to accept it in the examiBil he inveighed against, as so many nation of witnesses
at their bar. glaring infringements on the constitution, The Duke of Richmond was strenuous and consequently fraught with every poli- for finishing the altercation, by observing, tical evil to be apprehended from despo- that if the House really wished for informtism in the extreme.
ation, the most likely method to obtain it, The Earl of Sandwich entirely dissented deserved the preference; and, in the noble in opinion from the illustrious marquis, he duke's opinion, it would much better wished that evidence might be called in answer the proposed end, to have Mr. support of the allegations contained in Barclay primarily propound the questions, each petition, for as he was confident that than that that House should propose them most of the noble lords present were either at second hand. If, however, the latter partially mistaken in, or wholly misunder- method was agreed on, the noble duke was stood the nature of, the American fishery, ready to acquiesce, although it would debis lordship proposed on the part of the tain the members longer from that
dinner, Bill to have such evidences called as in his to which their hunger, betrayed in their opinion would elucidate the several facts, petulance, stimulated them to repair. and communicate that species of informa- The House rejecting the idea of Mr. tion necessary for the House to be pos- Barclay propounding any questions to the
evidence, it was agreed, that the usual | America would stop the fishery in time : forms of the House should be observed. that the only materials for building their
Then Seth Jenkins, a Quaker, was called fishing vessels got from London, were in, and, upon his affirmation, acquainted sails and rigging: that there is an Act the House, “ That he was a mariner, and which prevents the pressing of the men is well acquainted with the island of Nan- employed in the New England fishery : tucket: that the number of inhabitants that the money arising from this fishery upon the said island is between 5 and amounts to abount 330,0001.: that the 6,000, who are almost all employed in the Quakers are of a peaceable disposition, fisheries : that the number of vessels be- and did not send any delegates to the conlonging to the said island is 140 sail, eight gress: that they chuse but one represenof which are employed in the coasting tative: that they drink tea: that they trade, and the rest in the fisheries : that were no ways concerned in the destruction the said island is about 15 miles long, and of the tear that they reside chiefly upon 3 broad; distant from the main 7 leagues: the island, and are no great politicians : that it has but one harbour : that the that he never heard of any persecution at produce of the said island will not maintain Halifax on account of religion, but has above 20 families: that nine tenths of the heard formerly of persecution on account inhabitants are Quakers : that the vessels of religion at Massachuset's Bay: that employed in the whale fishery sail at all sea- though the people of Nantucket would sons: that the limits of thie whale fishery not by choice go to another part of extend to Falkland's Island and the coast of America, where the trade was reAfrica : that their fishing vessels are gene- strained, yet they would prefer going rally 12 months on their voyage, sometimes there rather than to Halifax : that these 14 months: that this island is supplied with people have not entered into any combicorn from the provinces of Carolina, -New nation not to import goods from Great · York, Virginia, and Rhode Island : that Britain, and that they think this Bill will it is supplied with manufactures from restrain them from fishing after the 1st of London: that all their oil comes to Great June next.” Whereupon the clause in Britain, except a little, which is consumed the Bill relating to the island of Nantucket in the colonies: that if the inhabitants of was read in the engrossed Bill, whereby it this island are restrained from fishing, appeared that some words having by misthey would wait quietly till the Act was take been omitted in the printed Bill, was repealed, but that they could not subsist the reason of the witness's being of opi. above a month: that the inhabitants might nion, that this Bill would restrain them be under the necessity of removing from from any fishery after the 1st of June the island, but would not go to Halifax, next.—The witness being further esait being a military government: that the mined, acquainted the House, “ That vessels from England employed in the there are very few others than the whale fishery have little or no success in it, islanders who have any shares in their owing to their not understanding it: that fishery: that if the Bill passes they will this island formerly belonged to the pro- not be able to get any provisions, without vince of New York, at present it belongs which they cannot carry on their fisheries : to Massachuset's Bay: that no other men that the provinces of New England and would, if trade is stopt, carry on the Massachuset's Bay have no superfluity of whale fishery, as they do not understand provision to supply them with: that New the nature of it: that the people of Nan- England is supplied with provisions from tucket, if their fishery is stopt, would not Baltimore, Pennsylvania, and Carolina : get employment from others: that their that provisions were sent to the army in craft would be entirely lost, as they could the last war from Connecticut : that there not get purchasers for them: that the is not a sufficiency raised in New England Jands in Nova Scotia are in general very for their own consumption: that they barren, except some in the Bay of Fundy, supply the West Indies with live cattle
, and some German settlements: that the and can supply Nantucket with beef and lands in the Bay of Fundy are fertilized pork, but not bread, not having sufficient by being often overflowed: that the inha. for themselves: that Newfoundland is bitants of Nantucket are supplied with supplied with
provisions from New York, their materials for the fishery from Lon Jersey, Pensylvania, and Maryland: that don: that they have no stores laid in: one reason of their wanting provisions, is that the non-importation agreement in the great quantity consumed in the
fishery: and that so many men island of Nantucket, but that he knows employed in the fisheries, that there there is a trade carried on from there in are not enough left at home to cul- fish: that four of the provinces in New tirate the land, but if not employed in England do not raise bread sufficient for the fishery might, in time, be able to their own consumption, and that he has raise more provisions: that if the people of known great quantities of bread sent to the continent would or could send them Boston from London and New York: provisions, they would have no money to that he does not know of any immediate pay for them if the fishery was stopt, but substitute for bread the people of Nanif it is not stopt they could pay for them: tucket could eat: that if the fishery is that there are many sheep raised on the stopt, the men employed in it cannot turn island of Nantucket : that considerable their hands to any other business : that quantities of oats and Indian corn are sent the restraint upon the Nantucket whale from Massachuset's Bay to the West fishery is taken off by a clause in the Bill : Indies.”
that he don't know if any other persons Mr. Brooke Watson acquainted the are concerned with them in their fishing House, “ That he was an American mer- ships: that they have all the materials for chant, and well acquainted with the building their ships from England, except fisheries in North America : that he had / timber ; that the indulgence given by the been examined at the bar of the House of Bill to the people of Nantucket, he fears, Commons on that subject: that in his will be of little consequence to them : passage to North America, in 1766, he that the Americans pay for the goods from made out a State of the American fishery Great Britain by the profits of their in 1764; which State he carefully cor- | fisheries, and by the money they get for rected from the best information on his the ships which they build in America, arrival in North America ;” and then and load with goods for the West Indies, produced the said State. He then ac- where they receive sugars for their goods quainted the House, “ That the Ame- which they bring to Great Britain, where rican fisheries were much increased since they and the ships are sold : that if the 1764: that remittances were received for Bill passes, the Americans cannot make American fish from Spain, Portugal, and any returns to Great Britain for goods, Russia: that large quantities of New nor pay the debts they now owe: that the England rum are sent to Quebec, for merchants in London are not concerned which they return money, bills of ex. in the property of the American fisheries : change on merchants in London, and that the people of Nantucket cannot be some wheat : that it was too copious a sub- supplied with flour from Quebec, because ject for him to enter into a detail of at Quebec they have only a number of the general state of trade between mills sufficient to grind corn for themGreat Britain and America : that his selves, but that they may have a supply account
of the exports from Great from other provinces : that the weather is America
so severe at Quebec that the mills cannot about the time of passing the Stamp work above seven months in the year : Act: that a committee of merchants that he can't tell, if the other provinces in being appointed to draw up a state America should return to their allegiance, of the then trade between Great Bri- whether this Bill would affect Nantucket : tain and America, each merchant wrote that by this Bill, the people of one prothe amount of his exportation from vince being made answerable for another, Great Britain upon a piece of paper, but Nantucket will not receive her usual supdid not sign his name to it, and put it into ply of sustenance: that though the inhaa box, and the whole amount is specified bitants of Nantucket are the obedient subin the paper he had delivered in, or as near jects to the laws of this country, and are, as could be: that the merchants here ge- and have been, acting with all possible nerally deliver in at the Custom-house an precaution, yet they must suffer on the acinvoice of one third more than is really count of others who may be refractory.” shipped, and that no officer of the cus- Mr. Benjamin Lister acquainted the toms can make an exact estimate of what House, “ That he was a merchant advenis exported to America : that the people turer in the Newfoundland fishery for 38 of North Carolina cannot afford to clothe years: that he goes to Newfoundland themselves so well as those of the other every summer, and is a large dealer in that provinces : that he never was at the trade: that he thinks, that if the American
fishery was stopt, the foreign markets would gain no share in it more than they might be supplied with fish from Great have, as their fisheries are bounded: that Britain alone in future, and in part this it would increase the number of British year : that the principal ports in England and Irish fishing vessels, and consequently from whence the Newfoundland fisheries increase the number of British seamen: are carried on, are Pool and Dartmouth, that the best-dried fish are best for the that 400 sail are sent from Great Britain, markets, and there are different markets the tonnage of which amounts to 36,000 for all the different sorts of fish ; the tons, and 2,000 shallops, making 20,000 Italian market is for small fish: that in tons more: that 20,000 men are employed, time the British fishermen would be able 12,000 of which return to Great Britain to equal the New England fishermen, in and Ireland : that they are obliged to curing fish for the Bilboa market : that in carry out every year one man in every 1773 there was more fish caught than was five, who is what they call a green man, wanted, and that the markets were glutor one who has never been at sea before, ted: that England can supply half of the by which means the British fishery raises fish for the American markets this year : 3,000 fresh seamen every year : that they that the French can only supply themcatch about 600,000 quintals of cod fish, selves : that he can't tell whether New which, for about seven years, has sold at England can sell fish cheaper than Great 14s. the quintal : that the quantity of sal. Britain, but that they can afford to sell it mon caught amounts to about 3,000 cheaper: whoever comes first to the tierces, at 6l. 5s. the tierce: quantity of banks has the right of drying: that if New cod oil 3,000 tons, at 23l. per ton ; seal England was restrained for ever from this oil 800 tons, at 25l. per ton: that they fishery, it would be a benefit to Great get few seal skins, the duty upon them Britain : that he buys 300 hogsheads from here being so high as to be almost a pro- New England every year: that he thinks hibition of the importation of them ; but if New England was deprived of their the New England people are exempted fishery, they would not be able to import from the payment of any duty upon them: goods from Great Britain : the ships from that the returns from abroad for the pro- Great Britain to Newfoundland now emduce of the British fishery is made in raw ployed make but one trip in a year,
but materials, Barilla oil, and some specie: may make two in future : the British fish that the net produce of the British fishery sell for one pound a ton, the American amounts to about 500,0001. all which fish from 14s. to 20s. per ton." centers in Great Britain : that all the ma. Mr. George Davis acquainted the House, terials of the ships employed in this fishery “ That he was a Newfoundland merchant, are bought in Great Britain : that the and had been in that trade for 24 years: greatest part of the profits arising from that if the New England fishery was stopt, the American fishery centres in America: the foreign markets might partly be sup that in war time the British fishery is not plied this year from Great Britain : that carried on with the same advantage as the the French cannot increase their fishery New England fishery, as the New Eng. on the coast; and that their fish are not land fishermen are exempted by act of approved of at market, not being so well parliament from being pressed, which the cured as ours: that of late years the New British fishermen are not : that the Act of England fishery is much increased, and king William don't prevent the Americans the British fishery very much decreased : from fishing on the bank of Newfoundland, that the British ships employed in the but only from drying their fish on shore: Newfoundland fishery are generally about that he don't know if the whole fishery, 200 tons burthen, and their number of including the whale fishery, could be car. hands is one man to two tons: that the ried on by Great Britain only: that ships employed in the New England the Newfoundland fishery carried on fishery carry but twelve hands each : that from Great Britain is the beneficial nur- the New England fish are as good as ours, sery for seamen: that he would not but not fit for the Italian market: that the have the fishery confined only to the ports greatest part of the profits of the New of Pool and Dartmouth, but would have it England fishery centres there, but a small confined to Great Britain only: that if the part is returned here for the manufactures American fishery was stopt, other places of this country: that the New England in Great Britain besides Pool and Dart- fish sometimes bears a better price than mouth would engage in it: that the French ours: that the foreign markets might be
supplied entirely from Great Britain if the not so good seamen as ours: that in the New England fishery was stopt: that it is last war very few of them were employed not more expensive to send ships from on board our men of war, perhaps there Great Britain than New England : that might be six or ten of them on board a the New England men have more wages man of war of 60 guns: that if this temthan ours: that they begin to fish sooner porary restraint on the New England than we, but it is very little advantage to fishery was made perpetual, it would be a them: that our men entering on board benefit to Great Britain.” their fishing ships is a great hurt to the Sir Hugh Palliser acquainted the House, British fishery : that the witness's trade is " That in the year 1768 he was governor from London : that if this Act should pass, of Newfoundland; that the number of he should reap benefit from it: that he has ships then employed in that fishery was already enlarged his capital, and shall en- 389, shallops 2,109, the tonnage of which large it more if the Act passes : that the amounted to
the number of men time of the New England ships getting to 19,198 : that this fishery is the best nurmarket depends upon the seasons: that sery: that the men are better for the men they get something sooner to the markets, of war than those taken out of the colexcept the Spanish markets, than the liers: that it would be impossible to man British ships : that he knows no other rea- a fleet but in a great while, if it was not son for the Italians preferring the small for the men they get from the Newfound. fish than their pride, which makes them land fishery: that few or no seamen are prefer the having one whole fish at table got from the New England fishery: that rather than a piece of a large fish: that if the New England fishery was entirely though all the men carried out in the stopt, the French would not be benefited, British ships are not employed in naviga- as the English are in possession of the tion, the greatest part of them going out markets: that he does not know any thing to be employed in the fishery; yet all that about the island of Nantucket: that whe. are carried out return seamen: that a ther the restraining of the New England New England ship of 200 tons carries fishery is temporary or perpetual, it will about fourteen or sixteen men, and has no be an advantage to Great Britain : that boats: that a British ship has but one boat, the fishery might be carried on from Great the men being distributed in the shallops Britain, Ireland, Jersey, and Guernsey, for fishing."
which would greatly encrease the nursery Molyneux Shuldham, esq. acquainted the for seamen : that the New England ships House, “ That he has been governor of carry provisions to Saint Pierre and Mi. Newfoundland for three years: that the quelon: that the New England fishery quantity of cod caught last year amounted would be an advantage to Great Britain, to 759,877 quintals, at 9s. a quintal: that if there was a power given to press their the number of men employed in this men.” fishery amounts to 23,652, all of whom become sailors : that he has had great March 16. The Earl of Dartmouth complaints of the outrages committed by moved that the Bill be committed. the New England crews employed in the The Marquis of Rockingham opposed fishery: that they cannot take any seamen the motion. His lordship asserted that out of the New England ships, but that a the Bill was oppressive and tyrannical great many are got out of the British fish throughout ; that the principle which ing ships: that the New England ships vaded it, and the means of putting it in carry on an illicit trade with the French : execution, had one merit, that of conthat they load with provisions and lumber, sistency; and that from the same motive, and
go to meet the French ships at sea: he should heartily dissent to every syllable that they sell them ship and cargo, and of its contents. "He meant not to trouble take French manufactures and India goods their lordships in any future stage of the in exchange : that the New England ships Bill, or perhaps at all on the same subject
, carry provisions to the French at Miquelon during the continuance of the session, for and Saint Pierre, and he supposes they which reason he hoped for their indulmust have a superfluity of provisions : gence on the present occasion. He dethat they supply the French fishermen sired to repeat, that the present Bill, and with flour from Indian coro: that numbers every other framed on the same principle of our seamen desert to the New England and directed to the same object, to be atships : that the New England seamen are tained only by the most flagrant acts of