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important details necessary to the full establishment of the system. Several observations had been made respecting the navigation laws and maritime regulations, upon which, as they did not come within the scope of his motion to the committee, and more properly belonged to the prerogative and the executive government, he would forbear offering any remarks. He meant only to submit to them certain leading resolutions, tending merely to the commercial establishment, and they were founded on the 6th and 11th articles of the treaty. The result of the resolutions was precisely this:

“ ist. That the committee should agree, that all articles not enumerated and specified in the tariff should be importable into this country, on terms as favorable as those of the most countenanced nation, excepting always the power of preferring Portugal, under the provisions of the METHUEN treaty.

“ 2d. That if any future treaty should be made with any other foreign power, in any articles either mentioned or not mentioned in the present treaty, France shall be put on the same, or on as favourable terms as that power ; and

“ 3dly. That all the articles enumerated and specified in the tariff shall be admitted into this country on the duties, and with the stipulations stated in the sixth ar. ticle.”

« He thus confined himself to the commercial part of the treaty; nor was even all, which belonged to that part, comprehended in the scope of these resolutions. It would be necessary for the committee to take into their consideration the relative state of the two kingdoms. On the first blush of the matter, he believed he might venture to assert it, as a fact generally admitted, that France had the advantage in the gift of soil and climate,


and in the amount of her natural produce; that, on the contrary, Great Britain was, on her part, as confessedly superior in her manufactures and artificial productions. Undoubtedly, in point of natural produce, France had greatly the advantage in this treaty :-her wines, brandies, oils, and vinegars, particularly the two former articles, were matters of such important value in her produce, as greatly and completely to destroy all idea of reciprocity as to natural produce:-we perhaps have nothing of that kind to put in competition, but simply the article of beer. But, on the contrary, was it not a fact as demonstrably clear, that Britain, in its turn, possessed some manufactures exclusively her own, and that in others she had so completely the advantage of her neighbour, as to put competition to defiance ? This then was the relative condition, and this the precise ground, on which it was imagined that a valuable correspondence and connection between the two might be established. Having each its own and distinct staple,-having each that which the other wanted ; and not clashing in the great and leading lines of their respective riches, they were like two great traders in different branches ; they might enter into a traffic which would prove mutually beneficial to them. Granting that a large quantity of their natural produce would be brought into this country, would any man say, that we should not send more cottons by the direct course now settled, than by the circuitous passages formerly used---more of our woollens, than while restricted in their importation to particular ports, and burthened under heavy duties? Would not more of our earthen ware, and other articles, which, under all the disadvantages that they formerly suffered, still, from their intrinsic superiority, force their way regularly into France, now be sent thither? And would not the

And would not the aggregate of our manufactures be greatly and eminently benefitted in going to this market, loaded only with duties from twelve to ten, and in one instance with only 5 per cent ? If the advantages in this respect were not so palpable and ap. parent as to strike and satisfy every mind interested in the business, would not the House have had very dif. ferent petitions on their table than that presented this day? The fact was apparent. The article (sadlery) charged the most high in the tariff gave no alarm. The traders in this article, though charged with a duty of fifteen per cent. knew their superiority so well, that they cheerfully embraced the condition, and conceived that the liberty would be highly advantageous to them. A market of so many millions of people-a market so near and prompt-a market of expeditious and certain return of necessary and extensive consumption,—thus added to the manufactures and commerce of Great Britain, was an object which we ought to look up to with eager and satisfied ambition. To procure this, we certainly ought not to scruple to give liberal conditions. We ought not to hesitate, because this, which must be so greatly ad. vantageous to us, must also have its benefit for them, It was a great boon procured on easy terms, and as such we ought to view it. It was not merely a consoling, but an exhilirating speculation to the mind of an Englishman, that, after the empire had been engaged in a competition the most arduous and imminent that ever threatened a nation--after struggling for its existence, still it maintained its rank and efficacy so firmly, that France, finding they could not shake her, now opened its arms, and offered a beneficial connection with her on easy, liberal, and advantageous terms.

We had agreed by this treaty to take from France, on small duties, the luxuries of her soil, which, however,



the refinements of ourselves had converted into neces. saries. The wines of France were already so much in the possession of our markets, that, with all the high dutics paid by us, they found the way to our tables. Was it then a serious injury to admit these luxuries on easier terms? The admission of them would not supplant the wines of Portugal, nor of Spain, but would supplant only an useless and pernicious manufacture in this country. He stated that the enormous increase of the import of French wines lately, and instanced the months of July and August, the two most unlikely months in the year, to shew the increase of this trade. The committee would not then perceive any great evil in admitting this article on casy terms. The next was, brandy, and here it would be inquired whether the diminution of duty was an eligible measure. He believed they would also agree with him on this article, when they view. ed it with regard to smuggling.

The reduction of the duties would have a material effect on the contraband in this article: it was certain that the legal importation bore no proportion to the quantity clandeztinely imported ; for the legal importation of brandy was no more than 600,000 gallons, and the supposed amount of the smuggled, at the most rational and best-founded estimate, was between three and four hundred thousand gallons. Seeing then that this article had taken such complete possession of the taste of the nation, it might be right to procure to the state a greater advantage from the article than heretofore, and to crush the contraband by legalizing the market.

« The oil and vinegar of France were comparatively small objects, but, like the former, they were luxuries which had taken the shape of necessaries, and which we could 24


suffer nothing from accepting on easy terms. There were the natural produce of France to be admitted under this treaty. Their next inquiry should be to see if France had any manufactures peculiar to herself, or in which she so greatly excelled as to give us alarm on account of the treaty, viewing it in that respect. Cambric was the first which stared him in the face, but upon which, when he looked around him, and observed the general countenance of the committee, he could hardly think it necessary to detain them a moment.

The fact was, it was an article in which our competition with France had ceased, and there was no injury in granting an easy importation to that which we would have at any rate, In no other article was there any thing very formidable in the rivalry of France. Glass would not be imported to any amount. In particular kinds of lace, indeed, they might have the advantage, but none which they would not enjoy independent of the treaty; and the clamors about millinery were vague and unmeaning, when, in addition to all these benefits, we included the richness of the country with which we were to trade : with its superior population of twenty millions to eight, and of course a proportionate consumption, together with its vicinity to us, and the advantages of quick and regular returns, who would hesitate for a moment to applaud the system, and look forward with ardor and impatience to its speedy ratification? The possession of so extensive and safe a market must improve our commerce, while the duties transferred from the hands of smugglers to their proper channel would benefit our revenue—the two sources of British opulence, and British power.

Viewing the relative circumstances of the two countries then in this way, he saw no objection to the prin,


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