« ZurückWeiter »
the funds should precede this measure or they would transfer it to the names of others, that they might still shuffle from their share of the burthen.
It seems probable that justice and the interest of the country would be much promoted by a complete review of our foreign duties, more especially on goods from those countries which tax our commodities more than we tax theirs; and if they would not readily agree to an approximation, our duties should at once be raised to a level with theirs ; though were it not that our unnaturally heavy debt requires an unnaturally heavy revenue, it appears pretty clear that the unprecedentedly industrious and enterprising English nation would derive a great balance of advantage by a total mutual remission of duties, except with Russia, and one or two other poor and enterprising countries, as they could not afford to buy largely of us for gold, whereas we could afford to buy largely of them for gold. Thus they would impoverish us while we enriched them, whereas commerce ought to enrich both sides. Yet some modern theo
rists say, it matters little the nature of the dealings, nor whether we get our goods from abroad or not. Is it then of no consequence to a patriotic Englishman whether his countrymen or a foreigner has the work which his wants demand? How is it that successful trading establishments have risen from poverty to wealth but by doing profitable business ? and how has it happened that some of the greatest revenues in the country have been insufficient to screen their possessors from poverty, but because they have thrown away their resources and anticipated their incomes, which we should assuredly do if from unwise legislative enactments, or other causes, we threw the balance of trade greatly against us; and so we might go on until we had not a gold coin left. Thus by employing foreign population and neglecting our own, we should soon have little either of the
precious metals or goods; and where then should we go for relief when our population were starving because our resources had been thrown away on the schemes of theorists? Whatever some legislators may think of their
own labours, it appears pretty clear that to the stamina of mind and body of the people of England is, under DIVINE PROVIDENCE, , chiefly to be attributed the wealth and strength of the country.
* Dust has been thrown in the eyes of Englishmen, by the too great latitude of conclusion and reasoning on this as a fact, that gold is like any other commodity; you may buy or sell it at any time, therefore it matters not to a nation whether it sell, and receive gold in return, or buy, and pay gold in return; but there are some real facts (not ephemeral one-sided fancies), which upset half the assumption as to the fact, and all the reasoning founded on it. Gold and silver, as the general mediums of trade, would command any commodity to any extent from any country that possessed the commodity required, and the producers of that commodity would go on undeviatingly for centuries, while these metals continued to be their customer; indeed they can command a market at all times and in all places, not but that by making too free with themselves they would cheapen their own value. Now for all other commodities they can command no market, it is their province not to command but obey. If they receive any intimation that they are wanted, they flock with eager haste to the customer, and they never cease while these will receive and pay for them; but if they assume the command what is the consequence? they are presented at ruinously low prices, and even then, if customers will not buy, they are worthless as matters of trade; but your theoretic gentlemen will say, Oh! but this country can always get gold and silver when it wants them; yes, but whence arises that facility ? From the simple fact that other nations have been in the habit of buying of us to a greater amount than we have bought of them, so they are continually wanting to remit to this country, for which reason there is plenty of money for all good bills on this country: but these money-dealers, loan-contractors, and stock-jobbers, seem to fancy they know every body's business and circumstances, and say, Oh, never mind! it matters not so that trade is carried
But if government wishes to get the revenue which the custom-house laws provide for, by the prevention of smuggling, their shortest and most effectual road would be to
buy manufactures of foreigners instead of Englishmen never mind, you have to pay him in something else, yes, and that something else is gold, which was a valuable possession to us, the fruits of an advantageous balance of trade, greatly reduced in fact and thrown away in theory by these new-fangled theorists; but had not our fathers acted on a different principle, where should we have found the gold to pay with ?
But the mischievous men who would lead us continuallly to interfere with the concerns, foreign and domestic, of every civilized nation, would, after negotiating and recommending loans not worth at this moment one shilling in the pound, persuade us to attempt to give laws to all the governments that have jewed us (by wholesale, after they had stipulated to jew them, as they have our own government, by retail), and if not acceded to, to bombard their houses and cut their throats; but our present government is much too wise, and appears to have ceased that abominable interference which, with the recklessness of statesmen and the roguery of loan-mongers, have brought us to the eve of bankruptcy—a very small, and altogether inadequate, punishment for immolating in the last century as many human beings as the whole present population of England. When it is proposed to tax the non-resident, the loan-jobbers say, “Don't do so, he will withdraw his capital.” When foreign governments want to quarrel and fight, the same loan-jobbers, as though anxious that they should lose no time in killing each other, borrow the capital of their countrymen under stipulations which outrage all principles of honesty, send a part to foreign governments, and pocket the rest; and in a few years those governments, with a people diverted from the peaceful avocations of honesty and good will by the money we have lent them to carry on war, are about as likely, after a few years, to pay us dividends as oak trees are to yield chestnuts. So in following the advice of the loan-monger, we continue
farm out to a coast-blockade concern the duties on the goods subject to be smuggled; not that the duties should be collected otherwise than as they now are, but the coast blockade so constantly feeling an interest to do away with smuggling in all its ramifications, might, by a variety of traps, soon work the present smugglers out of the market, and perhaps pretty much discourage others from entering upon it. However vigilant the coast-blockade may now be, it was not favourable to the suppression of smuggling at one of the outports about twenty years ago, where were then established two revenue cutters; they took pretty many prizes to the enriching both of captains and crews. The instructions of the government, as a standing rule, were said to be, that they should send the captured smugglers on board the receiving ship for the Royal Navy, both to keep down the number
to employ the capital of the non-resident, and squander our own upon any foreign government who chooses to kick up a quarrel with its neighbour, too sure to find English loan-mongers ready to support them with the money they can borrow from others, if they can only stipulate for pocketing a good large slice without giving any value for it but their own fraudulent labours.