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Ireland. Previous to the admission of neutrals into the British colonial trade, there were established in the West-India islands, English merchants, whose chief business was to supply those settlements with provisions, lumber, and colonial stores; knowing the average consumption of the islands, no inconvenience or scarcity was felt or experienced, as they kept up a constant and regular supply of all the articles required, and so continued until the new system was introduced; when they found it impossible, with any rational prospect of profit, to carry on that branch of trade any longer, from the admission of supplies in American shipping, which so frequently overstocked the market as to produce great loss, and ultimately, in some instances, ruin to many of the British merchants engaged in that trade, in consequence of which, most of these establishments have been abandoned, but which there is no doubt would soon be revived, if the former system was again resorted to.'

in some

In answer to the allegation, that, in general, American ships do not interfere much with British shipping, it may be remarked, it is difficult to find out a branch of trade in which they do not, measure, and successfully, compete with them. They possess nearly all the Mediterranean trade, and the great quantity of American tonnage which was lately employed in the trade of this country, under licences, is too well known to be doubted; with respect to their intercourse with the British West-India islands, it is only necessary, in order to shew the evil tendency of admitting them into a participation of our colonial trade, both as it affects British ship-owners and the British American colonists, to state, that from the 5th Sept. 1805, to the 5th Sept. 1806, the tonnage of British ships employed in the trade of Jamaica was only 117,433 tons, whilst that of American ships was 77,133 tons, and it is probable, that in nearly the same proportion, the trade of the other British West-India islands is carried on.2

As these selections are from a work professed to be written with candor, disinterestedness, and impartiality; and, "as the public has been led by the misrepresentations of those who have not carried their inquiries beyond their own supposed interests"-with a view to correct-"some very important mistakes as to facts, which at present prevail :" it is therefore not uncandid to ask what confi

'Lord Sheffield's Strictures, p. 203, and the Appendix to it, for the Addresses to the Assembly of Jamaica, by the English merchants on this subject; also Alfred's Letters to Lord Holland in Yorke's Political Review, vol. i. and extra-official State Papers, vol. ii. Appendix, No. 18; also Mr. Knox's Evidence before the Board of Trade, March 1784, containing much important information on this subject.

? See Statement of Exports and Imports of Jamaica for this period, in Yorke's Political Review, vol. ii. p. 318.

4 Ibid.

3 Mr. Baring's Examination p. 13.

dence can be expected to be reposed in such observations, when it is without hesitation asserted, that during war, proper and adequate supplies can only be furnished the British West-India islands from the United States in American bottoms! Thus contradicting, without proof, the facts adduced in the two reports of the Board of Trade on that subject, and negativing the allegations contained in the several petitions before referred to; which the petitioners stated they were so anxiously solicitous to substantiate and prove

"Qui statuit aliquid, parte inauditâ alterâ
Equum licet statuerit, haud æquus est."


It, however, affords some satisfaction to observe, that amidst these endeavours to mislead the public mind, and to depreciate the navigation and colonial system of Great Britain, its policy and wisdom, though reluctantly, are admitted.

An impartial examination of this writer's statement of the imports and exports of the United States for the years 1802, 1803, and 1804, so far as the same relate to their trade with Great Britain, will refute his observations on the subject, and show that the advantages which are represented to be derived by this country from the trade with America are greatly exaggerated. It is stated that the average importations from

Great Britain and her dependencies into the
United States for the years 1802, 3, and 4,


And the average exports from the United States to the dominions of Great Britain for the same period,


Leaving a balance in favour of Great Britain of £.2,893,000 Which must be paid to us by the continent of Europe from the proceeds of consignments made from America to Holland, France, Spain, Italy, &c."

It is also observed, That the three years above mentioned included one of extraordinary scarcity in this country, during which our importation of provisions was unusually large; so that upon the whole, it would be no exaggeration to say, that we should draw from the continent of Europe between four and five millions sterling annually in return for the manufactures sent to America, and for which that country has no other means of payment.” It is likewise alleged, that the amount of the annual importation, on the average of the pre

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£. 8,093,000

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ceding years into the United States from all parts of the world was And the exports from America on an average of the same years amounted to

£. 16,950,000


Leaving a balance against America of

£. 1,550,000

And that "the balance which this statement would leave against America must arise from the mode of stating the accounts." Probably it is in her favor, but not much, as her demand for European articles will naturally be regulated by her means of paying for them."


The manner in which this publication has been noticed by a few of the leading members of opposition, and the respect which has been shown to the author of it, from his general knowledge of American commerce, is not surprising; there being great reason to fear that on subjects of this nature, the public are too frequently seduced and led away by specious reasoning, rather than undergo the fatigue or trouble of looking narrowly into or ascertaining the real state of facts: it therefore could not fail to excite some degree of astonishment to find it stated, that the exports from the United States to this country, on an average taken of the years 1802, 3, and 4, included one year of great scarcity, during which the importation of provisions was unusually large; intending, it is presumed, to shew, that the average of those years was considerably more than the ordinary imports from the United States to Great Britain, and its dependencies. It is however to be remarked, that this statement does not include the year of scarcity. The harvest in this country failed in 1800, and it was in 1801 that the large imports alluded to were made to Great Britain. This average therefore does not include that year; but what is o fmore importance to be noticed, it includes one of peace, and a subsequent year, when the belligerents had not given the subjects of the United States an opportunity to avail themselves of their situation, in consequence of the recommencement of the war.


By the same authority from which this writer has taken his statement, namely, Mr. Galatin's Report, it appears that the exports for the year 1801, prior to the 1st of October, from the United States to Great Britain and her dependencies, amounted to dollars. 42,132,000 or..

Which is nearly twice the amount of the ex-
ports on the
average of the three years be-
fore mentioned, viz. 1802, 1803,

1804, or

3 Ante p. 66.


Mr. Baring's Examination, p. 140. 2 Ibid. P. 143.

£. 9,479,700

£. 5,200,000

Under these circumstances, it may not be improper to draw the attention of the public to a subject which appears to have entirely escaped the notice of this writer, namely, the amount of freight paid on the imports from the United States, into Great Britain and her dependencies, and which added to the amount of imports, the account between the two countries will then appear in a very different point of view.

The average imports from the

United States into the dominions of Great Britain for the four years before stated, is

The freight on which, whether to the British Colonies or to Great Britain, is paid to the American Ship Owners (145,650 tons of American shipping came to Great Britain alone in 1801,) and upon an accurate calculation may be estimated at one-fourth value, or £.25 per cent. of the first cost in America, is

Which makes the whole value of the annual import into the British dominions from the United States, on the average before stated,

The exports from Great Britain and her dependencies to the United States for the year 1801, amounted to

And the average of the exports to them for 1802, 1803, and 1804 was

Or making an average export from Great Britain and her dependencies to the United States in four years, of

Whilst our imports amounted for the same period to

Leaving a balance in favour of Great Britain of


£. 6,269,925


£. 7,837,406





£. 113,094

Therefore, upon a fair average of the four years 1801, 2, 3, and 4, including the year of scarcity, the balance of trade between Great Britain and the United States appears only to be £. 113,094, in favour of this country, which, by this writer, is stated at £. 2,893,000! which is the only return or compensation for the loan of £. 8,000,000 of capital, furnished annually by Great Britain to enable the United States to carry on their trade with all parts of the world; which is not stated at a larger sum, although this author and those who appear to think with him, represent it at

£. 12,000,000 or two-thirds the value of their entire trade, agree able to their mode of computation.

There are other considerations which it is likewise necessary to take into the question of the value of the American trade to Great Britain. No allowance is made in this writer's calculations for bad debts, though all the exports from Great Britain to the United States are made on long credits. By the recent examinations in the House of Commons, an average of eighteen months is taken as a fair period to expect returns; it may therefore be estimated according to mercantile calculation, that on a gross sum of £.8,000,000, not less than £. 400,000 per annum is lost by bad debts. It is not believed any English merchant would insure these debts for 5 per cent.; and on the other hand, the imports from the United States are chiefly sold here for ready money. There is another and greater evil in the extended credit given to the citizens of the United States above all other countries with which the subjects of Great Britain have commercial dealings, as it enables them to hold out the cessation, if not the actual confiscation of this capital, upon any difference between the governments of the two nations, alarming the persons concerned in it, and furnishing them with arguments to assail the government of the country, whilst it strengthens the application of the American negotiators here. This evil has been frequently felt since 1786, and the late attempt to procure petitions among the manufacturers, and to raise a cry throughout the country in favor of American interests is another proof of it, whilst it affords a striking and memorable instance of the patriotism and good sense of the people at large, who are not so easily to be deluded and influenced as the advocates of America expected.

That the balance of trade is a subject of much abuse and false theory,' is manifest by the statement of the author of this work, in the average he has formed of the years 1802, 3, and 4; for it is maintained that Great Britain derives no more than a mutual advantage from her trade with America when the whole of that trade is fairly calculated and considered; the operation of the four years' average before stated clearly shews, that little or no balance remains in favour of Great Britain, and whenever the subsequent statements can be made up for the years 1805, 6, and 7, it is not too presuming to predict, that this position will be found to be strictly true. Indeed there is no reason to doubt the fact, that our imports last year from America have been equal to our exports; for the American ships which have discharged their cargoes in this country exceed in number those in the year 1801, their tonnage being 146,700 tons. Therefore unless it can be proved that this position is incorrect, and that the freight paid by Great Britain to

Mr. Baring's Examination, p. 147.

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