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the American ship-owners, is not precisely the same as paying for the produce of the country from whence it is brought, and which consequently encreases the value of that import, it is certainly fair to contend, in order to maintain this important fact, that our exports to America, by no proof as yet adduced, so far exceed our imports from that country, as to make it necessary to Great Britain, that the United States should have an extended commerce to Europe to enable her to pay the balance of trade that may be due
It may be said, that adding 25l. per cent. or one-fourth part of the value of the produce of America exported to Great Britain or to her dependencies for freight is a mere speculative opinion; it is however not difficult to prove the contrary; for the article of lumber, whether carried to our colonies or brought to this country, pays more than the first cost for freight: naval stores, tar, turpentine, pitch, and rosin in the same proportion, Flour, rice, and tobacco, about one-third; therefore allowing very liberally for cotton and other articles, the average will be full one fourth part, and indeed it is under-rated at that sum. It is therefore not unreasonable to infer, this writer has never seen the official account of the tonnage, on which the duties were collected in the United States, or he would not have affected so much ignorance of the statement of the whole imports into America annually exceeding the whole of the exports £. 1,550,000: without being able to account for it otherwise "than in the mode of stating the accounts;" he surely forgot there was any freight of American shipping to be considered, which on examination forms a very large portion of the wealth of the United States.
The United States are entirely their own carriers to and from all parts of the world (with some very few exceptions): therefore in all their imports from foreign countries they have to pay their own Ship-Owners, the freight of the articles imported in addition to the cost on the other hand, all their exports of foreign or domestic produce are carried to every part of the globe in their own ships, and consequently the freight paid to the Americans, being added to the first cost or export price of the articles at the time of shipment by the countries to which they carry them respectively, it will not be difficult to prove their carrying trade alone forms the balance of their trade, and which may be estimated at four millions sterling per annum, on the average of the four years taken in this calculation from Mr. Galatin's Official return, or upon 1,041,306 tons, which, in the following year, namely 1805, was increased to 1,443,453 tons.3
1 Mr. Baring's Examination, p. 140.
2 See opposite statement B, for a correct account of the exports of the United States for the last five years.
3 Appendix to Sir F. M. Eden on Maritime Rights.
The intercourse between the United States and Europe for the last three years has become much more connected, owing to the almost entire cessation of the direct trade between the mothercountries in Europe and their respective colonies, and from this circumstance agents have been sent from all the commercial establishments in the principal sea-ports of Holland, France, and Spain, to the United States, who have extensive authorities granted to them to advance money on cargoes of colonial produce shipped to their respective establishments in Europe, on consignments for sale, on account of the American proprietors. There is another source from whence have arisen very large consignments of American and colonial produce, and of East India goods in American bottoms to Europe, namely, in the trade from the United States to Vera Cruz. In this trade there are employed a great number of American ships who take in return for their cargoes to Vera Cruz, specie to a very great extent. It is not necessary for the purpose of these observations to attempt to show, whether the specie so exported from Vera Cruz to the United States is the property of individuals, or of the Spanish or French governments; it is sufficient to state there is every reason to believe that the same principally remains in the United States and for which produce is chiefly shipped and consigned to Antwerp, and which, in a great measure, accounts for the very great capital now employed by the citizens of the United States in their trade to the East Indies and China.
It has also been observed, that the neutrality of the United States has been the means of circulating to a large amount articles of the produce and manufacture of this country in the dominions of the enemy, to which we have no direct access; but the evidence given on this point is very imperfect. It appears from this examination of the conduct of Great Britain, that British manufactured goods are annually re-exported to a considerable amount from the United States in American bottoms, and that their principal destination is to the colonies of the enemy in the West Indies and South America: but, though we have no direct access to the enemies' colonies, we have, by means of our free ports in the West Indies; and if this trade was not carried on by the subjects of the United States, it would be by the subjects of Great Britain, viâ these free ports, with this additional benefit and national advantage of being carried there in British bottoms. Another fact, which does not appear to have been noticed in this work is, that America annually imports from the countries of the enemy in Europe manufactures and other merchandize in value of about ' £. 7,300,000,
Mr. Baring's Examination, p. 139.
the greatest proportion of which are so imported for the use of the enemies' colonies, and thus by their agency they not only circulate generally the enemy's manufactures, but circulate them where British manufactures would otherwise have gone. Of the £. 10,000,000' said to be imported into the United States from this country, the greatest part is for re-exportation, and would have found its way to the same market, if they had not been sent through America. It is therefore obvious that these shipments do not benefit Great Britain in any national point of view, though they certainly enrich a few individuals and the subjects of the United States, and them only; for the outward cargo is shipped in their own vessels to those colonies, from whence they carry to the United States the return cargo of produce with all the profits thereon: the agents of the foreign establishments in Europe then advance funds to the American owner, in order to have the consignment and sale in Europe, which enables him immediately to recommence a new voyage on the same principle. It surely cannot with any propriety or truth be said that Great Britain derives any advantage from this carrying trade of the United States, unless the sale of a few manufactures, which may be taken in addition to the regular American consumption, be considéred an adequate compensation for the alarming decline of British shipping and the diminution of our exports to our own colonies; whilst it is clear the trade carried on formerly by British subjects from the free ports in the West Indies has much decreased, with a proportionate depression on other important interests of the country.
This statement is not made with any personal or offensive view, but only to shew the public that the United States ought not to expect to carry on this sort of trade entirely to their own advantage, without-making Great Britain a party, either by treaty, or by the adoption of such reciprocal regulations, as will conduce to that end. Had the rule of the war of 1756 been enforced, there would not have been such an enormous increase of American tonnage, and now a cry is raised in favor of that principle, because the late orders in council do not go far enough! Had France possessed the same naval superiority as Great Britain, there is no doubt but the American carrying trade would have been long before this time greatly reduced and brought within its true and legitimate limits. It is therefore melancholy to confess, that Great Britain has supplied the United States with the capital by which they have been thus enriched. Our navy has been to them a shield against the insults of France and Spain; yet endeavours
Mr. Baring's Examination p. 138.
are now made to induce this country to submit to such regulations as the persons holding the power of the government of the United States shall dictate, even as to the manner by which our naval power is to be supported and used,
This it is trusted will never be submitted to. The right of search is to Great Britain an invaluable security in time of war; it has been maintained by every able statesman, and invariably acted upon in the brightest periods of the history of Great Britain; and to take our seamen wherever we find them in the employment of neutrals, must be considered as essentially requisite to the maintenance of our naval power. Concede these important points, and this country will not only find the American tonnage still continue to increase, but in a very short period British shipping more rapidly decline than hitherto and perhaps in a very few years totally annihilated. It therefore behoves every man who values his country to exclaim against any measure that will produce such further relaxations of the former system. The evidence recently adduced in opposition to the late energetic measures of government, proves the truth of these observations, and a reference to the examination of Mr. Rathbone of Liverpool on the orders in council bill will show how ruinous the new system has been to the British shipping interest. It is to Great Britain that America owes her present prosperity, and from no other country will she ever receive the same advantages; for, as it has been before stated, we furnish her with a capital and protect her with our navy.
The object of these remarks is to prove that the balance of trade between Great Britain and the United States is very little in favor of the former, and that the trade of America with the continent of Europe is not advantageous to this country: indeed it may with propriety be said, and which experience proves, that since the United States began to extend their shipping and commerce, and especially during the last six years, they have paid this country worse for the manufactures and other articles we have exported there; and for the truth of this assertion an appeal may confidently be made to the persons concerned in this trade. It must be obvious to every person conversant in commerce that America carries on half her trade with British capital, and which she does on speculative voyages, the time and returns whereof being uncertain, the creditors in Great Britain must remain unpaid for a very considerable period beyond the usual credit; and therefore all the advantages arising from that trade are with America only, in as much as the enormous increase of her ship
I See Sir F. M. Eden on Maritime Rights.
2 See printed Minutes of Evidence, p. 78.
ping tends to swallow up the British capital, and enables them to derive those prohts from it, which the regular return of that capital, in her legitimate tradeas formerly carried on, gave to the exporters from Great Britain.
Previous to dismissing this part of the subject, it may be useful to notice the reproach which has been thrown, even by an advocate of America, on the British government for some of the indulgences which have been so improvidently granted to the subjects of the United States or to individuals connected with them. It is observed, why Great Britain should be so particular in wishing to restrict the American West India trade appears more unaccountable, as there is no voyage, however contrary to that principle, that by paying the fees of the office in London for a licence, may not be obtained.' Instances are then given of some of the voyages alluded to, which are followed with pointed remarks on the nature of this traffic; from which, it is evident, Great Britain has most unaccountably accelerated and contributed towards the means of enabling the French government to carry on the war with increased vigor and effect. It is insinuated by this writer, that the Spanish government being unable to perform the stipulations of the treaty of St. Ildefonso and to pay the money-subsidy therein agreed to be advanced by Spain to France, that the former had authorised the latter to receive the same at Vera Cruz, from the Spanish treasury there, and that Monsieur Talleyrand had by his agents obtained permission to bring the same from Vera Cruz to Europe under the protection of the British flag. To prevent such fatal indulgencies in future, it is presumed, it is only necessary to mention this most singular transaction; for although it is believed to be sound policy in the British government to grant licences for neutral ships to take British manufactured goods out to the Spanish colonies, and to bring back specie and produce in return; but that licences should be granted to persons to bring specie home, who send no goods. out; that specie too, part of the subsidy, due from Spain to France, and that his Majesty's ships of war should be employed thus to protect the property of the enemy, instead of being employed to capture it, appears to us inexplicable. '+
To particularize the other observations contained in this examination of the conduct of Great Britain, which are equally to be disregarded with those before selected, would be an unpleasant and irksome task: the following remark is quoted merely to shew
Medford's Oil without Vinegar, p. 53.
2 Ibid. p. 54.
3 Ibid. p. 55.
↑ Antijacobin Review, vol. 28. p. 238. `