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broad cloths ; add to this, that the same competition which would be serviceable in higher branches, by rendering the goods cheap, must here be prejudicial, because the original low price of the commodity would link the necessary reduction of profits beneath the merchant's confideration. An effort made at Penryn, in Cornwall, about 30 years ago, proved unsuccessful for want of proper encou: ragement, and almoft ruined the patriotic projector * Ireland in. deed, by being admitted to the advantages of the Methuen-Treary, might in time, perhaps, be enabled to supplant France in the druge get trade. But the circumstance of being undersold is not the only ground of apprchenfion for the safety of trade, with those who draw their arguments from a comparison between the value of labour in different countries. The danger of emigration has been largely infifted upon, and fears have been suggested that manufactories will be transferred from a dear country, to one where the means of subsistence are cheap. It would be loss of time to thew the fallacy of such a fuppofition, and the abfurdity of conceiving that artificers of any class would voluntarily exchange high wages for low, or, in other words, would quit good provilons and comfortable habitations, for meagre fare and wretched hovels. In fact, the high price even of the necessaries of life, has seldom been injurious to the progress of induftry, nay, in some in itances it has been the means of calling forth rew and successful exertions of labour and skill, and has led to very important discoveries in arts and manufactures. It was when the Piedmontese were oppressed by the taxes and exactions of the SFORZAS, who for some years perfifted in heavy affefl'ments of their harvests, and their markets, that they first carried their fabrics of filk to a degree of refinement and expedition, by the introduction of mechanism into some parts of the process, that no European country was able to enter into competition with them t. It is not difficult in short to conceive, that in a state where the balance between the prices of labour and of wages is left to regulate itself, and is never made the object of civil policy, the rate of common subsistence and of the conveniences of life may be so low as to prevent any improvement in manufactures, if not
* I will not suppose so little vircue to be in that part of England, as the author of Propositions for improving the manufactories, &c. of Great Britain, in 1763, would infinuate, when he says, “ this gentleman was almost ruined, because he thought it his duty to vote against the present representatives of the borough of Penryn, at the last general election,” p. 32.
+ MURATORI, Disiert. VII. Tom. III. It is through them we are indebted to this circumttance, perhaps, for LOMBE's ftupendous Machine, on the river Derwent, near Derby. He procured a model of it in Piedmont, by working
under the disguise of a common weaver. - By 5 Geo. II. c. viii. Sir T. Lombe obtained 14,000l. as a reivard for this service to the ülk manufactory. The machine contains 26,586 wheels, and 97,746 movements, which work 73,726 yards of organzine filk thread every time the water wheel goes round, which it does thrice in a minute. Its erection in this country was confidered as such an injury to Piedmont, that an Italian artist, it is said, was sent over to England to afiafinate the proprietor, 3
entirely to exclude them. In opulent countries superior kill may often countervail the effect of high wages. This is obvious in all those articles where labour and materials are the least part of the value, and may be exemplified in most of the articles in the warehouses of Manchester and Birmingham.'
As the general merit of this treaty, and the various objects of it, are now under national confideration, where all interests, all hopes, and all apprehensions, will unite in so important a difcuffion, we leave the subject, after giving our opinion that this Writer offers many hints necessary to prepare his readers for forming an unbiassed idea of the expediency of cultivating a good commercial understand. ing with our neighbours.
N Art. 28. Helps to a right Decision on the Merits of the late Treaty, &c. 8vo.
Debrett. 1787 This writer is an advocate for the treaty, and offers some points of consideration that are totally overlooked by those who view the measure through the medium of popular prejudice. If it be only as matter of curiosity, let us see what he has to say on the subject of our antipathy to our next-door neighbour.
• Those who are so fond of giving Great Britain a natural enemy in the House of Bourbon, ought, one would think, to find her some natural friends among the other powers of Europe ; and it is much to be regretted, that none thought fit to discover themselves when the stood so much in need of them in the course of the last war : Where was the grateful House of Austria ? our firm allies the Dutch ? and the most faithful King of Portugal, in the hour of our distress? The truth is, we have been too long the dupes of our own prejudices, and of the artifices of such as called themselves our friends, and it is high time we recovered our senses.
• If France has been hostile to us in her negociations since the peace of Utrecht, it was we who made her fo, by treating her as our enemy : when we were allying with Austria against her, and fubfidizing every little prince in Germany, to hold troops in readiness to attack her; was she to blame for stirring us up enemies in Asia and America, or finding us work at home? What but the most determined prejudices could have hurried us into the war of 1739 with Spain, which was the forerunner of the French war in 1744 ; at the merchants cry of RO fearch of their illicit traders, and the patriots yell for the loss of Jenkins's ears which were never taken from him ? And who will now be hardy enough to assert, that it was the interest of Great Britain, to make settlements beyond the Allegany Mountains in America ; or that we had any business to interrupt the French in establishing a communication by water between their provinces of Canada and Louisiana ? Yet what other grounds were there for the war of 1755?'
He thus extenuates the support given by France to the Americans during the late revolt:
• France certainly entered into the last war without the shadow of justice on her fide; but while we admire and applaud the wisdom of our Elizabeth, in abetting the Dutch in their revolt from Spain, because that power was deemed then her natural enemy; ought we not to allow it equally wise in France to avail herself of a like opportu
nity to weaken Great Britain, who had held herself out to her in the same character? I mean not to palliate, much less to justify the breach of faith and unprovoked hostility in either instance; but I wish my countrymen to reflect, that however France may merit che epithet of faithless, plain honest John Bull is not perfe&ly immaculate.'
On the subject of the commercial regulations at Utrecht, he observes, that the Utrecht treaty made no ftipulation for the admission of our woollens into France; but that important article of our exports was left to the chance of a future negociation, which is not the case in the late treaty, as their admission is effectually provided for in the tariff.—And our trade with Portugal, which was facrificed by the Utrecht treaty, will probably be revived by the provisions in the present, respecting that kingdom; for we have most wisely reserved the power of giving her wines the full benefit of the Methuen treaty, on the condition of her restoring to us the advantages it stipulated in favour of our manufactures ; and which she in so many instances has moft flagrantly contravened,
· These are essential differences between the two treaties, and intitle the latter to the fullest approbation of Parliament, although the former was juftly reprobated.'
The particular merits of this treaty he deems it needless to enter into further, as it is now taken up by the Chamber of Manufacturers, in whose hands he leaves it, with a wish that they may confine their publications to their resolutions.
N. Art. 29. The Necessity and Policy of the Commercial Treaty, &c.
considered. By Anglicanus. 8vo. 15. 6d. Richardson. This appears to be the production of a sensible, well informed writer, as far as we can judge from the internal evidence of an anoDymous publication. After a retrospective view of the American war, and the loss of the exclusive trade with our late colonies, the writer pleads the necessity of opening new channels for our manufactures, and shews that France offered one into which they now actually force themselves, even under all prohibitions. Among other clandestine transactions, he instances our trade in cambrics. An attempt,' says he, has been made to excite a clamour against that article which allows of the importation of cambrics into England under certain restrictions ;-an article which merely legalizes what is every day committed with impunity, and which cannot be prevented. Every linen-draper's shop in England abounds with this commodity, imported in defiance of law; and surely much praise is due to the minister, who converts an unavoidable evil into a public benefit. Those who imagine that a yard of cambric will be imported, more than what has been hitherto annually smuggled, must have but a very flender knowledge of this branch of trade, and have paid very little attention to the constant and enormous demand of this article among all ranks of people. The poor deception which the çunning of trade employs to evade the vigilance of the revenue, is coo grois to impose even upon the most illiterate tide-waiter—we all know that long.lawn means cambric; but call it by what name you please, the fact of its having been a commodity prohibited by the Jaws, will always exist.
• Its importation being authorized, will neither injure the revenue nor che manufacturer: no more of it will be imported than what would have been, had the prohibition continued; consequently the revenue becomes benefited, at all events, by the restriction being taken off. But if the manufacturer at home wishes, for the encouragement of his own, to have the prohibition of foreign cambrics continued let his ingenuity and industry be seriously directed to render it as fine as those from Cambray; and this will operate more forcibly in his favour, and discredit foreign cambrics more effectually, than' all the penal laws that interest and resentment can devise.'
With regard to the woollen trade, he relates an anecdote very flattering to our superiority in that article :
• The King of Sardinia, a very short time fince, directed his mi. nister at the Court of Versailles to bespeak a piece of the best fuper. fine blue cloth that could possibly be made in France for his owa wear; and no pains were neglected to render it worthy of his royal approbation ; but, as every thing is known in that country, it could not remain a secret at court: and his most Christian Majesty defiring to see it, he found it of such exquisite fineness, that he had not only a coat cut off from it for himself, but also for the Count d'Artois and Monsieur ; after which the remainder was dispatche.i co Turin, with an apology for the toll that had been taken. The cloth, on its arrival at the Sardinian court, was universally admired, and acknowledged to be the very perfection of human art by every body to whom his Majesty thewed it, except a nobleman, high in his confidence, and who had resided some time in England. He declared, without ceremony, that English cloth surpassed it in point of colour, fineness, and strength of texture ; and that he would engage to produce a piece of superior quality, and without saying for whom it was intended, or ordering it expressly to be made. This was declared to be prejudice, and he was commanded to put his assertions to the proof.
• A piece of broad-cloth was accordingly sent for from London, and its superiority was so evident, that his Majesty desired to have part of it; and what added to his astonishment was, that after the duty on importation was paid, the freight to Nice, and land-carriage afterwards to Turin, it cost one-third less than the French cloth, which came free of all expences.
• This anecdote, so flattering to our woollen trade, was commu. nicated to me by the Sardinian nobleman, whose love of truth, and affectionate attachment to this country, induced him to contrast the manufactures of England and France, and convince his sovereign of the superiority of those of the former over those of the latter.'
A table is fubjoined of the annual imports of English goods into the Austrian Netherlands, and also of what passes through the Low Countries into other foreign states, with the duties exacted on each article; leading to an idea of what we may expect when the intire kingdom of France is opened to us.
Anglicanus is a lively writer, and indulges himself freely at the cxpence of Messrs. North, Fox, and Sheridan.
Art. 30. A View of the Treaty, &c. 8vo. 2s. Debrett. In a great national question, which has for its object the converfion of hereditary feud into amicable intercourse, it may be hoped
the liberality of the age that dictated the negociation, will not allow low popular prejudices to have the least weight in the determination. If the ruling powers on each lide begin to think it better to cultivate a friendly understanding, than to maintain perpetual hostility, Mould the trial be over-suled by the vulgar cry of No, No! Damn the French? Cut away; we are natural enemies, and Great Britain will be ruined, if que venture even to shake hands with them! The only question then that remains, is the establishment of equitable and prudent terms to regulate the intercourse; and this is referred to the only parties competent to the truft, the representative body of the whole nation. As to political caution against a powerful neighbour, that will remain to operate as usual against all the powers of Europe, without requiring the bitterness of unmanly spite against any one.
The fpirit with which the present Writer views the treaty in question, may be conceived by his declaring, that a sensible Briton would do noble justice to the French. • Penetrated with their confequence, he would respect their virtue-but while he revered their merit, he most regret their power. A Frenchman in private life would have his elteem and love ; but the French nation he would perfecute in every quarter of the globe! Any benelit France gained, though it were in Lapland, he would deem an evil ro Great Britain; and any direption of strength or influence from that nation, as 10 much acquisition to his own.'
To all readers who adopt this sentiment we may venture to recommend the pamphlet in which it is avowed; and the Author will agree with us in thinking the view he takes of the treaty will be amply fufficient, without looking any farther. But as fome may incline to pause a while before they subscribe to such doctrine, we fhall proceed a little for their farther satisfaction.
After premifing the maxim, that trade will find its own proper ehannel,' he reviews the attempts of Charles II. and James I. to open a trade with France; and he decides upon the events that the market of France does not appear to be the proper channel for the trade of Great Britain :--and yet, is it not known that there is a channel fufficiently wide, occupied by smugglers on both sides * ?
The transitory poileflion of fuperiority in manufactures forms ar.o. ther objection to ihe treaty:--but are we then not to avail ourselves of prelent advantages, because they may not be permanent. The treaty is not like a law of the Medes and Persians, never to be altered.
In brief, according to the present writer, the French are to drive us out of every branch of our trade! And, in sober truth, this may be done, if they furnish us with other commodities at the same rate as, according to him, they do cabinet ware. Our cabinet ware has but little prospect indeed of a market in France; but runs in seality no sight risk of being itself confiderably injured at home, by the importation of theirs ; which look so beautiful, and are perhaps one hundred per cent. cheaper ti' Affuredly there is no standing a competition with a nation wno, perhaps, can afford to give their goods away gratis!
* See pamphlet, p. 84. 116.
+ Pamphlet, p. 62.