« PrécédentContinuer »
cipally on the ground of the first of these ; and the great ground of argument, for establishing the objections on constitutional principles, was taken from those parts of the bill which relate to the trade with the Britilh colonies and settlements ; to the four enumerated articles from the united states of America ; the grant of the surplus of the hereditary revenue ; and the trade to the Eaft Indies. On the subject of the trade'which had been opened to Ireland with the British colonies, he says,
• When I reflect how long Scotland had endeavoured to obtain from England the protection of her navigation laws, and the benefits of her colony trade; that what is now offered to be permanently granted to Ireland, without any infringement of her rights of legislation, could not be purchased by Scotland without the surrender of her legislative sovereignty ; when I reflect with what effusions of public gratitude we received that very boon, which some of us seem now to disdain and spurn; and how carefully and affectionately it had been cherished by our legislature in the acts of every facceeding session ; I view with amazement the wondersul revolutions of human sentiments, and consider the constitutional jealousy, arising from the proposed fyftem of colonial legislation, as one of those popular delusions, which have too often inflamed the passions and misled the reasons of men.'
With regard to the surplus of the hereditary revenue, Mr. Hutchinson takes notice that, at the restoration, specific du. ties were granted, in perpetuity, " for the better guarding and defending of the feas against all persons intending, or that may intend the disturbance of the intercourse of this his majesty's realm, (meaning Ireland) and for the better defraying the necessary expences thereof, and for the increase and augmentation of his majesty's revenue.”
• The probable amount, says Mr. Hutchinson, of the proposed grant for many years to come would be far inferior in value to one year's amount of the duties granted by that act, and granted in the first place for this fpecific purpose. This part of the bill would provide for the fame service with more ceconomy, and with much better effect. When I lay with much better effect, I speak from experience. In the late war frigates were stationed off the coast of Scotland to protect the trade of that country. I prelented a memorial from Cork to the then admioistration of Ireland, praying, that the same attention should be shewn to the fouthern and western coasts of this kingdom. I was not able to prevail. But when this navy becomes the navy of the empire, to the support of which Ireland contributes, it would be Irina as well as British; and there could be no longer a foundation for any distinction. Our contribution would center among ourselves, and would encourage our industry, by the investment of our quota in our own manufactures.'
With regard to the second objection to this part of the bill, Mr. Hutchinson affirms that the fact has been misrepresented. " It is no part of the bill that this grant should be supported
by a perpetual revenue bill. It would have been supported with good faith; but, like the rest of our revenue, by annual bills in aid of the acts of excise and customs, which are now perpetual.”
• As to objections made, on constitutional principles, to those parts of the bill that relate to the British East-India co pany, I shall consider them more fully when I come to the commercial parts of the subject, to which they properly belong, I will only say in this place, that I consider those parts of the proposed agreement as an exchange, by mutual consent, of a commerce which exists in theory only, and which may never be productive, for a certain immediate and advantageous commerce to a great empire in that part of the globe, and to Great Britain ; neither of which we can acquire without such an ex. change ; and, this possible commerce being re-aisumable at our pleafure by parting with the confideration given for it, and as we barter commerce for commerce, and not commerce for constitution, that no objection of a constitutional nature can juftly apply to those paragraphs of the bill.'
If Great Britain neither gains, nor Ireland loses, any power of legislation, where, says Mr. Hutchinson, is the injury to Irish independence ? Considering the subject in its true light, as merely commercial, he thews, with great clearness and ftrength of argument that were strong reasons to induce even those who objected to some of the commercial regulations of the bill, to vote for liberty to bring it in.
• A commercial settlement between the two kingdoms is acknowJedged by every reasonable man to be much wanted; and how this can be obtained, without temperate discussion, and the communication to each other of the points in which they agree, and of those in which they differ, I cannot comprehend. In the accomplishment of the British union many delays and differences in opinion had arisen. Though the commissioners, appointed for that purpose under the authority of the parliaments of both kingdoms, had on both sides signed and sealed the articles of union, yet the Scotch parliament made many important alterations, which were adopted by the English par. liament. In the proceedings to establish a commercial union between Great Britain and Ireland, difficulties and differences in opinion must necessarily have arisen among men of the best intentions. Our propo. 'fitions have been altered by the British House of Commons; their resolutions have been altered by the Lords of Great Britain ; and these alterations were adopted by the House of Commons of that kingdom. In the progress on the Irish bill the fullest discussion was jntended : every objection would have been heard, and every wellfounded objection doubtless must have been allowed, and every proper alteration made. Nothing final during this session was ever in contemplation. A great length and variety of examination must have preceded the settlement of the schedule of duties and regulations. This schedule rust have been laid before our two houses of parliament in the next session, for their approbation ; and, after all this had been done, nothing could have been concluded, until the Irish parliament had declared its satisfaction in the acts of the British legis. lature.'
Mr. Hutchinson goes on to fhew, that the bill offered to Ireland many important commercial advantages, and that its principles were founded in an equitable regard to the interest and prosperity of both Britain and Ireland.
The author writes with that ease, perfpicuity, and conviction, which always diftinguish the writings of men of abilities, when their abilities are employed on the side of truth.
As there was not any formal answer published to Mr. Hutchinson's letter, the editor of this collection has subjoined to it the principal speeches in the Irish House of Coinmons on Mr. Orde’s motion for leave to bring in a bill to carry the Irish arrangements into laws.
After the speeches, selected from Mr. Woodfall's publication, there is inserted, political arithmetic of the population, commerce, and manufactures of Ireland, with observations on the relative fituation of Great Britain and Ireland. By Jaines Laffan, of the Middle Temple, Esq.'
Mr. Laffan is of opinion that commercial regulations (for a consolidation of constitutions, he thinks, Ireland will not suffer) with Great Britain on fair terms of reciprocity of benefits are expedient. “ These terms, he says, can only be procured, by a close investigation of the relative situation of both kingdoms, which he has attempted in a manner heretofore unattended to." Not to make any comments or conjectures on the ambiguity of these last words, we shall observé, that in Mr. Laffan's publication, of which the very title is borrowed t, there is nothing of any importance that has not been already published to the world by different writers, however little it may have been attended to.
ART. VI. A Reply to the personal Invectives and Objections contained in
Two Answers, published by certain Anonymous Persons, to an Elay on the Treatment and Conversion of African Slaves, in the British Colonies; by James Ramsay, M. A. Vicar of Tejicn. 8vo. 25. Phillips,
HE matters now in dispute between Mr. Ramsay and his
adversaries can be determined by those only, who have access to the persons by whose testimony the truth or falsehood of their respective assertions may be tried, and who are acquainted
From Sir William Petty's POLITICAL ARITHMETIC,
with the scenes and circumstances of the unfortunate people, whose flavifh condition has led our disputants, as usual, from general argument to personal invective. On the general views, speculations, and schemes of Mr. Ramsay, with regard to the condition, treatment, and conversion of African flaves, and also on those of his principal adversaries, we have already made feveral observations. We have also entered a little into the history that is given by Mr. Ramsay's adversaries, of the circumstances and motives that led him to publish his essay, weighing however in the scales of candour and justice the opposite testimonies of open and anonymous writers. It appears from this last publication of Mr. Ramfay, that many of the facts and circumstances relating to himself, mentioned by his advertaries, are true ; although he admits not of the inferences they draw from them, but gives a lquite different view from that odious one which they give of his history, character and conduct: and this, he fays, he does, because his character as 2. man, and his reasoning as an author, as if they could stand or fall only together, are so blended, as to force him to blend also their vindication. Mr. Ramsay may certainly have written a good book in favour of liberty, even allowing him to be what his opponents affirm, none of the best of men. It is true, whatever detracts from his moral character, detracts also from the validity of his testimony. But his appeals to notoriety are at least as good as theirs; and when teltimony is opposed to testimony, or rather affirmation to affirmation, we ought certainly to prefer the evidence of the declared to that of the anonymous writer.
Art: VII. The Principles of the Commutation Aa, established by
Falls. By Francis Baring, Esq. 8vo. 1s. Sewell, 1786. I
T is the expence, and the frauds attending both the collec
tion, and the disbursement or expenditure of the public revenue, that is in reality the greatest weight that hangs upon this over-burthened country.
As the combining of many particulars under general laws, and the application of these to mechanical operations, give an advantage to the enlightened and philosophical manufacturer ; fo also, in like manner, the fimplification of taxation is a most beneficial art in finance, and great blessing to any nation.
The author of these sheets, who disclaims all party view3 and principles, informs us that the only connexion he ever had with the treasury, arose from his being employed in a very conSuderable simplification of the public expenditure, in the business
of fupplying the whole of the army victualling contracts, during the time that the Marquis of Lansdown prefided at that board.
• The execution of that great and important work, together with his situation in the city, naturally led to his being confidentially consulted respecting other affairs, of a commercial nature, which were either de. pending or in contemplation. The tea proposition (which was presented to his lordship by Mr. Richardson, of the East-India Houle) and many other plans were then in agitation; and more or less progress was made in them, as time and other circumstances would permit. The proposition respecting the duties upon tea was also communiccated to several principal persons belonging to the excise and customs, and to others who were competent to judge of its merits ; and was generally approved. Under these circumitances, the author's most fanguine wishes were early embarked in the success of this mcasure; and it af. fords him the greatest satisfaction to declare, that he ieels himself infinitely gratified by the event.
After giving, in detail, the advantages which have resulted from the commutation-act, he exhibits a compendious view of those in which the public are more immediately interested.
• First; Let it be observed, that the average quantity of tea fold by the company, for ten years prior to the passing of the commutationact, was very little more than fix millions of pounds weight. per annum ; but, within the first twelve months after the act took place, the quantity 1old exceeded fixteen millions pounds weight.
Secondly; the amount of the duty still continued upon tea has, in the first year only, exceeded the estimate by no less than £60,434,
Thirdly, the total sum paid by the purchasers, for teas sold since the pasing of the act, amounts only to £2,770,799 ; but, had an equal quantity been sold at the former prices, the purchasers must have paid not less than £4,826,261 : confequently, the public have been benefited to the amount of £2,055,462 by this regulation,
Fourthly ; the increase in the annual amount of the company's sales, will oblige them to extend their importations from China, in order to fulfil the requisitions of the act; and for which purpose, not less than forty-five large additional ships, and 3450 seamen, must be constantly employed by the company.
Fifthly ; their exports of the woollens and lead of this country. must be augmented from the value of £111,000, to which the amount has hitherto been limited, to at least £300,000 per annum, which will be necessary hereafter.
* Finally ; the retaining within this kingdom a balance, amounting annually to no less than £1,032,400 ; which, prior to the act, was jegularly paid to foreigners in fpecie, through the medium of the smuggler ; and which balance will in all probability be greatly increased, when the purposes of the act shall have been carried completely into execution.
• These advantages, which have arisen from a single operation, are of such magnitude and importance, as to satisfy every impartial person of the beneficial consequences which must result from a general appli