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foreign trade, and said the former was of Shinar; or as Waterloo Bridge is of “ worth all foreign trade put together.” the wealth produced by the favourable But his observations on this bead are maritime situation of London, or York as much forgotten by the majority of Cathedral of the agricultural riches of our legislators as those he made on the the plains of Yorkshire. In all these great wisdom of our Navigation Laws, causes there is a relation between the as the only security for our national natural advantages which produce the independence.
riches and the durable monument to Mr. M Gregor said in debate on the the construction of which they lead, same subject, that “ he admitted our and that relation is that of cause and naval strength had co-existed with effect. We entirely concur with the the Navigation Laws, but he denied member for Glasgow in thinking that that they were cause and effect. They the same connexion, and no other, had about as much to do with each other subsists between the Navigation Laws as the height of the Pyramids had with and the maritime greatness of Eng. the floods of the Nile.»* We agree with land as existed formerly between the the honourable member for Glasgow Pyramids of Egypt, and the fertilizing in one part of ibis observation. The floods which encircle their base. Navigation Laws bave had as much to To prove that these remarks are do with our maritime prosperity as the not made at random, but that the NaPyramids had with the floods of the vigation Laws really are the fourdaNile ; and we will tell the ex-secretary tion of the maritime greatness of Eng. of the board of trade what the relation land, and that, when they are repealed, was-it was that of cause and effect. it must of necessity languish and Mr. M Gregor is too well informed not ultimately expire, we subjoin three to know that there exists in Cairo a tables : one showing the progress of Nilometer, and that, during tbe' period British as compared with foreign of the inundation, the spirits of the shipping, from 1801 to 1823, when people and the animation of commerce the protection of the Navigation Laws rise and fall with the rise or fall of was first infringed upon by the adopthe prolific stream. It is no wonder tion of the reciprocity system with the they do so, for it is the source of life Baltic powers ; and another showand prosperity to the whole commu- ing the comparative progress of our nity. Raised by the power of the foreign and home shipping with Pharaohs from the riches produced by Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the inundations of former times, the Prussia, the countries with whom Pyramids are the Nilometer of anti- reciprocity treaties were first conquity, as much as the tower of Babel cluded, from 1823 to the end of 1847, and the ruins of Babylon were the mo. when the reciprocity system had been nument of the opulence of the plain a quarter of a century in operation.
Table showing the comparative progress of British and Foreign Tonnage inwards; from 1821 to 1847, both inclusive, with Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Prussia.
Year. Brit. tons. For. tons. Brit- tocs. For. tons. Brit. tons. For. tons. Brit. tons For. tons.
1821 23,005 8,508 1822 20 799 13,692 1823 20,986 22,529 1824 17,074 40,092 1825 15,906 53,141 1826 11,829 16,939 1827 11,719 21,822 1828 14,877 24,700 1829 16,636 25,046
13,855 61,342 5,312
4,413 11,419 135,272 6,738 14,825 157,916 15,158 13,603 90,726 22,000 13,945 96,420 10,825 10,826 85,771 | 17,464 9,985 86,205 24,576
3,969 79,590 37,720 3,910 102,847
58.270 4,795 81,202 86,013 23,689 94,664 151,621 50,943 189 214 182,752 56,544 119,060 120,589 52,456 150,718 109,184 49,293 133,753 99.195 53,390 125,918 127,861
* Times, June 9, 1848.
Year. Brit. tons. For. tons.
Brit, tons. For. tons. Brit. tons. For, tons. Brit. tons. For. tons.
11830 12,116 23,158 1831 11,450 38,689 1832
8,335 25,755 1833 10,009 29,454 1834 15,353 35,911 1835 12,036 35,061 1836 10.865 42,439 1837 7,608 42,602 1838 10,425 38.991 1839 8,359 49,270 1840 11,953 53.337 1841 | 13,170 46.795 1842 15,296 37,218 1843 6,435 44,184 1844 12,806 59,835 1845 15,157 89,923 1846 12,625 80,649 1847 7,037 117,918
6,459 84,585 12,210 51,420 | 102,758 139,646 4,518 114,865 6,552 62,190 83,908 140,532 3,789 82,155 7,268 35.772 62,079 89,187 5,901 98,931 6,840 38,620 41,735 | 108,753 6,403 98,303 5,691 52,282 32,021 118,711 2,592 95,049 6,007 49,008 25,514 124,144 1,573 125,875 2.152 51.907 42,567 171,439 1,035 88,004 5,357 55,961 67,566 145,742 1,364 110,817 3,466 57,554 86,734 175,643 2,582 109,228 5,535 106,960 (111,470 229,208 3,161 114,241 6,327 103.067 112,709 237,984
977 113,045 3,368 83,009 88,198 210,254 1,385 98,979 5.499 59,837 87,202 145,499 1,814 97,248 4,148
82,940 70,164 163,745 1,315 125,011 7,423 123,674 198,626 220,202 1,215 129,897 4,528 84,566 49,334 256,711 3,313 113.738 9,531 105.973 63,425 270,801 2,318 128,075 20,462 116,382 88,390 203,225
-Porter's Parliamentary Tables; and Parliamentary Report, 3d April, 1848.
Thus, while our shipping with the that of foreign states, from 1801 to 1823, whole world quarlrupled, as compared when the reciprocity system began; and with the foreign employed in the same again from thence to 1847, when free trade, under the protective system, from trade in shipping was in full operation 1801 to 1823; ii declined under the re by the temporary suspension of the Naciprocity system of equal duties, in the vigation Laws, from the effect of the Or. countries to which that system was ap- ders in Council in March, 1847, sus. plied in the next twenty years, till it had pending the Navigation Laws under the dwindled to a perfect fraction ;-our pressure of the Irish famine: tonnage with Sweden being, in 1847, not more than a sixteenth part of the foreign ; with Norway a fiftieth part; Year.
Tons inward. Tons inward.
Foreign. with Denmark somewhat above a sixth ; with Prussia somewhat under a fourth. 1801
9:22,594 780,155 | 1,702,749 But then it is said these are selected 1802 1,333,005 480,251 1,813,256 states which do not give a fair average
1803 1,115,702 638,104 | 1,753,806
1804 of the reciprocity system, or afforda
904,932 607,299 | 1,512,231
1805 953,250 691,883 | 1,615, i38 correct criterion of its probable effects
1806 904,367 612,904 | 1,517,271 when applied, as it is about to be by a
1807 Records lost. general repeal of the Navigation Laws,
1808 Records lost. to the whole world. If they are 1809 938,675 759,287 1,697,692 “selected states,” we can only say they 18101 896,001 1,176,243 2,072,244 were selected by Mr. Huskisson and the 1811 Free-traders themselves as likely to af.
1812 Records destroyed by fire. ford the best specimens of the effect of
1813 their principles, and therefore as the first
1814 1,290,248 599,287 1 889,535 on which the experiment was to be
1815 1,372,108 746,985 2,119,093 made. But we are quite willing to take
1816 1,415,723 379,465 1,795,188
1817 1,625, 121 445,011 2,070,132 the general tonnage of the empire as the
1818 1,886,394 762,457 2,648.851 test; and we shall commence with a
1819 1,809,128 542,684 2,351,812 quotation from the tables of the great 1820 1,668,060 447,6112,115,671 statistical apostle of free trade, Mr. Por 1821 1,599,274 396,256 1,995,530 ter, 10 show the effect of free trade in 1822 1,664,166 469,151 2,133,337 shipping on the comparative growth of our whole tonnage, as compared with -Porter's Progress of the Nation, 407.
It appears from this most instructive ment of the period the British stood table that, under the protection system, to the foreign as 174 to 58, or 3 to 1 exfrom 1801 to 1823, the British shipping actly, at the close they stood as 49 10 employed in conducting our commerce 22, or somewhat above 2 to 1 only. And had gained so decisively on the foreign observe the vast start of foreign shipemployed in the same commerce, that it ping as compared with British, since had increased from having been on an free trade was introduced by Sir R: average of five years, at the commence. Peel, in 1846. For while the British ment of the second, about two British
tonnage was to the foreign in 1845 as tons to one foreign, to be, on the last five 43 10 17, or as 2} to 1; in the year years, "about four British tons to one 1847 it was as 49 to 22, or 2 to 1 only. foreign : in other words, during these So rapid has been the growth of foreign twenty-two years, the proportion of shipping over British in eighteen months British to foreign shipping had doubled. of general free trade. In ten years of
Turn now to the contrast afforded by such a system, it is easy to see that the the comparative progress of British and foreign ionnage employed in carrying foreign shipping from 1823, when the on our trade will be equal to the British; reciprocity system was introduced with and then our national independence is certain states, to 1847, when it was gone for ever, for we bave nursed up in made universal by the suspension of the our harbors a body of foreign seamen Navigation Laws in March of that equal to our own. year :
But we have not yet done with the parliamentary returns. From the re
turn 3d April 18-18, it appears that the
TOTAL total tonnage, British and foreign, em-
ployed in carrying on our trade was-
British islands. Foreign. Total, 1825 2,144,598 958,132 3,102,730
4,942,094 2,253,939 7,196,033 tons. 1826 1,950,630 691,116 2,644,746
Deduct British and foreign tons em1827 2.086,898 751.864 1.839,762 1828 2,094,357 634,620 2,728,977
ployed in the colonial trade, viz.1829 2,184,525 710,303 2,891,828 1830 2,180,042 758,828 2,938,870
Tons Brit. Tons For.
inward. inward. 1831 2,367,322 874,605 3,241,927 1832 12,185,980 639,979 2,825,959 Brit. N. Amer. colonies 963,466 3,274 1833 2,183,814 762,085 2,945,899
243,388 1831 2,298,263 833,905 3,132,168
Channel islands 131,899 3,049 1835 2,442,734 866,990 3,309,724
11.623 1836 2,505, 173 988,899 3,494,372
33,554 3,789 1837 2,617,166 1,005,940 3,623,106
13,101: 1838 2,785,387 | 1,211,666 3,997.053
203,812 6.983 1839 3,101,650 1,331,365 4,433,015
Asia and Australia 379,529 2,774 1810 3,197,501 1,460,294 | 4,657,795 1841 3,361,211 1,291,165 4,652,376
Total to colonies 1,970,372 19,847 1812 3,294,725 1,205,303 4,500,028 1813 3,545,346 1,301,950 4,816,296
Thus the British trade to our colo. 1844 3,617,463 (1,402,138 5,049,601 nial settlements is about a hundred times 1815 4,310,639 1,735,079 6,045,718 the foreign, and constitutes nearly a 1816 4,294,733 1,806,282 6,101,015 third of ihe whole tonnage employed 1847 4,942,094 2,253,939 7,196,033 in carrying on commerce, and
about two-fifths of the total British ---Porter's Progress of the Nation, 407, 21 ed.; tonnage,-(1,970,372 out of 4,942,and Parliamentary Papers, 30 April. 1848.
094.) Thus it appears that under the But it is important to discover what reciprocity system with some countries proportion the British tonnage em. since 1823, and free trade in shipping ployed conducting our trade with with all in 1847, the foreign shipping all the world except our colonies, employed in carrying on the British bears to the foreign tonnage employed trade had so rapidly grown upon the in the same work. That is casily British, that, while at the commence. found:
Tons For. 1847. Total British tonnage,
4,942,094 Total For. ton. 2,253,939 Deluct British Colonial tonnage, 1,970,372 Foreign do. 19,847 Remains in trade with all the world except colonies,
2,233,092 So that, setting aside our colonial competition to which this exposed the trade, the British tonnage is to the West India planters naturally pro tonnage with all the rest of the world duced in them a desire to be liberated as 29 19 22, or as 4 to 3 only! Con. from any burdens to which they were sidering the rapid strides which, under subjected for the benefit of the mother the reciprocity system established country; and in this demand the only with a limited number of coun- Canadians, exposed to the competitries in 1823, the foreign shipping is tion of American grain, for a similar making in encroachment upon the reason concurred. Thus the cry for British, this fact affords room for the cheap freights, originating in 'freemost serious reflections. It is clear, trade principles in England, came to be from the great advance of foreign over responded to from the British colonies British shipping in the single year of on ihe other side of the Atlantic; and temporary suspension of the Naviga- the Navigation Laws began to be repution Laws, under the pressure of famine diated by the colonies—the very thing in 1847-yiz. from 1,735,679, to which formerly it was their most 2,253,979; while the British in the anxious desire to uphold. The firm same period advanced only from though unseen bond of mutual interest, 4,310,639, to 4,942,094,--that two or founded protective principles, three years of free trade in shipping which has hitherto held together the will bring the foreign vessels employed vast and widely separated dominions in conducting our trade, exclusive of of the British empire, is dissolved. those engaged in the colonial, to an Being deprived of the benefit of equality with the British. The moment protection, they very naturally wished that period arrives, our maritime to be relieved of its burdens. Such superiority, and with it our national is the maze of error and danger into independence, hang entirely on our which we have been led by the colonial trade, which, and which alone, sophistry of free trade; and such the strikes the balance at present in our way in which the greatest and best favour. And yet, the colonial trade consolidated empires are first loosened, is the precise thing which it is the and then destroyed, by the delusions object of the repeal of the Navigation of those entrusted with their guidance. Laws to throw open to foreign nations ! The manner in which foreign shipIn their anxiety to cheapen every ping has encroached upon British, since thing, the Free-traders would gladly the reciprocity system began in 1823, is expose our shipping interest engaged in clearly proved by the centesimal prothe colonial trade to the same competi. portions of each, published by Mr. Portion, which has already proved so disas. ier, from 1820 to 1844, both inclusive. trous to that part of it which is engaged It will be seen from the following in the trafic with foreign nations. table, that, since 1820, the centesimal
Observe how one false step in policy proportion of British shipping emby nations, like one deviation from ployed in conducting our trade has virtue in private life, leads by natural declined from 78 10 72, while that of consequences to a repetition of errors foreign nations has increased from 21 and crimes, till irreparable ruin en- to 27. But this proportion, such as sues. The agricultural interest at it is, is solely upheld by our colonial home was first attacked ; and by the trade, which, as already shown, emcry of cheap bread, and the weight of ploys nearly 2,000,000 tons of our class legislation, its protection was shipping. But for it, the encroa:hment taken away.
The West India islands of foreign on British shipping would were the next victims; because, if appear in such alarming colours as to the farmer in England raises his strike the most inconsiderate. It is wheat with nothing but a nominal the rapid growth of our colonial trade protection, it was plausible to say the under ihe protective system which has West India planter must raise his alone concealed the ravages effected sugar on the same terms. The ruinous on it by free trade under the reciprocity.
Centesimal Proportions of the British and Foreigr Tonnage employed in the Im
port Trade of the United Kingdom from 1820 to 1844.
-Porter's Progress of the Nation, 416, 2d edition. Mr. Porter himself tells us that clined (p. 410) from 65 to 52-38, while the centesimal proportion of our trade that of our colonies has increased with the European powers has de- thus,
America 336,344 18:54
0:40 India, &c. 67,627 372 Australia
13,514 0.76 40,131 1.21 157,364 3:12 74,117 4.16 161,473 4.88 364,978 5.25
488 .02 16,019 0:48 36,454 0-74
431,727 24:26 1,104,147 3278 1,443,646 28.61
Such has been the working of the ficial operation of their principles. We reciprocity system, as compared with accept the instance, and proceed to the protective and colonial-in other inquire into the comparative value of words, free trade in shipping with the American protected trade with some particular nations in twenty our own colonies, and the American years. And it is from this experience free trade with the United States, both of the effects of the partial adoption of at this time and in the respective prothese principles that the Free-traders gress of each for the last twenty-five now propose to make it universal !
years. America is the country to which, The Foreign and British tonnage in comparison with Great Britain, the with the United States, Canada, and Free-traders constantly refer for a the West Indies, in the year 1847, demonstration of the justice and bene- stood thus, viz. :
-Parliamentary Paper, 3d April 1848.
* Reciprocity System introduced.