British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

China has been gradually but rapidly increasing. In 1782 it amounted to £105,041, in 1792 to £559,651, and in 1805 to £1,102,620. I am not able to ascertain what quantity of silver has been sent during the same period, but I have no doubt that it has diminished since the regular supply of the market by the Americans; and that our factory has not only been able, by this circumstance, to increase the sale of our manufactures, but also to provide, in a greater degree than formerly, for their purchases, by drafts on the Company at home, and on the different presidencies in India.

The interest of the ship-owner remains only to be considered, whose prosperity must depend upon that of the different branches of commerce, and whose case might therefore be said to be determined by theirs. The shipping interest never fail to avail themselves of their connection with our naval power in enforcing their complaints and opinions, which, it is to be regretted, is frequently done with a disposition to indiscriminate monopoly, which all commercial bodies acting together never fail to shew. A few commonplace phrases about our Old Navigation Laws and our Maritime Rights, answer the place of argument, and little trouble is taken to ascertain in how far they may or may not be really injured by any remedies suggested for the relief of others. This domineering spirit falls principally upon the West India planters, and of the loudness and extent of the outcry before they are even hurt, some opinion may be formed by recollecting the clamour against the American Intercourse Act. It is to be hoped, however, that no Ministers will be withheld by political cowardice from administering equitably and impartially between the different commercial interests of the country; and that, where the encouragement of our shipping required restrictions and monopolies, which I by no means deny, that their efficacy and utility will be thoroughly investigated.


24 LORD LIVERPOOL: MEMORANDUM FOR LORD CASTLEREAGH ON A NOTE BY JOHN QUINCY ADAMS PROPOSING A COMMERCIAL TREATY BETWEEN BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES 26 September 18161

. . . I have always been strongly of opinion that it was the decided interest of this country to maintain as far as possible the monopoly

____________________
1
B.T. 1/110. Adam's note was dated 17 September. Liverpool argued (as his father would have done) that formal negotiations should not be undertaken unless informal agreement were already arrived at John Quincy Adams, a future President of the United States, had been in charge of the negotiations at Ghent in 1814 for peace with Britain, and was U.S. Minister to the Court of St. James until September 1817, when he became Secretary of State in President Monroe's Cabinet.

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