British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

7
RESOLUTIONS OF THE COMMITTEE OF WEST INDIA PLANTERS AND MERCHANTS, 6 February 17841

[The first resolution states that the West India colonies cannot function profitably without a cheap supply of American provisions, which can only be secured by the admission of American shipping.]2

... Resolved therefore that Lord Penrhyn as Chairman of this Committee be requested to submit to His Majesty's Ministers the representation of the West India planters and merchants made on the 11th of April 1783 and that of the merchants dated the 20th November last, and further to submit the humble opinion of this Committee that it may be expedient by Proclamation to permit during the time His Majesty is empowered to permit the same, the importation into and the exportation from His Majesty's sugar colonies by American ships from and to any places in the dominions of the United States of America, of all such lumber, provisions, or other produce of His Majesty's said sugar colonies, or of the dominions of the said United States respectively, as might legally have been so imported into or exported from His Majesty's said sugar colonies by American ships before the late war from or to the said dominions of the said United States of America.

And that directions may be given to the Governors of His Majesty's sugar colonies to use their utmost endeavours for preventing any fees from being demanded or taken from the Masters of American ships coming to the said sugar colonies other than such as are authorized by law.

And that Lord Penrhyn be further requested in the most earnest manner to represent the distressed state of His Majesty's sugar colonies for want of this intercourse which in the opinion of this Committee absolutely requires that not a moment should be lost in giving such relief therein as the nature of the case shall in His Majesty's wisdom admit.

____________________
1
B.T. 5/1, pp. 3-4. These resolutions were presented by the W.I. Committee on 8 March 1784 in the form of a petition in response to William Pitt's request for a formal submission.
2
In April 1783 the W.I. Committee had asked that 'such a share of the American trade may be preserved to the sugar colonies as will greatly tend to their support'. 'To this intercourse', they declared, 'the permission of American ships as heretofore, freely to bring the produce of the dominions of the United States to the sugar colonies and take back our produce in return, is . . . essential.'

-256-

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