British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

And as the relief at present granted by His Majesty's Order in Council to the said Islands depends solely upon the continuance of the said law, the Lords are of opinion that no time should be lost in proposing to Parliament the further continuance of the said law for a limited time in order that the same liberty of importing in British vessels for a limited time may be continued to them.


10
SIR GUY CARLETON: EVIDENCE BEFORE THE COMMITTEE FOR TRADE, 16 March 17841

Sir Guy Carleton being desired by their Lordships to give his opinion upon the general question (of allowing the trade between the West India Islands and the United States in American bottoms) observed that the measure appeared to him liable to very great objections, for that it was beyond a doubt, in his opinion, that opening the trade for lumber and provisions with the United States in their shipping would exceedingly injure the colonies in North America remaining to Great Britain; is of opinion that the United States would be able to supply the Islands with lumber and provisions for the ensuing season much cheaper than Canada or Nova Scotia; and is inclined to think that Nova Scotia could not for the present be able to supply them to the extent of their wants if the demand is really such as he had heard stated by some of the Planters; but flatters himself, notwithstanding, that if the loyalists get possession of their lands so as to begin to cultivate them this spring Nova Scotia with Canada might be able to furnish a supply to the whole extent both of lumber and provisions before the end of the year 1785. Upon the question whether they would be able to furnish the supplies at as cheap a rate is of opinion that with proper encouragement they would, but cannot answer the question with precision.

Upon the question whether Canada is not capable of supplying great quantities of provisions for the Islands, is of opinion that it might do so to a great amount--large exports of wheat were made from Canada prior to the war, from 200,000 to 400,000 bushels a year, particularly in the year 1774, when the export amounted nearly to 500,000 bushels, but the increase was owing to particular circumstances. . . . [He] Is of opinion that Canada in future years might, according to the seasons, furnish a supply of 200,000 or 300,000 bushels. Being asked if there was any prospect of obtaining lumber from Canada, was of opinion that a great supply may be had from thence especially if we include Vermont and other parts of the country

____________________
1
B.T. 5/1, pp. 26-28. The Committee continued to consider the West India petition during March, April, and May, hearing evidence from Lord Sheffield, Brook Watson, George Chalmers, Thomas Irving, and others.

-259-

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