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204 PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. May
annual inspection of parliament, can »iI shall grant, Sir, that the northern B any way obstruct this trade, or difports lie more convenient for this
courage private men from engaging trade, than the port of London, and in it? They can have the three per that publick companies feldoin do cent. only upon the sums employed carry on any trade at so small an in the trade : They can have the expence as the same may be carried 30s. per ton only upon the thips emon by private men ; but as a great ployed in the trade ; and if they number of busses must be fitted out C Thould sell so cheap as to prevent at once, in order to be able to send any of our own people engaging in running Tips with the first catched it, they will of course in a few years herrings to some of the foreign gain a great part of the trade from markets at least, as soon as the Dutch, the Duich. Supposing they should a greater capital must be employed thus by felling fo cheap, or by being than any private man or company at a greater expence than necessary, can advance ; and as at the fir set. D at lait exhaust their capital, they, it ring up the trade, no profit can for is true, will be losers, but the nafome years be expected, because the tion will be a great gainer ; and beexpence must be much greater than fore this event can happen, such there will afterwards be any occa- numbers of people will under them fion for, therefore we cannot fup. be bred up to and made expert in the pose, that any private man or com- trade, that upon their laying it down, pany will at first engage in setting it E private men amongst ourselves would up : For these reasons, a publick take it up, and might probably carry company, with a large capital, must it on to their own great advantage as at first be erected, and London is the well as that of the nation. Thereonly place where such a company fore, if this bill may possibly be atcan be establihed. By erecting such tended with great benefit to the naa company at London, we may ex- tion, and cannot possibly be attended pect that numbers of rich men will F with any bad consequence, can there Subscribe large fums, without desir. be any good reason aligned for not ing any profit by the trade, because pasiing it into a law ? they will satisfy themselves with the annuity allowed by the government;
Upon this Junius Brutus stood up, and and when numbers of seamen, fither
Spoke in Substance tous : men, and other forts of tradesmen,
Mr. President, have by the company been bred up G
SIR, to this trade, and the
have F none but rich men were to sub.
ready to on board and carry to a foreign lole what they subscribe into the camarket, the fith catched not only by
L- Sas. their own busies, but by those of
1751. PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. 205 pital stock of the society, which It is true, Sir, the Dutch have a you are by this bill to establish, I
company for the government of their should be very indifferent about your herring fishery ; but that company palling or not passing it into a law, never had any joint stock, nor did and consequently should have given they ever carry on any trade upon
their own you no trouble upon this occasion ;
account : They were but I look upon this society as a new A established only for preserving the trap for drawing poor people in to credit of the commodity, and inTuin themselves, by subscribing all specting the conduct of all those conthey have into this fund, in order cerned in the trade ; for in Holland to increase cheir yearly income, in no man is allowed to go with his which I foresee, they will be so hip upon the fishing trade, until he much disappointed, that without
has got what they call an act of conever receiving any yearly income, B fint from the magistrates of the port they will in a fow years find them. he sails from, figned by their secreselves stript of their capital. I am tary, and the teal of the company far from supposing, that any of the
affixed; so that the conduct of every gentlemen who were the promoters
maiter is under the controul of the of this bill in the other house, con
magistrates as well as the company; sider it in this light ; but this is the and if there be an objection to his light in which I view it, and I
former conduct, he can obtain no dread to see, perhaps, in ten or a such act of consent. The herring dozen years hence, the avenues to fishery in Holland is not therefore this house crowded with widows and
carried on by any company with a orphans that have been undone by a joint stock, but every ship, both project set on foot by act of parlia: bufles and vent-yaggers, or fishing ment.
and running ships, trades upon its The famous South Sea scheme, D own separate account ; and in many the Charitable Corporation, and the of them there are a great number of African company, which has been persons concerned ; for when a man so lately under our consideration, cannot build, and fit out a buss or Thould make us extremely cautious, vent-yagger upon his own single acSir, of giving the sanction of an act count, he collects money for that of parliament to any project
, unless purpose among his friends, and al. we are morally certain that it cannot
lows every one a share in proportion fail of success : Whereas, with re- to the sum he advances, by which spect to the project now before us, means every seaman on board has I think I am morally certain, that often a fare : Nay, I have been it cannot meet with success. By a told, that there is hardly a servant, company trading with a joint stock,
male or female, in their fishing towns, no trade can be carried on with suc- but what has a share in some one or cess, but such a one wherein great f other of their herring ships ; and profits may be made, and conse
the master once a year accounts fairly quently such a one as does not re
and honestly, and pays to every one quire the stricteft economy,
a proportionable share of the profits ; the herring fishery is a trade, in for if he does not manage with the which even the Dutch, who are in utmost frugality, or if he attempts posseslion of it, can make but a very to make up a false account, he can small profit, and by which the ad- G never more obtain an act of consent, venturers could make no profit at all, or be employed as a master in the if it were not managed with the herring fishery. greatest honesty and the strictest By chis method we may fee, Sir, economy,
that the utmost care, the utmost in
206 PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. du try, and the utmost ceconomy the Salt-office, in order to intitle muft be made use of by every one him, or the person from whom he concerned in the Dutch herring filh- bought the fish, to an exemption from ery; and with all this, as the interest
the duties payable upon the salt of money is very low in Holland, I
made use of in curing the fish ; and am told, that if the adventurers can
besides this certificate, the exporter get but four or 5l. per cent. for their A must have a debenture from the col. money, they are highly satisfied. Is
lector of the customs of the port it then possible to suppose, that an where such fish are entered out for Englich company trading with a joint exportation, and verified by the ftock, and employing both masters searcher as to the quantity, without and feamen who have no share in the which he cannot intitle himself to adventure, can contend with, much the bounty ; from whence it is plain, less fupplant the Dutch in this trade ? B that, as our laws now stand, neither For as to the 31. per cent. they are the company, nor any one else, can to receive from the government, it is
intitle themselves to any exemption in lieu of the duties upon the salt or bounty, as to the fish sent by yagwith which they cure their filh; be- gers or running ships directly from the cause, upon the first cargoes of fish busses to any foreign market. they export, or rather carry to a fo- I must therefore conclude, that if reign market, they can neither en-C this company ever export any her. title themselves to an exemption rings to a foreign market, they will from the duties payable upon the
lose above three per cent. upon all falt employed in curing their fish, the money employed in that trade; nor to the bounties payable upon and with regard to the home contheir exportation, because if they fumption, I am persuaded, our pribring them into any British port for vate traders will be able to undersel that purpose, they will be too late D them more than three per cent. for the first of any foreign market, consequently, if they carry on any and thereby lose the chief profit of trade at all, they will lose more than the herring trade.
they are to receive from the governFor explaining what I have said, ment yearly, which will every year I must observe, Sir, that there was diminish their capital ; and if they formerly a drawback allowed upon carry on no trade at all, as they are filh exported, in lieu of the duties E in that case to have no allowance paid upon the salt wherewith they
from the government, their very were cured; but as this occasioned
expences of management will at last great frauds, therefore by an ad of the 5th of his late majesty, the cu- If these things be confidered, Sir, rers of fish for foreign markets are I believe it will be allowed, that my now allowed to have the salt they so apprehensions are well founded ; and use duty free, and they are allowed F surely, my noble friend who spoke a small bounty in lieu of the former last will not say, that the ruin of drawbacks; but then, to intitle them- widows and orphans is not a conseTelves either to this exemption or quence that ought to be avoided. bounty, the fish fo cured 'must be However, this consequence, alarmbrought to some British port, in or. ing as it is, I should be willing to der to be from thence exported, and run the risque of, if I thought that that the exporter may have a certi- G the publick company by this bill to ficate from the proper officers of that be erected, would in the least conport, certifying the quantities and tribute to recover or promote the qualities of the fish by him exported; herring fishery ; but the only atwhich certificate is to be delivered to
tempt that has been made to Thew,
eat it up.
1751. Proceedings of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. 207 that a company may be useful for crude, indigefted scheme as any that this purpose is, that they may send was ever brought before parliament. out such a number of busses, with They do not seem to have confidered running ships to attend them, upon maturely what it is that has hitherto a joint account, as to be able to prevented our ingrossing this trade to share with the Dutch in the great ourselves alone. Before the union profits made by the first of foreign A we were jealous of every thing that markets : Now, if they are to pay might tend to the enriching of Scotthe high duties upon all salt em- land ; therefore we never thought of ployed in curing such herrings, and setting up the herring fishery, beto have no bounty, which, as I cause a great benefit would thereby have shewn, must be their case, I have accrued to the people of that believe their profits will not be very country ; and by that time the uniconsiderable, even upon the fish thus B on was concluded, our trade, our sold at the first of foreign markets. manufactures, and our navigation
Besides this, Sir, they must labour were so loaded with taxes and duties, under another very great disadvan. by the heavy and necessary wars we tage, on account of the duties pay. had been engaged in, that it was imable in this kingdom upon many of possible for our people to contend the materials necessary for fitting out with the Dutch in any branch of and vi&tualling their busses or filhing C trade, especially one they had been tips : By a calculation which, I long in possession of ; for those who find, was given in to the gentlemen can carry on any trade at the smallest called the committee on the British expence, will always be able to sell fishery, it is computed, that the du- cheapest, and by that means will inties to be paid on the several materi- gross every foreign market. als necessary for building and victu- For this reason, Sir, the commit. alling a vessel of 75 tons, to be em- D tee I have mentioned should have ployed in the herring fishery, that is considered of the most proper and to say, for victualling her for one sea- effectual methods for removing the fon only, amount to 150 1. of which weight of our taxes, from every above 741. is for the duties payable material necessary for carrying on on the materials for victualling only, the herring fishery, and especially to which we must add 25 l. for du- the salt duty with respect to the falt ties paid annually on the materials £ employed for curing the fish exportnecessary for repairing the vessel and ed, or for victualling the ship with fishing tackle, all which is an expence falt provisions ; and indeed, I wonthe Dutch are absolutely free from ; der they had not this more under and if to this extraordinary expence their consideration, when it appears, we add the interest of the money, that they had a paper laid before we shall find, that the high premium them by a worthy admiral, by which per ton to be allowed by this act, P they were informed, that in the year will do very little more than put our 1738, some gentlemen sent out three herring fishers upon an equal footing fishing vessels and two running velwith the Dutch.
sels to fish for herrings, that those These disadvantages, Sir, I Ihall gentlemen found they could both admit, that our private adventurers catch and cure their fish as well as as well as the company will still la- the Durch, that they got first to the bour under, notwithstanding any G market both at Hamburgh and Breprovision in this bill to the contrary; men, and that they sold their fish at but this is my chief objection to the as high a price as any brought by bill. In short the scheme proposed the Dutch ; but were obliged to give by this bill seems to be as much a over the trade, because of the diffi
208 PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. May
A In short, Sir, it would be endless The erecting of a publick com. to point out all the errors and depany, Sir, and the granting of a fects of the bill now before us, high premium, seems to be the only therefore I hope the affair will be thing the promoters of this bill had put off till next session, when genin view; and even for this purpose tlemen will have time to form a the bill is, in my opinion, very in scheme that may be effectual, and correctly drawn up. As no time is B to prepare a proper bill for carrying limited for closing the subscription, it into execution ; for nothing can ftockjobbers, who have a mind to be more prejudicial to the fishing make this company's stock a fund trade, than to pursue an imperfect for stockjobbing, will delay subscrib- and impracticable scheme for its ening until the five years are near ex- couragement. By the bad success pired ; and as soon as they are, with which the prosecution of luch they will then make use of every C a scheme muit be attended, people stockjobbing art, to propagate an will be induced to think, that it is opinion of the extraordinary profits impoffible for us to carry on the herto be made by this company, to the ring fishery to advantage ; and if end that they may fell out at an ad- such an opinion should once genevanced price.
rally prevail, no man will engage
in Then, Sir, as to the 10,000l. to it for the future, no man will think of be subscribed by each chamber, it D forming any scheme for the purpose. does not seem clear to me, whether that money is to be a part of the The last Speech i fhall give you in 500,000l. or no. If the money to
this Debate, was that made by L. be subscribed by the chambers is not Icilius, the Purport of which was to be deemed a part of the 500,000). as follows, viz. and as the number of chambers is not limited, no one can say how E
Mr. President, large a sum the government may be
SIR, obliged to pay three per cent. for. HEN I stand up to declare And on the other hand, if the whole
myself in favour of this bill, money to be subscribed by the cham.
I hope, it will not be supposed, that bers, as well as what is subscribed at I think the scheme so well concerted, London is not to exceed 500,000l. or the bill so perfectly framed, as the chambers may be entirely ex- F they might have been. I know cluded, because the whole may be there are errors and defects in both, Subscribed at London, before any and when an experiment comes to chamber can be formed in any of the be made, many more may be discoout ports.
vered than can now be suggested ; Lastly, Sir, I do not think Camp- but Rome, they say, was not built bell-town in Argyleíhire, a proper in a day, nor can we expect, should place for the weltern rendezvous, we sit here till this time twelvemonth, because, according to all accounts I to form a scheme so perfect, or a have had either by reading or con- bill so compleat, that no objection, versation, the rendezvous Thould be
no error or defect, could be fug. a little more to the northward, and
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