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1751. PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. 209 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 aniconsiderable, even upon the fish thus B on was concluded, our trade, our fold 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 disadyan. 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 victualling their bufles or filhing C trade, especially one they had been fhips: By a calculation which, I long in poffesfion 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 commitalling 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 lay, for victualling her for one sea- effectual methods for removing the fon only, amount to 150 l. 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 efpecially to which we must add 25 l. for du- the salt duty with respect to the fait ties paid annually on the materials E employed for caring the fish exportnecessary for repairing the vessel and ed, or for vi&ualling 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 lon 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 filhing vessels and two running verwith the Dutch.
sels to fish for herrings, that those These disadvantages, Sir, I shall gentlemen found they could both admit, that our private adventurers catch and care their fish as well as as well as the company will still la- the Dutch, that they got first to the bour under, not withftanding 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
culties they found to settle their ac. likewise more westward at some of counts with the salt commillioners. the western islands, in order to fol. After hearing of such a paper, it was low the herring shoals which go. natural to expect some clause in this round by the welt of Ireland, as bill for removing those difficulties ; well as those which steer southward but not a word is to be found in it by St. George's channel. for this purpose.
А In short, Sir, it would be endless The erecting of a publick com. to point out all the errors and de. pany, Sir, and the granting of a fects of the bill now before us, bigh 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 en. ing until the five years are near ex- couragement. By the bad success pired ; and as soon as they are, with which the prosecution of such 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 impoflible 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 1 mall 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,oool. as follows, viz. and as the number of chambers is not limited, no one can say how E
Nir. President, large a fum the government may be
. . HEN I declare And on the other hand, if the whole
myself 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 500,00ol. 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 Argyleihire, a proper in a day, nor can we expect, should place for the western 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 suga little more to the northward, and
D- of A
obliged to pay three per cent for W myfear in favour of this bill,
proper, there is
1751. PROCEEDINGS of the PolITICAL CLUB, &c. 209 gested againd it. We must proceed ment begin to contend with the in this as in other things, by degrees; Dutch in supplying the foreign marand when a spirit prevails among the kets with herrings ; but will any people, from which the publick may man of common sense advise such be made to reap great benefit, it an attempt ? In the infancy of any would be criminal in the legislature trade or manufacture, the most we to neglect taking advantage of it. A can propose co do, the most that was ! This is the case at present : There ever proposed to be done, was to is a spirit, and, I think, a very lau. fupply, and by degrees increase, our dable spirit, prevailing at this time home consumption. Therefore this among all ranks of people, for the
company may now and then fend encouragement of the herring filh- some of their running ships to a foery: For this purpose the principal reign market, when they find they thing wanted is a large sum of mo- B can be there before, or as soon as ney to be employed in this way ; the Dutch ; and tho' they should and for raising such a sum of money, pay the salt dury, and be intitled to there is no way so
no bounty, they can never be losers indeed no other way, but that of by what fish they sell at such a marestablishing a publick company with ket ; but their chief aim will cera power to take in subscriptions, and tainly be to supply our home conunder such regulations as shall be C fumption, especially here about Lonprescribed by the legislature, or by don, in which the Dutch cannot his majesty's charter
contend with them ; and it is be taken of the spirit that now pre- probable, that any of our own privails, a large sum of money may for vate traders will foon be able to conthis purpose be raised; but if you tend with them to any great degree. neglect the opportunity that now Now, Sir, with regard to our offers : If you allow this fpirit to D home consumption, a publick comevaporate, it may for ever hereaf- pany will certainly be of very great ter, or at least for a great number of advantage to the nation : As the di. years, be impossible to raise any fum rectors of that company will always of money for such a purpose by be gentlemen and merchants of the subscription ; therefore, I think, it firft figure and fashion amongst us, would be criminal in us not to pass they may by their example render it this bill, were it more crude and in E fashionable to have herrings a part digested than it really is.
of our great entertaininents : I wish That the company now to be we could introduce them instead of erected may by fraudulent manage- our French ragouts and kickshaus: ment exhauft their capital, as some If this cannot be done, they may other companies have done, is, I surely be rendered more fashionable Tall grant, possible ; but consider. than they are at present ; by which ing that their accounts are to be F the consumption may be so increased, yearly under the inspection of par- that the company may for some liament, I must say, Sir, it is not years sell all they can catch at a reavery probable ; and that they should sonable profit ; and before they and without bad management exhaust our private traders can overstock the their capital by mere losies in trade, home markets, we shall have time I will say, is almost utterly impofi- to consider of the most proper me. ble. To lay a foundation for such G thods for enabling them to supply the an apprehension, it has been sup- foreign, which methods we may posed, that this company will from much more easily and certainly inthe first moment of their establish- vestigate, after we have had some May, 1751.
experience of the trade, than we widows and orphans, who have been can now when we are almost intirely ruined by subscribing their all into ignorant of it.
the stock of this company. As the From a publick company, Sir, consumption of herrings and other we shall reap another, and a very sorts of falt fith is vastly great in the considerable advantage, which is that several parts of the British domi. of preventing any herrings taken A nions, could we supply this whole by foreigners from being smuggled demand from our own fisheries, carinto the kingdom ; for tho' the im- ried on either by the company or by porting of any such has for many private men, it would be a very great years been prohibited by law, yet addition both to our navigation and we know that it is to this day prac- number of seamen ; and when we tised with impunity, and is connived can do more than this, it will then at by the fishermen and others upon B be time, and we shall long before our coasts, because some of their have an opportunity, to consider how neighbours are generally concerned to relieve our fishing trade from every in the adventure : Whereas, were a tax that now lies heavy upon it ; but publick fishing company once esta- as this is a matter that will require blished, every officer, sailor, or fish
many new regulations, the consideerman employed by them, would ration of it could not be entered make it their business to detect such C upon in concerting this scheme, or frauds ; and upon every discovery in framing this bill; consequently, the the company would certainly resolve not attempting to remove those diffito prosecute at their own expence, culties, which our fishing adventu which at present is so heavy upon rers formerly met with in settling private men, that they are afraid to their accounts with the sale commiscommence any prosecution. Besides, fioners, was not a neglect, but a pruthe feamen and fishermen would be D dent omiffion, as not being abromuch more ready to make discove- lutely necessary at present, tho' I ries to the company, than they are hope it will be done, and I think now to our cuitom-house officers ; may effectually be done, the next because by becoming an informer, session of parliament. they throw themselves out of em- I have now, I think, Sir, reployment in the little out ports they moved the two chief objections made belong to, and they know the ofi- E to the scheme proposed to be eltacer cannot give them employment ; blished by this bill, and now as to whereas they would all know, that those made to the bill itself: That the company not only could, but of not limiting the time for closing certainly would take them into their the subscription cannot be of any service, and thereby furnih them weight, because it is to be hoped, with constant employment.
that the whole sum will be subscribed I am therefore of opinion, Sir, F in a Mort time, which of itself will that the establishing of this company put an end to the subscription ; and is one of the best methods we can if it should not, as some new bill take for preventing not only the may next session probably be brought clandestine importation of foreign in for explaining and amending the filh, but every other sort of smug. bill now before us, we may then gling ; and as the company may, for enact, that no transfer of any of the lome years, at leat, carry on a G stock of this company shall be made great and advantageous trade, by for five years from the date of the Tupplying the home consumption, subscription. But, I hope, there the noble lord, who spoke last, has will be no occasion for any such new no occasion to be afraid of seeing the clause ; and confidering the law we avenues to this house crowded by
1751. PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. 211 have now in force against stockjob. sure, I Mall most readily consent to it. bing, which a noble lord fo justly To conclude, Sir, those who have commended, I think, we have no never made the experiment may ima. great occasion to be afraid of any gine, that the herring fishery may be Itockjobbing scheme that can hereaf
set on foot by private adventurers ; ter be let on foot.
but I am convinced it never will, This objection cannot therefore A because I have made the experiment. be of weight enough for deferring Being defirous to encourage and protill next session, a bill that may be of mote this trade, I joined a pretty so much benefit to the nation ; and large sum with some gentlemen as I was surprised to hear the noble honest and as conversant in this trade lord say, that he was not clear as to as any in Britain ; but we were at the question, whether the money to laft obliged to give it up, after losing be subscribed by the chambers was to B one half of our capital ; the cheif be a part of the 500,000l. for, I reason of which was, because in the think, there is nothing more clear inland countries the people are not than that it is ; nor is there, I think, yet got into the way of eating falt the least danger, that the gentlemen herrings, and London and all our appointed by this bill to receive sub. towns upon the coast are supplied scriptions, will not take care to re- by herrings (muggled from Holland, serve a sufficient sum to be subscribed C which were sold cheaper than we by the chambers ; because they may could sell ours, because they were soon hear from every out port of the free from the salt duty, and many kingdom, whether it be likely that other duties that inhance the price the people at that port will form a of all fith caught by the people of chamber ; and if too large a sum this kingdom. Now a company should be reserved for this purpose, with a large capital will not only be the subscription may be again open-D able to bear a loss for a year or two, ed here for the residue, which is a but may more effectually propagate good reason for not limiting the time the consumption of herrings, and for closing the subscription by the prevent the clandestine importation bill now before us.
of Dutch, than can be done by priAs to the western rendezvous for vate and separate adventurers. the fishing ships in the latter season, For this reason, Sir, I think a the place appointed by this bill has E company with a joint stock at first always hitherto been thought the absolutely necessary for setting up this most proper, because the shoals of
trade. The only difficulty is, how herrings are generally by that time to get subscriptions enough for raising moved to the seas in that neighbour- a sufficient joint stock ; and for this hood, or to the southward of that
purpose no future time can be so proplace; and in their way thither they per as the present ; for I must obwill every year be accompanied by F serve, that the people in every counsome of the fishing ships, that against try are like a fair lady, if you do the first season had rendezvoused in not catch them while they are in the Brassa-found. But, Sir, if experience humour, your addresses will after. should hereafter teach us, that Camp- wards be in vain; therefore, I hope, bell-town is not the most proper place this bill, imperfect as it is, will now for the west:rn rendezvous, it may without the least amendment be pas. be easily altered by some future bill G sed into a law ; for every one may brought in for the farther regulation judge what will be the consequence and improvement of our fisheries, of your making any amendment to for no one can suppose, that this will it in this bouse. be che lait ; and if any fach alterati- [Tbi Jurnal to be continued in our nexe.] on should be found neccflary, I am DI 2