AN ANSWER TO A Late TRACT, ENTITULED, [An Essay on the East-India Trade.]

LONDON: Printed for Tho. Cockerill, in Pater-Noster Row, the Corner of Warwick-Lane. MDCXCVII.

TO THE Clothiers and Weavers OF ENGLAND.


THOUGH I love not Con­troversies, nor have a strength of Judgment to manage them, yet I readily embraced the motion of Answering a small Tract, Entituled, An Essay on the East-India Trade, [Page]by the Author of the Essay upon Ways and Means; believing the Justness of the Cause would supply the Weakness of the Advocate. I must own the Author of that Essay hath set forth his Er­rors in Trade, as usually they come forth in Religion, with the Allurements of Sublimer Knowledge, and more ad­vanc'd Practice in the Mysteries of Heaven, than are Taught by the Ancient Orthodox Discipline; so this Gentleman Argues for the Importation and Wear of East-India Manufactories to be the highest Improvement of our Trade and Navigation; the mistake whereof the following Sheets explode. I therefore only mention here that which perfects the Simile before-men­tioned, That his Position is Erroneous and New; the East-India Trade ha­ving been Profitable to the Nation before the vast Importation of Indian Manufactories, and the contrary now [Page]the Nation is deluded by the Gaiety and Cheapness of them, as it is im­posed upon when they are told, That they are a great Improvement to Trade, and below the exalted Genius of a Rich Nation, as we are, to take up with Home-bred Manufactories; all this I take to be a most pernicious Heresy in Trade, and submit my Ar­guments in the following Pages to prove it so, to the Consideration of better Heads.

I shall add no more here, but pray your leave to caution against a fault too general in our Nation, that is, To treat Men that differ with us in Judgment, as Enemies either to our Persons or Interest; this often makes some so that were not, but never brings over them that are.

I know some of the first Magni­tude, [Page]both in Quality and Judgment, of different Opinion in the East-In­dia Trade, yet as entirely in the In­terest of the Nation, as we that differ from them in this Point.

If I may presume to advise you, and that you gain your reasonable desire, use it as a Victory only over the Subjects of the Mogul, and not over your Brethren.

AN ANSWER TO A Late TRACT, ENTITULED, [An Essay on the East-India Trade.]

I Think it as much a Right to ac­knowledge the Truths of the Author of these Essays, as it is to shew his Mistakes.

I must therefore first own, he hath with good Judgment expressed the great Ad­vantage it is for Ministers of State to have a true Knowledge in the Trade of the Nation; and it is too true that Richlieu left behind him such Schemes for Trade [Page 2]and Navigation, as hath, and 'tis yet to be fear'd, will advance the French Power more than their Arms.

It is as great a Truth, that the Strength of an Island, as well as its Treasure, de pends more on Trade and Navigation, than that of a Continent; the considera­tion whereof hath ofen prevailed with me to believe this Nation might sooner bring France to its Ancient Bounds by our force in Trade and Navigation, than by our Arms; it will at least be granted, that the Latter is not to be supported without the Former.

But to come to the foundation of his Arguments for the matter in Contro­versy; he tells you in Page 8, That but a Fourth part of our Riches arise from the Vent of our own Commodities: This is so palpable a mistake as can pro­ceed from nothing less than the want of the most common Rudiments of Trade; a fault too usual among Men of Letters and Theory in Merchantine Affairs. Reading without Practice never makes a Merchant; and though I will not say Merchants are the best Governors of Trade (each one having a particular In­terest) yet, I think, I may affirm, [Page 3]That they are the best Explainers of it.

This Gentleman, perhaps, had the Notion of the Dutch Trade in his Head when he wrote this; their Riches chiefly arising from Carriage, and improving the product of other Nations; but ours is not so, we are not always our own Carriers; and, to our shame, not the Ma­nufactorers of all our own Product.

But to make this mistake of our Riches arising out of the Air appear, for he tells us not from whence it comes, let us consider what brings our Trea­sure, if our Manufactories, Lead, Tinn, and Leather, doth not; (for our Corn, though he names that as considerable in our Exports, is of no signification) Car­riage, as I said before, we make no Gain by; Exports of Foreign Imports are not much; and if they were, yet their ori­ginal must arise from the purchase of our Native Product, and so doth even all we fetch from the East-Indies, but not by a direct means; if they were, the Com­plaints against that Trade would be the less; but they are purchased with the Money our Product brings from other Places, and the Returns from the Indies most consumed at Home.

‘He proceeds farther and tells you, That whoever looks strictly into our Affairs, that the Wealth England had once, did arise chiefly from two Articles, our Plan­tation, and our East-India Trade;’ I must confess, our Plantation-Trade is the best we have left; but neither that, much less the East-India Trade, are the foundation of the Riches this Nation once had: Be­fore either of them were known, this Nation was opulent in its Commerce, if compared with its Neighbours; and our Woollen Manufactories brought us, as well as themselves, to be courted by the then most Trading-People of Europe: Markets of which are to be seen in Ant­werp, and other parts, that now have lost them; these our Woollen Manufactories brought us into that Noble Trade of Muscovy and the Sound; which by the Effeminate Trade of the East Indies and Levant, we have in manner lost. I must likewise mind this Gentleman of the Newfoundland Fishing, which brought home more ready Money than all the rest; and the shew his mistake in the original of our Riches, I desire him to examine the Custom-House Books, from the Year 1600 to the Year 1648; though they were then [Page 5]but imperfectly kpet; and he will see his mistake beyond the pretence of a Compu­tation. It is more than Twenty Years since I took that pains, and could name Particulars, but out of Respect to him I forbears.

I pass over what he mentions from the 8th to the 12th Page, in which there are very useful Observations. He then in Pag. 12, 13, and 14. gives his Opinion, ‘That the Bill proposed to prohibit the wearing East-Indian and Persian wrought Silks, Bengalls, &c. will be absolutely destructive to the Trade, and very preju­dicial to the Kingdom; which two Points he will impartially handle.’

He begins thus; ‘As to the East-India Trade in general, if all Europe by com­mon Consent would agree to have no far­ther dealings to those Parts, this side of the World by such a Resolution would certainly save a great and continual Ex­pence of Treasure; for Europe draws from thence nothing of solid Use, Mate­rials to supply Luxury, and only perish­able Commodities, and sends thither Gold and Silver,’ which is there barter'd: And concludes, ‘That of the Gold and Silver brought into Europe for Two hundred [Page 6]years past, an Hundred and fifty Millions of it is sunk in the East-Indies: From whence he concludes, That the European Nations in general had been Richer by a full Third, if that Trade had never been discover'd and undertaken.’

‘But since Europe has tasted of this Luxury this Hundred Years, and their Silks are pleasing every where, their Cal­licoes useful at home, and in our Planta­tions, and for the Spaniards in America, it can never be advisable for England to quit that Trade.’

These are his Arguments for the East-India Trade in general; which is a collu­sive way of arguing; That because the Trade in general hath been a Profitable Trade, therefore this Bill against the Wear of some particular Commodities that are but of late crept in, will be de­structive to the East-India Trade, which was a profitable Trade without them.

He fairly owns, That if Europe would by common consent lay aside the East-India Trade, it would certainly save a great and continual Expence of Treasure. this seems to me to be against him, and for the Bill; and tho' we cannot, nor does it concern us to govern Europe in this [Page 7]matter, yet it does to keep our part of the Treasure that goes there; since he allows this Bill would prejudice that Trade, that is, prevent our sending out so much Trea­sure, which we think a Gain to keep at home, as he allows it would be in general to Europe. And indeed, it more imme­diately concerns this Nation, than all the rest of Europe, because all of them put together consume not One fourth of those Commodities this Bill prohibits, that we do; and that the East-India Company themselves allow, in a Print of their own last Sessions, which I then answer'd: The Words were these; ‘That if they were denied the Consumption of those Silks, &c. mentioned in the Bill, they should not be able to manage the East-India Trade, for that Three Fourths of them were consumed in England. If they had said Nine tenths of the Silks, they had not been mistaken.

The other part of his Argument, That the use of these Luxuries for a hun­dred years, makes it not advisable for England to quit the Trade; seems a Rea­son for doing it the sooner, lest the conti­nuance of time make the Mischief formi­dable; as it indeed appears almost now, [Page 8]by the Numbers concern'd in that Gain, which is got out of the Bowels of our Na­tive Poor; for so it is when the Money of the Rich is laid out the feed Indians abroad, and enrich men of unbounded desires at home; for such is the unlimited Gain by the East-India Trade, now they have de­bauch'd the Nation with Cobwebs and Cockle-shells, in return for their Gold and Silver; in which, tho' the Luxurious and Effeminate are made Indians, in their taking Glass-Beads for Gold, yet we must not think the Lords and Commons can be so imposed upon; they will distinguish between the solid Manufactory of our Nation, and the Trinkets of the Mogul.

In Page 14 he tells us, ‘The Burthen which this Commerce lays upon the Col­lective Body of Europe, does bear hard only upon those Countries which consume the Indian Commodities, without having any share in the Traffick.’

To this I answer, It is equally so to us, when we consume more of them at home, than we send abroad of our Na­tive Commodities to purchase them; and I must say farther, that we are greater Sufferers by employing our own Ships and Men to fetch this Poyson to us. I there­fore [Page 9]think he mistakes, in saying they on­ly are Losers by the Consumption of In­dian Commodities, that have no share in the Traffick; I think they suffer less who have little brought to them, than we who are at the Charge of fetching whole Cargoes; and so take off our Ships and Men from more profitable Employ­ments.

He proceeds farther in Page 15. ‘That the Dutch and English, which together are not a Tenth Part of Europe, enjoy this Traffick almost without any Rivaliship; and if it be a Burthen, it lies not on the one, but on the other Nine parts.’

Thus he endeavours to cover that part of the East-India Trade this Bill would relieve against, by advocating for the whole Trade, which is not now contro­verted.

He farther tells you, ‘That the carrying out of the Gold and Silver of Europe to the East-Indies, is from the French, Spa­niards, Germans, and Northern Crowns:’ But I doubt he cannot prove they send out Money to pay for the Commodities we consume of India, which this Bill is to prohibit the Wear of in England.

He omits telling you, That the Impor­tation of them is not probitied so, but that we have free liberty of shipping them out to those Countries he would make us believe consume so much of them.

I believe he would be more ingenuous in this matter, if he understood the truth of this Trade, That France hath prohi­bited them all; the Northern Countries wear no Persian Silks; the Germans very little; and tho' Holland hath more than Ten times the Trade we have to the East-Indies, yet the whole Ʋnited Provinces consume not so much of the Commodities this Bill reaches, as we do in one Parish in London. The Dutch are a more Fru­gal and Wise People; and the true rea­son why the Dutch have not taken up this Trade of Indian and Persian Silks, as they did other Commodities, was because they knew not where to sell them.

We had a good Statute to prevent their Importation of any Commodities, but of their own Fabrick.

‘He goes on to Pag. 15, and 16, with the Computation of the East-India Ex­ports to be Four hundred thousand Pounds, one Eighth part to be of our Na­tion's Product;’ supposes to consume at [Page 11]home to the value of Two hundred thou­sand Pounds; then saith, If the Compa­ny exports to other Nations (which, by the way, sheweth he hath the hand of Joab in this matter, advocates for, and hath the East-India Company in these Arguments) the remainder of the other Two hundred thousand Pounds, England must certainly be a great Gainer by this Traffick; for no one vers'd in Merchan­dizing will deny, but that the Returns from India of Two hundred thousand Pounds, when exported to other Coun­tries, must increase the first Sum at least Fourfold, and produce Eight hundred thousand Pounds.

So that the Account of England with the Indies and European Nations, may be thus balanced:

The Returns exported yields per Ann.800,000
The Returns consum'd at home, are to the Nation,200,000
Deduct for the Prime Cost of Bullion, or Manufactories ex­ported.400,000
England's Neat Gain by this Traffick,600,000

From this Computation is to be ob­serv'd, That if it were right, the East-India Company would not have been so low in Stock as they were before the War: But that which hath relation to the Pro­hibition in the Bill, is what I would keep unto; tho' this Gentleman in all his Dis­course runs upon the Trade in general, there being something to argue upon, but in truth nothing for the Wear of East-India Commodities: But to return to this last Computation of what is consumed at home; by the best Calculations I have met with of the East-India Sales, not one fourth have been for many years past ex­ported. But if what this Gentleman af­firms (for so he doth with some assurance) be Matter of Fact, and that the Con­sumption be so small as Two hundred thousand Pounds of Eight hundred thou­sand Pounds, how comes the Trade to de­pend so much upon the Wear of the Per­sian Silks, Bengalls, &c. which by his Computation cannot amount to more than One hundred thousand Pounds per Ann for that the Coffee, Tea, China, Drugs, Salt-Petre, and other Trinkets, cannot amount to less than an Hundred thousand Pounds, and he allows but [Page 13]Two hundred thousand Pounds to the whole.

Thus far I cannot see so much as a Pre­tence for this Bill's destroying the East-India Trade.

In Page 17. he tells you, ‘By the In­spection he hath made into the general State and Condition of this Kingdom, the East-India Trade did annually add to the Gross Stock of England Six hundred thousand Pounds per Ann and bounds his Time from 1656 to the year 1688.’ If this be so, then it is apparent that the East-India Trade wants not this Con­sumption of East-Indian Silks, so much struggled for; there being no considerable use of them for many years of his Com­putation.

I would, if it might consist with an­swering the Subject he undertakes, pass over his Computations and Conclusions in Trade, because I never saw a Collection so generally mistaken; and, that he may not take offence, say he hath not been well used, if he took his measures from men conversant in the Practick of Trade; but if he consulted only with men of Specu­lation, who gather from Papers, he might well run into such Mistakes as he sets [Page 14]down; That from the year 1656 to 1688, the Nation every year increas'd at least Two Millions per Ann; he should have cast up what that amounts unto in the whole, which is Sixty four Millions; something he must allow we had before; I wonder what is become of his Sixty four Millions, I cannot think the Nation hath lost so much this War, and yet I believe we are not much better in our Capital, than we were in the year 1656. I wish we were so well.

He goes on farther, and gives the grounds of his assurance in this matter, by Particulars in Page 18. thus;

From our Manufactories, and Home Product sent to the Plantations, and from the Returns exported to Foreign Parts,900,000
From our Woollen Manufacto­ries, Lead, Tin, I eather, and our own Native Product sent to France, Spain, Ita­ly, Germany, &c.500,000
From the Neat Profit accruing by the East-India Trade,600,000

By these Particulars one may think he consulted neither with Men of Specula­tion nor Conversation in Trade; if he had, sure they would have told him, That for some Years of his Computation, that is, from 1656 to 1660, our Planta­tion Trade was not one half it hath risen to since; nor did in the highest of their Trade ever add Four hundred thousand Pounds clear Gain to the Nation, beside the Consumption at home; for that he allows.

He huddles up in his second Article the Woollen Manufactory, Lead, Tin, Lea­ther, and our Native Product, and makes it but Five hundred thousand Pounds; which tho' it might be made appear to be a large Computation, yet certainly the solid Riches and Stock of the Nation is raised more by this Article of 500000 l. than by his other two which he makes 1500000 l.

His last Article of 600000 l. gained by the East India Trade, he amplifies with a Certainty, and calls it the Neat Profit ac­cruing by the East-India Trade. The other two Articles before-mentioned, as he words them, there is room to get off; but on this of the East-India Trade he [Page 16]pitches his Banner, resolving to stand by it; and I think it makes for the Bill to have it so, and therefore I have no rea­son to contest it; all I say, is, If the Na­tion find but half it, I persuade my self they would think it a good Trade with­out those Silks; and therefore no need to starve our own Weavers to support it.

I have hitherto as tenderly handled this Gentleman's Notorious Errors, as was possible to do with answering them; and this I did, because I believed them Errors in Judgment, or mistaken Conclusions of what he gathered from other men, as it is usual in matter of Trade, where men write by Eccho, having no more than the Return of their own Words, where they make Enquiries. I take it to be the first part of true Information on any Subject, to ask pertinent Questions; which no man can do in Commerce, who hath no­thing of the Practick; this Consideration obliged me in favour of the Author to co­ver as much as I could his Mistakes hither­to; but now I must beg his Pardon, to be more plain in Reply to what he mentions in Page 18, to Page 34; because he broaches in them such Doctrines, that if they should gain Credit, would not only [Page 17]starve Weavers, but Seamen; and to pur­chase the Luxuries of India, leave this Kingdom open to the French; whom I think all honest men will allow we have more reason to fear, than the Dutch he so much dreads.

His Words are these:

Whatever Countrey can be in the full and undisputed Possession of it (meaning the East-India Trade) will give Law to all the Comercial World.

Should we quit the hold we have in India, and abandon the Traffick, our Neighbours the Dutch will undoubtedly engross the whole. And if to their Naval Strength in Europe be added, such a Foreign Wealth and Strength England must hereafter be contented to trade by their Protection, and under their Banner. In Page 21. he tells us, Persons without doors either bribed by the Dutch, or to flatter that Interest, profess themselves open Ene­mies to the Traffick in general. And to confirm these frightful Omens of his own Brain, he binds up all with a Prediction, in these words; I hope your Lordships will hereafter remember this Prediction of mine, That England will thereby lose Half its Fo­reign Trade. In this he shews himself a more merciful Prophet, than he was be­fore [Page 18]a true Calculator; where he saith, England would be obliged to Trade by the Protection of the Dutch, and under their Banners; but now he allows we may have Half our Trade left us. But I shall an­swer each of these Conclusions apart.

First, That whoever hath the full Posses­sion of the East-India Trade, will give Laws to all the Commercial World.

First, It seems impossible for any one Nation to engross the Trade of that vast Empire of the Great Mogul. The Portu­guese, Dutch, French, English, Danes, &c. and now the Scotch, are concerned in that Trade; and it is not reasonable to believe the Mogul will admit any one of them to engross the whole, to the excluding the rest: But granting an Impossibility, how will it affect the whole Trade of the World? great part of which are Stran­gers to the use of any East-India Commo­dity; and those few that confume a little Spice, and perchance some few Calicoes, are not cloathed with Persian Silks, not are their Houses adorned with China Cups, or Japan Cabinets.

I remember a Gentleman that pleased himself to Write much of Trade, and though no Master thereof, came nearer the sense of it than our Author, (was very angry with the Act of Navigation, and gave for one Argument against it, That Whales have no Ships) and there­fore no having Oil from Greenland. I may with as great Truth, and more to the purpose, tell the Author, Whales consume no Indian Commodities; nor are the Fish of Newfoundland catch'd with Tea or Coffee; yet it is demonstrable it was that, and other Fishing, was the original and foundation of the Riches and Navigation of these Kingdoms; and our neglect of them, the decay of both to us, and Inriching and Growth of the Navigation of our Neighbours.

Nor do I find that the East-India Trade gave us an equivalent in either, but the contrary, carried out our Bullion, abated our Seamen; I might enumerate our other Trades, as our Foreign Plantations that are not supported by India Commo­dities; but to avoid prolixity, I affirm, There is not one Trade we drive in the World, but we might, and did manage formerly, without any of the East India [Page 20]Commodities; and Spain excepted, to most other parts where we send any, it is Trifles.

Upon the whole, our Author resolves, That whoever hath the Trade of the East-Indies, will command the Trade of the whole World. Which hath as great weight in it, as if he should tell us, That whoever ingross'd the Canary Birds in the Island of Teneriff, would command the whole Traffick of their Wines.

He mistakes the World, or would have our Legislators do so, when he says the Curiosities and Gaiety of Indian Luxury will govern them.

And now let us enquire into the Inte­grity of our Author's Arguing in this Point of the Trade in general to the East-Indies: The pretence of his Essays is to give Reasons against the Bill for Prohibi­ting Persian Silks, &c. which after he hath by his several Computes brought down to an Hundred thousand Pounds per Ann. that is so much consumed at Home,

He goes on to prove, That by the rest of the Indian Trade, there is Six hundred thousand Pounds, Neat Profit to the Na­tion: And here he comes and tells us the [Page 21]dreadful Consequence of losing the whole Trade, without the least pretence that the Prohibition of this Bill will bring it on us, for that would Confute his for­mer Assertions.

What he then designs by his Predicti­ons, he must give us leave to guess; I am loath to do it with Reflection, therefore shall do it with as soft words as possible, it must be either to amuse the Nation with the danger of losing so Great and Bene­ficial a Trade as the Passing this Bill will bring upon them; or it must be to breed Jealousies among the People of the Go­vernment; if it be the first, by a false representation to throw dirt upon the Bill, under pretence of the Loss of the whole Trade of the East-Indies, it is disingeni­ous to make such false Inferences, accu­mulating Mischiefs, that will attend the Nation by the Loss of a Trade; which allowing his own Arguments, is affected but One sixth part in the Gross of their Importation, and that cannot be Fifty thousand Pounds abatement of their Pre­fit; but to be more fair than this Gentle­man is, he knows, or they that employ him, that the Consumption of East-India Silks, Bengalls, &c. is of more considera­tion [Page 22]to them, than their whole Trade be­side; and the Reason is this, which is a secret perhaps to many of their Friends, who otherwise might not be so;

If the East-India Company could car­ry their point in having a Toleration of the wear of East-India Manufactories, they would have that Trade entirely in their own hands, they would have no Rivals in the Indies, because the Dutch, or other Nations, could not Import them into England, we having already the Act of Navigation to Prohibit them; and there is no other Nation in the World so supplied with Money, and faulty in their Conduct, as to purchase their Destruction in the wearing Foreign Manufactories to the Abatement of their own.

But if the East India Company (for it is their Interest this Gentleman Advo­cates) have liberty to furnish us with Indian Manufactories, they will enlarge it to more than what is now complained of; there is the same room for them, as there was at first to carry over Patterns to the Indians to direct them in the making Silks fit for our wear; nor is it reasonable to believe they will be Limited only to Silks: Why should they not carry our [Page 23]Wool to the East-Indies, (they have stowage enough in their Ships, a Fifth part of their Hold takes in all their out­ward-bound Cargo) and plead the ne­cessity of it, as they do about Rumney-Marsh, that their Countrey is waste since the Act pass'd last Sessions is so hard upon them; an Act which deserves to be writ in Letters of Gold, since it hath done that which no Law could ever reach unto before: But I digress, and therefore must return to the East-India Trade.

If what I have here said in this last Paragraph be tanti, there needs no more to shew the Necessity of making a speedy Law to prohibit the Avaricious Practices of those men that would Sacrifice their own Countrey for their private Gain; beat out the most prosperous Manufa­ctory in the World; destroy and root out Thousands, I may say Millions, of the most Sober, Religious, and well-disposed people in the Nation, who have in long Descent preserved to their Posterity the first acceptable Sacrifice, that of the Fleece, which Divinity it self seems to bless them with from Abel.

I now come to the latter; That if it be not to throw a false Gloss on the Bill, [Page 24]it must be to breed jealousies among the People against the Government; I hope it is not so designed; but if it be not, what does he mean by so often telling us the Dutch will Govern us? He is indeed careful of not bringing himself under the Lash of the House of Commons, when he expresses himself thus; That some per­sons without Doors, either bribed by the Dutch, or to flatter that Interest, profess themselves open Enemies to the Traffick in general. But though he be careful to de­fend himself against the Parliament; yet he seems short in his Politicks to fly upon all without doors, some of whom have been within, and may be again; and however, all English men that are for this Bill, &c. are Arraigned by him, ei­ther to be bribed by the Dutch, or flatter­ers of that Interest; I affect not tramp­ling on Men whose unhappy Principles render them obnoxious to the Law, and all honest Men; and therefore I will not say what might justly be returned on this Reflection; but I must own my self a Friend to the Interest of the Dutch, be­cause they are under the Government of our King; Allies; and more, our Brethren in the Protestant Religion; and yet more, [Page 25]the happy Assistants of our King in the greatest Deliverance this Nation ever had from Popery and Slavery. But after all this, I affirm for my self, and believe it for all who are for this Bill, That we neither receive Bribes, nor flatter the Dutch Interest in this matter; the Au­thor, I believe, is also free from Bribes, though he may receive Wages, both from the Jacobites and East-India-Company. I now come to his Remarks on Trade page 25. which are so absurd and contradictory to the former part of this Tract, that, I think, only to repeat one and the other, would be the most merciful way to re­prove him; but that would swell these Sheets beyond the Bounds I design them; I shall therefore here only repeat a few Lines of his in Page 10; they are these; In a Trading Nation the Bent of all the Laws should tend to the Incouragement of Commerce, and all measures should be there taken with a due regard to its Interest and Advantage.

Now in Page 25 he speaks thus:

Trade is in its nature free, finds its own channel, and best directs its own course; and all Laws to give it Rules and Directi­ons, and to Limit and Circumscribe it, may [Page 26]serve the particular Ends of Private Men, but are seldom Advantagious to the Publick.

I should not take notice of this Gen­tleman's piecing in several things in his Discourse taken out of an Essay of Trade, Entituled, Part the First of Five, but that he here mixes and divides it to the defa­cing it, whereas it was of use, when whole and duly plac'd.

In Page 26 he tells us his wonder at the Act for Burying in Woollen; and considering the time it was made in, so do I, for it was directly against the French Interest, as well as this Gentleman's sense.

The Burying in Woollen saved the Ex­ports of more than Five hundred thou­sand Pounds Sterling, per Ann. and most of that to France; for the common Peo­ple he would have Buried in old Sheets, generally preserved their Wedding Sheet, and Shifts, or purchased Finer; And is it not then better Conduct in a Nation to employ their own Hands to Work, than Purchase it with their Money from Fo­reigners?

He snaps at Notions in Trade, as Fish do at false Baits; it is true whatever is consumed at Home of our own Manufa­ctories, adds nothing to the Riches of a [Page 27]Nation, but if consuming at home Twen­ty Shillings, saves the Expence of Forty Shillings from abroad, then it is a Profit to the Nation, and that is the case in this matter. What Spirit guides this Gen­tleman, I cannot tell, but he is very angry with our own Manufactories, and would not have them used either by our Living or our Dead; I know not how he brings this in against the Bill, and there­fore should have pass'd it by, but that I do not know but that he may issue forth new Problems to prove it the Interest of the Nation to Bury in Persian Silks, and Bengalls.

I now come to Page 30, to Page 33, where he saith, Suppose 200000 l. per Ann. of the prime Sum sent to India, is returned in Commodities for our Consumption; and suppose half this Sum to be returned in such Goods as are worn here in the room of Wool­len Manufactories.

From One hundred thousand Pounds prime Cost to India, there may reasonably be ex­pected Goods that Sell for400,000
So that by sending to India100,000
We Gain for our own Consumption,300,000

This must be clear Profit to the Kingdom, because that Sum would be otherwise consumed in our own Product, which Product we are by this means enabled to Export.

This, prima facie, looks like true Arguing; but upon search it appears fal­lacious, for these Two Reasons:

First, If he means this Hundred thou­sand Pounds to be sent in Money, then it is certainly so much Loss to the Nation, being Consumed at home; and I hope our Author will allow whatever is Con­sumed at home, though it were of our own Product, is no Gain to the Nation.

And then what is Consumed at the Expence of our Money, is so much Loss.

But I suppose this Computation of the Author's, is upon Money, and that is so much loss to the Nation, however great the Returns are.

But I will, to help the Argument, sup­pose that we have those Commodities the Bill Prohibits, in return of our Woollen Manufactories, which in the former part of his Argument he most untruly asserts; but I say, suppose it were so, yet the mischief were the same to the Nation; I will go farther, and suppose his Ally the Mogul would send us over [Page 29] Gratis as much yearly as would Cloath the Nation, even that would be our Ruin; to explain this I must look back to Page 27, where he expresseth himself thus:

I have reason to think that the People re­ceiving Alms in this Kingdom, are Twelve hundred thousand; and if it be so, and I doubt it is the truest Computation in his Essay, How many more should we have if this Nation were Cloathed in the Mo­gul's Livery? I dare not contest with the Author in Politicks, (that being his Pro­vince, as Trade is mine) but methinks he is astray in his Mysteries of State, to Argue, That the Cheap Cloathing of our Nation by East-India and Persian Fabrick, would be an Advance to their Wealth and Power. I always thought that the Bodies of Men were the Treasure and Strength of a Nation, and that it was Wisdom to Increase and Employ them, and the contrary if the Gentry and Men of Fortunes should reject the Labour of their own People, because they can be Cheaper and Finer Cloathed from other Countries.

This is something like the Fable of the Hands Mutinying against the Belly; but [Page 30]here it is revers'd, the Belly Mutinies with the Hands: If our Gentry refuse to be Cloathed by their own Hands, I would gladly know how the Author intends to provide for the Landed Men of this Na­tion when he hath destroyed all their Te­nants, for it is the Artisans and Manufa­ctorers of the Kingdom that consume the greatest part of the natural Product of the Land; but for this he hath a quick Remedy, the less we spend at home, the more we send abroad: He has, I must confess, put me long since past wondring at his Notions in Trade, or I should blush at the weakness of this Argument; Did he ever hear of a Market for more of our Cloth and Stuffs than we had to supply them? The Author wants a good Me­mory, which if he had, he would re­member, that in another part of this Tract he tells us, That the great Vent we had for our Manufactories Two Years ago, was occa­sioned by the badness of our Coin, and heigth of Guineas; and it was so; which is de­monstration that our People can Manu­facture double the Quantity of their usu­al stint, for so they did the time our Author mentions; which shews, that if we were fully supplied with work, it [Page 31]might lessen the Twelve hundred thou­sand now on Alms.

The Author hath yet a Reserve left; which is, Let these Clothiers and Weavers turn Fishers, and catch Herrings: His Resentments are against that Fish, because the Dutch make so great a Gain of it; but in this he also is mistaken in his Spi­rit of Traffick; we could not make that Advantage of Herrings they do, unless we could prevail with them to Eat, as he would with us to Wear, a Foreign Pro­duct, and send their own People to look out for some new Employment.

We should also want the Rivers and Passages into Germany, Flanders, &c. to transport our Herrings to.

I was expecting to hear him assign us the Fishing of Newfoundland for the Wea­vers; but recollecting my self, I remem­ber the French have raised their Navigati­on and Strength at Sea out of that fishing, and he will not disturb them.

Fishing, I own, is a Jewel we seem not to understand. Such Guides in Trade, and Statesmen as this Author, I have often heard say, Discourses of Trade, and employing the Poor, would disturb the King's Business. The truth on't is, [Page 32]we shall soon be quiet, if the Mogul cloath us, and the French catch our Fish for us.

I do not see any thing we have left to set us up again in Trade, but our Manu­factory at home, and Plantations abroad; the improving the first enlarges the latter.

I have been the longer on this Head, That the Cheapness of the Indian Fabrick is no Argument of Force for our Con­sumption of them at home; because on the Strength of that Point lies all that hath the appearance of weight in the Ar­gument for Defence of the Indian Manu­factory consumed in England.

I submit to better Judgments what I have here said against them; and whe­ther it be not the Interest of our Nation to find out Work for their own People, though they should make no other use of it, than the Dutch do of their Spice, burn it when they have more than they can sell. But it would be improvidence to burn our own, to make room for Indian Manufactories; as we must do, since it is apparent we cannot sell them abroad, and our People must starve, if they do not work; and so they would indeed, if the Author's Advice were embrac'd, to make them undertake this New Employment.

It would be an admirable Advance and Improvement of our Nation, to take off our hands from a Manufactory that none but our selves can take from us; God and Nature having assign'd it to us sepa­rate from the whole World, and put so many Thousand Men, Women, and Children, for all such are employ'd in the Woollen Manufactory, to catch Her­rings, that so a few men might grow Great by the East-India Trade, the best of whom never added so much to their Countrey, as one Weaver doth by his Loom.

I am now at his Second Head, the Silk and Linnen Manufactory: He begins a distinct Chapter of it in Page 34, but saith nothing of it until Page 38. His Words are these:

Silk is a Manufactory of Foreign Ex­tract; it employs indeed the Poor, but is not composed from a Material of our own Growth. Whatever Encouragement it meets with, it cannot thrive with us. He runs on with his Rhetorical Observations, and debates what the Nation should do in this matter; and tells us in Page 39. The Stock and Industry laid out on the Silk Manufactories, would be more usefully [Page 34]employ'd in such as are made from Mate­rials of our own Growth.

The Author now seems more an Ob­ject of Pity, than an Adversary to answer; his Zeal for the East-India Company hath carried him beyond his Learning in the Schools, and below his Prophetick Spirit in Trade: I shall only remark, That here he advises to take off the Silk-Wea­vers from their Trade, which to use his own Words, They fell into without a force, as Trade is most prosperous when it does: But here he tells us, They must be taken off their Trade, and put upon some other, more profitable to the Nation.

To save trouble of confuting so irra­tional a Proposition, I shall repeat his Opinion in Page 25. by which we shall see how distracted this Gentleman is in his Notions of Trade: His Words are these:

Trade is in its own Nature free, finds its own Channel, and best directs its own Course; and all Laws to give it Rules and Directions, and to limit and circumscribe it, may serve the particular Ends of Private Men, but are seldom advantageous to the Publick.

But to do the Author right, these last Lines were design'd to serve the East-In­dia [Page 35]Company; he would not have them disturbed in the Trade of East-India and Persian Silks, &c. And tho' this Maxim was then undoubtedly true, yet it is not so when it reaches the Silk-Weavers.

He goes on with Arguments of the same piece, to Page 46. which in favour of the Author I do not repeat; and shall only say, That I did not think it possible so many Contradictions and unpracticable Notions could be crowded into so few sheets, garnish'd up with fine Words; and that often goes further with men not vers'd in the Nature of Trade, than plain Practical Truths.

He comes now to his Third and Last Head, the Essect such a Prohibition as the Bill designs, will have on the East-India Trade in general; and he begins thus in Page 46, and ends with his Essay in 16 Pages, which are most part fill'd with Repetitions and Observations of his own, which have little in them worth a Reply; the whole terminates in this, That this Prohibition of the Wear of East-India and Persian Silks, &c. will abate one half of the East-India Trade. The short­est way to answer this, is as I have done before, bring one part of his Book to an­swer [Page 36]the other. In Page 16. he asserts in these words; So the Account of England with the Indies and European Nations, may be thus balanc'd:

The Returns exported yield per An.800,000
The Returns consumed at home, are to the Nation,200,000
Deduct for the Prime Cost,400,000
England's Neat Profit by the Traffick,600,000

Let us now see what he saith in Pag. 53. his words are as follow, According to the best and most impartial Accounts I can re­ceive, the Bill in agitation must lose Eng­land half the Trade to India in general, all the Traffick to the Coast and Bay of Bengall, and all the Business to Surat, and particular­ly as to to the Coast and Bay.

In Page 54. are these words;

I take our Home-Consumption, which is half of the Returns of the Prime Cost sent to India, to be the main foundation upon which the Trade stands.

Can there be any thing more contra­dictory, than in Page 16. to state the Ac­count [Page 37]Two hundred thousand Pounds con­sumed at Home, and clear Gain to the Nation, besides Six hundred thousand on the Exports; and here to say that the Bill will be the loss of half the Trade in ge­neral, all the Trade to the Coast and Bay of Bengall, all the Business to Surat. His former Computations made it a good Trade without the Consumption at home, but now he tells us the Prohibition will render the whole Trade unprofitable.

I shall now in few words sum up my Sense of the Bill, and the Arguments gi­ven by the Author against it. By all that he brings against the Bill, I cannot see that it affects the East-India Trade, more than in a Sixth part at present.

On the Weavers side, for I take them to be the Parties for the Bill, it affects them and the Nation in the real loss of four times as much as the East-India Company would lose if the Prohibition were confirmed; for it is to be noted, that a Hundred thousand pounds in the East-India Capital, takes Four hundred thou­sand pounds in the Expence of the Nati­on, and that hinders so much in the Em­ployment of our own Manufactories.

The Question is then, Whether is most to be considered, A Million of People at Home, or those few in the East-India Trade?

But the Author will tell us by this Prohibition, we shall hinder our Foreign Trade, for that other Nations will carry away that when they can supply them with East-India Commodities, and we cannot. This Delusion is easily discover­ed, though it may be the Author is a Stranger to it.

Granting then, though it is not so, that the Dutch and other Nations will sell to the Spaniards, Portuguese, &c. Callicoes, Persian Silks, &c. they must have Wines and other Commodities in Return; and what will they do with them? Bring them to England they cannot, we have a good defence against that, the Act of Naviga­tion, which makes all Goods Coun­terband that are not Imported into England, in English Ships, or the Ships of the Countrey where they are produced. Will the Dutch then, or others, consume the Wines of Spain, &c. and leave us none? that would not be our Loss.

But our Author goes farther, and tells us, That we shall bring these East-India Goods from other Nations at 50 l. per Cent. a dearer Rate; this is Answered be­fore. The Act of Navigation prohibits their Importation, unless the Mogul sends them with his own Ships and Men. Be­fore I go off this Head; Give me leave to shew how the Author uses the Nati­on in his Remarks on the East-India Trade. I mention this, because I have met with men of value, who have been deluded by his false Recitals and Compu­tations, which they would not have been, had they taken the trouble of comparing one part of his Notes with the other, which was necessary for me in Answering him to do. I must therefore look back again to Page 16. where he makes all the Exports both of Bullion and Manufa­ctories sent Yearly to the East-Indies to amount unto Four hundred thousand Pounds, the Profit of which, beside the Consumption at home, to be Neat to the Nation 600,000 Pounds; what he ascribes to the Nation (and here he shews more Cunning than in all the rest of his Book, and keeps it for his last stroke in Page 52.) he must mean, and so in ano­ther [Page 40]place explains it, to be the Profit of the Company, and the Merchant that Buys them here for Exportation; this he jum­bles together, that so he may apply this Six hundred thousand Pounds by turns as it will support his Arguments: When he would have us believe the Trade of great importance to the Nation, then it is Six hundred thousand Pounds Profit to them, but when it is needful to shew how much it is the Interest of the Nation to encou­rage the Company in Building great Ships, then it is the Companies, and ena­bled them to make War with the Mogul, Build Forts, &c. thus it is like my Lord Mayor's standing Pye, one day it is a Goose Pye, the next day changing the Head, and putting on a Turky's Head, it is a Turky Pye.

I must keep you longer on this part of his Essays than I intended, because I think there will need no more to disprove all this Gentleman hath said in defence of the Company against the Bill.

I have before given you his Computa­tions of the original Stock and Profit; I shall now shew his closing-Article in these words, Page 52, That they have not one Year with another divided 20 l. per Cent. [Page 41] which considering the length and hazard of their Voyage, is not a Profit to be envied. He is in the right if it were so, nor were the Trade worth strugling for, if the Pro­fit were so small.

But we will do that which I fear the Author hath forgot, cast up his Com­putation here, and compare it with his in Page 16, where he makes the Capital sent out to be Four hundred thousand Pounds, and the Profit by what is Shipped out to be Six hundred thousand Pounds; this makes the Profit to be 150 l. per Cent. and yet he tells us here, That their Profit is, communibus annis but 20 l. per Cent. This is a great Error in Arithmetick; I will therefore pass it by as such, and take him in his more considerate stating the Ac­count; and then it will stand thus; The Gain arising out of the East-India Trade being Six hundred thousand Pounds, brought to that Sum by the Profit of 20 per Cent. must have a Capital sent out, amounting unto Three Millions Sterling. This being so, as it must, if the Author would have us believe his Computation, it must follow, that we send out Two Millions nine hundred thousand Pounds Sterling in Bullion Yearly; for in his [Page 42]largest Computation he speaks but of One hundred thousand Pounds exported in the Commodities of the Kingdom. I don't think either of his Computations are true; but I believe this of Three Millions is nearest the mark.

The difference in these Computations of Four hundred thousand Pounds Capi­tal, and Three Millions, was to have passed under the Goose-pye. 20 per Cent. might have pass'd well enough, if this unlucky Rule of Three had not put the Question, What Capital must there be to make a Profit of Six hundred thousand Pounds, at the Rate of 20 per Cent.? and the Answer is, Three MilliOns.

But the Author hath yet a Shift left, it is now a Turkey-pye, the Goose-head being taken off, and this Six hundred thousand Pounds Profit was meant to be to the Nation, as well as the Company.

This will appear a pretty fair Explana­tion in reading, as indeed the whole Essay may to men of the Author's own under­standing in Trade; but let us take it with this Interpretation, that it is the Nati­on's Gain, and the Company's both; the Company's he has determined to 20 per Cent. so then their Proportion for the [Page 43]Capital of Four hundred thousand Pounds is but Eighty thousand; then there re­mains Five hundred and twenty thousand Pounds to the Nation, as he calls it: But to explain this farther, the Nation are most part Jews, and Factors that buy for men abroad; and such I never thought a National Fund: But allowing these Ex­ports to be by Merchants of our own, let us see what their Profit is: He tells us they ship out Six hundred thousand Pounds value yearly; so then the Mer­chants at home gain almost Cent. per Cent. as Five hundred and twenty thousand Pounds is to Six hundred thousand Pounds: If this be so, the East-India Company deserve their Statues in Gold, not only for being good and Publick spi­rited men, but Fathers to their Countrey; and we ought to pray them to be more kind to themselves, and take at least half the Profit.

I think it needless to explain this mat­ter, it is so notorious: I shall only say, Such Advocates and Computers are in my opinion the most fatal Enemies to the Company.

Having in this Discourse occasion to an­swer this Author's Maxims, perhaps I [Page 44]may be thought an Enemy to the Trade and Company; which I think my self obliged to deny; for I believe it a Noble Trade, and the Interest of the Nation to preserve it; but so as it may not preju­dice our Manufactories, and by that means drive out that we most want, the Bodies of Men, which when all is done, is the Treasure of a Nation.

The Use I make of these Explanations, is to shew that our Author writes at Ro­vers. I should not be thus plain, but that I think there is a necessity to expose a man that, in my opinion, labours the destruction of the Nation with gilded Baits, which he hopes may pass, because men of the greatest weight have neither Leisure nor Opinion, That it is worth their time to examine narrowly the spuri­ous Notions of such Officious Pens.

I shall take my leave of the Author, with this Remark, leaving an hundred more that might be made on his Essays; which is, That is seems strange in him who pretends to be so great a Rabbi and Master of Commerce, and gives general Notions of most Trades, to leave out the Turky-Company; it must be, that they tread on the heels of his Masters, the [Page 45] East-India Company; and could tell him, that the Cloath they so much boast their Exportation of, abates only so much of what they should send out, and bring Re­turns for in Raw Silks, Grograin, Yarn, Cotton Wooll, &c. that we here manu­facture and send abroad; instead of which the East-India Trade brings us home China Cups, Fans, Cabinets, &c. These things are so apparent, that I cannot think the Author only faulty in his Judgment, but were are under the misfortune of having some men among us, that take all oppor­tunities of alienating the Affections of the People from the Government; and nothing could be more effectual than this of forcing Thousands of harmless and in­dustrious People to beg their Bread, or fly to other Countries to earn it. We have too fresh in our memories, That in the year 1665. one Tillham carried out of the Kingdom Three thousand Persons to the Prince Palatine of the Rhine, of the same Profession this Author would destroy.

But I think we live under a Govern­ment that will bring us more, not destroy the People we already have. And I am humbly of opinion, that 'tis not the way to invite new, by starving them we have.

I shall say no more, but that as I believe this Bill to be the best Antidote that ever was given this Nation, against a Poyson which would certainly destroy it, so I think those Worthy Patriots that promo­ted it, worthy of Eternal Honour.


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