[Page] THE GREAT Necessity and Advantage of PRESERVING OUR OWN Manufacturies; BEING An ANSWER TO A PAMPHLET, INTITUL'D, The Honour and Advantage of the East-India Trade, &c.

By N. C. a Weaver of London.

LONDON, Printed for T. Newborough at the Golden-Ball in St. Paul's Church-Yard, 1697.

To the HONOURABLE The Commons of Eng­land in Parliament, Assembled.

May it please Your Honours,

THE reason that hath emboldened me to ad­dress the following Discourse to this Honourable House, is because of a Bill now depend­ing, to restrain the wear­ing of East-Indian and Persian wrought Silks, Ben­galls, [Page] &c. I having met with a Book, (newly come forth) that seems purposely designed to elude the necessi­ty of.

It is not because I think it answer'd here with that Ac­curacy that it might have been, nor do I pretend to be able so to do; but because I conceive that Truth ought to be Vindicated, and Error Detected, rather meanly, than not at all; but what is want­ing in my Ability, is abun­dantly supply'd in the Just­ness [Page] of the Cause, and the Plainness of the Truth, here pretended to be Vindicated.

That Manufacture is one of the chief procuring Causes of Riches, and of improving the Land where it is, is so plain a Truth, that I think can scarce be deny'd, and therefore ought to be promo­ted by us rather in England than in India.

That there are many Towns in England and Wales that may be impro­ved, by having Manufacto­ries [Page] set up in them, besides what have already, I do not question; and the Advance that it gives to Land that lies near them, is visible.

The extreme and pressing Necessities of the poorer sort of People that uses to be em­ploy'd in those Manufacto­ries, cannot but afflict them that hear their daily Com­plaints, and hath been a great Motive to induce me to this Undertaking.

That it hath pleased God Almighty to preserve our [Page] Laws, Liberties, and Par­liamentary Constitutions to this day, is a mercy that e­very Englishman ought to acknowledge with Thankful­ness, and that the frequent rise of Grievances of one kind or another, make a Necessi­ty of frequent Parliaments is evident to Experience, and that we do not only need, but enjoy them is our Comfort.

That the God of infinite Wisdom and Goodness may continually direct and bless [Page] your Councels and Endea­vours to his Glory; to the Honour and Safety of the King's Majesty, and to the Welfare and Prosperity of the Nation, is, and shall be the Prayer of

Your Honours most Humble, And truly Devoted Servant, N. C.

THE GREAT Necessity and Advantage Of Preserving Our own Manufactories.

THAT there is a Contro­versie between the Ma­nufacturers of England and the East-India Traders, I conceive to be generally well known, but the true State of the Case, I suppose, is not so well understood: the Author of a Pamphlet very lately come forth, intituled, The great Honour [Page 2] and Advantage of the East-India Trade, &c. applies the cause of this difference wholly to the mistaken Prejudices of those, who being, as he says, no Phi­losophers, don't know where to fix the reason of their misery by the Decrease of their Trade, but have blindly stumbled up­on this as the next in their way; I shall therefore endeavour to set this case in its true light, thereby to discover whether it be a meer chymerical Fancy, or a real Evil, that they complain of; and to that end, that it may appear more clear, I shall lay down both negatively and po­sitively;

[Page 3] First, What it is that they do not complain of?

Secondly, What it is that they conceive they have just reason to complain of and de­sire Relief?

As to the first, they do not desire to hinder the Trade and Commerce of the Nation, but are so far from it, that they de­sire the Encrease of all our own Manufactures, as one of the best means of Increase in it; nor do they desire the hinderance of any Merchandise that tends to the good of the Nation (as he seems to suggest) but if that men will say, That their trading Genius is discouraged, because they are hindered from freely [Page 4] exporting the Native Product of the Land to be manufactu­red beyond Sea, as in the case of the Owlers, or because they are hinder'd from bringing in all sorts of Provision to serve instead of the Product of our own Land, or because they are hinder'd from sending out the Treasure of the Nation to bring n Lieu thereof such manufa­ctured Goods, as shall serve in­stead of our own greatest Ma­nufactures, which used to em­ploy the largest numbers of our Poor: in all these cases, and and other such like, it is evident, that whatever cry such men make of the great loss and da­mage it is to the Nation to hin­der [Page 5] their Trade and Commerce; yet there is nothing more at the bottom of their design, than their own private Gain, to en­rich themselves in particular, though it be to the extremest Damage and Prejudice of the Nation in general; for as it is possible for the Nation to get by that Trade the Merchant lo­seth by, as the afore-mention'd Author relates and exemplifies; so it was not for want of Wit (he is so much a Philosopher) that he did not tell us, that it is as possible for a Merchant to get much, and grow very rich by that Trade which the Nati­on loses and is impoverished by. As for example, Suppose a Mer­chant [Page 6] send 10000 l. to India, and bring over for it, as much wrought Silks and painted Cal­licoes, as yield him here 70000 l. if they be all worn here in the room of our own Silk and Wool­len Manufactures, the Nation loses and is the poorer 10000 l. notwithstanding the Merchant has made a very profitable Ad­venture, and so proportionably the more and oftner he sends, the faster he grows rich, and the more the Nation is impove­rished.

Secondly, It is not any sup­pression of the East-India Trade in general that they desire, it is possible that a very considerable Trade may be carried on, in [Page 7] such Commodities, as may make that Trade very profitable, not only to private Men but to the Nation. There are many very usefull Commodities brought from thence, as Pepper, Salt Pe­tre, raw Silk, several Drugs, and many other things that do not interfere with or hinder the Growth or Manufacture of Eng­land, and such was the Indian Trade, generally speaking, till within thirty Years last past, since which time they have la­boured to encrease their Trade to their utmost power in those Manufactures, and finding the Advantage they had of having their Goods cheap wrought by the wretched Poverty of that [Page 8] numerous People, have used si­nister Practices to betray the Arts used in their Native Coun­try, such as sending over Arti­ficers and Patterns to instruct them in the way of making Goods, and Mercers to direct them in the Humour and Fan­cy of them, to make them fit our Markets, a Practice so in­consistent with the Love, and contrary to the interest of their Native Country, that it is rec­koned in some Countries a ca­pital Crime, and this brings me to the second general, that is,

Secondly, What it is that they conceive they have just rea­son to complain of, and desire relief against.

[Page 9] And that is, that great Im­port of Foreign Manufactures that are spent here in the room and stead of our own, and that in such vast quantities, as seems very likely to extinguish the Eng­lish Manufactury, which is as it were quite born down by that mighty Torrent and Inundation of Forreign Manufacturies; and this sending out of our Treasure to bring in this abundance of wrought Goods, is like drawing out the pure and spirituous Blood of a Man's Veins, and filling them with Hydropick Humours.

But the Author of that Pam­phlet says, That this Foreign Commerce is the only way to pro­cure us Treasure: If he means [Page 10] so much of it as is spent here (and that is all we contest a­bout) it must needs be a great mistake, for that is so far from supplying us with Gold and Sil­ver, that it is more like a Quick-sand to devour that we have already.

As for his Comparison, That the Worsted Weavers of Norwich may as well complain against the Silk Weavers of London, it is alto­gether false and illusive; for Lon­don and Norwich are Members of the same Body, and therefore what is laid out with One or O­ther is still within the Nation, and will circulate like Blood in the Veins; but all the Treasure laid out with the Indians for [Page 11] their Manufactures to wear here, is as intirely lost for ever to this Kingdom, as the Blood, that by cutting the Veins, being shed upon the Ground, is to the Body: But since he says we have no Mines of Gold or Silver, we can tell him of something else to supply that; our vast quan­tity of Sheeps Wool, which is improv'd from 6 or 7 Pence per pound by the Labour of our own People to 6 or 7 Shillings per pound; this thus improv'd by Manufacture, if worn at home, is Money sav'd to the Nation from Foreign Expence, because it costs the Nation nothing; but if sent abroad, the Product is all clear gain to the Nation (pro­vided [Page 12] it be by English Shipping) and if the Produce be manu­facturable Commodities, as in the Turky Trade Raw Silk, Hair, &c. then they are improv'd again by the labour of our own People to double or treble the value; and if this may justly be compar'd to Mines for the en­crease of our Treasure, then the sending out of our Silver or Gold to India to bring over wrought Silks, Bengalls, &c. to be worn here, may as justly be called Quick-sands to decrease our Treasure by devouring or swallowing it up. What he starts and pretends to answer, That the made goods seem par­ticularly to injure the Broad [Page 13] Silk Weavers, by putting them by or beside their trade and way of living, is illusive, false and foolish; for he cannot but know (if he know any thing of this matter) That the Norwich and other Worsted Weavers were as much and as early in their Sence of and Complaints against the great damage they receiv'd by these made Goods; and I cannot well tell, whether the Folly or Dishonesty be great­er of comparing against both these numerous People, and the vast Multitudes that are Depen­dents on both, a few People employ'd about the Indian made Goods; and to say that the latter is much more to the be­nefit [Page 14] of the Nation in general.

But the boldest stroke lies behind, That it is not true in fact (i. e.) (that the made Goods injure the Weavers) and this is indeed the true Paradox. Now matter of fact we conceive must be made good by Evidence, we are willing to hear it; then 'tis his Experience, testifies, that the scarcity of Indian Goods doth them no kindness, but that ra­ther the plentiful Importation of these made Goods sets them at work: now in opposition to his Experience, we can bring in the Testimony of many thou­sands that have experienced quite contrary, and the sence of it is too fresh upon them, to be [Page 15] easily perswaded, that 'tis but a Dream, and therefore such lame proof of fact is of no value; he might as well have said, That when a Man hath eat his Belly full of Westphaliaham, it fits him presently with a better Sto­mach for English Bacon; or when a Gentlewoman hath just bought French Alamode or Flan­ders Lace, it makes her the more earnest presently to furnish her self with English Lace and Ala­mode; and 'tis an easie matter to say, That 'tis Prejudice hin­ders, when People will not as­sent to such Contradictions: But he says, The bringing in of these made Goods will make Silk cheap, and that sets them to work; [Page 16] if he had said, they will bring in more raw Silk, and by that means make Silk cheap, and set them to work, it had been to the purpose; but the bringing in of the made Goods, takes off the great occasion of their working, viz. (the supplying the Market) and so sets them to play; and this is plain and visible.

But that I may not sus­pected of Partiality, or be said to abound in mine own Sense, I shall bring in the Testimony of the Judicious Sir Josiah Child, who lays down these solid Principles of Truth and Reason in the 43d Page of his Discourse of Trade, That

[Page 17]Whatever doth

  • 1 Advance the Value of Land in Purchase,
  • 2 Improve the Rent of Farmes,
  • 3 Encrease the Bulk of Foreign Trade,
  • 4 Multiply Domestick Artificers,
  • 5 Encline the Nation to Thriftiness,
  • 6 Employ the Poor,
  • 7 Encrease the Stock of People,

must be a pro­curing Cause of Ri­ches.

I conceive that it is self-evi­dent, that there is no one thing more adapted to all these ends, than the Use and Encourage­ment of our own Manufacto­ries; [Page 18] nor any thing more con­trary, than the Use and Expence of foreign Manufactures, as that judicious Author observes, That the Expence of foreign Commodities, especially foreign Manufactures, is the worst Ex­pence a Nation can be inclina­ble to, and ought to be pre­vented as much as possible.

And though the pernicious Effects of the use and wear of foreign Manufactures, doth first reach those concerned in Manufactory here, yet its ill Influences will as sure reach the Gentry and Proprietors of Land, (if not timely prevented) for as the said judicious Author says, Land and Trade are Twins, and [Page 19] have always, and ever will wax and wain together; it cannot be ill with Trade, but Land will fall; nor ill with Lands, but Trade will feel it.

And therefore it must needs be, that the promoting the use and wear of Indian Manu­factures here, tend to the sink­ing of the Value of Land in England, after the Pattern of India, for there must be always a Symmetry and Proportion be­tween the price of Labour and the value of Land, for he that works for 2 Pence a day, can­not give 50 Shillings per ann. Rent, nor can he give 3 or 4 Pence per l. for Meat, nor for any other Provision sutable: [Page 20] and 'tis as sure, that if the Hus­bandman must sell his Provisi­on for a quarter part of what he now sells it, he cannot pay his Landlord much more than a quarter part of what he now pays, but these are so plain Truths, that it seems, as need­less to spend many words about it, as it is to bring Arguments to prove that two is more than one, or that the whole is more than a part, or any other most certain Maxim.

But ere I conclude, it will be necessary once more to look back to the fore-mention'd Pam­phlet, stiled, The Great Honour and Advantage, &c. where that Author brings in the profit the [Page 21] Dutch make, and the Scotch pro­mise themselves by the East-In­dia Trade, as a sure token of its Goodness, because no man courts a Mischief. I answer, 'tis not true nor pertinent: 'tis not true in the sense we are treating of, for too many men court that which is a publick Mischief, for their own private Gain, as I suppose will be gene­rally own'd in the case of those that bring in Alamodes and o­ther French Commodities a­gainst Law, now we are enga­ged in a Waragainst them, and many other cases were easie to name, wherein men do court that which is a Mischief to the Publick for their own private

[Page 22] 2. Nor is it pertinent; for it is not the East India Trade in general that is complain'd of, nor that we seek Relief against; but only such of the made Goods as interfere with our own Manufactures; and yet but so much of them neither, as only are worn here: and as to this, 'tis well known, That though the Dutch Trade to the E. Indies be so much superior to ours, yet as to these Goods, that are the mischievous part of that Trade, two of our last Ships, brought over much more than their twelve Ships brought; and yet that Trade would not be so per­nicious to the Dutch, as to us, because they have not so large [Page 23] a tract of Land, no such Fund as our Sheeps-wooll, nor such vast numbers of People em­ploy'd in Manufactories; but as they have a smaller spot of Ground, so their People are mostly employ'd about Mer­chandise and Shipping.

He might have told us, what reception the French, that have a large tract of Land, and many Manufactorers, do give to Fo­reign wrought Goods, especial­ly Indian (if he had thought it his interest:) Some are of Opi­nion, and not without reason, That if the French King had suffered his People to export the Treasure of his Country, to bring in foreign made Goods, [Page 24] as freely as our Indian Traders now do, his own Merchants would have helpt so effectually to humble him, that he had been brought to Reason before now.

But that Author hath a speci­al knack of confounding one thing with another, to the end, that he might make one thing pass for another, (a trick ve­ry necessary for those that do not intend to clear up Truth, but stifle it.) Thus he would make Trade and Commerce in general, and the whole E. India Trade, to be understood for this part of it, which we only oppose, (and some of themselves have counted a small part for­merly.) [Page 25] Thus he would have the particular gain of that Com­pany, in advancing their Acti­ons treble, pass for a sign of the Profit it was to the Nation, and the greatest part of his Book, upon strict examination, will fall under this Head.

As for our Scotch Friends, whatever they promise them­selves from this Trade, that we contest about, (and if that Bill now depending before the Ho­nourable House of Commons, for restraining the wear of Indi­an Silks, &c.) do pass into a Law, they will be little the bet­ter for it, if they come to bring in their Callico's in any consi­derable quantities to be worn in [Page 26] Scotland, in lieu of their own Linen Manufacture; a few years will teach them (whatever some private persons may get by it) that they have made but an ill bargain of it for their Countrey; but if it should not pass into a Law, no doubt but they will be peddling them all over England, and then they may well promise themselves to be great gainers, but poor England must pay for all, and suffer the fate of Issachar, to couch under two Burdens.

I have now done for the pre­sent with the aforesaid Author and the Trade he pleads for; if any desire to inform themselves, both in our East [Page 27] Indian and other Foreign Trades, what benefit each is to the Nation, they may please to read a Book, called, An Essay on the State of England in rela­tion to its Trade, &c. written a­bout a Year since, by the Inge­nious Mr. John Cary, Merchant of Bristol.

I shall now state briefly, Whe­ther the People, and their Em­ploy, (for whose sake I have made these faint Essays) be a real benefit to the Kingdom in general, or only to some few persons in particular, under the severe Administration of the Duke of Alva, in the Nether­lands: Many Families came o­ver into England, and brought [Page 28] over with them this Trade of weaving broad Silks and Stuffs made of Wooll and Silk and Wooll mix'd: These were gra­ciously received, by that great and wise Princess Queen Eliza­beth, of blessed Memory; and were so encouraged, that through the succeeding Reigns, they came to more thousands than they were Families: that this hath been one of those means, that hath advanced Land both in Rent and Purchase so considerably since that time, were easie to demonstrate, not only from Experience, but from the nature of the thing, as a Cause that must naturally pro­duce such an Effect; and when [Page 29] all is said that can be, we shall never be enrich'd by an Ignis fatuus, but by such Trades as have a natural tendency there­unto. To conclude, Solomon faith, The honour of a King is the multitude of his Subjects, but in the want of People is the de­struction of the Prince. Now this Trade hath not only brought a Livelihood to such great Multitudes of our own People, but entertain'd also many thousands of French Pro­testants fled hither for Refuge, which will be much to the Ho­nour and Advantage of this Kingdom, if our Manufactures be so incouraged, that there may be a sufficient employ [Page 30] flor them all, and our Poor (whom God and Nature re­quires us to take care of) be so employ'd, as to be an useful part of the Nation. Much more might be said; but I shall only add, That no one thing under the Divine Providence, and the Care of our Governours, con­tributes more to the Riches and Safety of the Nation, than in­couraging our own Manu­factures.


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