AN ESSAY ON THE East-India-Trade.

BY THE AUTHOR OFThe Essay upon Wayes and Means.

LONDON, Printed Anno, M DC XC VI.

To the Most Honourable, JOHN, Lord Marquis of Normanby, &c.



YOUR Lordship was pleased, the other Day, to intimate, That You would willingly know my Opinion in General of the East-India Trade; Whe­ther it is Hurtful, or Beneficial to this Na­tion? [Page 6] And my Thoughts, concerning the Bill, for Prohibiting the Wearing all East-India and Persia Wrought Silks, Bengalls, and Dy'd, Printed, or Stain'd Callicoes. What has occurr'd to my Observation in these Two Points, I shall Offer with great Sincerity, having no Interest, or Engage­ment, to sway me, in the Questions, one way, or other.

But, before I begin, I must beg leave to say, I am very glad to see Your Lordship bend Your Excellent Wit, and Right Un­derstanding, to Inquiries of this Nature.

For nothing can be more Important to a Noble Man, than A True Knowledge of the Manufactures, Trade, Wealth, and Strength of his Country: Nor, can Your Eloquence be any way more Usefully em­ploy'd, than in Discoursing Skilfully upon this Subject, in that Great Assembly of which You are so much an Ornament.

Richlieu has left behind Him an Evidence how much He made these Matters His Care and Study: Which, however Ne­glected by the Ministers of the Present Age, are notwithstanding the only Foun­dation of a Solid and Lasting Greatness.

For who can give a Prince sound Advice, and under Him steer the People Rightly and Well, either in Peace, or in War, that [Page 7] is Ignorant of the Posture, Condition, and Interest of the Country where he lives? Is there any thing in the World, that should be more thought a Matter of State than Trade, especially in an Island, and should not that which is the Common Concern of All, be the Principal Care of such as Govern?

Can a Nation be Safe without Strength? And is Power to be Compass'd and Secur'd but by Riches? And can a Country become Rich any way, but by the Help of a well Managed and Extended Traffick?

What has enabled England to Support this Expensive War so long, but the great Wealth which for Thirty Years, has been flowing into us from Our Commerce A­broad?

The Soil of no Country is Rich enough to attain a great Mass of Wealth, meerly by the Exchange and Exportation of its Own Natural Product.

The Staple Commodities that England Exports, are the Woollen Manufactures, Tin, Lead, Hides, and sometimes Corn.

But, considering Our Luxury, and our great Expence of Foreign Wares here at Home, we could not have grown Rich, without Other Dealings in the World.

[Page 8] For set our Own Exported Product in the Ballance with the Imported Product from France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ger­many, and the two Northern Kingdoms; At the Foot of the Accompt it will be found, that, but a fourth part of Our Riches, arises from the vent of Our own Commodities.

Whoever looks Strictly and Nicely into Our Affairs, will find, that the Wealth Eng­land had once, did arise chiefly from Two Ar­ticles: First, Our Plantation Trade. Se­condly, Our East-India Traffick.

The Plantation Trade gives Employment to many Thousand Artificers here at home, and takes off a great quantity of our Infe­riour Manufactures, The Returns of all which are made in Tobacco, Cotton, Gin­ger, Sugars, Indico, &c. by which we were not onely supply'd for Our Own Con­sumption, but we had formerly where­withal to send to France, Flanders, Hambo­rough, the East-Countrey and Holland for 500,000 l. per Annum, besides what we Ship'd for Spain and the Streights, &c.

Since we were Supplanted in the Spice Trade by the Dutch, and since great part of the Pepper Trade is gone by the Loss of Bantam, Our Chief Investments, or Impor­tations from the East-Indies, have been in Callicoes, Wrought Silks, Drugs, Salt-Petre, [Page 9] Raw Silk, Cottons, and Cotton Yarn, Goats Wooll, or Carmania Wooll, and other Pro­ducts of those Countries. Part of which Commodities are for our own Use, but a much greater part in times of Peace were bought up here for the Consumption of France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Italy and Our Plantations.

So that by the Means of our East and West-India Trade, though we might lose by our dealings to some Parts, yet We were Gainers by the whole, and in the General Ballance.

The Woollen Manufacture, Tin, Lead, &c. are indeed the Basis of all Our Traffick, and the first Spring of our dealings Abroad, But if by Carelesness or False Measures, we should come to be confin'd onely to deal in Our own Product, we must think no longer to preserve the Dominion of the Sea.

As Bread is call'd the Staff of Life, so the Woollen Manufacture is truly the Prin­cipal Nourishment of Our Body Politick▪ And as a Man might possibly live onely upon Bread, yet his Life would be ill Su­stain'd, Feeble, and Unpleasant; So though England could probably subsist barely upon the Exportation of its own Product, yet to enjoy a more florid Health, to be Rich, Po­werful, [Page 10] and Strong, we must have a more extended Traffick than Our Native Com­modities can afford us.

The Woollen Manufacture is undoubt­edly by Laws, and all possible Care, to be Encouraged; but 'tis its Exportation A­broad, and not the Consumption of it at Home, that must bring Profit to the King­dom.

Some of Our Gentry have been for ma­ny Years of Opinion, That the Intire Wel­fare of England depends upon the High Price of Wooll, as thinking thereby to Ad­vance their Rents, but this proceeds from the Narrow Mind, and Short View of such, who have all along more regarded the Pri­vate Interest of Land, than the Concerns of Trade, which are full as Important, and without which, Land will soon be of little Value.

Men in their Private Capacities may be allowed to prefer their Single Profit, but should Consult only the General Good in Public Councils.

In a Trading Nation, the Bent of all the Laws should tend to the Encouragement of Commerce, and all Measures should be there taken, with a due regard to its Interest and Advancement.

[Page 11] Instead of this, in many Particulars, our former Laws bring Incumbrance and Diffi­culties to it, and some seem Calculated for its utter Ruine; so little has it been of late Years the Common Care.

And yet 'twill be found at last, when all Things come to be Rightly Consider'd, that no Plenty at Home, Victory Abroad▪ Af­fection of the People, nor no Conduct, or Wisdom, in other things, can give the Pub­lic effectual help, till we can mend the Con­dition and Posture of Trade.

In Our Great Assemblies, it has never been sufficiently thought a Matter of State, but Managed, rather as a Conveniency, or an Accidental Ornament, than the chief Strength and Support of the Kingdom.

And as it has never been greatly the Care of Our Ministers of State, so it has not been enough the Study of Our Nobility and Gentry, Who, (give me leave to say) for want of a Right Knowledge in the General Notions of it, have been frequent­ly Imposed upon, by Particular Merchants, and other Interested Persons, to Enact Laws so much to the Prejudice of Trade in General.

My Lord, I shall be very free to Com­municate the few Lights I have gather'd [Page 12] from Observation, and Inquiry into these Matters, and shall be very glad if my En­deavours can give Your Lordship any hints, which I am certain will be improv'd, by Your deep Judgment, and Understanding.

First, I am clearly convinc'd in General, that the East-India Trade is greatly Bene­ficial to England.

Secondly, I am of Opinion (with Sub­mission to better Judgments) that the Bill now propos'd to Prohibit the wearing East-India and Persia Wrought Silks, Bengals, &c. will be absolutely distructive to the Trade, and very prejudicial to the King­dom. Which two Points shall be impar­tially handled in the Sequel of this Dis­course.

As to the East-India Trade in General; If all Europe by common Consent would agree to have no further 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 onely, perishable Commodities, and sends thither, Gold, and Silver, which is there bury'd and never returns.

[Page 13] I have good Grounds to think That the Silver and Gold brought from America, the Gold Dust brought from Africk, and the Silver produc'd from the European Mines, in the Two Hundred Years last past, has not amounted to less, in the whole, than Eight Hundred Millions.

There is no appearance of this im­mense Sum in any Country of Europe. 'Tis true indeed, there is Yearly a great Con­sumption of these Metals, By the wear of Gold and Silver Coin, waste in Coinage, waste in working Plate, The wear of wrought Plate, The wear of things made of Gold and Silver Thread, and Wire (a high Article), Leaf and Shell Gold and Silver, Liquid Gold and Silver. There is also much lost in Casualties by Sea, Fires, and Inundations, and by being privately bury'd and never found.

But, having computed what may be al­low'd for the Yearly Consumption of Gold and Silver, on all the foregoing Heads, and what quantity of those Metals may be now remaining in Europe, I cannot find what is become of the Eight Hundred Mil­lions dug out of the Earth, unless a Hun­dred and Fifty Millions of it, be carry'd a­way and Sunk in the East-Indies.

[Page 14] From whence I have reason to conclude, That the European Nations in General, had been Richer by a full Third, than they now are, if that Trade had never been dis­cover'd and undertaken.

But since Europe has tasted of this Lux­ury, Since the Custom of a Hundred Years, has made their Spices necessary to the Con­stitutions of all Degrees of People, Since their Silks are pleasing every where to the better Sort, And since their Callicoes are a useful wear at Home, and in our own Plan­tations, and for the Spaniards in America, It can never be adviseable for England to quit this Trade, and leave it to any other Na­tion.

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 of the Traffick, and therefore France did about Twelve Years ago very wisely prohibit the wearing Callicoes, that were not of their own Im­portation.

The English and Dutch, which together are not a Tenth part of Europe, enjoy this Traffick almost without any Rivalship; and if it be a Burthen, it lyes not upon the one, but on the other Nine parts, So that [Page 15] if the East-India Trade carry out the Gold and Silver from this side of the World, 'tis truly, and properly, at the Cost, and Ex­pence, of France, Germany, Spain, and the Northern Kingdoms, who have little, or no Opportunities of Trading thither.

To imagine all Europe will come to an Agreement of Dealing no more to those Parts, is an absurd and wild Notion; Since therefore the Western Nations are content­ed to be deceiv'd, and for a Hundred Years have been accustom'd to bear this deceit, 'twould be Egregious Folly in us, to quit this Advantage, and leave it intirely to the Hollanders.

By the best account I can have, and from Impartial Hands, England before the War for some time, one Year with another has Exported for this Traffick, either in Bul­lion, or our Manufactures (of which the Manufactures might be near an Eighth part) about per Annum—400,000 l.

Suppose we Consume at home the Returns of—200,000

But, by the way, I must take Notice here, that the Company, of late Years, have carry'd out the value of 100,000 l. per Annum in our home Manufactures.

If the Company Export to other Nations the Returns of the other Two Hundred [Page 16] Thousand Pounds (which I may safely af­firm they did, and will do in time of Peace) England must certainly be a great Gainer by this Traffick.

For no one vers'd in Merchandize will deny, but that the Returns from India of 200,000 l. when Exported to other Coun­tries must Increase the first Sum at least Four-fold, and produce 800,000.

So that the Accompt of England with the Indies, and the European Nations, may be thus Ballanc'd.

The Returns Exported yeild per Annum800,000 l.
The Returns Consum'd at home are to the Nation—200,000
Deduct for the prime Cost of Bullion or Manufactures Exported—400,000
England Net Gainer by this Traffick—600,000

Nothing can be a Clearer Gain to the Kingdom than the Returns of the 200,000 l. consum'd at home; because treble that Sum, would otherwise be carry'd out for [Page 17] Foreign Silks and Linnen, which is hindred by the Importation of East-India Commo­dities.

The Inspection I have made upon other Occasions, into the general State and Con­dition of this Kingdom, has led me upon very good Grounds to think, that the East-India Trade did annually add to the gross Stock of England at least 600,000 l. per Annum in times of Peace.

For I have many Cogent▪ Reasons in­ducing Me to believe, That from about Anno 1656. to Anno 1688. this Nation has every Year gradually increas'd in Riches; By what degrees, is needless here to incert, but upon mature Consideration, I may safely state, that about Anno 1688. the In­crease or Addition to the Wealth and Ge­neral Stock of England, arising from Fo­reign Trade, and home Manufactures, was at least Two Millions yearly.

And after much Thought, and Study on this Subject, and by consulting Others vers'd in Speculations of the like Nature, I find that this Increase to the Nations General Stock, did probably arise from the Three following Articles, Viz.

[Page 18]

From Our Manufactures and Home Product, sent to the Plan­tations, and from the Returnes thereof, Exported to Foreign Parts900,000
From our Woollen Manufa­cture, Lead, Tin, Leather, and Our other Native Product, sent to France, Spain, Italy, Germany, &c.—500,000
From the Net Profit accruing by the East-India Trade—600,000

If the East-India Trade did in Peaceful Times, bring so great an Increase to the Annual Income of the Kingdom (and I think the contrary is capable of no clear Demonstration) the Legislative Power ought to proceed with much Caution, in any mat­ter relating to it.

Whatever Country can be in the full and undisputed Possession of it, will give Law to all the Commercial 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, such a Foreign Strength [Page 19] and Wealth be added, England must here­after be contented to Trade by their Pro­tection, and under their Banners.

As War does vary all the Circumstances of Trade, alter its Channel, give it to one People, and take it from another, So in seasons of War, 'tis by no means proper, nor adviseable, to embrace New Councils in relation to it: Nor can we then take any True Measures, or make any Right, and Sound Judgment about it.

The Scarcity of Money in a long War, makes any Exportation of Bullion thought a great Gr [...]evance; of which, in Quiet Times, we should not be sensible.

In the same manner, the Interruption of any Manufacture, though never so Prejudi­cial to the Kingdom, is grievous in a Time of War, when Business is scarce, and Tra­ding dull, But in a Time of Peace, and full Employment, these Hands can shift from one Work, to another, without any great Prejudice to themselves, or the Public.

There having been for Three Years last past, a great want of East-India Goods, and there happening of late a great Call for the Woollen Manufactures, and indeed for all the Product of England, some unthinking Persons, grew presently to imagine that the want of East-India Goods (and no other [Page 20] Reason) had brought the Woollen Manu­facture into Request, and increased its Con­sumption, from whence very many have began to argue, and infer, That the East-India Trade is, and alwayes was, prejudi­cial to the Kingdom.

But the sudden Call which was then for all kind of English Commodities, as well as the Woollen Manufacture, viz. Lead, Tin, Leather, Butter, Cheese, Tallow, &c. did not proceed from the want of East-India Goods, but indeed from the Posture of the Exchange Abroad, the Ill Condition of our Silver Coyn, and the High Price Guineas were brought to: For we plainly see this great Demand, both Abroad, and at Home, for our Goods does cease, now Guineas are lower'd, and the Coyn is al­ter'd.

My Lord, It has been too often the Fault of English Councils, to determine Rashly of the most Important Matters▪

And (with Submission to better Judg­ments) I doubt it may be of very dange­rous Consequence at this Time, to meddle with, or give any Disturbance to a Settled Traffick.

The Concern of Wooll is, without doubt, to be taken care of, but not so as upon that [Page 21] account to slight all our Foreign Interest.

The East-India Company has been for a long time look'd upon with an Evil Eye, by some People, because there has formerly been Ill Management in their Affairs; and for that some of their Goods were thought to hinder the Consumption of our own Manufactures; and because it was seen what Silver they really carried out, and not enough Consider'd what Bullion their Effects brought hither in Return.

Some Persons (without Doors) either Bribed by the Dutch, or to flatter that In­terest, profess themselves Open Enemies to the Traffick in General; Others through Inadvertency, and for want of Examining the bottom of Things, give into their No­tions; and others joyn with them out of Immoderate Zeal to promote the Woollen Manufacture: So that any discerning Man may see, that the utter Ruin of this Trade, and its intire Loss to England will be com­passed, unless the King, assisted by the Le­gislative Power, out of His Fatherly Love to His People, interpose, with His Wisdom, in the matter.

One of the principal Dangers now, of taking New Councils about it, is, That in a time of War, if by any false Steps and Measures, we should lose Ground in India, [Page 22] neither our Condition, nor the Nature of our Present Alliance with the Dutch, will permit us to assert our Right in those Parts by Force of Arms.

And if we should come so to lose our Hold in India, as not to Trade thither at all, or but weakly and precariously, I will venture to affirm (and I hope Your Lord­ship will remember hereafter this Prediction of mine) that England will thereby lose half its Foreign Business.

For all Trades have a Mutual Dependance one upon the other, and one begets another, and the loss of one, frequently loses half the rest. By carrying to other Places the Commodities brought from India, We every where inlarg'd our Commerce, and brought Home a great over-ballance, either in Foreign Goods, or in Bullion. In Hol­land we Exchanged our Wrought Silks, Callicoes, &c. for their Spices: By Indian Goods, we could Purchase at a better Rate, in Germany, the Linnens of Silesia, Saxony, and Bohemia. In times of Peace we did, and may again Traffick with France, for our India Goods against the things of Lux­ury, which will alwayes be brought from thence; and thereby we may bring the Ballance more of our side, between us and that Kingdom.

[Page 23] And, My Lord, there being a Peace now in agitation between Us and France, the Wisdom of the State perhaps may think fit to insist, as an Article, that the Prohibition of our East-India Goods may be taken off in France, and if that can be obtain'd, it will put the Trade of England with that Kingdom, upon much a more equal Foot.

As to Spain, and the Streights, and Parts within the Streights, &c. 'tis apparent that a large Share of the Bullion return'd hither, from thence, did proceed from the Sale there, of Callicoes, Pepper, and other East-India Goods consum'd in those Parts, and also bought up by the Spaniards for their own, and the Consumption of their Planta­tions in America.

'Tis hop'd, My Lord, the foregoing Ar­guments have sufficiently prov'd, That this Traffick in General is beneficial to the Na­tion.

I shall now proceed to deliver my Opi­nion concerning the Bill for Prohibiting the Wearing all East-India and Persia Wrought Silks, Bengals, and Dyed, Printed, or Stained Callicoes, which was the Second Point I propos'd to handle.

[Page 24] They who promote this Bill do it, as is presum'd, upon the following Grounds, and Reasons.

  • First, They believe such a Prohibition will advance the Consumption of Wooll, and the Woollen Manufa­ctures.
  • Secondly, They think it will advance the Silk and Linnen Manufactures of England.
  • Thirdly, They Imagin such a Prohibi­tion may be made by Act of Parlia­ment, without Ruin to the Traffick in General.

These Three Points, My Lord, I shall Endeavour to Examine and State fairly be­fore Your Lordship: And I shall discourse of the East-India Trade First, as it has Re­lation to the Woollen Manufacture. Se­condly as it has Relation to the Silk and Linnen Manufactures. And Thirdly, I shall show how this Prohibition will affect the East-India Trade in General.

And First as to the Woollen Manufacture.

TRade is the General Concern of this Nation, but every distinct Trade has a distinct Interest. The Wisdom of the Legislative Power consists, in keeping an even hand, to promote all, and chiefly to Encourage such Trades, as increase the Publick Stock, and add to the Kingdoms Wealth, consider d as a Collective Body.

Trade is in its Nature Free, finds its own Channel, and best directeth 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 Advantagious to the Pub­lick.

Governments, in Relation to it, are to take a Providential Care of the Whole, but generally to let Second Causes work their own way; And considering all the Links, and Chains, by which they hang together, peradventure it may be affirm'd, That, in the Main, all Trafficks whatsoever are be­neficial to a Country.

They say few Laws in a State are an In­dication [Page 26] of Wisdom in a People, but it may be more truly said, that few Laws relating to Trade, are the Mark of a Nation that thrives by Traffick.

Laws to Compel the Consumption of some Commodities, and prohibit the use of others, may do well enough, where Trade is forc'd, and onely Artificial, as in France; But in Countries inclin'd by Genius, and a­dapted to it by Situation, such Laws are needless, unnatural, and can have no Effect conducive to the Publick Good.

I have often wonder'd upon what Grounds the Parliament proceeded in the Act for Burying in Woollen: It Occasions indeed a Consumption of Wooll, but such a Con­sumption, as produces no advantage to the Kingdom.

For were it not plainly better, that this Wooll made into Cloth, were Exported, paid for, and worn by the Living abroad, than laid in the Earth here at home.

And were it not better, That the Common People (who make up the Bulk and are the great Consumers) should be bury'd in an Old Sheet, fit for nothing else, as formerly, than in so much New Wooll, which is thereby utterly lost.

The Natural Way of promoting the Woollen Manufacture, is not to force its [Page 27] Consumption at home, but by wholsome Laws to contrive, That it may be wrought cheaply in England, which consequently will enable us to command the Markets abroad.

The onely Beneficial way to England, of making Wooll yield a good Price, is to have it Manufactur'd cheaply.

No Country in Europe, Manufactures all kind of Goods so dearly as this Kingdom; And the Dutch at this very day buy up Our Cloaths here, which they carry home, and Nap and Dye so Cheaply, that by this means they are able to under-sell us, in our own Native Commodity.

The Act for maintenance of the Poor, is the true Bane, and Destruction to all the English Manufactures in General. For it apparently Encourages Sloth, and Beggery; Whereas if the Legislative Power would make some good Provision, that Work-Houses might in every Parish be Erected, and the Poor, such as are Able, compell'd to Work, So many new Hands might there­by be brought in, as would indeed make the English Manufactures Flourish.

I have reason to think, that the People receiving Alms in this Kingdom, are Twelve Hundred Thousand; if but half could be brought to Work, besides their own Nou­rishment, their Labour one with another [Page 28] might produce to the Publick at 20 s. per Head, at least per Annum 600,000 l.

If this could be compass'd, the Woollen Manufacture would advance without any Unnatural Driving or Compulsion. For we want Hands, not Manufactures in England, and Laws to Compel the Poor to Work, not Work wherewithal to give them Employ­ment.

To make England a true Gainer by the Woollen Manufacture, we should be able to work the Commodity so Cheap, as to un­der-sell all Comers to the Markets abroad.

I shall, My Lord, advance Two Propo­sitions which may sound very strangely, and yet perhaps will be thought very right, and true, upon a Mature Examination.

First, That 'tis not the Benefit, nor In­terest of England in General, that Wooll should bear a high Price in Our Markets at home.

Secondly, That by a great Consumption of the VVoollen Manufactures within this Kingdom, the Publick will not reap such an advantage as some imagine.

Fine broad Cloth, was the Antient Dra­pery of England, and which first recom­mended this Manufacture to the Use of Fo­reign [Page 29] Countries, This is the Natural Issue and Product of the Kingdom, inimitable abroad, and it must be very great Carelessness, and want of Conduct, that can make us lose this Trade so Beneficial to the Nation.

But tho' the VVooll of Other Places is not so fit for workmanship as Ours, yet the Commodity is abounding almost in all Coun­tries of Europe; and if the Cloth of England be brought any way to bear too high a Price, it may put some of Our Neighbours either upon the Industry of Manufacturing their own better: Or upon the Frugality to content themselves with what they can make at home; And it may reduce other Parts, to set up new Manufactures in their own Coun­tries, which will be very detrimental to the Vent, especially, of Our Narrow and Cour­ser Cloaths.

Nothing can make this Commodity Be­neficial, so as to Enrich England, but to have the VVoollen Manufacture so Cheap, as that great quantities of our Cloath may be Ex­ported, and at such a Rate, as that we may be able to under-sell all Nations, and discou­rage all People from setting it up.

But this can never be, if by Arts, and Inventions, we endeavour to give VVooll an Unnatural Price here at Home, Upon which Score, I have advanc'd the Second [Page 30] Proposition, That England reaps no such Advantage by a large Consumption of the Woollen Manufacture within this King­dom.

For it is the Interest of all Trading Na­tions, whatsoever, that their Home Con­sumption should be little, of a Cheap and Foreign Growth, and that their own Ma­nufactures, should be Sold, at the highest Markets, and spent Abroad; Since by what is Consum'd at Home, one loseth only what another gets, and the Nation in Ge­neral is not at all the Richer; But all Fo­reign Consumption is a Clear, and Certain Profit. So that in the Woollen Manufa­cture, England does not get by what is Spent here by the People, but by what is Sold Abroad in other Countries.

If the People of England are willing, and pleased to Wear Indian Silks, and Stuffs, of which the Prime Cost in India, is not above a Fourth part of what their own Commo­dities would stand them in here; and if they are thereby thus enabled to Export so much of their own Product, whatever is so sav'd, is clear Gain to the Kingdom in ge­neral. But to set this Matter in a clearer Light.

Suppose 200,000 l. per Annum of the Prime Sum sent to India, is return'd in Com­modities [Page 31] for our own Consumption: And,

Suppose half this Sum, viz. 100,000 l. to be Return'd in such Goods as are Worn here in the stead and room of the Woollen Manufactures.

From 100,000 l. Prime Cost to India, there may Reasonably be expected Goods that sell here for—400,000
So that by sending to India100,000
We Gain for our own Con­sumption clear—300,000

Now this must be Clear Profit to the Kingdom, Because this Sum would be other­wayes laid out and Consum'd in our own Product; which Product we are by this Means enabled to Export. For when we come to Examine into the True Reason of the Great Wealth of Holland, we shall find it chiefly to arise from this Frugality of Consuming at Home what is Cheap, or comes Cheaply, and carrying Abroad what is Rich, and will yield most Money.

'Tis granted That Bengals and Stain'd Cal­licoes, and other East-India Goods, do hin­der the Consumption of Norwich Stuffs, Crapes, English Ratines, Shaloons, Sayes, Perpetuanas, and Antherines: But the same Objection will lye against the Use of any [Page 32] thing that is of Foreign Growth; For the Importation of Wine, undoubtedly hinders the Consumption of Barly; and England could subsist, and the Poor perhaps would have fuller Employment, if Foreign Trade were quite laid aside; But this would ill Consist with our being Great at Sea, upon which (under the Present Posture of Affairs in Europe) all our Safety does certainly de­pend.

That the East-India Goods do something interfere with the Woollen Manufacture, must undoubtedly be granted, but the Prin­cipal Matter to be Consider'd, is, Which way the Nation in General is more Cheaply supply'd.

If 100,000 l. Prime Cost to India, brings Home so many Goods as stand in the stead, and supply the room of 400,000 l. of our own Manufactures, It must certainly be Ad­viseable not to Prohibit such a Trade, but rather to divert the Wooll used in these our Home Manufactures, and the Craft, La­bour and Industry employ'd about 'em, to the Making Fine Broad Cloth, Course and Narrow Cloths, Stuffs and other Commo­dities, fit for Sale in Foreign Markets; Since 'tis an undoubted Truth, that 400,000 l. worth of our Native Goods Sold Abroad, does add more to the Nations General Stock, [Page 33] and Wealth, than Four Millions worth of our Home Product Consum'd within the Kingdom.

But, besides, suppose the Wearing East-India Wrought Silks, &c. in England were Prohibited, and that their whole Importa­tion were Interdicted, I do not see how such Prohibitions would at all Advance the Vent of our Home Product. For in one Case, If they hinder the Consumption of the Woollen Manufacture at Home, will they not when Exported, hinder its Con­sumption, and the Sale of Cloaths in Fo­reign Parts? And in the other Case, If the English were forbid to bring Indian Goods into Europe, will not the Dutch Import them, and thereby in the same manner, hurt Abroad, the Vent and Consumption of our English Cloths?

Upon the whole Matter, My Lord, it is my Opinion, (which I submit to bet­ter Judgments) That the Importation of East-India and Persia Wrought Silks, Stain'd Callicoes, &c. though it may somewhat interfere with the Manufa­ctures of Norwich, Bristol, and other particular Places; yet, that such Im­portation adds to the Kingdoms main Stock, and Wealth, and is not prejudi­cial to the General Woollen Manufa­cture of England.

And Secondly as to the Silk and Linnen Manufactures.

WIsdom is most commonly in the Wrong, when it pretends to direct Nature. The various Products of different Soiles, and Countries, is an Indication, that Providence intended they should be helpful to each other, and mutually supply the Ne­cessities of one another.

And as it is great Folly to Compel a Youth to that sort of Study, to which he is not adapted by Genius, and Inclination: So it can never be Wise, to endeavour the introducing into a Country, either the Growth of any Commodity, or any Ma­nufacture, for which, nor the Soil, nor the General Bent of the People is proper: And as forc'd Fruits (though they may look fair to the Eye) are notwithstanding Tastless, and Unwholsome; So a Trade forc'd in this manner, brings no National Profit, but is Prejudicial to the Publick.

We have such Advantages by Situation, and in several Commodities, and Materials, Natural, and almost peculiar to us, that if the Improvement of them were sufficiently [Page 35] look'd after, and encourag'd by the State, we might increase in Wealth, Greatness, and Power, peradventure beyond all Na­tions in Europe.

It is our Fault, if we do not enjoy the Woollen Manufacture without any Rival­ship; but undoubtedly it might be very much advanced▪ If Work-Houses were set up, If the Laws did Provide, and the Ma­gistracy in the Execution did take Care, to set the Poor to work.

Such an Increase of Hands would like­wise produce more Tin, and Lead, and en­able us to afford Leather Cheaper: And it is a large Exportation, and being able to undersell all others, in Foreign Markets, that brings National Profit.

More Hands would quicken Industry, and improve waste Ground, which would enable us to carry out Corn, at a Cheap Rate.

And generally speaking all Laws restrain­ing Idleness, and that will invite People hither, must better the Manufactures, and make 'em more gainful to the Nation.

There is no Trade so Advantageous, es­pecially to an Island, as that of Buying Goods in one Country, to sell them in ano­ther; and it is the Original and chief Ar­ticle of the Great Wealth in Holland. There [Page 36] is Gain by the Freight: It occasions Con­sumption of our Home Product: It breeds Seamen, Increases Shipping, and improves Navigation: And any Home Manufacture that hinders this kind of Traffick, or that indeed interferes with it, is pernicious, and ought in Wisdom, and by all Rules of Po­licy, to be discouraged by the Publick. This kind of Commerce England was formerly in a large possession of, and it may be re­triev'd, and in the best of Times was capa­ble of great Improvement.

Our Plantations (if we take Care to pre­serve them from Foreign Insults and Inva­sions) as they Increase in People, will Con­sume more of our Home Manufactures than we have Hands to make: They produce Commodities indispensably necessary to this part of the World, and not to be produced elsewhere, and with Industry and Conduct, may be made an inexhaustible Mine of Trea­sure to their Mother Kingdom.

If there be such a Multitude of Hands that want VVork in England, the Herring Fishery would employ many Thousands of Men, and one Million of Money; and, the Advantages our Situation gives us for it con­sider'd, we might at least come in for a Share, with the Dutch, in that Trade, which brings them so immense a Profit.

[Page 37] Some of the foregoing Materials are Pe­culiar Gifts and Blessings to this Soil; Our Inclinations to the Sea, fit us as well as the Dutch, for the Traffick of carrying Goods from one Countrey to another (the most certain Gain a Nation can make) Our Ports are safer and fitter than theirs for this Pur­pose. Our Plantation Trade, to carry it on to its Height, would require a greater Stock than we are Masters of at present, and would Consume more of Our Manufactures, and home Product, than we can make and furnish at Reasonable Rates. As to the Fishery, if we are not intirely in Possession of it, and if other Nations have been suf­fer'd to make such a Profit upon Our Coast, it has proceeded from want of Industry in the English People, and through the Negli­gence of former Governments.

In the foremention'd Particulars, an un­forc'd and a Natural Improvement may be made in our VVealth and Substance, and 'tis here the Legislative Power may, to good effect, interpose with its Care and VVis­dom.

Most Countries have a certain Number of their People, who addict themselves to Trade and Manufactures, and most Nati­ons have limited Stock to be employ'd in those Uses, which they cannot well exceed; [Page 38] And 'tis the Prudence of a State, to see, that this Industry, and Stock, be not di­verted from things profitable to the whole, and turn'd upon Objects unprofitable, and perhaps dangerous to the Publick.

The Stock England formerly had run­ning in Trade and Manufactures, was very considerable, and I am sorry, upon a care­full Inquiry, to find it so much decreas'd: What remains, and more than can be ga­ther'd in many Years of Peace, will be suf­ficiently employ'd in that Business, where the Nation is a certain and known Gainer; and therefore should not be diverted upon uncertain Objects, and turn'd upon new Inventions, in which it cannot be deter­min'd, in many Years, whither we get or loose, and how the Ballance stands: And of this nature, and kind, are the Silk, and Linnen Manufactures in England.

Silk is a Manufacture of a Foreign Extract, and not the Genuine Product of this Coun­try; It Employs indeed the Poor, but is not compos'd from a Material of our own Growth. Whatever Encouragement it meets with, it cannot thrive with us, be­ing not Calculated for our Meridian: 'Tis fit onely for frugal Nations, where Parsi­mony renders Craft and Workmanship not dear, upon which score the French, Italians, [Page 39] and Dutch, will always be able to under-sell us in that Commodity, and hinder any Success we can propose. And as an Exam­ple of this, Did not the Hollanders, lately, bring hither French Lustring, under their Seal, which they could afford so Cheap, as to under-sell the Projectors of it here, tho' they were at the Charge of Freight and Custom.

The Stock and Industry laid out on the Silk Manufacture, would be more usefully employ'd, in such as are made from Mate­rials of Our own Growth.

If the Luxury of wearing Silk could be quite Abolish'd, such a Reformation would undoubtedly be beneficial to the Kingdom; but since this is not easily to be Compass'd, a wise State must consider which Way the Folly of their People can be supply'd at the cheapest rate, For, Frugality of this Nature, as certainly enriches the whole, as it does any private Person.

There are brought from India Two sorts of Silks.

The one is of such a sort as is not made in England, and consequently onely hinders the Importation of the like kind, at a dearer Rate, from Holland, Italy, France, Turkey and other Places.

The other is of the like sort with those [Page 40] made here, notwithstanding which, it must certainly be prejudicial to the Interest of England, to forbid their Importation from India, unless those, and all other kinds of Silk applicable to the same Uses, could be Prohibited to be brought from Foreign Countries: since by such Prohibition (un­less the vanity it self can be cured) we onely enrich the Neighbouring Nations at Our Expence.

The East-India Goods since they were in use, have apparently lower'd the Price of Silks from France, Spain, and Italy, at least 25 per Cent: and if their Importation should be prohibited, will it not follow Naturally that the European Countries will again ad­vance upon us?

And the French, Italians, and Dutch, who upon several Accounts are able to under­work us, will undoubtedly fall to making and sending hither such Commodities, as may stand in the Room here of Indian Goods, and at the low Rates they can af­ford 'em, they will quickly ruin Our Silk Manufactures: And when the Fabrick is distroy'd, and the Stock and Hands em­ploy'd in it, are diverted to other Uses, they may put what Fine they please upon our Vanity.

[Page 41] The Dutch have such a Silk Manufacture in their Country, that by Computation, there is Imported hither, from thence, more of that Commodity, one Year with another than we bring from India. Most of the Velvets us'd here, come from thence, and are purchas'd by us at a dearer rate, than could be afford'd from India, or made here at home, if we were skill'd in the Work­manship.

And notwithstanding the Dutch have so considerable a Silk Manufacture of their own, instead of Prohibiting, they encourage the Importation of all East-India Silks: well knowing, That 'tis the Interest of e­very Nation, to go to their own, or Foreign Markets, with Goods as cheap as they can, thereby to beat out all others. And that the Cheapness of any Commodity, will force a way into those Countries where it is prohibited, if any of the like sort and kind is indulg'd and permitted to be worn there; Nothing being able to render the Prohibition of Goods intirely Effectual in any Nation, but a Capacity in the Inhabi­tants of such Country, to afford them at Cheaper Rates, which can hardly be the Case of England.

[Page 42] As to the Linnen Manufacture, it is no more the Genuine Offspring of this King­dom, than that of Silk.

'Tis true that some of the Materials for it, may be had from our own Soil, but not enough to supply our whole Consumption, and we can never pretend to make the fi­ner sort.

And if the now intended Prohibition should so Operate, as utterly to lose us the East-India Trade (which peradventure may be the Case) the Dutch may put what rate they please upon their Callicoes; And the Dutch and French, and other Nations, will Impose any Price upon their Fine Linnens (which Our Callicoes for some Years have kept down) So that, Our necessary Consumption in this Commodity, will stand us in above 40 per Cent. more than it does at present.

This Manufacture is proper onely for Countries where they can have Flax and Hemp Cheap, and where the Common People work at very easie Rates.

But tho' with forcing Nature, and by Art, and Industry, we could bring it to greater Perfection, yet upon other Accounts 'tis per­haps not adviseable, nor for the Nations Interest, to promote it.

First, Our Soil and the Labour of the People may be employ'd about Materials [Page 43] more Advantageous, and wherein we can­not be undersold by other Countries.

Secondly, The growth of this Manufa­cture would obstruct Trade, and other Bu­siness more Important to the Nation: For▪

1. Our Noble Staple of Wooll is un­doubtedly capable of a great Improvement, to which the Increase of Wages (that must happen upon an Increase in the Linnen Ma­nufacture) will be a considerable hindrance. And one cannot rise, but to the prejudice of the other, Because we really want People and Hands to carry on both to their full perfection. And,

2. It is more the General Interest of Eng­land to Export Woollen Manufacture in Ex­change Abroad for Linnen, than to make it here at Home; which Trade has been set afoot, and prosper'd very much, to the great Benefit of this Kingdom, since the Pro­hibition of French Goods during this War.

But if we provide our selves at Home with Linnen sufficient for our Consumption, and do not want that which is brought from Silesia, Saxony, Bohemia, and Poland, this Trade must cease; For these Northern Coun­tries have neither Money, nor other Com­modities; and if we deal with them, we must be contented, in a manner, to barter our Cloaths, for their Linnen; And 'tis ob­vious [Page 44] enough, to any Considering Man, that by such a Traffick, We are not Losers in the Ballance.

In Process of Time, when England shall come to be more Peopled; And when a long Peace shall have increased our Wealth and Stock, perhaps we may be able not only to carry on our old Manufactures to their full height, but to embrace new Ones, Such as are that of Silk and Linnen; but as our Case stands, it seems sufficient to let them take their own Natural Course, and not to drive them on; For too many sorts of Busi­nesses may be as well hurtful in the Publick, as they are often to Private Persons.

If the Nation finds a General Profit from them, their own Weight will bear them on; but in the mean while, it cannot be Advise­able, in their Favour, to exercise any extra­ordinary Act of Power; and for their sake, by Prohibitions, to distress, embroil, and disturb any settled Trade, by which, be­yond all Contradiction, the Nation, before the War, was so great a Gainer.

My Lord, After much Thought upon this Subject, I am come to these Conclusi­ons, within my self, which I submit to Your better Judgment.

  • [Page 45]First, That our Silk and Linnen Manu­factures obstruct Trades more Important, and more profitable.
  • Secondly, That, tho' a Prohibition of East-India Goods, may advance their pre­sent Interest, who are engag'd in the Silk and Linnen Manufactures here, yet That it will bring no future advantage to the King­dom.
  • Thirdly, That Luxury is so deeply root­ed in this Nation, that should this Prohi­bition pass, it will onely carry us to Euro­pean Markets, where, we shall pay perhaps 50 per Cent. dearer, may be, for the same, or for Vanities of the like Nature. So that

UPON the whole Matter, My Lord, I am humbly of Opinion, that the Im­portation of wrought Silks, Bengals, Stain'd Callicoes, &c. does not so in­terfere with Our Silk and Linnen Ma­nufactures, as to hurt the Publick, and bring dammage to the Collective Body of England.

And Thirdly, As to the Effect such a Prohibition will have upon the East-India Trade in General.

IN all Argumentations, 'tis requisite to settle, and agree upon Principles; for which Reason, in the beginning of this Discourse, I did endeavour to prove, That in general the East-India Trade was Profit­able to this Kingdom. And I dwelt the longer upon that Head, because some Peo­ple are quite of a Contrary Opinion, and believe it hurtful to England.

And I am satisfied that many (without Doors) promote the Bill in Question, in hopes thereby utterly to destroy the Traf­fick.

And, truly My Lord, it seems plain to me, that the intended Prohibitions must prove, though not a sudden, yet a certain destruction to it. And that 'tis a lopping from this Trade, the Branches, and taking away some of the Bark, and part of the Root: The Trunk indeed is left, but so maim'd, and injur'd, that it can never spread and flourish.

[Page 47] If it can be made appear this Prohibition is no ways to be render'd effectual: And if it can be shown, that the said Prohibitions will utterly disable the Present East-India Company, or any other, to be hereafter Erected, from Supporting, and Carrying on the Trade, to the Advantage of England, Your Lordship will certainly think the Bill, now a foot, of dangerous Consequence, and not fit to receive a Sanction in the House of Peers.

No Prohibitions of a Foreign or Dome­stick Commodity, can have any Effect, without Sumptuary Laws strictly penn'd, and rigorously put in Execution.

For, the Importation of French Wines, and Linnen, has been forbidden under high Penalties during this War, yet the Con­sumption of those sort of Commodities, is not much lessen'd, and they are brought in upon us, from other Countries, at much a dearer Rate. For these Three Years last past, French Wines have been convey'd hi­ther by the way of Spain and Portugal, and the French Silks, and Linnens, have been all along secretly brought, and smuggled upon our own Coast.

Perhaps if severe Sumptuary Laws had Impos'd a High Duty, or Penalty, upon the Consumers of French Wine, Silks, and [Page 48] Linnen, the Prohibition might have had its designed Effect: But how such Laws could have been made Practicable, I shall not pre­tend to determine.

In the same manner, if a severe Mulct, or a High Duty, can be laid on such as shall Wear or Use any India, or Persia Wrought Silks, Bengals, &c. and if this were super­added to the Prohibition, peradventure it might be render'd Effectual.

But, otherwise, notwithstanding the Pro­hibition, of Wearing such Goods, and the Penalties upon the Retailers that shall vend them, their Consumption will be little les­sened in this Kingdom, for they will be brought in upon us from other Countries, Scotland and Holland more especially.

However, though such a Method is per­adventure the only way of keeping down this Luxury, I am very far, My Lord, from thinking it Adviseable.

For the Laws of all Countries must be suited to the Bent and Inclinations of the People: And (which I am loath to say) there is sometimes a Necessity, they should be a little accommodated to their deprav'd Manners, and Corruptions.

The People of England, who have been long accustom'd to Mild Laws, and a loose Administration, can never indure that Seve­rity, [Page 49] which is needful to make such a Pro­hibition have Effect: Nor can they suffer High Duties, or Penalties to be imposed up­on their Pleasures, or bear a strict Inquisi­tion into their Furniture and Apparel.

There is no Country without a multitude of Sumptuary Laws, but hardly a Place can be instanc'd, where they are Observ'd, or produce any Publick Good. They were somewhat regarded in the Infancy of the Roman Common-wealth, before Riches and Pomp, had banish'd Vertue, and Obedience: But their chiefest Strength was alwayes de­riv'd from the Sanctity, and Veneration, in which was held the Office of Censor. And in England, they would be immediately con­temn'd, and derided; and any Magistrate must become the Publick Scorn, that should think to put them in Execution.

And yet without Strict Sumptuary Laws, well Observ'd, the Wisdom of the Parlia­ment will find it self eluded, when it endea­vours to banish Foreign Vanities and Luxu­ry, in favour of our own Product and Ma­nufactures.

For in all probability, the Consequence of such a Prohibition will be, That Goods of the same kind, or Goods applicable to the like use, instead of those Imported from India, will be brought hither from Abroad; [Page 50] and the Consumption will not be less, but at a much dearer Rate. It may indeed some­what better our Manufactures, but will more Advance those of France, Italy and Holland, who can afford to work Cheaper: And, in all appearance, will thereby prove such a drein of this Kingdoms Treasure, as may bring utter destruction upon us.

But the principal Question is, Whether, under such Prohibitions, any Body of Men can find their Accompt in carrying on this Trade?

To make this Traffick an Addition of Strength, as well as Riches to the Kingdom, Encouragement should be given to send thi­ther Large, and Strong Ships, which will be Expensive to the Undertakers.

Their Business in India cannot be Ma­nag'd without frequent Gifts and Presents, to the Rajahs and Governours, according to the Practice in all the Eastern Countries.

Forts, and Castles, with good Garrisons, are there indispensably necessary, for the preservation of the Pepper Trade, and in­deed, needful upon many other Accompts, As Magazines for Naval Provision, and as Store Houses, in which to lay Goods, bought in the Country, at proper Seasons: Besides they are a Safety to Our People, from any Insults of the Natives, And a Refuge, upon [Page 51] any Disorder, Revolution, or other Emer­gency in the Mogul's State and Empire▪

A Trade Limited and Circumscrib'd in the Manner propos'd, cannot well undergo these Expences, which notwithstanding are necessary for its Preservation.

I have before divided the 400,000 l. prime Cost sent to India, into two parts, viz. Half for Foreign Exportation, and, the Other half, for home Consumption.

The Returns of 200,000 l. in Time of Peace might pro­bably yeild abroad—800,000
The Returns of 200,000 l. in Time of Peace, might pro­bably yield at home—800,000

But we must take Notice, that the 1,200,000 l. Profit, suppos'd in time of Peace to arise from this Trade, did not, all of it, accrue to the Adventurers in the Company, but was National, and divided among ma­ny Thousands of the People. The Mer­chants, who at the Companies Sales bought Goods for Exportation, had their Share, and the Retailers here had their Proportion, in the Gain, which this Traf­fick, [Page 52] in the whole, might be Computed to produce.

And particularly for their Share in the 600,000 l. supposed to be gained by our own Consumption, in time of Peace, by this Traffick: There came in, The King for His Customs; Owners of Ships; Such as got by Victualling them; Seamen for Wages: And, lastly, Factors and Servants, both Abroad, and at Home.

The Gain made Abstractedly by the Com­pany, has never been Invidious: For if their whole Stock be Computed from their Beginning, to this Day, it will be found, by their Dividends, That they have not one Year, with another, divided 20 per Cent. which, considering the Length and Hazard of their Voyages, is not a Profit to be en­vied.

But since this War, the Company have without doubt been great Losers, and no­thing but the Invincible Courage, which has been alwayes observ'd in English Mer­chants, could have hindered the Trade from being intirely Lost.

Notwithstanding all the Companies late Losses at Sea, and their former Ill Conduct in India, they have not lost footing there, but have, hitherto, preserv'd the Trade, indeed at their own Expence.

[Page 35] However, if any thing should be done that will Interrupt any great part of their Commerce, they must apparently give it over, or sink under the Burthen; For the Charge and Expence Abroad must be full as much to support a Little, as a more Ex­tended Traffick.

If this Trade be so Restrain'd, by Prohibitions, as that there can be sent to India, not above per An­num200,000
The National Profit from thence arising cannot Reasonably exceed—600,000
The Companies Charge, and Expence, to Support and Carry on their Affairs Abroad, may be Modestly Computed, at per An­num100,000
Which Summe will be a great weight upon per Annum600,000
But will fall lightly upon per An.1,200,000

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 Bengal, and half the Business to Surrat.

[Page 54] And, particularly, as to the Coast and Bay, The Company did usually send thither Yearly Five or Six Ships, of between Six and Seven Hundred Tons each: The Fifth part of which, returns Freighted with Salt-Petre; One other Fifth part with Fine Muslins, Floretta Yarn, and Raw Silks; The other Three parts, with Goods by the Bill Prohibited: The Consequence of which must be, That the Trade to the Coast and Bay, will prove so inconsiderable, that it must be abandon'd, and England reduc'd to buy all its Salt-Petre from the Scots, Danes or Hollanders.

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, especially, in a Time of War.

'Tis that alone can bear the Incident Charges at home, and Expences abroad, ne­cessary for the Support of so large a Traf­fick; And 'tis that onely, can enable any Company to indure Losses at Sea, by Storm, or a Foreign Enemy.

What Encouragement can there be to go on with so vast a Business, if our Mer­chants must singly depend upon the Mar­kets abroad? One Country, to advance their Own Manufactures, may prohibit Our [Page 55] Goods, The Hollanders will buy 'em up at their own Rates, when their Use is forbid­den here, And they will be a Drug, and blown upon, all Over Europe.

There is great difference between a Mer­chants having a Choice, or a Necessity to sell his Ware. In one Case he may in some Measure make his own Price, In the Other he must take what is offer'd.

To speak generally, the East-India Trade is profitable to the Adventurers in time of Peace; but rarely so in seasons of War and Trouble. In time of Peace They enrich their Country by a Foreign Vent and Exportation of their Goods, and in time of War, the home Consumption chiefly enables 'em to support and carry on their Traffick.

Your Lordships may see all along in this Discourse, that 'tis my Opinion, They do not interfere with such Manufactures as 'tis the Interest of England to promote and en­courage: But though the prohibited East-India Goods did greatly prejudice our own Product and Manufacture; yet I do not think a Prohibition of 'em at all adviseable, during the War, for these Reasons:

First, Our Condition is so weak, that we cannot struggle with any the bad Events, with which a new Council may be at­tended.

[Page 56] Secondly, If to their Losses at Sea, their Misfortunes in India on the Score of Every's Pyracy, and their want of Money, arising from the general Want of Species in the Nation, A Prohibition of the Consumption of so many of their Goods be likewise ad­ded; 'Tis to be apprehended, That upon such a discouragement, the Traders to those Parts, will by degrees withdraw from thence, their Effects, and Stock, and quite abandon the whole Traffick.

Thirdly, If this should happen, and, that either through Sullenness, Or because the Prohibition does really bring insuperable difficulties, Our Merchants should actually quit the Trade; The Dutch, Our Rivals in all other Traffick, will certainly seize the Derelict. And such an Addition to their Riches and Power at Sea, can by no means be consistent with the Welfare, and Safety of this Nation.

My Lord,

In this Discourse (which proves much longer than I intended) I have endeavour'd to show your Lordship, First, That this Trade is Beneficial to the Kingdom. Se­condly, That 'tis not prejudicial to the Ge­neral Woollen Manufacture of England. Thirdly, That it does not so interfere with [Page 57] Our Silk and Linnen Manufactures, as to hurt the Publick. Fourthly, That the in­tended Prohibitions may probably occasion an utter Loss of the whole Traffick.

No Alteration in so considerable a Branch of our Foreign Commerce should be attempt­ed, unless the whole matter had been for many Months consider'd maturely, by a Council of Trade, composed of the ablest Men in the Kingdom. And I will venture to affirm, That no sound Judgment can be made in things of this Nature, without con­templating the universal Posture and Business of the Nation: And when so important Deliberations are a-foot, the Number of the People should be examin'd, Their annual Con­sumption both of Home and Foreign Mate­rials should be well stated, The ready Money and other Stock of the Kingdom should be inquired into, The Sum of Money and Hands employ'd in every distinct Trade, should be duly contemplated; And upon such a general Inspection and View of the whole, we might be Ripe to deliberate on any single Point.

Any false Measures and rash Councils in Affairs so important, are hardly capable of a future Remedy.

The Hollanders have in their Possession all the Spice Islands, which they have strongly [Page 58] fortified, and by this means they lay a kind of Excise upon those necessary Commodi­ties, which all Europe is forced to pay.

By the seizing of Bantam they have got almost Three Parts in Four of the Pepper-Trade.

Brought into Europe since the Loss of Bantam, and before the pre­sent War (Communibus Annis) of Pepper about—5000
Of which Imported by the French and Danes about—500
By the English about—900
By the Dutch about—3600

The Hollanders, at this time are very Po­werful in India: They have many Good Forts and Castles well provided, and large Colonies of Men; And They can, upon a­ny Occasion, call together there 40 strong Frigates: So that if it agreed with the pre­sent Circumstances of their Affairs in Europe, or with the Nature of the Alliance they are engag'd in, 'Tis undoubtedly in their Power, to Engross this rich Traffick wholly to themselves, and to expel us for ever from those Countreys.

[Page 59] Perhaps they may not think it a safe ad­vice, to attempt doing this by Force, but we shall have no reason to complain, If they take in hand, what we give over and aban­don.

But suppose they should drive us from thence by force of Arms, Or that we should quit the Trade to them through Negligence and Folly, It will be worth while to consi­der, what addition of Wealth and Strength, an intire Monopoly of East-India Goods may prove to that Common-wealth.

And, My Lord, if I am not much de­ceiv'd in Political Arithmetick, It would bring Yearly a much greater Mass of Trea­sure to the United Provinces than is brought into Europe from the Mines of Peru and Mexico.

This side of the World is so fond of those Vanities, that if they could be had but at One Market, such a Market might, by their Means, draw from the rest of Europe, con­tinually per Annum, at least Six Millions.

To prove this Assertion, will take up more time than consists with the Brevity intend­ed in this Discourse, I shall therefore onely give one Instance, and that is of Pepper, by which some Judgment may be made of all the other Commodities.

[Page 60]

Pepper 5000 Tuns at 2 d. per l. as it may Cost the Dutch in India amounts to—74,666134
Add to this 3 d. per l. for Freight into Holland, then it costs 5 d. per l. which amounts to—186,666134
Ditto 5000 Tons sold in Holland at 12 d. per l. the profit being 7 d. per l. will a­mount to—261,33368

But this Commodity is grown so necessa­ry, and has so obtain'd, and is of such gene­ral Use, that it may be sold in Holland at Six Shillings per l. which is less than any of the other Spices, as Cheap in India as Pepper.

Then 5000 Tons sold in Holland at 6s. per l. the pro­fit being 5 s. 7 d. per l. will amount to—2,498,836134

If from the Single Article of Pepper, such a Sum as 2,498,836 l. may be rais'd, It will not be difficult to conceive, That by raising the Price of other Spices, Wrought Silks, Callicoes, Raw Silks, Salt Petre, and other Indian Goods, the Hollanders by an entire Monopoly of this Trade, may drein the rest of Europe, every Year, of, at least, Six Millions.

[Page 61] Considering their Naval Force, and their Competition with us in Trade, Such an addition of Wealth must make them a very Formidable People.

And though they may not peradventure turn their Strength to hurt the Traffick or Peace of England, yet, 'tis no very remote fear, to apprehend That notwithstanding all their Riches, they may at last become a Prey to France.

And if the French, with the Dutch Ship­ping in their right, and as their Lords, should once become Masters of this Rich Trade, such an Accession to that Wise, Well Peopled, and Large Empire, must prove our Ruin.

And I must here take Notice, That (as I am inform'd) all the Salt-Petre, produc'd in this side of the World, is not sufficient to take such a Place of Strength as Dunkirk. If the Fact be so, as War is made now, must not whatever Country can obtain the sole Trade to India, and the Monopoly of that Commodity, give Laws to the rest of Europe?

The principal Care, My Lord, incumbent upon Persons in Your Station, is very Cau­tiously to weigh New Councils, to which You are adapted by Nature and Practice.

[Page 62] Wise Men will never engage in Rash Advices; from whence, if they succeed not, there is no good Retreat: And, Empericks of State only, will be tampering at every turn, with the Body Politick, and ventu­ring upon bold and unsafe Remedies.

That the Common People want Work, That there is a general deadness of Trade, And that our Home Manufactures are in an ill Condition, must certainly be granted; But these Mischiefs proceed not from the Importation of East-India Goods, and may be plainly assign'd to other Causes.

UPON the Whole Matter, My Lord, I am of Opinion (with Submission to better Judgments) that the intended Prohibitions of East-India and Persia Wrought Silks, &c. will be destru­ctive to the Trade in General, and hazard its being utterly lost to the Kingdom.


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