The Substance of the Bill against Clandestine Trade which concerns Merchants.

1. SETS forth, That all Foreign Ships hovering, or in the Limits of any Port, tho' bound elsewhere, having Foreign Goods on board, and shall remain in the Limits of any Port, Wind and Weather permitting to pur­sue the Voyage, the Master shall declare on Oath the whole Loading, where Consigned, and who are Proprietors; and on Refusal, to make such Oath, such Refusal shall be Con­strued to make an Importation thereof; and the said Goods shall be obliged to pay the Duties, or be liable to be seized as Prohibited Goods.

2. Every Person, making Entries at the Custom-House, shall be obliged to make Oath, That he believes all the Goods that he so enters, are of the Country of which he enters the same; otherwise, to be liable to pay the highest Duties for that sort of Goods, as that sort of Goods pays from any Country whatsoever.

3. All Wines to be Imported in certain Casks, that shall contain neither more nor less than the Aliquot Parts of a Tun, accounting the Tun 252 Gallons, the Butt, or Pipe, not exceeding 126 Gallons, the Puncheon 84 Gallons, the Hogshead 63 Gallons, the Tearce 42 Gallons, the Quarter Cask 31 Gallons and ½ on Penalty of, &c.

4. Masters of Ships, in Ballast, to make Oath he brought no Goods, nor was any Goods deliver'd out of his Ship in his Voyage; and if he be found to prevaricate, the Ship to be Forfeited.

REASONS Humbly Offer'd against several Clauses in the BILL

1. THIS is humbly conceived to be against the Law of Nations: And if it be consider'd, how frequent it is for Foreign Ships to lie in the Downs, and other Limits of our Ports, for other Reasons than being Wind-bound, viz. for Orders, and many other Accidents that Shipping is lya­ble to; the Question need not to have been (if they had Fo­reign Goods on board) as if the Clause intended to ease some Foreign Ships; but it is most certain, That all Fo­reign Ships have Foreign Goods on board, and therefore are all obliged to discover their Secrets of their Voyage on Oath, or be liable to Forfeiture.

If this pass into a Law, it will give a Liberty to the Offi­cers of the Customs to insult Strangers, tho' never so inno­cent, and consequently we must expect the like Usage all the World over.

Note, All Ports, Roads, and Harbours hitherto, have been free to Foreigners in Amity, to come into, to go out of, or remain as long as their Occasions require.

2. This Clause lays the Stress upon the Oath of the Im­porter, and will be so far from preventing Clandestine Tra­ding, that it will encourage the same, viz. Supposing an Ill Dealer, that values not his Oath, Imports 100 Tun of French Wines, and enters it, and swears it's of any other Country, he then pays 3000 l. less than the Fair Dealer, that will not make such Oath.

3. This Clause is to oblige a Merchant to that which is not possible for him to perform, there being no Cask made now in Europe so exact, neither is it in the Power of Mer­chants, to oblige Princes and States to alter their Casks settled by their Laws; and if such a Clause should pass into a Law, they shall be necessitated to give over Trade.

4. This Clause subjects the Forfeiture of the Ship, for the Act of the Master or Seamen, though they have not any property in her, and will discourage Merchants to build, or bear any part in Shipping.

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