« VorigeDoorgaan »
established in 1815, and modified by successive | Nevertheless, although it is conceded that natire mitigations into the sliding-scale of 1812, the agri- industry is not to enjoy a monopoly; and that the cultural interest learnt to believe that their prosper-producers of Great Britain and Ireland are to be ity was identified with protection, and that rents exposed to the salutary competition of the whole would fall, or the land even go out of cultivation, if world; yet there still abides among us a delusionthe duties on foreign corn were not maintained. partly sentimental and partly politic—that protecDuring the same period, partly by the extension of tion ought to be given to colonial industry. We the market for our own manufactures, and partly by ought not, it is granted, to protect native hardthe repeal of protective duties on foreign manufac- ware, or silks, or corn; but we ought to protect tures-commenced by Mr. Huskisson, continued the sugar or coffee of the West and East Indies ; by the administrations of Lord Grey and Lord Mel- the wines of the Cape, and the timber of Canada; bourne, and consummated by Sir Robert Peel-the and to give these products the monopoly of the manufacturing and, to a great extent, the trading British market, to the exclusion of cheaper and classes of the country, had been deprived of their better foreign articles, and to our own manifest and interest in favor of commercial restrictions. Their undeniable detriment. It appears to us that the opinions and conduct, no longer misled by self-re- time has now arrived, when this question deserves garding considerations, naturally inclined to that a separate consideration in this Journal; and we policy which is favorable to the interests of the therefore propose, without going into details, or general public. Hence there were petitions in expressing opinions on the expediency of particular favor of free-trade, signed by the principal mer- rates of duty, to lay before the reader our views chants and traders of London; hence the Anti-corn- upon the origin and policy of the system of protectlaw League—a body mainly composed of members ing the produce of British colonies, by discriminating of the manufacturing interest, and supplied with duties levied in the ports of the United Kingdom. funds by their contributions-attacked the protec- When the European nations had, in consequence ion enjoyed by the agriculturist, instead of making of the extension of navigation, formed distant settleommon cause with them, for the maintenance of ments in America and Asia, the main advantage to Il protective duties; and even proclaimed its advo- be derived by a mother country from the possession cacy of universal free-trade. It is by this separa- of colonies and dependencies, was supposed to contion of interests that the cause of the consumer, of sist in the monopoly of their trade. This monopoly, the mere member of the general public, not belong- as Bryan Edwards has remarked," had a very wide ing to any organized body, or enrolled under the extent. It consisted in the monopoly of supply, the standard of any peculiar interest-has become tri- monopoly of export, and the monopoly of manufacumphant. The joy of King Priam at the quarrels ture. The colony was permitted to trade only with of the Grecian chieftains could not have exceeded the mother country, and was prohibited from comthe wondering delight with which Adam Smith mercial intercourse with the rest of the world. It . would have heard of the English manufacturers and was compelled to receive its supplies, both of raw traders having become the champions of free-trade, and manufactured articles, from the same source. and assailing the protective duties on agricultural It was compelled to bring its produce to the same produce. So long as all the powerful interests of market, and to bring it in a raw state; in order à community-agricultural, manufacturing, and that the natives of the paramount nation might <commercial-are bound together in a compact and enjoy the profits derivable from its manufacture.
firm alliance for the maintenance of a prohibitive What the colony had to sell, it was to sell at a isystem of import duties, the unconnected, undisci-cheap rate to the mother country. What it had to „plined aggregate of consumers are, in the present | buy, it was to buy at a dear rate from the mother state of opinion and intelligence, utterly helpless country. against such a coalition. But if, from any circum- Upon this jealous and restrictive system, not only stances, the interests of those who have to sell the foreign possessions of Spain and Holland, and 'begin to conflict, the cause of those who have to buy the other continental countries, were administered, has some chance of success. Such has already but even those of England, up to the American 'been the case in England; and we will venture to war. So completely had it been established in predict, that, so soon as the protected interests of opinion as well as practice, that this was the natural France, Germany, and the United States, begin to relation between a dependent colony and its mother fall out amongst themselves-s0 soon as they cease country, that the American colonies of England to make a common prey of the consumer, and are acquiesced in the system; and would doubiless found to do more harm to one another than to the have, for a time at least, retained their allegiance public--then, and not till then, will the prohibitory in spite of its existence, if the attempt to tax them tariffs of these countries be relaxed.
directly for the benefit of the mother country had Since the open transition of Sir Robert Peel and not been made. Sir James Graham to the cause of universal free- The American war and its event gare to the trade, and the introduction of the comprehensive world a memorable lesson on the necessity of modmeasure of commercial reform at the beginning of eration and forbearance in the exercise of the this session, it may be said that, with one exception, rights of a mother country over its colonies. The all the leading statesmen of the present day-all writings of Adam Smith and his followers, like the public men who are likely, for some years to wise, by degrees opened the eyes of the English come, to guide the deliberations of Parliament- government and people to the mischievous effecs are favorable, not merely to the abstract principles of the old colonial system ; so that, since the end of freedom of commerce, but to their practical appli- of the last century, the commercial restrictions cation, and their adoption as rules of legislation. It is now generally admitted, that the protection of l * History of the West Indies, vol. ii., p. 565. The native British industry, whether manufacturing or subject of Colonial Trade, with the various restrictions upon the English colonies have been relaxed, and a subjects herself to certain disadvantages of a like more liberal policy has been adopted.
and regulations by which it has been fettered, and ibe agricultural, by means of duties on imports, intended
consequences of these restrictions, is well treated by Mr. not for revenue but for exclusion, is a false and Merivale, in his Lectures on Colonization and the Code vicious system, and is to bo abandoned in practice. nies, vol. i., chapters 7 and 8.
nature, for the sake of the colony. The two comMuch of the old exclusive system is however re- munities make an alliance for mutual injury, to be tained by Holland, France, and Spain, in the few voluntarily inflicted on each other, and to be borne colonial possessions which these countries possess.* by each party without complaint. The contract is Thus, as the Spaniards formerly prohibited the cul- not, as in natural and unregulated commerce, Dout tivation of the vine and olive in their American des; but Ledo ut lædas. The balance of profit colonies; so the French now prohibit the cultiva- and loss, when reduced to its elements, stands tion of the vine in Algeria ;t a settlement whose thus: I make a gain by doing you an injury; and, agricultural prosperity would not seem to threaten in compensation, I permit you to make a similar gain any serious danger to the most timid and jealous of by doing me a similar injury. It seems like an the vine-growers of France. England still main- attempt to embody the lex talionis in mercantile tains, for the benefit of the native sugar-refiners, the transactions. And thus far the plan is successful. prohibition to refine sugar in her West India | The injury which each party undertakes to inflict Islands; although this manufacture could be carried on the other, is actually inflicted and punctually on profitably in those colonies. The distillation of suffered. But (as we shall see presently) the benespirits from sugar in the United Kingdom is like-fit which is to accrue to both parties, is often altowise prohibited ; and this prohibition is still en- gether absent, and is never fully enjoyed. So far forced, although it can have little practical effect. as the scheme involves a loss, it is always successHowever, since the abolition of the commercial ful; so far as it promises a profit, it is generally unprivileges of the East India Company, and the per- successful. mission of a direct trade in provisions between our The most remarkable case in which this policy West India Islands and the United States, by the has been pursued by England, are Canada timber reforms of Mr. F. Robinson and Mr. Huskisson, the and corn, West India sugar, spirits, and coffee, and English colonies are subject to no very material re- Cape of Good Hope wines. strictions, as to industry and trade, imposed for the During the late war, in consequence of the seizbenefit of the mother country. I
ure of the Danish fleet, and the rupture with DenWhile this restrictive system was, to a consider mark in 1807, it was feared that the supplies of able extent, still maintained for the English colon- Baltic timber might be interrupted. And although, ies, a plan of reciprocity was devised, which was to up to the first years of this century, England was compensate the colony for the restrictions to which exclusively supplied with timber from the Baltic, it was subjected. It was thought that the sacrifices and had not derived any supplies from North Amermade by the mother country and colony ought to be ica, yet it must be admitted that there was some mutual ; that, if the mother country enjoyed a pref- ground for this apprehension. The price of Memel erence in the market of the colony, the colony timber, which in 1802 had been 785. per load, ought to enjoy a preference in the market of the rose in 1809, with only a slight increase of duty, to mother country. A system of discriminating duties, 320s. per load. Accordingly, Mr. Vansittart, the by which an advantage was given to colonial pro- chancellor of the exchequer, and Mr. George Rose, duce imported into the mother country, was accord- the president of the board of trade, devised the ingly introduced. The theory of this contrivance is singular plan of providing against this contingency, as follows :—the mother country knowingly sub- by an immense increase in the duties on Europeai. jects the colony to certain commercial or industrial timber, and an almost total repeal of those on disadvantages, for her own sake. In return, she | American timber. This discrimination of duties has
been mitigated by various changes since the peace, * On the commercial system adopted by Spain and Hol- particularly by the tariff of 1842; but even, after the land towards their respective colonies, ste M'Gregor's alteration made by the tariff act of this session, the Commercial Tariffs, Part vi., p. 154 ; Part xiii., p. 121. interval is still very wide, as will appear by a comIt appears that Spain has now relaxed all the rigor of parison of the three first items under the head of her ancient colonial monopoly. + See The French in Algiers, p. 74. It is a singular
timber. circumstance, that the Romans had made a similar prohibition in Gaul, when it was a dependent province.
Timber or wood, not beingl From foreis) From British "Nos vero, justissimni bomines, (says Cicero,) qui Tran
deals, hattens, boards, staves, countries. Jarter sth April, 1848. salpinas gentes oleam et vitem serere non sinimus, quo
handspikes, oars, lathwood, / 7
£ s. d. £ s. d. pluris sint nostra oliveta nostræque vineæ ; quod quum
or other timber or wood, faciamus, prudenter facere dicimur, juste non dicimur."
sawn, split, or otherwise De Republica, iii. 9.
dressed, per load of fifty cu. IM. Thiers, in his Histoire du Consulat et de l'Em
bic feet, . . . . .:
1- 16 - 10 pire, liv., xvi., ad init., (tom. iv.,) has iinagined a strange
deals, battens, or other theory in order to account for the relaxation of the colo
timber, for wood, sawn, or nial monopoly, without tracing it to a more enlightened split, per load of nity cubic
20 state of opinion upon political and commercial subjects. - The European nations the says) produce what they
- staves, per load of fifty!
cubic feet, . . . . . . used to import; instead of being commercial they are
- 18 0
2 0 manufacturing ; instead of importing sugar, muslins, and The result of this system has been, that an imcotton prints, they make these articles for themselves at home. . Au grand spectacle de l'ambition coloniale a suc- mense importation of the inferior timber of Canada cédé de la sorte le spectacle de l'ambilion manufacturierement has taken place ; and that the good and cheap timber This view embodies another forin of the favorite fallacy of the north of Europe has been in great measure exof commercial independence. It may be remarked, that cluded. Cases even occurred of ships being laden in proving the worihlessness of colonies in the present
is in the Baltic with timber, and making the voyage to state of the world, M. Thiers may seem to console his countrymen by an argument somewhat similar to that in Canada and back to England, in order to introdaco the fable of the fox and the grapes. Of India, the value of their cargo as American timber. The timber trade which used to be greatly magnified by French politicians, between England and Canada, as compared with he disposes as follows:--"L'Inde enfin, sous le sceptrel that between England and the Baltic, has for the de l'Angleterre, n'est plus qu'une conquête ruinée par les progrès de l'industric Européenne, et employée à nourir
last few years been nearly as ten to one. The quelques officiers, quelques cominis, quelques magistrats rates which are introduced by the act of this seasit de la métropole."
still leave an immense protection to Canada timber
while they nearly sacrifice the revenue upon an ination founded on a new principle has been intro article of large importation, not subject to contra- duced. Under the act of last year, the duties stand band.
thus, until the 5th of July, 1846. The Cape of Good Hope was acquired by England in 1795, and finally annexed to the crown in
| Brown sugar, produce of a Brit. pos- s. d. 1806.
14 O per cwt.
session, the vine had been introduced into this colony by
Do. foreign, not the produce of slave
23 4 the Dutch, through the assistance, it is said, of French refugees, after the revocation of the edict of
Do. foreign, the produce of slave la Nantes.
bor, It seems as if nature had nearly limited the making of wine to Europe. In spite of the la Rum is likewise admitted at a discriminating ter fables concerning the Indian origin of Bacchus, duty of pine shillings per gallon, while the duty on he was essentially a European deity. Nor have foreign spirits has been 22s.6d., which the tariff-act the settlements of modern states, or their improve of this session reduces to 15s. The excise duty on ments in the arts of cultivation, much extended his spirits made in England is 7s. 10d. per gallon. domain. Except Asia Minor and Persia, Madeira COFFEE imported from foreign countries is now and the Canary Isles, with some districts in Mexi- subject to a duty of 6d. per lb.; if imported from co,f the Cape is the only place out of Europe British possessions, to a duty of 4d. Previously, where wine is made. And it seems from the de- this discrimination had been as great as Is. 3d. and scription of Dr. Henderson, in his History of An- 6d., with a duty of 9d. for coffee imported from cient and Modern Wines, to be thoroughly unsuited any British possession within the limits of the East to this production. The vineyards which yield the India Company's charter, not being the produce Constantia wine have a natural fitness for the grape; thereof. Under this regulation a singular practice but the soil of the colony is in general unfavorable arose. As the Cape of Good Hope was within the to the growth of wine. Moreover, the culture is limits of the East India Company's charter, large unskilful, and the processes of the vintage are illl quantities of coffee were sent to it from Brazil, conducted ; so that, according to Dr. Henderson, a Cuba, and other foreign countries, in order to be large proportion of the wine is "execrable." Dur" colonialized," (as it was called,) and then importing the war, however, and the existence of the anti- ed into England; in other words, in order, by this commercial system of Napoleon, it was thought by circuitous navigation, to obtain the benefit of the our government that the supply of wine from the lower rate of duty. The quantities of coffee imcontinent might be interrupted, and that it would ported from the Cape, and admitted for home conbe a prudent policy to rely on the produce of a sumption in the two years, 1830 and 1812, stand British colony. Accordingly, a proclamation of thus :the governor, in December, 1811, offered great encouragement to the growth of wine at the Cape of Good Hope ;f and by an act of 1813, (53 G. III.,
1842, . . . . . . 6,149,4 c. 84,) Cape wines were admitted into the United kingdom at a third of the duty on Spanish and Por- This costly system of smuggling, (similar to that tuguese wines. With this protection, the produce mentioned above with respect to timber,) was suprose in ten years from 859,195 to 2,249,910 impe- pressed in 1842, by rendering foreign coffee so imrial gallons, (or 7335 to 19,230 leggers.) The imported liable to the high duty. The discrimination portation of Cape wines into the united kingdom, in has, moreover, been since mitigated, and amounts the year ended 5th January, 1845, was 423,336 now only to 2d. per lb. gallons; while that of French wines was only A very different feeling, with respect to the en725,308. The duty on Cape wine is 25. 9d. a couragement of colonial coffee, prevailed in the gallon, on other wines 5s. 6d.
reign of Charles II. The Lord Keeper Guilford, The British West India Islands have long en- being consulted by the government in 1679, as to joyed a preference in our market for their sugar. the jegality of coffee-houses, gave it as his opinion, During the existence of slavery, the sugar produced that " as the coffee-houses are nurseries of idleness in our islands was equal to the demand of the mo- and pragmaticalness, and hinder the consumption of ther country, and the discrimination had not much our native provisions, they may be treated as comeffect. But since the emancipation of the slaves, mon nuisances." Asproclamation was accordingly the supply of sugar has fallen off, and the exclu- issued for shutting up all coffee-houses, and forbidsion of foreign sogar has begun to operate. The ding the sale of coffee in the metropolis ; but it led quantity of sugar imported from the British West to so much complaint, especially among persons Indies into the United Kingdom, was 4,103,800 connected with the foreign and colonial trade, that cwts. in 1831, and 2,508,910 cwts. in 1842. In it was soon recalled. 1836 the duty on colonial sugar was 36s. a cwt., CORN was admitted from the British possessions on foreign sugar 63s. Since that time, the duty in North America at a discriminating duty, by the on colonial sugar has been reduced, and a discrim-31 Geo. III. c. 30, passed in 1791. This act im
posed a simple sliding-scale of duties, consisting of * Concerning the timber duties, see this Journal, vol. I only three degrees: viz., a high duty of 248. 3d. xliii., p. 341. M'Culloch's Commercial Dict., Art.
per quarter, and two low duties of 2s. 6d., and 6d. * Timber.” Porter's Progress of the Nation, vol. ii., p. 1 122. Merivale's Lectures on Colonization, vol. i., p. 202. / per quarter. By the arrangement of this scale, a
+ In California and the Mexican province of Cuihuela small preference was given to North American adjoining Texas, wine is made to a considerable extent, corn, as will appear from the following table :though not sufficient for the consumption of the country. This wine is strong and full-bodied, but the culture is unskilfu.. Some wine is made in the State of Ohio, but * On the coffee duties, see Porter's Progress of the Na. of poor quality.
tion, vol. ii., p. 118; vol. iii., p. 42. See Montgomery Martin, British Colonial Library, t See Lord Campbell's Lives of the Chancellors, vol. vol. iii., p. 236.
Tiii., p. 455.
Imported from Ire| Imported from any
I protection of imports from British colonies and posDuty on wheat per
her land or a British col. other foreign coun: sessions. We have, in order to exhibit the scale quarter. ony in N. America.
of protection afforded, divided t..ese articles into 24 31 under
eight classes ; showing the different proportions of
the duty on the foreign, to the duty on the colonial price is and under 52 and under 54
import. 0 61 at or above 52 at or above 54 Class I.-Duty on the foreign article combined
with free importation of the colonial arlicle.-AnThe act of 44 Geo. III. c. 108, (1804,) made chovies. this scale more prohibitory, by raising the points at CLASS II.-Duty on the foreign article twelve times which importation began, and at which the low and upwards. --Rice, rough and in the husk; talduty came into operation, but maintained about the low. same proportions between foreign and North Class III.-Sextuple duty.--Copper ores containAmerican corn. Ireland, with respect to the duties ing more than twenty per cent, of copper; ginon corn, remained subject to the same regulations ger preserved ; marmalade. as the North American colonies up to 1806 ; in Class IV.- Quintuple duty.- Arrowroot; butter; which year an act was passed placing its corn-trade cassava powder; eggs. on the footing of a coasting trade. On the 15th of Class V. -Quadruple duty.-Copper ores containJune, 1813, Sir H. Parnell moved certain resolu- ing not more than twenty per cent, of copper, tions on the corn-laws--stating at the same time, (nearly ;) lead, pig and sheet. that the corn-law report of that year was intended Class VI.-Triple duty.- Apples, raw; cassia ; to render the United Kingdom independent of the cheese, (nearly ;) cocoa paste, or chocolate; copContinent for the supply of corn, and to lower per ores containing not more than fifteen per prices. One of these resolutions (No. 8) was to cent. of copper; hams, (nearly :) liquorice juice, ihe effect, that corn, the growth or produce of Que (nearly ;) puddings and sausages; tamarinds; bec, or the other British colonies of North Ameri tongues, (nearly.) ca might be imported into the United Kingdom Class VII.- Double duty.-Bandstring twist; hast without duty. This proposition was not adopted ; ropes, twines, and strands ; boxes; bricks or but in the corn-law act of 1815, wheat from a Brit clinkers ; cables ; capers ; chalk ; cinnamon ; coish colony in North America was admitted when coa ; coir rope ; comfits, (dry ;) copper, unthe price was 67s. per quarter, whereas foreign wrought ; cordage; cotton manufactures ; cuwheat was not admitted until the price reached cumbers, preserved ; gauze of thread; ginger; 80s. (55 Geo. III. c. 26, s. 6.) By the act of hair; hides ; honey ; nickel, wrought; liquorice 1822, the prices at which North American and roots and paste ; do. powders, (nearly ;) mats foreign wheat could be imported were respectively and mauling; onions, poultry, alive or dead; reduced to 59s. and 70s. (3 Geo. IV. c. 60, s. 5) raisins; rice ; seeds ; starch ; tiles; tin ores ; In 1825, an act was passed (for a year, and until twine; woollen manufactures. the end of the next session of parliament) by which Class VIII.-Less than double.--Nutmegs; soap, wheat could be imported into the United Kingdom, hard and soft.* froin British possessions in North America, with
From these examples, it appears that, since the out restriction as to price, at a fixed duty of 5s. per
per end of the last century, there has been a prevailing quarter.. (6 Geo. IV. c. 64.) Up to this time the disposition to give to colonial produce a preference discriminating duty in favor of colonial wheat had
in the market of the mother country. During the been confined to the North American colonies. By
war, this disposition was strengthened by a sincere the act of 1828, wheat imported from any British
on though mistaken fear of commercial dependence, possession in North America, or elsewhere out of i
and a belief that the hostility of Napoleon would be Europe, was admitted at a nominal duty of 60.
able to close the Continent permanently against us. when the price was at or above 67s. a quarter;
Its principal source, however, was a desire to afford when below 67s. at a fixed duty of 5s. (9 Geo. IV.
encouragement to colonial industry; and by this c. 60 ) This duty was rendered suill more favora
bounty to attach the colonies more firmly to the ble to the colonial producer by the act of 5 Vict. c.
parent state. The latter policy has seemed the 14, (1842.) which converted the fixed duty of 5s.
more prudent, inasmuch as England, since the into a sliding-scale varying from 5s to Is., the
American war, has been disinclined to grant the nominal duty beginning when the price was 58s.
same popular institutions to its colonies as were With respect to Canadian wheat, this limited scale
conceded to the early settlements in North America was repealed, and a fixed duty of Is. substituted, by and the
muted, by and the West Indies. Recent acquisitions, such as the 6 and 7 Vict. c. 29, (1813.) Prior to the passing Trinidad Si
ne passin? Trinidad, St. Lucie, the Cape of Good Hope, the of the latter act, the Canada legislature imposed a v
Mauritas, Malta, and Ceylon; and recent colonies, duty of 38. a quarter upon foreign wheat imported
as those in Australia, have not received houses of into Canada. The quantity of wheat imported from
assembly. It seems, therefore, to have been * Canada into the United Kingdom has never been
thought, that for the want of free local institutions, Jarge ; in 1814 it amounted to 235,591 quarters.
some compensation might be aflorded by he grant By the measure of this session, all corn imported of commercial privileges, advantageous to the colfrom British colonies out of Europe is immediately
ely ony, and detrimental to the mother country. admitted at a noininal duty.
Having given this outline of the system pursued We have likewise extracted from our customs
DS by England with respect to its colonial trade, we tariff, as it stands after the amendments of the
I will proceed to consider whether this country would present session, the articles, not hitherto mentioned,
be justified in making colonial protection an excepwhich are subject to discriminating duties, for the
* Some of these discriminations were introduced by the * As to the unfounded alarm created among the agri- tariff of 1842. See the debate on Lord Howick's motion, callurists by this bill, see the speech of Mr. F. Robinson, house of commons, 13th May, 1812.-(63 Hansard, 5128th March, 1827.- 16 Hansard, p. 1055.
tion to the general principle of commercial freedom ; | its market, by restrictions and discriminating duties, and in retaining, for the supposed benefit of colonial and all the perverse follies which the union of industry, a system of monopoly which it renounces national jealousy with false systems of political in behalf of its own producers.
economy has engendered. If the colony were indeFor this purpose, we must begin by ascertaining pendent, it would, supposing it to understand its the view which is to be taken of the advantages true interest, admit the goods of the mother country derivable, in the present circumstances of the United upon the same terms of equality as it does when Kingdom and the world, from the possession of dependent. It would do voluntarily what it now dependent colonies.
does under compulsion. But looking to the estabThe colonies and dependencies of England yield lished errors on the subject of trade, to their geneno tribute or revenue to the paramount state. No ral currency, and to the strength and speciousness payments are made by any of our colonies into the of the prejudices with which they are associated, British Exchequer. Instead of lightening our fiscal we may be certain that such would not be its conburdens, they are sources of expense. Their product. It would, however small in extent, attempt to tection against actual or apprehended attacks is costly. set up a separate industrial and commercial system. A large part of our military and naval expenditure Certain bodies of producers and traders would raise is incurred on their account. The late hostilities in a cry about native industry; and the public, partly Afghanistan, China, and Scinde, with the recent from simplicity, and partly from pational antipathies, campaign on the Sutlej; the insurrection in Canada, would yield to the interested delusion. Some of and the preparations for the defence of Oregon; the Oriental countries, too, (as China and Japan, afford obvious instances of the onerous obligations prohibit nearly all commercial intercourse with which extensive empire imposes upon the ruling foreigners. If the obstacles opposed to our trade state. Moreover, the fortification of colonial pos- with these countries, are contrasted with the facilisessions is a further source of expense. With the ties which we enjoy for trading with Hindostan, we exception, too, of Gibraltar and Malta, and the perceive the commercial advantages which our ternewly-acquired post of Aden, they cannot be said to ritorial sovereignty may confer. For these reasons increase our military and naval strength ; inasmuch we have, in the present state of the world, a subas they scatter our forces, and extend our lines of stantial interest in the dependence of our colonies. operation over half the world. And not only do we can secure an open market and a free trade, so they create the necessity for larger military and long as we can procure a safe passage over the naval establishments in time of peace, but they seas, and maintain the allegiance of the subject terinvolve us in wars to which otherwise we should ritories. not be exposed. Beyond the very questionable Notwithstanding the limited population of most benefit of apparent power, (which may lead to jeal- of our colonies, and their contracted means of ousy as well as to fear,) we derive no advantage purchase, the extent of our colonial trade is confrom the mere supremacy over remote provinces; siderable, as compared with our trade with foreign from our being able to say that the Queen of Eng- countries. The following table will show the proland has so many million subjects, and that her portions for the three years 1839-41. dominions include so many thousand square miles ; that the sun never sets on the British Empire ; that
Declared value of British Manufactures the English language is spoken in every clime, and that the flag of England floats in every latitude.
exported That we do, however, in the present state of the world, derive much substantial advantage from our
Years. To all the World. To British Colonies. colonies, cannot be doubted: but that advantage, as it appears to us, consists, not in the barren attribute 1839 £53,233,580
£16,279,108 of sovereignty, but, principally, in the facilities 1840 51,406,430
17,378,550 which they afford for commercial intercourse.
15,153,6321 At the time of the peace of Amiens, Bonaparte had conceived the wildest schemes of colonial aggrandizement for France ; he was to establish a In round numbers, about thirty per cent. of the chain of dependencies in America, Africa, and Asia. exports of England are sent to the colonies. Con by which the influence of France would predominate sidering the great wealth of the European counover the whole world. Everything, in his mind, / tries, and the United States, and the proximity of assumed the form of conquest and military encroach the former, it is remarkable that the colonial should ment; and he could imagine no other foundation for bear so large a proportion to the foreign trade ; the greatness of France than the ruin of England. and the extent of the exports to the colonies can That two independent countries could simultane- only be explained by the freedom of intercourse ously flourish: that they could even derive benefit with them, which we owe to our political ascendfrom each other's prosperity; were, to his mind, ancy. propositions so evidently false as not to require refu- Generally, therefore, the advantages which we tation. Even Napoleon, however, accustomed as
derive from the possession of colonies may be said he was to look at everything as a general, and not to consist in this :-that, in consideration of the as a civil governor, was captivated with the commercial prospects of colonies ; and constantly associated *On the rigorous exclusion of foreign traders from with them the ideas of a mercantile marine and an
Japan, see M Culloch's Dict. of Commerce, Art. * Van
* gasacki ;” and an interesting volume on The Wannet extension of external trade.
and Customs of the Japanese, published at London in In what, however, do the commercial advantages 1841. of colonial possessions consist? They consist simply, Setting aside the territories of the East India Comas it seems to us, in the power which the mother pany, the only two dependencies of the British emos country thereby enjoys of securing a fair and open
securing a fair and open which contain a population exceeding 400,000, are Cana
Omda and Ceylon. market to her goods. They consist in her power 1 Set Porter's Progress of the Nation, vol. lii.. of preventing the colony from excluding her from p. 433.