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firmed by statute. Jay's treaty of 1794 made no change in our relations with the colonies. In 1806 failure again attended an attempt to arrange the trade between the colonies and the United States. The embargo effected by a violent operation what negotiation bad been vainly endeavoring from 1783 to 1807 to bring about the admission of American vessels into the ports of the Engli-h colonies. War put a stop to the colonial trade in English vessels ; the trade had become 30 valuable, so necessary to the colonies, that England was compelled to allow it in American vessels, and the ports of the Provinces were opened.
The convention of 1815 seems to have been dictated, on the part of England, by the very policy indicated by Lord Liverpool's report, both in what it granted and what it withheld. It established reciprocity and freedom of navigation between the territories of his Britannic Majesty in Europe" and the territories of the United States, and extended also certain privileges in the Indies. But the coasting trade was carefully reserved, as is likewise the case with the navigation act of 1849. And there the convention stops. Admission of our ships into colonial ports does not, in fact, seem to have been even the subject of negotiation. In this way was secured to England an advantage which this same report had pointed out twenty years before. An English vessel had the advantage of a double voyage--an open and a privileged one. It could bring a cargo from England to an American port, take a cargo to a colonial port, and from the colonial port sail with freight to England, or perhaps to the West Indies, and so home. Its American rival could not follow it in this profitable circuit. “The whole of this branch of trade," said Lord Liverpool, “may also be considered as a new acquisition, and was attained by your Majesty's order in council.”
The following figures, from one of Mr. Andrews tables, show the unequal working of this system, since 1830 :
ABSTRACT OF TONNAGE, AMERICAN AND BRITISH, ENTERING AND CLEARING AT BOSTON
AND NEW YORK.
1829... 1832 1835 1840. 1845. 1848
AMERICAN VESSELS. Entered. Cleared. 9,896 5,918 7,642 6,771 8,580 9,493 24,677 10,708 15,825 18,390 19,488 23,312
BRITISH VESSELS, Entered. Cleared. none.
none, 13,241 20,583 30,996 34,149 42,586 42,964
87,403 102,382 137,423 167,136
16,094 35,045 1835
12,748 27,748 1840.
14,918 34,290 1845
15,888 41,434 1818.
42,171 128,669 This unequal advantage was a constant and just ground of complaint to American merchants, until the navigation act of 1849 swept away at once all ungenerous restrictions.*
There had previously, however, been a partial relaxation of this restrictive colonial policy. It was a frequent subject of diplomatic correspondence from 1815 to 1830.
* June 26, 1849.
“ There has not been a moment,” wrote Mr. Clay, when Secretary of State in 1826, to Mr. Vaughan," since the adoption of the present constitution, when the United States were not willing to apply the principles of a fair reciprocity and equal competition ; there has not been a time during the same period when they have understood the British Government to be prepared to adopt that principle. Though there now existed a virtual non-intercourse between the United States and the British colonics, yet there did not cease to be a mutual exchange of their respective products; or rather the export trade of the United States of commod. ities destined for the use of the British colonies continued, because it was necessary for the colonies to have those articles; and while the colonies could not receive them directly, they could and did indirectly, through the neutral islands of St. Thomas and St. Bartholomew, each of which became a sort of entrepot for our Commerce and that of the British Colonies."
Mr. Clay goes on with characteristic frankness to state that with the lower colonies, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Cape Breton, a very large illegal trade was also carried on, both by sea and across the boundary of Maine and New Brunswick. The existence of this contraband trade has always been a notorious fact.
Mr. Andrews' table of the coastwise imports and exports at Ogdensburg, the principal port of entry of the Oswegatchie district, in New York, is sufficiently signiticant:
10.000 Dry goods, groceries, &c., estimated value.
$2,106,450 Total value of imports, estimated at..
EXPORTS COAST WISE.
lbs. 190,000 Butter.
800,000 Total value of exports, estimated at..
$311,084 “ The discrepancy,” says Mr. Andrews, “ between the value of imports and exports is accounted for by the fact of a large illicit traffic with Canada being in existence. Tea, tobacco, whisky, sugar, coffee, &c., imported coastwise into Og. densburg, find their way into Canada---a moiety of which is only cleared at the Custom-house; and notwithstanding every precaution, horses, cattle, and a variety of articles, are smuggled into our territory in return.”
Until 1830 England clung to her restrictive policy. While we were ready to give everything, England would only give half. While the convention of 1815 proposed freedom of navigation in all our territories, England restricted it to her territories in Europe. Congress was compelled, by acts of 18th of April, 1818, and 15th of May, 1820, to close our ports to colonial shipping.
Mr. McLean's negotiations finally effected the arrangement embodied in the order in council of November 6th, 1830, and the President's proclamation of the same month. American vessels are allowed to enter, load, and unload at certain colonial ports, and British and colonial vessels are admitted
• Report, p. 516.
to the same privileges at the ports of delivery designated by a circular of Mr. Secretary Meredith in 1819.
What is the precise effect of the navigation act of 1849 upon the restrictions which the arrangement of 1830 still left upon
colonial intercourse, we are not prepared to say, nor do we know that there has been any official declaration or announcement of the entire removal of the restrictions as to ports of entry. If, as we suppose, the effect of that act is to open all colonial ports as well as the navigation of the St. Lawrence, then it is the duty of our government, in the spirit of the rule of reciprocal equality which has guided our commercial policy, to sweep away the restrictions as to the ports of delivery which that same rule dictated in Mr. Secretary Meredith's circular.
Navigation and trade are the two great subjects of commercial legislation and arrangement. We have traced ihe progress of freedom in the Provinces, in regard to navigation. The growth of freedom of trade is equally marked. The restrictions of the British tariff, to which, at first, the imports and exports of the Provinces were entirely subjected, excluded foreign products, and particularly foreign manufactures, as rigidly as the navigation act excluded foreigu shipping. Subject to the control of Parliament, the colonies imposed duties for revenue; but for a long period the receipts from this and all other sources were insufficient for the ordinary expenses of government and the military force maintained among them. The provinces were dependent upon England for the payment of their civil list. The territorial receipts from public lands were entirely insufficient to cover this outlay, or reimburse the home government. In 1806, according to Martin, the public income of Canada was £29,116, and the expenditure £35,134. Thus all control of the supplies, that great lever of modern liberty, was beyond the reach of the people of the Provinces. The business of legislation amounted to little more than municipal arrangements, like parish matters in England, like proceedings of Supervisors in New York. But the Provinces grew; population came; wealth came. The people became able, they were expected, they were willing, to pay for their own government. On the other hand, they naturally felt that they were entitled to the benefit and control of revenues from all sources, including the government lands. With the control of supplies, with the civil list to vote or not to vote, the Assemblies become a power in the State. We have already spoken of the political affairs of the Provinces, and we only return to the point again on account of their direct bearing on the regulations of trade. Tariffs are measures so mixed in their nature, partly political, partly commercial, enacted with the two fold purpose of controlling trade and raising revenue, that it is impossible to understand the course of commercial legislation without keeping in view the course of political affairs.
The policy of England admits and acts upon the fact of colonial growth and strength. It is only justice to say that the British cabinet is seldom now apt to be guilty of the mistake of acting with its eyes shut upon the progress of the world, and of being “too late.” At the same time that English policy has removed the restrictions which swathed and choked colonial trade, it has also withdrawn the bounties and monopolies with which it was favored in its infancy. Discriminations in favor of colonial trade and ships, and discriminations in favor of English production at the expense of the Provinces, have alike disappeared.
Until 1843 the colonial tariffs discriminated in favor of British produce and manufactures. Lord Stanley's circular of June 28, 1843, put an end
to these discriminations, and marked the first era in the commercial legislation of the colonies. From that time the products of the United States entered the Provinces on the same footing as those of England and her colonies.
The next great step was taken in 1846. Chapter 94 of the 9th and 10th year of Victoria, is an act to enable the Legislatures of certain British Possessions to repeal or reduce certain custom duties.” It enables the Provinces, in effect, to enact their own tariffs. The Canadian Legislature has actually repealed (July, 1847) several English acts, and enacted a tariff of its own. The Provinces might, under this law, discriminate against each other. But a wiser spirit animates their councils. Since 1848, Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick have enacted reciprocal tariffs on animals, grain of all kinds, timber, and many other articles. And there is now almost as com. plete free trade throughout the States of British America as between the United States.
In 1846, also, were passed the Corn Law, and the act regulating duties on timber, by which all di-crimination in favor of colonial grain was abolished, and the monopoly of colonial timber in the British market destroyed.
On the other hand, by the Canadian tariff of 1849, all discrimination in favor of English products is done away. The principle of the tariff, according to Mr. Andrews, is as follows :Agricultural products .
20 per cent. Manufactures
12 Raw materials..
18 to 75 The rate of duties upon British manufactures is said to be 2} per cent higher tban was allowed by previous tariffs under the control of Parliament. On the other hand, colonial timber, as we have seen, lost its monopoly in the British market. In short, the policy of England in regard to trade seems to be to treat the Provinces as independent States ; and this policy found its last and fullest expression in the Corn Law and Timber Act of 1846, which have done for colonial trade what the navigation act has done for colonial shipping. Together they have nearly completed the work of commercial emancipation.
In the United States the acts of legislation bearing most directly upon the trade of the Provinces, are the Tariff of 1846,* the Warehousing Actt of August 6, 1846, and a law of the same year for the allowance of drawback on foreign merchandise imported from the Provinces, and of the "transportation of the same from ports of entry on the northern frontier by land and by water, to any port or ports from which merchandise may, under existing laws, be exported for benefit of drawback, and of export with such privilege."'! The benefits of drawback and debenture, thus secured, remove all legal obstruction in the way of transit trade through the United States to and from the Provinces. The direct trade for domestic consumption is controlled by the Provincial tariffs and by our own. The rates of the Canadian tariff, upon manufactures in particular, are lower than those of the tariff of 1846. We charge, on an average, 23 per cent; their duty on manufactures is but 12} per cent. A few figures will illustrate this difference. They show the duties collected under the Canadian tariff in 1849, and the
. For the tariff see Merchants' Magazine, vol. xv., p. 300.
The act is given in the Merchants' Magazine, vol. XV., p. 309.
amounts that would have been received under the American act on the same articles :
Canadian. American, Sugars..
67.088 Unenumerated articles.....
148,889 425,575* What then are to be the future commercial relations between the United States and the States of British America ? We have attempted to trace the past progress of the Provinces in governinent, in trade, and in navigation. Mr. Andrews' elaborate statistics exhibit with great clearness and fullness the course of trade, particularly with the United States, during the last twentythree years. The future commercial policy to be adopted must be dictated by the wants and the products, the geographical position and facilities of communication of each, and we inay add, by natural political sympathies and just feelings of good neighborhood. Is there anything in the colonial position of the Provinces to prevent a free choice of policy? Is there anything in the condition of either the States or Provinces which should determine that choice against the most liberal policy of trade ?
If this commercial intercourse is free from foreign control, open to the natural laws of trade, and may be determined by the wants and products of each, it is time that we study each other's resources, that we inquire what the Provinces have to sell that we want to buy, and what wants of theirs we can supply.
The wealth of the Provinces is the natural products of the soil, the sea, and the forest. Their industry is mainly agricultural; and we are inclined to think their advantages of soil and climate have been generally underrated. There is, of course, great variety of climate in a region extending through 27° of longitude from Cape Race, the eastern extremity of Newfoundland, to Fond du Lac, the western end of Lake Superior, and from the latitude of Southern New York to Labrador. The Territories of the Provinces are not bounded with any certainty on the north. They are considered as extending to the region which divides the waters flowing into Hudson's Bay, from those running into the St. Lawrence, about the parallel 50° north. The rest of British America, with the exception of Lord Selkirk's settlement at Red River, west of Lake Superior, the vast region, stretching north and west so far as science can explore, or the enterprise of the Hudson's Bay Company's trappers can penetrate, belongs to the waste lands of the earth"; those immense tracts, such as the plains of Siberia, and Tartary, the deserts of Africa, and wildernesses of South America, constituting a vast proportion of the earth's surface, which are never destined to become the seats of fixed and sedentary civilization.
Nor is there wanting any variety of production within the area of 500,000 square miles embraced within the limit of the Provinces. There are the cod fisheries of Newfoundland; the bituminous coals, the gypsum, limestone, freestone, and iron of Nova Scotia ; the immense pine forests of New Brunswick and Lower Canada, which make the waters of the St. Jobn's, the Ottawa, and the Saguenay, the avenues of an immense and growing lumber trade; and there are the grain fields of Western Canada, rich in oats and wheat.
We can only very briefly review the imports and exports of each Province.
Merchants' Magazine, vol. xxil., p. 563.