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space of eight years, pending the American war, the West Indies was wholly subsisted without entertaining any commercial intercourse with the Thirteen States ; that during that period they were supplied by the mother country and her dependencies ; and that they not only existed, but thrived and prospered without America. It may now therefore be asked, why is the United Kingdom, together with its remaining colonies in North America, the culture and population of which have been wonderfully increased since the secession of the United States, presumed to be incompetent to supply the West India colonies, when, thirty years ago, we administered to all their wants, and that too when we had to contend against the combined naval power of France, Holland, and Spain? Fortunately, many impediments in the way of coming to a direct determination of this question are removed. The arguments of interest or prejudice, used by those who have espoused the opposite side, have been most ably refuted by the thorough official and , parliamentary investigations that have taken place, and have been triumphantly and practicably baffled by the experience of the last seven or eight years, during which time the Americans have, in a great measure, excluded themselves from the West India trade, by embargo systems and actual liostilities.
In 1794, the necessity of allowing a free intercourse between the sugar colonies and the United States of America, in American bottoms, underwent a full and thorough investigation by the privy council. In the report of the committee of council of the 31st of May in that year, there is a statement of the allegations and evidence produced, and the opinions of merchants and other persons, both for and against the alleged necessity. The result of this important enquiry was, the satisfactory conviction that by prohibiting or obstructing the intercourse between the United States and the West India Islands, the people of the United States will suffer more than His Majesty's subjects; that their lumber and provisions must perish on their hands; and that the British West India islands may be furnished with those articles without their assistance. When a fresh investigation took place in 1791, the former opinion of the committee of the privy council, respecting the competency of the British North American colonies to sup
ply the West Indies, and the necessity of confining that traffic to British vessels, was substantially and unequivocally confirmed. The report made upon that occasion, together with the memorials from our colonies in North America, in 1804, and the reports of the Board of Trade upon them, as well as the orders issued in consequence, by the administration of that day,' form as complete a body of evidence against the expediency of allowing this intercourse between the West India islands and the United States of America, as ever was submitted to the consideration of man. · The superabundance of wheat and flour before the present war was so great in Canada, that considerable cargoes were annually shipped to Great Britain, Portugal, and other parts, and it is observed by an intelligent writer on the resources of British North America “ That the temporary causes which had checked the cultivation of this province are in some respects removed, and an increased annual export of four and wheat may be depended upon, as the culture of wheat and manufacture of flour are rapidly increasing in that settlement, whence have recently been exported in one year, 800,000 bushels of wheat, and 30,000 barrels of four.”2
The facts adduced respecting the competency of these colonies, from their progressive improvement, to supply the West India islands, apply with equal or more force to the settlements of Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick; not only because their geographical situation is more advantageous to Great Britain than any other on the continent of North America, but also from their connection with Canada, the adjacent British islands, and the fisheries, and from the superior excellence and number of their harbours, they can supply, with facility, the British West India islands with every species of lumber, and the woods abound with all the various kinds of timber to be found in New England. Live-stock is raised in the greatest abundance, and sold at the lowest price; so that horses, oxen, sheep, and hogs, (formerly a material part of the shipments, from the United States,) may equally be depended upon from this
· Mr. Atcheson's Collection of Reports, &c. on Navigation and Trade, 8vo. Richardson, 1807.
? American Encroachments upon British Rights.
quarter. So great is the abundance in this respect, that His Ma jesty's navy, on the American, and occasionally that on the West In dia station, together with the king's troops in the provinces, are amply supplied, and several thousand barrels of salted beef and pork annually exported. The lands of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are well adapted for the cultivation of all sorts of grain, and of hemp, flax and tobacco. Fish can be cured and carried from Newfoundland, and the Bay of Fundy to the West Indies, at as cheap a rate as, and of a superior quality to, most of the fish that used to be sent from the United States. Herrings have hitherto been carried to the West Indies, from these two provinces, at a cheaper rate, than from Great Britain. In short, to expatiate on all the objects of which these colonies are capable, would require a volume.
The war in which we are engaged illustrates, and will speedily justify all these reasonings. It is no longer in the power of the United States to supply the British West Indies, and it becomes daily more evident that those islands can and will be supplied without their intervention. Most sincerely is it to be hoped, that the reiterated experience of the fallacy of the doctrines of the American advocates, which has been derived through the medium of war, will open our eyes, and induce us to revive, in all its vigor, the navigation, and colonial system of England, to give every species of encouragement to our colonies, and to prohibit, in future, all intercourse between the United States and the British West India Islands.
Though foreign to the more immediate object of these pages, it is equally desirable, that the Americans may be also excluded from trading with our Asiatic possessions. That most absurd anomaly in commercial policy by which foreigners were admitted to trade to British ports in India, from which the East India company excluded all other British traders, will now, it is most fervently to be hoped, from the new aspect which our oriental commerce will assume, by the partial opening of the India trade, be abandoned, never to be resumed; and this is an object likewise to be attended to in any peace with the United States of America.
Now that all former treaties are cancelled, and that the power of the sword will enable us to carry into effect such measures as may rescue us from the evil consequences of past oversights, it is to be presumed, that the British government will not allow Florida to be incorporated with the United States ;-will insist upon the free Davigation of the Missisippi, and security for its continuance;-will espouse the cause of our ancient and faithful allies, the Indians ;and will require such boundaries, securities, and checks, as will in future keep within their due confines, and curb the ambitious projects of the American republicans. The war may be said to have retrieved our lost ground and to have placed the assertion of our maritime rights wholly within our own power, unshackled by the embarrassment of improvident concessions, or of commercial treaties. · We should accordingly avoid, at the restoration of peace, entering into any commercial treaty with the United States; for we have seen, that almost every article of those which have been concluded with them, has only served to entangle us in fresh negociations, and to encourage the American government to pursue a systematic course of fraud and encroachment, whenever an article unfavorable to their views admitted of contortion or evasion. It being, thus, advisable, that no commercial treaty should be made with the United States, it will be necessary that all the bases that will have reference to the future commercial relations between the two countries, should be defined by the treaty of peace and amity; and these may be fixed in the best and easiest mode, by discharging from the discussion all questions of detail as to countervailing duties, legal or illegal importations, &c. and leaving the trade to be carried on under the municipal regulations of each country.
To conclude. The summary of what we have attempted to show the necessity of, and have warmly recommended to those whom Great Britain may charge with the adjustment of our differences with America, is,
First, a new boundary line, throughout the whole extent of North America, where our possessions and those of the United States come into contact ; keeping in view, that
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick be restored to their ancient limits, security against aggression and a free communication with Canada be obtained, without passing through the United States, and the islands in Passamaquoddy Bay be resumed by us : .
That the Americans be excluded from the navigation of the St. Lawrence, and of all its tributary lakes and waters; and
That a navigable part of the Missisippi be brought within our Canadian territories.
Secondly, A new boundary line for the Indian territory
Thirdly, No forts or military posts, to be erected by the Americans in the Indian territory, or on the boundaries, or any territorial or other jurisdiction or public property possessed by them within those limits.
Fourthly, The independence of the Indians, and the integrity of their boundaries to be guaranteed by Great Britain.
Fifthly, The Americans to be excluded from the fisheries on the coasts of British North America, incidentally on this head taking care that it be recommended in negociating with France, by no means to restore the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, or to permit the French to participate in the fisheries of Newfoundland.
Sixthly, The Americans to be excluded from all intercourse with the British West India Islands. ,
Seventhly, The Americans to be excluded from trading with our East India possessions, and their pretended right to the northwest coast of America to be extinguished for ever.
Eighthly, The Americans not to be allowed to incorporate the Floridas with their republic; and the cession of New Orleans to be required, in order to ensure to us the due enjoyment of our privilege to navigate the Missisippi ; and here it may also be a question, in how far the arrangements made between Spain, France, and America, respecting Louisiana, can come into discussion.
Lastly, No commercial treaty to be entered into with the United States, but the bases upon which trade is in future to be carried on between the two nations, to be defined and acknowledged in the treaty of peace and amity, and to be regulated by the municipal laws of each country.
Having thus reviewed and examined these objects, and produced, it is to be hoped, a conviction of the essential nature of them to the prosperity and existence of our colonial possessions in North America, we trust they will not be absorbed in the magnitude, or be suffered to merge in the weight, of those grand questions, whence the