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coasting trade, there is not a single merchant ship that enters or clears out of the enemies' ports but under neutral colours ; all their immense traffic is carried on in the name of Danes, Prussians, and Americans ; and, except in a few rare cases, where the neglect or unskilfulness of the agents has exposed the fallacy to which they are indebted for protection, this hostile trade is carried on with less risk of capture, and, consequently, at a lower rate of insurance, than that which sails under the imperial flag of England. This statement is justified by a long investigation and enumeration of particulars, from which the author seems warranted in concluding, that the produce of the enemies' colonies is at this moment brought to Europe more securely, and sold there for a lower price, than that of our own settlements.

In all this disquisition, the author has taken it for granted, that a very large proportion of the produce so transported is really and truly the property of the enemy; and that the appearance of a neutral owner in the ship papers, is entirely a fraudulent and fallacious contrivance. In comparing the enormous extent of this factitious neutral trade in the present war, with what it ever was on former occasions, the author makes the following striking observations.

Those who are but fuperficially acquainted with the subject, may perhaps be ready to suppose, that the frauds which they hear imputed to neutral merchants at this period, are like those which have always prevailed in every maritime war ; but the present cafe, in its extent and grofsness at least, is quite without a precedent.

• Formerly, indeed, neutrals have carried much of the property of our enemies ; and ġreat part of what they carried was always ostensibly their own ; but now, they carry the whole of his exports and imports, and allege the whole to be neutral. It rarely, if ever, happens, that the property of a single bale of goods is admitted by the papers to be hostile property. We are at war with all those who, next to ourselves, are the chief commercial nations of the old world ; and yet the ocean does not sustain a single keel, hips of war excepted, in which we can find any merchandize that is allowed to be legitimate prize.

France, Spain, Holland, Genoa, and the late Austrian Netherlands, and all the colonies and transmarine dominions of those powers, do not, collectively, at this hour, poffefs a single merchant ship, or a merchant, engaged on his own account in exterior commerce ; or else the neutral flag is now prostituted, to a degree very far beyond all former example.

Those who dispute the latter conclufion, muft ask us to believe, that all the once entinent mercantile houses of the great maritime countries now hostile to England, are become mere factors, who buy and sell on commiffion, for the mighty, though new-born merchants of Denmark, Prussia, and America ; for in all mberless ports and territories of our enemies, there is not one man who now openly sustains the charac


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ter of a foreign independent trader, even by a single adventure. Not & pipe of brandy is cleared outwards, nor a hogshead of sugar entered in, wards, in which any subject of those unfortunate realms has an interest beyond his commission.

• If the extravagance of this general result, did not fufficiently shew the falsehood, in a general view, of the items of pretence which compose it, I might further satisfy, and perhaps astonish the reader, by adducing particular examples of the grofs fictions by which the claims of neutral property are commonly sustained in the prize court.

Merchants who, immediately prior to the laft war, were scarcely known, even in the obscure sea-port towns at which they resided, have suddenly started up as fole owners of great numbers of ships, and sole proprietors of rich cargoes, which it would have alarmed the wealthiest merchants of Europe, to hazard at once on the chance of a market, even in peaceable times. A man who, at the breaking out of the war, was a petty shoemaker, in a small town of East Friesland, had, at one time, a hundred and fifty vessels, navigating as his property under Pruffian colours.

• It has been quite a common case, to find individuals, who confessed. ly had but recently commenced bufiness as merchants, and whole com, mereial establishments on shore were so insignificant, that they sometimes had not a single clerk in their employment, the claimants of numerous cargoes, each worth many thousand pounds; and all destined, at the fame time, with the same species of goods, to the same precarious markets.

The cargoes of no less than five East Indiamen, all composed of the rich exports of Batavia, together with three of the ships, were cotemporary purchases, on fpeculation, of a single houfe at Providence in Rhode Isand, and were all bound, as asserted; to that American port; where, it is scarcely necessary to add, no demand for their cargoes existed.

• Adventures not less gigantic, were the subjects of voyages from the colonies of Dutch Guiana, to the neutral ports of Europe ; and from the Spanish West Indies, to North America, Vessels were sent out from the parsimonious northern ports of the latter country, and brought back, in abundance, the dollars and gold ingots of Vera Cruz and La Plata. Single ships have been found returning with bullion on board, to the value of from a hundred, to a hundred and fifty thousand Spanish dollars, besides valuable cargoes of other colonial exports.

• Yet even these daring adventurers have been eclipsed. One neutral house has boldly contracted for all the merchandize of the Dutch East India Company at Batavia ; amounting in value to no less than one million feven hundred thousand pounds sterling.

• But have not, it may be asked, the means of payment, for all the rich cargoes which have been captured, undergone a judicial investigation? Yes, such flender investigation as the prize court (which of necessity proceeds on the ex parte evidence of the claimants themselves)


has power to institute ; the effect of which has been, to produce a tribe of subsidiary impoftures, not less gross than the principal frauds which they were adduced to support.' P. 95-99.

He then proceeds to support his proposition, by specifying a number of cases, in which the evidence of neutral property, though supported and attested in such a way as to force a court of law to admit and receive it, was opposed by such insurmountable circumstances of absolute incredibility, as to leave no doubt in the mind of any impartial person as to its substantial falsity. He concludes this part of his argument by stating, that, even if it were admitted that the whole of this colonial produce were really transferred to neutrals, the gain of the enemy would scarcely be less substantial; as the profits of the neutral purchasers probably would not be more considerable than the commission which must be paid them, on the other supposition, for the use of their name and flag.

In this way, our author is of opinion, that the indulgence shewn to the neutral trade, by relaxing the rule of the war 1756, has deprived us of the natural advantages of our maritime superiority, and enabled the enemy, not only to elude our hostility, but to replenish his exchequer by a revenue that might be turned, in part at least, into our own coffers; and to carry on a trade, by which our merchants and planters are undersold in the European market. This, however, he assures us, is by no means the whole of the mischief which has resulted from these

arrangements; they tend directly to the depression of our maritime power, and the exaltation of the


of France. These effects they produce, by the seduction of our seamen into the American merchant service by the temptation of high wages, and the prospect of being secure from impressment, in consequence of being presented with letters of naturalization in every port in the country; by the prisoners which are daily made by the enemies' privateers, without any possibility of reprisals upon our part; by the command which the French navy obtains of all the seafaring men in their dominions in consequence of the total suspension of their commerce; and, finally, by the discouragement of our own navy, from the impossibility of making captures, and the consequent cessation of these privateering expeditions, which formed such a school of naval enterprize, and afforded such an incentive to extraordinary courage and activity.

Such are the evils which our author ascribes to the interference of the neutral nations in the trade of the enemies' colonies. The remedy our readers will all be prepared to anticipate. We must return to the salutary and equitable rule of the war 1756, and make prize of all vessels navigating either to or from the colonial settlements of the enemy. A 4

( This • This remedy, 'he observes, cannot fail to be effectual. There will be no room for fi&itious pretences, when the immediate voyage itself, in respect to the place of departure or destination, is a sufficient cause of forfeiture; for the illegal fact must be known to every man on board ; must appear from the papers, unless all the public as well as private inftruments are fictitious ; and besides, would, for the most part, be discoverable, not only from the place of capture, and the course the ship is steering, but from the nature of the cargo on board.

• The use, therefore, of neutral bottoms in the colonial trade, would foon be found by our enemies to yield them no protection. They would hoift again their own commercial colours ; and either restore to us all the fair fruits of an unrefifted naval superiority, or, by sending out convoys for the protection of their trade, open to us again that ancient field of offensive war, in which we are sure to be victorious. Our feamen would be enriched, our imports would be very largely increased, and every western breeze would waft into the channel, not a neutral fail or two to furnish diplomatic squabbles and litigation in the Admiralty, but numerous and valuable prizes, and sometimes entire fleets of merchant. men with their convoys, taken from open enemies and under hoftile colours. The captive Aags of France, Holland, and Spain, would again be incessantly seen at Plymouth and Spithead drooping below the British enfigns; and the spectacle would recruit for our navy far better than the most liberal bounties,

• Then, too, the enemy would be often obliged to hazard his squadrons and fleets, for the relief of his colonies, as was usual in former wars ; and the known partiality of Bonaparte to these possessions, especially to the Windward Antilles, would perhaps induce him to incur risks for their protection, greater than those which their value in a national view inight warrant.

p. 141-3 Next comes the question of right ;-and here our author, we cannot help thinking, is too concise and dogmatical. He says, in the first place, that the neutrals themselves have recognized the whole principle of the rule 1756, by submitting to that modification of it which still restrains their intercourse with the hostile colonies. He then refers, in a very triumphant manner, to the following short exposition of this principle, contained in a judge

of Sir W. Scott at the Admiralty, “The general rule is, that the neutral has a right to carry on, in time of war, his accustomed trade to the utmost extent of which that accustomed trade is capable. Very different is the case of a trade which the neutral has never possessed, which he holds by no title of use and habit in times of peace, and which, in fact, he can obtain in war by no other title than by the success of the one belligerent against the other, and at the expense of that very belligereit under whose success he sets up his title ; and such I take to be the colonial trade, generally speaking. • What is the colonial trade, generally speaking? It is a trade ge


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nerally shut up to the exclufive use of the mother country to which the colony belongs ; and this to a double use the one, that of supplying a market for the consumption of native commodities, and the other, of furnishing to the mother country the peculiar commodities of the colonial regions : to these two purposes of the mother country, the general policy respecting colonies belonging to the states of Europe, has restricted them.

« With respect to other countries, generally speaking, the colony has no existence. It is possible that, indirectly and remotely, such colonies

may affect the commerce of other countries. The manufactures of Germany may find their way into Jamaica or Guadaloupe, and the sugar of Jamaica or Guadaloupe into the interior parts of Germany; but as to any direct communication or advantage resulting therefrom, Guadaloupe and Jamaica are no more to Germany than if they were settlements in the mountains of the moon. To commercial purposes they are not in the same planet. If they were annihilated, it would make no charm in the commercial map of Hamburgh. If Guadaloupe could be funk in the sea by the effect of hoftility at the beginning of a war, it would be a mighty lofs to France, as Jamaica would be to England, if it could be made the subject of a fimilar act of violence ; but such events would find their way into the chronicles of other countries as e. vents of difinterested curiofity, and nothing more.

“ Upon the interruption of a war, what are the rights of belligerents and neutrals respectively, regarding such places ? It is an indubitable right of the belligerent to possess himself of such places, as of any other possession of his enemy. This is his common right; but he has the certain means of carrying such a right into effect if he has a decided superiority at sea. Such colonies are dependent for their exiftence, as colonies, on foreign supplies; if they cannot be supplied and defended, they must fall to the belligerent of course ; and if the belligerent chooses to apply his means to such an object, what right has a third party, perfe&ly neutral, to step in and prevent the execution ? No existing intereft of his is affected by it; he can have no right to apply to his own use the beneficial consequences of the mere act of the belligerent, and to fay, 6 True it is, you have, by force of arms, forced such places out of the exclusive poffeffion of the enemy; but I will share the benefits of the conqueft, and, by sharing its benefits, prevent its progress. You have, in effect, and by lawful means, turned the enemy out of the possession which he had exclusively maintained against the whole world, and with which we had never presumed to interfere ; but we will interpose to prevent his absolute surrender, by the means of that very opening which the prevalence of your arms alone has effected ;,fupplies shall be sent, and their products shall be exported : you have lawfully destroyed his monopoly, but you shall not be permitted to possess it yourself; we in. fift to share the fruits of your victories ; and your blood and treasure have been expended, not for your own interest, but for the common benefit of others."

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