« PreviousContinue »
On an average of the same period the Bri
tis and Foreign exports to Ireland amounted to
2,733.870 16 On an average of three years (the last year,
1798, not being yet made out in the account given in), the imports from the world amounted to
16,734,541 117 On an average of four years preceding
the sth of January, 1799, the exports to the world
30,053,664 17 10 Observe that the above values are computed agreeably to the ancient eftimates in the Inspector General's Office, which estimates are upon an average about 70 per cent. beneath the real and present value of the articles.
Such is the comparative commerce of Great Britain with Ireland, on a fair average of four years, and of the commerce of Great Britain with the world. We shall now take another view of it under those two heads during the last year, whereby the advantages, and disadvantages will appear beyond the power of contradiction in the self-evi. dence of figures.
The TOTAL imports of 1798 into Great
Britain not being yet made out, we shall take the valuc of the preceding year, 1797
£. 21,013,956 Total exports, 1798, £ 33,65 5,396 Whole trade with the world,
Imports from Ireland into Great Britain dur. ing 1798,
£2,734,362 Exports during do. to Ireland
British manufactures . 1,676,648
Foreign merchandize, k. 1,376,218 Whole trade with Ireland,
L. 5,727,229 Valued according to the ancient rates, or about 70 per cent. bencath the
Thus we see clearly what is the value of the Irish commerce, and what is the value of the whole commerce of Great Britain. It now remains to consider the Revenues
arising to Great Britain from these respective sources of commerce.
By the Inspector General's account, it appears that the amount of the revenue of customs collected from that part of the trade of Great Britain carried on with Ireland, was in the year ending the 5th January, 1799,--47,542 l. The amount of the revenue of customs, collected from the total trade of Great Britain 6,899,8351.
Hence therefore it is obvious and incontrovertible, that, while Ireland enjoys more than a ninth part of the commerce of Great Britain, that commerce, which it might be supposed would contribute a proportionate (that is a ninth) part to the revenues, does not contribute an hundred and forty-fifth part.
Consequently, by comparing the British commerce with Ireland, and with other nations, and by comparing the customs paid respe&ively by them to Great Britain for that commerce, it appears obviously, and beyond the possibility of doubt, that Ireland has an advantage over other nations as 145 to nine; a superiority unexampled in all the systems of jealous commerce since time began. For Britain losos so much in her revenues; she has facrificed so much to fofter and favour Ireland; to elevate her near herself in commercial rank, and now the would unite her in her unparallcled greatness. She has not only facrificed a sixteen-fold loss in her public revenues, which she might have gained by the same trade with other countries; but, in the view of commercial purchase and individual calculation, she pays 25 per cent. more to Ireland for those articles, than the might procure the same for from other nations. Therefore, the balance of the account ftands thus :-the public revenue of Great Britain sustains a loss in the trade of Ireland, on the comparative proportion of its commerce, as 145 to 9; that is, the receives an hundreth forty-fifth part, where a ninth part is the proportion; or, to make it still
more clear, she receives about one thousand out of every fixteen thousand that might be expected. Further, this is not merely so much gain to Ireland, but a source of incalculable gain through its results, on her productive labours. -It goes however further : the private consumer in Britain pays 25 per cent, more to Ireland than he need pay, were the same articles for his consumption taken from other nations, and which form the chief and almost entire trade of that country. What then is the additional refult of this gain throughout its effects on the industry of Ireland?
But the advantages of British commerce to Ireland go ftill further.
On an average of the three last years, the annual imports of the produits and manufačtures of Ireland into Great Britain, amounted to 5,510,8251. whereas on a like average, the exports of the products and manufactures of Great Britain, amounted to but 2,087,672 1. Here then is a balance of 3,425,1531. in favour of Ireland, operating upon the great system of national industry.
But the advantages of British commerce to Ireland go Atill further,
British protection and connexion have opened to Ireland new channels for her manufactures ; in return for which she imports foreign articles, and then exports these foreign articles to Britain. On an average of the three laft years, she has supplied Britain with foreign commodities to the annual amount of 191,864 1. and in return for those she has taken from Britain, articles of the nature of raw materials, which are the elements of internal industry in Ireland to the amount of 447,4771.
But the advantages of British commerce to Ireland go Atill further. We may, however, be interrupted and asked -Does not Ireland take, beside these raw materials, (wbich she cannot get elsewhere) the woollen and cotton manufactures of Great Britain Granted: but it is a feather in the
balance of her trade. Let us see what is the relative pro-
Total value of woollen manufactures exported in one year,
preceding the 5th of January, 1799, £. 6,836,603 Ditto to Ireland,
Thus then without heeding fractions, we may say that there is but a twelfth part of her woollen manufactures exported to Ireland. Now let us fee che value of the cottons:
The Total Export of cottons during one year preceding the
5th January, 1799, amounted to £ 3,497,197 Ditto to Ireland
Thus then the exports to Ireland are about a thirty-lecond part of the whole. And what has been given for those by Ireland ? her native products, and the manufactures of her industry. Beside, where else than in Great Britain could those articles of woollen and cotton have been procured, of so good a quality, and at fo cheap a ráte? No where on the globe. Whereas the linens taken in return for them could have been procured at a much more modea rate rate, from various countries. What proportion, too, does the value of these two branches of woollen and cotton bear to the value of Irish linens? So little (as will appear hereafter) that Ireland takes further from Britain, in order to make up the balance, and as stated by the present Speaker of the House of Commons of Ireland, “ Salt for fisheries and provisions ; hops, which she cannot grow; coals, which The cannot raise; tin, which she has not; and bark which she cannot get elsewhere; and all these without reserving any duty, or a power to impose any on them, though her own subjects pay two, three, or four Thillings a chaldron for coals,
sent coaft ways, and in London ten shillings.” (Mr. Fofter's speech Woodfall's report, p. 110). Such is the present Speaker's statement of the trade. And as to the foreign produce which she takes from Great Britain, the whole during one year ending the 5th January, 1799, amounts to 1,412,504 l. according to the real value, and which she could not poslibly procure from any other market at so moderate a rate. This will be perceived when it is ftated that four of these articles are tea, muslins, pepper, sugar, and amount to about 900,000 l. of the foregoing fum. But it Mould not be loft fight of, and therefore it may be repeated, that all these articles were not only procured in Great Britain cheaper than elsewhere; but were also taken in return to balance the extensive exports of Irish products and manufactures. But the advantage of the British commerce to Ireland goes still further.
It is of such importance, that in Mr. Foster's words (p. 109) “ It is almost necesary to her existence.” The linen trade of Ireland is by much the greatest portion of its commerce and of that trade, about nine-tenths depend upon Britain. What then are the dangers, which menace this trade, without an incorporative Union? They are inevitable ruin. Without political separation, without rebellious commotion, or without civil sock in Irelandcommercial consequences muft alone diffolve the trade of
Its own prosperity prepares its death warrant under its present relations; every further advance to success is a step nearer to the grave.
The watchfulness of Great Britain over her trade and navigation, which constitute the fources of her power and her fplendor, was sufficiently marked for Ireland, by the Committee of the Lords of Trade. It was this commercial vigilance that appointed them to investigate the Irish Alt for granting BOUNTIES on the EXPORT of the linen and hemper