Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

we muft likewise leave himself to explain what folid security he would require for the pacific difpofition of France through ali future times. Will he infist that the fall immediately burn all ber ships of war, abolish the use of every military weapon in the kingdom, and rase all her fortifications to the ground? These are, indeed, very harsh requifitions ; yet so positive is the author with respect to them, that he informs us, · he is against the proposed alliance (as he chooses to call it) because it is incapable of being adjusted without her giving any (some) such security to Europe. This doctrine is certainly too absurd to merit refutation, but it cannot be more erroneous than the observation immediately subjoined: And I am also against it, because we tie up our hands, and render it wholly out of our power to oppose her, whenever she feels an inclination to renew her old schemes of dominion. How, in the name of common fense, we would ask this extraordinary politician, do we tie up our hands ? If he will have them to be tied, it is only in his own imagination.

The approbation of the manufacturers is justly considered as a strong presumptive argument that the treaty will prove advantageous to this country; but this author, very wisely for his own purpose, will not admit their sentiments to be of any au. thority in this point. He goes so far as to affirm, that the more they like it, the more jealous should he be of its effects; for in that proportion it will engage their powerful interest on the fide of France, whenever the returns to the prosecution of her dangerous projects. But where will be the necessity for the interest of our manufacturers in favour of France, if, as we have been already told, we have tied up our hands, and rénder it wholly out of our power to oppose her?'

Pursuing the same train of thought, the author asks, concerning France, • Does the reduction of her army, formerly her greatest care and pride,--does the annihilation of almost every establishment by which the can save a fhilling, and the rigid application of all her resources to her marine, indicate any views of particular amity towards England ?? The author here evidently confounds the dictates of good policy with those of intemperate ambition. He makes no allowance either for the great revolution which has happened in the system of nations, or for the superior knowlege, in modern times, of the advantages arifing from extended commerce.

The very same argui ments by which he would convince us of the insidious designs of France, are equally applicable to the conduct of the British administration at present. We have reduced our army, we are increasing our navy, and every effort is exerted for augmenting the resources of the state. The arguments advanced by this author, therefore, to prove hoftility in the designs of France, are fo far from being decisive, that they betray the most une warrantable prejudice, and never can juftify, in any degree,

the

the inference which he draws, that, in the framing of the pre. sent treaty, those who hold the reins of the British governmeric are the dupes of thai nation.

This author is extremely incontent, as well as absurd, in many of his principles. At one time he entertains the idea of a very precarious peace; and, at another, prognosticates the certainty of a perpetual and uninterrupted commercial intercourse between those two nations. He carries this notion so far as to affirm, that all the trade of Great Britain will be monde polized by France; and that there must conseguently be an end to all our connections, commercial as well as polítical, with other states. I: seems as if this author had never heard one fyllable of the other commercial treaties in agitation ; or perhaps he anticipates the fatal epoch conceived in his own imagination, when France fhall, in the luft of aniverfal dominio.), have swallowed up all other nations:

It would be wearying the patience both of our readers and ourselves to pursue any farther the extravagant reveries sugë gefted by the author of this pamphlet. We shall, therefore, dismiss him with a hint, to be careful of reflecting disgrace on the understanding of the nation, by affuming, in future, the specious title of a Member of Parliament. Observations on the Agricultural and Political Tendency of the Coma

mercial Treaty. 8vo. 15. Debrett. The opponents of the commercial treaty have, for the most part, founded their arguments upon some pernicious effects, which they endeavour to sew it will produce on various manus factures in this country; but the champion now before us takes his station on more extended ground, and represents it as irre. concileable not only with the commercial, but the agricultural interests of Great Britain. He delivers his sentiments in a propofition, like the author of the pamphlet immediately pre. ceding, whom indeed he teserribles so much both in manner and priociples,.,that we strongly suspect him to be the same person with the aforesaid Whig Member of Parliament.

He fets out with observing, that the commercial treaty is incompatible with the long-eltablished principles of national policy ; by which he means nothing more than the jealousy which has long subazed between the iwo kingdoms. Admitting the exiitence of mutual jealousy, and even animosity, to be an undeniable fact, yet both reason and religion disclaim the idea that rational, aný more than personal feuds, should be rendered perpetual; and, before the author lo confidently affirmed that France has in. variabiy discovered, towards this countrò, a disposition neither to be súbdued by forcé, nor conciliated by kindness, he ought certainly to have shown in what instances we have ever endea. voured to gain her affection by that means. The basis upon #hich this author affects to reft his illiberal policy; is the safety of the nation ; but the safety of the nation cannot suffer the

Smaldest

ܐ ܝܐ

{mallest diminution by the commercial treaty; and our national ftrength will be greatly increased, by the additional resources of wealth and population, which will be the natural result of extended commerce.

The hackneyed and groundless idea that our trade with Spain and Portugal must be deeply affected, if not entirely ruined, by the present treaty, is another favourite subject of the most ominous apprehenfiors to the author of this pamphlet, who, not satisfied with raising in the imagination clouds and forms of adversity, endeavours to impress his readers with the dismal prospect which he paints as the probable result even of extreme good fortune.

• Let me suppose, says he, what the commercial interest are taught fanguinely to expect that the demand for our manufactures will be increased beyond measure--Let me then ask whether more hands must not necessarily be employed in them, and whence this demand for more hands is to be supplied ? There muft neceffarily in every country be a point beyond which the mercantile or manufactural (if I may use the term) fyftem in found policy ought not to be extended. Whether we have al. ready attained that point, or whether the expected increase of commerce is likely to carry us beyond it, are queftions difficult, but absolutely neccffary to be answered before we engage too far.-The landed proprietor will do well to confider whether the villages are at this time as populous as the interefts of agriculture require ; and whether additional temptations may not feduce the husbandman from the field to the manufactory : whether he might not facrifice his natural prejudice to his own 'employment to the prospect of higher wages and greater gains, and bring up to the loom the fons he intended for the plough?

• If more hands will be necessary, I repeat, whence are they to be had ? Our streets may swarm with idleness, but from idleness the manufacturer has nothing to expect: I again, therefore, intreat the attention of the landed proprietorshis fields must be abandoned I appeal to the experience of the last war, when the neceslities of the state drained the country towns of its moft useful hands."

As the author seems to put his queltions in a very earnest manner, we shall add a few words in reply. Let him not entertain any apprehension about the depopulation of the country. Agriculture, commerce, and the arts, will never fail to give vigour to each other. Thousands of hands are every year ripen. ing to increase the industry of the nation. Even the idleness which he 'mentions may be rendered subservient to this purpose ; and with regard to the ruinous effects of war, no expe. dient can be more likely to act as a preventive, than that commercial treaty, which is the object of this author's animadver. fion and prejudice.

Ser

25.

Sentiments on the Interests of Great Britain. With Thoughts on the

Politics of France, and on the Accession of the Ele&tor of Hanover to the German League. 8vo. Baldwin.

This author enters deep into the speculation of political alli* ances in general, which, besides examining with much inge nuity, he arranges into a system, adapted to the idea he enter tains of the different intereits of the several nations in Europe. After taking, likewise, a view of French politics, and affirmo ing that universal dominion is the ultimate object of that na. uon, he proceeds to consider the tendency of the commercial treaty, at present the bugbear of some politicians, and yet genesally acceptable to the kingdom. His sentiments on this subject being recapitulated in the conclusion, we shall, for the fake of brevity, exhibit them from that part of the pamphlet. He maintains, therefore, that our naval consequence is injured by increasing that of our natural enemies ; that luxury is encouraged; the people corrupted and enervated ; that we are deprived of the advantage of favouring by commerce, such nations ás are our most natural, and might be our most powerful allies ; and that we do more, we make enemies of them ;, and all this to prove our confidence in the feigned friendship of our greatest enemy, whose political perfidy is notorious to all the world.

Such are the accumulated charges produced by this author against the treaty in question. If even the half of them were founded in reality, such a part might be sufficient to justify an entire rejection of the proposed compact; but the fact is, that the whole is a series of misrepresentation. Our naval consequence, instead of being injured, will be increased, and that in a proportion equal at leait to the

exaggerated growth of the maritime power of our rivals. The encouragement of luxury is no necessary effect ; but that of industry will be certain. We are not deprived of the advantage of favouring, by commerce, such nations as are our most natural allies; and, therefore, having given them no offence, we are in no danger, of incurring their resentment. This author, like the other opponents of the present treaty, would represent it as a sacrifice of the national interests to the designs of a perfidious rival ; but where is the article in the tariff that excludes the exercise of ministerial vigilance from the cabinet? It, happily, peace should be protracted, our resources for war will be increased by the accumulations of commerce; and when ungovernable ambition shall again involve us in that calamity, let us trust to Provie dence (not to the goddess Fortune,' the deity of this author), and our own national bravery, for protection.

There is one just remark amongit the Sentiments of this au. thor, and therefore we fall specify it. It is, that when a war Ihall happen between Great Britain and France, it will be attended with pernicious consequences to the manufacturing part of our people, many of whom muft necessarily be thrown out of employment. But is it reasonable to argue against pro, moting public prosperity, because, in the course of human contingencies, it may sometimes meet with interruption?

The author is at no small pains to expose the whimsical perplexity which he thinks may arise from his majesty's acceding to the Germanic league, as elector of Hanover. But with regard to this, as well as his other political apprehensions, we with this ingenious and sophistical writer to be perfectly at ease for with whatever facility he may paint a ridiculous picture in his own imagination, let him depend upon it, that a sovereign fighting against himself in different characters, is an idea which will never be realized. Though we have the misfortune to differ from this author in almost every'one of his Sentiments, we are ready to acknowlege that he has a rich fund of plaufible argument, and discovers a degree of shrewdness that qualifies him for a champion in the field of political disputation. We cannot, however, bestowany praise on the correctness of his performance. A Short Vindication of the French Treaty, 8vo. 15.6d. Stockdale, • This Vindication relates to the charges brought against the French treaty, in a pamphlet, entitled, “ A View of the Treaty of Commerce with France,' of which we gave an account in our last Review, In that pamphlet the author had affertęd, that an advantageous trading intercourse with France is imfracticable; and this affertion he refted upon the failure of two similar experiments made towards the end of the last century. It is ceriain that the different situation of this country at present, with an export of fifteen millions, and that in the last century with an export only of two millions, cannot be regarded in the light of cases fo similar as to authorize the assertion above mentioned. But exclufive of this general remark, the writer of the Vindication obferves, that the general trade and navigation of England from 1663 to 1688, comprehending a period of twenty. five years, during which time the intercourse with France was open (except the last seven years of Charles the Second), had actually increased, and not diminished. In support of this observation he states the average amount of goods exported from England to other countries, in the years 1663, 1669, and 1688; from which it appears, that the general trade and navi: gation of this country actually doubled between the first and the last of these periods. Is is admitted, however, that the balance of the French trade was at that time against us to the amount of a million ; but it ought likewise to be observed, that fir George Downing, in his report to the house of com mons on this subject, in the year 1675, states, that the linen and filk manufactures imported from France amount to upwards of 80c,ovol. We hence find that, on account of the infant Itate of those manufactures in England at that time, the demand for the consumption constituted four-fifths of the balance; to

which;

« AnteriorContinuar »