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fully as we conceive it to exist, and such a mode of enforcing it as would be requisite, if the importance of the object to be gained were very considerable. We cannot help thinking, however, that this is in general a good deal overrated by those who discuss the question. The demand which our extensive commerce affords for seamen, must always produce a supply in some degree proportioned to it; and the blanks occasioned in their numbers by manning the navy during war, in so far as they cannot be filled up by the hands which that war throws out of employment, will operate as an increase in the total demand. To this augmented demand the supply of seamen will constantly tend to accommodate itself. The temptations held out by the American trade, if our seamen are allowed to engage in it, must operate as a still further increase of the demand, and a bounty upon the supply of
Instead of breeding seamen, as it were, for our own commerce only, we should breed them for the whole commerce of England and 'America. We should therefore be much better supplied with them, than if we bred them only for ourselves; as a country is sure of having more corn for home consumption, the more it grows for exportation. This consideration deserves to be weighed against the inconveniences which we no doubt suffer during war, from the constant desertion occasioned by the peculiar advantages of the American service, and the sudden and extraordinary drain of seamen from our mercantile navy, especially at the commencement of hostilities. * These evils, though serious, are much diminished by this view of the case; and it should be recollected, that the greater part of the emigrants or deserters who went over during war, return at the peace; that this augments our whole numbers of seamen while peace lasts; that, consequently, an increased degree of vigilance in the impress service, at the commencement of a new war, may still further diminish the evil. Such being the real amount of the detriment occasioned by a total abandonment of our right of search for seamen, it may possibly be admitted that we should, in prudence, abstain from the most rigorous possible enforcement of the right. The right is ours, clearly and in the fullest extent. The American government is too sensible, not to perceive this; we trust it is too faithful to its highest duties, not to admit so incontestable a proposition. But if it should have any invincible objection against our exercising our undoubted rights, and obtaining the redress
We need scarcely remark, that the whole of the reasoning applies to feanien who leave our merchant service, as well as deserters from our Meets ; the right of our government is exactly the same to seize both, wherever it can find them without violating a foreign territory:
which is our due by the arrangement above pointed out, it must devise some other remedy which shall appear likely to be efficacious. In consideration of the evil not being extreme, it would surely be prudent for this country to make a fair trial of such a remedy as shall be proposed, and to adopt it in place of the rigorous search, though it might prove somewhat less effectual. But we venture to predict that the trial will entirely fail; that nothing short of the search above described will nearly answer the end proposed; that the failure of the experiment will convince the American government itself; and that, by delaying to insist on our undoubted rights, we shall obtain a peaceable and full recognition of them in the final adoption of some arrangement similar to the one already pointed out.
It is greatly to be feared, however, that, highly as the import:ance of the claims just now examined has been extolled in this
country, they are rather the pretences, than the true reasons for : - desiring a rupture with America. In consequence of the long 4 and successful war carried on by England against almost all the
other maritime powers, a great portion of their commerce, and a share also of our own, has passed into the hands of the Americans. A certain class of politicians, therefore, regard them at once as rivals in trade, and as interfering with the course of our hostilities; and are anxious, not only to deprive them of all the benefit which they derive from our constant wars, but to injure them nearly as much as the enemy. The principle of these reasoners is, that the enemy shall trade with nobody, and the neutrals only with ourselves. We have already had an opportunity of discussing the principle of the rule of the war 1756 ; * and we shall, at present, only advert shortly to the nature of that claim, for the purpose of adding a few remarks to those which we formerly offered.
It is contended, that England has a right to prohibit the neutrals from carrying on any trade during war, which was not open to them during peace. But why should not the same rule extend to a trade of which the neutrals, though permitted by law, did in fact not partake before the war? It is owing to our hostilities, that the Americans carry wine from Bourdeaux to Amsterdam; they came into this traffic, in order to shelter the French and Dutch traders from our cruizers; we have as good a right to prohibit it, as to stop their trade in sugar and coffee. In like manner, the French used to import American produce in their pwn vessels ; now they only receive it in American ships : Instead of a part, therefore, the Americans have the whole of this
No. XV, .
trade, and England has a right to confine them to their former share of it; but as this is utterly impossible, without stopping it altogether, she may exercise her belligerent rights in the only way practicable, and cut off the Americans from all intercourse whatever with her enemies. This is exactly what the French government has threatened us with ; and it must be admitted to follow clearly, from the principles of the rule of the war 1756. Accordingly, some politicians recommend it to England. Now, let us see what follows. We are desired to cut off all intercourse between America and our enemies ;—this will no doubt injure our enemies, but it will hurt America still more. For we are anfortunately at war with about ten different nations, each of whom will thus lose its American trade : but America will lose its trade with each of them; and will suffer, perhaps, ten times as much as any of them. † Being at war with almost the whole world ourselves, we shall, in revenge, monopolize the whole trade of a neutral and friendiy power, and indemnify ourselves at its expense. But shall we, in fact, be benefiting ourselves by so singular a conduct? We may call it monopolizing the trade of America, but, in truth, it is equally giving her the monopoly of our own trade,-—it is confining the Americans to intercourse with ourselves, and ourselves to intercourse with them; for, the keenest advocates of the rule 1756 admit, explicitly, that we have not a shadow of right to partake, under any pretexts, in a trade which we shut against the neutrals. If, then, we cannot cut off our enemy's commerce, without injuring the Americans a great deal more, so neither can we injure the Americans, with out hurting ourselves equally; and such, in a few words, is the benefit to be derived, from the complete assertion of our pretended rights towards neutrals. The progress of the demands which have been made by the
+ The learned and ingenious author of · War in Disguise, ' (p. 37. 5th edit.) treats with some contempt the affertion, that neutrals fiffer hardship in not being allowed to supply themselves with colonial produce in the enemy's islands during war ; a hardship, he observes, which they suffer equally during peace. But surely, if one belligerent interdicts all colony trade except her own, the neutrals, instead of having the market for produce open in all the mother countries, are eonfined to the market of that one belligerent. If America is prevented from buying French produce, and our market cannot supply her, she suffers as much as France does by the prohibition. And even if the can get a supply from 08, she suffers a much greater restriction in her trade than if the were ftill an English colony.
• See • War in disguise,' and the · Introdu&ion to Mr Randolph's Speech.'
assertors of these rights, is exceedingly instructive as to their real views. The transport of produce from the enemy's colonies to the mother country direct, in neutral vessels, is first required to be stopt. The neutral trader then carries it to his own ports, and from thence to the enemy's. We are required to consider this as one voyage, and an evasion of the first prohibition. A second prohibition is therefore demanded ;-che produce must be fairly landed, and pay duties; and it must not be reexported in the same vessel which brought it. Under all these restrictions, however, the neutral can afford to continue the trade; and the produce still finds its way to the enemy, though at very advanced prices. We are now desired, therefore, to enforce the rule of the war 1756, and to prevent the produce from entering our enemy's ports at all, in neutral bottoms, because, in time of peace, that commerce was interdicted by him. Suppose we again comply, and that the neutrals yield--they will carry the produce to some neutral European port, from which it may find its way to' the market; that is, to our enemies. A new demand is there, fore necessary. We are required absolutely to prohibit all traffic in colonial produce which came originally from en enemy's colony. Even this would be evaded; for, how is such produce to be distinguished from the very produce sold by ourselves to those neutrals, according to the strict letter of our own navigation law? We must, therefore, interdict absolutely all carriage of colonial produce in any vessels not being British. But this, though sufficient to outrage all public law, would still be inadequate to prevent smuggling, so long as any traffic remained between our enemies and the neutrals. There is but one other step to take, therefore. We must go to war with the neutrals, and put their ships upon the same footing with those of our enemy, whose places in trade they are now filling. By this chain it is that we are driven on from prohibition to prohibition, till we find that the prohibition of neutrality itself is our only remedy; and that we can only trust to the vigilance of our cruizers for the security of our colonial monopoly, and the interruption of our enemy's trade. The case is therefore short and plain. If all nations will not go to war with France when we choose to do so, we must go to war with them also. There is no other way of vexing our enemy, and protecting our mercantile profits.
Now, putting the morality of this doctrine entirely out of the question, -endeavouring to forget the old maxims of public law, in the eye of which neutrality is held to be a favourable object, allowing that the present war is of a peculiar nature, and of a paramount importance (as indeed all wars are), -and that the rules which apply to other wars do not apply to so great a contest (though this has been regularly said of every one war from the time that men began to fight, and fully as often said of the most trifling as of the greatest disputes between nations),-let us simply ask ourselves, whether the destruction of all neutra"lity is likely to be so very great a gain to the most commercial and manufacturing nation in the world? With whom should we trade, if we went to war with America ? Our foreign trade would be confined to Sicily and Sweden, and perhaps it might extend to Zealand. But a great contraband would enable us, through these channels, and by other more direct means, still to supply the enemy and the countries subject to him ; that is to say, we should be compelled, by the approach of utter ruin, to relax our own hostilities, and to trade ourselves with the enemy. But in what way? If we send ships to his ports he will seize them ; then we must allow his ships to come to our ports, or to the ports of our allies and dependants. Is not this encouraging, not merely a foreign trade, but an enemy's trade and shipping? Is it not assisting France, for fear that America should help her ? Is it not transferring the neutral privileges from our friends to our enemies ? But can any body doubt, that the conversion of our whole foreign trade into contraband would greatly diminish the amount of it ? Our enemies would indeed pay a little dearer, and consume a great deal less, of both their own colonial produce and our goods; but the loss would be reciprocal, and while the whole amount of it would be divided among all our enemies, we should ourselves lose upon our intercourse with each of them. The neutrals would no longer carry for us to France, Spain, and Holland, for example ; nor to Germany and Russia. All those countries would therefore lose, arrange it how we please, part of their trade with us, and suffer each so much by the loss; while we should lose about as much with each of them, and inany
times more than France could lose. It might be expected, that such obvious considerations would render all attempts against America fruitless in this country; and incline us rather to wave some rights which we possess, than insist upon claims founded in manifest injustice. But there are certain bodies of traders, who conceive that their interests are opposite to those of the country, and seem desirous of pursuing some imaginary advantages at all risks. The depreciation of West India produce, to whatever cause it may be owing, has brought a large and highly respectable class of men, into a situation of unexampled difiiculty. The interruption of all trade with the enemy's colonies, they consider as the sure means of raising the price of their own goods Reduced nearly to a state of despair, they conceive that no chage can be for the worse, and, in