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value and clear gain, in exchanging all sorts of English manufactures for the precious metals; the latter were remitted chiefly to England, and partly retained as a circulating medium in the colonies. The Spanish monarchy, to prevent this trade, stationed a fleet of guarda-costas along the shores, and their indiscriminate interruption and seizure of all British vessels met with in those seas, caused the war of 1739 between England and Spain. Afterwards, although England had no interest, but quite the contrary, to break up this commerce, she was induced by Spain to order the British cruisers to seize all British vessels found near the coasts of the Spanish colonies; and the former having acted as if they received their orders froin Spain, effectually put down the trade, until it was, after the independence of America, resumed with as great activity as before, by the citizens of the United States. Spain was, during the whole period, filled with contraband merchandise by way of the Basque Provinces - by smuggling through Portugal and over the Pyrenees—by way of the Mediterranean, and afterwards, up to the present day, with great activity, by the way of Gibraltar.'--(Seci. XIV. chap. 5.)
The extent to which smuggling is still carried on, on the Spanish frontier, is altogether enormous—at least a hundred thousand armed men are engaged in it; and more than three hundred thousand persons are described as being entirely occupied in the contraband trade - among whom are several members of the Cortes, and even the manufacturers themselves! The cotton manufactures of Catalonia have, for nearly a century, enjoyed a complete monopoly both in Spain and her colonies.
What las been the result? The medium importation of raw cotton into Spain, from 1834 to 1840 inclusive, did not amount to ten millions of pounds, which was little more than half the quantity imported into England in the year 1784-less than the twentysixth part of the British importation in 1830—and less than onesixtieth part of the British importation of raw cotion in 1840 ! The English and French cotton manufacturers have, by the aid of the smuggler, beat the Catalonian out of the field. According to the work of the Spanish senator Marliani, * cited by our author, the value of cotton goods annually smuggled into Spain from England and France, stands thus :—from England, through Spanish ports, Gibraltar, Portugal, and Italy, £1,683,218 ; from France, £1,331,608 ;-total, £3,014,826. Other writers bave calculated the same amount at between five and six millions sterling ; but Marliani's estimate is sufficient to show that the prohibitory system has afforded no protection whatever to the Catalonian manufacturers. They are unable to supply even a third of the quantity required for consumption;
* De la Influencia del Sistema Prohibitiro. Madrid, 1842.
VOL. LXXXII. NO. CLXV.
and Spain is deluged with English and French cotton goods, which do not pay one farthing to the Spanish treasury. There is also much smuggling in tobacco and other articles; and the final result is, that the entire income which Spain derives from customs' revenue scarcely exceeds £800,000, whilst the probibitive system entails an annual public loss, for the benefit of the manufacturers, of four millions sterling! The capital invested in the Catalonian cotton manufacture is stated at not more than £200,000 sterling, and the number of persons employed at about 60,000. For the sake of this insignificant interest the prohibitory system is kept up by the government; whilst it is well understood that the principal manufacturers maintain their cotton fabrics for the purpose of a mask to hide their contraband transactions, and to enable them to sell as their own the productions of France and England ! So shameful a scheme of public plunder has rarely been brought to light. The Spanish government has, indeed, lately announced an intention of subjecting its tariff to revision; but it is obvious that nothing short of the most thorough and searching reform will suffice for the correction of a system of fraud and demoralization so widely extended.
Portugal possesses even more natural adaptations than Spain for an extensive commerce; and commands the mouths of the principal Spanish rivers. The cultivation of the vine has always formed the main branch of agricultural industry, though the soil is admirably suited to wheat and other grain ; and it is a singular fact, that the inhabitants have for centuries depended on other countries for bread. The manufactures are very unimportant. The Portuguese tariff is less prohibitory than that of Spain, but the rates of duty are high enough to operate most unfavourably to the interests both of the consumer and of the wine trade; which would be greatly benefited if a commercial treaty for the mutual reduction of certain import duties could be effected with Great Britain. We have a treaty of reciprocity with Portugal, dated in July 1842; and it is much to be desired that the spirit of that treaty should be still further carried out.
• Commerce in this kingdom,' says Mr Macgregor, has not been so much restricted by a high tariff' or prohibitions, as by the maladministration of a government, which, by its imbecility and tyranny, broke down those energies and that spirit of adventure which had at one time distinguished the Portuguese nation. The extensive lands held by the monasteries, and the darkening power of the church, have always formed another chief cause of national degradation. The separation of Brazil nearly completed the ruin of the Portuguese trade, which, in regard to exports, is now chiefly limited to wine, fruits, wood, cork, and salt. The natural advantages and resources of the kingdom, however,
ought to enable Portugal to become one of the most important trading countries in Europe. The want of roads, the barbarism of the laws and police, the consequent insecurity of person and property, and the general ignorance of the population, especially in latter times, as to all the arts and sciences, do not warrant us to hope for an early regeneration of this ancient kingdom.
• Of all the treaties into which England has entered with foreign states, none has been so highly and generally praised as that with Portugal, signed by Mr Methuen at Lisbon in December 1703. Those who have undergone the labour of enquiring fully into its effects, will conclude that none has been more generally pernicious. Treaties or conventions of commerce have been considered as contracts by which one nation has endeavoured to obtain an advantage from another. If the true principles of trade were fully understood, treaties for regulating international commerce would become useless. The spirit of such conventions between one nation and another, distinctly conveys the meaning that some others than the contracting states are placed upon a less favourable understanding ; while all exbibit the restrictions which commercial legislation has, in almost every country, imposed on industry, trade, enterprise, and intercourse. If the qualifications necessary for the negotiation of a good commercial treaty, as sketched in a pamphlet attributed to Mr Eden in 1787, could ever be possessed by any one man, or even by several men, and if such good treaty be pronounced "a masterpiece of skill," great allowances may be made for those who have negotiated commercial treaties with fo. reign governments ; but at the same time such negotiations ought never to be entrusted to any but men who possess the best knowledge of the sound principles of international exchange, joined to skill, discretion, and judgment, in executing a trust in which the most numerous interests of nations and individuals are so deeply, widely, and may, in consequence, be permanently involved. The Methuen treaty stipulated for the admission of English woollens (then prohibited) into Portugal, in consideration of England admitting, "for ever after," Portugal wines at two-thirds of the duty payable on the wines of France. This most unwise of treaties with a country having but a small population, the greater part of which were and are poor, and unable to consume any great quantity, comparatively speaking, of British woollens, gave rise to that legislation on the part of France, which has constituted a war of material injuries between two great countries from that period up to the present day. With the visionary and fallacious object of encouraging our woollen manufactures, by finding an exclusive market for them in Portugal, we nearly prohibited the importation of the learling article which France had to interchange with us for manufactures ; and for this purpose we consented to drink scarcely any other than the heavy, black, and spirituous wines of Oporto, instead of the clear and wholesome wines of Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne. We do not deny that there were advantages in having a market for our woollens in Portugal—especially one, of which, if not the principal, was the means afforded of sending them afterwards by contraband into Spain,
English woollens, however, found their way extensively into Portuga before the date of the Methuen treaty, in defiance of the legal prohibition; and fortunately that treaty exists no longer to shackle us in our commercial negotiations with other wine-producing countries.'-(Sect. XV. chap. 2.)
The fallacy of the principle of the Methuen treaty is now so generally understood and admitted, that it would be quite superfluous to add any thing here in its condemnation. The error consisted in supposing that British industry in general would be benefited by the forcing a particular branch of it into a particular channel; for that is the effect of obtaining the admission of our manufactures into a given country on lower terms than other foreign states. Mr Methuen's diplomacy was misdirected, because the loss which it entailed upon us in France and other countries was greater than the advantage secured in Portugal. It would seem, however, that foreign governments have not in general arrived at this conclusion. For example, by the treaty between the Zollverein and the United States of America, which was signed at Berlin in March 1844, but not ratified, both parties contemplated the admission of certain articles of each other's produce and manufacture on more favourable terms than the
produce and manufacture of other nations. Again, by the treaty of September last between Belgium and the Zollverein, Belgic iron is admitted into Germany at a duty lower than that upon other foreign iron, whilst corresponding favours are granted by Belgium to German wines and silks. It is perfectly clear that such favours, as long as they are exclusive, must be injurious to the general industry of the contracting states; because production, for a time at least, must be unnaturally compelled to take the direction of the favoured channel. By providing that the wines of Portugal should be received in England at one-third less duty than those of France, the Methuen treaty so fettered the British Government as to prevent its making just concessions to France in return for reciprocal advantages. But such exclusive favours should be carefully distinguished from concessions made by one state to another, which the conceding state would be equally ready to extend to other nations, either gratuitously, or in return for corresponding equivalents. Remissions of duties, which are intended to be made applicable to all nations, are of course not open to the objection applicable to the Methuen treaty; and such arrangements have, in fact, been sanctioned by clauses contained in many existing treaties of reciprocity, which admit of the contracting states being placed respectively upon the most favoured footing, either in return for satisfactory equivalents, or gratuitously, as the case may be. In the present temper of most foreign states—too much disposed as they are to act upon the French maxim of avoiding whatever conditions England may propose-it becomes every day more and more difficult to agree upon mutual remissions of specific duties as the basis of commercial treaties; and it is certain that the very anxiety of the British Government to obtain commercial facilities for its subjects, has often tended to excite the jealousy and apprehension of foreign powers. Under these circumstances, little more can be effected by negotiation than to obtain treaties of reciprocity; whereby our ships and goods may obtain admission into foreign countries upon the footing of the most favoured flag --either unconditionally, or subject to the same conditions as are required from other favoured nations. What British commerce alone wants in foreign markets is, to use a familiar expression, a fair field and no favour;- let our trade only not be placed on a footing of undue disadvantage in foreign ports, and British enterprise and industry will not fail to work their own way.
We regret that our limits prevent us from carrying our extracts further; and particularly from noticing the author's judicious remarks on the quarantine laws, under the head of the Italian States ; as well as his interesting sketch of the history and present condition of the slave-trade, under the title of Western Africa. Statistical subjects are, of all others, the most difficult to do full justice to in a literary Journal, without wearying the patience of the general reader; but we have said enough, we hope, to show that Mr Macgregor's work is of a description eminently deserving of serious attention ; and if our remarks shall bave contributed, in any material degree, to impress the public with the great importance of a branch of knowledge which so peculiarly comes home to the business and bosoms' of the whole community, the brief space we have been enabled to devote to it will not have been fruitlessly applied.
Art. VII.-Leaves from a Journal, and other Fragments, in
Verse. By Lord Robertson. 8vo. London : 1845.
тно Though there is much of native beauty and gracefulness in
the descriptions and sentiments of this attractive little volume, its warmest eulogists will still, we think, allow that its interest and recommendations are, to some extent, extrinsicarising from its particular authorship, and the recollections and occurrences recalled by, or attending its very unexpected appearance. An eminent and successful Advocate who had recently