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14. Rcfolved, that it appears to this committee to be expedient that the duty hereafter to be paid upon all glass and glass-ware of the manufacture of the European dominion of the French King, imported into this kingdom, fhall be at the rate of 121. per centum ad valorem.
15. Resolved, that it appears to this committee to be expedient that beer, being of the manufacture of the European dominions of the French King, imported into this kingdom, shall pay, over and above the duty to be paid on the importation thereof, a further duty fufficient to countervail the internal duty actually paid on beer brewed in Ireland.
Upon these refolutions Mr. Ogilvie fpoke as follows, viz.
I am extremely fenfible how much I stand in need of the kind indulgence of the House, in attempting to enter upon the consideration of a fübject of so extenGive a nature as the present treaty; and.can affure them, that the difficulty attending so arduous an undertaking would have been more than fufficient to deter me from the attempt, if the great importance of the question did not demand the most serious examination, and feem to call on every man who has turned his thoughts to commercial subjects, to lay his fentiments on the prefent occafion before the House.
At the fame time, that I feel this neceffity, I must beg leave to premise that it is not my intention to enter at large into the subject, as a political arrangement between two mighty empires, nor to examine what may be its probable operation on either state in the great scale of Europe: neither is it my object to enquire into the effects it may produce on the trade and manufactures, the revenues and finances of Great Britain: I feel myself very unequal to the former investigation; and as to the latter, since the present treaty has been framed by the British cabinet, and cannot be carried into execution but by the approbation of the British parliament, if in the event the treaty shall be carried into effect bjo that approbation, I conceive that we are bound to conclude, that it will upon the whole secure confiderable ad vantages to all those great interests, however it niay appear to us to entail considerable disadvantages on some of them in certain particulars--and that the balance of benefit is effectually secured to that kingdom.
Under that conviction, I shall proceed to take a view of the treaty as it may affect the interests of Ireland, considered exclufively and without any reference to those of Great Britain: : And am free to declare on this ground, and under the above qualification, that on the most fair and impartial examination, I have been able to give it, the present treaty with France, as fimply affecting the trade and commerce of Ireland, meets with my approbation. Nay, I will even go further and declare, that abstracted from the idea of a common interest be. tween Great Britain and Ireland, the present treaty may be highly dangerous, and even injurious to Great Britain, and yet highly advantageous to Ireland. Whoever for a moment adverts to the great difference in the situation of the two kingdoms, will readily see the justice of this observation : Great Britain, at the zenith of her greatness, and summit of manufacturing excellence, had every thing to apprehend from overturning the whole system that has raised her to her present envied situation. If the experiment fails, she is ruined. Nay, if it succeeds to her utmost wishes, she will still run a greater risk than prudence would possibly justify, where so much depended on the uncertainty of the event. This may at first appear a paradox, but a slight degree of confideration will explain my meaning. If the French trade proves advantageous, it will divert the British manufactures from the other markets of Europe, which they now enjoy, to this new channel. And the more advantageous the French trade proves, the more will the Ruffian, the German, the Spanish, and the Portuguese markets be neglected. If, when the British maVOL. II.
nufactures and capital have got considerably engaged in the French trade, war should break out between the two king. doms, and such a circumstance is by no means improbable, what short of ruin to the British manufactures and to the state would be the consequence? And if the balance of trade 1hould be greatly against France, as soon as she has got posfeflion of the machinery used in the British manufactures, a war would be the cheapest way for her to extricate herself from such a situation. But Ireland, in the infancy of her progress, has little to lose and a great deal to gain ; any change almost from the present state would be an advantage; and fhe may safely venture an experiment where the risk is trifling, and the prospect of advantage considerable. Great Britain cannot forget that the American war gave independence to the Irish legislature ; I fincerely hope that no future calamity to the state may give an extension to her trade and her manufactures.
I shall now proceed, to give some reasons for the opinion I have advanced, that the present treaty will be advantageous to the trade of Ireland; and shall consider its effects first on the imports, and then on the exports. As I mean hereafter to take a particular view of the tariff, I shall at present ob- serve that besides the four great articles of wine, brandy, vinegar and oil, every man who is acquainted with the state of the French manufactures must know, that a great variety of articles will be imported from that kingdom into Ireland. But as those will almost entirely consist of the finer manufactures and luxuries, which are at present supplied from Great Britain, the disadvantage refulting from this importation will affect the British manufacturer much more than the Irish; and as far as it shall.go, will be a loss to that kingdom; for in the species of manufactures in which Ireland has hither. to refifted the competition with Great Britain, she will have little to apprehend from France, except in one instance that I Thall mention hereafter; and in the finest branches France
must undersell Great Britain before she can send hers into this kingdom; which competition will be a partial advantage to Ireland, by lowering the price to the consumer. For as to its increasing the quantity of imports, I should think there is not much to be apprehended, as the imports must ever be bound and regulated by the ability of the consumers, and if that increases, the increased import will not be an additional injury. The loss in this branch will be entirely, I apprehend, to Britain, and is one part of the purchase she pays for her treaty. And I shall beg leave to congratulate the House on the first instance of her giving up a monopoly. I wish for her fake that the facrifice had been made to an old and faithful relation, rather than to a new and untried friend.
In turning to the exports, the first object that naturalis presents itself is the linen manufacture.-And here I am happy to declare, from the authority of some of the most intelligent men in the trade, that they consider the duty, as the right honourable gentleman has assured us it is now settled, fufficient to protect the home market against all competition from the Flemish and French low priced goods, while the fine linens of this kingdom will find their way into France under that duty.--And though fine linens are not at this day in general use in France, it is impossible, from the friendly intercourse and close connexion that is likely to follow from this treaty, but that the fine linens of Ireland must grow into fashion with the refined nation of France ; and whenever it does, such is the superior excellence and intrinfic merit of this manufacture, that it will undoubtedly stand its ground against all competition. Diapers and damasks are in the same situation; they have been but lately introduced, but are in great request among the most fashionable ranks, and as foon as they are more generally known they cannot fail of finding a certain and advantageous market in France: -And though cambricks will certainly suffer, I consider this partial inconvenience more than compensated by the benefit that will arise to the other branches of the trade. There
There is another extensive branch of exports, that I am almost ashamed to mention within these walls, that will derive no inconsiderable advantage from the intercourse with France; and though wretched indeed must the policy of that nation be, tliat confiders the export of raw materials as an advantage, yet, as it has been so stated from the other side of the Houle in the late commercial negociations with Britain, when it was seriously proposed to secure and continue this advantage to Ireland for ever, I am founded in saying that as far as it is an advantage, that advantage will be increased by the facility we fail derive from the treaty in fending our wool, worsted, yarn, and linen yarn, our raw hides and tallow, to our new French friends. But, if this treaty takes place, I hope we shall see a more enlightened fystem brought forward, and that Ireland shall not continue to be the only manufacturing state in Europe, that does not guard so valuable materials of manufacture by a duty on the export ; and in recommending a duty, I do not mean a prohibiting duty, but such a regulated duty as should give a decisive preference to the Irish manufactures in the articles of Irish produce.
Having thus, made some general observations as they occur on the first view, I shall proceed to state the further advantage that the present treaty offers to Ireland, by slightly touching on the separate articles of the tariff, and briefly stating the advantages and likewise the disadvantages, likely to arise from each article, as they appear to me.
The first thing that naturally strikes the slightest observer on this part of the treaty, is, that the first four articles contain exclusive benefits to the four great staple commodities of France, wine, brandy, vinegar and oil, without any adequate compensation on the part of Great Britain, for except these four, every other article of the treaty reciprocates, and I am utterly at a loss to account for the conduct of the able nego