INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница

employs those different artificers. All of them find it for their

interest to employ their whole industry in a way in which they have

some advantage over their neighbours, and to purchase with a part of

its produce, or, what is the same thing, with the price of a part of

it, whatever else they have occasion for.

What is prudence in the conduct of every private family, can scarce be

folly In that of a great kingdom. If a foreign country can supply us

with a commodity cheaper than we ourselves can make it, better buy it

of them with some part of the produce of INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница our own industry, employed in

a way in which we have some advantage. The general industry of the

country being always in proportion to the capital which employs it,

will not thereby be diminished, no more than that of the

abovementioned artificers; but only left to find out the way in which

it can be employed with the greatest advantage. It is certainly not

employed to the greatest advantage, when it is thus directed towards

an object which it can buy cheaper than it can make. The value of its

annual produce is certainly more or less diminished, when it is thus

turned away from producing INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница commodities evidently of more value than

the commodity which it is directed to produce. According to the

supposition, that commodity could be purchased from foreign countries

cheaper than it can be made at home; it could therefore have been

purchased with a part only of the commodities, or, what is the same

thing, with a part only of the price of the commodities, which the

industry employed by an equal capital would have produced at home, had

it been left to follow its natural course. The industry of the

country, therefore, is thus turned away from a more to a less

advantageous employment; and the exchangeable value of its INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница annual

produce, instead of being increased, according to the intention of the

lawgiver, must necessarily be diminished by every such regulation.

By means of such regulations, indeed, a particular manufacture may

sometimes be acquired sooner than it could have been otherwise, and

after a certain time may be made at home as cheap, or cheaper, than in

the foreign country. But though the industry of the society may be

thus carried with advantage into a particular channel sooner than it

could have been otherwise, it will by no means follow that the

sum-total, either of its industry, or of its revenue, can ever be

augmented by any such regulation INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница. The industry of the society can

augment only in proportion as its capital augments, and its capital

can augment only in proportion to what can be gradually saved out of

its revenue. But the immediate effect of every such regulation is to

diminish its revenue; and what diminishes its revenue is certainly not

very likely to augment its capital faster than it would have augmented

of its own accord, had both capital and industry been left to find out

their natural employments.

Though, for want of such regulations, the society should never acquire

the proposed manufacture, it would not upon that account necessarily

be the poorer in INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница anyone period of its duration. In every period of its

duration its whole capital and industry might still have been

employed, though upon different objects, in the manner that was most

advantageous at the time. In every period its revenue might have been

the greatest which its capital could afford, and both capital and

revenue might have been augmented with the greatest possible rapidity.

The natural advantages which one country has over another, in

producing particular commodities, are sometimes so great, that it is

acknowledged by all the world to be in vain to struggle with them. By

means of glasses, hot-beds, and hot-walls INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница, very good grapes can be

raised in Scotland, and very good wine, too, can be made of them, at

about thirty times the expense for which at least equally good can be

brought from foreign countries. Would it be a reasonable law to

prohibit the importation of all foreign wines, merely to encourage the

making of claret and Burgundy in Scotland? But if there would be a

manifest absurdity in turning towards any employment thirty times more

of the capital and industry of the country than would be necessary to

purchase from foreign countries an equal quantity of the commodities

wanted, there must be an absurdity, though not altogether so INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница glaring,

yet exactly of the same kind, in turning towards any such employment a

thirtieth, or even a three hundredth part more of either. Whether the

advantages which one country has over another be natural or acquired,

is in this respect of no consequence. As long as the one country has

those advantages, and the other wants them, it will always be more

advantageous for the latter rather to buy of the former than to make.

It is an acquired advantage only, which one artificer has over his

neighbour, who exercises another trade; and yet they both find it more

advantageous to INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница buy of one another, than to make what does not belong

to their particular trades.

Merchants and manufacturers are the people who derive the greatest

advantage from this monopoly of the home market The prohibition of the

importation of foreign cattle and of salt provisions, together with

the high duties upon foreign corn, which in times of moderate plenty

amount to a prohibition, are not near so advantageous to the graziers

and farmers of Great Britain, as other regulations of the same kind

are to its merchants and manufacturers. Manufactures, those of the



finer kind especially, are more easily transported from one country to

another than corn or cattle INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница. It is in the fetching and carrying

manufactures, accordingly, that foreign trade is chiefly employed. In

manufactures, a very small advantage will enable foreigners to

undersell our own workmen, even in the home market. It will require a

very great one to enable them to do so in the rude produce of the

soil. If the free importation of foreign manufactures were permitted,

several of the home manufactures would probably suffer,and some of

them perhaps go to ruin altogether, and a considerable part of the

stock and industry at present employed in them, would be forced to

find out some other employment. But the freest INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница importation of the rude

produce of the soil could have no such effect upon the agriculture of

the country.

If the importation of foreign cattle, for example, were made ever so

free, so few could be imported, that the grazing trade of Great

Britain could be little affected by it. Live cattle are, perhaps, the

only commodity of which the transportation is more expensive by sea

than by land. By land they carry themselves to market. By sea, not

only the cattle, but their food and their water too, must be carried

at no small expense and inconveniency. The short sea between Ireland

and Great Britain, indeed, renders the importation of INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница Irish cattle

more easy. But though the free importation of them, which was lately

permitted only for a limited time, were rendered perpetual, it could

have no considerable effect upon the interest of the graziers of Great

Britain. Those parts of Great Britain which border upon the Irish sea

are all grazing countries. Irish cattle could never be imported for

their use, but must be drove through those very extensive countries,

at no small expense and inconveniency, before they could arrive at

their proper market. Fat cattle could not be drove so far. Lean

cattle, therefore, could only be imported; and such importation could

interfere not INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница with the interest of the feeding or fattening countries,

to which, by reducing the price of lean cattle it would rather be

advantageous, but with that of the breeding countries only. The small

number of Irish cattle imported since their importation was permitted,

together with the good price at which lean cattle still continue to

sell, seem to demonstrate, that even the breeding countries of Great

Britain are never likely to be much affected by the free importation

of Irish cattle. The common people of Ireland, indeed, are said to

have sometimes opposed with violence the exportation of their cattle.

But if the exporters had found any INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница great advantage in continuing the

trade, they could easily, when the law was on their side, have

conquered this mobbish opposition.

Feeding and fattening countries, besides, must always be highly

improved, whereas breeding countries are generally uncultivated. The

high price of lean cattle, by augmenting the value of uncultivated

land, is like a bounty against improvement. To any country which was

highly improved throughout, it would be more advantageous to import

its lean cattle than to breed them. The province of Holland,

accordingly, is said to follow this maxim at present. The mountains of

Scotland, Wales, and Northumberland, indeed, are countries not capable

of much INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница improvement, and seem destined by nature to be the breeding

countries of Great Britain. The freest importation of foreign cattle

could have no other effect than to hinder those breeding countries

from taking advantage of the increasing population and improvement of

the rest of the kingdom, from raising their price to an exorbitant

height, and from laying a real tax upon all the more improved and

cultivated parts of the country.

The freest importation of salt provisions, in the same manner, could

have as little effect upon the interest of the graziers of Great

Britain as that of live cattle. Salt provisions are not only a very

bulky INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница commodity, but when compared with fresh meat they are a

commodity both of worse quality, and, as they cost more labour and

expense, of higher price. They could never, therefore, come into

competition with the fresh meat, though they might with the salt

provisions of the country. They might be used for victualling ships

for distant voyages, and such like uses, but could never make any

considerable part of the food of the people. The small quantity of

salt provisions imported from Ireland since their importation was

rendered free, is an experimental proof that our graziers have nothing

to apprehend from it. It does not appear that the INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница price of butcher's

meat has ever been sensibly affected by it.

Even the free importation of foreign corn could very little affect the

interest of the farmers of Great Britain. Corn is a much more bulky

commodity than butcher's meat. A pound of wheat at a penny is as dear

as a pound of butcher's meat at fourpence. The small quantity of

foreign corn imported even in times of the greatest scarcity, may

satisfy our farmers that they can have nothing to fear from the freest

importation. The average quantity imported, one year with another,

amounts only, according to the very well informed author of INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница the Tracts

upon the Corn Trade, to 23,728 quarters of all sorts of grain, and

does not exceed the five hundredth and seventy-one part of the annual

consumption. But as the bounty upon corn occasions a greater

exportation in years of plenty, so it must, of consequence, occasion a

greater importation in years of scarcity, than in the actual state of

tillage would otherwise take place. By means of it, the plenty of one

year does not compensate the scarcity of another; and as the average

quantity exported is necessarily augmented by it, so must likewise, in

the actual state of tillage, the average quantity imported. If there

were INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница no bounty, as less corn would be exported, suit is probable that,

one year with another, less would be imported than at present. The

corn-merchants, the fetchers and carriers of corn between Great

Britain and foreign countries, would have much less employment, and

might suffer considerably; but the country gentlemen and farmers could

suffer very little. It is in the corn-merchants, accordingly, rather

than the country gentlemen and farmers, that I have observed the

greatest anxiety for the renewal and continuation of the bounty.

Country gentlemen and farmers are, to their great honour, of all

people, the least subject to the wretched spirit of monopoly INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница. The

undertaker of a great manufactory is sometimes alarmed if another work

of the same kind is established within twenty miles of him; the Dutch

undertaker of the woollen manufacture at Abbeville, stipulated that no

work of the same kind should be established within thirty leagues of

that city. Farmers and country gentlemen, on the contrary, are

generally disposed rather to promote, than to obstruct, the

cultivation and improvement of their neighbours farms and estates.

They have no secrets, such as those of the greater part of

manufacturers, but are generally rather fond of communicating to their

neighbours, and of extending as far as possible any new practice INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница which

they may have found to be advantageous. "Pius quaestus", says old

Cato, "stabilissimusque, minimeque invidiosus; minimeque male

cogitantes sunt, qui in eo studio occupati sunt." Country gentlemen

and farmers, dispersed in different parts of the country, cannot so

easily combine as merchants and manufacturers, who being collected

into towns, and accustomed to that exclusive corporation spirit which

prevails in them, naturally endeavour to obtain, against all their

countrymen, the same exclusive privilege which they generally possess

against the inhabitants of their respective towns. They accordingly

seem to have been the original inventors of those restraints upon the

importation of foreign goods, which secure to them the monopoly of the

home INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница market. It was probably in imitation of them, and to put

themselves upon a level with those who, they found, were disposed to

oppress them, that the country gentlemen and farmers of Great Britain

so far forgot the generosity which is natural to their station, as to

demand the exclusive privilege of supplying their countrymen with corn

and butcher's meat. They did not, perhaps, take time to consider how

much less their interest could be affected by the freedom of trade,

than that of the people whose example they followed.

To prohibit, by a perpetual law, the importation of foreign corn INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница and

cattle, is in reality to enact, that the population and industry of

the country shall, at no time, exceed what the rude produce of its own

soil can maintain.

There seem, however, to be two cases, in which it will generally be

advantageous to lay some burden upon foreign, for the encouragement of

domestic industry.

The first is, when some particular sort of industry is necessary for

the defence of the country. The defence of Great Britain, for example,

depends very much upon the number of its sailors and shipping. The act

of navigation, therefore, very properly endeavours to give the sailors

and shipping of Great Britain the INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница monopoly of the trade of their own

country, in some cases, by absolute prohibitions, and in others, by

heavy burdens upon the shipping of foreign countries. The following

are the principal dispositions of this act.

First, All ships, of which the owners, masters, and three-fourths of

the mariners, are not British subjects, are prohibited, upon pain of

forfeiting ship and cargo, from trading to the British settlements and

plantations, or from being employed in the coasting trade of Great

Britain.

Secondly, A great variety of the most bulky articles of importation

can be brought into Great Britain only, either in such ships as are

above described, or INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница in ships of the country where those goods are

produced, and of which the owners, masters, and three-fourths of the

mariners, are of that particular country; and when imported even in

ships of this latter kind, they are subject to double aliens duty. If

imported in ships of any other country, the penalty is forfeiture of

ship and goods. When this act was made, the Dutch were, what they

still are, the great carriers of Europe; and by this regulation they

were entirely excluded from being the carriers to Great Britain, or

from importing to us the goods of any other European country.

Thirdly, A great variety INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница of the most bulky articles of importation are

prohibited from being imported, even in British ships, from any

country but that in which they are produced, under pain of forfeiting

ship and cargo. This regulation, too, was probably intended against

the Dutch. Holland was then, as now, the great emporium for all

European goods; and by this regulation, British ships were hindered

from loading in Holland the goods of any other European country.

Fourthly, Salt fish of all kinds, whale fins, whalebone, oil, and

blubber, not caught by and cured on board British vessels, when

imported into Great Britain, are subject to double aliens INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница duty. The

Dutch, as they are still the principal, were then the only fishers in

Europe that attempted to supply foreign nations with fish. By this

regulation, a very heavy burden was laid upon their supplying Great

Britain.

When the act of navigation was made, though England and Holland were

not actually at war, the most violent animosity subsisted between the

two nations. It had begun during the government of the long

parliament, which first framed this act, and it broke out soon after

in the Dutch wars, during that of the Protector and of Charles II. It

is not impossible, therefore, that some of the regulations of this

famous INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница act may have proceeded from national animosity. They are as

wise, however, as if they had all been dictated by the most deliberate

wisdom. National animosity, at that particular time, aimed at the very

same object which the most deliberate wisdom would have recommended,

the diminution of the naval power of Holland, the only naval power

which could endanger the security of England.

The act of navigation is not favourable to foreign commerce, or to the

growth of that opulence which can arise from it. The interest of a

nation, in its commercial relations to foreign nations, is, like that

of a merchant with regard to INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница the different people with whom he deals,

to buy as cheap, and to sell as dear as possible. But it will be most

likely to buy cheap, when, by the most perfect freedom of trade, it

encourages all nations to bring to it the goods which it has occasion

to purchase; and, for the same reason, it will be most likely to sell

dear, when its markets are thus filled with the greatest number of

buyers. The act of navigation, it is true, lays no burden upon foreign

ships that come to export the produce of British industry. Even the

ancient aliens duty, which used to be INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница paid upon all goods, exported as

well as imported, has, by several subsequent acts, been taken off from

the greater part of the articles of exportation. But if foreigners,

either by prohibitions or high duties, are hindered from coming to

sell, they cannot always afford to come to buy; because, coming

without a cargo, they must lose the freight from their own country to

Great Britain. By diminishing the number of sellers, therefore, we

necessarily diminish that of buyers, and are thus likely not only to

buy foreign goods dearer, but to sell our own cheaper, than if there

was a more perfect freedom of INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница trade. As defence, however, is of much

more importance than opulence, the act of navigation is, perhaps, the

wisest of all the commercial regulations of England.

The second case, in which it will generally be advantageous to lay

some burden upon foreign for the encouragement of domestic industry,

is when some tax is imposed at home upon the produce of the latter. In

this case, it seems reasonable that an equal tax should be imposed

upon the like produce of the former. This would not give the monopoly

of the borne market to domestic industry, nor turn towards a

particular employment a greater share of the stock INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница and labour of the

country, than what would naturally go to it. It would only hinder any

part of what would naturally go to it from being turned away by the

tax into a less natural direction, and would leave the competition

between foreign and domestic industry, after the tax, as nearly as

possible upon the same footing as before it. In Great Britain, when

any such tax is laid upon the produce of domestic industry, it is

usual, at the same time, in order to stop the clamorous complaints of

our merchants and manufacturers, that they will be undersold at home,

to lay a much heavier duty upon INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница the importation of all foreign goods

of the same kind.

This second limitation of the freedom of trade, according to some

people, should, upon most occasions, be extended much farther than to

the precise foreign commodities which could come into competition with

those which had been taxed at home. When the necessaries of life have

been taxed in any country, it becomes proper, they pretend, to tax not

only the like necessaries of life imported from other countries, but

all sorts of foreign goods which can come into competition with any

thing that is the produce of domestic industry. Subsistence, they say,

becomes necessarily dearer in INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница consequence of such taxes; and the price

of labour must always rise with the price of the labourer's

subsistence. Every commodity, therefore, which is the produce of

domestic industry, though not immediately taxed itself, becomes dearer

in consequence of such taxes, because the labour which produces it

becomes so. Such taxes, therefore, are really equivalent, they say, to

a tax upon every particular commodity produced at home. In order to

put domestic upon the same footing with foreign industry, therefore,

it becomes necessary, they think, to lay some duty upon every foreign

commodity, equal to this enhancement of the price of the home

commodities with which INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница it can come into competition.

Whether taxes upon the necessaries of life, such as those in Great

Britain upon soap, salt, leather, candles, etc. necessarily raise the

price of labour, and consequently that of all other commodities, I

shall consider hereafter, when I come to treat of taxes. Supposing,

however, in the mean time, that they have this effect, and they have

it undoubtedly, this general enhancement of the price of all

commodities, in consequence of that labour, is a case which differs in

the two following respects from that of a particular commodity, of

which the price was enhanced by a particular tax immediately imposed

upon INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница it.

First, It might always be known with great exactness, how far the

price of such a commodity could be enhanced by such a tax; but how far

the general enhancement of the price of labour might affect that of

every different commodity about which labour was employed, could never

be known with any tolerable exactness. It would be impossible,

therefore, to proportion, with any tolerable exactness, the tax of

every foreign, to the enhancement of the price of every home

commodity.

Secondly, Taxes upon the necessaries of life have nearly the same

effect upon the circumstances of the people as a poor soil and a bad

climate INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница. Provisions are thereby rendered dearer, in the same manner as

if it required extraordinary labour and expense to raise them. As, in

the natural scarcity arising from soil and climate, it would be absurd

to direct the people in what manner they ought to employ their

capitals and industry, so is it likewise in the artificial scarcity

arising from such taxes. To be left to accommodate, as well as they

could, their industry to their situation, and to find out those

employments in which, notwithstanding their unfavourable

circumstances, they might have some advantage either in the home or in

the foreign market, is what, in both cases INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница, would evidently be most

for their advantage. To lay a new-tax upon them, because they are

already overburdened with taxes, and because they already pay too dear

for the necessaries of life, to make them likewise pay too dear for

the greater part of other commodities, is certainly a most absurd way

of making amends.

Such taxes, when they have grown up to a certain height, are a curse

equal to the barrenness of the earth, and the inclemency of the

heavens, and yet it is in the richest and most industrious countries

that they have been most generally imposed. No other countries could

support so great a INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница disorder. As the strongest bodies only can live and

enjoy health under an unwholesome regimen, so the nations only, that

in every sort of industry have the greatest natural and acquired

advantages, can subsist and prosper under such taxes. Holland is the

country in Europe in which they abound most, and which, from peculiar

circumstances, continues to prosper, not by means of them, as has been

most absurdly supposed, but in spite of them.

As there are two cases in which it will generally be advantageous to

lay some burden upon foreign for the encouragement of domestic

industry, so there are two others in which it INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница may sometimes be a

matter of deliberation, in the one, how far it is proper to continue

the free importation of certain foreign goods; and, in the other, how

far, or in what manner, it may be proper to restore that free

importation, after it has been for some time interrupted.

The case in which it may sometimes be a matter of deliberation how far

it is proper to continue the free importation of certain foreign

goods, is when some foreign nation restrains, by high duties or

prohibitions, the importation of some of our manufactures into their

country. Revenge, in this case, naturally dictates retaliation, and

that we should impose INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница the like duties and prohibitions upon the

importation of some or all of their manufactures into ours. Nations,

accordingly, seldom fail to retaliate in this manner. The French have

been particularly forward to favour their own manufactures, by

restraining the importation of such foreign goods as could come into

competition with them. In this consisted a great part of the policy of

Mr Colbert, who, notwithstanding his great abilities, seems in this

case to have been imposed upon by the sophistry of merchants and

manufacturers, who are always demanding a monopoly against their

countrymen. It is at present the opinion of the most intelligent men

in INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK. 39 страница France, that his operations of this kind have not been beneficial

to his country. That minister, by the tariff of 1667, imposed very

high duties upon a great number of foreign manufactures. Upon his

refusing to moderate them in favour of the Dutch, they, in 1671,

prohibited the importation of the wines, brandies, and manufactures of

France. The war of 1672 seems to have been in part occasioned by this

commercial dispute. The peace of Nimeguen put an end to it in 1678, by


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