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COTTON AND COTTON GOODS.
Ax Account of the Quantity of Cotton Wool, Cotton Twist, and Manufactured Cotton Goods exported, during each of the last Five Years, from Great Britain to Ireland.
Ax Account of the Quantity of Cotton Wool, Cotton Twist, and Manufactured Cotton Goods, exported from Ireland to Great Britain, during each of the last Five Years.
As Accouict of all Ships or Vessels having Cotton on board from Alexandria, which have
arrived this Year (1825).
Names of the vessels.
William and Henry .. .
Total 30 ships
A letter to the right honourable the chancellor of the exchequer from the corn distillers in England, dated 30th May, 1825, and signed by twenty individuals, strongly protests against the permission to rectifiers to convert West India rum, or other colonial spirit, into English gin, as a measure threatening the English corn distillery with utter destruction. After adverting to the benefits which the revenue has derived from the English distillery, the expense to which they had been recently put in remodelling their plants to adapt them to the new order of things, and the intention to allow rum to go to the rectifier at the entirely inadequate protecting duty to the distiller of 1*. 3d. per gallon, the letter proceeds:—
"Sir, you are aware that, in the London "market, rum can be had in abundant supply, "without duty, at from It. 3d. to Is. (id. per "gallon proof, and that, if to this be added "the It. 3d. of nominal protection, it would "still enable the rectifier to buy his rum, fit "for making into gin, at the low price of from "it. 6d. to It. 9d.
"Rum, we need scarcely mention, is manu"factum! by the planter from an article form"ing the very refuse of his estates, and other. "wise of little value. The use of this material, "although subject to the expense of freight, "and to a duty on importation into England, "is even denied to the English distiller. In "all matters with respect to his process, the "planter is totally unfettered and unrestricted "by government. His rum, when brought to "market, he may keep in warehouse for an "unlimited period, without payment of duty; "and, when it is taken out for consumption, "duty is charged only on the quantities re"maining in the casks, instead, as was formerly "the case, of the quantities ascertained by the "landing guage. The difference between that "mode and the present is well understood to "be worth at least three-pence per gallon in "favour of the proprietor.
M The corn distiller, on the other hand, at "the price of corn either now or in prospect, "is disabled from affording his spirits on terms "at all similar to rum. Taking twenty gallons "as the produce of one quarter, (and for this it "requires the use of good corn,) with 1*. 3d. "per gallon for yeast, coals, and other expenses "of manufacturing, the cost, without any profit "whatever to himself, would be 3*. 3d. When the spirits are made entirely from malt, unmixed with raw com, such as are now made and consumed in Scotland, it would be 1*. "more, or 4*. 3d. per gallon."
The charge for unloading the cargoes of private ships using the dock is now at the rate rf ten shillings per ton, according to the reriitr tonnage of the vessel; and the charge for unloading ships built in the East Indies (called country ships), manned with not less than tinthirds of their crews Lascars, is at the rale of eight shillings per ton; both these rates bonj subject to a deduction amounting to about me shilling per ton, in case the ship leaves the dots immediately after completing the delivery of her cargo. On the goods imported by the said ibip* a rate of two shillings per ton is charged in satisfaction of the use and convenience of the docks; and by the act 46 Geo. III. cap. MX a further rate of two shillings per ton is sathorised to be taken for the wharfage of sort goods as may be landed, and for kadins; tl* same in caravans-for conveyance to the warehouses.
The charge for loading a ship outwardi tt two shillings per ton on the register tonnsgt of the vessel.
Ax Account skewing the total Number of Vessels, of every description, with their Tonnage, which entered the East India Docks in the Year 1824; with the average Tonnage of the Vessels.
As Account shewing the Number of Ships, of the average burthen of 300 Tons, wliich the East India Docks are capable of containing at one time; the greatest Number of Vessels, with their Register Tonnage, which were loading or discharging at any one time in the Year 1824; and the Number of Vessels which were loading or discharging in the said Docks on the 5th of April, 1825.
EXPORT OF TOOLS AND MACHINERY.
Report from the Select Committee of the Home of Commons appointed to inquire into the State of the Laic, and its Consequences, respecting the Exportation of Tools and Machinery.
It is necessary, for the purpose of reporting fully to the house on this subject, to advert to the proceedings of the committee, appointed in the last session " to inquire into the state of the "law in the United Kingdom, and its conse"quences, respecting artisans leaving the king. '• dom and residing abroad; also into the state "of the law, and its consequences, respecting "the exportation of tools and machinery; and "into the state of the law and its effects, so far "as relates to the combination of workmen and "others to raise wages, or to regulate their "wage* and hours of working; and to report "their opinion and observations thereon." From the minutes of evidence taken before that oomraittee, it appears that a considerable number of persons were examined respecting the exportation of tools and machinery, and the laws relating thereto, and that considerable apprehensions of evil from the repeal of the laws which forbid the exportation of tools and machinery were entertained by many persons enpaged in the manufacture of cotton goods, lace, &c, and also by some manufacturers of machinery, whilst other manufacturers of machinery, persons of great experience and intelligence, were decidedly of opinion, that the prohibition to export tools and machines was beneficial tn no one, and highly injurious to the
commerce and manufactures of this and other countries. The committee, therefore, in order that a more correct judgment might be formed on matters of so much importance, refrained from proposing any measure to the house at that time, but came to the following resolution :—
"That your committee have examined evi"dence respecting the export of machinery, "which will be found in the Appendix; but "they are of opinion, that further inquiry and a "more complete investigation should take place "before this important subject can be satis"factorily decided on; and they therefore re"commend that the consideration of this iin. "portant question should be resumed in the "next session of parliament."
With respect to the laws which forbid the exportation of tools and machinery, and their general inefficiency to accomplish the ends for which they were enacted, very conclusive evidence was given by Mr. Dean, the chairman of the board of customs, by several of the principal officers of the customs, and others.
It appears, that in consequence of some tools and machines being legally exportable, and others being altogether prohibited, and from the circumstance of new tools and machines being daily invented, and not prohibited by name in any act of parliament, it is extremely difficult, and frequently impossible, for the officers of the customs to decide upon what is and what is not prohibited to be exported. Every one of the officers examined by the committee proved the inadequacy of the laws for the ptirposps intended, and expressed their donbts as to the possibility of any law being rendered efficient, while any tool or machine whatsoever was permitted to be exported. It was abo proved by several witnesses *, that considerable quantities of prohibited machinery were exported; and the minutes of evidence accompanying this Report exhibit a system of smuggling carried on to a considerable extent. This system is safely carried on by the insurance of the machinery which is prohibited by law to be exported; and there is reason to believe that, in regard to the exportation of such prohibited machinery to France, the premium paid to the insurer does not much exceed the duty charged on the importation of such machinery into that country.
"knowledge, that the officers, two or three "years ago, actually seized a quantity of ma. "chinery going to France, and some of that "machinery was sold at the custom-house, and "bought, and sent there to the person after"wards in France who originally ordered it, "and that transaction, I understand, took pixy "last year; and I believe the government and "the custom-house employed all due diligence, "but the plans of the shippers were so cmn"plete,. that all the precaution and diligence of "the custom-house went for nothing *."
Evidence was given before the committee of 1824 f, and also before this committee, that a considerable portion of prohibited machinery consists of such ordinary and common parts and Your committee cannot better express them- pieces of machines, applicable as well to ma
selves on these subjects than by extracting a part of the evidence taken :—
"Could you at the present moment, if you "wished to export cotton or other machinery, "do so by paying the insurance ?—Yes, any "quantity; the greater the better.
"Then are you of opinion that the laws are "not effectual to prevent those articles that are "prohibited from being exported ?—They are "wholly inefficient, both as regards direct and "indirect exportation ; the direct mode of send"ing out machinery in quantities I have stated; "the indirect mode is accomplished by mixingthe "prohibited with the unprohibited articles: it is "worth any man's while to order a quantity of "unprohibited machinery to get out a quantity "of prohibited, for under this mode it is very "difficult to separate prohibited from unpro"hibited machinery, and this never can be de"tected by custom-house officers.
"Then while the exportation of machinery "and tools to any extent is allowed, it is im"possible to prevent the exportation of pro"hibited machinery ?—You never can prohibit "every kind of machinery from going, while "you permit any to go; it must either be "wholly open or wholly closed; there can be "no middle course.
"What is the highest rate of insurance for "the safe transit of goods illegally exported, "the highest that has come to your know. "ledge ?—I think it is from 45 to 30 per "cent, the large premium for small quantities; "if I had 20,000/. worth to send, I should pay '' 30 per cent to any port in France; but for "1,000/. or 1,500/. perhaps 40 per cent would "be required: the reason is, that a vessel en"gaged in such commerce is subject to all the '• inconveniences in taking 1,000/. worth that "it would for 20,000/., and the profit on small "quantities of machinery is not equivalent to "the increased price of insurance.
"Do you know how persons export prohi"bi ted machinery ?—I know of no other means "but those I have explained. A circumstance. "tliat is perhaps a little curious, came to my
• Mr. Nartioeau, Galloway, and Mr. Maudalar.
chines which are not by law prohibited, as to those which are prohibited, so that it is difficult, if not nearly impossible, for any one to say that they are actually parts of a prohibited machine. Other machines, or parts of machines, may be disguised; many parts of prohibited machine* are so small that they may be easily concealed, while other parts by being packed with took that can be exported, and also by exporting them from different ports, may be so disposed of as to render detection impossible.
"There are vast numbers of packages," sayi Mr. St. John, controlling searcher of the euttemt in London, "which we open, where there arc "parts of machinery packed with other iron "and steel articles from Birmingham, purpojrh "packed for deception; and it is almost an "impossibility for an officer to know whether "they are or are not prohibited, being onlr "parts of machinery." To the same effect it i» stated by Mr. Boyd, general-surveyor of tie customs: "Out of a vast number of package) "exported, but a small proportion ran he "opened at all; and in opening a proportioa "of those packages occasionally, they do in"cover something that is machinery; but it u "always in detached pieces and in parts; large "machines cannot all be made up in one pack"age, and they have a great deal of difficulty in "telling whether those proportions belong to > "machine that is prohibited; and a great many "pass in packages which are not opened he"cause they cannot be opened. It is a rerr "rare occurrence indeed to meet with prohihiifJ "machinery which appears so."
It is however asserted, by Mr. Ewart and SirKennedy, that if the searchers at the cuiuanhouses were well instructed, that they nnHit distinguish the prohibited from the unprohibited machinery, admitting at the same time, however, that it would be difficult to put the law rigidly into effect.
Considerable discrepancies in the laws were also pointed out by the officers of the i
• Mr. Alexander Galloway.
t By Mr. Marthmu. Mr. Oraman. Mr. Mawhlri.
,'.n<l other witnesses : thus, presses of all sorts in metal, with or without the screw, are prohibited tools, but the screw alone is not a prohibited tool; and hence it follows that nothing belonging to a press is prohibited, except the frame, which is the least important part, and that too, when sent in pieces, which it may be, is not considered a frame. In other cases tools and machines are prohibited, hut the tools to make them are not generally prohibited. Lathes, with the exception of potters' lathes, are not prohibited, tie their power ever so great. Steam engines .ire not prohibited, and yet by means of steam engines and lathes, with other common tools allowed to be exported, almost every other tool and machine may be manufactured.
It was stated to the committee, that newly invented machines in the iron or steel manufacture might generally be exported, but that those in the cotton, woollen, linen, or silk, if known, would be prohibited; and all the gentlemen from the custom-house affirmed, that the law was so defective, that, by a little contrivance, the facility of evading it was such, that "all the block machinery at Portsmouth might "be exported."
Much more might be stated from the evidence on this subject; but enough, it is hoped, has be;n brought forward to shew the inefficiency of the laws intended to prevent the exportation of machinery and tools; and it must be evident to every one, that laws that cannot be executed, and thereby become an incentive to fraud, ought either to be amended so as to render them efficient, or totally repealed.
Another important part of the inquiry relates to the policy, in a political and commercial view, of prohibiting the exportation of tools and machinery upon the supposition that the laws could be rendered efficient to that end. And here your committee beg leave to observe, that at the times when the several laws were made which prohibit the exportation of tools and machinery, very erroneous notions were generally entertained in regard to commerce and manufactures. It was then a received opinion, that the liberty of exporting any thing that was likely to increase the commerce and manufactures of another country, would be injurious to those of the country from which the exportation was made; and hence arose those various enactments re•pecting trade, as well as those which prohibit the exportation of tools and machinery from the I'nited Kingdom.
The history of the acts which still remain on the statute book relating to the exportation of •ook and machinery, would, if unfolded, shew '"th from the intervals of time which elapsed 'wween the passing of these acts, and the perplexity which prevails in the enactments themselves as to what may or may not be exported, that no fixed principle was kept in view, but that they were dictated by a mistaken jealousy of pirmitting other nations to benefit by our
improvements. In order, however, to draw the attention of the house more particularly to the present state of the law respecting the exportation of tools and machinery, your committee have deemed it proper to put, in an Appendix to their Report, the various clauses of the existing statutes relating to this subject; the slightest attention to which, in the opinion of your committee, will be sufficient to confirm the observations which they have thought proper to make upon them, and the recommendation with which they have closed their Report.
The first act pointed out by the commissioners of the customs, as a rule for their conduct, is the 7th and 8th of William III. (1696), when the exportation of the new stocking frames (invented by William Lee, A.m. of Cambridge, about the year 1600) was first prohibited, being about 100 years after their invention, and nearly 30 after their introduction in France; and it will be seen by sect. 9, that even the removal of theso frames from place to place in England was prohibited in all cases, unless due notice was given to the company of framework-knitters in London. It is still illegal to remove any of these stocking frames from one town or place to another, although it would be altogether impossible to give the notice required, or to obtain such leave, as the framework-knitters' company has ceased to exist for upwards of half a century.
It is also worthy of observation, that although, so early as the year 1497, woollen cloth was one of the greatest articles of exportation, and is so considered in a supplementary treaty of commerce concluded in that year between Henry VII. and the archduke Philip, sovereign of the Netherlands; and although that manufacture continued to be a staple of great importance to this country, arising partly perhaps from the quality of the wool, and partly from the improvements in our machinery, yet no legislative enactment was deemed necessary for its protection, as regarded the implements used, till the year 1750, when the 23d Geo. II. c. 13, was passed, in order to prohibit the exportation of the tools or utensils employed in its fabrication. An interval of more than half a century had thus elapsed, during which period no interference on the part of the legislature to prevent the exportation of any kind of tools appears to have token place. In the same act, however, of 1750, prohibiting the exportation of tools or utensils used in the woollen trade, there is most unaccountably included a prohibition of the tools or utensils employed in the silk trade, although at that period the manufacture of silk in this country was still in its infancy, and the implements and tools in use in Great Britain were confessedly inferior to those on the continent.
It will be in the recollection of the house, that one of the principal objections made in the last session of parliament to the importation oi silk manufactures, was the alleged superiority