Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECT. IV.: Of Forreign Trade from Port to Port, the Nature and Advantage of it, differs from meer Carriage, and meer Importation; the necessity of a Home Storehouse: The ordinary Exporting of Money or Bullion, of dangerous consequence; how to be avoided: - A Select Collection of Early English Tracts on Commerce from the Originals of Mun, Roberts, North, and Others
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SECT. IV.: Of Forreign Trade from Port to Port, the Nature and Advantage of it, differs from meer Carriage, and meer Importation; the necessity of a Home Storehouse: The ordinary Exporting of Money or Bullion, of dangerous consequence; how to be avoided: - John Ramsay McCulloch, A Select Collection of Early English Tracts on Commerce from the Originals of Mun, Roberts, North, and Others 
A Select Collection of Early English Tracts on Commerce from the Originals of Mun, Roberts, North, and Others, with a Preface and Index (London: Printed for the Political Economy Club, 1856).
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Of Forreign Trade from Port to Port, the Nature and Advantage of it, differs from meer Carriage, and meer Importation; the necessity of a Home Storehouse: The ordinary Exporting of Money or Bullion, of dangerous consequence; how to be avoided: The Fishing-Trade, and Trade from Port to Port, are the Nursery and Support of Sea-men, and Sea-towns; The Condition of Ours; The National Advantages of England for all sorts of Trade, yet hath the least share.
SInce the Trade from Port to Port will cause a great Navigation, and also bring in very much Treasure, and therefore if it be added to the Trade of Exportation, must render a Nation the Miracle of Riches and Power; I shall next consider what this Trade from Port to Port really consists in, and by what methods it may be driven most advantagiously to a Nation.
A Trade from Port to Port may be most properly so called, when a Merchant of one Nation buying Goods in another, the Property becomes his, and he carries them to a third Forreign Market on his own account; thus the Dutch buy up, Export and sell the French Manufactures and Commodities; But if a Dutch-man carry French Goods to be sold in a Forreign Market, on a French-man’s account, taking a certain Rate for the Hire of his Ship; this is not properly a Trade from Port to Port, but is meer Carriage; which sort of Imployment (though it may seem least reputable) may increase the National Treasure, as the Navigation used in it is more or less, and may imploy many Sea-men.
A Trade from Port to Port doth also differ from meer Importation, which is, when the Merchant does Import Consumptive Commodities, which are spent at Home, in which case, if the importations are excessive, it may truly be called The Disease of Trade, since it must cause an Exportation of the National Stock of Treasure, and thereby may soon ruine a Nation, as will be shewn; But so cannot a Trade from Port to Port, truly so called, because the Goods bought being sold or bartered off, at other Forreign Ports, must be ultimately converted into more and more money, and thereby increase the home Treasure.
This Trading from Port to Port, does not wholly consist in the Carriage of a Commodity from one Port directly to another; nor can be so driven to any great, or ordinary Advantage; for the Merchants thus Imployed, must either Trade little, or else must glut the Ports they go to with an over-great quantity of Goods of the same kind; and therefore for the full improvement of a Trade from Port to Port, it is generally necessary, That the Merchants should first unlade at Home, which will inevitably render a Nation so Trading a compleat and mighty Storehouse of all Forreign Manufactures and Commodities; and then from this infinite Miscellany of Goods (as the Merchants observe their time for a Market and the Ports they go to) they may freight their Ships with such sortible Commodities andCargoes as are proper and vendible to advantage;See Sir William Temple’s Book of the Dutch Cap. of Trade, pag. 210, 232. Thus are the Dutch Provinces become the mighty Storehouse of the World; the Plenties of the World do grow and increase in other Countries, but there are the Stores, and thence do their Merchants furnish themselves for all sorts of Voyages; “Thus they Transport the Merchandizes of France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turky, the East and West Indies to the East and North-East Countries of Pomerland, Sprusland, Muscovy, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Liefland, Swedeland, Germany; and the Merchandizes of the last mentioned Kingdoms they transport into the Southern and Western Nations,” as Sir Walter Raileigh long since noted, nor is a Trade from Port to Port practicable, or can be improved to any considerable or valuable degree, unless the Nation be made an universal Storehouse.
In the Trade from Port to Port there must be some kinds of Original Exportation, because the Merchant cannot purchase Forreign Goods in a Forreign Port for nothing.
And one would think it should hardly be a question, whether in this way of Trade it be most profitable to a Nation to Export Manufacture, or other home Commodities, or Money, or Bullion.
Stat. restraining the Exportation of Money and Bullion are 9 E. 3. Cap. 1. 2 H. 4. 5th 5 R. 2. 2 H. 6. 6th 4 H. 7. 23. 19 H. 7. 5.But of late years many of our Merchants very much contend for a Liberty to Export Money or Bullion as advantagious to the Trade of the Nation, and have gotten an Act of Parliament to Legitimate the exporting of Bullion, contrary to many other former Statutes, and now Bullion and Money also are become our usual exportable Commodities.
The Exportation of Bullion Licensed by a short Clause of 15 Car. 2, Cap. 7. intituled Trade Incouraged.But I shall oppose the ordinary Exporting of Money or Bullion in Trade, especially as the Constitution of our Trade now is, for the Reasons following:
First, I shall admit that the exporting of Treasure in the Trade from Port to Port may increase Treasure, provided that the Merchant makes wise Bargains, and his Ships return safe, neither of which is altogether certain; But supposing the Merchant be both so wise and fortunate, yet ’tis very plain that in this way of Trade the Merchant cannot bring more new Treasure to the Nation than the Merchant by his judicious and prosperous dealing and Voyage can Add to the Original Sum he carried out.
But had the Merchant taken off and exported to the same value in home Manufacture or Commodity, ’tis as plain that the very vending or bartering of that Manufacture or Commodity, would have been a farther Gain to the Nation, to the full value of the Manufacture or Commodity exported; since the Manufacture or home Commodity sold would finally resolve into Treasure, nay, though the Merchant gain but little or nothing in this case, yet the Nation must be a Gainer to the value of the Manufacture or other Commodity exported.
As suppose a Dutch or English Ship go with exported Treasure to France, where the Merchant buys French Wine for 1000l. which afterwards he carries into the Sound, and there sells it for 1300l. the Merchant hath brought but 300l. new Treasure or Credit to the Nation; But had the Merchant Exported Herrings or home Manufacture, and by Sale or Barter of his Fish or Manufacture had purchased the same quantity of Wines, which afterwards he sold for 1300l. the Nation must presently have a new Addition of Treasure or Credit for the whole 1300l. In which last Case the Nation gets a new 1000l. by the labours of the Fishers or Manufacturers, besides the 300l. got by the Merchant; if the Merchant had got nothing, yet the Nation had gained 1000l.
Secondly, In this last Case great numbers of Manufacturers, Fishers, &c. are kept and well maintained at Home, whereas the ordinary Exportation of Money must make them idle and useless; whereof the further Consequence is, that the ordinary Exportation of Money must inevitably depopulate a Nation, if it be of any great extent of Territory; so must the Exportation of Bullion be attended with the same mischiefs for the same reasons: The Exportation of Bullion does also open a way for the Exporting of Coined Treasure, without any hazards of Seizure, by melting down the most valuable Coin into Bullion.
But I expect to be told that Hamburgh and Holland, &c. do allow of and use the Exportation of Treasure.
To which I answer, That there is no parallel between such Countries as these and England; For these are little Territories, much consisting of Merchants, their Agents, Factors, and dependents, who live by meer Merchandize, that the rest of the people being but few (in Comparison of what are necessary to people so great and fertile a Nation as England) may be supported with much fewer and lesser Manufactures and home Employments; and therefore that the Exporting of Treasure must be less dangerous, and perhaps may be the more necessary there, because by the fewness of people, and consequential restraint of Manufactures, their Merchants may be confined in the bulk and variety of home Commodities to Export.
If it be said that no Nation can be so stored with home Commodities, as to answer all Forreign Ports and Markets, and therefore that it may be sometimes necessary to Export Treasure in every trading Nation; This perhaps may be true in some degree; But this is another question; and in the mean time it remains that it is most profitable to a Nation to Export home Commodities (where it may be done) rather than Money or Bullion, and therefore that the Merchants ought to be restrained from it as much as it is possible.
Then as to the other question, how far it may be necessary in a Nation to Export Money in Trade, It must depend upon the greater or lesser Improvement of the National Trade.
For as a Nation hath a more universal Manufacture and Fishery, more Drinks, Fruits, Curiosities, and Delicacies of its own, its Merchants will be more and more enabled to Fraight themselves outwards with home Commodities; These mighty Stores of home Commodities can only be had in great fertile and populous Nations.
But suppose a Nation be not, or cannot be so fully stored with home Commodities as to Answer all Forreign Markets, yet its Merchants first Exporting home Commodities to Ports where they are Vendible, may by a Barter, Sale, or Exchange of these, and an eternal Succession of Voyages and Contracts, make the Nation where they live a Storehouse to Perfection; and will then have the choice of all Merchandizes on the Earth to Export; and therefore may ordinarily and beneficially Trade to any Forreign Port without exporting Treasure; And if they may, they will, because else they will loose the benefit of the Market for the goods they may re-Export; Thus even the Dutch originally Exporting Herring, Cod, Earthen Wares, Woollen Cloth, Linnen, and of late Silks, and other home Commodities, and having by the Barter or Sale of these compleated their home Storehouse, can ordinarily buy at Foreign Markets, without Exporting Treasure; By this means are the Dutch enabled to Trade as they do to Swedeland, Liefeland, and Norway, where by selling or bartering of their own and Forreign Commodities, they provide themselves with the materials of Pitch, Tar, Hemp and Flax, necessary for Navigation, and with Timber, and other Commodities, for their use at Home, and Trade abroad, whilst the same Commodities cost the English some 100000l. per annum, since the decay of our Cloth-Trade into those Ports; which kind of Trade is doubtless advantagious to some Merchants (else they would not continue it;) But does help to drain the Nation of its Treasure.
I do not say the Dutch never Export Treasure, but that by reason of their Forreign Storehouse, they are under no such ordinary necessity to do it; and in fact Export little or none to many other Countries, where the English Trade with much: whereof I shall have occasion to say more.
I shall conclude, that where the Home and Forreign Trade of a great and populous Nation is duly Regulated, and sufficiently Improved, there will be little necessity to Export Treasure.
To which I shall add, That the Exporting of Treasure in a Nation, having ill methods of Trade, must be yet more dangerous, because it facilitates meer Importation, and in England is chiefly serviceable to it, as will appear.
If a Trade from Port to Port be Improved to any great degree, it must necessarily very much increase the National Treasure, and numbers of people, especially Sea-men.
If 20000 Trading Vessels add 300l. per annum a piece to the National Stock yearly, the yearly National Gain must amount to 6000000l. per annum, and so in any greater or lesser proportion, as the Navigation or Gain is greater or less; of which we have a plain Example in the Dutch, who in about Ninety or 100 years time have arrived to a wonderful Wealth and Strength by it, though they have been always forced to buy much of their Victuals and Materials of Clothing, all their Materials of Shipping, and many other chargeable Necessaries from Forreigners, which must be a prodigious Annual Expence.
A Fishing-Trade is one great and certain Nursery of Sea-men, and brings Wealth and Comfort to Sea-Towns; But a Flourishing Trade from Port to Port will make better and more Sea-men, inrich Sea-towns more, and will Imploy very considerable numbers of people at Land, in Building, Manufacturing, Repairing, and other ordering of the Shipping, Tackle, and Goods Imported and Exported, besides the Merchants and their more immediate Dependants; Thus do we see the Towns upon our opposite Shores abound in Riches and People, whilst our own Sea-towns languish more and more.
And from hence it may appear, that for the utmost advance of this Trade, it is necessary there should be very much Shipping in a Nation, multitudes of Seamen, great Stocks continually imployed in Merchandize, great numbers of Merchants, and lastly safe Ports and Harbours.
I shall end this with some retrospect to the last Section, by observing, that no Nation in the World is naturally so adapted for a mighty Trade of all sorts as England.
First, Because it hath more excellent Native Commodities than any one Nation in the World, as Copper, Lead, Iron, Tin, Allome, Copperas, Saffron, Fell, the mighty Commodity of Wooll, Corn, convertible into Beer, and Transportable, besides near 100 others, which are capable of near 1000 sorts of Manufactures, as Sir Walter Rawleigh observes.
That it is one of the most Fertile of Kingdoms, and therefore out of its own Stores might support almost infinite numbers of people both for Manufactures at home, and Trade abroad, especially as the Island might be improved.
That it hath more and safer Ports and Harbours than almost all the Nations in Europe put together.
That it is better scituated for the Northern, Eastern, Southern and Western Trades than any other Nation.
That the Herring and Cod, with which the Dutch drive so mighty a Trade, are caught in our English Seas, upon our own Coasts and Shores, and may be managed with more ease and advantage by the English, than by any other Nation.
And to conclude, That our People are strong and able for Work at Home, generous and adventurous abroad, and such as all the rest of the World have most coveted to commerce with, and naturally as ingenious, industrious, and willing to labour as any part of Mankind, so long as they can have a reasonable fruit of their Labours, which hath been evidenced by many former undeniable Experiences.
Notwithstanding all which Advantages, England hath had very few considerable Manufactures, some of which are lost, and the rest decaying; nor have we any considerable remaining Trade from Port to Port, or Fishing-Trade, of which there are doubtless some Reasons and Causes very fit to be understood and regulated, since the Wealth, Strength, Happiness and Safety of England immediately depend upon it; I shall therefore in the three next ensuing Sections give an Account of such particular Obstructions in our Trade, as have fallen under my notice.