Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XXI.: That the way to enable England to catch and cure their Herrings as cheap as Holland, is, first to have Materials for that Trade as cheap: and that this is most likely to be done, by discharging the Customs upon such things, by making the T - A Select Collection of Early English Tracts on Commerce from the Originals of Mun, Roberts, North, and Others
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CHAP. XXI.: That the way to enable England to catch and cure their Herrings as cheap as Holland, is, first to have Materials for that Trade as cheap: and that this is most likely to be done, by discharging the Customs upon such things, by making the T - 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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That the way to enable England to catch and cure their Herrings as cheap as Holland, is, first to have Materials for that Trade as cheap: and that this is most likely to be done, by discharging the Customs upon such things, by making the Trade for them free and open, by making the Carriage of them as cheap as it is in Holland; and that the last is not to be done without reduction of the price of Shipping: And the way for effecting this.
THAT we may also catch and cure Herrings as cheap as those of Holland,Our first Costs of things necessary for the Fishing-Trade, are or may be as little as in Holland. our things necessary for the Fishing-Trade, our Labour bestow’d upon them, must be as cheap.
It is said, That Salt as good and sizable for curing Herrings, may be made so very near the Coal-pits, so near a Navigable River, that tho’ it should be sold for more profit by the Maker, it may nevertheless be deliver’d as cheap to English Fisher-men, as like Salt can be sold in Holland.
Timber fit for building Busses, grows as cheap in Ireland, and perhaps in England, as in any Countrey from whence ’tis carried into Holland. Iron also might be made as cheap. And by a Law, to oblige of the Lands of every Parish a small proportion to be sown with Hemp and Flax, the Tax wou’d be very small upon the Kingdom, and new Materials for imployment of the People would be cheaply distributed up and down the Country. Now by opening the Navigation of some of our Rivers, perhaps these things might be brought as cheap to any place convenient for the Fishing-Trade, as like things are brought to Holland.
However, we buy the Timber, Iron, Hemp,Our Ships might be Navigated with as few Hands; and things might be imported as free of Customs; and as free a Trade wou’d oblige us to sell for as little profit as they do in Holland. the Rozin, Pitch and Tar, of the East-Country, as cheap as Holland; from the East-Country we might Navigate our Ships with as few Hands, we might import these things as free of Customs: By the same Methods by which Fishermen wou’d be oblig’d to sell their Herrings for as little profit, the importers of Materials for the Fishing-Trade, must also afford such things for as little as will suffice in Holland. If the Merchant buys Materials for the Fishing-Trade as cheap, if he imports these things as free of Customs, if he must also sell for as little profit, if he imports with as few hands, why shou’d not our English Fisher-men buy them as cheap as they are bought in Holland? There can be no other reason why they shou’d not, unless that Sea-men’s Wages are higher, and Ships are dearer Victuall’d here, or that our Voyage for these things is longer, and consequently more of the price of them must go to the Wages of the Sea-man, to the Provisions, to the Wear and Tear of the Ship; or, that our Shipping for the importation of these things, is dearer than it is in Holland. Certainly, neither are our Wages nor the price of Provisions so great as they are there. But, the length of our Voyage is something greater, our Shipping is a great deal dearer. Wherefore, if by any Method this last shall become so much cheaper as to be sold for sufficient profit into Holland, this will ballance our greater distance from the East-Country; this will enable our People to buy their Timber, Iron, Hemp, their Rozin, Pitch and Tar, as cheap as they do in Holland.
Wherefore,That English Shipping might be cheaper than that of Holland, they must build in the Plantations. that the English Shipping may be cheaper than that of Holland, Ships might be built in our Plantations, to be sold for sufficient profit to the Dutch, altho’ the Freight from the Plantations were not enough to pay their Passage hither.
Ships are built in the Plantations of cheaper Materials, and might be also by cheaper Labour. Materials there for Building,Materials are cheaper there. are cheaper. ’Tis true indeed, that Iron, Sails and Rigging, are bought in Europe, and therefore must be dearer in the Plantations; however, these things are carried thither in Ships that otherwise must carry empty Holds and Ballast, so that they are not dearer for the Carriage: Besides, the Customs upon these things to England, are drawn back upon their Exportation; so that they are cheaper in our Plantations than here in England, and indeed but little dearer than in Holland. But, if these things are something dearer, Timber, Rozin, Pitch and Tar, are so much cheaper; that at a medium, Materials are nothing near so dear in our Plantations.
Materials for Building there are cheaper; that these may be wrought by cheaper Labour,How Negroes might build with as much Skill, the Work might be perform’d by Negroes. To single Parts of Ships, single Negroes might be assign’d, the Manufacture of Keels to one, to another Rudders, to another Masts; to several others, several other Parts of Ships. Of which, the variety wou’d still be less to puzle and confound the Artist’s Skill, if he were not to vary from his Model, if the same Builders wou’d still confine themselves to the same Scantlings and Dimensions, never to diminish nor exceed their Patterns. And of Ships for the same kind of Trade, and for ordinary and common use; when once a good Model can be found, why shou’d the same be often chang’d. So that the same Negroes might be imploy’d in only single Parts of Ships of the same Scantlings and Dimensions, by which the Work of every one wou’d be render’d plain and easie. That it may not seem impossible for Negroes to be always imploy’d in the same Parts of Ships; either by Law, or by some small encouragement to begin the Work, our Ships for that Trade might all be built in the Plantations: Such Fleets are every Year us’d between England and the Plantations, as wou’d find full and constant work for Numbers of Builders equal to all the different Parts: And therefore, Negroes might always be imploy’d in only single, plain, and easie Parts of Ships. And, thus a way is shewn to build in our Plantations by the hands of Negroes, to render a Work of such variety plain and easie, to enable Negroes to build with as much skill as those in Holland.
The Strength of Negroes is as great;and Expedition, a way is shewn to make their Skill as great; wherefore, they might be taught to build as well, and with equal expedition.
The Wages of Negroes are not so great as of the Dutch Builders;and for as little Wages as Dutch Builders. the annual Service of a Negroe might be hir’d for half the Price that must be given to one of these. Only high Wages, or slow and clumsy Workmanship, make Labour dear. Negroes may build as good Ships with equal Expedition, for half the Wages that must be given in Holland. And therefore, Ships of cheaper Materials built by cheaper Labour in our Plantations, must needs be cheaper than equal Ships in Holland.
If Ships of Materials a great deal cheaper, might be built in our Plantations by Labour of half the price that must be given in Holland, they must needs be cheaper, and possibly by 20 or 30 per Cent. or by Thirty or Forty Shillings in every Ton.
Such Ships indeed,Ships built in the Plantations, might be Navigated to England without charge. wou’d be built at a very great distance from England, but yet ’twou’d cost us nothing to get them hither; their Passage hither might well be paid by the present usual Freight from thence, and perhaps by one quarter of the present usual Freight, tho’ all the Mariners to Navigate these Ships were still to be hired out of England.
I have heard, that for Ships not Overmasted, five Mariners are enough to every Hundred Tons; and that so many might be hired for Forty Pounds from England; so much wou’d be sufficient to pay the Wages and Passage of Seamen from England to any of our Plantations. As much more wou’d be sufficient to pay their Provisions and Wages back again to England; and this is all discharg’d by Freight of Sixteen Shillings for every Ton. Less than this wou’d pay the Wear and Tear of a Ship for a Voyage of so few Weeks; so that Thirty Shillings per Ton wou’d then be thought enough to pay the Passage of Ships from our Plantations into England.
’Tis true, that Freight so low will pay no profit to the Owner; but if a Ship can be built of Materials as cheap again, by Labour of half the price, that is, Thirty or Forty Shillings per Ton cheaper than such another can be built in Holland; the same wou’d bring sufficient profit to the Owner, tho’ it shou’d come for Freight so low, nay, tho’ all the Freight to England were not enough to pay the Passage; ’tis gain sufficient to the Builder, to sell his Ship for the profit of Twenty Shillings for every Ton.
And thus a Method is propos’d for building Ships in America,Consequences of reducing Freight from the Plantations by cheap Shipping. that may be sold for sufficient gain to the Dutch, altho’ the Freight from our Plantations hither, were brought down to Thirty, Twenty, or less than Twenty Shillings for every Ton. If Ships might be built so cheap in our Plantations, ’tis very likely the Freight from thence to England wou’d be run so low by emulation of our Plantation Builders.
For Freight so low from the Plantations, no Ships from England wou’d carry empty Holds and Ballast thither; the greatest part of those that come from thence, wou’d be sold and left in England; the few that wou’d return, wou’d always carry Cargoes of Manufactures and Mariners; the former for the use of the People there, the latter to navigate their Ships from thence: ’Twou’d be some benefit to England, to save the Carriage of empty Holds and Ballast, so long a Voyage, to save so much vain and unprofitable Labour.
By Freight so low from our Plantations, Tobacco, Sugar, and all the Produce of those Places, wou’d be imported so much cheaper; more wou’d be sold from England, our Foreign Trade wou’d be enlarg’d; and this wou’d be a greater benefit.
Timber, Pitch and Tar, and other Naval Stores, are bought for half the price in the Plantations, for which they can be bought in Europe: but Freight has always been too high to import such things so long a Voyage for profit: For Freight so low from our Plantations, these things might be imported thence a great deal cheaper into England, than they can be bought in any place in Europe. Certainly, ’twou’d be beneficial to England to become the Magazine of Naval Stores for all the rest of Europe. Besides, this were the way for England to have many Materials for the Fishing-Trade, cheaper than the same can be had in Holland.
’Tis not to be thought, that Busses, Dogger-boats and Vessels, for the immediate use of Fishermen, nor many other kind of Ships, can come from our Plantations; but Rudders, Masts and Keels, and other Parts of Ships of any kind, already fitted to certain Sizes and Dimensions, by the cheaper Labour of those Places, might be imported into England; nothing need be left to English Labour, but only to lay these several Parts together. If Freight from the Plantations cou’d be reduc’d so low, England might either build Busses to Fish her self, or cheap enough to sell to Holland. Then for the present, we might allow the Dutch to catch the Herrings, if they wou’d buy of us their Busses.
Ships of any kind brought to England so very cheap, will reduce the price of others here; no Ships will be dear as long as any kind is cheap. To build as cheap in England, Men will be forc’d to keep more to the same Models in Ships of ordinary and common use; they will be forc’d upon the invention of Mills and Engines, to save the charge of Hands: they will be forc’d to work with more Order and Regularity, by which their Labour may be afforded cheaper. To reduce the price of building Ships by Methods such as these, wou’d be a benefit to England.
But far the greatest benefit of all, wou’d be, that our Shipping shou’d be render’d cheaper than that of Holland. The Dutch wou’d then buy their Ships of us; however, they must be contented to let us trade with cheaper Shipping. This were the way for us to become the Carriers of the World, to profit by all that others eat, and drink, and wear: This were a surer way, and less odious to our Neighbours, than any Act of Navigation for only English Bottoms to be imploy’d, in the Carriage of Things to and from our own Country. Tho’ our distance is a little greater than that of Holland from the East-Country, this wou’d balance that Disadvantage, our Carriage thence wou’d be as cheap.
We buy our Fishing-Stores as cheap as Holland; these may be brought hither as free of Customs; by reducing the price of Shipping by the Methods that have been propos’d, the Carriage hither might be as cheap; a way is shewn for the Importer to expect as little profit: And this is all that is necessary to render Materials for the Fishing-Trade, as cheap in England as they are in Holland.