Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XXII.: The way to make English Labour in the Fishing-Trade as cheap as that of Holland; that the People here must cohabit as close together; and the most probable Methods for effecting this, are to erect a Free-port, to impower Parishes to send - A Select Collection of Early English Tracts on Commerce from the Originals of Mun, Roberts, North, and Others
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CHAP. XXII.: The way to make English Labour in the Fishing-Trade as cheap as that of Holland; that the People here must cohabit as close together; and the most probable Methods for effecting this, are to erect a Free-port, to impower Parishes to send - 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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The way to make English Labour in the Fishing-Trade as cheap as that of Holland; that the People here must cohabit as close together; and the most probable Methods for effecting this, are to erect a Free-port, to impower Parishes to send their Pensioners to it, to give Privileges to such a Place; Also, all other Arts of working cheap must be allow’d.
LAstly, that the Dutch may have no Advantage over us for the Fishing-Trade by their cheaper Labour, The People might be brought to live as close together here for the better carrying on of this Trade, as they do in Holland. In England, they might for this purpose be brought as close together, without any publick Charge, and with exceeding Profit to the Kingdom.
First,A Free-Port might be erected without Publick Charge, By erecting any convenient Place in England into a Free-Port; this wou’d be a way of bringing great Numbers of People close together, very easie to the Publick; the thing wou’d be done at the voluntary charge of Merchants. The Merchant must be very much disabled to gain by his Trade, if either he shall be compell’d to carry out his imported Merchandises within the Year before the Foreign Markets call for them, or after the Year without drawing back the Customs. It is without doubt, the interest of Merchants to be oblig’d to neither of these things. Now the way to be compell’d to neither, is, that a Free-Port shou’d be erected in any convenient Place in England, that Houses and Ware-house shou’d be built for the reception of Goods, which at all times may be freely imported hither, and may again be as freely exported. Such a Place wou’d soon be built and peopled; the Interest of Merchants wou’d do the thing; it wou’d be done without any publick Charge. This wou’d be a way very easie to the Kingdom, of drawing great Numbers of People close together.
And it were also a very profitable way;and to the Publick Benefit. from a Free-Port at all times, all things may be exported, they pay no Customs at their coming in, and therefore are not limited to Times for drawing back their Customs, in order to their being carried out again; so that to erect a Free-Port, is to enable the Merchant to wait his own time; not to oblige him to carry out his Goods before the Foreign Markets call for them: it is consequently to enable him to sell his Goods so much dearer, it is to increase the Riches of the Merchant. The Riches of every individual Man is part of the Riches of the whole Community. Wherefore, if to erect a Free-Port is to increase the Riches of the Merchant, it must increase the Riches of the Kingdom. A Free-Port then wou’d be a very easie, ’twou’d be likewise a very profitable way of drawing great Numbers of People close together. And indeed, if this were done, if it shou’d please God to press the Dutch with greater difficulties than they will be able to overcome, whither is it so likely that they wou’d run their great Estates for shelter as into England; but the want of a Free-Port, together with the Act of Navigation, (which in other respects, is the best that was ever made for the security and improvement of our Trade,) makes England more dangerous than Rocks and Sands to Holland.
For increasing the People of this Place,Parishes might send the Pensioners to this Free-Port, this wou’d not be chargeable, Parishes might be impower’d to send their Pensioners to it; this also wou’d be done at the voluntary charge of every Parish, like the present way of removing poor Persons from one Parish to another; the Publick wou’d not feel it, the Way must needs be easie to the Kingdom.
And also, it wou’d be very profitable;but very profitable to the Publick. the poor People collected thus together, wou’d find more variety of Imployments, fit for Persons of all conditions, in a place exceeding Populous, abounding with variety of Business and full of Manufactures, than as now, dispers’d over all the Kingdom, confin’d to Parishes, in which they are of little use, disabled to go where proper Business calls for them. The Blind and Lame, Young and Old, Women and Children, by their united Labours, might be serviceable to one another, they are now dispers’d; they are neither useful to the Publick nor Themselves. Collected altogether, the Poor wou’d be more likely to provide their own Maintenance, to ease the Publick of this Charge; so that, to impower Parishes to send their Pensioners to this Free-Port, wou’d be a profitable way of bringing great Numbers to cohabit close together: At least, thus the Poor cou’d not be more chargeable to the Kingdom, than when dispers’d and confin’d to Parishes that have no Business for them, and which are therefore willing to part with them; so that if to collect the Poor together shou’d import no profit, yet it cou’d never hurt the Publick. But for the Reasons before, we may venture to conclude, That to impower Parishes to send their Pensioners to this Place, wou’d be a very easie and a very profitable way of making great Numbers of People cohabit close together.
Lastly,Privileges of a Place, the way to increase the People. To give present Privileges to such a Place, to give it a Freedom from Taxes, Customs, and Excises, must needs increase the People. And what hurt were this to the Publick, that people who chiefly live on Charity, shou’d be eas’d of Charges which they cannot bear? That it shou’d be made more easie for them to earn their own Living, by abating the prices of things? By this the Publick wou’d suffer no damage, and without doubt great Numbers of People wou’d be added to the place. So that Ways are shewn for bringing People together without any Publick Charge, and with exceeding Profit to the Kingdom.
Now,The Dutch then wou’d not be able to work cheaper by their closer cohabitation. after all other Preliminaries settled, the chief Application of this place, must be to Fishing, to building Busses, making Netts, and the several Appendages of this Trade; it must be suppos’d, that all things necessary might be imported hither as cheap, and might be sold here for as little profit as they are in Holland. Why then, in so close a cohabitation of People of the same Trade and Profession; besides that, Cheats and extravagant Prices wou’d be prevented; every one wou’d be a cheque upon his Neighbour’s Price, every one wou’d be oblig’d to live frugally, and sell cheap, for fear of being undersold by his more frugal Neighbour. It wou’d follow also, that every Work of as great variety, might be done with as much Order and Regularity as any like is done in Holland. No such wou’d be left to the slow and clumsy performance of single Persons; every one wou’d have his proper Share of every Manufacture; ’twou’d be the emulation and care of every one, to work as well and as cheap as others; so that every one wou’d be still advancing to farther Perfection upon the Invention of others. And thus perhaps, our whole Business might be done with as much Perfection and Expedition, with as little and as cheap Labour as it is in Holland.
So close a cohabitation of the People,All other ways of cheap Labour must be allow’d. wou’d still abate the price of things, by abating the Labour bestow’d upon them; the Carriage of things from one Work-man to another, wou’d be so much less: And yet, still it might be lessen’d by Navigable Cutts and Channels, to save the charge of Carriage.
Trenches also might be made, where, in the intervals of Fishing, the Buss might lodge secure, and be refitted with less Cost. Mills, and Engines, and all other Arts, shou’d be allow’d to save the Labour of Hands. And whatsoever other Obstructions there are, these also shou’d be remov’d. But, perhaps I have already nam’d enough to create a despair of the thing, to make it credible, That our Herrings are not likely to pay the Cost and Charge that must be bestow’d upon them. If I have done so, I have reinforc’d my former Argument; The Fishing-Trade is not so profitable as the Importation of Irish Cattel, or of Indian Manufactures.