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200.: From HENRY DUNDAS - Adam Smith, Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 6 Correspondence of Adam Smith 
Correspondence of Adam Smith, ed. E. C. Mossner and I. S. Ross, vol. VI of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1987).
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From HENRY DUNDAS
MS., among papers of William Eden, Lord Auckland (copy of letter sent to Smith); English Historical Review i (1886), 308–11; Rae 352–3.
Melville, 30 Oct. 1779
I received the enclosed last night from Mr Eden.1 The questions he puts would require a volume to answer them in place of a Letter.2 Think of it however and let me have your ideas upon it.3 For my own part I confess myself little alarmed about what others seem so much alarmed. I doubt much if a free trade to Ireland is so very much to be dreaded. There is trade enough in the world for the Industry both of Britain and Ireland, and if two or three places either in south or north Britain should suffer some damage, which by the bye will be very gradual, from the loss of their monopoly, that is a very small consideration in the general scale and policy of the Country. The only thing to be guarded against is the people in Ireland being able to undersell us in foreign mercates from the want of Taxes and the Cheapness of labour. But a wise Statesman will be able to regulate that by proper distribution of taxes upon the materials and Commodities of the respective Countrys. I believe an union would be the best if it can be accomplished, if not the Irish Parliament must be managed by the proper distribution of the Loaves and fishes, so that the Legislatures of the two Countrys may act in union together. In short, it has long appeared to me that the bearing down of Ireland, was in truth bearing down a substantial part of the Naval and Military strength of our own Country. Indeed it has often shocked me in the House of Commons for these two years past, when anything was hinted in favour of Ireland by its friends, of even giving them only the benefit of making the most of what their soil or climate afforded them, to hear it received as a sufficient answer, that a town in England or Scotland would be hurt by such an Indulgence. This kind of reasoning will no longer do. But I find in place of asking yours I am giving you my opinion, so adieu.
[1 ]William Eden (1744–1814), M.P. 1774–93; md. a dau. of Gilbert Elliot of Minto; politically allied with Alexander Wedderburn; Lord of Trade 1776–82; Commissioner for Conciliation with America 1778–9; Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1780–2; envoy to France on special commercial mission 1785–8; Ambassador to Spain 1788–9, and to the United Provinces 1789–93; President of the Board of Trade 1806–7; cr. Baron Auckland 1789. In France Eden negotiated a commercial treaty named after himself, whose provisions were based on the argument advanced in WN IV.iii.c.12 (‘Additions’, 3rd edn. 1784) that France would provide a better market than the American colonies. The chief beneficiaries, as Smith had predicted, proved to be British industry and the French vineyards.
[2 ]On 12 Oct. the Irish Parliament had unanimously approved free trade for Ireland. Eden solicited Dundas’s opinion on this issue.
[3 ]See Letter 201 addressed to Dundas, dated 1 Nov., the same day that a politely ambiguous royal message was made known on the Irish question. Smith sent a similar copy to Lord Carlisle on 8 Nov.; see Letter 202.