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299.: To SIR JOHN SINCLAIR OF ULBSTER - 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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To SIR JOHN SINCLAIR OF ULBSTER
John Sinclair, Life and Times of Sir John Sinclair (1837), i. 39; Rae 344–5.
I dislike all taxes that may affect the necessary expenses of the poor. They, according to circumstances, either oppress the people immediately subject to them, or are repaid with great interest by the rich, i.e. by their employers in the advanced wages of their labour. Taxes on the luxuries of the poor, upon their beer and other spirituous liquors, for example, as long as they are so moderate as not to give much temptation to smuggling, I am so far from disapproving, that I took upon them as the best of sumptuary laws.
I could write a volume upon the folly and the bad effects of all the legal encouragements that have been given either to the linen manufacture or to the fisheries.—I have the honour to be, with most sincere regard, my dear friend, most affectionately yours,
[1 ]Possibly this is part of Letter 253 addressed to Sinclair, dated 30 Jan. 1786. John Sinclair states in the life of his father that the original consisted of a ‘holograph letter in six folio pages’, and Rae adds that only the conclusion is extant.