Front Page Titles (by Subject) RECIPROCITY OF DUTIES 6 June 1823 - The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 5 Speeches and Evidence
RECIPROCITY OF DUTIES 6 June 1823 - David Ricardo, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 5 Speeches and Evidence 
The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 5 Speeches and Evidence 1815-1823.
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First published by Cambridge University Press in 1951. Copyright 1951, 1952, 1955, 1973 by the Royal Economic Society. This edition of The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo is published by Liberty Fund, Inc., under license from the Royal Economic Society.
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RECIPROCITY OF DUTIES
6 June 1823
Mr. Huskisson (President of the Board of Trade) moved two resolutions authorising his majesty, by order in council, to declare that the importation or exportation of merchandise in foreign vessels might take place upon payment of the same duties as were payable on similar merchandise carried in British vessels, from or to countries which allowed reciprocal conditions; and granting powers of retaliation. This, he said, ‘was an entire departure from the principles which had hitherto governed our foreign commerce.... It had for a long time, indeed from thepassing of the Navigation act, been our policy to impose upon cargoes, brought in foreign vessels, higher duties than those imported in British bottoms’; that policy was becoming impossible, owing to retaliatory action taken by foreign countries.
Mr. Ricardo said, that the country was much indebted to his right hon. friend (Mr. Huskisson) for the enlightened views he had taken, and the measures he had brought forward, to improve the commerce of the country. Parliament had, at length, begun to find out, that restrictions on commerce were restrictions, not on other countries, but on ourselves. It certainly was a question of policy whether England should take off the duties without receiving reciprocal advantage from foreign powers; but, if foreign powers recognised the same liberal principle, there could be no doubt that the advantage to England would be double the advantage which any other country could derive from the regulation. An hon. member had said, that it would be to his personal advantage to second the principles laid down, but that personal benefits ought to be sacrificed for the good of the navy. Now, with respect to the navy, he had no apprehension whatever. The state of that navy, the facility for building ships, the superiority of this country in that branch of art, the great capital and enterprise of the people, were so many securities, that the navy would not fall into decay. He hoped soon to see Canada deprived of the preference which she enjoyed in the timber trade, and placed, in that respect, upon the same footing as Norway and Sweden.
The resolutions were agreed to.