Front Page Titles (by Subject) CCCVII: FROM THOMAS POWNALL TO B. FRANKLIN - The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. IV Letters and Misc. Writings 1763-1768
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CCCVII: FROM THOMAS POWNALL TO B. FRANKLIN - Benjamin Franklin, The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. IV Letters and Misc. Writings 1763-1768 
The Works of Benjamin Franklin, including the Private as well as the Official and Scientific Correspondence, together with the Unmutilated and Correct Version of the Autobiography, compiled and edited by John Bigelow (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). The Federal Edition in 12 volumes. Vol. IV (Letters and Misc. Writings 1763-1768).
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FROM THOMAS POWNALL TO B. FRANKLIN
The following objection against communicating to the colonies the rights, privileges, and powers of the realm, as to parts of the realm, has been made. I have been endeavouring to obviate it, and I communicate it to you, in hopes of your promised assistance.
“If,” say the objectors, “we communicate to the colonies the power of sending representatives, and in consequence expect them to participate in an equal share and proportion of all our taxes, we must grant to them all the powers of trade and manufacturing, which any other parts of the realm within the Isle of Great Britain enjoy. If so, perchance the profits of the Atlantic commerce may converge to some centre in America; to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, or to some of the isles. If so, then the natural and aritficial produce of the colonies, and in course of consequences the landed interest of the colonies, will be promoted; while the natural and artificial produce and landed interest of Great Britain will be depressed to its utter ruin and destruction; and, consequently, the balance of the power of government, although still within the realm, will be locally transferred from Great Britain to the colonies. Which consequence, however it may suit a citizen of the world, must be folly and madness to a Briton.”
My fit has gone off; and though weak, both from the gout and a concomitant and very ugly fever, I am much better. Would be glad to see you. Your friend,
DR. FRANKLIN’S ANSWER
This objection goes upon the supposition that whatever the colonies gain Britain must lose, and that if the colonies can be kept from gaining an advantage, Britain will gain it.
If the colonies are fitter for a particular trade than Britain, they should have it, and Britain apply to what it is more fit for. The whole empire is a gainer. And if Britain is not so fit or so well situated for a particular advantage, other countries will get it, if the colonies do not. Thus Ireland was forbid the woollen manufacture, and remains poor; but this has given to the French the trade and wealth Ireland might have gained for the British Empire.
The government cannot long be retained without the union. Which is best (supposing your case)—to have a total separation, or a change of the seat of government? It by no means follows that promoting and advancing the landed interest in America will depress that of Great Britain; the contrary has always been the fact. Advantageous situations and circumstances will always secure and fix manufactures. Sheffield against all Europe these three hundred years past.