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natural risk of the voyage.-Upon his / Mr. George Gostling was ordered to the cross-examination, he allowed, that those bar, who, upon several questions put to who carried on the African slave trade for him, answered substantially as follows: merly, had lately sent ships to fish on the That he was a proctor in the court of Adcoast of Africa; that the whale trade there miralty. [Here lord Sandwich delivered promised to turn out exceedingly advan- him in a list of prizes taken from the Ametageous, and that this trade was formerly ricans, to the number of 38, and asked him enjoyed by the Americans.
whether he could swear to the condemnaEdward Payne, esq. of Cornhill, proved tion of these ships? Mr. Gostling answerlittle new ; he chiefly corroborating what ed, he could, except two out of the list, the other witnesses had said.
which were then under condemnation. The lords who principally concerned Aye, says my lord, that is the same thing.] themselves in the examination of these Mr. Gostling then said, there were eleven witnesses were the dukes of Richmond, more to be added to this list which were Bolton and Manchester ; the marquis of considered as Droits of Admiralty. Being Rockingham, lords Effingham and Cam. | cross-examined by the duke of Richmond, den. The Lord President, and lords whether ships under condemnation were Sandwich, Dunmore, Sondes, Lyttelton, the same as ships absolutely condemned ? and Derby.
He answered not, however probable it was
they would be so. In respect to the value Feb. 9. The order of the day being and appropriation of the cargoes, he anread, for taking into further consideration swered, he could not exactly state the the State of the Nation, the House went former, but the general appropriation of into a Committee.
them were two-thirds to the captors, upon The Earl of Sandwich said, that the lawful prizes, and one-third when they noble duke (of Richmond) had brought a were Droits of Admiralty. Being asked number of persons to prove certain facts how the residue of the money was applied, relative to the commerce of this country; and whether it was not given to discharge that in order to prevent an ex parte evi- arrears of several of the officers of the Addence from going abroad, without having miralty ? He replied he had heard so. the other side enquired into, such as what And being further asked by what law, or losses the rebellious colonies had sustain- 1 precedent the judges disposed of that moed, to balance our loss, he would beg per- | ney, and whether he, as a practitioner, mission to call Mr. George Gostling. could recollect any precedent for it being
The Duke of Richmond objected to this disposed of thus optionally? He said, he motion as informal; he said he would by could not ; but that he believed there were no means endeavour to preclude his lord- some precedents for it in queen Anne's ship from bringing what evidences he wars. pleased relative to this enquiry, provided Mr. Samuel Enderby deposed substanhe produced them in a proper time; that tially as follows: That since the Prohibi. his evidences lay open to his lordship’s | tory-Act, a new trade had been carried cross-examination, and he had it in his on in the southern fisheries of America, in power to controvert or dispute any thing which he was a considerable adventurer; adduced; but now to take up another that there were 15 ships then on the trade, matter, before the former was disposed of, and that their average tonnage was 170 was, in his opinion, unparliamentary, and ton each, and that the spermaceti whale not dealing with that candour which he was much more considerable in value than expected from the noble lord. That, the common whale formerly taken. [Here in respect to himself, he appealed to their lord Sandwich made a calculation, that lordships, whether he did not, in every supposing these ships brought but 100 stage of this enquiry, previously acquaint tons each, the calculation would be their lordships of the substance of his in. 105,0001.] Being examined by the duke tended motion.
of Richmond and lord Camden, he said, The debate on this became general, the that the general freight back run from 40 Lord Chancellor, lords Sandwich, Gower, to 50 ton only, that he could not tell what Lyttelton and Bristol, contending for the might be their success this year, as the propriety of lord Sandwich's wotion; the ships were not expected until about June; dukes of Richmond, Grafton, and lord but he hoped it would be still increasing. Camden, opposing it: the Committee di. He likewise spoke of two other fisheries, vided; Contents 66; Non-contents 25. one on the coast of Africa, and the other on the banks of Newfoundland, which pro- | and the colonies were suffered to remain mised to turn out very considerable: that open. 2. That since the passing the sevethe ships that went on these voyages were ral Acts for prohibiting the fisheries of the manned generally with British sailors (ex. colonies in North America, their mutual cept four Americans to each ship, who in- intercourse with each other, and all trade structed the rest in harpooning) and that and commerce between them and this the profits of the outset of those ships, &c. kingdom, and for making prize of their centered with Great Britain, which for ships, and distributing the value of the merly, as well as the prefits of the fishery, same, as if they were the effects of our were engrossed by New England men. enemies, amongst the seamen of his Ma. Being asked, supposing this war at an jesty's navy, the number of vessels belong. end, whether the Americans, who he al- ing to Great Britain and Ireland, taken by lowed to be more expert in this business ships of war and privateers, belonging to than our people, would not be able to con- the said colonies, amount to 733. 3. That duct this fishery to greater advantage, and of the said 733 vessels, it appears that 47 undersell us at foreign markets? He be- have been released, and 127 retaken; lieved they might. Being likewise asked but that the loss on the latter, for salvage, what the price of insurance was upon this interest on the value of the cargo, and new trade? He answered 15 per cent. loss of a market, must have been very Being further asked, whether the very in- considerable. 4. That the loss of the creased price of spermaceti whale, though remaining 659 vessels, which have been it may be profitable to individuals, did not carried into port, appears from the exahurt the general trade, so as to fall heavy mination of merchants, to amount to at on the consumers ? He candidly replied, least 2,600,000. 5. That of 200 ships he could not speak precisely to the former annually employed in the African trade, part of that question : all he had to say before the commencement of the present upon it was, that his endeavours were to civil war, whose value, upon an average, get as much by it as he could.
was about 9,0001. each, there are not now Mr. George Davis said he was 26 years 40 of the said ships employed in the said concerned in the whale and cod fishery. trade, whereby there is a diminution in In respect to the former he tried to take this branch of commerce of 160 ships, whales with men from England, but though which at 9,0001. each, amount to a loss of they could strike them, and had struck se- 1,440,0001, per annum. 6. Tbat the veral of late, he had not as yet taken one; price of insurance to the West Indies and but he was in hopes of succeeding better North America, is increased from 2, and in a little time. In respect to the cod 21, to 5 per cent. with convoy, but withfishery, it was not decreased, but they outconvoy, and unarmed, the said insurance wanted men for that service, and he had has been made at 15 per cent. but generally no doubt, if the lords of the Admiralty ships in such circumstances cannot be in. would discontinue pressing, there might sured at all. 7. That the price of seabe enough found for that service. Ad. men's wages is raised from 30 to 65s. per journed.
month. 8. That the price of pot-ash is
increased from 8 to 70s. per cwt. 9. That Feb. 11. The Duke of Richmond rose, the price of spermaceti oil has increased and after a short speech, wherein he reca- from 35l. to 70l. per ton. 10. That the pitulated the evidence which had been price of tar is raised from 7 and 8s. to 30s. given, acquainted their lordships that he per barrel. 11. That the price of had a few motions to make in consequence sugars, and all commodities from the of that evidence, which were plain matters West Indies, and divers sorts of naval of fact, and which would be grounds for stores from North America, is greatly entheir lordships' farther deliberation. His hanced. 12. That the present diminution motions were; 1. “ That it appears to of the African trade, the interruption of tluis House, that in the course of trade, a the North American trade to the West very considerable balance was always due Indies, and the captures made of the West from the merchants in North America, to India ships, have greatly distressed the the merchants of Great Britain, towards British colonies in the West Indies. 13. the discharge of which remittances were That the numbers of American privateers, made in goods to a great amount, since of which authentic accounts have been the commencement of the present troubles, received, amount to 173; and that they and whilst the trade between this kingdom carried 2,556 guns, and at least 19,840
beamen, reckoning 80 men in each ship. must center with Great Britain. His 14. That of the above privateers, 34 have grace then adverted to his question, which been taken, which carried 3,217 men, was no more than for the committee to which is more than 94 men to each vessel." allow, as a resolution, part of what had
The Earl of Sandwich said, he all along, been already evidenced at the bar, and from the moment this enquiry into the which would enable their lordships the state of the nation began, dreaded it ; not | better to see the grounds they stood on in on his own account, but on account of the respect to America, and consequently general hurt it may produce, that of lay- know what line to take. ing open difficulties and embarrassments The Earl of Suffolk opposed the mo( which he confessed this country was tions on the impropriety of acknowledging under) and which should not be laid what ought not to be acknowledged at so open. If the noble duke who began this critical a period, the weakness of the naenquiry had calculated the losses of the tion : he said, the best way of going on in country by capture of vessels, &c. before this business would be, to let all the pa. that should be admitted, there should be pers lie on their lordships' table for genededucted the value of all the prizes taken ral information, and do the best they by the English from the Americans, which, could either to remedy defects, or othersetting the number of prizes at 90+, and wise, but by no means to resolve upon the each prize worth 2,0001. amounted to national imbecility. 1,808,0001. His lordship said, great ad. | The Duke of Grafton called upon their vantages were gained by the new fisheries, lordships to consider the question they and concluded, that though nobody wish- were to decide upon, which was a fact aled an end to the war more than he did, ready established, and which their lordyet the continuance of it was, in many ships could not refuse their assent to: he respects, advantageous to this country, said, he did not know, nor was it material and would be more so. .
to know, what the noble duke afterwards The Duke of Richmond said, he was meant to go into; so much was clear surprised to hear his lordships' detail ground, and would be a very proper one urged as an argument for not deciding on for their lordships to form some resoluthis motion, as it did not mix with any tions upon respecting the present war with other matter, but resulted from facts | America. proved at their lordship's bar. He was, A debate ensued about the mode of dishowever, more surprised at the conclusion posing of the question. Some were for drawn from that detail, “ that because a putting it affirmatively or negatively, number of vessels had been taken, they others a previous question ; but as the latwere to be balanced by another number of ter could not be adopted in the committee, vessels taken, on the other side, and con- a motion was made for lord Scarsdale sequently no loss to the nation upon the quitting the chair, and the House divided: whole." I do not mean, said his grace, Contents 80; Non-contents 32. The to be particularly pointed to individuals; committee being dissolved, the Lord and I hope the noble lord will permit me Chancellor resumed the woolpack, when to separate at present the man from the the previous question, “ That this motion office. I therefore say, speaking to be so be now put," being put separately, on the understood, I do not wonder at all the duke's Resolutions, they all passed in the distresses which have overwhelmed this negative, without a division." country, when a noble lord at the head of the marine department of this nation, be Debate in the Committee on the State of trays such ignorance. What, my lords, the Nation upon Mr. For's Motion relative when the merchants of this country have to the State of the British Forces in Amelost 733 ships, valued at above two millions rica.] Feb. 11. The House went into of money ; to say that the commerce of a Committee on the State of the Nation. this country is not affected by such a loss, Before the Speaker left the chair, lord because an equal number of ships have North said, he should, on Tuesday the been taken from the enemy, and the 17th, propose to the House a Plan of Conprizes distributed to British seamen! This ciliation with America. Mr. Pulteney is so far from being a balance in our favour, having taken the chair, it adds to our loss, for if we were not at Mr. Fox rose, and stated a number of war with America, the value of all these facts relative to the army serving in Ameri. cargoes in the circuitous course of trade ca, which facts were founded on conclusions
drawn from the information on the table. He observed, that there was such a number of effective men in America (6,864) in the year 1774; that by comparing the reinforcements sent out the next year, added to the forces then on the spot, with the returns at the conclusion of that year, it would give the total deficiency, which under its several heads amounted to the total loss; so with the years 1776 and 1777: thus, by adding to the number of men serving in America the first year, the reinforcements and recruits of each successive year, and comparing the amount of those several totals with the last returns, the difference between the latter and the former shewed exactly the loss of men slain in battle, or dead, or otherwise incapacitated for service, by wounds, captivity, and sickness. This, he observed, was the first part of his plan, to ascertain the loss of lives, and loss of service, under their respective heads; the other part of it would be, to estimate the loss of treasure, which he computed, at the lowest computation, to be full 25 millions spent, which, with 20,000 lives lost, that being the difference, he said, between the troops serving in America at the commencement of the war, and the whole of the embarkations, he appealed to the judgment of the committee, whether it was not full time—(considering that we had gained nothing, or next to nothing, by this fatal contest hitherto, but a powerful, numerous, and well-disciplined enemy, instead of an undisciplined rabble, to contend with)—to think of the critical and alarming situation of public affairs. Whether our resources of men and money were equal to the difficult and hazardous task of conquest; or if that should appear, on enquiry, to be totally impracticable, whether parliament should not, and that immediately, devise some means for putting an end to our public calamities, and endeavour to avert those imminent dangers with which we are threatened on every side. If ministers, while they hold out the plan of conciliation, will at the same time have the candour to acquaint the House, how much treasure has been wasted, how many lives have been lost, how many disgraces have been brought on the nation, by this mad, improvident, and destructive war, he would most certainly join them ;—that 25 millions of money have been already spent, or the faith of the nation has been pledged for the oxpenditure; and that 20,000
lives had been thrown away to no manner of ... but, if at all-practicable, to make conciliation infinitely more difficult than if the sword had never been drawn, a shilling spent, or a life lost. He gave the most ample testimony to the bravery and good conduct of the generals; and contended, that they miscarried, not for want of skill in their profession, or from neglect of duty, but merely because they were employed in a service, in which it was impossible for them to succeed; and if ministers shewed any trace of wisdom throughout their whole conduct, it was in their choice of the officers they sent out, though they now basely insinuated, that it was only in the choice of generals that they were deceived; and that it was to their fault alone, that all our miscarriages in the prosecution of the measures could be justly imputed. He said, he had been informed, that it was intended to send out other generals, and on that ground that great expectations were formed from the next campaign : but, for his part, he expected, that whoever should succeed to the present gentlemen in command, would just meet with the fate of their predecessors; they would be one day charged with indolence, inactivity, and want of spirit; with a designed procrastination of the war, from motives of lucre and private interest; and the next, with Quixotism, knight-errantry, and exceeding the instructions under which they were to act. He turned again to the intended proposition of the noble lord in the blue ribbon, and assured his lordship, that if his plan was a fair, open one, founded in justice and good policy, and warranted by the principles of the constitution, he would venture to answer for his side of the House, that it would meet with their most hearty concurrence. He feared it would not answer this description ; because he could hardly be persuaded, unless the idea of tyranny, cruelty, and meanness were inseparable, that the same men who had rejected the most humble petitions and dutiful remonstrances with haughtiness and contempt, could ever consent to hold out any plan which was meant to secure those rights which they had all along attempted to annihilate by the sword, thereby adding tyranny and cruelty to oppression and injustice. He then read his several Resolutions, which amounted to 12 in number; that there was such a number of troops in America in 1774, so many sent in 1775, total of that year, and so on with 1776 and
1777, which ought, on the whole, in the latter year to have amounted to 48,000 effective men and a fraction; that by the last returns, foreigners and British included, did not amount to more than 28,000, consequently the loss was 20,000 men. Whence he drew this conclusion, that if with such a number of troops so little could be done, it was clear, that the carrying on the war, either to terrify the Americans into obedience, or to subdue them, was impracticable. His first Resolution moved was; “That it appears to this Committee, that in the year 1774, the whole of the land forces serving in North America did not amount to more than 6,864 effective men, officers included.” Lord Barrington said, he highly disapproved of the motion, as improper and illtimed; but when he knew some of the hon. gentleman's proposed resolutions were not founded in fact, i. had no difficulty in giving them a direct negative. The hon. gentleman stated, that 20,000 men had been lost already in this war; this, he contended, was founded in gross error, for, by the returns which he had in his hand, it plainly appeared, that instead of 20,000 men being lost, the whole amount of the killed, in the course of the three years war, was no more than 1,200. He did not mean to include in that number those who died natural deaths, or deserted, or were made prisoners, or were unfit for service through wounds or sickness, but such only as were slain in battle. If, therefore, the resolution concerning the loss of men was to go out into the world, it would convey a very false idea, and looking on it in that light, he should give it his hearty negative. Mr. Grenville, in an animated speech, condemned the conduct of the American war. He acknowledged, that he always thought, and should ever continue to think, be the event of the present contest what it might, that parliament had a right to have a controul over America; to levy taxes, to regulate its trade, and secure the monopoly of its commerce. The establishing and maintaining of colonies would be folly, were it otherwise; the protecting them, when they were not able to protect and defend themselves, at a very great expence, which has ever been, and always must be the case, from the nature of such establishments, would not be folly, but madness in the extreme, if, when they arrived at a state of strength and maturity, to be no longer in want of our aid, they were to be at liberty entirely to throw off [VOL. XIX.]
all dependence, and disclaim all connection with the parent-state, and, by so doing, establish their own greatness on the ruin of the mother-country. It was upon these principles that he had supported the war, in which he had but one object, revenue. These principles were now become merely matter of speculation; such as they were, however, he should ever retain them : he therefore did not mean by his vote of that day to abandon them; but to consider the question of expediency, which must decide upon the war. He deplored the disgrace brought, not upon our arms but on our counsels, by the rash undigested expedition from Canada. He lamented the little protection given to our commerce, the weight of insurance, the state of our public credit; to these circumstances he must yield; but he hoped the day of retribution would come, when ministers might be called to a severe account for the infamy which they have brought upon this country, by their conduct of a war, into which they had deceived the country, by promises of a revenue which they now abandoned. He observed, that the noble lord at the head of the Treasury had informed the House, that he would, in a few days, proose to its consideration a plan of concio: He sincerely wished it might succeed; but he had every reason in the world to believe it would not. A previous confidence between the parties was the very basis of every species of treaty-making. The noble lord himself would not venture to say, that was the case between ministers and the present governing powers in America. It was well known, that every possible occasion had been given by the present administration, to fix in the breasts of the people of America, and their leaders, the most rooted hatred and inveterate rancour. Under such circumstances of disappointment and disgrace on one side, and such provocations on the other, he would appeal to the candour of those whose dispositions might carry them to the greatest lengths, in point of expectation, whether there was the most distant prospect of any good arising from a treaty, when conducted by men on the part of Great Britain, who were execrated from one end of the North American continent to the other—men, whose best and sincerest intentions would be only interpreted as lures to ensnare, and betray. He was ready to give the noble lord all possible credit for his candour; but. [3 AJ