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that dissolute Way of Life above stated, and remain under a slavish Servitude to the Merchant Supplyers, Store Keepers and Boat-Keepers whose Object it is by every Method to induce and compel such as come out Passengers from England and Ireland, to remain in the Country, exercising every scandalous Act to defraud and cheat those Servants, whom they cannot persuade to run out their Wages in Truck or Liquors ;
        “That all the Ship-Rooms and other Conveniences used for the Fishery in those Parts of the Island, which were the antient Possession of the Crown of Great Britain, are now become altogether the private Property of Merchants, Store Keepers and Boat-Keepers, who reside constantly in the Island ; by which means the Ship-Fishery is entirely dropped, except as to a few Bankers, and with it the Observance of the Rules and Regulations of the Act of King William, all of which are as to any good purpose laid aside ; The End for which the Admirals in the several Harbours were instituted, forgot ; their Duty neglected ; and their Authority despised ; and the Act never appealed to but to support Claims of Property to Land, as unwarrantable as they are inconsistent with the Principles it adopts.
        “That there being no proper Establishment in the Island for the Execution of the Laws of Trade, there is an opening for the most illicit Practices in this respect, more especially with the French at Miquelon and St Peters, who endeavour by every Artifice and Temptation to introduce a Commerce with Your Majesty's Subjects, which for want of such Establishments will necessarily have it's full Scope and Effect during the Absence of Your Majesty's Ships of War ; and lastly,
        “That there is Reason to fear, that many of the Ships employed in the Newfoundland Fishery as British Ships are in part owned and belong to Spaniards, or to the Subjects of other foreign States.”
        Such, may it please Your Majesty, is the melancholy Picture, which Your Majesty's Governor draws of the State of the Island of Newfoundland, and we fear, in most parts of it bears but too just a Resemblance ; this alone therefore we trust is sufficient to evince the Necessity of an immediate Attention to so important a Part of the national Interest : But, when combined with the Considerations suggested by us to Your Majesty in this, and the two former Representations, we have had the Honour to lay before Your Majesty upon this Subject, will render the neglect of it as disgraceful to the Policy, as it would be disadvantageous to the Commerce of Your Majesty's Kingdoms.
        The Principles, upon which the Newfoundland Fishery was established and carried on under the great Western Charter, and which the Act of King William attempts to restore, are, as far as they extend, so true in Policy, and the Arguments in Support of that Plan are so plausible, that it should seem at the first View of it to admit of no Competition ; since by confining the Fishery to Ships from Great Britain, and requiring those Ships to take out and bring back a certain Number of Green Men every year, it not only supposes a large Increase of Sea Men, but also offers to ensure to



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these Kingdoms the exclusive and immediate Supply of every Article of Consumption in this Branch of Trade ; but Experience has shewn, that this Plan, however plausible in Speculation, and at first answering in some Degree to its Objects, failed nevertheless in it's Execution ; and that it was impracticable by any Regulations to prevent that Inhabitancy, which it became the Interest of those, engaged in the Fishery, to encourage, and which in Fact has finally subverted a System confined to particular Objects, which, however desirable upon particular Consideration of State Policy, did we conceive lay the Trade under many Difficulties, and subject it to many Disadvantages inconsistent with the general Interests of it ; for it is evident on the other hand, that the sedentary Fishery, carried on by Persons resident upon the Island, has many Advantages over that Fishery carried on by the fishing Ships, which must operate to the Benefit of this Branch of Commerce in general, seeing that they can go earlier and stay later upon their fishing Stations, and have also many superior Advantages and Conveniencies of repairing their Vessels, Stages, Storehouses and other Works, and of making Preparations in the Winter for the ensuing Season and, notwithstanding all the Disorders, Abuses and Irregularities we have stated, it does appear, that the number of Ships employed in this Trade and the Quantity of Fish cured and carried to Market, are, independent of many other peculiar Advantages which would not attend a mere Ship Fishery, as great now as are stated to have been employed and caught in the most flourishing Time of this Fishery under the antient Establishment, whilst the Value of our Exports to this Island is five Times as great as what it is stated to have been at that Period ; and though it be true as is represented, that the Value of what they take from the Colonies is double what they take from this Kingdom, yet that must not be accounted for Loss, since whatever Profits are gained by them finally center in this Kingdom.
        Upon this View therefore of the State of this Fishery it does appear to us very doubtful, whether it would consist with true Policy to attempt to restore it to the Principles and System, adopted by the Act of King William, was such a Measure practicable ; but as we conceive this is not practicable in the present State of the Country, or at least not so without a very great Expence to the Publick, attended perhaps with Circumstances of Injustice, if not of Inhumanity, it will remain to be decided by Your Majesty, what Plan it may be proper to pursue for the better Management of this important Island, and for the Regulation of it's Fishery under it's present State, that, with as little Prejudice as possible to the Ship Fishery of Your Majesty's British Subjects, and without infringing the Rights of the Subjects of France, may produce civil Order and good Government, and prevent those Irregularities and Abuses, which, if suffered to continue, must probably ruin the whole Fishery, and will certainly introduce every Species of illicit Commerce, to the Diminution and Injury of the Trade, Manufactures and Navigation of this Nation.
        We do not mean however in what we have suggested to declare an Opinion, that, if Your Majesty shall think it advisable, under some more




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perfect and uniform Plan of Government, to allow of Property and Inhabitancy in this Island, it would be expedient, that such Allowance should extend to every Part of it : Informed as we are at present, we rather think this Allowance ought not to take place in those Parts, where the Concurrent Fishery is established by the Treaties of Utrecht and Paris ; but that the Northern Parts of the Island from Point Riche on one Side to Cap Bonavista on the other should be reserved for a Ship Fishery only, to be carried on by the Subjects of Your Majesty's Crown and those of France ; under most of the Rules and Regulations enacted by the Act of King William.
        We have nothing further to add with regard to Newfoundland, but, that, if it shall appear to Your Majesty, from a Consideration of what we have offered respecting the present State of the Island, that some more perfect and settled Plan of Government should take place, or that the Inhabitants should be removed and the Fishery restored to it's antient Establishment throughout the whole Island, it will be our Duty, upon a Signification of Your Majesty's Pleasure, to consider and propose such Measures against the next Session of Parliament, as shall appear to us proper for carrying into Execution which ever of these Propositions Your Majesty shall, with the Advice of Your Privy Council, think proper to adopt.

                    *                *                *                *

                                                       HILLSBOROUGH.
                                                       SOAME JENYNS.
                                                       EDW
D BACON.
                                                       GEO: RICE.
                                                       ORWELL.
                                                       BAMBER GASCOYNE.
                                                       J. DYSON.
                                                                                 Copy.

Whitehall,
     April 29th, 1765.
Exd

[1927lab]




 

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