The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kingston Spectator (Kingston, ON), April 20, 1837

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p.2 Few men combine together for the public good - their designs are mostly based on selfishness, for the purpose of abstracting as much as possible from the other parts of the community. No scheme answers that end better than a monopoly. A combination may answer the purpose at times, but it liable to be frustrated by different opinions. Such is the nature of men, that they will extort when they have the opportunity, nine times out of ten, and nothing can keep that spirit down but competition. For some time past the Forwarding Companies have been competitors; the consequence was, freight was low, perhaps less than would remunerate them. They have lately entered into an understanding and agreed upon the price of freight from Montreal, upon a most extortionable standard, as we are told in some cases twice or thrice what it was last season, and only made known at the opening of the season when it is expected the merchants will not have time to counteract the scandalous combination and extortion of the Forwarders. It appears there is a lock on the Ottawa, erected by, or by permission, of the owner of the property. This lock is in the hands of the Ottawa and Rideau Forwarding Company, who seldom permit any boats but their own to pass, consequently, it almost gives them the command of the freight by that route. The merchants in several places have had meetings upon the subject; but we believe they have not as yet, made their arrangements. We are told there are private boats that might be got ready in a short time, which can come up by the St. Lawrence with Goods at a much less charge for freight than the companies demand. We have just perused a statement of the difference of freight last season and the present.

Recapitulation Old Tariff New Tariff

Hhd. earthen £0 12 4 £2 10 8

Crate do. 0 6 0 1 17 8

Hhd. Sugar 1 8 9 4 19 0

Chest Tea 0 2 5 0 7 10

Case Straw Hats 0 1 5 0 11 4

Bale Flannel 0 8 6 2 6 8

Cotton Waddin 0 3 5 3 5 6

Tierce Codfish 0 11 3 1 14 9

£ 3 14 1 £17 13 9

Difference - £13 9 4.

We intend next week to publish the Resolutions passed at the different meetings of merchants.

p.3 We just caught an article in the Chronicle over the signature, "Anti-Conspiracy." It complains of a combination among the Fishermen to keep up the price of Fish. It is to be remembered that meat is very dear, which causes a greater demand for fish, and we cannot see any reason why the fishermen is not to have the benefit of a scarcity as well as other people. Every article in market is regulated by the supply and demand, and we cannot see why fish should not come under the general rule.

(issues missing until May 25th)

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April 20, 1837
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Kingston Spectator (Kingston, ON), April 20, 1837