To the Editor of the Argus.
Sir - I am astonished at the silence of our Kingston merchants and others regarding the Forwarding Monopoly, which has received so much attention in Montreal and in different other places throughout the Province. I am aware, Mr. Editor, that the public press in Kingston has been gagged to a certain extent on this subject; but such should not be the case; we should have both sides of the question. The Forwarders, through their champion C.C. in the Montreal Herald, would wish to make it appear that the Tariff last season was only at remunerative prices. Would you believe it, Mr. Editor, that carters can now be engaged in this town to bring goods from Montreal 25 per cent cheaper than the Forwarders' charges last fall. Perhaps C.C. could favor the public with a statement of the difference between the keep of an "old barge" and a pair of horses and train. Another of his excuses (I will not call them arguments) is that Forwarders lost much by opposition in 1841 and '42. Without waiting to consider the justice of this remark, I would inform him that this part of his argument remains to be proved; and I question very much (if C.C. gives himself the trouble to enquire) but he will find that "wheat and flour speculations," and not low rate for freight, has been the reason of a number of the embarrassments and losses talked of, their profits last year must have been immense (and their prospects for the next better) when one Forwarder could afford to offer a gentleman purposing to build a Propeller, 500 Pds. for keeping it back a year! What the other Forwarders would have offered, I know not; but he refused the first, and is now building his vessel. The truth is, the Forwarders, by their exorbitant charges, have driven the merchants of Canada West to order their spring shipments via New York, and I have no doubt they will find it to their advantage to send their flour etc. home by the same route, it being by far the safest and most expeditious conveyance. How will the Montreal Merchants like this? - which must in the course of time alienate Upper from Lower Canada. Freights from New York to Kingston for the ensuing season are offered to be done at 25 s. C'y per ton; at this rate the freight of a ton of heavy goods from any of the regular shipping ports in Britain via New York, would be much less than the rate charged from Montreal to Kingston last fall.
I will not offer any further remarks at present, but hope the subject will be taken up by abler hands; if not, you may again have a line from
Your obedient servant,
Kingston, 26th January, 1846.