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We are surprised that notwithstanding a late act of Parliament made to regulate trade between this province & U.S. a certain kind of manufacture continues to be imported to a very great amount without any kind of impost, hindrance, or molestation. We mean vessels of different descriptions: from those that carry sixty or seventy tons to the smallest boat. We have no doubt but 2000 P. is thus carried out of this province yearly. It is not only the loss of a very considerable Revenue but a great injury to the country in more respects than one. Is it not surprising that when a coil of rope, a bale of canvas and a spinning wheel are subject to an impost, when, at the same time, vessels of different descriptions, fully rigged, are admitted freely without any expense? Besides, large vessels that have been purchased and built on the eastern shores of the Lake. Nearly all the small craft by which the trade is carried on between Montreal, Kingston and Prescott, are built and equipped in the ports of the United States; thus, while on the Canadian shores of the lake and river, no employment is to be found for ship carpenters - all is alive in that line on the other side of the lake. -But there is another evil attending this practice, of still greater importance than any yet mentioned. In case of a war with the United States while they would have workmen at hand to carry on the building and fitting out of vessels of any description, we would have none. So sensible have the British Government been at all times of the necessity of having a nursery for ship carpenters, that the laws and regulations of the government have always been exerted to prevent foreign vessels of every description from being admitted to the privileges of British bottoms. Those regulations, we believe, are intended to extend to the colonies, but have been strangely overlooked in this place. In the event of war with the United States, the command of the lakes are as necessary for the preservation of Upper Canada, as the command of the seas that surround the Island of Great Britain are to that nation.
We are sorry to be obliged to add, that we consider that the shipping interest has been greatly neglected on this side of the lakes or rather needlessly burdened with unnecessary expense. It is well known, that the most of the vessels loaded with merchandize at Prescott and Kingston, have goods for Hamilton, York, Burlington and Niagara; at every one of those places they have to pay all the port charges, which amounts to a very considerable sum in one voyage. It is not so in the state of New York; vessels get a license for the season, and are subject to no further expense. We are informed that the same plan is adopted in the West Indian Islands, where coasting vessels take out a license for six months. We hope his excellency the Lieut. Governor and both houses of parliament will take these things into their most serious consideration.
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