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ness of the remark, or relied upon the reports which were circulated after the return of the Franklin,* calculated to impress the belief that the Spanish arms would ultimately be successful, will be, unfortunately, convinced of their double error, when they come to examine the returns of their flour shipment to Lima during the last year. I am sorry to say, that in some instances, the prime cost of the article at home, has been en. tirely sunk, and that losses have even extended beyond this, where the agents have been obliged to appropriate the proceeds of other parts of their cargo to the freight on their flour.
There is no doubt that Chilo, Chiloé, Arequipa, Alto Peru, Cuzeo and California, will be abundantly able, in time of peace, to supply the whole coast with bread stuffs. The foreign products which those countries will hereafter demand, will be principally manufactured goods, with the addition of unwrought iron, naval stores, and perhaps quicksilver. As for manufacturing for themselves, to any considerable extent, it is entirely out of the question for at least a century to come.
It is the workshops of Europe, Asia, and North America, and not their agricultural industry, that will reap material advantages from the new South American trade. England will reap the greatest advantages undoubtedly, and, I suspect, France the next, and Spain, were she not stone blind to her true and most obvious interests, might turn this revolution to better account than any other nation, give a new spring to her industry, and extend her commerce, and, perhaps, regain her ancient standing among nations, by at once acknowledging the independence of these countries, now firmly established, and entering into commercial treaties with them. Her peculiar products will be for a long time preferred, and she is even now supposed by these people to produce almost every article of human consumption. A death blow has been given in Peru, however, to her trade, and if she shall be utterly excluded from even all indirect commerce with her late American possessions, from which she formerly derived all her resources, I do not not know to what a lower pitch of wretchedness she will not descend. An edict has recently been issued by this government prohibiting the introduction of every article of merchandise, either the produce
* I have seen in one of our gazettes, an extract from a letter purporting to have been written by one of the officers of the ship, dated May a year ago, stating, that La Serna had nearly 30,000 men under arms, and Bolivar 6,000, and giving it as th writer's opinion, that Guayaquil would fall into the hands of the Spaniards in less than six months. He also seemed to think, that our minister's situation even in Chilo must be quite 56 uncomfortable."
or manufacture of that country, and the vessel and entire cargo, no matter to wbat nation they may belong, are to be subjected to confiscation, if there be found more than 100 dollars in value of such articles on board. Only four months notice was allowed from the date of the edict, which have already expired. A harsh law, certainly, more especially when we consider the shortness of the notice, which is to extend to vessels in every part of the world; but its operation, when generally known, will be, upon the whole, favourable, I think, to neutral commerce. It will operate, however, tnore severely against us than any other neutral, as it will put a stop to a profitable freighting business which we have carried on for the last three years between Cadiz and this country. It will materially benefit the English, who have never participated in this trade, or, at least, to any extent, and who imitate all Spanish manufactures in demand here, and will, ere long, entirely supplant them in this market, if Spain does not speedily come to her senses, and, at once, give over the present ridiculous contest with her colonies, which has now become a war of feeling ra. ther than of force.
If we wish to enjoy any profitable portion of Spanish American commerce, we must expect it from the scale of our manufactured goods. So soon as the waste of war shall be
* When we were at Fale together, you will recollect, that the Alpha and the Omega of all the arguments that were ever adduced by the antimanufacturists, revolved upon the points of steady habits and morality; and the fountain whence these streams of sparkling declamation were derived, which we sometimes listened to, even from the professorial chair, was, if I mistake not, Espriella's Letters, written by Mr. Soulhey, the present poet laureat of Great Britain. To say the least of these letters, in this respect, they come to us in rather “a questionable shape;" for whoever heard an Englishman abuse his own country, in sober earnest ? How far their details are correct, in the horrid pictures which they draw of English manufacturing towns, I am not prepared to say ; but I believe, that in this respect, whether true, or false, they have tended more to check the advance of manufacturing industry in our country, than all the laws the English government have enacted to repress emigration, or all the slanders with which we have been deluged for the last half century, by their hireling press. If, indeed, weavers or button-makers are really more wicked than their neighbours, I am afraid our farmers will become equally so, when there shall be no sale for their produce. It is the demand for the products of industry which promotes it, and idleness, we all know, is the mother of vice. For my part, whenever I have seen English manufacturers, I have generally observed them to be sober and industrious men. Their labour is too severe, and their wages too small, to afford them either time or means for much dissipation. The argument, that collecting masses of people into cities, towns, or compact communities, has an unfavourable effect upon morals, holds with equal force against conimerce,
repaired, these countries-embracing a population of upwards of 14,000,000—will demand large quantities of manufactured goods; which demand will constantly increase with the increasing population, and the augmentation of wealth or power to purchase, while that for the produce of agriculture will entirely cease. Before the revolution, these countries imported no bread-stuffs, or provisions, of any consequence. Wheat, as we are told, was so plentiful in Buenos Ayres, as to be thrown into the streets, to fill up the gutters; and as fine wheat is produced in different parts of this country as ever grew in the United States, and the crops are usually more sure, and the yield more abundant. Three sucessive
of Indian corn, barley, potatoes, (common and sweet,) Yuca, a most nutritious root, can be produced in the vallies of the Rimac, in a single year, and never less than two are yielded. As for salted provisions, none are consumed on the coast, except by the foreign shipping. Cattle for the supply of the Lima market, are purchased in the interior at 9 and 12 dollars per head, and sheep at 75 cents; and the valley of Tarma alone, in former years, furnished this market with from 40 to 50,000 fat hogs annually. From these facts--and many more might be added it is obvious that provisions will find no profitable market on this coast in time of peace. As well may we expect that muskets and gunpowder will continue in demand, as beef and pork, or flour.
The duties charged by this government on all foreign importations are extravagantly high, and the necessary result is, that smuggling is carried on to an extent that is hardly to be believed. The officers of the customs, from the highest to the lowest, do not wait for otsered bribes,* but openly and unblushingly solicit them, and will even point out to the inexperienced, the most convenient modes of evading the laws. Besides the extravagant rates of duties, they are imposed without any wise or liberal reference, either to the character of the article or the necessities of the consumer ; without any apparent view of promoting domestic industry in the production of those articles which are peculiar to the growth of the country, or of encouraging the introduction of others, which it does not produce. And if the object is merely to raise an increased re
which is the principal founder of cities, and I think would conclusively prove that mankind, in a wild, wandering, and savage state, are more virtuous than when collected into societies. But this question should be submitted to Mr. Owen.
* The Spanish of the word bribe, I have never heard used in Lima. The word, in common use, is gratification.
venue, it is not attained, for there can be no doubt, that if the present rates were lowered at least 50 per cent., the treasury would receive about the same amount on the same importations. I have understood that the government have it in contemplation materially to reduce the present tariff; if they do so, they will effectually consult the best interests of the country. The present reglamento of commerce was drawn up by a Spanish merchant, the head* of the Philippine house, during the protectorate of San Martin, who subsequently banished him and confiscated his property ; and that it has not been modified, or another substituted, to keep pace with the progress of the country in its perpetual and rapid developement of new interests and new resources, is because, as I suspect, there is no native merchant or politician sufficiently acquainted with the details of commerce to perform the task.
The custom-house, like the courts of law, and every other department under the government, is conducted upon the ancient and absurd Spanish system, which seems to have been originally intended to promote smuggling for the benefit of the officers of the customs, without reference to the interests of his majesty's treasury; and, as formerly, the number of these officers is excessive. There are, in fact, two custom-houses for Lima-one in the port, and the other in the city, with a double set of officers. The delays in transacting business are extremely vexatious, and I have known a ship to be detained twenty-eight days in procuring her clearance.
Besides the high import duties which I have mentioned, there are also levied on all exports, whether coastwise to their own ports, or to foreign countries, and internal custom-houses are located in every principal town in the country. Goods sent inland to any part of Peru, must first be cleared out at the custom-house in Lima, and pay a duty additional to that on the importation ; and even cattle brought from the interior for the daily supply of our market, pay an alcavala of one dollar and fifty cents per head; another tax is afterwards laid upon the butcher for every beast he slaughters, and then a duty is charged on the hide exported. And with respect to flour, after it has paid the high import duty, which, according to present prices, amounts to near 100 per cent., the baker is taxed four dollars per barrel, in bread, for the supply of the troops, hospitals, &c.; and is, moreover, subjected to a monthly contri
* You will see an interesting account of San Martin's shameful treatment of this man, Don Pedro Abadia, in Captain Hall's journal.
bution, or excise, for the privileges of carrying on his business. The internal produce of the country pays a duty on its introduction into Lima, and afterwards an export duty, if shipped even to any port on the coast. Their own domestic spirits pay a duty on being shipped from the district where they are made; another, on being introduced into Lima, and another if sent into the interior. The exportation of gold and silver bullion is prohibited, and, of course, smuggled in any quantity the merchants may desire ; and the price on board the foreign men of war in the port, where this business of brokerage is carried on, is but little in advance of that in Lima. Dollars* pay five per cent., but there are persons whose regular business it is to smuggle off money, and their charge is two per cent. less than that of the government. When bullion or dollars are once got afloat, they are deposited on board the men of war on paying one per cent. The French charge no per centage, and the practice is confined to the English and American commanders. I understand that it is now sanctioned by a late law of our government, but I have no hesitation in saying, that it is a practice which is attended with much evil--more obvious, I believe, to our countrymen who are abroad, than to the government or people at home, and which, it is to be feared, is fast bringing our navy into disrepute, even among its best friends. If it enriches those commanders who happen to be placed on the fortunate station, by allowing them perquisites, amounting, in a three years cruise, to a splendid fortune, it does so in opposition to the spirit of our institutions, and at the expense of our commerce. Facts have occurred on this coast, in relation to this freighting business, which might astonish even Mr. Randall.f
* A short time since dollars were prohibited, and bullion allowed to be exported.
+ I have remarked, that bullion, although prohibited, is constantly and readily received on board the men of war, in an open and known violation of the revenue laws of this country, on the part of their commanders. The principle of “asking no questions” when cash is offered for deposit, is, perhaps, well enough; but with respect to the prohibited article, there is no necessity for inquiry whether it is smuggled or not; it must necessarily be so. To appreciate this subject properly, we ought to make the case our own, and suppose, for instance, a foreign man of war, in the waters of one of our ports, or at soine by-harbour, openly receiving, in her own boats, and protecting, smuggled, or if you please, stolen goods, what would you say to that? But it is said, that the officers of a foreign man of war are not bound to see that the laws of a foreign country are observed. But this is hardly true; they are presumed to know those Vol. II,