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2. On May 13, 1807, an Order-in-Council was issued respecting duties on goods not the produce of the United Kingdom, on importation into the Colony.
3. On April 12, 1809, an Order-in-Council was issued respecting the duties on goods imported into the Colony in British and in foreign ships.
4. A certain government advertisement respecting the trade to be carried on between the Colony, New South Wales and the Island of Ceylon, was published by Caledon on April 23, 1811.
5. On October 1, 1811, an Order-in-Council was issued respecting the resort of foreign vessels to the Cape Colony.
6. On May 29, 1812, a government advertisement was published at the Cape, containing a copy of a letter addressed by the Secretary of the United Company of Merchants Trading to the East Indies, to their agent at the Cape, respecting the trade between the Colony and the Islands of Mauritius and Bourbon.
7. On January 8, 1813, a proclamation was published at the Cape in pursuance of an Order-in-Council issued to that effect respecting the duties on British goods imported into the Colony.
8. On June 24, 1814, Somerset published a proclamation at the Cape respecting the warehousing of goods imported into the Colony from the East.
9. On July 21, 1814, a government advertisement was published respecting the export of East Indian goods from the Colony.
10. On September 24, 1814, an Order-in-Council was issued respecting the resort of foreign ships to the Colony, and respecting the exportation from the Colony of goods legally imported therein.
11. On July 31, 1818, a government advertisement was published respecting the trade between the Cape and the British West Indies.
12. On July 12, 1820, an Order-in-Council was issued respecting the importation and exportation of goods in the vessels of certain foreign nations (into and out of the Colony).
13. On November 14, 1821, an Order-in-Council was issued respecting the duties to be levied on British goods imported into the Colony.
14. On April 18, 1822, a proclamation was published respecting the warehousing and re-exporting of goods imported into the Colony from foreign countries.
15. On September 19, 1823, an Order-in-Council was issued respecting the exportation from the Colony of goods imported into it from the Eastward.
16. On April 30, 1827, an Order-in-Council was issued containing, until further provision should be made, all the laws which on July 1, 1825, had been in force at the Colony for the regulation of the external trade thereof.
17. On July 16, 1827, an Order-in-Council was issued declaring what foreign powers had fulfilled the conditions prescribed by the statutes in that case made, and provided for the admission of ships belonging to such foreign powers to trade with His Majesty's possessions abroad upon the terms and subject to the restrictions contained in those statutes.
18. An Order-in-Council was issued on April 7, 1830, respecting the resort of Austrian vessels to British possessions abroad.
19. On November 5, 1830, an Order-in-Council was issued respecting the resort of United States vessels to British possessions abroad.
THE TRANSITION PERIOD.
The Legislative Council which was established in the Colony in 1834, and of which Sir George Napier once said, that matters of importance were settled before they were brought up there, requested the Secretary of State to consent to an increase in the customs duties levied at the Cape in order that some of the other taxes might be abolished. This was consented to, and in 1840 special duties were imposed on various articles. (1). The ad valorem duties of 1832 were repealed, and in their place came specific differential duties. For instance, under the new regulations British liquor paid 4d. per gallon, foreign paid 1s. ; coffee from British possessions paid 5s. per hundredweight, foreign paid 10s.; sugar from British possessions paid 2s. 3d., while foreign sugar paid 4s. 6d. per hundredweight (unrefined); British goods not enumerated paid 3 pounds sterling per 100 pounds sterling value, while foreign goods paid 10 pounds sterling per 100 pounds sterling value. Casks, staves, hoops and coopers rivets remained on the free list. (2).
This tariff still remains a good illustration of the trading policy of the time. When Huskisson carried out his reforms in 1826, he “intended that there should be an open trade between the colonies and foreign countries,” but “he did not enact this by positive legislation. He only gave power to the crown to adopt open trade with any country who met us (England) on equitable terms; and in consequence of this measure the crown entered into treaties with foreign powers with respect to the navigation laws. But this reciprocity principle was after all of limited application. Many countries had no advantages to offer us in exchange. Many were shut up in their own mistaken views of commercial policy; and with all these the commerce of the colonies was hermetically shut. Was it wise to cripple... the trade of the colonies, because foreign countries chose to criple theirs ?” (3).
1. By the Order-in-Council of August 10, 1840. See British and Foreign State Papers, Volume 31, pp. 1010 — 1012.
2. O.Y.B., No. 3, pp. 700 — 701. (Dutch).
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As Fuchs puts it: “In return for these advantages (preferences in the “home” market) the following restrictions were laid on the trade of the colonies... The import of certain articles of foreign origin, that is, produced or manufactured neither in the United Kingdom, nor in any British possession, was entirely prohibited: the import of others was burdened by certain imperial duties fixed by the mother country.” (1). This was so during the two periods discussed, and it took a good few years more before this policy was discarded. Thus in the tariff of 1840 the duties on foreign articles which could also come from the United Kingdom or from some other British possessions, were just double those which came from the United Kingdom or from some other British possession, and sometimes more than treble those on articles from the United Kingdom or some British possession. For example, the duty on unenumerated articles was just three and onethird times as high on foreign articles as on British goods.
This tariff was approved of by the Legislative Council, but there was of course not yet any fiscal freedom to enact the tariff. It had still to be in accordance with the wishes of the “home” government, and this was faithfully carried out. It was only in 1842 that the tariff was framed for the last time by the Imperial Parliament for Canada, for instance, and it was not before 1846 that she obtained her fiscal freedom (2), and she soon adopted a policy intended to safeguard first the interests of Canada and then those of the mother country. (3). The attitude of the Russel Government in England was that Canada was to produce raw materials for England in exchange for British manufacturers. (4). This was of course the principle on which the general colonial policy of England had been based. The Imperial legislation for the first half of the 19th century, until the repeal of the Corn Laws, had as its first object the welfare of British interests, of British manufactures, shipping and commerce. “Every British colony possessing legislative institutions, had from the first been more or less free to tax itself and to impose, with the consent of the crown, duties of customs upon importations into or exportations from its own territory. But concurrently with this privilege the Imperial Parliament... retained the
1. C. J. Fuchs: The Trade Policy of Great Britain, pp. 217 — 218.
2. A. Todd: Parliamentary Government in the British Colonies, p. 176.
3. Take, for instance, the tariff of 1847. See Porritt. Sixty Years of Protection in Canada, Chapter 7.
4. Ibid., Chapter 7.
right to regulate colonial trade, and to subject the same to certain imposts, at its discretion, with a view to the general regulation and control of the commercial policy of the Empire.” It was only “consequent upon the incorporation into the commercial system of the mother country of free trade, a principle which the colonies generally were reluctant to accept and slow to approve" — that "an additional boon was conceded to the self-governing colonies in the shape of enlarged freedom from Imperial control in the determination of all fiscal and commercial questions.” (1). .
This statement might be too strong, because the motives of the British were mixed. There was besides this motive the purely fiscal motive, the desire to retain a weapon against nations which discriminated against British trade, and so on. At the same time many blunders were made with no bad purpose, but also with no real understanding of the needs of the situation.
From now on the situation rapidly changed. In 1841 the import duties on produce or manufactures of India were reduced to the same rates as on similar goods from the United Kingdom or other British possessions. (2). In the following year the duties on British goods and those from British possessions were raised from 3 pounds to 5 pounds sterling on every 100 pounds (sterling) value, while foreign goods had to pay 12 pounds per 100 pounds value. (3). But this was for revenue purposes. The strong liberal opinion in England which was interested in the rights of the colonies now made its way to the top. The colonial legislatures were given the power to “adopt measures with the sanction of the crown, for the repeal of any imperial protective duties of Customs which had been heretofore imposed on them. (4). Whether free trade suited the colonies or not, as Hinks remarked in 1853, when he was speaking on the disallowance of English preference on Canadian grain, “in 1846 there was little time for diplomacy for a starving people had to be relieved.” (5). On January 27, 1846, (6), Peel announced in the House of
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Parliamentary Government in the British Colonies,
2. Order-in-Council, May 8, 1841: State Papers, Volume 31, p. 1274.
3. Order-in-Council of March 11, 1842: State Papers, Volume 31, pp. 1274 — 1276.
4. Todd: Parliamentary Government in the British Colonies, p. 169.
5. Porritt: Sixty Years of Protection in Canada, p. 214,