dependicies. In a short time, the pressure of this unequal duty began to be feit by other powers also; and steps were taken to adopt the retaliatory system, In July 1821, the government of the United Netherlands passed a law, allowing a premium of ten per cent upon all articles imported in dutch vessels »). This was, in point of fact, though not directly, imposing a duty of ten per cent upon the cargoes of all other vessels. He was warranted in stating that the government of the Netherlands, in adopting this measure, were actuated by a sense of the disadvantage, under which the commercial regulations of this country placed them, and that they did so, rather as a warning to us to change our policy, than with a wish to establish itas apermanent measure;forhe*)found, that though the law was passed in 182Ï, it was not to be acted upon till the beginning of the present year. Since that period it had been in operation and had been strongly feit in the trade of this country with that power. But this was not the only power , which had so acted. Prussia had also raised the dues on british vessels, and had intimated, in a manner not to be mistaken, that she would more fully adopt the retaliatory system, if we persevered in our present policy.
From these facts it was quite obvious, that the time had arrived for the reconsideration of the british commercial principle, and that we must adopt one of two courses. Either we must commence a commercial conflict through the instrumentahty of prohibitory duties and prohibitions — a measure of impolicy which, he believed, no men would now venture to propose — or else we must admit other powers to a perfect equality and reciprocity of shipping duties.
The latter, he thought, was the course which they were bound to adopt. Its effect, he was thoroughly persuaded, would lead to an increase of the commercial advantages of the country; and while, at the same time, it had a direct tendency to promote and establish a better political feeling, and to increase confidence among the maritime powers, it would abate the sources of that commercial jealousy, idly wasting their force in a race of mutual annoyance. It was high time, in the improved state of civilization of the world, to establish more liberal principles, and to show, that
*) Wet van 12 Juli t8ai, Stsbl. no. 9; de z.g. Beginselenwet. *) Huskisson.