Reason against a general Prohibition of
The Iron Manufacture in his Majesty's Plantations (ca.1750)
If the Clause be taken in a strict Sense, all Iron
Work for building Ships, Houses, Mills, and even what is
necessary for Instruments to Till the Ground, will be for
bid to be made there; whereby it will become impracticable
to live in the Plantations, because this Sort of Iron
Manufacture must be made on the Spot, that it may be
framed and fitted to the Size of the Work.
To forbid his Majesty's Subjects the making any
Sort of Iron Wares, when its for their own Necessary
Use, and not for Exportation, seems to bear hard on the
common Rights and Liberties of Mankind; especially,
when the Ore is what their own Soil yields, and what is
found but in small Quantities comparatively in the Mother
If such a Prohibition be thought just to prevent
the Plantations from interfering with the IronWorkers in
this Kingdom, all other Tradesman may expect, in their
Turns, to be forbid Working at their respective Callings.
For, by the same Reason, the People may be forbid making
Cheese or Cyder, for fear of prejudicing the Manufactures
in Cheshire and Herefordshire.
It is humbly conceived, there is no Occasion for
this Clause. All Labour is so excessively dear in the Plantations,
that no Manufacture of the lesser Iron Wares can
vend, or ever does there, but when it happens by Accident
that there is a great Scarcity of the same Commodity
made in Great Britain.
The Encouragement given in the Bill for the Importation
of Bar Iron from the Plantations, by taking off
the Duty, which is Three Pounds per Tun, is not sufficient
to bring it in; of which there needs no other Proof,
than that a Tun of Iron is worth Sixty Pounds in New-England,
their money, and but Twenty Pounds here, to
say nothing of the chargeable Freight thence; so that if
the Clause pass, the Iron Ore in the Plantations will be
of Use neither there nor here.
It seems a farther Hardship, that the Subjects
Abroad should be permitted to forge their Ore into Bars,
but not to run or cast it into Pots and other Implements,
because the same Fire, and even the same Heat, will
suffice for both.
It is therefore humbly prayed, That the Clause prohibiting
any Kind of Iron Wares to be made in the Plantations,
tho' for their own Use, and not for Exportation, be
left out of the Bill.