- 1. Because the navigation laws are founded in justice and sound policy, have been proved by long experience to be eminently beneficial, and are essential to the maritime superiority of this country, and, therefore, to its insular defence.
- 2. Because the national defence, which is admitted to be imperfect, and which excites so much attention and anxiety, could not be effectually secured without encouraging the employment and protecting the rights of British seamen, and, consequently, without preserving in their full extent the principles of the navigation laws.
- 3. Because national independence is of paramount importance, and ought not to be endangered from any considerations of pecuniary advantage which might be expected to arise from the proposed alteration of those laws.
- 4. Because any pecuniary advantage which might accrue to some classes of the community from the proposed measure would be attended with great loss to many other classes, with manifest injustice to them, and with incalculable injury to the national welfare.
- 5. Because the shipping interest, and all the various classes which are dependent upon it for
121 support, would be grievously injured by the proposed measure, by which a large and most valuable portion of the British trade would be transferred to foreigners, whose ships are built, repaired, manned, and victualled at a much smaller expense than British vessels.
- 6. Because the proposed measure would also transfer to foreigners the employment which British workmen have hitherto found in shipbuilding, and would drive into the service of foreigners many British seamen, who by their skill and valour have always conferred inestimable benefits on this country, and are eminently entitled to its gratitude.