with the aid of Pitt
; general warrants were de-
dared illegal; and Edmund Burke
, already famed for ‘most shining talents,’ and ‘sanguine friendship, for America,’1
was consulting merchants and manufacturers on the means of improving and extending the commerce of the whole empire.
, madly in earnest, deprecated any change in ‘the sacred Act of Navigation,’ Burke
bitterly ridiculed him on the idea that any act was sacred, if it wanted correction.
Free ports were, therefore, established in Jamaica
and in Dominica
which meant only that British ports were licensed to infringe the acts of navigation of other powers.
Old duties, among them the plantation duties, which had stood on the statute book from the time of Charles the Second, were modified; and changes were made in points of detail, though not in principle.
The duty on molasses imported into the plantations was fixed at a penny a gallon; that on British coffee was seven shillings the hundred weight; on British pimento, one half-penny a pound; on foreign cambric, or French lawn, three shillings the piece, to be paid into the exchequer, and disposed of by parliament.3
Thus taxes for regulating trade were renewed in conformity to former laws; and the Act of Navigation was purposely so far sharpened as to prohibit landing non-enumerated goods in Ireland
The colonial officers did not relax from their haughtiness.
Under instructions given by the former administration, the Governor
claimed to rule the island by prerogative; and Sir Hugh Palliser
, arrogated the monopoly of the fisheries to Great Britain