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[185] the whale fishery.1 Great Britain had sought to com-
chap. IX.} 1764. April.
pete with the Dutch in that branch of industry; had, fostered it by bounties; had relaxed the act of navigation, so as to invite even the Dutch to engage in it from British ports in British shipping. But it was all in vain. Grenville gave up the unsuccessful attempt, and sought a rival for Holland in British America, which had hitherto lain under the double discouragement, of being excluded from the benefit of a bounty, and of having the products of its whale fishing taxed unequally. He now adopted the plan of gradually giving up the bounty to the British whale fishery, which would be a saving of thirty thousand pounds2 a year to the Treasury, and of relieving the American fishery from the inequality of the discriminating duty, except the old subsidy, which was scarcely one per cent.3 This is the most liberal act of Grenville's administration, of which the merit is not diminished by the fact, that the American whale fishery was superseding the English under every discouragement. It required liberality to accept this result as inevitable, and to favor it. It was done too, with a distinct conviction that ‘the American whale fishery, freed from its burthen, would soon totally overpower the British.’ So this valuable branch of trade, which produced annually three hundred thousand pounds, and which would give employment to many shipwrights and other artificers, and to three thousand seamen,4 was resigned to America. The gain would, in the first instance, be the gain of

1 Jasper Mauduit, the Agent of Massachusetts. Report of Privy Council, 7 March. Order in Council, 9 March, 1764.

2 Regulations lately made, 60.

3 4 Geo. III. c. XXIX.

4 Regulations lately made, &c., 49-51.

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