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While England was enforcing its restrictive corn-

Chap. XXXIX} 1769. Feb.
mercial system with the most jealous vigilance,1 Du Chatelet continued his intercession with Choiseul, to employ Free Trade as the great liberator of Colonies. ‘The question,’ he pleaded,

cannot be submitted to the decision of the Chambers of Commerce. We know their principles. They regard every thing in colonial commerce which does not turn exclusively to the benefit of the Kingdom, as contrary to the end for which Colonies were established, and as a theft from the State. To practise on these maxims is impossible. The wants of trade are stronger than the laws of trade. The North of America can alone furnish supplies to its South. This is the only point of view under which the cession of Canada can be regarded as a loss for France; but that cession will one day be amply compensated for, if it shall cause the rebellion and independence of the English Colonies, which become every day more probable and more near.

Du Chatelet to Choiseul, 17 February, 1769.

At the same time the Parisian world was alive with enthusiasm for the Americans, and with admiration for their illustrious advocates.2

But Spain had been the parent of the protective system, and remained the steadfast supporter of that restrictive policy, by which, in the midst of every resource of wealth, she had been impoverished. From the first proposal of throwing colonial commerce open, she feared the contraband exportation of gold and silver. ‘Besides;’ thus Grimaldi, the

1 T. Bradshaw to R. Sutton, Esq. 25 Feb. 1769; Treasury Letter Book, XXIV. 106.

2 Extract of a Letter from London, of 5 April, 1769.

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