the receiver-general of the customs in equal 
half-yearly payments. Besides this great company, 
the residence of whose governor and 
directors was to be in London, it was declared 
lawful to erect different fishing chambers in 
all the different out-ports of the kingdom, 
provided a sum not less than L.10,000 was 
subscribed into the capital of each, to be managed 
at its own risk, and for its own profit 
and loss. The same annuity, and the same 
encouragements of all kinds, were given to 
the trade of those inferior chambers as to that 
of the great company. The subscription of 
the great company was soon filled up, and several 
different fishing chambers were erected 
in the different out-ports of the kingdom. In 
spite of all these encouragements, almost all 
those different companies, both great and 
small, lost either the whole or the greater 
part of their capitals; scarce a vestige now 
remains of any of them, and the white-herring 
fishery is now entirely, or almost entirely, carried 
on by private adventurers. 
If any particular manufacture was necessary, 
indeed, for the defence of the society, it 
might not always be prudent to depend upon 
our neighbours for the supply; and if such 
manufacture could not otherwise be supported 
at home, it might not be unreasonable that all 
the other branches of industry should be taxed 
in order to support it. The bounties upon 
the exportation of British made sail-cloth, and 
British made gunpowder, may, perhaps, both 
be vindicated upon this principle
But though it can very seldom be reasonable 
to tax the industry of the great body of 
the people, in order to support that of some 
particular class of manufacturers; yet, in the 
wantonness of great prosperity, when the public 
enjoys a greater revenue than it knows 
well what to do with, to give such bounties 
to favourite manufactures, may, perhaps, be 
as natural as to incur any other idle expense. 
In public, as well as in private expenses, great 
wealth, may, perhaps, frequently be admitted 
as an apology for great folly. But there must 
surely be something more than ordinary absurdity 
in continuing such profusion in times 
of general difficulty and distress
What is called a bounty, is sometimes no 
more than a drawback, and, consequently, is 
not liable to the same objections as what is 
properly a bounty. The bounty, for example, 
upon refined sugar exported, may be considered 
as a drawback of the duties upon the 
brown and Muscovado sugars, from which it 
is made; the bounty upon wrought silk exported
a drawback of the duties upon raw and 
thrown silk imported; the bounty upon gunpowder 
exported, a drawback of the duties 
upon brimstone and saltpetre imported. In 
the language of the customs, those allowances 
only are called drawbacks which are given 
upon goods exported in the same form in which 
they are imported. When that form has been 
so altered by manufacture of any kind as to 
come under a new denomination, they are 
called bounties
Premiums given by the public to artists 
and manufacturers, who excel in their particular 
occupations, are not liable to the same 
objections as bounties. By encouraging extraordinary 
dexterity and ingenuity, they serve 
to keep up the emulation of the workmen actually 
employed in those respective occupations, 
and are not considerable enough to 
turn towards any one of them a greater share 
of the capital of the country than what would 
go to it of its own accord. Their tendency 
is not to overturn the natural balance of employments
but to render the work which is 
done in each as perfect and complete as possible. 
The expense of premiums, besides, is 
very trifling, that of bounties very great. The 
bounty upon corn alone has sometimes cost 
the public, in one year, more than L.300,000. 
Bounties are sometimes called premiums, 
as drawbacks are sometimes called bounties
But we must, in all cases, attend to the nature 
of the thing, without paying any regard 
to the word. 
Digression concerning the Corn Trade and 
Corn Laws. 
I cannot conclude this chapter concerning 
bounties, without observing, that the praises 
which have been bestowed upon the law which 
establishes the bounty upon the exportation of 
corn, and upon that system of regulations 
which is connected with it, are altogether unmerited
A particular examination of the nature 
of the corn trade, and of the principal 
British laws which relate to it, will sufficiently 
demonstrate the truth of this assertion. The 
great importance of this subject must justify 
the length of the digression
The trade of the corn merchant is composed 
of four different branches, which, though they 
may sometimes be all carried on by the same 
person, are, in their own nature, four separate 
and distinct trades. These are, first, the 
trade of the inland dealer; secondly, that of 
the merchant-importer for home consumption
thirdly, that of the merchant-exporter of home 
produce for foreign consumption; and, fourthly
that of the merchant-carrier, or of the importer 
of corn, in order to export it again. 
I. The interest of the inland dealer, and 
that of the great body of the people, how opposite 
soever they may at first appear, are, 
even in years of the greatest scarcity, exactly 
the same. It is his interest to raise the price 
of his corn as high as the real scarcity of the 
season requires, and it can never be his interest 
to raise it higher. By raising the price
he discourages the consumption, and puts 
every body more or less, but particularly the 
inferior ranks of people, upon thrift and good