My Lord ー I have not presumed to write your Lordship upon the present Commotions in America, as I have had no particular informations, but what might be Collected from the public Prints, and his Majesty's Officers, & Governors in America have without Doubt given your Lordship a full & Adequate State of the matters within their respective Commands.
But as the resolutions of the Congress t Philadelphia have been adopted by several Provinces; one of which resolutions is to have no Trade with any of the Colonies that do not adopt their measures, and to induce the people of this Province to comply the Congress Transmitted their resolves and their other proceedings to the Speaker of the Assembly here, but no Answer has been given them, nor any Notice taken of their Transactions, in this Province. This I am informed has been resented, and the Trade of this Province with them is like to be suppressed, We have had but one small Vessel twice this Winter to Trade with us; but have been in no want of a Supply of all kinds of Necessary Provisions, Bread kind only excepted, & that in this Town only, the Country raising a sufficiency for the Supply of themselvesー
As their resolves equally affect the West India Islands, as well as this Province, I have been inquiring carefully how they may in some measure be remedied Canada at present raises greater Quantity's of Grain than they Consume, & they now export the greatest part for Europe, Portugal or Spain, haveing there a better price, & an easier Navigation than to our West India Islands; but as the produce of their Cargo's is often returned in the produce & Manufactures of Foreign Countries, 'tho' it might Benefit the Canadians; is Disadvantageous to the British Tradeー
I beg leave to observe to your Lordship that whilst Canada was in the Hands of the French, that Government were careful to Oblige all their Colonies to exchange their respective Products one with another, & interdicted all Foreigners from any Trade with them, & for this purpose the Town & Port of Louisburg was made an intermediate Port between Canada & their West India Islands, by which means the Navigation between Canada & the French West Indies, was made safe and Commodious. The River St Lawrence is shut up by Ice from the middle of November, and the Gulf full of Ice 'till May & sometimes to the end of that Month, & all Navigation totally suppressed, yet in the Summer Months not less than one Hundred Sail of Vessels were employed in carrying Provisions from Canada to Louisburg, & receiving such supplies as their wants called for, by this means also the French Established a very great Fishery at Louisburg, and a large Trading Town without haveing ten Farmers on the Island.
I am therefore fully of Opinion if the Port of Halifax was Established as an intermediate Port between Canada & the West Indies it would greatly advance the Trade and Interest of both these Provinces, & be a means of Assisting, and making up in some measure the disadvantage that will arise from the supplies being with-held from them by the rest of the Colonies.
But to promote this effectually it will be Necessary to prevent the Canadians from sending their produce usually exported to the West India Colonies, to any part of Europe except Great Britain and Ireland, the rest will follow of course, for the West India Islands will take of all their produce, & instead of Brandy, Oil &ca they will have in return Rum, Sugar, & Sundry other Articles, a mutual & Reciprocal Exchange of their own Commodities.ー
The Port of Halifax being on every Account the best Port in America for safety & Convenience, accessable at all Seasons of the Year, is in its situation in respect to the West Indies, so placed that a Direct course may be made to any of the West India Islands, & in generall shorter passages than from any other Port in America, here the Canadian comeing from the West Indies may safely resort till the Navigation of the Gulf and River becomes open & Safe.ー
I beg leave further to Observe to your Lordship, that the Fishery carried on by the Inhabitants of the Massachusetts and New Hampshire is principally on the Coasts of Nova Scotia; few Fish are caught to the Westward of Cape Sables; by this Fishery they are inabled from these Colonies to supply Spain & Portugal, & other European Powers in the Mediterranian, the principal returns from thence are the products and Manufactures of those Powers which are imported into their Provinces by which means they are fully Supplied with those Goods prohibited by Acts of Parliament, to be imported directly from thence into any part of America: by the Multiplicity of their ports, and the great propensity of the Inhabitants in general to that Trade Notwithstanding the Number of Officers there to prevent it, & a Number of Cruizers, they find means to elude all their Vigilance.ー
As the Port of Halifax is situated in the center of the Fishery, it might have been conjectured, that it would in time have Drawn the Principal part of the Fishery into this Port, but Unfortunately for us, we have had no other Fishermen that has resorted and settled here, but the very refuse of the Fishermen who could not get an employ at Newfoundland, and the Contraband Trade so Beneficial to the other Colonies, & which has given them so great an Advantage, has prevented. a resort of Industrious Fishermen from New England.
The remark I would observe to your Lordship on this Head, is, That if the Port of Halifax, was for a limitted Time Established as the only intermediate Port between the European Powers and the Colonies for the importation of such of their Products as Parliament might allow on the Payment of certain Duties, a very Considerable Revenue would be secured to the Crown. The Fishery be Transferred from New England to this Province; The very Funds of that Contraband Trade Distroyed, and the illegal Importation of Foreign produce more effectually suppressed.ー
I am fully persuaded if these measures could be carried into Execution, it would make a Material Alteration in favour of these two Colonies, & be much more advantageous as well to the West India Island, as the British Trade, all which I humbly Submit to your Lordships Considerationー
I have the Honour to be with the great Respect My Lord [&c.]