274 | To the Board of Trade

    Boston Mar 10 1764

    My Lords

    The Secretary1 having prepared Copies of the Acts passed last Session to be transmitted to your Lordships, I have looked them over & find no occasion to trouble your Lordships with observations upon them except in the following instances

    Act for granting unto his Majesty sevral rates & duties of impost & tunnage of Shipping.2 This Act differs from the former in the following particular; instead of “excepting such goods as are the product or a manufacture of Great Britain” as in the former Act at the end of the second section, it stands now “excepting such goods as are imported from Great Britain.”3 This alteration is for the advantage of the trade of Great Britain, as now all goods coming from Great Britain are exempt from these duties, whether they are the product of a manufacture of Great Britain or not. And No Disadvantage can arise from British product or manufacturers transported from other Colonies being subject to these Duties, as no such goods can be imported here to any purpose. If Any goods are imported here as such, they must really be foreign goods made like to those of Britain; of which many kinds may be reckoned up, some of which will get in here as British goods, if they can find a passage to other Colonies.

    There is also a small alteration of the oath4 in the 7th section: instead of “sterling value” & “than that value” it now stands “present value” & “than the real value” a difference quite immaterial.

    An Act for continuing & amending an Act made in the first year of his present Majesty intitled, An Act for allowing necessary supplies to the Eastern Indians, and for regulating the trade with them & preventing the abuses therein.5

    This Act has been continued from time to time for sevral years, with occasional additions or omissions. It is now made as comprehensive & effectual as ever, at my desire; who have made myself acquainted, from the Indians themselves,6 with the great abuses & dangerous mischeifs of the English trading with the Indians & hunting in their Territories; of which I gave the Assembly sevral proofs from recent facts.

    At the end of this Act is a new Clause impowering the Governor with the Advice of the Council to grant Licences to persons to trade with the Indians. This was inserted at my desire that the Act might not seem to contradict his Majesty’s late Proclamation. But there will be no occasion to make use of this power untill our Settlements in the Eastward are extended farther than they are at present or are like to be for some time. For All the Eastern Indians that communicate with this Province are so few,7 that the two public truckhouses at Fort Halifax & Fort Pownall are more than enough to supply them with all they Want. Nor would it be worth the while of this Government to support those truckhouses for the advantage of the trade only, which by no means pays it[s] own expences;8 the preventing the mischeifs of the private Indian trade is by much the cheif Consideration of keeping up these truckhouses. And I am convinced that if a private Indian Trade was to be generally allowed, it would be impossible to keep the Country in peace

    I am, with great respect, My Lords, Your Lordships most obedient and most humble Servant

    Fra. Bernard

    The Right Honble The Lords Comrs for Trade &c.

    tripALS, RC CO 5/891, ff 222-223.