Слике страница

but still more by the apparent diminution of the evil.

Hence it would seem, that in whatever relates to the permanent establishment of this System, the State is not less interested than the Individuals. The benefits are mutual with respect to the security of Property against the depredations of Delinquents, while in other respects, a paramount interest is felt by the Government of the Country, not only in the improvement of the Revenue, (e) which must have increased very considerably, but also in the security against conflagration arising from the vigilance of the System, in carrying into effect the Laws relating to Gun-Powder and boiling of Pitch, and other combustible matter in Ships, while at their Moorings in a crowded Port.

Nor is it unfair to presume, although no direct proof can be advanced, that the Marine Police has been of singular use in counteracting the traitorous designs of these desperate Incendiaries, who appear from evidence, founded on the highest authority, to have meditated the destruction of the whole Shipping


(e) If it is admitted, according to evidence, that there is not one-fiftieth part of the plunder of West-India Goods which formerly took place, it must follow that the Revenue on the remaining fortynine-ftieths, estimated at more than 100,000l. must, on Sugar, Coffee, and other articles, paying a high duty, be equal to 50,000l. a year, besides what is gained on all other articles of Commerce :--an advantage rendered farther manifest by the open declaration of Smugglers, "That their Trade has been more cut up by the Marine Police, "than by the whole combined efforts of the Revenue Officers."

in the River Thames in the year 1798, by a general conflagration. The evil happily has not taken place: and it may not be unreasonable to suppose, that the dread of detection which the System excited, in consequence of the unremitting vigilance of the Surveyors, in perambulating the River with an armed force during the whole of the night, has defeated these diabolical designs.

The utility of a watchful Folice for the purpose of controling, by its influence, the turbulent and unruly passions of such a multitude of dissolute characters, who are at all times employed in Ships and Craft in this extensive Commercial Port, is too evident to require any comment; since occasional conspiracies among Seamen and Labourers, as well as tumults and disorders, may always be dreaded, where such a general corruption of morals prevails among so great a body of the lowest classes of the Community; unless prevented by a well-regulated and effective. Police, adapted in all respects to the prevention of the various evils which have been already detailed; and which has become the more necessary, from the view which has been given in this Work, of the gradual and unfortunate change which has taken place in the sentiments and opinions of a very useful body of men, with respect to depredations on Commercial and Public Property.

This however, may arise more from the nature of the Police Sys tem, and the dread of immediate Punishment, than from any want of excrtion on the part of the Superior Officers of the Revenue.



The means used to render the experiment of the Marine Police permanent and complete.-The existing Laws found to be extremely deficient.-Great Attention and Circumspection necessary on that Account.—A new System of Legislation digested, and grounded on actual Experience.-A Wish suggested to extend the Benefits of the Police to the whole Trade of the River.-A Proposition for raising a Fund adequate to this Object, submitted to the Trade at large.—A Bill modelled with this particular View :-Its leading Objects explained:-To raise a Fund of 10,0001. by a small Tonnage Duty:-To afford Complete Protection, by means of Civil Guards disciplined as a regular Body:-To give extension to the Legal Powers and Penalties of the Act of the 2 Geo. III. cap. 28.-The want of a centre of Union among the Merchants, assigned as a reason for the delays which have prevented the Establishment of a proper Police.-The utility of the Bill in removing the Barrier to future Improvements.-Reasons assigned why Docks will not supersede the necessity of a Police; and why Pillage to a great extent must prevail if no Establishment exist to prevent it :-Exemplified in the Case of the Dock-yards, the East-India Warehouses, and the Docks and Warehouses at Liverpool:-Security only to be obtained by an over

[blocks in formation]

awing Police:-This System indispensably necessary with or without Docks :-The same Service not to

be performed in any other way at an equal Expence.

-The Commercial Fund limited to the River and Land Guards.-The Magistrates, &c. to be paid by Government. The Principle explained upon which the Table of Tonnage Dues is formed.-The advantages resulting from the Protection which this Fund will afford :-Arguments offered in favour of the System :-Doubts suggested whether it will operate at all as a Burthen on the Trade.-Explanation of the Table of the proposed Tonnage Dues.A permanent and energetic Execution of the whole Police System secured by the Bill.-Concluding Observations.

HAVING, in the seven preceding Chapters, endeavoured to explain the importance of the Commerce of the River Thames; the evils to which it has been exposed, and the partial remedy which has been applied by the successful experiment of a Marine Police; it now becomes necessary to develope the means which have been used to render this remedy permanent and complete.

Very little progress had been made in systematizing this important Design, before it was discovered that the existing Laws were extremely deficient ;


and that various new Legislative Regulations were indispensably necessary, to enable it effectually to restrain the multiplied evils which were discovered

to exist.

This deficiency was, in some degree, counterbalanced by the excessive labour bestowed in giving vigour and effect, to whatever appeared to be incomplete in respect to Legislative Regulations, and the caution and circumspection which was manifested wherever difficulties occurred, counteracted, in a great measure, the imperfections and the deficient powers which might otherways have operated to the prejudice of the object which was to be attained, in promoting the ends of Public Justice.

The River Police, like a machine imperfect in the construction, required, and still continues to require, that unremitting attention and dexterity in putting it in motion, which will cease to be necessary, when regulated by Legislative Provisions, adapted to the precise purposes of meeting the various evils with effect;-checking their progress, and ultimately preventing their noxious operation.

It was evident, that the Projectors of this Plan were to be chiefly indebted to practical experience, not only for a correct knowledge of the actual deficiencies; but for those lights which were indispensably necessary, to improve and mature the System, so as to render it permanently beneficial to the Commercial Body, and to the State.


« ПретходнаНастави »