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The anti-slavery argument. Source 1 transcript
Question of the Slave Trade as it relates to the Interests of those directly
engaged in it.
I. It has been maintained that the African Trade opens
a wide channel for the beneficial investment of capital, and that the
Abolition by suddenly throwing out of employment so great a proportion
of stock, would give a serious blow to the commercial resources of the
to the public accounts laid before Parliament from the Custom-house books,
it appears that the official value of the exports to Africa during ten
years, ending 1800, was £9,301,941 or £930,194 per annum.
The average value of imports from Africa during the same period, was £83,725,
leaving the sum of £846,469, for the capital employed in the Slave
Trade; and although we should allow that the official value is a third
less than the real value of the goods, the sum would not amount to more
than £1,128,625, or not one thirty fourth part of the average capital
employed in the exports of the country during the same period of time.
And this is the trade which affords a demand for such a proportion of
the National Stock, that its cessation must be attended with the instantaneous
ruin of the British Commerce.
I. It has been argued that trade with Africa is a great source of investment and that Abolition would bring this to an end, giving a serious blow to the commercial resources of this country.
In order to disprove this, it is necessary to show that the trade with Africa is not that important, that the profits are not very beneficial to the country, and that the same capital could easily be invested in a more advantageous way.
According to the Customs accounts that are presented to Parliament, the official value of exports to Africa between 1790 and 1800 was £9,301, 941 or £930, 194 per year. The average value of imports from Africa each year is £83,725. This leaves the sum of £846,469 that comes from the slave trade. Even allowing for the fact that the real value of the goods is one-third higher than the official value, it still only comes to £1,128, 625. This is just one thirty-fourth of the total value of exports from this country. And this is the trade that is so important to the country that its end would bring instant ruin to British commerce.
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