His Majesty has granted favor to the citizens of the islands, by permitting two ships, each of three hundred toneladas, to sail annually from Nueva Espana to the Filipinas; and they may carry therein from the Filipinas such property as is to be transported. There shall be three ships, in order that one may remain in dry dock at the port of Acapulco. They shall sail on his Majesty’s account, paying the expenses thus incurred from their own earnings.
The viceroy and Don Pedro de Acuna, governor of the Filipinas, are of the opinion that this tonnage should all be utilized, so that each ship may carry three hundred toneladas of lading, six hundred toneladas between the two ships; and these should be the toneladas of the Southern Sea, which are larger than those of the Northern Sea. There should be three ships, all alike and of the same model, each containing four hundred short toneladas of the Northern Sea, which amount to three hundred. The citizens of Manila shall lade on each ship two hundred toneladas and no more, which consequently will amount to six hundred toneladas in all the ships, in order that the goods may be distributed to better advantage, and the ships may carry more mariners.
Under this arrangement the expenses are greater, as there is one ship more, as well as the increased cost of the escorts of soldiers, and the artillery for the protection of the ships. Therefore the viceroy orders that henceforth in the Southern Sea, instead of paying thirty-two pesos on every tonelada, there shall be paid thirty-two ducados on every tonelada of stuffs coming from the Filipinas. This increase will amount to 12,000 pesos, more or less, with which may be defrayed the expenses of the infantry who return as guard of the ships and property which come from the Filipinas Islands, thereby assuring greater safety.
That ships be bought on his Majesty’s account; and those which have already been bought.
Until the new ships shall be built, the viceroy has supplied the line with ships in place of those which were lost. He commanded one to be bought from the mariscal Gabriel de Ribera. That and the “Santa Potenciana” were conveyed [to the islands] by Don Pedro de Acuna; also two ships from Piru were in his convoy, moderately laden with freight. Grace was granted, in the name of his Majesty, for some permissions for carrying money and a quantity of freight. This was given as to private persons, but not that the ships should be navigated on their account or under their administration, or that they should exercise any more authority than that of a passenger. This did not deprive the city of Manila of any of the six hundred toneladas which could be shipped, but merely utilized the surplus space of the ship, thereby doing no damage to the citizens of Manila.