[Footnote 5: A long, indistinct, and uninteresting account of this project is here omitted, which Harris alleges might have transferred the whole commerce of Europe to the Dutch, but for which opinion he advances no substantial reasons, or rather none at all.—E.]
“When the East India Company had attained to a certain extent of power and grandeur, its interests came not only to clash with, but grew absolutely opposite to those of the country. For, whereas the advantage of the nation consists in the increase of manufactures, commerce, and freight of ships; the interests of the Company are to promote the sale of foreign manufactures, and that with the smallest extent of traffic and navigation that can be contrived. Hence, if the East India Company can gain more by importing Japan cloths, India quilts, carpets, and chintzes, than by raw silk; or, if the Company, by creating an artificial scarcity of nutmegs, mace, cloves, cinnamon, and other spices, can raise their price so as to gain as much profit by the sale of 100 tons, as it would otherwise gain by the sale of 1000 tons, we are not to expect that it will import raw silks, or be at the expence of transporting 1000 tons of spice; though the former would assist and encourage our manufactures at home, and the latter would increase our navigation.
This chain of reasoning is so plain, and so evidently agrees with the interests of all nations, as well as with those of Holland, that it is impossible for any unprejudiced person not to discern that all exclusive companies destroy, instead of promoting, the commerce of the countries in which they are established. The same great statesman already quoted observes, “That the more any country extends its foreign conquests, the more of its stock must necessarily be spent, for the preservation and defence of these conquests: And consequently, by how much the greater are its dominions, so much the less is that company able to prosecute the trade, for the promotion of which it was erected."—Harris.