29th February 1812
The ORDERS in COUNCIL to the EDITOR of the LEEDS MERCURY.
SIR,—It is a source of regret to those, who, in consequence of the depressed
state of trade, have been induced to petition the Government, for a repeal of the Orders in Council, to observe, that the Merchants and Manufacturers of the West- Riding of Yorkshire, have hitherto
not made a single effort towards procuring that extension of trade, which would result from the repeal of the Orders in Council, and in which, whether as it respects their immediate, or their
permanent interests ; they are perhaps more involved than any other body of merchants, or manufacturers in the United Kingdom.
For upwards of four years, during which the Orders in Council have
existed, our Government has attempted by their means, to force a Commercial Communication with the Continent of Europe: This attempt has failed, for never were our ships and manufacturers so
completely excluded from the Continent, as at the present moment
But if we cannot trade with our enemies, we ought to be more desirous to trade with neutrals who are indeed our best friends. The
Orders in Council on the contrary have not assisted our trade to the Continent, and they have produced the unforeseen injury, which our manufacturers are destined to experience from the measures
which the American Government has chosen to adopt towards this country, in consequence of the injury which the Orders in Council have done to the trade of America
The export of goods from this
Country to the United States is allowed to have amounted to ten or twelve Millions annually, and hence it is certain, that America is the best market for British manufacturers, which this country
What proportion of this most important trade, has resulted to the inhabitants of Yorkshire ? I pretend not to determine, but it must be acknowledged, that the preservation of the
trade is of vital importance to the country.
Ever since the Orders in Council were issued, our American trade has been subject to interruptions; and for the last twelve months, our manufactures
have been prohibited in America. It is in vain to expect that the United States will admit our goods while the Orders in Council are continued. All the advices from America agree upon this point, and
even if America consented to receive our goods, a perseverance in the Orders in Council would be in direct opposition to the interest of our manufacturers.