THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF TRINIDAD
Publication No 460.
From Count Dillon, Governor of Tobago, to the Marshal of Castries,
the Minister of the Colonies. 1787.
Source:-Paris. Archives Nationales.
State Papers Colonial. C 10. E 4.
Published by the courtesy of the Minister
of the Colonies. Paris.
Translated from the French.
1st May 1787.
The Governor refers to the Royal Edict of the 2nd
October 1786, which imposes a duty of 12% on all cot-
ton exported to foreign countries.
This new duty became known in the West Indies in
February 1787 and immediately the price of cotton in
Tobago dropped from 290 to 200 livres. The price in
Grenada, (an English Colony) was 264 livres and in
Trinidad, (a Spanish Colony) was 297 livres.
The Governor, and with him the Ordonnateur, Mon-
sieur Roume de St Laurent, pleads for a reduction in
this duty as they fear that this severe and drastic im-
post will lead to contraband trading.
In other Islands nearby, cotton producing activ-
ities are being greatly increased while ours are dis-
criiraged; all from this ill considered decision.
The Government of Trinidad openly declares that
this Edict has been a very powerful aid in helping on
and increasing their settlements.
The Council and General Assembly of Tobago have
forwarded a Memorial to His Majesty, the King, praying
that the trade of Tobago may be excluded from this E-
dict of the 2nd October 1786.
This Memorial is signed by John Leith, the Senior
Member of the Council, and John Balfour, the Speaker
of the Assembly.