“The minister cannot be ignorant that an alleviation of duties on India muslins and callicos, or giving encouragement to them by laying a heavier tax upon the cotton goods of this country, especially upon the infant manufacture of muslins and fine callicos, must depress and discourage the industry and ingenuity of our manufacturers at home, and have the strongest tendency to promote the sale of such foreign fabrics, in preference to those of Britain; that such a preference must soon be attended with evident injury to the public interest, as well as to the private trader, is too conspicuous, to admit of the verbosity of ratiocination.” (Wright 1785: 9–10).By the 1840s and 1850s, these British cotton textile manufacturers had become converted to the religion of free trade, under the influence of Classical Political Economy, and had forgotten that they or their ancestors had been vehement protectionists.
Wright, John. 1785. An Address to the Members of Both Houses of Parliament on the Late Tax laid on Fustian and Other Goods. W. Eyres, Warrington, UK.