Secondly, by an agreement with the Guinea Company to furnish 200 negroes, who are generally persons that do a great deal of work; and all these are subsisted very reasonably out of a public storehouse.
Thirdly, by carts and horses to be bought, not hired, with a few able carters; and to the other a few workmen that have judgment to direct the rest, and thus I question not the great causeway shall be done for four shillings per foot charge; but of this by-the-bye.
Fourthly, a liberty to ask charities and benevolences to the work.
3. To the question, HOW THIS MONEY SHALL BE RAISED. I think if the Parliament settle the tax on the county for eight years at 30,000 pounds per annum, no man need ask how it shall be raised . . . It will be easy enough to raise the money; and no parish can grudge to pay a little larger rate for such a term, on condition never to be taxed for the highways any more.
Eight years' assessment at 30,000 pounds per annum is enough to afford to borrow the money by way of anticipation, if need be; the fund being secured by Parliament, and appropriated to that use and no other.
4. As to WHAT SECURITY FOR PERFORMANCE.
The lands which are inclosed may be appropriated by the same Act of Parliament to the bank and undertakers, upon condition of performance, and to be forfeit to the use of the several parishes to which they belong, in case upon presentation by the grand juries, and reasonable time given, any part of the roads in such and such parishes be not kept and maintained in that posture they are proposed to be. Now the lands thus settled are an eternal security to the country for the keeping the roads in repair; because, they will always be of so much value over the needful charge as will make it worth while to the undertakers to preserve their title to them; and the tenure of them being so precarious as to be liable to forfeiture on default, they will always be careful to uphold the causeways.
Lastly, WHAT PROFIT TO THE UNDERTAKERS. For we must allow them to gain, and that considerably, or no man would undertake such a work.
To this I propose: first, during the work, allow them out of the stock 3,000 pounds per annum for management.
After the work is finished, so much of the 5,000 pounds per annum as can be saved, and the roads kept in good repair, let be their own; and if the lands secured be not of the value of 5,000 pounds a year, let so much of the eight years' tax be set apart as may purchase land to make them up; if they come to more, let the benefit be to the adventurers.
It may be objected here that a tax of 30,000 pounds for eight years will come in as fast as it can well be laid out, and so no anticipations will be requisite; for the whole work proposed cannot be probably finished in less time; and, if so,
Pounds The charge of the county amounts to 240,000 The lands saved eight years' revenue 40,000 ======== 280,000
which is 13,000 pounds more than the charge; and if the work be done so much cheaper, as is mentioned, the profit to the undertaker will be unreasonable.
To this I say I would have the undertakers bound to accept the salary of 3,000 pounds per annum for management, and if a whole year's tax can be spared, either leave it unraised upon the country, or put it in bank to be improved against any occasion--of building, perhaps, a great bridge; or some very wet season or frost may so damnify the works as to make them require more than ordinary repair. But the undertakers should make no private advantage of such an overplus; there might be ways enough found for it.
Another objection lies against the possibility of inclosing the lands upon the waste, which generally belongs to some manor, whose different tenures may be so cross, and so otherwise encumbered, that even the lords of those manors, though they were willing, could not convey them.
This may be answered in general, that an Act of Parliament is omnipotent with respect to titles and tenures of land, and can empower lords and tenants to consent to what else they could not; as to particulars, they cannot be answered till they are proposed; but there is no doubt but an Act of Parliament may adjust it all in one head.