May it Please Your Grace. [the Duke of Bedford]
In obedience to His Majesty's Commands Signified to Us by Your Grace's Letter of the 4th of March 1750/1. Representing that your Grace having informed the King that Major General Wall, the Spanish Minister Plenipotentiary had delivered to your Grace by Order of his Courtr of that Province, First in having Enacted a Salvage of 4 & ½ per Cent for the whole Lading of the Ships, whereas (as they alledge) for the Silver that is brought from the English Colonies on board of the Spanish Vessels on account of such like Accidents of Ships being forced on the Coast by Shipwrecks, His Catholick Majesty's Ministers do receive Nothing for themselves. And secondly for having afterwards taken by Violence out of the Sloop of War the Scorpion, (that had been laden with the remaining part of the Silver & Cochineal, in order to carry them from thence to Cadiz) the Sum of 16275½ heavy Dollars, as well for the Freight of the Ship at the Rate of 2 per Cent, as for the payment of the Salvage insisted upon, His Majesty having directed Your Grace to transmit the said Papers to Us, together with their Several Translations, (all which Papers and Translations are herewith returned) to the End that We may consider thereof & Report Our Opinions to Your Grace, whether any & what Salvage may be demanded in the Case in Question, & if any can, whether it may be Stopped out of the Cargo in the manner complained of by the Spaniards & as the detention of the Money for the Freight, makes another part of the Charge, Your Grace likewise desires we would inform you, what is usually & Legally practised upon such Occasions, between Trading Nations.
We have taken the same into Consideration & are humbly of Opinion, that no Salvage is due under the Circumstances therein stated, Except in consideration of, & as a Recompense for the actual Labour and Expence of Saving. And the Governour of North Carolina as Governour ought not to demand any Duty or Gratification whatsoever to himself upon that Account.
As to the 2 per Cent taken for Freight, We observe that the Consulado in their Letter to Monsr de l'Ensenada do not object to the Quantity but only complain that part of the Cargo was detained to pay it. As to which we think the Cargo is in the Nature of a Pledge for the Freight, & not to be delivered till Freight is paid, & therefore if no more was detained on that Account, than what was really due, this part of the Complaint don't seem to be Material