Montesquieu

Where there is com­merce there are cus­toms duties. The object of com­merce is the expor­ta­tion and impor­ta­tion of mer­chan­dise for the bene­fit of the state, and the object of cus­toms is a cer­tain duty on that same expor­ta­tion and impor­ta­tion, also for the bene­fit of the state. The state must the­re­fore be neu­tral bet­ween its cus­toms and its com­merce, and must act in such a way that these two things do not inter­fere with each other ; and then free­dom of com­merce can be enjoyed.

The tax farm des­troys com­merce with its injus­ti­ces, its vexa­tions, with the excess of its impo­si­tions ; but it also des­troys it inde­pen­dently of that by the dif­fi­culties it occa­sions and the for­ma­li­ties it requi­res. In England, where there is a cus­toms agency, dea­ling takes place with sin­gu­lar faci­lity : a word in wri­ting conclu­des the grea­test deals ; the mer­chant does not have to waste an infi­nite amount of time and bring in agents expressly for resol­ving or sub­mit­ting to all the dif­fi­culties posed by the tax far­mers.