§ General Gascoyne
presented a Petition from the Committee of the Company of Merchants trading to Africa, setting forth, "That the Petitioners have laid before the house, an Account of the money granted to them for the year 1806, examined and passed by the cursitor baron of the exchequer, as required by an act of the 23d of his late majesty; and that, for the purpose of enabling the petitioners to maintain the British forts and settlements on the said coast, parliament has been pleased, for several years past, to grant the sum of 18,000l. for the support of the said establishments, which sum has been invested for that purpose by the petitioners; and that the petitioners, being sensible of the great regard shewn by the house for the preservation of the British forts and settlements on the coast of Africa, humbly solicit that the house will take the premises into consideration, and grant to the petitioners the like sum of 18,000l. for the maintenance and support of the said forts and settlements for the present year; and the petitioners beg further to submit to the house, that, during the continuance of the Slave Trade, the committee were enabled to procure competent persons, willing to encounter the climate of Africa, at salaries greatly inadequate to the service, by reason of the commercial advantages which they derived from constant and extensive intercourse with vessels trading in slaves; but this commerce being now abolished, the committee apprehend that their servants, rendered incapable of supporting themselves upon their salaries only, will no longer have sufficient inducements to remain in Africa, unless such addition should be made thereto as may be reasonable and just; and therefore 711 praying, that the house will be pleased to grant to the petitioners, in addition to the 18,000l. for the maintenance and support of the said forts and settlements for the present year, such further sum as may appear to the house to be sufficient to enable them to augment the salaries of their servants in Africa as before mentioned."— Ordered to lie upon the table.