HC Deb 30 May 1820 vol 1 cc634-5

Upon a petition being presented from the African Company, for the grant of 5,000l.,

Mr. Gordon

expressed a hope that the prayer of this petition would not be acceded to until the establishments of the company from whom it proceeded should be inquired into by the House. These establishments were professedly instituted, in the first instance, with a view to the civilization of the inhabitants of Africa; but it was known that they were become mere commercial speculations, in which the interest of each of the speculators was much more consulted than the civilization of the negro. These institutions were, besides, not at all under the control of the British government; and under these circumstances, they formed an anomaly which called for investigation, before any of the public money was voted for their use.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

observed, that the proposed grant was to repay monies already advanced by the company, in consequence of a proposition adopted by that House upon the recommendation of a committee, as well as upon the report of our admiral on the station. This, he hoped, would be the last year in which any proposition of this nature would be submitted to the House, and it would be satisfactory to the hon. gentleman to learn that all those British colonies or [settlements on the coast of Africa were immediately to be placed under the direction of the executive government.

Mr. Gordon

expressed himself satisfied with the explanation of the right hon. gentleman, but declared his wish to have the report of our admiral on the station laid before the House.

Ordered to lie on the table.