§ Mr. Hume,
on presenting a petition from the minister, elders, deacons, and members of the Scots Church, in Well street, Mary-la-bonne, against the continuance of Slavery in the West Indies, observed, that he intended to take an opportunity, upon some open day, of submitting a motion to the House, the object of which would be, to pledge the House, if possible, not to proceed to any measures of emancipation of the negro slaves, infringing upon or endangering private property, without affording recompence or compensation to the holders. Vicious as the system of slavery 1332 was, and no man deplored it more than he did, still he was decidedly of opinion, that individuals unfortunately possessing property in the West Indies, were intitled to protection. He was satisfied that the House would not consent to any act of robbery and injustice, however anxious it might be to put an end to slavery. The property in slaves was unquestionably odious and abominable; but that property had been acquired under the sanction of the law, and the legislature of the country only was to blame. The slave proprietor had as much right to be protected in the enjoyment of his undoubted property as the fundholder or the land owner. He thought that he could show, that it was not difficult to keep faith with the West-India interest, and at the same time accomplish an object so desirable on the score of humanity.
§ Ordered to lie on the table.