HC Deb 29 March 1825 vol 12 cc1278-9

On the order of the day for the second reading of this bill,

Mr. Fowell Buxton

opposed the motion. He said, he did not object to this Company because it was a Joint-Stock Company, but because its object was to deal in men. Other companies were for canals and rail-roads, but in this company the capital raised was to be embarked in mortgages on our fellow creatures. Under the operations of this bill, men were to be bought - and sold. Being of opinion, in common with a large proportion of the people of England, that all dealings in men, of whatever description, were in themselves so many crimes, he could not give his consent to the creation of this company. West-India property consisted of land and the labour upon that land; the slaves constituted its value, and on them the security would depend. When the funds of the company were invested, the company would have procured to itself 40,000 negroes. He would therefore move, "that the bill be read a second time this day six months."

Mr. Robertson

supported the bill, and expressed his surprise that the hon. member for Weymouth, who was the great champion of all sorts of Joint-stock companies in that House, some of them calculated to bring ruin on our fellow subjects at home, should oppose the present measure, which was likely to afford great assistance to the colonial interest, on the ground of his feeling an excessive sympathy for the negro population of the West Indies.

Mr. Alderman Thompson

did not see what objection there could be to the present bill. It merely went to enable the company to sue and be sued.

Mr. Hume

supported the bill, as calculated to benefit the colonies.

Mr. W. Smith

said, that the object of the bill was to create a monopoly of a most dangerous kind.

After a few words from Mr. Ellice, sir M. Ure, and Mr. Manning, who complained, that the conduct of the hon. member for Weymouth and his friends had paralyzed the whole of the transactions between Great Britain and the West Indies, the bill was read a second time and committed.