HC Deb 15 December 1830 vol 1 cc1183-4
Mr. Ewart

presented a Petition from West-India merchants and others, praying for compensation if Slavery be abolished, and praying for inquiry into the condition of the slaves. The hon. Member said, he heartily concurred in the prayer of the petition, and expressed a hope, that whatever might be done, due regard would be had to the interests of the West-India proprietors. He was convinced that to produce favourable results the abolition of slavery must be gradual.

General Gascoyne

also supported the prayer of the petition, and expressed a doubt whether the people would be will- ing to submit to be taxed to compensate the planters, though persons admitted that such compensation was necessary. The sum necessary for the purpose would probably augment the burthens of the State one fourth, though the amount was not yet settled, and he could not, therefore, speak positively. He would, however, be glad to submit even to that to have the question set at rest, and he was in hopes that the hon. and learned member for Yorkshire, who gave a notice, would have brought the matter to a conclusion. His zeal, it appeared, was checked by the Government; the wild elephant had been yoked to the tame ones of office, and he went quietly in harness like them. The hon. Gentleman gave notice, that when the question was discussed, he should move, "That an inquiry be instituted to ascertain what compensation should be given to the planters."

Mr. A. Trevor

said, that he would cordially second the gallant General.

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