HC Deb 07 April 1838 vol 42 cc474-5

On the Motion that the Report of the Slavery Abolition Act Amendment Bill be received,

Mr. Gladstone

observed, that the Bill in its present state exempted special Magistrates from liability to actions, and it might be perfectly right not to subject them to the verdicts of West-India juries without the intervention of any authority for their protection. However just and reasonable this rule might be, it formed no reason for preventing cases against them being gone into, because publicity under the circumstances of those colonies could not fail to be attended with advantageous results. His purpose in then rising was to propose a clause making it lawful for all proceedings against special magistrates to be heard, and even carried to judgment and execution, unless the governor of the colony saw ground for arresting their progress.

Sir G. Grey

said, that if he consented to such a clause, it would be only on condition that the governor, in addition to the power which the hon Gentleman opposite proposed to confer on him, should also possess the power of awarding costs.

Mr. Gladstone

agreed to the addition. He was willing that the special magistrates should be relieved from costs, either by rendering the parties liable or having them paid out of the Treasury.

Mr. Howard

did not think the remuneration given to the special magistrates was sufficient to compensate them for residing in so deadly and unhealthy a climate to Europeans; and this country having granted 20,000,000l. to the planters, would not object to a small addition to the salaries of these gentlemen.

The Report received, Bill to be read a third time.

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