HC Deb 06 May 1839 vol 47 cc871-967

On the Order of the Day for the House to go into Committee on the Jamaica Government Bill,

Mr. Maclean

was understood to say, he believed, that this was the first occasion in the annals of Parliament when an endeavour had been made to take away a constitution which had been in operation for 150 or 200 years, in the manner in which the right hon. Gentlemen opposite proposed to take away the constitution of Jamaica. It would be in the recollection of the House, that on a former occasion her Majesty's Ministers came down to Parliament for the purpose of suspending the constitution of Canada. They then proceeded in a different manner, and had taken a different, a remarkably different course, from that which they had thought it their duty to take on this occasion, for they had presented themselves to the House, requesting them first to pass a resolution. They had availed themselves of every form that Parliament admitted before they had resorted to the ultima ratio of power. Before sacrificing the constitution of Canada, they had taken every possible step in order, by conciliation, to prevent the consequences of such a measure. But what was the course they had taken with regard to Jamaica? They had had no resolution passed, they had had no message from the Crown, they had had nothing but the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman opposite to suspend the constitution of Jamaica, upon grounds, as he hoped he could show he was not justified in adopting. Front the known reluctance which the right hon. Gentleman must personally feel to the introduction of this measure, and to the measure itself, it was certainly his belief, that the right hon. Gentleman had not taken the step without an urgent and positive necessity. But he must own himself astonished that in the former debate the right hon. Gentleman the Judge-Advocate, when he had first addressed the House, should state, that "he was considerably surprised that nothing had fallen from noble Lords and right hon. Gentlemen at that (the Opposition) side of the House, fur the purpose of supporting the views of the right hon. Gentleman who had spoken first on that occasion." The Judge-Advocate stated that "he expected to hear arguments of great cogency in support of the proceedings which the right hon. Gentleman recommended to be adopted;" but did the right hon. Gen- tleman forget, for the House did not for-forget it, that, previous to his speech, there had been on the side of the right hon. Gentleman a speech delivered, remarkable for the soundness of the views it entertained, and remarkable for the concise manner in which those views were brought forward? He asked the House, whether the right hon. Gentleman the Judge-Advocate, in the course of the whole of his address to the House of Commons on that occasion, had answered a single point advanced by the hon. Member for Kilkenny? He asked the House whether, on taking a review of that speech, one single argument had been advanced by the right hon. Gentleman who spoke last on that occasion to disprove those constitutional principles so ably laid down by the hon. Member for Kilkenny on that occasion? But there was a speech which had preceded it, a speech delivered in support of this measure—a speech, the foundation of which, was a clear, distinct, and positive dissent from the grounds taken by the right hon. Gentleman. The hon. and learned Member for Liskeard, in the address he had made, told the House distinctly the reasons for passing the Prisons Bill. He told the House, on that occasion, that he differed from the Ministry on the grounds on which they had passed this measure. He told the House still further, and he (Mr. Maclean) owned it was a singular announcement to hear from the lips of that hon. Gentleman, who had been a public functionary in Canada—he told the House he was always in favour of governing by a majority, and that he bad always been opposed to despotism in any shape; though the hon. and learned Member did not wish that the franchise which had recently been given to the blacks should be taken away from them; although he was in that House an advocate for the extension of the suffrage, yet there was not a more strenuous advocate for the purest, the simplest, the most abstract despotism, than the hon. Gentleman who made that speech on that occasion. But, in calling the attention of the House for a few moments to that speech, and in asking the House to consider the sentiments as the real bonâ fide sentiments of the hon. Member on this bill—he asked the House whether, taking together the views with which the hon. Gentleman set out in his speech, and the views with which he had terminated it, if they did not furnish an unanswerable refutation of the course pursued by the sight hon. Gentleman the Under-Secretary for the Colonies? They would first allow him to call attention to the language of the hon. Member for Liskeard:— He could assure hon. Members opposite that nobody in that House could approve of English despotism less than he did. He knew enough of the character of English functionaries in the colonies. [Loud cheers from the Opposition benches.] Hon Members cheered before they heard the conclusion of the sentence. He repeated that he knew enough of colonial functionaries to be aware how unfit they generally were to administer affairs without the aid as well as the control of the people, and he did not believe a more corrupt Government could exist than one freed from the control of the people, and interfered with by factious and meddling persons. Now he must own that this fell on his ear as exceedingly curious from the lips of the hon. Member for Liskeard, because it would be in the remembrance of the House, that when he went to Canada, such was the confidence placed in him, that the Lord High Commissioner was not satisfied that he should fill one office only—he was not satisfied that he should be his chief secretary, but, referring to the list of appointments made by the noble Earl, then captain-general, he found that Mr. C. Buller was likewise on the general commission of inquiry for Crown lands. On the commission of inquiry into the municipal institutions, that hon. Gentleman filled the same post of secretary; therefore his experience was valuable, as it was personal; and when he denounced this bill as a bill that would vest the powers of legislation in the hands of "public functionaries, unfit to administer affairs without the aid as well as the control of the people," they must be perfectly satisfied that the hon. and learned Member's opposition to this bill was based on sound, cool, and rational judgment. But it did appear to him singular, that during the whole course of the debate, especially after the manner in which the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth had alluded to the proceedings of the Government in regard to the Canada Suspension Bill, it appeared to him, remarkable that not one Gentleman had thought proper to allude to the course adopted on that occasion, and ask why there was such a wide distinction between the course pursued with regard to Canada and Jamaica. Why, before the noble Lord had proceeded in his Canada Bill, he had made repeated applications to that House for the purpose of its sanctioning the measure. What was the language used on introducing that bill, by the right hon. Gentleman (the Judge-Advocate)? What was the opinion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in moving the Canada Bill? Why the right hon. Gentleman stated that it would be recollected that it was not simply a stoppage of supplies that had taken place, but that all the ordinary functions of government were about to be suspended; that the Canadians had proceeded to the election of justices and civil officers of their own, in defiance of the Government. These were the statements of the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he had required the suspension of the constitution of Canada. He asked if they had proceeded in that way in the suspension of the constitution of Jamaica? Had the House of Assembly stopped the supplies? Were they in a state of rebellion? Had they appointed justices of their own? Had they taken any one step which warranted the suspension of their constitution? Had they taken any course similar to that taken by the Canadian Assembly? Until her Majesty's pleasure was known they had declined proceeding further in their legislation than passing such bills as were requisite for the support of the Government; they had not delayed doing that which was necessary for any public purpose, and yet, setting aside all the usual forms with which they had adjudicated for Canada, her Majesty's Ministers had come down to that House, and had put a bill into their hands to suspend a constitution of nearly 200 years' standing, because the House of Assembly of Jamaica had chosen to take on themselves, as they had an indisputable right, to decline assisting further in the legislature until the opinion of the Crown was received on the matter. But had this course ever been taken before towards the Legislature of Jamaica? Was it not in the recollection of gentlemen of this country, that at a period he should be sorry to revert to as a constitutional period, in the time of Charles 2nd, the same unjustifiable interference was resorted to, and it gas then met by a course more obstinate than that pursued on the present occasion, and it ended in the Legislature of Jamaica effectually carrying their point against the Government of this country. They then resisted and resisted well, and they ultimately came out of that ordeals proving, to this country, that the mode in which they had proceeded was constitutional and just, and that the endeavour to tyrannize under the Government of Lord Carlisle was such as not to be endured. But the feelings then expressed were feelings coeval, he might say, with the birth of the country. They had continued from its earliest colonization even up to the present time. Why, as early as the time of Sir Thomas Modyford, soon after the colony itself was established, they had a clear remonstrance against the course of taxing the people of Jamaica without the consent of Parliament. If the House would allow him, he would call attention for a moment to the language made use of by Sir Thomas Modyford, it was made on such constitutional ground:— According to a letter in the State-paper office from Colonel (afterwards Sir Thomas) Modyford, dated Barbadoes, Feb. 16, 1651, addressed to Bradshaw the regicide, the following suggestions occur relative to the island sending representatives to Parliament. 'The great difficulty is (which your wisdom will easily overcome) how we shall have a representative with you in your Government and our Parliament. To demand to have burgesses with yours to sit and vote in matters concerning England, may seem immoderate, but to desire, that two representatives be chosen by this island to advise and consent in matters that concern this place, I presume may be both just and necessary; for if laws be imposed upon us without our personal or implied consent, we cannot be accounted better than slaves, which as all Englishmen abhor to see, so I am confident you detest to have them. This is so clear, that I shall not have need to enforce it with argument, neither enter upon particulars for the good of this place, &c. This was the language used in 1651; and similar language the House of Assembly caused to echo through this country whenever an attempt was made either by the means of paid commissioners or by acts of the Imperial Legislature, to raise taxes in the colony without the consent of the people, speaking by their representatives. But, in fact, by the act of the 17th and 18th of George 3rd, this country gave up the power of taxing the colonies without their consent, and in subsequently passing various acts relative to the trade of the colonies that principle was reiterated. Let them consider how the Prisons bill would interfere with these immunities. If they sent out a prisons bill giving power to the Governor of Jamaica to destroy all the prisons at present standing in the island and to erect new ones, those prisons must be paid for, and for the purposes of that payment, the Governor must raise taxes. Would not this be a direct violation of a long recognized right of the local Government to levy the island taxes? Therefore, in passing the Prisons act, they had interfered with the privileges of the island with respect to its internal government. It might have been well to pass that act. He was not at all prepared to argue against the necessity for that act, but they should have framed it so as to avoid as much as possible any interference with the right of taxation. He would now ask 'the right hon. Gentleman what course would he have taken if the Assembly, instead of the course they had adopted, had entertained the entire seventeen bills, and had thrown every one of them out? They had not taken this course—they had taken a more manly, perhaps, a less judicious one. He was not prepared to vindicate that course, nor the language in which it had been announced. It was violent, almost indecent, from a colony to the mother country. But, suppose they had rejected every one of those bills, which were suggested by the Governor, could the right hon. Gentleman, in that case, have come down to the House and asked them to suspend the functions of the Jamaica Legislature, because, in the exercise of their legitimate and undisputed right, they had rejected certain measures connected with internal Government. 13tit if the Government had come down to the House, and represented that the Assembly of Jamaica had contumaciously refused to pass any act for carrying into full effect the Act of Negro Emancipation, the House would have passed the act required. This course, however, had not been taken. The course which had been recommended in the case of Canada by the hon. Member for Liskeard, was not attempted in the case of Jamaica. What did that hon. Member now say? The hon. Member said, "You should not grant immediate power either to the majority or the minority, as the one would be smarting under the deprivation of their rights, and the other from the recollection of the wrongs they had received." According to the hon. Member, instead of giving power to the people of Jamaica, the best plan would be to vest the Government of the island in three paid commissioners and a Colonial Council to be appointed by the Governor. These three commissioners would, of course, be the appointees of the Colonial-office and between them and the Governor's Council, they would, in fact, be establishing a pure despotism in Jamaica. The arguments used by the right hon. Gentleman for the passing of this bill, were precisely the same as those used on a former occasion, which the right hon. Gentleman was not old enough to recollect, when Mr. Fox attempted to pass his India Bill. What a storm of indignation the proposal of that measure raised in the breast of Mr. Pitt who gained for himself immortal honour by the power with which he opposed the attempt to sacrifice the freedom of India, to the interests of place! When Mr. Pitt heard, that the internal affairs of India were to be placed under the control of seven commissioners to be appointed by the Crown, he said:— It was true the bill was said to be founded on necessity, but what was this? Was it not necessity which had always been the plea of every illegal exertion of power or exercise of oppression? Was not necessity the pretence of every usurpation? He had heard no particular reason offered in favour of this necessity, except that of destroying the corrupt influence which had been exerted by the Company and their servants in both Houses of Parliament. But surely, that was an argument against the principle of the bill, for if Government possessed themselves of this source of influence and corruption, it would no longer be the influence of a company, but that of the executive Government. He asked, was it not the principle and declared avowal of this bill, that the whole system of the Indian Government should be placed in seven persons and those under the immediate appointment of no other than the Minister himself.? This was the language of that eminent statesman on the extraordinary powers then proposed to be vested in the India commissioners. Was it not applicable to the present measure? For what did that measure propose? It took away all power from the Assembly, and vested it in a council to be chosen by the governor and three paid commissioners— to do what? Not only to raise taxes to the amount of 500,000l. a year, but, according to the 'sixth section of the proposed bill, to exercise all the functions of the Assembly. Besides, every law this council should make might become the permanent law of the island. He was afraid, if they looked through the papers on the table in that spirit of moderation which should actuate the House on a question of so great importance as that under discussion, they could hardly say there had not proceeded from the executive power, some irritating conduct, some acts not calculated to secure the confidence of the colonists. It had been said that the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, had endeavoured to fasten a quarrel on the governor of Jamaica. This charge must have been founded on misapprehension; for it was very well known that the side of the House on which the right hon. Baronet sat, had always supported lawful authority. The Gentlemen on the other side of the House. knew that they never lent themselves to factious attempts against constituted authority. How could it, then, be said that the right hon. Baronet had attempted to fasten a quarrel on the governor? It was impossible for them to shut their eyes to the fact that, although he found the Assembly behave most creditably, he only wrote borne that the council had laboured cordially, and requested that the colonial office would send out some distinct mark of approval of the conduct of the council. What had been the cause of that letter? After the Assembly had manfully and frankly come forward and passed the act for the immediate abolition of apprenticeship, thereby depriving themselves of a property vested in them by Act of Parliament, a message was sent home to Lord Glenelg, recounting, with approbation, the acts of the council, but saying not one word in favour of the Assembly. The Assembly had other reasons to complain. They complained that when they had remonstrated touching the conduct of certain special magistrates, who had gone out of their way to use inflammatory language, in spoken addresses, or through the medium of newspapers, the governor took notice of their complaints. It was stated that in one case in which a special magistrate published a most inflammatory address in a newspaper, the governor was called on to dismiss him, and that he refused, saying the law was open to the parties if they considered themselves libelled. It could not be expected that the Assembly would have much confidence in the governor after such conduct. The conduct pursued in Barbadoes had been very different. The governor there had nearly the same objects to effect. What was his course? He sent for the council, and asked their advice, which they gave, remonstrating against the proposed measure as an infringement of the vested rights of the colony. He begged the House to consider that one of the great arguments in favour of the Prisons bill was, that it would produce uniformity in the prison discipline of the West-India islands. It had been stated by the right hon. Gentleman that neither the Marquess of Chandos nor the hon. Member for Newark, who generally took a deep interest in West-India affairs, had made any remark during the passing of the Prisons act through the House. The reason of this was, that both hon. Members supposed, that Government had consulted the Assembly previous to bringing in the bill. But the fact was not so. No communication was had with the House of Assembly; no notice was given even of the passing of the Prisons act. In Barbadoes the governor, under the advice of his council, appointed three inspectors, and these inspectors under the Prisons act reported to the effect that, "in returning the report of Captain Pringle to his Excellency, they took the opportunity of remarking, for his Excellency's information, that, after a careful perusal of the same, they were of opinion, from their local experience of the houses of correction in the colony, that the general system of prison discipline would not be applicable to Barbadoes." This showed that the principle of uniformity could not be carried out. The hon. and learned Member for Liskeard had said that he wished to suspend the Jamaica constitution, not more to prevent abuse of power by the whites than the future abuse of power by the blacks, and he would neither give the power to the masters to rule over the slaves, nor the slaves over the masters. How different was the language held by the hon. and learned Member on the discussion of the resolutions proposed with respect to the Canadas in 1837. On that occasion the hon. and learned Member said, Their resolutions have been compared to the gagging acts of England, and the Coercion Bill of Ireland. I have never spoken with mildness of either; but, compared with the measure now before the House, they were of a less aggravated character of guilt, for this measure is not a mere suspension of personal immunities, but a cessation of constitutional rights. But this is a blow at constitutional rights—a blow which, once struck, all respect for the constitution will cease. This measure is not directed against a knot of obscure persons, who wish to force their will on the people, but against the representatives of the people—not against a set of men united by illegal oaths and bonds, but against the legal authorities of the country. I maintain that a temporary suspension of the constitutional privileges of the people of Canada ought not in any case to be attempted. The outrage is inadequate to its object, leaving out the question of the violence with which it would be attended. Such violent remedies as the noble Lord proposes, ought not to be employed till all other means have failed. But, on the face of these resolutions, it appears that the Government have not yet done every thing they might have done. The noble Lord admits that the colonists did right in asking for redress for their original grievances. During the discussion which ensued out of those grievances, however, the Legislative Assembly came to a resolution that the Legislative Council was an intolerable grievance in itself. They proposed an alteration in its constitution, but the noble Lord comes forward and says that the peculiar alteration which they propose is unreasonable. I agree that it is so; but is it right, because the Canadian House of Assembly has made a blunder, that we should oppose an unreasonable resolution to their unreasonable demands? He would ask whether such language on the part of the hon. and learned Member had not well merited the censure passed upon him by the hon. Member for Kilkenny, who had naturally enough said, that he could not see on what ground the hon. and learned Member had changed his mind. This bill would in fact, do away with all the rights which had been already obtained by the black inhabitants of the island. What had been the language of the Assembly on the subject? It was well worth recording, because he hoped that the same sentiments would also be entertained by the House. They said— The legislative independence of Jamaica has ever been the pride of her English conquerors. They have received with joy their coloured fellow-colonists into equal participation of their valued liberty, and they were prepared to rejoice at the extension of the constitution to the emancipated blacks; but the British Government, by a great fault, if not a crime, has, at the moment when all should have been free, torn from the lately ascendant class the privileges which were their birthright; from another class, now the equals of the former, the rights they had long and fortunately struggled for; and from the emancipated blacks the rights which they fondly expected to enjoy with their personal freedom. The boon of earlier freedom will not compensate this most numerous part of our population for the injustice and wrong done to the whole Jamaica people. Gratitude is short lived, but the pressure of distant and uninformed legislation, in which they have no share, nor any sympathies arising from common origin and race, will be a daily irritation to the Creole Africans, and laws from such a source will be as impatiently endured by them as by their brother colonists. And what, he would ask, would be the sentiments of the assembled inhabitants of Jamaica, when, for the first time, they heard of this act being passed? Was it after they had so peaceably accepted the Emancipation Bill, after they had voluntarily passed a measure for the abolition of negro apprenticeship, that there should be taken from them what they considered as their protection—that the earliest opportunity should be seized of doing that which would abrogate the most important parts of the act of emancipation? The House had been told, that the period sought to arise when the negro should know what liberty was, when his eyes should be unsealed, and he should behold the light of freedom; but he had heard it stated there, and also seen declarations to the same effect out of the House, that the House of Assembly had taken no precautions to prepare the new constituency of Jamaica for properly exercising the privilege conferred upon them. Now, had the House forgotten that in 1836 it was stated, that 52,000l. were annually voted for the education of the negroes, and that this sum was not confined to the instruction of one particular sect of religion, but distributed amongst Baptist, Presbyterians, and other classes of Dissenters, as welt as amongst those of the Established Church? The bill now before the House would go for two years and a half at least to the utter extinction of the constitution in Jamaica. But who could tell whether, at the end of that time, the hon. Gentleman who had introduced this measure might not go down to the House and say, that it would still be for the benefit of the negro further to suspend the constitution? When once the power of legislation was extinguished, it would be difficult to know when and how it should be revived. On these grounds did he deprecate the step the Government proposed; and he spoke the more strongly on the subject, as he himself knew something of Jamaica, and had personally inspected the condition of the island. Did the Government think they would satisfy the white inhabitants by this measure? Or the mulattoes, who were so numerous, and on whom the whites depended for carrying out the work of emancipation? Or the negroes, who had expected to enjoy the exercise of the elective franchise. It was an ungrateful, unkind return for the peaceable and tranquil manner in which the boon of freedom to the negroes had been accepted by them. In answer to a speech of Sir Lionel Smith, the House of Assembly had said that if he would point out to them anything wrong, or requiring amendment, with regard to the state of the prisons, his suggestions would be received by them with the greatest deference; and judging by their conduct on ail former occasions, it might surely be supposed that if any recommendations had been made to them in a proper spirit of conciliation, the Prisons Bill would have been passed without any of the irritating effects that had arisen from it. The conduct of the Government with respect to Canada had been widely different; for there, the Governor had stated to the House of Assembly the despatches that he sent to this country, and had moreover held conferences with Mr. Mackenzie and others on the subject of them; and the Government, before they ventured to come down to Parliament to ask for any stringent measures, were aware that the result would be almost unanimous. Would it not have been an easier course for Sir Lionel Smith, when he first called the House of Assembly together, instead of proroguing, and afterwards dissolving the House, to have at least made some communication to them of the Prisons Bill having passed the Parliament here,—a proceeding which they considered so important that they at once resolved on suspending their legislative functions? Might not Sir Lionel Smith have taken the same course which had been followed by Sir Evan Macgregor? And did not the House think that if that course had been pursued we should not now be reaping the bitter fruits that had been produced by the conduct of the Governor in first calling together the House of Assembly, then proroguing, and afterwards dissolving it, when a few months before, the Members of that House had shown every disposition to pass some bills that were even contrary to their own interests? The course that he would sug- gest was simply to conciliate, to forbear a little; not to recal the Prisons Bill, but at least to ascertain whether the House of Assembly had made up their minds to an obstinate contumacy against the proceedings of this House; and if that was fully shown, then he had no doubt that the hon. Gentleman would be able to pass the present bill without difficulty. But did the hon. Gentleman think even if he now succeeded in passing the bill through this House that he would ultimately succeed in making it a statute? Did he not think that the possibility was, that with respect to this bill, the lines —et incedis per ignes "Suppositos cineri doloso, might be applied to him? The House knew the elements they had to deal with, and the anomalous state of society in Jamaica. There were 300,000 persons who had recently received the boon of freedom, while a certain number of whites had lost their power over the labour of their slaves, so that the elements of discord might perhaps be said to exist to a greater extent in that island than in any other place; and yet it was in this state of society that a bill was proposed for confiscating all the rights to which the slaves had so recently become entitled. If this step were taken now, he feared that ultimately we should have to govern Jamaica by the bayonet. Did the Government think that with their commissioners and a council of nine they would be able to carry on the taxation and the other business of the island, for by the despatches that had been recently received it was seen that the inhabitants were beginning to dispute the existing authorities, and insubordination was already threatened? Was it then too late for the noble Lord opposite to take the course which had been proposed by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth? If it were considered so, much should he regret it; for from the statements contained in the eloquent address of Mr. Burge to the House, as well as in the speeches of other Gentlemen who felt a deep interest in Jamaica, he thought it was clearly shown that if a mild conciliatory tone were adopted towards the Assembly, they would, in all probability, listen to any suggestions that were made to them, and carry into effect the recommendations of the Government. He knew not whether the days of the present Administration were numbered, as he had recently heard prophesied; but he was sure that if he knew anything of the sentiments of the noble Lord, and particularly if those were his genuine sentiments which the noble Lord had recently given to the public in an address to his constituents, that he would not in Jamaica, to use his own forcible language, "think of lifting the anchors of the Monarchy while the signs of a storm were black in the horizon." He "was convinced that the noble Lord would not in a moment of disappointment deface the work which he had made." He knew not whether it was true, as had been asserted, both in that House and out of it, that the Government had lost the respect of the people of England; but if it were so, why should they make too successful an endeavour to alienate the affections of our colonial empire? Were they not content that India was in flames; that Persia was estranged from our empire; that we were ridiculed by the Russian, and doubted by the Turk; that America had plucked us by the beard, and France had trampled on our standard? Must their career, commencing upon principles inter se pugnantia, terminate with, as he hoped, only a futile endeavour to dislocate those who had hitherto acted in union and harmony one with the other? They were indeed, whether existing only by sufferance, or flattering themselves that the breath of life had been breathed into their nostrils within the last few days, a strange anomaly. When conciliation was a crime, they strove to soothe; when rebellion was rife, they held out in their trembling hands the olive branch of peace; but when they might reclaim their children by tenderness, they smote them with the sword. Were these to be the fruits of their boasted measure of emancipation? The negro was to be raised from his servile state into the condition of a free labourer by the operation of a temporary apprenticeship; their Governor in Jamaica advised that that course should cease, and the colonist yielded, whilst at the same time he deplored it. He yielded, however, with frankness and promptitude to the commands of the Government, and they, to reward him, thus endeavoured to deprive him of his privileges and abolish the constitutional rights to which he was entitled. Now, what would be the effect of their conversion to this almost Russian despotism? They would hold up the co- lonist as an oppressor who should be manacled by the Parliament at home; his authority would be laughed at; his estates, perhaps, neglected or ruined; his domestics and workmen given to understand that so great were the crimes which the Legislature of Jamaica had committed that England would allow it to exist no longer. Ay! they would do more; for with those whom they considered as guilty they would punish the innocent. In conclusion, he would ask them whether in the annihilation of the Legislature they would not involve also the sacrifice of those nascent rights which they had conferred on the newly-emancipated constituencies, and whether the course which was now proposed was such as would, to use the nervous language of one of the beautiful prayers of our liturgy, "promote the good of the Church, the safety, honour, and welfare of our Sovereign and her dominions."

Sir Eardley Wilmot

said, it appeared to him that the hon. Member who had just sat down had used more the arguments of an advocate than of a legislator; for the hon. Member seemed to have touched upon every case but the one which was really before the House. He had taken rather a prominent part in the proceedings of the House with respect to the slavery question, and he hoped, therefore, he should be indulged with a few moments' attention whilst he stated his reasons for the vote which he intended to give in favour of the motion now before the House. They had given the negro liberty, and why, then, he would ask, should they, for the contumacy of certain individuals, continue him in a state of slavery? He felt deeply that this was the true question before the House; and, with the principles and feelings which he had on this subject, he felt bound to explain the reasons of his determining to vote for the motion. In order to do so, he wished just to call the attention of the House to the circumstances that had occurred since the year 1833, when the Bill for the Emancipation of the Slaves was first brought in. At that time the noble Lord who brought it in distinctly stated, that he wished to place the negroes in exactly the same situation as free labourers in England, and thought that would be best effected by some system of apprenticeship. It was very soon discovered, however, that the great powers in Jamaica were opposed to those views; and the noble Lord afterwards stated to the House, that it was of no use to try to do anything with the Assembly on this point; that it was utterly hopeless to apply to them; that the Government must take the matter into their own hands. The Government, therefore, brought in a bill to amend the first Act with respect to the apprenticeship clause. After this the House of Assembly, in anticipation of what they might have been compelled to do, voluntarily passed the Total Emancipation Act, and this country at the same time passed the Prisons Bill, having been induced to do so from the horrors they had heard detailed respecting the state of the prisons in Jamaica. From the year 1833 up to the time of the abolition of the apprenticeship, the Assembly of Jamaica had not only not assisted this country, but had rendered nugatory every thing that was attempted to give the negro a fair and proper situation in the island. The question was, whether they would make the measure of emancipation complete and effective; and it was with this view that he supported the measure proposed by Government. If the object was merely to change the Government of Jamaica, to create in its stead a despotic one, he should oppose the bill; but he believed that by suspending it, an opportunity would be afforded for preparing a constitution more in unison with the present state of the country. When the present constitution was established there were but few freemen in the colony and 300,000 slaves. Now, there were in Jamaica upwards of 300,000 freemen, and, therefore, it might be said that a different constitution was wanted. if the present was a mere party question, he should not give the Ministry his support, because, holding the opinions he did, it was his duty to do every thing that might lead to a change of Government; but as the right hon. Baronet had declared that it was not a party question, he should feel ashamed if he did not give a vote on the question under discussion according to his conscience.

Mr. Grote said

If, Sir, I could bring myself to agree with the hon. Member for Warwickshire regarding the present bill, as depending upon a question of comparative sympathy between the blacks of Jamaica on one side, considered as an oppressed race, and the whites of Jamaica considered as oppressors, I should agree with him in my vote this evening; for I have never been backward in voting for the abolition of slavery, and I voted last year in favour of his motion for the shortening of the apprenticeship. But I cannot so regard this motion. The bill before us appears to me to be full of harshness and injustice towards the whites, and of very doubtful kindness towards the blacks. I cannot bring myself to vote for its passing into a law, and I hope that the House will indulge me while I briefly state the grounds of my conclusion. It has been my fortune, Sir, on various former occasions, and especially in the discussions during the two last years on the government of Lower Canada, to manifest a greater respect for colonial constitutions, and a greater reluctance to violate or suspend them, than most other Members of this House, I do, indeed, believe, that the difficulties of governing a colony well, by any expedient, or upon any supposition, are all but insuperable; but I believe, at the same time, that a Representative Colonial Assembly tends to abate very materially the extent of possible misgovernment, and to protect, to a considerable degree, both the rights and the comforts of the colonial population. I know well, too, that such an assembly must, even in the discharge of its proper and legitimate functions, become a source of constant annoyance to the executive authority. Sometimes, doubtless, its interference will be mischievous; but, on most occasions, it will be just and salutary. And as I am thus deeply sensible that the relation between the executive authority and the Colonial Assembly must be one of dislike on the one side and jealousy on the other, I confess that I do not listen with implicit confidence to the complaints preferred by the former of these two powers against the latter. I decline to take my idea of the Assembly from the construction which the executive may be pleased to put upon its acts. These are the general feelings which I have brought to the discussion of matters concerning colonial government on former occasions; they are the feelings with which I approach the discussion of the present bill. Much has been said, Sir, during the present debate, respecting the peculiar situation in which our West-India colonies are at present placed, in consequence of the recent emancipation of the black population. I feel the force of these circumstances as strongly as any man. I am well aware that this important change in the structure of colonial society, carries with it the seeds of future changes, and that the period during which such alterations are in course of accomplishment, requires our utmost precautions to instil into all classes both forgetfulness as to the past, and patience, self-command, and gentleness, as to the present. But, Sir, the consciousness of these circumstances produces upon my mind an effect different from that which it seems to produce upon most other Gentlemen. It impresses me with an additional sense of the necessity for extraordinary care and circumspection in legislating for a society in this state of trouble and transition. We have lately compelled the white population to surrender their power as masters over the blacks. It was right and wise that we should do so. But I must confess, that the fact of our having effected this change leads me to deliberate the more carefully, and to require a stronger proof of necessity, before I consent to inflict upon the feelings of the white population the additional wound of suspending all their powers of internal legislation and self- government. Before I proceed to examine the reasons alleged on behalf of this bill, I am bound to reply to one preliminary objection, which seems to be aimed peculiarly at my hon. Friend, the Member for Kilkenny, and myself. It is triumphantly announced, that this Jamaica House of Assembly is not a popular assembly; that the narrowness of the constituency by which it is chosen renders it a mere oligarchy; and that those who reason upon it as a popular assembly, are imposed upon by a paltry and delusive juggle of words. Such has been the objection made by several Gentlemen who spoke on Friday evening, and insisted upon, most pointedly, by my hon. Friend the Member for Liskeard. I can scarcely believe, Sir, that my hon. Friend can have intended to urge this objection seriously, as relevant to the matter in hand. My purpose in resisting this bill is to maintain an assembly representing the wishes and feelings of the colonial population. If it he contended that the present assembly is elected by so narrow a constituency that it does not fairly and fully represent the wishes and feelings of the colonial population, let the constituency be enlarged until that object is accomplished: that is the specific and appropriate remedy. If you decline to apply the specific remedy, do not pretend that the oligarchical character of the Assembly is the real ground why you dislike it; do not pretend that the persons who wish to uphold a Representative Assembly, but are perfectly ready to enlarge the constituent basis on which it rests, are supporters of oligarchy under a feigned name; do not pretend that you who desire to extinguish the elective principle altogether, take the really popular view of the question. But, Sir, to show still farther the groundlessness of that attack which my hon. Friend, the Member for Liskeard, made against those who desire to uphold the Jamaica House of Assembly, as if they were mere champions of oligarchy, let us look at the part of his argument which followed. My hon. Friend told us himself, after he had concluded his eloquent denunciation against the oligarchical character of the House of Assembly, that though the constituency by which that House was elected was at present very narrow, still it was in actual course of enlargement under the operation of the present electoral law; that, in the course of a year or two, the constituency would be so widened as to embrace a full and adequate number of electors. Well, then, if this be the case, I should have thought that my hon. Friend's reproach against those who resist this bill, that they are imposed upon by a paltry juggle of words, would have appeared, even to himself absurd and unreasonable, and that he who had expressed so great a dislike to the House of Assembly on the ostensible ground of oligarchy, would have become reconciled to it when it came to acquire an indisputably popular character. But is this my hon. Friend's language? Quite the reverse, Sir. He tells us, that little as he likes the Assembly now, he shall like it still less when a number of black freemen shall have been registered as electors; he cannot endure an Assembly elected by a majority of whites, but still less can he endure an Assembly elected by a majority of blacks. Now, Sir, in what respect does this argument, against the continuance of the House of Assembly in Jamaica, under an enlarged suffrage, differ from the argument employed by the hon. Gentleman opposite two years ago, against the reform of municipal corporations in Ireland? The right hon. Member for Tamworth said at that time—"I do not wish to maintain the present Irish corporations in the hands of a Protestant minority: I admit that they have exercised their privileges unfairly, and in such manner as to create discontent and irritation amongst the Catholic majority. But if I consent to your reformed corporations, that Catholic majority will in their turn exercise the privilege unfairly, and for oppressive purposes: I have, therefore, no choice except to abolish corporations altogether." Such was the argument used by the right hon. Gentleman opposite, against the introduction of popular municipal corporations into Ireland; and it is precisely the same argument as that which is now used against the maintenance of the Colonial Assembly in Jamaica. And I perfectly recollect, that my hon. Friend, the Member for Liskeard, made a speech in 1836, in which he replied to that argument at great length, and with great ability. He took pains to skew in that speech, that there was no method so effectual for softening and effacing pre-existing antipathies, as the scheme of blending the two opposite parties in popular municipal assemblies, for the purpose of transacting in common active business of detail, and of furthering the joint municipal interests of their respective communities. Admitting that the Catholic majority in Ireland had been ill-used under the previous corporations, he nevertheless argued, that there was not the least fear that they, when they acquired the elective franchise in corporations, would make use of their newly-acquired power to the oppression of the Protestant minority, or would seek to avenge themselves of the wrong which they had suffered under the previous system. Such was the argument of my hon. Friend the Member for Liskeard in 1836, on the subject of Irish municipal corporations. I agreed most cordially with his reasoning at that time, and I see no reason to retract my faith in it now: I desire to pursue the same system for gradually mollifying the antipathies between whites and blacks in the West Indies, which lie advocated as conducive to harmony between Irish Protestants and Catholics. But, Sir, the more fully I concur with the argument of my hon. Friend in 1836, the less can I concur with his argument in 1839. It seems to me, that neither he nor any other Gentleman has made out any sufficient case to justify the present bill. Nevertheless, I thank him much for his speech, for it perfectly confirms and satisfies me in my opposition to the bill. He does indeed provide an argument of his own, an unsatisfactory argument, in my opinion, to defend the suspension of the Jamaica constitution; but he dismisses with contempt the argument furnished in the preamble of the Government Bill. Sir, this is quite sufficient for me. If this bill cannot stand upon the preamble annexed to it, it ought not to stand at all; and I would beg those Gentlemen who really think that they are now going to suspend the Jamaica constitution merely for a short period, such as two years or five years, to recall to themselves attentively the speech of the hon. Member for Liskeard. They will perceive that the arguments used in defence of the bill will not be satisfied by a mere temporary suspension of the House of Assembly. If those arguments are valid at all, the constitution of Jamaica ought to be suspended for twenty years, or fifty years; and most assuredly, if the House shall think fit now to permit its suspension, I much doubt whether many of the Gentlemen who are now present will ever live to witness its revival. A good deal of what has been said in defence of the present bill seems to me only partially relevant to its main scope and purpose. Heavy censures have been accumulated upon the general conduct of the House of Assembly in Jamaica, and upon the intemperate and unbecoming spirit in which its proceedings have been conducted. Let us admit all these criminations to be true—though I am bound to say, that the effect of those laudatory citations read by the right hon. Member for Tamworth, in his speech on Friday, from the messages and dispatches of Jamaica governors, has been not yet rebutted or done away with; but let us admit all which has been said in inculpation of the House of Assembly to be true, still I contend, that no defence has been made out for the present Bill. For the present bill rests the proposed suspension of the functions of that body, not upon general evil-mindedness or incompetency, but upon one specific and tangible issue; upon one particular abnegation of duty alleged to have been committed upon a recent occasion. Now, Sir, what is the impression likely to he produced on the minds of the white population of Jamaica, when they see that, in justifying this bill, so many appeals are made to that which is neither stated nor glanced at in the preamble—so many expressions of indignant denunciation against the House of Assembly, as to a thousand other matters not contained in the positive indictment? Sir, I must say, that the strong and natural impression on the minds of the white inhabitants of Jamaica will be, that the occurrence which has intervened respecting the Prisons Bill is not our real reason for suspending the constitution of Jamaica, but merely an excuse laid hold of to gratify a pre-existing disposition, and that the sentiment which actually impels us in passing this bill is the continuance of an exaggerated anti-slavery feeling, after its holy and legitimate purpose has been fully and finally accomplished. I do not pronounce, Sir, whether this be the real reason of our proceedings or not; but I am sure, that it is the interpretation which cannot fail to be put upon them by the whites of Jamaica. And with me, I will confess, this constitutes a forcible reason, in addition to the inherent severity and harshness of the bill before us, for pausing in our present course: for although I have thought it my duty to take no account of the repugnance of the whites, when the object was to procure the emancipation of the negroes, and although in that view I voted in favour of the motion made last year for abridging the duration of the apprenticeship—yet, when emancipation has once been achieved, I no longer think myself authorised to treat lightly the feelings and the satisfaction of the white portion of citizens of Jamaica. They are now free colonists on a level in the eye of the law, with those who were once their slaves: it is our duty to see, that nothing is done unnecessarily to disgust them with their new condition; for I am quite persuaded, that whatever be the difficulties of working the new state of society in the West Indies with tranquillity and effect, one essential condition to that result is, that we should reconcile and appease as much as we possibly can the minds of the white population. Now, I think that this bill will tend to the very opposite consequence—that it will exasperate and provoke the white population of Jamaica—that it will inspire them with a sense of profound and aggravated injustice, and that it will tarnish the lustre of that generous and humane policy under which the Act of Emancipation was effected. Sir, I have said, that the passing of this bill will impress the white population of Jamaica with a strong feeling of injustice and ill-usage. And how can the fact be otherwise when they read the preamble, when they recollect the actual facts which have occurred? The preamble places the necessity of suspending the constitution of Jamaica on the resolution taken by the House of Assembly, in consequence of the passing of the Prisons Bill by the English Parliament. Here then are two parties opposed to each other, the propriety of whose demeanour is in question—the English Executive Government and the English Parliament on one side, and the Jamaica House of Assembly on the other. Is it the first or second of these parties, or both of them, who are to blame, on the matter of the Prisons Bill? Sir, I am bound to say, that when I review the proceedings on this side of the water, I can by no means satisfy myself, to say the very least, that we have ourselves been so free from sin, as to entitle us to cast the first stone at the House of Assembly. I must say, that I think the passing of the West India Prisons Bill in August last was an interference at once gratuitous, impolitic, and offensive, with the rights of local legislation enjoyed by the House of Assembly in their own island, and I am happy, that I agree on this point with my hon. Friend, the Member for Liskeard. To say, that the English Parliament had a right to pass the West India Prisons' Bill, is in my view nothing to the purpose. We have a right, undoubtedly, if we think fit, to, abrogate altogether the insular constitution of Jamaica, and to cause the whole internal legislation of the island to be performed without any representative assembly at all. There is no doubt, that such is the paramount authority of the Imperial Legislature; but the question is, whether we have not dealt with Jamaica for a very long period upon different principles assigning to the inhabitants of that island their own internal legislation, and restraining ourselves from interference with them on domestic matters, except in cases of pressing necessity? It is useless then to establish, that the right exists in the Imperial Parliament; you must go farther, and shew that a pressing necessity existed for our actual exercise of the right, and for our departure from those maxims which have so long guided our relations with Jamaica. This, Sir, is indispensably necessary before a case can he made out in defence of the present bill; and this has never yet been done with anything like sufficiency. For, let us merely inquire what great evil would have ensued if the Prisons Bill, passed by the English Parliament last Session, had been withheld from becoming law in the island of Jamaica, until it had been submitted for the approbation of the House of Assembly? Suppose the worst—that the House of Assembly, on their meeting in October, and on seeing the report of Captain Pringle, had refused to deal with the question of prison discipline at all, and had left the prisons in the island without alteration or amendment? I do not say that they would have acted thus—I think the presumption is, that they would not; but let us imagine that this had been their behaviour, what would have been the extent of the evil? The worst that could have happened would have been, that we should have been compelled to postpone the peremptory interference of the Imperial Legislature until the commencement of the present Session, and we might then have passed the Prisons' Bill, after having ascertained by direct experiment that the House of Assembly were not disposed to adopt it of their own accord. If we had thought it worth while to overrule the acknowledged constitution of the island for the purpose of introducing an ameliorated scheme of prison discipline, we should at least have had the consolation that we had left no step untried to spare ourselves that necessity, and to prevail upon the house of Assembly to amend their prisons for themselves. The question, therefore, is, did the possibility of this evil, the worst evil of which the case admitted—did the possibility of a few months' delay in the adoption of a new prison law, constitute a necessity sufficiently urgent to justify the Imperial Parliament in overruling the authority of the Jamaica House of Assembly as it did last July? Was it sufficient to impose upon us the obligation of instant and peremptory interference, in spite of the formal protest of the agent of Jamaica, and in spite of the strong dissatisfaction and repugnance which our proceeding was certain to excite in the island? Sir, I must say that, in my judgment, it was not sufficient. Nay, if it had been an evil certain to ensue, instead of being merely contingent and possible—if it had been ascertained, as well as anything can be ascertained without direct trial, that the House of Assembly would have declined to adopt any improvements suggested in Captain Pringle's report—I should still have said that the necessity for instant interference was not sufficiently sustained—I should still have said that it would be right to submit Captain Pringle's report to the House of Assembly, and to suspend our interference until it was seen by actual trial what degree of improvement that body would assent to. Believing as I do, then, Sir, that there was no pressing necessity for our passing the Prisons' Bill last August, I think that as to the matter of fact alleged in the preamble to this bill, the Jamaica House of Assembly are less in the wrong than the English House of Commons. And, whatever may be the sins in other respects committed by the House of Assembly, I am bound to remark, that if I am sitting as juror when an accused person is put on his trial on a specific indictment which cannot be proved, it will be my duty to acquit him, and set him free, though I may believe him to be in other respects an unprincipled malefactor. Looking simply at the justice of this bill, according to the grounds laid for it, I cannot but pronounce decidedly against it. Nor can I find any greater reason to commend it on the score of wisdom and prudence. I believe that this bill will greatly aggravate and embitter the existing discontent in the island, instead of contributing to tranquillize and reconcile the various classes of the population. You tell us that the white population of Jamaica are angry and unmanageable, because they have been deprived of their prerogatives as slave-masters, and you are going, by way of emollient, to strip them of all their functions and their dignity as citizens. Sir, in my opinion, this is neither just or wise legislation. The present bill will only add to the many difficulties which now beset the Government of Jamaica, and as such I shall oppose it.

Mr. Clay

had listened to the observations of his hon. Friend, the Member for London, with all the respect which they so well deserved, but also with regret that his hon. Friend had arrived at a conclusion in which he could not concur, and with somewhat of surprise at the reasoning by which his hon. Friend had arrived at that conclusion, He (Mr. Clay) could not look at the Bill as an invasion of popular authority, and it seemed to him that his hon. Friend, the Member for London, had mistaken the shadow for the substance, and confounded words with things. The House had to legislate not for that portion of the inhabitants of Jamaica who had hitherto exclusively enjoyed the privileges of freemen, but for those who would henceforth be the people of Jamaica; and he maintained that his hon. Friend ought not to stand up in the defence of a constitution which only belonged to one-twentieth part of the people of Jamaica. His hon. Friend had said, that he could not vote for the bill, because the grounds stated in the preamble were not sufficient, following in this respect the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Tamworth, from whom, rather than from his hon. Friend, he should have expected such an argument. For himself, he was of opinion that it was not advisable either that the whites should legislate for the blacks, or the blacks for the whites. If there were no other reason for the measure than the circumstance that the House of Assembly had refused to pass a prison bill, he might be disposed to concur with his hon. Friend. But were there no other subjects remaining on which laws were required to be passed? A poor law was necessary, a vagrant act was required, and so was a good law respecting the occupation of land, and he confessed he could not understand how men who had watched the course taken by the Assembly, as shown in the papers which had been laid upon the table of that House, could ever bring themselves to believe that that body would ever fairly and honestly concur with the Imperial Parliament in carrying such measures as they could approve, and such as were required by the interests of their fellow-subjects in the Island of Jamaica. He had voted against the abolition of the system of apprenticeship, because he would not be a party to the violation of a contract into which he had advisedly entered, but he would not now consent to leave in the hands of the masters the power of legislation, when they had lost the rights of proprietorship.

Mr. Warburton

said, that in consequence of the great authority in matters connected with the liberty of the subject, which very properly belonged to his hon. Friend, the Member for London, he was anxious to say a few words upon this question. He should be ashamed of himself if, when he honestly approved of the conduct of the Government, he did not honestly come forward and say so. He could only compare the situation of England with respect to Jamaica, with her position in relation to some of the small tributary governments in India, of which it was said, that worse governments could not exist. The only mode in which the natives could ever obtain redress, was occasionally by exacting summary justice of their governors. But England had interfered, and prevented the people rebelling against their rulers, while, on the other hand, it had taken upon itself the responsibility of giving them substantial justice. This was what we had done in Jamaica. If we could depend upon the House of Assembly to do justice to the people of Jamaica, then we ought not to interfere. By keeping an army and navy there, we made ourselves responsible for the administration of affairs, and we were bound to see the people treated with justice. It was a mere chimerical notion to suppose, that the house of Assembly would ever act justly towards the coloured population, unless they were controlled by this country. Upon this simple ground he should vote for the bill. It had been objected that the preamble of the bill did not state the grounds upon which the bill was supported. But a legal authority, in a report laid before the House in the session of 1838, said, that everybody knew that the few reasons for a law were easily given in the preamble, and that it was much better to omit them. He entirely agreed with that writer, that it was much better to omit all the reasons for the enactments of a bill, and only to state its purpose in the preamble. Entertaining these views, and believing that the Government were entirely responsible for the administration of justice in Jamaica, and seeing no probability that the objects which they had in view would be secured by leaving power in a representative body hostile to the interests of the negroes, he was favourable to this bill. He considered that the Government would have been guilty of deluding the people of this country, who had paid 20,000,000l. for the emancipation of the slaves, if they had not brought forward this measure, and if they had told them that there was any chance of securing the rights of the negroes without adopting the course of policy which was now proposed. The Government had, in his opinion, adopted the straightforward course by the proposal of a measure, which he was convinced would sooner or later have been forced upon them, and he should therefore give it his most cordial support.

Mr. H. Gaily Knight

Sir, I never was more surprised than by the speech of the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down. Could it be the speech of the hon. Member for Bridport — of the champion of liberty in its most extensive form? Had my eyes been shut I should have thought I was listening to an advocate of despotic principles. Nor was I much less surprised at the speech of the hon. Baronet, the Member for Warwickshire, who told us that he felt himself compelled to support the bill before the House, lest the tree of liberty so recently planted should be cut down. The hon. Baronet is anxious for the growth of the tree of liberty, and for that reason, advocates the subversion of constitutions, and the establishment of arbitrary power. For my own part, I feel myself compelled to oppose this bill, because I think the suspension of constitution after constitution is anything but satisfactory, and because it does not appear to me that, on the present occasion, the last resource of imperial severity is justified by the necessity of the case. My right hon. Friend, the Colonial Secretary, in introducing this bill, very properly expressed a wish that we would consider this subject in a comprehensive point of view. But I think we shall not be attending to his recommendation unless we extend our observation to the spirit and the temper in which Jamaica has been governed for some time past; and, if we do so extend our observation, I fear we shall find that, to that spirit and that temper must chiefly be attributed the resistance of the House of Assembly, and the present calamitous condition of that unfortunate island. It has been a repetition of the old story of governing in a party spirit, of leaning altogether to one side, and driving the other to despair, whilst, as it appears to me, the especial duty of a supreme Government is firmly and impartially to hold the balance between conflicting interests, to assign to each its fair advantage, and keep each in its proper place. I was the sincere friend of emancipation. I considered that measure, coupled as it was with compensation, as one of the most glorious achievements that this or any other nation ever performed; but, the more I was a friend to emancipation, the more anxious am I to see it brought to a successful issue, not only for the sake of our own islands, but for the sake of the general cause of emancipation throughout the world. But will that measure be considered as having succeeded if Jamaica should go back into jungle, and the negroes relapse into the savage state? Will the measure have succeeded unless those who were masters and slaves are able to live harmoniously together in their new relation of employers and free labourers—unless the island remains at least in a state of cultivation, and the negroes become an orderly, moral, and religions population? Now, Sir, my complaint is, that the transition has not been conducted in such a manner as would have been most likely to obtain these results. It must be evident, that so great and singular a charge could not be prosperously accomplished without the greatest discretion and the best precautions. It must be evident that the feelings of the planters would have to be considered, and that the intoxication of the newly-emancipated would have to be restrained; that care must be taken to make the negroes thoroughly aware of all the circumstances attendant upon their new position; and that proper regulations would have to be introduced, riot only to persuade, but even to drive them to acquiescence in regular habits of tenancy and industry. This has not been done, and the consequence is, that in many parts of Jamaica, the negroes are, not in a state of insubordination, but of determined inaction, that business and cultivation is at a stand, that the crops are rotting in the fields, the negroes squatting in the woods, and the proprietors on the brink of insolvency. How has this been brought about? I admit that one disturbing cause has intervened, for which the Government are in no way responsible. I mean the popular cry, which, grounded on the grossest misrepresentations, was raised last year, forcibly to bring about the immediate termination of the apprenticeship. Never was it ever more clearly demonstrated how mistaken it is possible for a popular cry to be, or how unwise it is to succumb to its voice. No one, I think, can forget the triumphant manner in which my hon. Friend the Member for Newark refuted the charges which were brought forward by the advocates of immediate termination. This House decided by an immense majority against the proposition; but it might have just as well decided the contrary way, for, scarcely had the House so decided, before Government sent out such instructions as were certain to carry the immediate termination into effect; and it was done in such breathless haste, that the regulations by which it should have been accompanied, were omitted, or postponed to a more convenient season. The effect of that popular cry and the abrupt termination of the apprenticeship, was to throw the negroes into a state of excitement which was not for their good; but the mischief which was produced by these disturbing causes is not to be compared to that which has been produced by the spirit to which I have alluded—a spirit which has gone on representing the planters to be the natural and eternal enemies of the negroes—and which, by so cluing, has prevented the two parties from coming to such an adjustment as is indispensable for the welfare of both. In the papers which have been laid before the House, there is abundant proof that the Governor, the Baptist missionaries, and the Stipendiary Magistrates, actuated, I have no doubt, by the best intentions, have long adopted a course which could only have the effect of misleading the negroes, and driving the planters to the wall. I should like to know what would be thought in this country if the clergy of the Church of England, of Manchester, Sheffield, or any other manufacturing town, were to go to the operatives, exhort them to strike, and stand out for unreasonable wages. What would be said of those reverend persons by Gentlemen opposite, if they were detected in any such proceeding? Yet is this exactly what has been done by the Baptists in Jamaica. Nor are the negroes so dull a race as to stand in need of the assistance of any such patrons. On the contrary, they are shrewd, perfectly able to make their own bargains, and even understand combination as well as the operatives of Manchester, or any other place. But then the Stipendiary Magistrates assert that, wherever masters have been previously kind, they have had no difficulty with the negroes. I regret to say, that this is not the case. I am acquainted with the circumstances of a large estate in Jamaica, of which the proprietor is so conscientious a man as to have twice gone over to the West Indies, before the emancipation, to see that his negroes were kindly treated. Ever since he has paid them constant attention. But he has by no means experienced that grateful return which the Stipendiary Magistrates assert to be univerally the case. Last season his negroes demanded twice as high wages as could be given with any chance of remuneration, and, on not having their demands acceded to, went back to their cottages, and distinctly refused to work. In consequence, his crop, which was a most promising one, is almost entirely lost. His negroes, supporting themselves on their provision grounds, remain in a state of sluggish idleness, and, instead of receiving a large income from his estate, he is obliged to send remittances to Jamaica from this country. I repeat it, that it is to the partial spirit in which Jamaica has been governed, that this state of things is mainly to be ascribed; and unless it shall he governed in a more impartial spirit hereafter, you may suspend the constitution, you may introduce what arbitrary measures you will, but you will not succeed in forming a prosperous and happy community. I am aware that some such Prison Bill as the one that was passed, was necessary. I am equally aware that many enactments for the rural regulation of the island, are no less wanted. These may just as well be enacted by the House of Assembly. But if, by visiting the House of Assembly with a Bill of Pains and Penalties, you further degrade the white population in the opinion of the blacks, and widen the breach between the two parties, I fear you will increase the evil and the difficulties to such an extent as no subsequent Legislation will be able to set right. For these reasons, I feel it my duty to oppose the bill which is now before the House.

Mr. Goulburn

said, it was certainly surprising that of all those hon. Members who had defended the measure which had been brought forward by the Government, scarcely one had advocated its enactments upon the grounds on which it had been proposed and supported by the Members of the administration. The hon. Member for Liskeard had told them, that the provisions of the Bill had no connexion with the preamble, and on that ground was prepared almost to throw it overboard; while the hon. Member for Bridport found it so difficult to reconcile the measure with the arguments which it contained in justification of its provisions that he had referred the House to some East-India governments as affording some sort of precedent for the unknown species of Government which it was proposed to establish in Jamaica. He had told them, also, that it was not the custom of Parliament to state in the preamble of any bill the true reasons which had led to its adoption, and on the ground that there was something in the character of certain East-India Governments which afforded a precedent for the measure before the House, and also on the ground that the true reasons for the adoption of any legislative measure were never set forth in the preamble by the Imperial Parliament, the hon. Member defended the Bill which had been brought forward. Now, he wondered when the hon. Gentleman alluded to India, that he had not seen, that the Bill before the House would establish a despotic government; and when he said, that under such a government, assassination and insubordination was the necessary result, he thought there was very little wisdom or policy in stating to the public how such a government could be sustained. He was anxious to offer an opinion upon the principle of the Bill, and to state the reasons which induced him to give it his decided opposition, and lie trusted the House would grant him its attention for a few moments while he did so, He could assure hon. Gentlemen opposite, that he did not approach the question with any desire to approve the whole conduct of the House of Assembly, or with any design to defend that body in opposition to those objections which had been raised against certain parts of their proceedings, nor with any wish to argue the matter upon party grounds. In regard to this bill he entirely adhered to the opinion which he had expressed in a former Session, and to the pledge which he had then given; and he felt as strongly now as he did then that it was the duty of Parliament to watch over the proceedings of the Assembly, and to pay every attention to the condition of the negroes. But when he expressed that opinion, and when he gave that pledge, and agreed to the resolution which was then submitted to the House by the Government, he did not understand that, by agreeing to that resolution, he pledged himself to support any measure tending to dissolve and to abrogate the free institutions of any people. It was one thing for Parliament to support the Government in the execution of those laws which Parliament had passed, but it was a very different matter to support that Government when it was proposed to suspend a constitution, to deprive a people of free institutions, and in their place to establish an absolute despotism. If, when the resolution to which he had alluded was brought forward, it had been stated, that the suspension of the constituent rights of the people of our colonies was to be the consequence of agreeing to that resolution, he for one, should have expressed in the strongest terms his reprobation of the measure, and he was sure that in pursuing such a course he would have been supported by the House, for no course could be more dangerous, nothing could be more hostile to the interest of humanity itself, than to establish anything like the principle, that the abolition of slavery was incompatible with free institutions. The prejudices entertained against Great Britain for granting negro emancipation were well known. It was well known that in the United States of America emancipation had been combated with double acrimony since this country had given freedom to the slaves in her colonial possessions; and how could they expect the United States to follow their example, if after they had abolished slavery they proclaimed the opinion to the world that the necessary consequence of negro emancipation was the abolition of free institutions. How could they hope that Virginia, Carolina, and Maryland, where the number of negroes was immense, would consent to give freedom to their slaves if they told the people of those states that the British Parliament deliberately considered, that emancipation without the abolition of free institutions was impossible. It was not on party grounds, therefore, that he would resist the measure which had been brought forward by the Government, but because he was persuaded that nothing could be more hostile to the interests of humanity, than the adoption of such a bill by which they would proclaim to other nations where slavery still existed that emancipation and free institutions were incompatible. But he had other grounds for opposing this Bill. He could not give it his assent, because he believed that the suspension of the legislative func- tions of the House of Assembly would lead to great and immediate evils in the administration of the affairs of the colony. He remembered, when the Reform Bill was under the consideration of Parliament, that one of the strongest arguments which had been urged against that measure was, that if it became law the difficulty which the colonies had in making their voice heard in the Imperial Parliament would be greatly aggravated when they cut off those boroughs by means of which they had, though very imperfectly, made themselves heard within those walls. But if, in addition to the provisions of the Reform Bill, they abrogated the local representation of the people of Jamaica, and dissolved the House of Assembly, then the effect would be that they would entirely silence the public voice in that colony, its influence would no more be felt, and they would hand over the Government to be administered by the absolute will of an individual who, as Secretary of State, would not act upon his own view, but upon the representations of a party, and under the influence of exciting topics and party feelings—not the surest mode of securing harmony, or the most likely way to promote the prosperity of the mercantile interests either of the colony or of this country. He should be afraid, if they did not interpose the authority of some one individual, or of some body in the colony, representing the wants and wishes of the colony, between the people and the Secretary of State, so as to give time for consideration to the Government at home, that the interests of all classes in the colony would be sacrificed, and that confusion and ruin would inevitably follow. But there was another ground for his opposition to this measure. Suppose the bill passed, had the Government calculated the results, and had they considered the consequences which would inevitably follow? By such a measure as the House was asked to agree to they would tell the negro population that the Imperial Parliament considered the House of Assembly unfit to legislate when their interests were concerned, and that if that body were permitted to continue, a majority of its members would remain hostile to the prosperity and happiness of those who had once been their slaves. They would thus encourage feelings of animosity betwixt the black and white population—foster those prejudices which were already so strongly manifested—prevent the two parties front living in harmony and peace; and when the operation of the bill was at an end, and when free institutions were restored, with what feelings, he would ask, would the two parties, thus long alienated and opposed to each other, meet in the same assembly for the purpose of legislating for their mutual interests, and for the general welfare of all? But there was another difficulty, of a different character, which would arise when the period of the suspension of the House of Assembly should have terminated. The Judge Advocate had told them, that the period of suspension would be occupied in making good laws, and in preparing the negroes for perfect freedom. The right hon. Gentleman had enumerated various laws which he considered necessary, and the adoption of which would cause a very considerable expenditure. He had said, that a law was necessary for the improvement of the gaols, and that a poor-law was also necessary, which would require the erection of workhouses, and it would be necessary to secure funds for the working of such measures. They were also to promote education amongst the negro population, and a considerable addition to the funds required for prisons and workhouses would thus be made. And how and by what authority were the necessary funds for carrying those measures into operation to be raised? Why, not by the will of the people, expressed by their representatives, but by the authority alone of the council which this bill would establish. And the right hon. Gentleman had told them, that when those laws were enacted, and when by funds so raised they had been put into operation, then they were to re-establish the Assembly, but there was to be no power given to that body to alter those laws in the slightest degree. Now, suppose such a proceeding was in accordance with justice, the question remains, what would be the consequence? At first there might be no collision, but when the blacks had acquired their due weight in the representative system, which, if this bill were not passed, they would soon obtain, they might rest assured, that the House of Assembly would, as it had before done, set itself in opposition to the Government at home, and the Government would then have a more powerful resistance to contend against, namely, the combined re, sistance of the whole population, the blacks as well as the whites. Those difficulties alone induced him to hope, that the House would never consent to such a measure as this. He would ask the noble Lord whether if, availing himself of the factious and improper conduct on the part of the Assembly in this particular instance, he should suspend the constitution of Jamaica, he thought he should carry the measure with that overwhelming majority which such a measure ought to command, much less with the unanimous consent of the House? Every hon. Gentleman who had spoken, had expressly stated, that it was not merely on account of the Prisons' Bill that the blouse of Assembly was to be suspended, because, having been accustomed to rule over slaves, they could not possibly make the laws which were necessary for the government of those persons who bad been emancipated. Was that a just view of the case? If so, how could they approve of the suspension of the constitutions of all the other islands? He knew that the right hon. Gentleman, the Judge Advocate, had endeavoured to make out a case for Barbadoes; be had argued that, because Barbadoes had acted differently, and had acquiesced in the Prisons' Bill, why should Jamaica complain? lie knew that the right hon. Gentleman was much encumbered with official business; but if he had looked minutely into the papers before the House, he would have found, that so far from Barbadoes being pleased with the Prisons' Bill, and cordially receiving it, it was said in an address of that body which was not so deeply imbued with prejudice as the Legislative Assembly—the Council, They are unanimously of opinion, that the interference of the Imperial Parliament, as regards the arrangement and control of prisons within this colony, is a measure as unnecessary to the attainment of its objects as it appears harsh and distrustful towards the legislature of the colony, which in all its recent enactments connected with the improvement of its civil government, has, with the utmost sincerity, endeavoured to adapt its laws to those of Great Britain, as far as the state of society and its circumstances would permit. And further, With an anxious desire of the Barbadoe Legislature to improve the civil government of the colony, it cannot but be painful to the feelings of its members to observe with what an ungracious spirit, and in the absence o any specific charge of defective or contuma- cious conduct, the most sweeping enactment has been passed by the Imperial Parliament, superseding the colonial law, and paralysing the efforts of the colonial legislature. If, therefore, the cordial acceptance of the Prisons' Bill was to be the ground of exemption from the penalty of this bill, surely Barbadoes could not claim the exemption, but ought to be made the subject of a similar attack. How stood the case in respect to these several colonies? Barbadoes passed a law for regulating the duties of masters and servants, and settling the modes of contracts. What was the fate of the bill? It was disallowed by an Order in Council. St. Vincent, Grenada, Tobago, St. Kitt's, and the Virgin Islands, each passed a similar law, and in each case it met with a similar effect. If he did not mention other cases, it was because the papers did not give him the names and necessary information. Similar proceedings occurred in relation to the law of vagrancy. The colonies had passed in the whole sixteen of these acts: thirteen were disallowed by orders in Council, with legal opinions as to the enormity of the enactments; one was not confirmed, because its enactments were objected to; and two were suspended. These islands had behaved far worse than Jamaica; they had not insulted the Government by doing nothing, but they had passed laws of so tyrannical a nature, that the Government had been obliged to disallow them. If, therefore, they would act justly to all, they must make this measure general. What was done by the councils of other colonies? St. Lucia passed an order in Council for regulating contracts between masters and servants; it came home, and it was disallowed. The case was precisely the same with regard to Trinidad and Demerara. Out of nineteen acts passed by the colonial councils, twelve were disallowed by the Government, two were repealed by orders in Council, one was not confirmed, two were suspended, one was pronounced to be seriously objectionable, but he did not find in the papers how it was disposed of, and one was allowed with a statement, that it ought to be amended. Viewing all these circumstances, could they call him unreasonable or factious, or acting as a mere partisan, when he asked them to t interpose some little delay, to try if you f could not persuade the Legislature of Jamaica to take into its hands the making of laws, which, if made by local authority, would be better than if made at home? And was there not the strongest possible reason for adopting the proposition of his right hon. Friend, rather than that of the Government? Even the Government itself had not felt altogether satisfied as to the course which they ought to pursue, for in the first place they propose, that this bill should continue in operation for seven years, then for five years, and now they had reduced the period to two years and a half; why did they refuse to allow the Assembly of Jamaica sufficient time for reconsideration of their conduct? When they were considering a bill of this sort, and when they were to decide that night whether the legislative constitution of Jamaica was to be done away with or not, might he not presume to state some circumstances which in his mind were grounds for making every possible allowance for their hasty, inconsiderate, and improper determination, for so it must be considered even by those who were most hostile to the bill? If he could establish such grounds, it would show a stronger necessity for not taking this step. It was perfectly well known, that by the contract of 1833, it was enacted, that a compensation should be given to the colonists for the emancipation of the negroes, and that compensation was to consist partly of money, and partly of an apprenticeship of seven years. It seemed good to the British Parliament last year to cut off two years of that apprenticeship; and the Governor of Jamaica urged upon the planters the responsibility and danger that would be risked if the apprenticeship system did not cease. Two stipulations were made by the colonists; one was a full compensation in money; another was, that they should not have any further interference with their legislative powers. To the first the Government gave a most decided negative; but to the second no answer was given. The cordial thanks of the Governor were presented to the Assembly for the course which they bad pursued; but what must have been their impression after this, to find that the Prisons' Bill was proclaimed without any previous notice, and without reference to the Assembly at all? The right hon. the Judge-Advocate said, that it was not usual to make communications of such a nature. But in the papers before the House, there would be found instances in which the Governor, in opening the Session, announced measures to the Assembly, and promised to lay the despatches of the home Government before them. But it, the case of the Prisons' Bill he took quite a different course. He told them that he had despatches, but he did not in the least degree hint that the bill had passed, nor was any communication made to them on the subject. Surely, after they had received a favourable notice of the course they had taken, and no objection had been made to their claim for the free use of their legislative powers, they could not but feel annoyed and irritated at the manner in which they had been treated by the Government. They were prorogued, and met again on the 8th of November; but was there anything in the speech of the Governor to conciliate their favour, or to make them acquainted with the course pursued by the Government? It was naturally to be supposed, that the Jamaica house of Assembly should, under such circumstances, break out into the use of expressions which, though not to be defended, were still unworthy to be taken up by a great and powerful country as a cause of quarrel. He wished to speak with every respect of the gallant Officer who now presided over the government of that colony, but he must say, that nothing could be worse than the course that gallant Officer had pursued in dissolving the Assembly which had come to these resolutions, and thereby compelling the members of that Assembly to go back to their constituents on the very grounds upon which they had quarrelled with the Government. The cause of the House of Assembly had thus been made the cause of the constituency, not a constituency limited to 1,000 or 2,000, but amounting to 50,000 persons, who at the present moment were in possession of the franchise. Let the House remember, that it was now discussing not merely the rights of the House of Assembly, but the rights of the whole constituency of Jamaica: take away the House of Assembly, and an injury would be committed upon that large community which had a right to have a voice in the enactment of the measure by which they were to be governed—to be heard against the laws by which money was to be levied upon them. If regard was had to the whole of this case, to the pecuniary losses suffered by persons in the colony by the withdrawal of a portion of the compen- sation—a circumstance which could scarcely be expected to dispose men to bow to the authorities—looking to the neglect which had been shown to the request which from the expressions conveyed to the House of Assembly by the Governor they had a right to expect would be attended to—looking to the mode in which the Prisons' Bill had been recommended to the colony, not as in Barbadoes by a message two, three, and four several times from the Governor to the Legislature—looking at all these things, could any man, if he placed himself in the situation of the House of Assembly, doubt that there were grounds for irritation, and that the measures followed by that body were not the unnatural result of the course taken by the Government? For these reasons it became the Imperial Parliament to allow a certain period to intervene before it adopted the extreme law which it was now recommended to apply to that colony. He was aware the Government of this country had strong powers, and had a full right to deal with the legislatures of the colonies; but the House should remember it had duties to execute as well as rights to exercise, and that it, therefore, ought to pause before it destroyed the constitution of the island, a constitution from which, in his judgment, great benefits and advantages had arisen. Let that constitution be continued, and he was satisfied that from it the best results would flow. Continue it, and the negro population would gradually introduce itself into the constituency—would gradually attain that fair influence in the representation which would secure to them proper protection. Let Parliament not break down the whole order of society, but permit the negro population to be absorbed into the constitutional body, as they must be under the colonial election law, if left in its present state; and thus would be secured to them the means of enacting, for themselves those laws which would be but imperfectly framed, either by a Secretary of State or a Legislative Council of commissioners. It had been said, that the old elective franchise had been maintained for the purpose of excluding the negro population. This was rather a singular statement to make with respect to Jamaica; for it so happened that Jamaica was the only colony, since the passing of the Emancipation Act, which had made a reduction of the fran- chise, and that, too, expressly with the view of admitting those who before had been excluded. He knew that, in 1836, it had been attempted to introduce a law raising the landed franchise, or, in other words, the franchise derived from the occupation of land; but let the House look to the law passed in the year 1834, and it would be seen that, at that period, the qualification was the possession of house or lands of the annual value of 10l. currency, and yet, then, the very year after emancipation, the revolution was effected by the passing of a law to this effect, that, Whereas it is expedient to extend the elective franchise in the island to many of his Majesty's subjects who have not heretofore enjoyed the same, be it enacted by the Governor, Council, and Assembly, that every person of full age, and not subject to any legal incapacity, (applying, therefore, to the white, the black, and the coloured population in the island) and who shall be liable to pay taxes and parochial rates in any parish to the amount of 5l. currency (3l. sterling) per annum, shall be entitled to vote for Members to serve in the house of Assembly, &c. Thus, by the law, the mere payment of taxes, without the possession of landed property, was an admission to the elective franchise. This law would lead to the admission of the negro population, for the simple reason that they were the possessors, to a great extent, of cattle and horses, upon which the principal taxes of the island were imposed, and thus they would be enabled to exercise that influence over the members of the House of Assembly which would tend to prevent the persecution of the negro, would secure the passing of laws for their protection and encouragement, and would better prevent tyranny and oppression than any edict which could emanate from any three salaried commissioners that could be appointed. He then called upon the House to pause in its course, to give to the House of Assembly in Jamaica an opportunity of resuming its duties, to afford it time to adopt measures which were required. He called on Parliament to pause before it adopted a despotism which he was sure never could work beneficially, and which, when abandoned, would leave a greater degree of dissatisfaction and distress than that with which they had now to deal. Why not, at least, afford the Jamaica Legislature an opportunity to make some apology before the severest possible penalty was put on them as proposed? At least, then, suspend the punishment which the Imperial Parliament had power to inflict until the House of Assembly had been afforded a fair and full opportunity of expressing sorrow for the course it had pursued, and of resuming its functions with the view of acting for the welfare and benefit of the community for whose advantage it was intended.

Mr. O'Connell

said, that the hon. Member opposite (Mr. G. Knight) was not the man who should circulate the calumnies which he had spoken to-night against the useful class of people to whom he had referred. It was not for any friend of humanity to do so. The charge which was brought by the hon. Member was that of decoying the negro population, and it came from a man who, speaking from his knowledge of Jamaica, and from his knowledge of property there, could have informed them of the eminent services of that portion of the population to which he had alluded. He was glad to find that the right hon. Gentleman who had last spoken was an advocate for popular rights, and he hoped to see him shortly enrolled among the Chartists themselves. He did not think that the right hon. Gentleman had been very fortunate in his illustrations. He had shown a number of the acts of the colonial legislature, exclusive of Jamaica, to have been disallowed. He did not say that any of them had been so disallowed improperly, but, on the contrary, his testimony appeared to have been given in favour of the Government which disallowed them. Then, what did this prove? The incompetency of that species of government which at present existed in the colony—without the utmost vigilance on the part of the Government at home to legislate for the negroes. The right hon. Gentleman said, "If you destroy the constitution of Jamaica, you must also take away the constitutions of the other colonies." Was there not this obvious distinction between the cases of Jamaica and the other islands, that although the legislatures of those other colonies passed acts proper to be disallowed, not one of them abdicated its powers by resolutions such as had been come to in Jamaica? The House of Assembly of Jamaica, however, had abdicated its powers: finding that it could not restore slavery in another shape, it had gone on with its func- tions until the communication had been made to them which had been referred to. Then, one would wish to see what the real question was, and what were the facts on both sides, and also where the difficulty commences, and the House would see, that little difference in reality existed between the two sides of the House on the question. First, they were agreed that the Prisons Bill was a very proper bill to be passed, and that it was necessary to pass it. Some, it was true, would say "no" to this proposition; and he had heard the hon. Member for London speak of it, as if he were not acquainted with the details of the evidence which rendered that measure necessary. The Prisons Bill had passed both Houses of Parliament without one dissentient voice. Some excuse had been made of its being passed without notice, but that was the idlest that could be made, because the learned gentleman, the agent for Jamaica, had actually protested against it, without finding it necessary to procure the assistance of the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite (Mr. Maclean); he supposed it was from his friend Don Carlos that he had learned a lesson upon the subject, to oppose the measure. The bill passed both Houses without a single individual protesting against it, and it was not impeached now. How then did the question arise? The Jamaica House of Assembly met after the bill had passed—on the 31st of October—and they said that they would not legislate. They would give up their objection if they were satisfied that the bill was to be repealed. Why, it was a little too bad for hon. Gentlemen to contradict this? They should read the last resolution, and they would then see the truth of what he said. The House of Assembly said, that they would legislate so far as related to the public credit, but beyond that they would not go. They took their stand on that point. The House then was prorogued and met again, and the subject was again brought before them; and then upon their refusing again to legislate they were dissolved; and then said the right hon. Gentleman, The Governor has acted exceedingly ill, because the quarrel, at first, was only with the members of the House of Assembly, and ought not to implicate the constituency at large. He should not have dismissed the House; it was treating them ill; but at all events he should not have implicated the constituency, If the Government had come to this House before it had come, without trying and appealing to the constituent body in taking the chance of the second House of Assembly, then, indeed, they would have been liable to much stronger objections being raised against their proceeding than those which had been brought forward by the right hon. Gentleman, for they might have been accused of being hasty indeed, without appealing to the constituency. They, however, allowed the constituency to embody themselves in the Legislative Assembly. They returned a second time to the Assembly, and met with a reiterated refusal, and what was then to be done? Would the House withdraw the Prisons Bill? They did not talk of doing so. The House of Assembly would not legislate unless they did. Three times the opportunity had been given them, and three times they had refused, and then there came a sort of whining appeal for a postponement—to give time to allow them to consider of their proceedings. They had been tried already. They had been tried three times, and the trial had resulted in a total refusal to legislate. The House might try them again, but when was there to be an end of it? How were the negro population to be protected? How was the public business to be done, while they were making these experiments? They had had three refusals to pass the acts which were necessary, and then a statute was sent out, and if proper feelings existed they would soon have the repeal of this bill. But if that measure had not been passed, what would have been the situation of the country unless they had the power to pass laws to protect individuals? But did they forget the case made out to justify the passing of the Prisons Bill—did they forget the horrible scenes which had been proved in that House to have taken place? They did not want the Jamaica legislature, however; that legislature had never yet justified any prophecy which was made of its affording protection to the negro population. In 1823 resolutions were proposed in the House by Mr. Fowell Buxton, to which Mr. Canning proposed amendments, and he held out a prospect of the Jamaica legislature supporting the interest of the negroes; but was he not completely deceived? In 1824 orders in council were sent out to all the chartered colonies, with a desire that they would enact the provisions mentioned in the details of those orders; but did one of the colonial legislatures adopt any of those provisions. Again in 1826, resolutions were again brought before the House on the failure of the colonial legislature to enact anything for the protection of the slaves, and Mr. Canning, in a speech which he made, said that they were to test the colonies—that he would give them another locus penitentiœ, and further time to repair the error which they had committed; and did they not still resist with as much perseverance, as if the proposition which was made was unfit fur their notice? In 1828, Sir George Murray sent round his circular to procure some mitigation in the severities of slavery, but was it not sent in vain? But an order in council was once again sent in 1830, which was treated with equal contempt. What chance was there then that the Jamaica legislature would retrace their steps, more especially when it was recollected that in 1833, so large a sum as twenty millions of money was voted to be given so soon as the colonial legislature should satisfy the Government that they would work out the details of the measure of emancipation; and that confidence being had in them, the money was paid before means were taken to carry out the measure, and in return for that confidence, this house was most punctually deceived. It became necessary then that this act should be carried. But was there ever anything so horrible as the conduct of the legislature and the planters during the interval? Did the House forget the harrowing details of the cruelties inflicted on the males, and especially on the females? There was an arrangement before, that women were not to be flogged, but it appeared that cruelties were practised which might have continued to this moment, and which would not have been believed, if one man, Joseph Sturge, had not gone to Jamaica, and saw with his own eyes that they were committed. Here was an account of one of the worst of those acts of cruelty:— The tread-mill at this workhouse is a cylinder about eight feet in diameter, with broad steps. The handrail above it has eight pair of straps fastened to it, with which the wrists of the prisoners are always secured. The board under the rail descends perpendicularly, and not in a sloping direction, towards the mill, and does not, therefore, afford them the slightest protection when they lose the step and hang by the wrists. In that case, the sharp steps of the mill, which project twelve or fifteen inches from the cylinder, must revolve against the bodies and legs of the prisoners with torturing effect. Such are the faults in the construction of the mill, and the results are such as may have been anticipated. Every step is stained with blood, both recent and old; the former being that of the poor old woman whom the deputy mentioned to us. It had been shed so profusely, that even the sand on the floor was thickly sprinkled with it.' The British public had paid twenty millions, in order that these cruelties might be put a stop to; yet here was evidence of their being afterwards carried on to an extent at which human nature shuddered. He would read another instance from the same authority:— 24th.—We went this morning to see the tread-mill at six o'clock, at which time the prisoners sentenced to this punishment are put upon it previously to their being sent to the penal gang. Two mixed gangs of men and women were put upon it during our stay; the latter had no suitable dress, and were, therefore, liable to be indecently exposed. The lever, by which the speed of the wheel is regulated, was held the whole time by the driver, who sometimes relaxed his hold for a few seconds, which made it revolve with such rapidity as to throw all the prisoners off. It is thus evident that the punishment may be increased beyond endurance at his caprice. Nearly all the prisoners were dreadfully exhausted at the end of fifteen minutes. One of the prisoners told us he was sent because a cattle (a steer) died under his charge. We observed this morning, that not only was the floor sprinkled, and the steps stained, but the very drum of the mill was spotted with blood. These were not mere single isolated cases, as would he seen from the evidence of John Williams, the black man who was brought over to this country, and whose statements were confirmed by the report of the commission afterwards sent out to Jamaica. Among many other statements he made was this:— The workhouse was quite full this time, they hardly have enough collar and chain to put on all the people; they were obliged to take off the collar and chain from some of the life people (convicts for life) to put on the apprentice; and at night there was'nt enough shackle to fasten all the people, and hardly room enough for us all to lie down. There was a great many women in the workhouse, and several have sucking children; and there was one woman quite big with child, and 'them make her dance the mill too morning and evening; she not able to dance good; and them flog her; she complained about her stomach hurt her, and I see her several time go and beg the overseer not to work her on the mill, but him say, not him send her there, and he must do his duty. All the women that. not able to dance was flog most dreadful, in particular all the women from Hiattsfield. There was twenty-one women from Hiatts-field, and one man—several of them have young children; I think they was in for four-teen days. I found them in when I got there, and they was let out on Saturday night; I was present when they let out, and hear the list call, and counted the people, and it was twenty one women from Mansfield. When I go to the workhouse on the Tuesday, there was only three of these women able to work in the field, all the rest was in the hospital, from being cut up with the mill and the flogging; them all look quite shocking when them let out, some hardly able to walk to go home, and the most lively among them was all smashed up with the mill, all the skin bruised off her shin.' This was followed by an enumeration of a number of other similar cases. The report of Captain Pringle, the gentleman who was afterwards sent out by Government to Jamaica, also went strongly to confirm the statements made of the cruelties practised. Captain Pringle's report had this passage:— Prisoners, on being brought into houses of correction, are immediately put in couples, by an iron collar round the neck of each, connected by a chain six feet long, and from three to four pounds weight; but men and women are chained separately, and in this manner they are sent to work on the public roads, men and women in the same gang, under the boatswain. The supervisor, or sometimes the boatswain, chains such prisoners together as he chooses, commonly two of unequal strength, to allow less chance of escape. I have thus sometimes found a convict for life chained to a boy on his first committal to prison, and in the same manner girls to old offenders. Yet while all these cruelties were notoriously practised, the Jamaica legislature remained totally silent with regard to them, and made no legislative enactment for the protection of the un fortunate victims. The Imperial Legislature were, therefore, bound to pass a protection act, and they did pass it; upon which the Jamaica legislature mutinied, turned out, and refused to legislate any longer. Then what remained for the Imperial Legislature but to suspend the constitution of Jamaica until they could make such provision as would render it impossible for those abuses to be continued. That there was no hope of justice from the Jamaicans, would appear from the dispatch of Sir Lionel Smith, of the 10th Sept., 1838. Sir Lionel's words were— From the attachment of the people to their old locations, they must be reduced to the employer's own terms of wages, or be driven off the properties as vagrants. Then I beseech your Lordship to look to the provisions of the local Vagrant Act, unrepealed, 35 Car. II., c. 11. This act was introduced against the lawless soldiery of Governor Doyley; and many violent planters are now rejoicing in the power it gives of flogging free men from parish to parish; and there is an improvement in its penal powers by 32 George 3rd, c. 11, still unrepealed, which adds six months' hard labour in the house of correction. Your Lordship may bid me apply to the Legislature to repeal these frightful laws, but I should apply in vain; and in the midst of freedom we have still terrific engines of oppression and tyranny preparing for the emancipated population. Such being the state of the House of Assembly, what would become of Jamaica if the House refused to pass this bill? Would it not go out to the House of Assembly, that they might henceforward go on with impunity, there being a powerful party in the British Legislature ready to protect them in all their misdeeds? Talk of the constitutional rights of the negroes, where were they? What prospect was there of their ever being able to exercise them? Fifteen months must elapse between the registration and the final acquisition of the power of voting in Jamaica. The number of negroes able to acquire the right of voting would be wretchedly small. If they were not, would not the able advocate of the West-India interest at the bar of that House have taken care to bring forward a list of them? Was there not in the island a vigilant aristocracy, whose interest no less than their disposition it was, to prevent the negro from even acquiring the amount of property necessary to entitle him to the right of voting? There would be no difficulty on their parts in devising expedients by which the poor negro would be effectually baffled. They had but to make a slight allegation on the nature of the tenure, in order to prevent the negro from acquiring a freehold interest. They might make leases for short terms, or make leases by trustees. When the mode of defeating the object of the negro in acquiring a freehold was so very simple, could there be a doubt, that the planters generally would adopt it? The feelings by which they were actuated would be sufficiently clear from a passage which he would read from the Marquess of Sligo's pamphlet:— Many instances of the masters destroying the crops of the negroes from wanton spite, have appeared in the police reports of the Jamaica papers. In no case, with perhaps a few exceptions, have the agreements for the taking of the houses been entered into for more than a quarter of a year, in order that the owners may have, as they freely admit, the means of turning the occupiers off the lands if they will not work. In other cases, they let them merely their houses and gardens, with the acknowledged object of accusing them of trespass, in case they plant provisions in die usual provision grounds, if they cease to labour regularly for the estate. Destroy the crops of the negroes wanton spite! In England would hon. Gentleman associate with men capable of such an outrage? Yet they scrupled not to leave to such men an unlimited power or legislating in regard to the affairs of these objects of their hatred. He confessed, that he rather rejoiced that these planters had given the British Legislature a reason for suspending altogether their right of legislating, and for substituting something better in its room. In consequence of the Assembly's refusal to legislate, no fewer than seventeen laws were either expired or expiring. If this bill were not passed, and the Legislature met again, was it likely that they would retract after such an exhibition of the opinion of the House of Commons? On the other hand, was that House prepared to retract? Were they ready to repeal the Prisons' Act? Certainly not; no one talked of it, or entertained the idea for a moment. Still less likely would the Colonial legislature be to retract, after having achieved such a triumph over the British House of Ominous, as the rejection of this bill would be. Then why delay to give the Government the powers they require for the protection of the negroes? In the present instance, there had been a voluntary abdication of the legislative functions by the House of Assembly, so that there was no necessity, as there had been elsewhere, for destroying the legislative government in order to effect the object which the Imperial Legislature had in view. He called upon the House to see that the English people had the benefit of the money they had paid for the emancipation of the negroes. The question of emancipation or no emancipation depended upon the decision of the House on this bill. If the bill was not passed, and it went out to Jamaica that the colonial legislature had gained a victory over that, House and the British Parliament, the consequences must be fatal. The power now sought to be vested in the Government would, they were told, be liable to be used despotically. But it would be exercised under the control of the British Parliament. On the one hand, there would be a jurisdiction depending upon that House—on the other hand, there would be a jurisdiction independent of all control. With these views he, for one, did not hesitate to vote for this bill—a bill which did not take away a constitution, but provided for the difficulty created by the existing constitution having been stopped in its progress.

Mr. Gladstone

said, that it had to him been matter of much regret to hear the noble Lord opposite declare, that the Government could not assent to the proposition of his right hon. Friend. Whatever difference of opinion might exist as to the merits of this bill, the House must be pretty unanimously agreed upon this point, that the bill, for all practical purposes, was already defunct. They must also admit it to be sound in principle and judicious in practice, that an extreme course like that which was proposed, could only be called into action advantageously by an united Legislature. The division of opinion in that House was known to be such, that it was hard to say whether the bill would ever reach a further stage. His right hon. Friend opposite, when he spoke in behalf of the Government measure, had taunted the right hon. Baronet with having made this a party question. He was, therefore, not a little surprised to hear the hon. Baronet, the Member for Warwickshire, declare, that he would vote against the right hon. Baronet's proposition, "because he had declared, that this was not a party question." It was rather hard that his right hon. Friend should have his supporters voting against him, because he did not make this a party question, and should be taunted by hon. Members opposite with having so made it. Who, he asked, had made this a party question? Why, the noble Lord opposite, when, for a particular purpose, he introduced a bill which he knew could not be brought into active operation. Why expose the division which prevailed in that House in the face of the colonies? Why exhibit the British Parliament in a light in which it had not been presented for many years before, with reference to any one of the colonies of England? Because the noble Lord well knew, that to exhibit himself in the eyes of the country backed by a majority on a question like this, would, as affording an apparent indication of the security of his entire policy, be a satisfactory result indeed. The bill must be considered in one of two lights—either as a penal enactment, or as passed upon grounds of general policy. When it was first introduced, it was presented in a purely penal light. The House heard nothing, then, of grounds of general policy. The hon. Member for London had said, in the course of his speech that night, with great truth, that the principle of a bill like this should be stated distinctly in the preamble, or not introduced at all. This principle of giving expression to the main principles of an Act of Parliament in the preamble was a great security to the liberty of the subject. The principle should most of all be insisted upon in such a bill as this, which took away the political franchise. The House of Commons should, in such a case, invest itself with a judicial character, and adhere most strictly both to the form and the substance of justice. What ground was there adduced for this as a penal measure? It was stated by the hon. and learned Gentleman, the Member for the city of Dublin, that there was an obvious difference between Jamaica and the other West-India colonies, inasmuch as the Jamaica Assembly had abdicated its functions. When the right hon. Baronet, the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies introduced this measure he made a similar statement. He said, that the Assembly had refused to act, unless upon the condition that the Prisons' Act would be repealed. Now, it was his belief, that but for a very singular misinterpretation of language, the measure which was now under the consideration of the House never would have seen the light. Almost every hon. Gentleman who had spoken on the opposite side during the course of this debate had abandoned, as untenable, the supposition that the Assembly had demanded the repeal of the Prisons' Act. But the hon. and learned Gentleman who had last addressed the House had done his utmost to demonstrate most convincingly, that he had not done that which he had recom- mended other hon. Members to do—namely, read these resolutions. With reference to the demands of the House of Assembly, the charges which were brought against them were, first of all, the strong, improper, and indecent language which they had thought proper to use in the protest with which they accompanied the Act of Emancipation. He would pass by that language; because, however reprehensible its use must be admitted to be, bon. Members would scarcely contend that it could form any substantial ground for superseding a legislative body in the exercise of its constitutional functions. The next charge brought against them was their allegation that the Prisons Bill was not law. Now he did not conceive that any one could be so ignorant as not to know that the opinion of individuals on the question whether an act of Parliament has or has not the force of law, can have no value whatever attached to it in respect of the position which they hold. The next charge preferred against the Assembly was, that they had threatened to stop the supplies. It might be right, with reference to this subject, to point out to the House that there was a peculiarity in the terms employed—"preserving inviolate the faith of the island with the public creditor." This was the very phrase used in the speech which had been addressed to the Assembly by Sir Lionel Smith. He supplied the terms, and they re-echoed them. It was a matter of course in Jamaica. By that expression they did not mean to imply what we call "passing the supplies." The expression was with them a matter of course. Accordingly it was found in the speech of the Governor, and was re-echoed by the Assembly. The last and more serious charge was that respecting the Prisons Act. Did the hon. and learned Member for Dublin adhere to the allegation that the Assembly called for the repeal of the Prisons Act? In the fourth resolution of the House of Assembly they stated that "they would abstain from the exercise of any legislative functions, except so far as was necessary to preserve inviolate their faith with the public creditor, until her Majesty's pleasure should be made known whether the people of Jamaica should be treated as her loyal subjects." Unless the hon. and learned Member possessed some instinctive knowledge, could he say that in that resolution there was anything about a repeal of the Prisons Act? He contended that the sentiments of the Assembly had been misinterpreted; and to this he attributed the introduction of the present measure. However, it was true that the House of Assembly had demanded something, and he lamented that the assurance which the House of Assembly sought had not been given them; how easy would it have been for Sir Lionel Smith, without sacrificing anything of his high and honourable character, to have assured the colonial Legislature of the desire which was felt by the mother country to secure to the black population the full and entire enjoyment of the blessings of liberty in such a manner that united with the white people in friendly and harmonious intercourse, under the influence of an enlightened government, they might cooperate with them in the exercise and enjoyment of their common rights and privileges. If the recommendation of the Governor to the House of Assembly to pass legislative measures had been accompanied by an assurance in that spirit, it would doubtless have met with due attention, but if it had not, it would only have been necessary for his right hon. Friend the Under-Secretary for the Colonies to point out such a contumacious refusal of the colonial Legislature, and this bill would have passed without a dissentient voice. Such an assurance might seem a matter of very small women in the eyes of some hon. Members, and it was very easy for persons living in this country to laugh at these notions of colonial punctilio: they might think that it would have been more dignified for the House of Assembly to forego the consideration of the point of honour, and to proceed in the regular exercise of its functions under a protest that it could not allow the Imperial Legislature to deal with matters of internal regulation in the colony. But, whatever might be thought upon these points, it could not be said, that the passing of the Prisons Act did not give the House of Assembly a plausible ground for expostulation and remonstrance. It was a mistake to suppose, because that act had passed without opposition, that the Members of that House were effectually precluded from making any observations now upon it. There were many motives which induced the House to pass that measure; as far as he himself was concerned, his principal inducement to support it was undoubtedly his approval of the substance of the bill in the main, but he was not ashamed to say, that one very great reason for his assenting to the provisions of that enactment as they stood, was his conviction, that in the excitement of the public mind at that period upon the subject of negro emancipation, it would have tended to produce still greater irritation, if any opposition had been offered to the bill by those who were known to be interested in the sugar plantations in the island. What, then, did he now say concerning the passing of the act? Why, he would say this, that while he adhered to the substance of its provisions there were circumstances both in the mode of passing it, and in the frame of the measure itself, which made it fairly the object of complaint and censure. In the first place he thought the extrem haste with which the measure was pressed through Parliament would be difficult to justify; no such extraordinary expedition had characterized the preliminary proceedings of the Government in this matter. Captain Pringle did not arrive in Jamaica till the end of November, 1837, although the commission was issued in May, he quitted the island in February, but the House of Assembly was not then in the possession of his report; no further step was taken till July. Now, if Captain Pringle had been sent out in due time, and if his report had been sent home at once, and had then been referred to the House of Assembly, it would have been known whether they were sincere or not in their professed intentions of making improvements themselves in their prisons. The Government had not thought proper to act in this manner; they had wasted time in their preliminary inquiries, and then had been obliged to pass the measure with the utmost haste and precipitation. That, however, was not ail; not only had the Government been guilty of losing time, when time was so extremely valuable, but in the form of the Act itself they had departed from the course which had been followed in every other Act by which colonial Legislatures had been interfered with. The Act of emancipation in itself was in the nature of a compact between this country and the colony, and was accepted and dealt with as such by the Colonial Assembly. Since the passing of that Act three other Acts had been passed by the Imperial Legislature with reference to colonial government. The first of these Acts expressed by its preamble that it was passed for the purpose of carrying into effect the purposes of the Abolition Act, and its provisions were extended by another Act passed in the following year. The second measure to which he referred was that relating to West-India judicatures, which stated in its preamble the circumstance which justified the interference of the Imperial Legislature, for it recited, that "by reason of the separation of the Governments of the said several islands, and of the General Assemblies thereof, such courts of judicature could not be erected without having recourse to the assistance and authority of Parliament;" and the Act expressly provided, that it should not come into operation unless the Legislative Councils and General Assemblies of the several islands should have first provided that all Acts, laws, and usages, then in force, so far as the same should obstruct the operation of the Act, should be absolutely repealed or annulled. Such was the regard shown the local Legislatures by this Act, which was considered as a boon by colonies to which it extended. No argument could be drawn from that Act, therefore, in favour of interference with the provincial Assemblies. The third enactment to which be referred was that which passed just twelve months ago; he meant the Act Amending the Slavery Abolition Act; and that measure especially referred to, and founded itself upon the original contract contained in the Abolition Act itself, being in fact designed to carry out the provisions of the 17th clause of that statute. That was, therefore, only part of the agreement that had been expressly entered into between the colony and the mother country. It did not assert any general right of legislation on the part of the Imperial Parliament, it only said,—"Whereas it hath since appeared, that further provisions are necessary for the protection of the apprenticed labourers in the colony, and for giving full effect to the intent and meaning of the said Act." Up to the time, therefore, of the passing of the Prisons' Act, there was no ostensible interference with the local Legislature. What, then, was the shape of that Act? Why, precisely the same as if it affected the county of Middlesex: no notice whatever was taken of the privileges of the colonial Legislature; its preamble was simply this:— Whereas it is expedient to make further provision for regulating prisons in her Majesty's colonies in the West Indies, and for the superintendence and care of prisoners confined therein, and for the due discharge of their duties by the keepers and officers of such prisons. Now, when it was considered how jealous colonial legislators were of the interference of the British Parliament, a jealousy far from culpable, being founded upon a love of freedom, could it be at all a matter of surprise that the House of Assembly of Jamaica should be anxious to learn what was the nature of the claim made by the mother country, when she passed a measure of this kind without thinking it necessary to justify it by reference to any compact, or to accompany it by any provision recognizing the previously acknowledged rights of the local Legislature? Was the mere demand of such an explanation at the hands of the mother country so high an offence as to incur a total forfeiture of all the rights of the colony to govern itself? There was another circumstance to be adverted to. The Prisons' Act was an incomplete measure. Further legislation was requisite to give effect to its provisions. No power of raising money was given by the statute, therefore without a further measure it could not be carried into effect. Might not the House of Assembly apprehend, from the way in which their rights were overlooked in the Act, that further aggression was contemplated in the bill which would have to be passed to carry out its provisions? And was it unnatural or deserving of any violent reprobation in the House of Assembly to say, "We wish to know whether the intention to deprive us of our legislative functions, which appears ostensibly on the face of the Prisons' Bill, really exists on the part of the British Parliament?" For these reasons, therefore, he thought it was not too much to assume that there was no ground to support the present bill as a penal measure applied to the Assembly for its conduct with regard to the Prisons' Bill. Then as to the more general charges of misconduct brought against the Assembly, and now put forward as the ground of this bill, notwithstanding the frame of its preamble, he had not heard anything like an answer to the argument of his right hon. Friend the Member for Tamworth upon the subject of the commendations passed upon the conduct of the Assembly, not merely by individuals in private capacities, but by Governors and Secretaries of State. Did Ministers, when they congratulated Sir Lionel Smith upon the good understanding between him and the Assembly, intend to abrogate the functions of that Assembly? If they did, they were guilty of as bad faith as any which they laid to its charge. If he were asked his opinion concerning the general nature of the measures passed by the House of Assembly, he should say, they were not such measures as would have been passed by Englishmen residing in this country, nor such measures as would have been passed by impartial men; but then great allowance must be made for the feelings and the prejudices which the situation in which the persons composing the Assembly were placed; even the advocates of emancipation loudly declared what were the effects of a system of slavery on the tone of mind and thoughts of those who lived under it, and it was not to be expected that persons so situated should be exempt from the influence of the circumstances in which they were placed. But if those measures were made the ground of the present bill, why had the bill not been brought forward before? If not, why was the bill brought forward now? In 1837 no such charge was brought against the House of Assembly, and in 1838 less charge could be brought against them than at any previous period. It could not be charged upon them that they had in that year refused to legislate on the subject of prisons, for it was understood that no measure could be taken till the result of the inquiry which was then pending was known. How could the Government blame them for not legislating when they had not given them the materials which they declared to be necessary for the purpose of legislation? On the grounds of the general conduct of the House of Assembly, therefore, there was no ground either for the present bill. Nothing like a precedent could be found. Our history was long enough; a sufficient portion of it related to colonial assemblies, and refractory colonial assemblies too. Look at the instance of Canada; there the supplies had been stopped for four years together, and that was not considered a sufficient ground for suspending the local Legislature. The suspension did not take place until the country was actually in a state of rebellion. He contended, that inasmuch as no notice had been given to the House of Assembly, that House was not in a condition to pass such a measure as that before them, and that it was not consistent with common honesty to go on year after year, commending the conduct of the Assembly and encouraging them in the course which they were pursuing, and then at last to turn round and make this very conduct of theirs the ground of a penal measure. But it was said, that the passing of certain necessary measures would be prevented by the present conduct of the House of Assembly. Now, what were those measures? The right hon. Gentleman mentioned the law of militia, and said, that he apprehended danger to the peace and tranquillity of the island, because the Governor, as the law stood, had no power over the militia. He was sorry to be obliged to contradict the statement of the right hon. Gentleman who, being connected with the Colonial Department, ought to have known better, but he must take upon him to assert, that the Governor of Jamaica was Captain-general of the militia of that island—that as Captain-general the Governor had absolute power over the militia, and that this power had been exercised by the Duke of Manchester when he prohibited the meetings of the militia. Now, with respect to the Vagrant Laws, it was said, that the Act of Charles the 2nd authorised the infliction of stripes upon vagrants; but was not that Act forgotten, and could it be denied, that the Vagrant Laws of Jamaica followed the Vagrant Laws of England? The fact was, that these laws were less stringent, less severe upon the negroes than upon the planters; and therefore there could be little doubt that the planters, or their representatives in the House of Assembly, would gladly co-operate with the Legislature of this country in making whatever changes might be necessary in these laws. Then with reference to the law of contracts. It was not the negroes, but their employers, who were suffering for the want of such a law, and as far as they were concerned, their wish was that a law of contracts should be passed. The next point was that relating to the law of ejectment. He admitted it to be right and proper that the black population should be able to obtain holdings at moderate rents, at as low a rate of charge as possible; but what was the fact with respect to the law of ejectment? Why, that there was no such remedy in Jamaica, and that the owner of land in the island had no possible redress from the absence of such machinery. With regard to the unoccupied land, it was complained that there was not enough of restriction, and the hon. and learned Member for Dublin said, that this would enable the combination of planters to prevent the negroes from obtaining freeholds, and, consequently, the elective franchise. It was, however, beyond a doubt, that land was sold to negroes, and, as the price of land became enhanced, would it not operate as a temptation to the proprietors to sell? In this way the acquisition of freeholds by the black population would proceed, gradually it was true, but, at the same time, certainly.

The hon. and learned Gentleman also said, that the time proposed for this Bill would nearly become elapsed before any negro would come into possession of the elective franchise. Now, here again the hon. and learned Gentleman had shown a want of knowledge upon the subject, because the period required respecting negroes who had a 50l. lease, or a 10l. currency freehold, or who paid 5l. of currency in direct taxes, was only twelve months, which they might date from the 1st of August last. It had been called fifteen months, but that arose from a confusion of registries, twelve months being named in one and fifteen in another. The negroes would, therefore, be entitled to the elective franchise on the 1st of August next, a very short time indeed after this Bill, if it were to pass, should have become law. Who did not see that the present law of franchise was, as acknowledged by the Government, not too restrictive, but too wide—that the people got possession of the franchise not too slowly but two rapidly—and that they got it, in fact, before they were capable of properly exercising it? There were despatches of Lord Glenelg to prove that the Government concurred in the opinion that the franchise was too wide. Whether it were or were not might be a question of secondary importance. For his own part he had great confidence in the disposition of the negro, and he did not anticipate any collision between him and the proprietor, when he should come into possession of the elective franchise. So far as experience already went, the admission of the colonial population to the enjoyment of civil rights and the political franchise had tended, not to produce dissension, but to amalgamate them together. What became of the arguments of those who advocated the suspension of the constitution of Jamaica, while they at the same time called themselves the friends of popular assemblies, and spoke of educating men by the political franchise, when it was clear that the negro, if this Bill should not pass, would at once, and to a great extent,' become entitled to the possession of that franchise? In the evidence given before the Committee of 1836 he found the following, given by Mr. Beaumont, a man of considerable talent and intelligence, and well known in the island of Jamaica as a friend of the negro. In answer to a question put to him, he said:— I believe that when apprenticeship shall be abolished, or at all events, at the very furthest, in one or two years after, when the elective franchise will be exercised by a large number of persons, they will become proprietors of land, and, as the qualification is extremely low, amounting in towns to somewhat like universal suffrage, the negro population will have ample opportunity of protecting themselves. This Gentleman whose sympathies and prejudices were entirely on behalf of the negro, and who incurred great unpopularity in Jamaica on that account, clearly showed that they would and must come into possession of the franchise under the present laws. He further stated: In the large towns where the elective franchise is in the hands of blacks and coloured persons, there is a much better state of feeling than previously existed; the parties are necessary to each other, and by the independence attached to political control have learned to respect, instead of despising and hating, each other. Upon the ground of expediency it was rather confidently urged, as a reason for passing this bill, that, after a period of animosity and ill-feeling in connexion with slavery, it was necessary to interpose an intermediate term during which all those heats might be allayed in order that the constitution might be renewed when the minds of men were better prepared for it, anti better calculated to make it work advantageously. He contended, on the contrary, that this measure was objectionable because it interfered with constitutional rights, because it made light of the political franchise, because it proceeded non allegations which were without foundation, and because it was in direct opposition to the principle of expediency with reference to the composition of constituencies. It was much more desirable, in his opinion, that the franchise should be gradually extended, than suddenly increased; that it should be increased from year by year, rather than be suddenly extended so as to let in great masses to swamp the constituency at once. Then it would happen that, instead of the black race being absorbed into the white, the white would be absorbed into the black. He wished to avoid both extremes, and by making it gradual, to prevent the danger while he secured the benefit of it. Common expediency, therefore, common prudence, and a desire to promote the harmonious progress of the great measure at present in operation, tended precisely to the same result as all other considerations—namely, to show that this bill ought not to be passed. There was only one point more upon which he wished to offer a few remarks. It would be recollected that the Assembly of Jamaica had positively tendered to the Government the grant of the supplies. Was it, then, to be supposed that they were to deprive the House of Assembly of that privilege? Had not Sir Lionel Smith allowed them to discharge that function? Was there not upon the statute-book a declaratory act which stated, that this country would not interfere with colonial taxation upon any pretext, or on any consideration, except for the regulation of trade? That act stood unrepealed upon the statute-book; it was no dead letter; it was the foundation of all harmony in the British colonies; it was the foundation of whatever confidence subsisted in them with reference to the Home Government; it was the great charter of colonial liberty; it was an act which he thought hon. Gentlemen opposite would not dare (he did not mean to imply even that they would venture) to repeal; yet, what were they going to do in the case of Jamaica? To refuse her offered supplies, in order that they might make a new constitution. At any period, and from any Parliament, however constituted, that would be a strong measure; but, at this period, and in a reformed House of Commons, and as emanating from a liberal Government, hon. Gentlemen could hardly be aware that they were about to pass a bill—not. to pass it, for that they were not about to do, but to ratify and sanction a bill which positively refused a tender of supplies from our fellow subjects in Jamaica, made by them in a constitutional form, and which proposed, under the pretence of necessity, to erect an unconstitutional tribunal, by which those supplies should be granted. It was because this bill proceeded upon allegations which were unfounded; because the general charges made by the Government were incompatible with the language which they themselves had used towards the Assembly of Jamaica; because that which the Assembly at this moment demanded, was not a repeal of any act of Parliament, but, on the contrary, an assurance in itself perfectly reasonable and justifiable; and because this measure was most inconsistent, and, on the ground of prudence, most inexpedient, inasmuch as it would perpetuate the disunion which existed between the different classes of the community, that he ventured to hope that the majority of that House would not give their sanction to it; confident, as he was, that if they did, such an act could only tend to bring the sovereign power of Parliamentary legislation into general discredit, and to shake the confidence of our colonial fellow-subjects throughout the whole circle of our colonial possessions.

Sir S. Lushington

said, that the hon. Member who had just sat down had characterised this bill either as a penal measure, or as one of general policy. Now, as he (Dr. Lushington) was not disposed to abide by the classification of the hon. Member, he would take his own ground, and state the reasons which induced him to support this bill. He supported it on the ground of its imperious necessity—for the purpose of doing justice and affording protection to 300,000 British subjects; because he in his conscience believed that the continuance of the present state, he would not say of law, but of misrule and disorder, was as destructive to the great commercial and agricultural interests embarked in that island as he knew it to be injurious to the peace, happiness, and comfort of that colony. What he wanted for those subjects was, equal laws, protection to their property, encouragement to industry, security for their acquisitions, and above all, what the hon. Gentleman who spoke last had not touched upon—an easy and effectual mode of obtaining payment of their wages. That the British Parliament had never parted, directly or indirectly, with the power of legislating for the island of Jamaica, he maintained to be a constitutional doctrine. In a statute of George 2nd, he found it enacted, that all property in that island, clear and personal, should be considered assets for paying certain debts. A subsequent act prohibited the Assembly from passing any resolution whatever to raise money upon bills of credit. A third act was passed, respecting who should be considered as credible witnesses to a will. The hon. Member had put a construction on the 18th George 3rd, as if the Imperial Parliament had renounced the right to legislate for the colonies; but tile construction he (Dr. Lushington) put upon it was, that it had renounced the right of levying taxes in the colony for the purpose of raising a revenue. He maintained the doctrine that the British Parliament had not deprived itself, and could not deprive itself, of its transcendental power by any act. But, though he maintained this doctrine, he did not think that that power should be resorted to on all occasions. He thought it safer to leave to the Legislature of Jamaica the management of their own affairs; and he admitted to those who opposed this measure, that when he supported this interference with that Legislature, the onus lay on him to show the necessity of it. A great deal had been said about the preamble of the bill, and whether the bill was to be supported on that ground. He did support the bill on the preamble; but, because he did so, was he to discard all other circumstances. Was he to disregard the history of past times? Was he to shut his eyes to what the Legislature bad done, or had omitted to do? Was he not to consider the whole extraordinary combination of circumstances as a great ingredient in the question now to be determined? He had said, that he supported the Bill on the preamble. The preamble puts the measure on its necessity from the conduct of the Legislature of Jamaica in 1838, and though a totally different construction had been put upon the conduct of that Assembly on one side of the House and the other, one thing was clear, that there was an abdication of their functions, at a moment of the greatest emergency, at a period when they themselves admitted, in the most direct and significant terms, their knowledge of the emergency, and their recognition of the necessity for immediate legislation. They had had time given them for consideration, and they had determined to perse- vere in their refusal. Six or seven weeks had been given them, and, after ample time to learn the state and condition of the island, and again they adhered to their abdication. It had been ingeniously suggested by the hon. Member, that they had not demanded the repeal of the Prisons Bill; but what construction did they put on the West-India Prisons' Bill? If the West Indians in this country were well acquainted with the feelings of the House of Assembly, the hon. Member must have been aware that the House of Assembly required that the British Parliament should renounce its functions. The hon. Member talked of an alternative; what was the alternative offered? Was this house to shape some humble request that the House of Assembly would please to rescind its determination? The resolution of the House of Assembly closed as follows:— Until her Most Gracious Majesty's pleasure shall be made known, whether her subjects of Jamaica, now happily all in a state of freedom, are henceforth to be treated as subjects with the power of making laws, as hitherto, for their own government, or whether they are to be treated as a conquered colony, and governed by parliamentary legislation, order in council, or as," mark these words, "in the case of the late amended Abolition Act, by investing tile Governor of the island with the arbitrary power of issuing proclamations having the force of law over the lives and properties of the people. Was this House to inform the House of Assembly that they were to have the power of making laws, and that they were not to be governed by parliamentary legislation? Was this House to repudiate the right to legislate? Was it to take no exception to the manner in which the amended Abolition Act was spoken of, and say that it repented of having passed it? He asked the House whether it were prepared to accede to these propositions? The right hon. Baronet, who was remarkable for his caution, had contrived to frame his motion so that not only every one belonging to his own party should support it, but some on his (Dr. Lushington's) side, who, as he thought, were deceived in the view they took of the question, which they had treated as one involving the liberties of the people of Jamaica. Did not the right hon. Baronet support the amended Abolition Act? That Act was founded on the ground that the Legislature of Jamaica bad neglected to carry into effect the provisions it was bound to execute in fulfilment of the former act. He would trouble the House with a short ex. tract from the speech of Lord Sligo to the Jamaica Assembly, in 1834:— In regard to the whipping of females, you have been informed by me officially, that such a practice prevails, and I called upon you to make an enactment to prevent conduct so repugnant to humanity and contrary to law. So far from passing an act to prevent the recurrence of such cruelty, you did not even express your disapprobation of it. In January, 1836, the Marquess wrote —"I regret to say the remedy must come from home." Then, he contended, that he was justified in his opinion, that the whole conduct of the House of Assembly, from the year 1834 down to the present hour, had been such, as to disappoint the wishes and to destroy the hopes of the people of England. But he had a right to look at the conduct of the House of Assembly at all times. Had an effectual measure ever been passed in Jamaica for the protection of the negro at any time? Was there one single abomination or horror in Jamaica which the House of Assembly had been prompt to punish? Could he forget, that in that island a man had been boiled to death by a slow fire; that according to the statement of Mr. Bryan Edwards, who had been a witness to it, two men had been scourged to death without one word of disapprobation? That was the state of things now. Sir Lionel Smith wrote in these words—"I cannot protect the poor people as the Government expect and a the British nation requires." That was the state of the law according to the evidence of one Governor. He (Dr. Lushington) asked the House how long it would suffer such a state of things? When would it prevent it? What would be the consequence supposing they got the House of Assembly in the humour to pass any measures? The hon. Gentleman, the Member for Newark, had said, respecting the state of the law, had not the Governor the command of the militia? What was the Governor to do if he called out the militia? Was he to call it out as it was now? He apprehended he could not call it out at all, and the defence of Jamaica depended on an efficient force not exceeding 1,300 men. With respect to the law of contracts, was there anything more unjust? Take the evidence of the Governor again:— We arc unfortunately without any wholesome laws to protect the fair rights of toasters and servants and have all the evils of evasion of common agreements by one party and distrust on the other. So much for the law of contracts. Has there been any law, any efficient law of police? Notwithstanding the urgency of this matter, the House of Assembly positively refused to consider any proposition with reference to it. But there was another point, what was the state of the prisons? Sir Lionel Smith, enclosing returns of the state of the prisons in Jamaica, says, "nothing can be more disgraceful to any country." That was, the state of the prisons in Jamaica; would the House leave them in that state? But it had been said in the course of the debate, that the amended abolition act had been consented to in the colony, and that this must have been through fear or generosity. He said it was neither one nor the other. In their protest, the House of Assembly declared that the passing of this act was a violation of its privileges:— We, therefore, the Members of the Assembly," they say, "do for ourselves, and for the people of Jamaica, solemnly before God and man, and especially before our fellow subjects, and fellow colonists, protest against an act passed by the British Parliament, entitled 'An Act to amend the Act for the abolition of slavery in the British colonies.' We protest against the proclamation of the Governor dated the 1st of June, 1838, which declares the said act to be in force in the island. We declare the said act and proclamation to be illegal, unconstitutional, and an usurpation of our legislative rights, and of the rights of our constituents; we declare them to be subversive of English law, threatening to the peace of this and our sister colonies, and dangerous to the integrity of the empire. That was the way they treated the fulfilment of the compact. It had been said, what signified these declarations of the House of Assembly of Jamaica? Why, if the House of Assembly refused to pass these acts, and if the people of Jamaica were stirred up to rebellion against the amended abolition act, was Parliament to go back and refuse to exercise the power which the Assembly had abandoned and abdicated? Could it do so with safety? What would be the consequence in our other colonies and possessions throughout the world, if they found that by remonstrance and intimidation one House of Assembly could compel the British House of Commons to swerve from its path? Parliament could not retract with safety to the national honour. It could not go back now without losing the power of interfering hereafter. He did not wish to fatigue the I louse, but he must notice one other point in the hon. Gentleman's speech—his inculpation of the Baptist missionaries. The language of Sir Lionel Smith was this:— I do not believe the charge. The Baptist missionaries have dared their calumniators over and over again to the proof; and I ask whether a single individual has yet dared to come forward to specify a single instance of any improper interference on their part. He really thought that hon. Gentlemen ought not to accuse rashly and hastily any public body of men by name in this sweeping manner. There were at this moment, 30,000 heathens in the island of Jamaica, and he should like to know how many more there would have been within its shores had it not been for the exertions of these excellent and pious men? He had no hesitation in affirming, that if it had not been for their Christian zeal and industry, there would have now been 300,000 instead of 30,000 pagans in the island of Jamaica. He saw in the speech of the learned counsel for that island, that he estimated its coloured population at 110,000 souls, and its white population at 30,000 souls. The people of colour, and the whites, enjoyed nearly all the property of the island, and yet he found that there were not more than 2,200 voters among them. He cared not what the number of voters might be. He should object most heartily and sincerely to any measure which should permanently deprive the island of its local Legislature; and when he heard it stated by the right hon. Baronet opposite that there were some persons who were anxious for the permanence of this bill, he was happy to have it in his power to reply, that the original objection of the Anti-Slavery Association to this measure was, that it was to continue in existence for five years, and that that association was anxious that it should pass but for as short a period as was consistent with the improvement and tranquillity of the colony. He had heard, with great sorrow, the right hon. Baronet assert, that when that House legislated for the colonies, it ought always to come to an unanimous vote. He regretted much that the right hon. Baronet had made such a declaration—far be it from him to comment upon the motives which had led the right hon. Baronet to such a declaration—but this he must say, that if in this contest the Government should fall and be defeated, it would fall in an attempt to administer justice and protection to the wants of the people of Jamaica, in an endeavour to establish the happiness of those on whom the safety of Jamaica mainly depended, in an endeavour to uphold the success of an experiment the value of which to all the great interests of humanity, no man living could now calculate. It would fall in the redemption of a pledge given by the Imperial Parliament of Great Britain, in accordance with the wishes of all the people whom it represented—it would fall too by a junction as unexpected as it was unprincipled, by the junction with the other side of the House, of those who remembered not in their love of free constitutions, that the exercise of the powers of Government was nothing in comparison with the exercise of those great rights for which all government was instituted. The right hon. Baronet had declared his readiness to take upon himself any responsibility that might arise from a successful opposition to this bill. Now, if the result of it should be contrary to that which the right hon. Baronet anticipated; and if Jamaica should be doomed to remain another year in a state almost amounting to anarchy, in consequence of the delay which his amendment, if carried, would interpose between this measure and good legislation, the responsibility which the right hon. Baronet would have to incur, would be anything but enviable. That responsibility he should himself be sorry to share, and he would therefore give his support to this bill, because he deemed it to be necessary to the very existence of society in the island of Jamaica.

Lord Stanley

said, that he should feel that he was indeed labouring tinder great difficulty, in following the bon. and learned Gentleman who had just sat down, if he were called upon to cope with him, either upon questions of abstract law, or upon questions where matters of law and of constitution were necessarily mingled. But, much as he admired and respected the high talents, and great constitutional acquirements of the hon. and learned Gentleman, or he should rather say, the more he admired and respected those high talents, and those eminent constitutional acquirements, the more was he grieved to see them in a British House of Commons, devoted to the ungracious, and, as he trusted, to the hopeless task of supporting a measure of this most arbitrary character, on the proverbial plea of all tyrants—namely, its imperious necessity. The hon. and learned Gentleman had taken the bill into his hand; but fearful of discussing it on the grounds on which it had been originally brought before the notice of the House, bad said, that he would not discuss the question, whether it was a bill of pains and penalties, or whether it was a measure of general state policy, but that he would confine his argument to the narrow ground of "imperious and overwhelming necessity." But he must be permitted to ask the House this question—"Is this bill a bill of pains and penalties, or is it not? Are the constitutional rights which it supersedes, to be set aside, as if of little or no value? Are the legislative rights, which have now existed for 200 years, to be set aside at once by a British House of Commons, and, being so set aside, are we to be told that it is not a bill of pains and penalties?" If it were not a bill of pains and penalties, why had they allowed the counsel for the island of Jamaica to appear at the bar, and be heard against its preamble? Oh! but they were not to be bound by the preamble of the bill. Not bound by the preamble? Why, then, did they allow the learned counsel who acted as agent for the island, to be called to the bar, to defend his clients and constituents against the charges contained in it? His hon. and learned Friend, the Judge-Advocate, or if it was not him, some other Gentleman in the course of the debate, had said, that it was not necessary to insert in the preamble, all the grounds upon which a bill was founded. He admitted that it was not necessary. It might be mere matter of form, in ordinary cases, to word the preamble thus;—"Whereas it is expedient and necessary to alter and amend such and such a law;" but, in this case, not one of the advocates of the bill had dared to conic down to the House, and propose these words as the preamble of this bill, "Whereas it is necessary and expedient to alter and suspend the constitution of Jamaica," Why was this? How was it to be defended? The hon. and learned Gentleman, instead of proposing such a preamble, shrunk from it, and came down with a bill of indictment drawn up against the proprietors of Jamaica. The question was one of deep importance; it was one with which the hon. and learned Gentleman had been conversant from his first entrance into Parliament, and did the hon. and learned Gentleman mean to tell him that her Majesty's advisers had never asked for his counsel in drawing up this indictment? [Sir S. Lushington: they had not.] Indeed! why that argued a degree of rashness and inconsiderateness on the part of her Majesty's Government that he really could not have expected. He could not have imagined that they would have abandoned the great legal aid and cminent constitutional judgment of the hon. and learned Gentleman on a question like this, or that the hon. and learned Gentleman would have given them his support on such a measure of his own free will and accord, But then the hon. and learned Gentleman was a warm supporter of her Majesty's present Ministers. Oh, yes, he knew well how warm was the support which the hon. and learned Gentleman had given them upon a former occasion. He could not, however, refrain from expressing his regret that the hon. and learned Gentleman should feel himself on that ground called upon to support a measure which he was sure that the hon. and learned Gentleman, consulting only his own understanding, could not approve. He was satisfied that if the hon. and learned Gentleman had been left to his own feelings he would have said to the Government, "You are framing a bill of indictment against the island of Jamaica—you are framing it against those who are absent, and cannot be present here to plead for themselves—you are merely about to give them a single opportunity of being heard at your bar by their agent and proxy before you pass this unheard-of invasion of constitutional rights; it is, therefore, necessary, if you would observe a shadow of principle—if you have framed this bill, and intend to pass it on the preamble prefixed to it, that you should at least let their agent know what he has to defend his clients against—in one word, by your preamble, you should stand." That, he was sure, would have been the language of the hon. and learned Gentleman; and, in point of fact, it had been the language of the Under Secretary for the Colonies, who had said in so many words, "By the preamble he would stand." He had stood by the preamble; but the preamble had broken down under him. What had the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard said upon that very point? "If the bill be founded on the preamble, and if the preamble be the only ground on which it rests, then your ground is clearly cut from under you, and the superstructure raised upon it must of necessity fall down." "But," continued the hon. and gallant Member for Liskeard, frankly and gallantly enough, "I do not support the bill on account of its preamble. You declare that because they have passed certain resolutions you are prepared to suspend their constitution for two years and a half. But that is not enough for me. No; I am prepared not to suspend, but to upset—yes, that was the word—the constitution of Jamaica. I have always looked, upon these oligarchies or resemblances of the representative system as the most detestable form of government, and I will not be juggled by a name. The legislature of Jamaica is an ancient oligarchical aristocracy of overseers and attornies. Compare them with the Governor aided by a council of English gentlemen, who were responsible to English public opinion, and the contrast could not but weigh against the mere delegates of the ancient slave-owners. Yes, that was the language of the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard. "Because the Legislature of Jamaica was an ancient oligarchical aristocracy," and "because whenever he had an opportunity of upsetting an oligarchy he never would let it pass," the hon. and learned Member was prepared to upset that Legislature. He understood the argument of the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard—he understood the meaning of those who said, "You have been making a great change in the whole framework of society in the West Indies, and it is impossible that you can make it safely if you allow their present Legislatures to exist." That, he repeated, he understood; but that was not the argument of Government. He often heard hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House boast, that they had been the supporters of the Administration which passed the negro Emancipation Act, but it was somewhat singular, that while they reserved all the credit of that act to the Administration generally, they charged every defect of it upon him individually, even down to its working in the colonies, when intrusted to other hands besides his own. Said the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard, "Never was there a measure,"—and he (Lord Stanley) readily admitted it—"which reflected greater honour upon a nation whose generosity gave an impulse to it." In that remark, also, he gladly acquiesced—for no Government could have carried such a measure unless it had been Supported by the enthusiasm of a nation which would not stoop to calculate the cost of the benevolent experiment it was resolved upon making. "But," added the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard, "never was there a measure which re- fleeted less credit on the statesmanlike foresight of the Minister who proposed it." The hon. and learned Member likewise added, that if he (Lord Stanley) had reflected when he introduced that measure on the extent and magnitude of the task he had undertaken, he would have made this present bill—the upsetting bill, as the hon. and learned Member had properly called it —a necessary supplement to the great Act of Emancipation of 1833. Now, he put it to the House whether that were a likely way to diminish the difficulties with which the Government had to contend in passing that act. Did those hon. Gentlemen who then heard him, and who had seats in the Parliament of 1833, think that, if the Government, when it proposed the bill for the abolition of slavery, had proposed along with it a measure for the abolition of all the colonial assemblies as the best means of carrying that abolition into effect — did they think that any human power would have enabled the Government to carry such a bill? "But," said the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard, "that bill has been the most signal failure of any measure which he recollected." He bowed with submission to the recollection and judgment of an hon. Gentleman whose own practice in legislating for the colonies had been so extraordinarily extensive, and, for its extraordinary extent, so eminently successful. He should not have entered into this question, had he not been so pointedly called on by the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard. That hon. and learned Gentleman had asked him, why he had not availed himself of his privilege as an ordinary Member of Parliament to follow out the Emancipation Act, by the introduction of the necessary supplemental measures. He admitted that he now was, and had for some time been, a private Member of Parliament, but he had had sufficient experience of Parliament to know, that the intervention of Members unconnected with the Government in matters of this kind often did more mischief than good, and was an officious meddling which impeded the due discharge of the functions of the Executive. "But," said the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard, "this measure has been a most signal failure." Indeed! Was it considered a signal failure up to the year 1837? and if it was not considered a signal failure up to that year, so far as he was responsible, he might, he conceived, hold himself perfectly absolved. He could not bring himself to consider that measure a failure which, in the course of five short years, had given 800,000 individuals the invaluable blessing of entire freedom, without producing the loss of a single life; without producing any material depreciation of property; with the concurrence of eighteen or nineteen different colonial legislatures, and without the infraction of one single constitutional privilege or right. He would, with permission of the House read to it the account which the late noble Secretary for the Colonies had given of his most signal failure in one of the despatches which he sent to the West Indies in the year 1837. The noble Lord then read an extract from a despatch of Lord Glenelg, of which we are unable to state more than the substance, as our application for the papers of the noble Lord was unsuccessful. The extract stated, that the result of this great experiment justified all the hopes which the advocates of it had entertained. When every deduction was made for the abuses which resulted from colonial legislation, he felt himself entitled to assert, that in the short period which bad elapsed since the passing of the Act, there had been an improvement in society, and an accession to human happiness of which history furnished no previous example. It was a notorious fact, that the carrying this experiment into effect had been unattended with tumult or confusion, or with the slightest relaxation of those bonds of good feeling by which the sovereign and the people ought ever to be united. There was a greater respect for the law than had ever been previously displayed; the value of property had been augmented, and the foundation for the future transition of the apprentices into free men had been successfully and happily laid. Such was the description which Lord Glenelg had given three years after he (Lord Stanley) had quitted the service of his Majesty of the results of the experiment which he had recommended Parliament to make, and which the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard had denounced as "a most signal failure." Before he left the hon. and learned Member for Liskcard to the enjoyment of his own reflections, he would just ask him how it was that, with his opinions of the duty incumbent on a private Member of Parliament, he, being a Member of the Parliament of 1833, the hon. and learned Member could hear him maintain the necessity of leaving the details of the Negro Emancipation Act to be worked out by the different colonial legislatures, without favouring the House with his ideas upon the impropriety and injustice of such a project. He conceived it to be not a little extraordinary, that the zeal of the hon. and learned Member for Liskeard, which was now so warm, should then be so cold on this point of duty: for the hon. and learned Member's silence at that time upon it could not be attributed to his not having interfered in the progress of the debate—for he had interfered in it to introduce al counter project of his own as a rival to that introduced by Isis Majesty's Government. And what was that counter project? Was it one that took away from the different colonies their legislatures, in order to render the abolition of slavery more immediate? No such thing. The proposition of the hon. and learned Member was, that the Spanish system of emancipation should be adopted, whereby the slave was permitted to purchase and work out his own freedom; and had that proposition been adopted, not one of the negro population of Antigua would have been in possession of freedom before the commencement of next year. The fact was, that the Government plan of leaving the different colonial legislatures to work out the details of the emancipation had led them to abridge the period of apprenticeship, and to anticipate the period of perfect freedom. This shortening of the term of apprenticeship, because it was done by the colonial legislatures, had produced peace, gratitude, and good feeling between the employers of labour and those who furnished it, which, if the House of Commons were now to interfere with its more violent less practical legislation, would be irremediably destroyed. He would not contest the right of the Imperial Parliament, so much insisted on by the right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, to control the colonial legislatures. The right hon. Gentleman had spent a great deal of time in proving what nobody disputed, and referred to three cases which he had himself cited, in 1833, when introducing the measure of emancipation. The right hon. Gentleman argued, as if the Opposition denied the right of the British Parliament to pass the Prisons' Act, or to interfere, when an inevitable necessity presented itself, as they now proposed to interfere. They denied no such thing. He recollected stating, in 1833, that he knew of no limit to the transcendent power of the British Parliament, except that which it had chosen to assign to itself—namely, the limitation of not levying taxes within the colony for the purpose of raising a revenue. The cases cited by the right hon. Gentleman were all previous to 1788, but he would not rest his objection on that. The present case did not regard a question of internal legislation, a particular law which might be necessary for the welfare of the different colonies; this was a measure to take away on false pretences the right of self-government possessed by a most important colony. The hon. and learned Gentleman opposite (Mr. C. Buller) said the House of Assembly had abdicated their functions at a time of great emergency. He said, they had done no such thing. The hon. and learned Gentleman said, the House of Assembly had declared they would not proceed with the public business until the Prisons Act was repealed. He could find no such condition laid down in their resolution. The preamble of the bill only said—"Whereas they did then resolve that until certain conditions should be complied with, to which it is not expedient that Parliament should accede, they would abstain from the affairs," &c. The right hon. and learned Gentleman (Sir S. Lushington) asked what course could we take, if we did not follow the plan proposed by Ministers—how were we to word our humble message of conciliation to the Assembly? In what terms could we deprecate their wrath and induce them to resume their functions? He did not wish to use any flattering terms towards the Legislature which he could not reconcile to his conscience. He should not adopt expressions of satisfaction, which he must afterwards repudiate; but he would recommend a frank, plain, sincere, and conciliatory mode of dealing with the subordinate assemblies, and if he were asked in what words the message should be couched, he would point to the very words in which a similar message was conveyed to the Assembly of Barbadoes in an address from Sir Evan M'Gregor. He would have the Governor state, that he had received a despatch from the Secretary for the Colonies, in which anxiety was expressed, that it should be clearly understood that the intervention of Parliament was solicited in such cases only in order to prevent the confusion and irregularity which would necessarily result from separate, and in come cases, discordant legislation, by independent legislatures, acting apart from each other and without concert, and that each separate Assembly would, in future be held accountable for its own acts alone. He (Lord Stanley) did not know whether or not such a message as this would have been successful, but at all events Ministers were inexcusable for not having sent it. It could not have been expected by the Colonial Legislature that the Ministers would take the present course; they had done everything to convince the Assembly that they would take an opposite course. They had compelled the Assembly by the pressure of their authority to pass an act abolishing the system of apprenticeship, and giving entire freedom to the negroes. The Assembly having passed this act, hoped that they would have been left undisturbed by further interference—indeed, they must have been satisfied that such was the intention of the home Government on seeing the statement of his noble Friend, the Secretary at War (Viscount Howick) in 1833, which assured them that on the emancipation of the negroes they would have an end of unnecessary and uncalled-for interference. His noble Friend, when arguing against the course he was pursuing towards the Colonial Assemblies, said— Sir, I agree with my right hon. Friend, that there is a case of necessity for interfering on the subject of slavery, but as in my opinion the right of interference arises from the necessity of the case, so I think by that necessity it is limited. I think that we have a right to say to the Colonial Legislatures, 'You shall do full justice to all classes of the King's subjects:' but I do not think we have any right to prescribe the details of the laws by which the daily transactions of life in the colonies are to be regulated. Sir, if my right hon. Friend will attempt to carry into execution such an Act of Parliament as he has described, it must contain a clause abrogating every constitutional privilege at present possessed by the colonies. It must, indeed, be a case of extreme necessity which could justify such a course, and even the most extreme case would with difficulty overcome my almost invincible repugnance to its adoption. But does that necessity exist? I know, Sir, that we cannot trust the Colonial Assemblies to legislate for a state of things in which the right of the planters to the gratuitous services of the labouring population shall be continued. If we were so to trust them, whatever might be the nominal effect of the laws they might pass, in reality they would amount to nothing less than the maintenance of slavery as it now exists. But if we proceed upon a different principle, and declare that every man shall be alike entitled to the produce of his own labour, and to judge how that labour can be rendered most profitable to himself, we may safely trust the colonists to pass what laws they may consider necessary; while the great principle of allowing the value of labour to be determined by competition is adhered to there can be no objection to any laws which they may pass, however severe may be the restrictions they impose. What, then, was the principle which, according to his noble Friend, they ought to follow in the present case? 'They had done away with the apprenticeship, because they had not been able to trust the Colonial Assemblies to make laws for the regulation of compulsory labour; they had allowed the slave to take his labour to the best market, and, therefore, he said with his noble Friend, that the necessity for interference no longer existed, and that his repugnance to meddle with the legislation of the Assembly became absolutely unconquerable. When the colonists saw these sentiments expressed by the noble Lord, it was impossible that they should not be led to conclude that they would, after the passing of the measure of emancipation, have full and uninterrupted liberty to manage their own concerns. He did think that that liberty ought to be left them. He would not say that some emergency might not arise in which for the full and effectual accomplishment of the provisions of the Emancipation Act, it might be necessary to resort to harsh measures, but he did say, that if such an emergency arose, it should be met in a way calculated to give the least possible cause for offence, whereas the steps Government had taken on this occasion were likely to excite general irritation and resentment. Would his right hon. Friend opposite say, that the Act of which the Colonial Legislature complained, as having been thrown upon their table without a word of explanation, or the slightest sign of respect or attention, would not have become less offensive if accompanied by such an explanation as it was in the power of Sir Lionel Smith to have given at that time? His right hon. Friend had enlarged on the actual state of the law of Jamaica, and had complained of the want of laws which it would have been very expedient to have passed long ago. But whose fault was it that these laws were not passed? That of the Legislature of Jamaica? Not at all. They had never refused, or expressed any reluctance, to pass them. Had not Parliament prohibited the Assembly from passing them? Had not the Committee of 1836 recommended that no laws should be passed until the termination of the apprenticeship? Had not Lord Glenelg declared that the proper time for passing a Prisons Bill would be the year 1840? On the 6th of November, 1837, Lord Glenelg wrote thus to the Legislative Assembly of Jamaica— Contemplating with lively gratitude to Divine Providence these results of the wise and generous policy of her royal predecessors, and of the Parliament and people of this kingdom, the Queen is deeply anxious that the approaching crisis of the experiment should be met by a deliberate foresight of the difficulties that must then occur, and by fitting preparations to avert them. What followed? Sixteen different queries were addressed to the colonial Assembly relative to the existing state of the law. Lord Glenelg said— It will be necessary that a considerable revision of the colonial code should take place, in order to adapt the laws to the new state of affairs about to be established. This is the appropriate duty of the local Legislature, and it is highly important that it should be performed with great circumspection, and in such a manner as, if possible, to prevent the necessity of any collision between the Sovereign authority in this kingdom and the local authorities. Lord Glenelg, after enumerating the various subjects of his queries, concluded by saying,—"When you shall have received the answers, you will—"What? Proceed to legislate on them forthwith? Not at all:— You will transmit those answers to me, accompanied by your own report as to the measures necessary for adapting the law to that state of society which will immediately follow on the close of the apprenticeship. It will then remain for Government to consider the measures which may be proper to be taken in those colonies which are subject to the government of the Queen and Council, and to be recommended to those which possess legislative assemblies. What, he would ask, had been the "deliberative foresight" exercised by Ministers? They had forced the colonists to pass a premature act of total abolition; they had not allowed them to make those preparations which were demanded by the extreme exigency of the case. When had notice of the Prisons' Act been communicated to the Legislature of Jamaica? The 15th of September, 1838, three months after complete emancipation had been de- creed by that Assembly, was the earliest date at which any instructions on this head were sent out to them. And yet Ministers complained that the Colonial Legislature had not made due provision for the change, and declared that they could not be trusted because they had not done so. Even if these subjects, not with-standing the great difficulties that attended them, should have been dealt with earlier—if the Jamaica Assembly had entertained doubts as to whether they were competent to come to a decision on the state of society about to be established, and the laws proper to be passed, in order that the change might be easily made, he thought they should stand excused by the language of Lord Glenelg's despatch of the 15th of September, 1838. The noble Lord then recommended the Assembly to take into consideration the militia law, with a view to make certain improvements. Supposing it to have acted according to the noble Lord's instructions, what would have happened? The ordinance would have been disallowed when it came home; he would prove this out of the noble Lord's own mouth. On the 13th of November, the noble Lord wrote—"The militia law is so bad, that, on further consideration, I desire you to do away with it altogether." In the despatch of the 15th of September, the noble Lord recommended the Assembly also to consider the poll-tax. He said, I have received information that in the island of Jamaica there is a tax called the poll-tax. Nothing can be more unjust than the principles on which it proceeds. That the rich and the poor should be taxed alike is so repugnant to the principles of English law, that I beg that it may be immediately altered. He (Lord Stanley) could not have believed that any Colonial Secretary could have made so glaring a mistake in a matter which must be known to every man in Jamaica, and which ought to be known, not only to the Colonial Secretary, but to every under-secretary and clerk, from the highest to the lowest, in the Colonial-office. The Jamaica poll-tax was in the nature of an assessed tax, levied, not on individual whites and blacks, but ore each proprietor, according to the number of his slaves. So far from being levied on rich and poor alike, it was only levied on the rich planter, and, according to the number of his slaves and cattle, so was the amount of the poll-tax. "It is of great importance," said Lord Glenelg, "that this doubt should be cleared up." Why, no human being, except his Lordship himself, ever had a doubt about the matter. The principles of taxation," continued Lord Glenelg, "adopted in this country, are unequivocally opposed to the levying of a tax that presses upon rich and poor alike. I do not now enter on the large and arduous question how far the imposition of the tax may be justifiable when applied to the society of the British West Indies, for to engage in the discussion of this subject would compel me to diverge from many topics of great and immediate exigency. These directions for internal legislation, after having been so long a time in the process of concoction, were at length sent out under the notion that the poll-tax was not an assessed tax, but an impost oppressive to individuals. He must say, that he did entertain a doubt, after seeing this display of official knowledge, whether the Colonial Assembly were not as well acquainted with the peculiar circumstances of the island, and as able to frame laws for the government of the inhabitants, as the Colonial Secretary himself, who sent out his absolute dictations, which they were not to controvert. Could they wonder that the House of Assembly when they saw, that concession after concession produced only more and more arbitrary infractions of what they justly considered their constitutional rights, unaccompanied by a single word of explanation to soothe them, should manifest an angry temper, some little want of good feeling, towards the mother country? But, said the right hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets, they had time to consider their course; they were prorogued for a day, and afterwards dissolved for six weeks. Dissolved, for what purpose? To take the opinion of the constituency of the island on the determination they had expressed as to the proposals of the British Governor. That had been done, and it was found that the constituency cordially supported the views of the Assembly. Was it surprising, then, that the Members of the Assembly should, on coming back, adhere to views which had received the sanction of their constituents at a new election? He should like to see the right hon. Member put a parallel case with regard to this country. When Parliament was dissolved, during the discussion on the Reform Bill, and an immense majority in favour of re- form returned, would the right hon. Gentleman not think that that majority would have stultified themselves by acting in direct opposition to the wishes of their constituents? The right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite had made the extraordinary admission that his right hon. Friend near him (Sir R. Peel), if he were now at the head of affairs, would be able to bring the dispute with the Jamaica Assembly to an amicable conclusion. He thought that very likely, but his right hon. Friend did not even ask to be allowed to terminate it; he only pressed the Government to adopt a certain line of conciliatory policy, with an assurance that if unsuccessful they should have the unanimous consent of Parliament, a twelvemonth hence, to put in practice the measure they now prematurely called on the House to adopt. His right hon. Friend suggested an adequate remedy for the difficulties of the case. Was it unreasonable to ask Ministers to delay this harsh proceeding another year? His right hon. Friend did not wish that this should be made a party question; he wished that Government should carry with them, on the measure they might adopt, riot a bare majority like that of twenty-two, in which the Judge Advocate-General had so much exulted the other night, but the almost unanimous voice of the House of Commons. Government rejected that peaceful and conciliatory course, and adhered to their own violent headstrong and yet feeble policy; they would not accept the assistance of his right hon. Friend in passing such a law as would meet the proved exigencies of the case, with the assurance of his aid, at a future time, in passing stronger measures, should milder means not be found efficacious. Some hon. Gentleman opposite professed with the hon. Member for Liskeard to be extremely unwilling to destroy popular constitutions, but denounced that of Jamaica as a little miserable oligarchy of advocates and attornies, representing only some 3,000 persons out of 500,000. Was this constitution really so unpopular? Was the qualification so remarkably high? It was, in fact, exceedingly low, admitting to the franchise a very large number of the white, a considerable portion of the free coloured and free black population, and within a very short time it would admit an enormous multitude of the black population. Ought they not to pause, then, before decreeing the overthrow of this constitution, for as to the profession of suspending it, that was a mere pretext? Did her Ma- jesty's Government mean to say, that it was their intention to restore the constitution of Jamaica as it now stood? No; they meant no such thing. They were going to alter the militia laws, the jury laws, and various other laws; in short, they were going to alter the whole framework of society there; they thought, did they, that they could persuade the people of Jamaica, that after all this was done, they would then re-establish everything just on its present footing? "And when you," said the noble Lord, addressing the Ministry, "you the lovers of liberty—you the advocates of popular rights—you who have been contending throughout that the negro is perfectly fit for a full participation in all social rights, and that it would be unjust, emancipation once passed, to make any difference in that respect between the black freemen and the white; and when the former is just about to obtain those political rights, which you have ever told him were the most valuable of all rights—when you have brought him to that point—when, after having thus mocked him with the barren prospect of a participation in those political rights, you are about to tell him that the man whom he has so long looked upon as his proprietor, and whom he must still look to for his daily bread, is incompetent to exercise that right of internal and domestic legislation which he has been exercising for 200 years, and that he himself, the negro, is in too degraded a situation to be competent to exercise that right either; then, after all this, you think that by this announcement you shall not unite the whole population of the country, white, brown, and black, in one simultaneous feeling of abhorrence to you and your measures? I know you have the power; I know that Jamaica has not the power to resist you. But surely you may hesitate—you hesitated long before you enforced such a measure as this on Canada. Jamaica has never refused the supplies. For five long years did the Canadian Legislature refuse the supplies—depriving your officials of bread—insulting your officers—offering contumely of every kind to the British Parliament; yet for five long years you refused to do that which you now ask us to do at once in the case of Jamaica? Why? Is it that Jamaica is weak, and Canada strong? He knew (the noble Lord proceeded) that they were both weak; that they were both unable to resist, but he called upon the Government to beware how they convinced the people of Jamaica that the moral feeling of the colonies might be roused, and that effectually; he warned them not to convince that people that they were unfairly treated in the British Parliament. He would read to the House the words of a great man in reference to this subject—of a greater man than any in that House—the words of Lord Chatham, in 1775. He said, "This resistance to your arbitrary system of taxation might have been foreseen; it was obvious from the nature of things and of mankind; and above all, from the Whiggish spirit flourishing in that country. The spirit which now resists your taxation in America is the same which formerly opposed loans, benevolences, and ship money in England; the same spirit which called all England on its legs, and by the bill of rights vindicated the English constitution. The same spirit which established the great fundamental essential maxim of your liberties—that no subject of England shall be taxed but by his own consent." So say I (said the noble Lord), and I say beware of endeavouring to blind yourselves to the consequences you may incur and the spirit you may call forth, while you are about to violate that which is the great fundamental essential maxim of your liberties, that no subject of England shall be taxed but by his own consent; beware how you raise in the colonies that spirit which will spread, for spread it must, throughout them; that spirit which I trust will never but exist in all the colonies which boast, as Jamaica does, of a British origin.

Lord J. Russell.

Mr. Speaker—if I were at all able to convey to the House the strong sense I feel of the impossibility that this question, vitally affecting as it does the interests of a large population inhabiting Jamaica, should be suffered any longer to remain unsettled, I have no doubt that the House would lend me its best attention while I state my opinions on the subject, as I should hope, that upon this question, a question which is so confined, and entirely local, and so important to Jamaica, I shall obtain the concurrence of the House. I must at the outset declare my dissent from some of the opinions of the noble Lord who spoke last (Lord Stanley). This has been argued as a question of political liberty. Now I must at once confess that my love of liberty is exactly similar to that which has sprung up, rather newly, I think, among hon. Gentlemen opposite. Considering that the question regards an Assembly returned by a body of constituents amounting only to 2,200, and in itself very little exceeding the numbers of the Great Council of Venice, and who have under their control a population of negroes to the number of 300,000, I do not conceive that I sacrifice the claims of liberty when I advocate a measure of this nature respecting such a body, or that I utterly neglect those claims when I support a change disliked by the few, but of vital importance to the interests of the mass. The noble Lord opposite having made a reference to the question of Canada, that reference enables me also to advert to that question; it enables me, too, to show the great difference which exists between the case of Canada and this case, and it enables me, also, to show that the right hon. Gentleman opposite had the other night most unfairly laid down the principle—unfairly both to the Government and to the House—that it was only to one and that special ground that the House was to look in framing a measure of this sort, to suspend the Government of Jamaica. But surely there were two points to be considered; first, there were peculiarities in the state of society in Jamaica; and next, the exigencies of a state of transition from slavery to freedom had to be provided for, those who had hitherto conducted themselves as masters. being in future to assume a new and more nearly equal relation to the rest of their fellow-subjects. This difference might of itself have made it necessary that they should have a new mode of legislation—a mode totally different from that which had hitherto existed in the island. But her Majesty's Government would not have been justified if, on that general ground alone they had proposed to suspend the constitution of Jamaica, and had not looked to see if this theory were supported by fact, and had not used all the means in their power to make the suspension of the constitution unnecessary. This is, I think, the legitimate course to pursue, and the Government having pursued this course, it is perfectly correct now to say that legislation has been stopped by the House of Assembly, which has deliberately and formally declared that it would not proceed to enact a law which was absolutely necessary. If this Assembly were the same sort of body with that which we usually understand by a representative legislature, if it represented the whole people, I think that in that case they ought to have tried again whether we could not have brought that legislature at length to a sense of its duties; but when I find that this Assembly is adapted only to a particular state of society, and that the stoppage of legislation which had already taken place, if it were suffered to continue would be most dangerous to the peace of the colony, I can come to no other conclusion, than that it is necessary to apply to Parliament to suspend the constitution of a colony so situated. I think I may say that, looking to those great considerations which must bind a Government and a Parliament in reference to questions of such a nature, the grounds on which we decide ought to be general, and that we ought not to confine ourselves to particular and isolated facts, or be influenced by a particular phrase. We are not bound by the mere facts stated in the preamble of the measure—incontrovertible though those facts may be, as I fully believe they are, and sufficient to justify the following enactments. The preamble states that the house of Assembly have declared that they would abstain from exercising their functions until certain Acts of the British Parliament be repealed. No one could deny that to be the fact, therefore the preamble is quite justified. This is a sufficient reason for legislation, and for passing a bill of this sort, but it may be justified on wider views than were contained in the preamble, and may certainly be referred to that chancre in the state of society which has been effected by the Act of Emancipation. I confess that we have not legislated in the same way towards Canada; we did not say that we would pass an act dissolving their Assembly; but we said that we would agree to certain propositions, and if the House of Assembly of Canada refused those propositions, then we would consider what measures might become necessary to enforce their obedience. But was there no difference in the cases? That was not an Assembly which had been used to rule over slaves; society there was not in the transition state from slavery to freedom, but it was an Assembly which was said, and truly said, I believe, to represent the majority of the inhabitants of Lower Canada. What did hon. Gentlemen opposite say on that occasion? Did they say we will not suffer any infringement to be made on the liberty of the people of Canada? Did they call out for the application of the great and essential, and fundamental principles of the liberties of Englishmen? Did they demand delay, and quote Mr. Burke and Lord Chatham? Did they, in that case, the case of a country where there were no slaves, openly assert the principles on which they now professed that they meant to act? No. The noble Lord adopting the language of the hon. and learned Member for Bath, said, that was a case which admitted, of no tampering, there was no time for indecision or vacillation; they must be prepared openly to take measures for preserving the colony. This was the language held when we said we were willing to give another year's delay to Canada; but now, when an Assembly not representing a free people was to be controlled, then the noble Lord said, Let us delay; this is a subject which must be tampered with; let us see whether they will not accede to conditions—whether they will not think better of their former proceedings; and when we have done this, there will be time enough to consider what further steps may be necessary. I might refer, after what has fallen from the hon. Member for Newark, and the noble Lord, to what has been the real dispute with the House of Assembly of Jamaica. I think it was a dispute which dated far back, and concerned matters in which the noble Lord had borne a considerable share. I will only, however, go back so far as 1824. In that year Mr. Canning brought forward certain resolutions respecting the mode in which the slaves might be emancipated; among other remarks in support of them, he said, that an Order in Council should be issued against the flogging of female slaves. In 1826 Mr. Canning repeated the Order in Council, and he then said, Should there appear to be no probability, that the opposition which it met with from the Colonial Legislature would be withdrawn, the executive government would not hesitate coming down to Parliament for its assistance in overcoming its obstinate resistance. With regard to the clause abolishing the corporal punishment of females, he was sorry to say, that but five of the Colonial Legislatures had acceded to it, though he thought, that the adoption of it, was one of the plainest modes, that could have been devised for evincing their disposition to meet the wishes and re- commendations of the people of England. He would confess, that if there was one point more than another on which he could bring himself to adopt the resolution of the hon. Member for Weymouth rather than his own, it was the refusal of the colonies to abolish the corporal punishment of females. In 1833 the noble Lord in bringing forward his measure for the emancipation of the slaves, which he did with great eloquence, said, that there could be no important improvement in the treatment of the negro population so long as that horrible practice was allowed to continue: It was thought "said the noble Lord," that the friendly warning of Parliament would be sufficient to induce the colonists to attend to his wishes. That warning, however—that admonitory voice has gone forth, and for years, and years, has been, I am sorry to say, unheeded and disregarded by all the Colonial Legislatures. They have allowed it to be lost upon them; they have done nothing to further and accomplish that great measure, which the mother country eleven years ago declared to be so just and so desired. What will the committee think of the readiness of the Colonial Legislatures (I speak, God knows, not in bitterness, but in sorrow) when I say, that up to this hour no one colony has abolished the practice of inflicting corporal punishment upon females? They have, indeed, in some degree restrained it; but by restraining they recognise the principle. They have guarded against indecency, but they have not yet carried into effect, that which in all the nations of the world has been the first step towards civilization—the raising the female sex from a state of degradation to that of equality and a sense of delicacy. Talk of preparing the slave for freedom—of ripening his moral faculties, to render him capable of enjoying it, and yet show him, that all his dearest and domestic ties may be violated—that his wife, his daughter, or his sister may be subjected to corporal punishment at the pleasure of an overseer—it is a mockery and an insult! Here is a circumstance which shows the real nature of this House of Assembly; a person of the name of Hamblin, a member of the House of Assembly of Jamaica, called this denouncement of the flogging system, a violation of the privileges of the Jamaica House of Assembly, and indulged in pleasantry on the subject, which gave a notion of that body not at all consistent with our ideas of what a deliberative body ought to be. In 1835 the Marquess of Sligo again called the attention of the Assembly to the practice of flogging women in the following terms:— A much more serious breach not only of the spirit, but even the letter of the law, has been committed under the supposed authority of the Act in question. His Excellency alludes to the rule permitting the use of the whip upon women by the superintendents of treadmills: this is a direct infringement of the 21st section of the Abolition Act, which expressly forbids the whipping of women under any circumstances. In Lord Sligo's speech, proroguing the Assembly on the 3d of February, 1836, he said:— The whipping of females, you were informed by me officially, was an illegal practice, and I called upon you to make enactments to put an end to conduct so repugnant to humanity, and so contrary to law. In 1838 Lord Glenelg again drew attention to the subject, in the following terms:— The Act of Abolition forbade females being lashed for apprenticeship offences; that provision he regretted to tell their Lordships had been set at defiance; it had been scorned and contemned by the injustice and the revenge of the former masters of those unhappy slaves, and who did their Lordships suppose had been selected for the purpose of inflicting cruelty in the house of correction? Why, the class of men selected, were the very class that ought not to be chosen. They were convicts for life—men dead to all sense of honour or feeling, and of humanity. These were the men who did not refuse to apply the lash to females, and who entered into a vile combination with their employers to glut the evil passions of both. In spite of the law, females had had the lash applied to them for apprenticeship offences. This was a stain upon the Legislature. In this year the Emancipation Act Amendment Bill was introduced, and on its second reading in the House of Lords, it received the assent of every noble Lord who spoke, and it passed this House with the general assent of all parties. This measure was intended to put an end to the horrible practice I have mentioned. The hon. Member for Newark said, that this act was quite justifiable, and that it was not till they came to the Prisons Bill, that anything doubtful had been done by this Parliament. Yet it was with respect to this very Act, that the Assembly entered their protest, declaring it to be "an unconstitutional usurpation of their privileges, subversive of their rights, and dangerous to the integrity of the empire." This is the way in which the legislature of Jamaica spoke of an Act which bad unanimously passed the Houses of Lords and Commons of England, and which the hon. Member for Newark told the House was a justifiable act. This is the way the Assembly spoke of an Act which put an end to a cruel and revolting system of punishment which was carrying on in the gaols and workhouses of Jamaica, while they looked on in apathy, or now and then referred the matter to a committee on the receipt of a fresh message from the Governor, but never stirred to put a stop to the thing themselves, as they might have done; yet this is the Assembly which we are told to compare to the greatest and brightest examples of liberty, and which we are called upon to preserve, in the words of Burke and of Chatham, who, if the House had now the happiness to hear them, would certainly never advocate the cause of such a legislature; and never would have thought of perverting words which they intended should aid the cause of freedom to serve the purposes of palliating or keeping up these horrible offences. This is, in fact, the whole quarrel of the Assembly of Jamaica, with the Parliament of this country; because, omitting those rough terms which they applied to the House of Commons, as well as to the House of Lords, they used language in assertion of their rights which their advocates in the House most carefully abstained from quoting? What was their declaration? Jamaica is dependent on the Crown of England, and she admits the right of the English Parliament to regulate the commerce of the empire, but she rejects, with indignation, its claim to make other laws to govern her. We, therefore, conclude, that this island has of right, confirmed by time, usage, and law, an independent legislature; that by its authority alone can taxes or other burdens be imposed on the people of Jamaica, or its laws, when once sanctioned by the Sovereign, be repealed, or altered, or new laws be enacted. That was very plainly saying, that Parliament had no right to interfere except with respect to external commerce; which was saying whatever might be the state of the negro population, whatever might be the abuses which took place, that the Imperial Parliament had no right whatever to interfere. This is, I should say, a bold and an audacious pretension, at the same time it is a very decided one, and it is one which ought not to be parried in this debate. Were these mere words? Did the Assembly not act in ac- cordance with them? Was this a mere declaration to express their anger at the moment? No; it was in consequence of this very declaration, that when the Prisons' Act arrived, they refused to own or recognise it, and said it was not binding on them. That was the natural consequence of this declaration. It was said, "no Act regulating our internal affairs is binding." There came an Act which they said was not binding; nothing could be more explicit than their conduct: they did not say as was now said for them, you have not given us a civil announcement of its existence, and a courteous explanation of its provisions. They cared little what the provisions of the bill were; it was sufficient for them that the principle they asserted was violated by that Act, and by their declaration they chose to abide. Then it was said, as I have already stated, that it was not communicated to them in a proper way. What Sir Lionel Smith said, was, "I have received many despatches from England, and shall lose no time in laying them before you." Could any communication be more proper than that? Had they proceeded to business, in the course of two days they would have had the message with the despatch, and the despatch contained an explanation on the subject. Such was the usual course of proceeding, such was the course adopted in the particular case at Barbadoes. But the House of Assembly at Jamaica did not act as that of Barbadoes acted. A right hon. Member for Cambridge University has indeed read some words from the Council of Barbadoes, in which they objected to this Act. It is true that, acting as an executive, they did state their objection to that Act; but amongst those papers the House will find that there is an Act appointing certain members of the Council, to act together with the prison inspectors, and that Act passed in the Council unanimously. And the same thing might have taken place in Jamaica, but the Assembly had laid down for a principle from which they would not depart, on which it was impossible for them to adopt the Prisons Act. The Governor, therefore, was compelled to prorogue the Assembly; they still retained their former opinion; he then dissolved the Assembly and called another Assembly, and this Assembly stated, in terms as clear as possible, what was their intention. "Our legislative rights have been directly invaded in Parliament enacting a law to regulate our gaols, a measure of internal and municipal regulation clearly confined within our province." There they state I must again aver, as clearly and openly as possible, what their objection was, and the grounds of their resistance; and they state in one part of that declaration, what it was natural they should say, "if they were interfered with, to be a legislature and not have all the powers of one, they had much rather that all legislative powers were transferred elsewhere, and that they were not called on to exercise any." They declared the Prisons Act a violation of their privileges, and till their wrongs were redressed that they would perform no legislative functions. Well, then, it was in consequence of this conduct that the Ministers say, what every one must agree to at a moment of such great transition, at the moment of change from one state of society to another, it being more peculiarly necessary both to alter the old laws and to introduce new laws, that when the late Assembly of Jamaica declared they would not act, that at that peculiar crisis it was necessary to come forward to supply that deficiency, and protect Jamaica with a legislature which is able and willing to pass the laws which are absolutely necessary. I have heard, indeed, the objection stated by the right hon. Gentleman and others to this course; and I have heard the proposal of the right hon. Baronet, and many proposals which certainly are not very consistent with that proposal. But let us see what that proposal is which the right hon. Gentleman makes instead of the direct course which is submitted to them by the Government. The right hon. Gentleman (the Member for Tamworth) proposes that we should maintain the Prisons' Act; in that he directly contradicts the Assembly of Jamaica. He then proposed that, having so done, they should leave it to the Assembly of Jamaica to consider again of their course; and that then, if they should legislate for Jamaica to the satisfaction of the country, the Parliament should not proceed, but if they did not so legislate, that then Parliament should proceed with the bill. Now the Assembly of Jamaica must act in one of three ways. Let us first suppose that they adhere to their declarations. With regard to the proposition of the right hon. Baronet, I should expect, in the first place, according to that declaration, that they would refuse to enter into any legislation provided the Imperial Parliament maintained the Prisons' Act; that would be the natural consequence. Then the right hon. Baronet would propose next year to introduce the Suspension Bill; but a whole year would have been lost, a year in which great abuses might occur—a year in which all the relations of employer and workmen might he disturbed—a year in which whole classes of people, for want of sufficient protection, and having no security for their rights, would go from certain estates to live on wild lands. The loss of one year might be fatal to the future arrangement—to the future harmony of society; that I may say would be the first consequence. But let the House look at another argument which was put forward by the right hon. Member for Cambridge and by the Member for Newark, who told them that a great number of those negroes had acquired property and would be registered, and in the course of fifteen months, or next August, they would be able to vote at elections. That puts the argument I am going to state to the House in a stronger light, because they now had a great many persons who differed in opinion on the Jamaica question, who were ready to dissent from this bill, and, above all, the great majority of the persons who had always been zealously engaged on behalf of the negroes; but if they were to come next year and say, it was true that in three or four months a great many of the negroes would be ready to exercise the elective franchise, and just at that moment when the negroes were going to exercise their elective franchise we had taken that very moment to bring forward the bill, it would certainly have the appearance of distrusting the Negro population, and of fearing to admit them to have a voice in the legislature. That objection does not apply now, because for w considerable time these 2,200 electors would carry the majority of the Assembly; but I do say, that next year it would be a very questionable matter indeed for Parliament to enact a measure of this kind. But I am putting the case of the continued refusal of the Assembly. The next manner in which the Assembly may act, is what I conceive a still more likely case to happen, that in case of the Assembly resuming its func- tions, they would not really pass the bills for the good legislation of Jamaica, but bills which would have an appearance of complying with the wishes of Parliament, and the Imperial Parliament would be unable accurately to make out by any argument or statement whether these bills were such as answered the object in view, The noble Lord in bringing forward the Emancipation Bill had stated a case of this kind and at that time, directed more than half his speech against the Colonial Assemblies, showing that they were not to be trusted. The noble Lord's argument was so excellent and good that I wish every Member had read that argument before he came to the debate, and they would be convinced that they ought not to trust the Assembly of Jamaica. Amongst other things, the noble Lord said, It appears a compact, but it is the shadow, not the substance, The Assembly of Jamaica have appeared to do what you desired them, but they have not, in fact, done anything of the sort. If that were the case, that would be a justification of the Government coming down and stating, "Here are certain laws which the Jamaica House of Assembly have passed, but they are totally unsafe; they do not provide what was required; they do not provide for the welfare of Jamaica, and we ask Parliament to pass the Bill." Why, what would be stated? The agent for Jamaica, who has, I think, very considerable difficulty in arguing against this bill, would then have a sure task; we should be told by some intricate and ingenious argument, that some of those provisions of those Acts were sufficient, and some of the Members of the opposite side of the House would be asked to refuse to pass the Bill, as the bills passed by the Legislature of Jamaica had shown some attempts at Legislation, and they had better wait another year. For that reason, I say it is quite impossible for us to adopt the plan of the right hon. Gentleman. Thirdly, there does remain a possibility, a bare possibility that after that conduct of the Assembly, which Mr. Wilberforce declared he had watched from 1797, and had never found in favour of, or advantageous to, the negro—that that conduct which, from 1797 to 1838, had passed unchanged, should all of a sudden he totally altered, and the Assembly should he filled with kindness and beneficence towards the blacks. And if their legislature were of a totally different character, that is the bare possibility on which we are asked to reject this bill, and which I believe would destroy the chance of happiness which the negroes have. I will next state what has occurred to me with respect to this bill; I have stated another case, that I thought that this happened to be an occasion upon which many parties which had hitherto differed were disposed to agree; that it was better, in the present state of Jamaica— better, considering the temper shown by the Assembly—better, considering the helpless state of the negroes lately admitted to freedom, that there should be some supreme authority not likely to partake either of the passions of the masters or of the newly-awakened desires of the negroes. That has been the opinion I already stated in that House; that has been the opinion of those who have been the antislavery advocates in this country, and who have so long engaged in the sacred cause of propagating and supporting Christianity in Jamaica, men to whom, in spite of the blame which has been unjustly cast upon them this night, I believe we have to attribute the peaceable carrying into execution of the Emancipation Act. When I look to the dreadful scenes which occurred in former times, some thirty or forty years ago—at the horrid passions which have been let loose, and cruelties which have been exercised by the negroes, I cannot but think, when we see what has occurred to excite their passions, that the peaceable demeanour, the absence of crimes, the really virtuous conduct of the negroes, is in the main part owing to those excellent men who have imparted the truths of Christianity to those whom their masters had left in the darkness of ignorance. Such being the opinions of the advocates of abolition, there is likewise a portion of the most wealthy, and those who possess the largest property in the island of Jamaica, who are in favour of the bill, and who have passed resolutions which are signed by seventeen persons, whose names I am sure will attract the respect of all who were acquainted with property in Jamaica. The resolutions are, That they found first, that new laws were required to regulate the relations between employer and labourer, and landlord and tenant; that they were suffering severely from want of those laws, and that, unless they were speedily passed, the benefit of the emancipation would utterly fail. Secondly, that the House of Assembly had suspended its functions, and refused to take upon itself those functions, unless certain concessions were made by Parliament. The undersigned, therefore, looking at the present critical condition of the island of Jamaica, and considering that the conduct of the Legislature exposed it to great danger, do not hesitate to assign their conviction that a temporary government ought to be passed as speedily as possible, in the full reliance that the Crown would be able to govern with the sanction of the inhabitants of all classes. This was signed by Messrs. Colville, Lushington, Gordon, Birch, Hanbege, Plummer, and Wilson, W. Beck ford, Green, Long, W. A. Hankey, Amderbac, Morant, Martin, Long, Thos. L. Beckford, Morton, Dickinson, and by Lord Seaford. Now, this is the temper of several gentlemen connected with property in Jamaica. I regret to have to add, that it was the temper, also, of several more, who were prepared, when this bill was first introduced, to consider it the best measure that could be provided for the future welfare of Jamaica, but who do not now support it. I know not whether they have changed their opinions, but if they have changed them, I do not believe it is because they take a different view of the state, the prospects, and condition of Jamaica. No; it is on quite different grounds that their support has been withheld; it is because this question, which has been proposed by the Government on its own responsibility, as a measure which they think calculated for the welfare of one of our most valuable possessions, has been made a question for the interest of party. Therefore it is, that those who act thus, and were disposed to look favourably on the plan, and were disposed to think it calculated to secure the peace, and, in the end, to secure the happiness of the people of Jamaica, have been with held from giving their support, because they think that by withholding it they may be of some advantage to those who are now in expectancy, and of some injury to those who are now in possession. I am sorry to say, that too many proofs have come to my knowledge of parties who would do this. I trust, however, that the vote of the House this night will show, at all events, that such feelings have not been allowed much to operate. I can well understand that there may be per- sons who would say that, seeing all the circumstances of the case, it would be better for Jamaica—it would be better for her future freedom and prosperity, that the Assembly should not be interfered with by the Imperial Parliament. I have every respect for those who have come to that conclusion; but this I boldly say, that if there are those who, not having that opinion, refuse to support the bill by which the negroes may be benefitted, by which the planters may in the end be secured, because they belong to a different party from the Government, I say, that ally men who can so act, will, sooner or later, suffer under the reproaches of their own consciences, and the condemnation of their country.

The House divided:—Ayes 294; Noes 289—Majority 5.

List of the AYES.
Abercromby hn. G.R. Byng, right hon. G. S.
Adam, Admiral Callaghan, D.
Aglionby, H. A. Campbell, Sir J.
Aglionby, Major Campbell, W. F.
Ainsworth, P. Cave, R. O.
Alston, R. Cavendish, hon. C.
Andover, Viscount Cavendish, hon. G. H.
Anson, hon. Colonel Cayley, E. S.
Anson, Sir G. Chalmers, P.
Archbold, R. Chapman, Sir M.L.C.
Attwood, T. Chester, H.
Bainbridge, E. T. Chetwynd, Major
Baines, E. Chichester, J. P. B.
Bannerman, A. Childers, J. W.
Baring F. T. Clay, W.
Barnard, E. G. Clayton, Sir W. R.
Barry, G. S. Clements, Viscount
Beamish, F. B. Clive, E. B.
Bellew, R. M. Codrington, Admiral
Benett, J. Collier, J.
Berkeley, hon. C. Collins, W.
Berkeley, hon. G. Cowper, hon. W. F.
Berkeley, hon. H. Craig, W. G.
Bewes, T. Crawford, W.
Blackett, C. Crompton, Sir S.
Blake, W. J. Currie, R.
Blunt, Sir C. Curry, W.
Bodkin, J. J. Dalmeny, Lord
Bowes, J. Dashwood, G. H.
Brabazon, Lord Davies, Colonel
Bridgeman, H. Denison, W. J.
Briscoe, J. I. Dennistoun, J.
Brocklehurst, J. D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C.
Brodie, W. B. Divett, E.
Brotherton, J. Donkin, Sir R. S.
Browne, R. D. Duff, J.
Bryan, G. Duke, Sir J.
Buller, C. Dundas, C. W. D.
Buller, E. Dundas, F.
Bulwer, Sir L. Dundas, hon. J. C.
Butler, hon. Colonel Dundas, Sir R.
Byng, G. Easthope, J.
Edwards, Sir J. Labouchere, rt. hn. H.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Langdale, hon. C.
Ellice, Captain A. Lefevre, C. S.
Ellice, right hon. E. Lemon, Sir C.
Ellice, E. Lennox, Lord G.
Ellis, W. Lennox, Lord A.
Erle, W. Leveson, Lord
Etwall, R. Lister, E. C.
Euston, Earl of Loch, J.
Evans, Sir De L. Lushington, C.
Evans, G. Lushington, rt. hn. S.
Evans, W. Lynch, A. H.
Ewart, W. Macleod, R.
Fazakerley, J. N. Macnamara, Major
Fenton, J. M'Taggart, J.
Ferguson, Sir R. Maher, J.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Marshall, W.
Ferguson, R. Martin, J.
Finch, F. Maule, hon. F.
Fitzalan, Lord Melgund, Lord
Fitzgibbon, hon. Col. Mildmay, P. St. John
Fitzpatrick, J. W. Milton, Viscount
Fitzroy, Lord C. Moreton, hon. A. H.
Fitzsimon, N. Morpeth Viscount
Fleetwood, Sir P. H. Morris, D.
Fort, J. Murray, A.
French, F. Muskett, G. A.
Gibson, T. M. Nagle, Sir R.
Gordon, R. Noel, W. M.
Grattan, J. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Grattan, H. O'Brien, C.
Greenaway, C. O'Callaghan, hon. C.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir C. O'Connell, D.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. O'Connell, J.
Guest, Sir J. O'Connell, M. J.
Hall, Sir B. O'Connell, M.
Hallyburton, Ld. D.G. O'Connell, M.
Handley, H. O'Conor, Don
Harland, W. C. O'Ferrall, R. M.
Harvey, D. W. Ord, W.
Hastie, A. Paget, Lord A.
Hawes, B. Paget, F.
Hawkins, J. H. Palmer, C. F.
Hayter, W. G. Palmerston, Viscount
Heathcoat, J. Parker, J.
Heathcote, G. J. Parnell, rt. hn. Sir H.
Hector, C. J. Parrott, J.
Heneage, E. Pattison, J.
Hill, Lord A. M. C. Pease, J.
Hindley, C. Pechell, Captain
Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J. Philipps, Sir R.
Hobhouse, T. B. Philips, M.
Hodges, T. L. Philips, G. R.
Hollond, R. Phillpotts, J.
Horsman, E. Pigot, D. R.
Hoskins, K. Pinney, W.
Howard, F. J. Ponsonby, hon. J.
Howard, P. H. Power, J.
Howard, Sir R. Power, J.
Howick, Visct. Protheroe, E.
Humphery, J. Pryme, G.
Hurst, R. H. Pryse, P.
Hutt, W. Ramsbottom, J.
Hutton, R. Redington, T. N.
Ingham, R. Rice, E. R.
James, W. Rice, rt. hon. T. S.
Kinnaird, hon. A. F. Rich, H.
Rippon, C. Surrey, Earl of
Roche, E. B. Talbot, C. R. M.
Roche, W. Talfourd, Sergeant
Roche, Sir D. Tancred, H. W.
Rolfe, Sir R. M. Thorneley, T.
Rumbold, C. E. Tollemache, F. J.
Rundle, J. Townley, R. G.
Russell, Lord J. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Russell, Lord Turner, E.
Russell, Lord C. Verney, Sir H.
Rutherford, rt. hon. A. Vigors, N. A.
Salwey, Colonel Villiers, hon. C. P.
Sanford, E. A. Vivian, Major C.
Scholefield, J. Vivian, J. H.
Seale, Sir J. H. Vivian, rt. hn. Sir R.H.
Seymour, Lord Walker, R.
Sharpe, General Wall, C. B.
Sheil, R. L. Warburton, H.
Shelburne, Earl of Ward, H. G.
Smith, J. A Wemyss, J. E.
Smith, B. Westenra, hon. H. R.
Smith, G. R. Westenra, hon. J. C.
Smith, R. V. White, A.
Somers, J. P. Wilbraham, G.
Somerville, Sir W. M. Wilde, Sergeant
Speirs, A. Wilkins, W.
Spencer, hon. F. Williams, W. A.
Standish, C. Wilshere, W.
Stanley, M. Winnington, T. E.
Stanley, W. O. Winnington, H. J.
Stansfield, W. R. C. Wood, C.
Staunton, Sir G. T. Wood, Sir M.
Stewart, J. Wood, G. W.
Stuart, Lord J. Worsley, Lord
Stuart, V. Wrightson, W. B.
Stock, Dr. Yates, J. A.
Strangways, hon. J.
Strickland, Sir G. TELLERS.
Strutt, E. Steuart, R.
Style, Sir C. Stanley, E. J.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Blackburne, I.
Acland, T. D. Blackstone, W. S.
A'Court, Captain Blair, J.
Adare, Viscount Blandford, Mar. of
Alford, Lord Blennerhassett, A.
Alsager, Captain Boldero, H. G.
Arbuthnot, hon. H. Bolling, W.
Archdall, M. Bradshaw, J.
Ashley, Lord Bramston, T. W.
Attwood, W. Broadley, H.
Attwood, M. Broadwood, H.
Bagge, W. Brownrigg, S.
Bagot, hon. W. Bruce, Lord E.
Bailey, J. Bruges, W. H. L.
Bailey, J. jun. Buck, L. W.
Baillie, Colonel Buller, Sir J. Y.
Baker, E. Burr, H.
Baring, hon. F. Burrell, Sir C.
Baring, hon. W. B. Burroughes, H. N.
Barneby, J. Calcraft, J. H.
Barrington, Viscount Campbell, Sir H.
Bateson, Sir R. Canning, rt. hon. Sir S.
Bell, M. Cantilupe, Lord
Bentinck, Lord G. Cartwright, W. R.
Bethell, R. Castlereagh, Viscount
Chapman, A. Greene, T.
Christopher, R. A. Grimsditch, T.
Chute, W. L. W. Grimston, Viscount
Clerk, Sir G. Grimston, hon. E. H.
Clive, hon. R. H. Grote, G.
Codrington, C. W. Halford, H.
Cole, hon. A. H. Hardinge, right hon.
Cole, Viscount Sir H.
Colquhoun, J. C. Hawkes, T.
Compton, H. C. Hayes, Sir E.
Conolly, E. Heathcote, Sir W.
Coote, Sir C. H. Heneage, G. W.
Copeland, Alderman Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Corry, hon. H. Herbert, hon. S.
Courtenay, P. Herries, rt. hon. J. C.
Cresswell, C. Hill, Sir R.
Cripps, J. Hillsborough, Earl
Dalrymple, Sir A. Hinde, J. H.
Damer, hon. D. Hodgson, F.
Darby, G. Hodgson, R.
Darlington, Earl of Holmes, hn. W. A'C.
De Horsey, S. H. Holmes, W.
Dick, Q. Hope, hon. C.
D'Israeli, B. Hope, H. T.
Dottin, A. R. Hope, G. W.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Hotham, Lord
Dowdeswell, W. Houldsworth, T.
Duffield, T. Houstoun, G.
Dugdale, W. S. Howard, hon. W.
Dunbar, G. Hughes, W. B.
Duncombe, T. Hume, J.
Duncombe, hon. W. Hurt, F.
Duncombe, hon. A. Ingestrie, Visct.
Dungannon, Lord Inglis, Sir R. H.
Du Pre, G. Irton, S.
East, J. B. Jackson, Serjeant
Eastnor, Lord James, Sir W. C.
Eaton, R. J. James, W.
Egerton, W. T. Jenkins, Sir R.
Egerton, Sir P. Jermyn, Earl
Egerton, Lord F. Jervis, J.
Eliot, Lord Johnstone, H.
Ellis, J. Jones, Captain
Estcourt, T. Jones, J.
Estcourt, T. Jones, W.
Farnham, E. B. Kelly, F.
Farrand, R. Kemble, H.
Feilden, W. Kelburne, Lord
Fector, J. M. Kirk, P.
Fellowes, E. Knatchbull, hon. Sir E.
Filmer, Sir E. Knight, H. G.
Fleming, J. Knightley, Sir C.
Foley, E. T. Knox, hon. T.
Forester, hon. G. Lascelles, hon. W. S.
Fox, G. L. Law, hon. C. E.
Freshfield, J. W. Leader, J. T.
Gaskell, J. M. Lefroy, rt. hon. T.
Gladstone, W. E. Liddell, hon. H. T.
Glynne, Sir S. R. Lincoln, Earl of
Godson, R. Litton, E.
Gordon, hon. Captain Lockhart, A. M.
Gore, O. W. Long, W.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Lowther, hon. Colonel
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Lowther, Lord
Granby, Marquess Lowther, J. H.
Grant, hon. Colonel Lucas, E.
Grant, F. W. Lygon, hon. General
Mackenzie, T. Reid, Sir J. R.
Mackenzie, W. F. Richards, R.
Mackinnon, W. A. Rickford, W.
Maclean, D. Rolleston, L.
Mahon, Viscount Rose, rt. hon. Sir G.
Maidstone, Viscount Round, C. G.
Manners, Lord C. S. Round, J.
Marsland, T. Rushbrooke, Colonel
Marton, G. St. Paul, H.
Master, T. W. C. Sanderson, R.
Mathew, G. B. Sandon, Lord
Maunsell, T. P. Scarlett, hon. J. Y.
Maxwell, hon. S. R. Shaw, right hon. F.
Meynell, Captain Sheppard, T.
Miles, W. Shirley, E. J.
Miles, P. W. S. Sibthorp, Colonel
Miller, W. H. Sinclair, Sir G.
Milnes, R. M. Smith, A.
Molesworth, Sir W. Smyth, Sir G. H.
Mordaunt, Sir J. Somerset, Lord G.
Morgan, C. M. R. Stanley, E.
Neeld, J. Stanley, Lord
Neeld, J. Stewart, J.
Nicholl, J. Stormont, Lord
Norreys, Lord Sturt, H. C.
O'Brien, W. S. Teignmouth, Lord
O'Neil, hon. J. B. R. Tennent, J. E.
Ossulston, Lord Thomas, Colonel H.
Owen, Sir J. Thompson, Alderman
Packe, C. W. Trench, Sir F.
Pakington, J. S. Turner, W.
Palmer, R. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Palmer, G. Vere, Sir C. B.
Parker, M. Verner, Colonel
Parker, R. T. Vernon, G. H.
Parker, T. A. W. Villiers, Lord
Patten, J. W. Vivian, J. E.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Waddington, H. S.
Peel, J. Wakley, T.
Pemberton, T. Walsh, Sir J.
Perceval, Colonel Welby, G. E.
Perceval, hon. G. J. Wilbraham, hon. B.
Pigot, R. Williams, R.
Planta, right hon. J. Williams, T. P.
Plumptre, J. P. Wodehouse, E.
Polhill, F. Wood, Colonel T.
Pollen, Sir J. W. Wood, T.
Pollock, Sir F. Wyndham, W.
Powell, Colonel Yorke, hon. E. T.
Powerscourt, Visct. Young, J.
Praed, W. M. Young, Sir W.
Praed, W. T.
Pringle, A. TELLERS.
Pusey, P. Baring, H.
Rae, rt. hon. Sir W. Freemantle, Sir T.
Paired off.
Burdett, Sir F. Lambton, H.
Blakemore, R. Pendarves, G. W.
Clive, Lord Viscount Goring, H. D.
Cooper, G. J. White, H.
Crewe, Sir G. Walker, C. A.
Davenport, J Scrope, G. P.
Douro, Marquess of Duncan, Lord
Fitzroy, hon. H. Heron, Sir R.
Follett, Sir W. W. Crawley, S.
Gore, W. O. Slaney, R. A.
Hall, R. B. Ponsonby, hon, C.
Harcourt, G. S. Wallace, R.
Henniker, Lord Acheson, Lord
Hogg, J. W. Price, Sir R.
Kerrison, Sir R. Wilmot, Sir J. E.
Price, R. Conyngham, Lord A.
Rushout, G. Busfield, W.
Spry, Sir S. Talbot, J. H.
Sugden, rt. hn. Sir E. Marsland, H.
Thornhill, G. Blake, M. J.
Trevor, hon. G. R. Colquhoun, Sir J.
Whitmore, T. White, L.
Wynn, Sir W. W. Thomson, rt hn. C. P.
Wynn, rt. hon. C. W. Barron, H. W.
Conservatives who voted with Ministers.
Gibson, J. M. Tollemache, hon. J.T.
Ingham, R. Wall, C. B.
Neel, hon. W. M.
The following voted with Sir R. Peel against the Bill:
Duncombe, T. Leader, J. T.
Grote, G. Molesworth, Sir W.
Hume, J. O'Brien, W. S.
Jervis, J. Turner, W.
Jervis, S. Wakley, T.
Bentinck, Lord W. Heathcote, Sir G.
(abroad) Johnson, General
Bernal, R. Langton, G.
Blewitt, R. J. Martin, T.
Brabazon. Sir W. White, S. (abroad)
Fielden, J. Williams, W.
Gillon, W. D. Wyse, T.
Grosvenor, Lord R.
Ashley, hon. H. Irving, J.
Goddard, A. Ker, D.
Harcourt, G. G. V. Monypenny, T. G.
Summary of the Division.
Majority for the Bill (tellers included) 296
Minority against (tellers included) 291
Pairs (24) 48
Ministerialists absent 14
Conservatives absent 6
Vacant—Tyrone and Carlow 2
Speaker 1

The House went into Committee pro formâ, and immediately resumed and adjourned.