HC Deb 25 June 1840 vol 55 cc76-108

Lord J. Russell moved the Order of the Day for going into Committee on the Sugar Duties' Bill.

House in Committee.

On the first clause being put,

Mr. Ewart

said, he felt himself called on, in answer to invitations he had received from many quarters, to make again an attempt to bring forward the subject of the Sugar Duties, although he should put the motion in another shape from that into which he had last year thrown it. The price of sugar did not much affect the rich, but it was a subject which came home to the business and bosoms of the poor. Now, the foreign artisan paid but 4½d per lb. for his sugar, while the English artisan had to pay as much as 10d. when it was refined. Even for the worst unrefined article he had to pay 7½d., while the foreign artisan only paid 4½d. for a much better article. The consequence was, that many poor people were driven to the use of treacle as a substitute for sugar, and they paid even for that 1d. per 1b. more than was paid by the foreign artisan for sugar. As a natural result, the quantity of sugar imported had diminished. In the year 1832, the quantity of sugar imported amounted to 220,000 tons; but by the last returns, it appeared that the quantity now imported was only 193,000 tons, showing a falling off in seven years of 27,000 tons. Upon a comparison of the last ten years, it appears that the imports of the West India sugar had decreased by 40,000 tons, and taking the ten years between 1820 and 1830, there was a diminution to the extent of 50,000 tons. It should be borne in mind, that in the meantime the population had increased, and if the price of sugar had not been too high the consumption would have been greater than before, and the imports would have increased instead of being diminished. This year the diminution promised to be in a larger proportion than in former years, and it was probable that the imports of this year would be less than those of last year to the extraordinary amount of 12,000 tons. Hon. Gentlemen might suppose that there was a large stock of sugar on hand, and that this might account for the decrease in the imports, but the stock in hand was very low. The deliveries of West India sugar in May last amounted to 1,540 tons per week, and to meet those deliveries, the stock on hand was 3,870 tons, being only sufficient to supply the demand for two or three weeks. Again, to meet the deliveries in May last, there were required of all sugars, West India, Mauritius, and Bengal, 2,180 tons per week, and the whole stock on hand in the country amounted to 8,300 tons, so that there was not enough to last for more than a single month. Now, the price of British colonial sugar in bond was exactly 49s. per cwt, and the price of foreign free labour sugar was but 22s. It followed, therefore, that we paid 123 per cent, for colonial above foreign sugar, and taking the annual consumption to be 200,000 tons, we were consequently taxed to favour the colonies to an amount ranging between 4,000,000l. and 5,000,000l. per annum. The effect of this high price of sugar was the same as in the case of other articles, and the consumption was greatly diminished. He would now proceed to show that the revenue would be materially benefitted by a reduction of the duty. He would suppose that the duty on foreign sugar was reduced from 63s. to 34s., and taking the present consumption to be 200,000 tons, and the annual increase of the population to be fifteen per cent., the existing consumption would be increased by 30,000 tons, which would give 1,000,000^. a-year to the revenue. This would be the result of the reduction of the duty on foreign sugar. He must say, that he was strongly inclined to reduce the duty on West India sugar also, and in the motion which he should submit to the House, he should certainly have made a proposition to that effect, but he was not quite sure that the revenue would come round all at once, although he had no doubt that it would ultimately, but these were not the halcyon days of the Exchequer, and he was averse from making any proposition which might embarrass his right hon. Friend at the head of that department. He begged, however, to press upon his right hon. Friend's attention the danger which was to be apprehended to the revenue, if from the present high price of sugar the people should become disused to its consumption. The habit once lost, might not be resumed. His wish was to propose that a reduction of the duties should be made in favour of free labour sugar only, as he was anxious to confine the benefit of the proposed reduction to the manufacturers of sugar not made by slaves. But his right hon. Friend, the President of the Board of Trade, had stated that we could not make this reduction in favour of free labour sugar without violating existing treaties. The treaty with Brazil stood in the way, as its terms did not allow us to admit into this country any sugar at a lower rate of duty than that charged upon the produce of Brazil. The treaty with Brazil would expire in 1842, properly speaking, but as two years notice was to be given, probably it would continue in force for three or four years longer. He admitted that, while that treaty was in existence, there was some difficulty in reducing the duty on sugar produced by free labour in other countries. But would the Chancellor of the Exchequer wait four years, leaving the sugar market in its pre- sent state, and take no step in advance for the admission of foreign sugar generally? His views were quite in accordance with those of many persons out of that House, who were anxious for the extinction of slavery, as well as of many hon. Gentleman within it; and, therefore, he came forward to propose the reduction of the duties on foreign sugars generally. He did so in the fullest confidence that the power of free labour was equal, nay superior, to slave labour. He was not afraid that free labour should encounter slave labour in the markets of the world, for it was his belief that it would beat its rival. Free labour sugar was produced in Siam, China, Manilla, and Java, and sent to the continental markets to compete with slave produce; and it was most successful in its competition, both with regard to quantity and quality. Last year he had stated, that in quantity it exceeded 56,000 tons, and since then it had considerably increased, while it had vastly improved in quality. He was not singular in his opinion on the great superiority of free labour over slave labour. Many ardent abolitionists entertained that opinion, but it was not confined to them. Even in the island of Cuba it was beginning to prevail. A society had been established there, having for its object the mitigation and final abolition of slavery, and conversant as the founders of that society were with slavery, it was worthy of remark, that they commenced their operations by laying down this axiom—" the labour of one free man is equal to that of two slaves." But that was no new doctrine. It was as old as Homer, who had immortalized it in his verses. He was not going to quote the original Greek. No: he would leave that to the hon. Member for Lambeth. The day that makes a man a slave, Takes half his worth away. Those who desired to abolish the slave trade, should look to commerce as the grand instrument by which that object was to be achieved. He did not believe that the iniquitous traffic was to be put down by gun-boats on the western coast of Africa, or by the warfare of duties. Neither naval armaments, nor military power, nor grants of money, would procure liberty for the slave and make that liberty permanent. By commerce, and by commercial intercourse only, was that object to be accomplished. Not only did the present high rate of duties exclude the sugar of those countries which he had mentioned, but even if Africa herself were to enter on the cultivation of sugar, her industry and infant commerce would be stifled and destroyed. It was said, that the high duties must be continued until the West Indies recovered themselves. But he contended, that the safest and speediest modes of effecting that object would be first to reduce the duties; secondly, to give the West Indies the proper means of increasing their industry by facilitating emigration, taking care that it proceed in a proper manner under the authority of the Government, so that it could not be abused. The third plan was to give to the West Indian interest the benefit of competition; they should encounter in the markets other sugar, other coffee, other cocoa, and then, the manufacture of sugar, like other trades, would be more vigorous and successful than it possibly could be under the present unnatural monopoly. Monopoly was a misfortune to commerce, and to the sugar growers themselves. If they took an unprejudiced view of the question, they would be convinced that such was the fact. The hon. Member for Kilkenny had decorated the walls of the library of the House with Walker's Mercantile Chart, from which it appeared that those countries which most enjoyed the privilege of monopoly were subject to the greatest fluctuation of prices. Not only was the present high rate of duly detrimental to commerce, but to the public of this country. The people were now beginning, in large masses, to abandon intoxicating drinks and to use the more temperate beverages, coffee and tea. They should, therefore, have sugar placed within their reach. Mr. Huskisson, in 1829, stated in that House, that of the poor, who were consumers of coffee in this country, only two-thirds could afford to use sugar with their coffee. That was the result of the high price of sugar. The number of coffee-shops in the metro-polis had wonderfully increased within the last few years. In l811, he believed there was but one coffee-shop; now there were about 2,000. These places were frequented by the labourer and the artisan, and other persons in the lower ranks of society, who heretofore were accustomed to spend their leisure hours in ale-houses. These coffee-shops appeared to him to be highly favourable to the morals of the working classes, and be thought it would be much more advantageous to encourage them and give them upon cheap terms the means of carrying on their trade, than to afford facilities to dealers in intoxicating liquors. Not only were those coffee-shops free from intoxicating drinks, but they had the further merit of aiding in the diffusion of knowledge, for they were usually filled with literary periodicals and with newspapers, yet the Government refused to lower the Sugar Duties, although the demand for sugar was now, owing to the marked change in the manners of the people, much greater than it had ever been. The present question, however important it might be, was only part of a much more extended question, namely, that which involved the great principle of reducing duties with a view to an increase of the revenue. The hon. Member concluded by moving an addition to the clause, to reduce the duties payable upon foreign sugar, from 63s. per cwt. to 34s.

Mr. Thornley

seconded the motion. He was convinced that the time was now arrived, when both as regarded the consumption of the country and the benefit of the revenue, the prohibitory duty on the importation of foreign sugar ought to be removed. The duty paid annually on the importation of sugar for home consumption amounted to 4,600,000l., at a duty of 24s. per cent.; and as colonial sugar was now 24s. per cent, dearer than foreign sugar, this country was paying annually 4,600,000l. additional, in consequence of the prohibition of foreign sugar. There had been a strong feeling against the Corn-laws during the last two years, although both Houses had recently signified their approbation of them; but, with respect to corn, we had at least the advantage of a sliding scale of duty, whereby as prices rose, the duty was reduced; and, at the present moment, after two bad harvests, wheat was admissable at 18s. 8d. per quarter, being a duty of about 40 per cent, ad valorem. Whereas, with a supply of sugar from our own colonies totally inadequate to our consumption, the duty on foreign sugar remained at 63s. per cwt., or about 300 per cent, above the price in bond. The reduction of the sugar duties was not a new question; for in 1829 Mr. Charles Grant moved that the duty on British plantation sugar should be reduced to 20s., East India 25s., and foreign 28s., and the motion was lost by only thirty-eight votes—the numbers being ninety-eight to sixty. Surely then the motion of his hon. Friend was worthy of consideration. A distinction had been attempted to be drawn between free labour sugar and slave labour sugar; but those who drew these distinctions should, on the same principle, prohibit everything, the produce of slave labour. They should begin by prohibiting the importation of cotton wool from the United States and the Brazils, and by so doing they would at once throw a million and a half of our artizans out of employment. They should then prohibit the importation of tobacco, an article which produced a revenue of three millions and a half annually. But foreign sugar, whether the produce of free or slave labour—for the refiner bought the cheapest sugar in the market, without reference to its origin—was at this moment refined in bond, and exported to the different British colonies, and to the West Indian colonies as well as the others, so that the West India colonists actually purchased foreign sugar for their own consumption, so as to enable them to send the whole of the crops to England, and thus obtain the monopoly price for the whole they produced. He held in his hand a return of foreign sugar refined in bond, and exported between the 1st of January and the 5th of July in last year: and he found that whilst our people at home were confined to the dear sugars of our own colonies, we were refining foreign sugars in bond, and exporting them to various parts of the world, and especially supplying our colonies in New South Wales, in North America, and even the West Indies. The trade of refining in bond was now carried on to a great extent, for he found from the price current, that in Liverpool alone there were sold in bond last week, for refining, 250 cases, 930 bags and barrels of Brazil sugar, and 109 boxes 110 casks of Cuba sugar. Our merchants carried on a large trade with the Brazils, and they must take sugar and coffee in exchange, although the produce of slave labour; and if they were not permitted to import them into this country, they would send them to Hamburgh or Rotterdam. He had presented, on Friday, a petition from Wolverhampton, signed by 4,000 persons, praying for a reduction in the duty on sugar. He was not aware of such a petition being originated, and had not suggested it; but his friend, who apprized him of it, stated "It was a sad state of things that it should be necessary for us to petition our Legislature to do that which every man of common sense knows ought to hare been done long ago." He quite agreed with this correspondent, and would only add that after increasing the various estimates of the public expenditure, and imposing new taxes, if the House did not afford the relief suggested by his hon. Friend, he should consider this the most discouraging session that had ever occurred since he had the honour of a seat in the House.

Mr. Labouchere

was sure the committee would feel that the hon. Member for Wigan, (Mr. Ewart) need not have commenced his speech by making any apology for bringing a question of this sort before the House. Whether regarded in a financial, a commercial, or a colonial point of view, the question was one of such great importance as to render it at all times an extremely proper subject to be discussed in that branch of the Legislature. He must also admit, that there were circumstances connected with the subject—circumstances which had led numerous bodies of persons interested in the great branches of trade to petition Parliament, which at the present moment rendered it natural and proper, even more than at any other lime, that the question should be seriously considered by the House of Commons. For his own part, although he was not prepared to come to the conclusion to which his hon. Friend invited him, he rejoiced that the attention of the House, and through the House the attention of the country, should be called to this subject, because he believed that, in many respects, a very mistaken idea prevailed regarding the duties on sugar and the effect produced by them. He was not at all disposed to deny that the present state of things with regard to the sugar trade could not be looked upon without concern and apprehension. In point of fact, a great revolution had been effected in that trade. Until recently, our own colonial possessions produced so much sugar that they were not only able adequately and completely to supply the market of this country, but to furnish a surplus, which having been refined in England, was subsequently exported for the consumption of other nations. The changes which had lately taken place in the domestic economy of our West India possessions, had un- doubtedly produced this effect, that whilst the population of this country was materially increasing, the produce of the colonies had fallen off to such a degree as to render them incapable of supplying the wants of the British market. The consequence was, that whereas formerly they possessed only a nominal monopoly of the British market, they now possessed a real and positive monopoly of it. Undoubtedly, in a legal point of view, they possessed no greater monopoly at the present moment than in previous years; but whilst the produce of the colonies was greater than the consumption in England, and whilst the surplus imported into this country was exported to other countries, the price in England was of course very much regulated by the prices abroad. But now that the produce of the colonies was so reduced as to be inadequate even to the demands of the British market, the monopoly, instead of being merely nominal, became real and positive. The result, which he did not wish to conceal from the House, was this—that at the present moment the price of sugar was high to an unexampled degree—higher than it had ever been since the year 1814. He was compelled to admit that fact; and also to admit that the supply had this year been unusually and extremely small; that the distress in the sugar trade was great, and that the injury inflicted upon the consumer was very considerable. He agreed with his hon. Friend (Mr. Ewart) that the stock in hand of colonial sugar was short and scanty to a degree which, he believed of late years, had never been equalled. Therefore if, on looking at this question, he were to do so merely in a financial and commercial point of view—if he applied to it only the ordinary rules by which the House ought to be guided in discussing matters of this kind—rules which involved the extension of a due protection to the colonies, to the consumers of colonial produce, and to the trade of this country—he should have no hesitation in saying that an abundant case had been made out for a reduction of the duty upon foreign sugar, to such an extent, as should admit of its importation into this country. But could they for a moment induce themselves to say that the whole question of sugar and of the sugar trade was one of that simple nature? Could they for a moment induce themselves to say that this question was not one which they were bound to con- sider in connexion with many others? Could they bring themselves to believe that they would be meeting the real wishes of their constituents, or that they would be doing their duty to the country, if in dealing with this question they excluded the consideration of other matters of a very important nature, which they were bound to bear in their minds when they attempted to deal with anything affecting the interests of the sugar producing colonies. He had felt it his duty to look over the great majority of the petitions which had been presented from the large towns, praying for an alteration of the sugar duties, and had directed his attention especially to the petition from Sheffield. What was the prayer of that petition? The petitioners did not pray for that which the motion of his hon. Friend required. They did not ask that foreign sugar should be admitted into the markets of this country indiscriminately—but merely that sugar, the produce of free labour, might be allowed to be introduced under such advantages as to exclude all sugar the produce of slave labour. Now, it was important that the country generally, should understand that the prayer to admit free labour sugar to the exclusion of slave labour sugar was a prayer to which the Government could not assent; because they could not admit a single pound of free-labour sugar from other parts of the world without violating solemn engagements into which they had entered with the Brazils, the United States of North America, and with other sugar producing countries. The motion of his hon. Friend was for the admission of foreign sugar generally—whether that foreign sugar were the produce of free labour or of slave labour. His hon. Friend had said, that he felt a deep interest in the welfare of the negro, and that he should be ready to make great sacrifices to secure his freedom and improve his condition. And then his hon. Friend proceeded to say—" I have very great faith in free labour, and am satisfied that it will come into successful competition with slave labour." Ultimately that might be the case. He hoped it might; but considering that they were now legislating only foe a single year, he thought no man could say that the effect of his hon. Friend's resolution, if carried, would be to let in any great quantity of foreign sugar from those distant countries where the labour was free. No one, he thought, could entertain a doubt that within the limited period to which this measure would extend, the great mass of the foreign sugar imported into this country would be from the Brazils—a country which was comparatively near to us, and with which we carried on a large and valuable trade. In the Brazils no sugar was produced except by slave labour. He confessed that he felt it to be a very painful duty to oppose this motion; but the question he had to ask himself was this, whether he would this year consent to give such a stimulus to slave labour in the Brazils, and other countries where slaves were employed, as would be produced by throwing open the market of this country to the reception of their sugar? He owned he was not able to make up his mind that that was a course which he ought to recommend to the House. He did not believe that it would be agreeable to their constituents when they came to understand all the facts of the case. He knew it might be said that these distinctions about free labour and slave labour were absurd, and quite inconsistent with the policy of this country in other respects. His hon. Friend, the Member for Wolverhampton (Mr. Thornely) had advanced that argument, and in proof of its accuracy, had referred to the commodities of tobacco, cotton, and coffee, which were the produce of slave labour, but which were, nevertheless, imported in very large quantities into this country. He was not prepared to say that upon this subject the course of legislation in England had been consistent, but he thought that a broad distinction was to be drawn between the importation of sugar and the importation of tobacco and cotton. It was to be borne in mind that the two latter commodities did not enter into competition with any similar articles raised by free labour in our own colonies. There was this distinction, also, to be drawn with respect to coffee, that our own colonies had never possessed, the exclusive market of this country for the supply of it. But the question now was, whether we should this year throw into the British market a large quantity of slave grown sugar. Without pledging himself to any abstract opinion upon the question, he must again say that he was not prepared to recommend the committee to assent to the proposal of his hon. Friend. Several gentlemen connected with the colonial interest had urged upon him an argument which he certainly thought entitled to much weight. They stated that there were many circumstances which pressed very hardly upon them in the course of the year just gone by, and they held out expectations which he thought not without foundation, and which he sincerely hoped might be realised, that the present deficient supply from the West Indies was only temporary, and that they entertained hopes of being able not only to revive, but to extend the cultivation of the sugar-cane. On looking at the returns which had been laid before Parliament upon the subject, he found that the total supply of sugar entered for home consumption had been very nearly stationary since the year 1830. This, with a constantly and rapidly increasing population, showed that the supply of late years must have been deficient, and it appeared from the returns that this deficiency rested entirely with the West India colonies. He found that the diminution in the supply from that part of our possessions was gradual for the first five years, but most rapid and sudden within the last four-and-twenty months; for on referring to the returns he saw that whereas in 1838 there were imported from the West Indies 3,500,000 cwts. of sugar, in 1839 the quantity imported from the same quarter fell down to 2,822,000cwt. He found, also, that whilst this diminution was going on in the supply from the West Indies, the quantity imported from the East Indies and the Mauritius considerably increased—so much so that last year there was imported from those distant regions no less a quantity than l,131,000cwt. That fact, undoubtedly, justified a hope that we might look to that quarter for a very considerable supply of this necessary article of consumption. But when he came to look more closely into what had been the cause of the short supply from the West Indies, he certainly found some reason to hope that the assertions made by the Gentlemen connected with those colonies were sot without foundation, and that the short supply of last year had been very much occasioned by causes which there was every ground to hope would not apply to the produce of another year. It had been alleged, and he thought with truth, that immediately after the termination of the apprenticeship system, there was a very great indisposition on the part of the negroes to apply themselves to that which was the most laborious of all their occupations—the putting in of the sugar-cane; and that the colonies were at this moment feeling the effect of the imperfect cultivation which ensued. That difficulty, however, was in a great measure overcome, and, in another year, it was not expected to operate to anything like the extent to which it had prevailed during the last two or three years. There was another circumstance of a local and temporary nature, which very much affected the supply from the West Indies. There had been a season of peculiar drought in some of those possessions from which we usually looked for a large supply of sugar. It was stated by the Governor of Demerara that in that colony alone the drought had been such as to cause a diminution of at least one-third of the ordinary crop. These were all reasons which might lead the House to hope that the present deficiency was only of a temporary nature. But be that as it might, he believed that the people of this country required the great experiment which they had undertaken to be fairly tried, and he was satisfied that they would think it was not fairly-tried if at this moment, when the colonists were struggling with such difficulties as he had described, and which were mainly incidental upon the alterations which the experiment necessarily introduced into the social condition of the West Indies—we were to open the flood-gates of a foreign supply, and to inundate the British market with sugar, the produce of slave labour. He did not know that it would be necessary for him to trouble the committee with any further observations. He rejoiced that the subject had been brought forward—rejoiced that it had been fairly laid before the House, but after the best consideration he could bestow upon the subject, he came to the conclusion, that it would not be consistent with his duty to recommend the committee to make any alteration in the present year in the duty on foreign sugar.

Mr. Hume

thought that many of the statements and arguments advanced by the right hon. Gentleman ought to have brought him to a different conclusion. He (Mr. Hume) was of opinion that the House had been very culpable for years past in refusing to reduce the duty on foreign sugar, It was originally levied as a war tax, under a solemn pledge that it should be reduced on the return of peace. Since the year 1818, various attempts had been made to effect a reduction, but none of them had been attended with the success they deserved. In dealing with this question the House had two points to consider—the one, the situation of the West Indies, and the other the situation of this country. It was said that the West Indies were suffering from a deficiency in the supply of labour. He thought that the Government was very culpable in not taking the necessary steps to remedy the deficiency, by facilitating the immigration of free labourers. He thought the conduct of the Government, when the Colonial Passengers' Bill was under discussion in that House, was quite inconsistent with the arguments now advanced by the right hon. Gentleman, the President of the Board of Trade. He believed that if a general permission were given to transmit free labour, under proper regulations, from those parts of our possessions where employment was not to be had to those other parts where labour was in the utmost demand, the best results would ensue. He was most anxious to see the experiment of free labour fairly tried. He was satisfied that the best way of putting down slave labour was to show that free labour was the more valuable of the two. He entirely concurred in the motion of his hon. Friend, though he regretted that it did not go much further. With regard to the revenue, he was quite satisfied that it would be benefitted by the alteration proposed. He thought that Government ought to take the proposition of his hon. Friend into their consideration. The people of England had privations enough, without being deprived of sugar, which had now become a necessary article of existence. The Legislature ought, therefore, to lessen its price so as to bring it within the power of those to purchase to whom it is now denied.

Mr. Hawes

would support the motion, notwithstanding he had voted against the Colonial Passengers' Bill: he saw no inconsistency in doing so; the whole question then was, whether free labour could be introduced into the Mauritius. He had opposed this because he thought, with others, that they needed more information on the subject, and because he was not altogether sure that the class of persons they proposed to introduce were free agents. The whole of the arguments of the President of the Board of trade were in favour of a reduction of the duty; but then, said that right hon. Gentleman, "do not make the alteration just now, till we have obtained some fair experience of the working of the system in the West Indies." But such language was only telling the people of England that they must pay 4,000,000l. more till they saw whether the West Indies could or could not produce a greater quantity of sugar. Was there any weight in the argument for a future increase of sugar? To be convinced of this, they would have to wait an indefinite time. There were about 3,800,000 cwts. of sugar introduced for home consumption when slavery was in full operation. In 1838, the first year of the abolition of the apprenticeship system, there were 3,369,000 cwts. In 1839, 2,790,000 cwts., there being a difference of half a million cwts. between 1838 and 1839. He was informed that next year there would be still a further short-coming, so that altogether they would have deficiency of not less than 1,000,000 cwts. Could any Gentleman state that there was the least probability of the produce being increased to that amount. It was wholly visionary to suppose it could be. The interests of the consumers were entirely neglected in that House. The price of sugar abroad was from 21s. to 22s. while in this country it was 48s. per cwt. Why, then, were the people taxed to that amount? The only reason was, that the Government sought to confine the growing of sugar to our own colonies, but he contended that that was adverse to the interests of the people of this country. Could they expect to receive the same revenue from the duty on sugar if the high price continued as they would do if the price was reduced? Suppose a reduction should take place next year what would be the consequence? Would they not find Government proposing another additional five per cent, to the general taxation? He must say, that the whole question was one which reflected no credit on the House. Their whole attention was given in reference to the interests of special classes. He wished they could understand the cost and the misery such an artificial system of legislation inflicted on the people of this country. He had presented that day a petition from 5,000 persons on this subject, and what answer was to be given them? None. The minister had only to say that he would support the shipping of the colonial interest, and he was sure of the support of the landed interest, while all the three combined against the interests of the people. If political power was always to be adverse to the consumer, they would find that class gain strength, and when their strength and indignation had gained its height, then it would be that the House would find the constitution to be one of paper, without the respect or affection of the people to support it in the day of trial. He trusted, however, they would give this subject a fair consideration.

Sir S. Lushington

was the representative of no particular interest, but of 400,000 persons, consumers of the article on which they were debating. The hon. Member for Lambeth, had thought fit to assume an opinion, for the consumers, and further to assume that that opinion was in favour of the present proposition. He doubted this. If the hon. Member could test public opinion on this question, he would find, looking to the consequences of the motion—that even the sense of individual convenience would give way to a great public good. He represented a constituency of 400,000 persons, among whom were some of the great sugar refiners, and as far as interest was concerned, he for his own part was desirous that the whole Community should obtain their sugars at the lowest price. This was especially the interest of the Sugar refiners who had so materially suffered under their recent misfortunes. But he was also the representative of the community of Great Britain, and he was not prepared to say, that considering all the principles which they professed to maintain, and which he thought they would still prefer, they could ever be induced to accede to the present proposition. His hon. Friend thought they would prefer to have their sugar at a lower price to the great object to which they had directed themselves. His opinion was, that they were not actuated by views of lucre alone. He believed that they had higher and superior views. It was impossible to admit foreign sugar free. He would be glad to admit sugar both from Siam and Manilla, but this country was under an obligation which it could not depart from. Were the circumstances such that they ought to admit slave-grown sugar? He admitted that a diminution in the price generally increased the consumption of an article, but looking to the history of the sugar question—to the present position of this country in reference to that question—looking to the principles and practice of Great Britain, he hoped they would not, in consequence of the high price of sugar, at once—all at once—when emancipation had but just taken place, despair of the effects of that great measure, or in utter hopelessness that free labour was able to compete with slave labour, abandon that great experiment as an utter failure. He had taken some pains to inquire into the grounds for future expectations on this subject, and if the committee would allow him, he would state to them the actual state of the case, as compared with the year 1832, the year antecedent to the passing of the Emancipation Act. He would compare the quantity of sugar imported in January 1833, with the quantity imported on the.5th January 1840. He would show the deficiency, and would account for that deficiency. For nine parts out often there were accidental circumstances, and not permanent causes. He had reduced the whole to cwts., because a hogshead very often was a disputed amount; sometimes it contained 22 cwts., at other times only 12 cwts. The total exported from the British plantations for the year ending 5th January, 1832—he spoke from Parliamentary papers, was 3,784,000 cwts. In 1840 the imports were 2,822,872 cwts., being, as he admitted, a diminution from the British plantations of one-fourth, or 961,128 cwts. He would undertake to account for this diminution. In respect to the Mauritius he found the increase, between (he years 1830 and 1840, was 84,471 cwts. In regard to the East Indies, he found that in 1832 the imports were 519,596 cwts., while in 1838 they were 882,000 cwts. He would beg the House to remark, that in the first year of freedom the deficiency was only one-tenth. Looking now to the great change that took place in 1838. a more favourable result could not be expected. Compared to this, what did it matter if sugar was a penny a pound dearer? He was satisfied that the public feeling which had brought about the abolition of slavery, would not fail them now. He saw no reason to fear for the future increase of the sugar crops. Looking to the various occupations which of necessity opened themselves up to the negro when his slavery was at an end—looking also to the necessity of his securing some produce for himself—they could not expect, when the shackles were just struck from his limbs, that he would persevere in the same amount of toil as he was compelled to do in his state of slavery. He would show that the reduction had arisen from different causes—wherever sugar was grown—causes beyond the power of man to control. That difference was 961,128 cwt.; but it had arisen from no deficiency of labour. To use the words of Governor Light, "under the most coercive system of labour that difference must have existed." [The hon. and learned Member read some extracts from despatches of Governor Light's, to the effect that the excessive drought at Demerara had materially affected the sugar crops]. He wished to show the extent of the calamity that prevailed, and for that purpose he begged to refer to another despatch of the same Governor, dated the 15th of October, 1839, which was as follows: The quantity shipped of sugar is considerably less than in the corresponding quarters of 1831, 1832, and 1833; it is in hogsheads 2,765 less than the corresponding quarter last year. It is a fact that from the unfavourable season during a portion of the year, the canes have yielded one third less than usual. The drought also prevailed to a great extent in Barbadoes. There was a deficiency in that colony of 10,000 hogsheads, containing each 14 cwt., making a deficiency of 140,000 cwt. This, then, accounted for the decrease of 1840 as compared with 1832, which, after all, was only one-twentieth of the whole amount. Would any man then say, that the act of emancipation had not realised their best hopes? It was of importance, in the next place, to consider what their future prospects were. Was there, or was there not, a prospect of a larger crop? There was every reason to expect, if God sent them good seasons, that there would be in British Guiana ah increase of production instead of a decrease: and he would say, with respect to the island of Jamaica, that although there were many estates that must in a few years be worked out and exhausted, yet there was a great portion of land, considerably more than the extent of those estates, which was capable of being brought into cultivation, and which he had no doubt would be brought into cultivation, if no unwise legislative interference occurred to prevent it. If foreign sugars were allowed to be introduced into this country, the inevitable effect would be to destroy and utterly annihilate all hopes of a successful termination of the great experiment which England, to her everlasting honour, had entered upon. It was their duty to extend every indulgence towards that experiment, and towards the colonies in which it was being made, until they had ascertained, not by the prognostications of persons who had no certain knowledge upon which to proceed, but by the test of true experience, tried by due course of time, whether or not those colonies would produce an adequate supply of sugar, and exclude foreign sugar from the British market, to the infinite benefit, not to the owners of colonial property alone, but to the public at large. If the House adopted the proposition now before them, then might they at once break up their treaties with foreign nations, withdraw their cruisers, and sacrifice no more of their money in aid of a cause which, the moment that proposition became law, must inevitably be destroyed. That hour when foreign sugar should come into competition with sugar grown by free labour—in that hour would the fate of Africa be sealed. That hour would perpetuate slavery in Cuba, in the Brazils, in Martinique, in Guadaloupe, and in every other country where slavery prevailed. It would not perpetuate slavery, but it would add to that trade, which was at present carried on with unabated activity, and aggravate the great crime against humanity to ail extent and magnitude he dared hot attempt to describe. Did his hon. Friend the Member for Lambeth believe that the people of England would consent to this proposition? Was that his judgment of the opinion of the people of England? During their five and thirty years labour in this great cause, had they ever made a complaint against these duties? There were a few petitions, it Was true, against them; but could those petitions be for a moment compared With the thousands and thousands of petitions which loaded the table in favour of the adoption of that principle which would be utterly destroyed if the present proposition Were agreed to. He was himself in favour of the principle of reduction of duties, but never St the sacrifice of another principle dearer to the hearts of men than any that could be conceived. He remembered, when the slave-trade was proposed to be given Up, and when it was urged by the opponents of that measure that the trade was a nursery for British seamen, and that it produced millions of pounds of capital to this country, and tended to augment its national resources, the father of the noble Lord opposite used this expression—" I dare not weigh gold against blood." Such was the expression used by the Earl of Harrowby on that occasion. He entreated the Government to persevere in their present line of conduct, until a departure from it should become absolutely necessary. And certain he was, from his long experience of their feelings on this point, if a fair appeal were made to the people of this country, that the great majority of them would deprecate nothing on earth so much as the adoption of a measure which was certain to tend to the perpetuation of slavery, and sure to aggravate the misery of the slave.

Mr. A. Chapman

did not believe that any measure which involved the breach of treaties, and was calculated to perpetuate slavery could be advantageous to the shipping interest, and therefore, however much he might otherwise be disposed to support the hon. Member for Wigan, he could not do so on the present occasion.

Mr. O'Connell

never gave a vote with a greater conviction of its propriety, than the vote he should give against the motion of the hon. Member for Wigan. He thought the motion did not go far enough. The hon. Member ought to bring in a bill to repeal the Slavery Emancipation Act; for if they were to encourage slave-grown sugar, why should they not let their own countrymen have the benefit of it. He was glad the motion had arisen so early, because the people would be prepared to decide whether they preferred dear sugar or slavery. The question now presented itself like the children's fable, "Get a larger loaf and a father's curse." Would they have cheap sugar, and slavery together? If they did not prefer both together, then they would take the chance of dearer sugar with emancipation. There was no disappointment in what had taken place; everybody could foresee that sugar would become dearer after negro emancipation; but was there the least prospect that it would continue dearer? But, mark another gross inconsistency. You send, at a great expense, a naval force to the coast of Africa to watch the transportation of slaves, and if possible to prevent it. But if the slavers fortunately evaded the watchfulness of your cruisers, what did you do? You held out a bribe to the slavers the moment they arrived in the Brazils, by purchasing the sugar grown there by the labour of those very slaves. All nations would laugh at you for your absurdity. It was an outrage against common sense. It was not from any peculiar affection he had for the negroes of the West Indies that he advocated emancipation; but his compassion equally extended to the negroes of Africa and of the Brazils. He believed that British subjects would treat them with quite as much humanity in the West Indies, as the Portuguese would treat them in Brazils. All that was necessary, however, was to let the people of England understand this question. They were not to be met with lectures on political economy. The doctrines of the political economists might be perfectly true in themselves, but they were inapplicable to the subject. The great measure of negro emancipation set all the doctrines of political economy at defiance. He believed, that they were right, and that they had got into a higher and better region—that of humanity and benevolence; and if they came upon him now with the stale lessons of political economy, he would tell them that they were not applicable to the subject, and that to make them so they must undo all they had done, and must come back to the question of pounds, shillings, and pence, and must balance on the one side the sufferings and the blood of the negro, with the profit and loss that arose from the speculation on the other. No! The people of England had already made their choice. He would warrant that there was no man who would call a public meeting to petition upon this subject. Let them appeal to the public, and tell them how many farthings they would save in the pound of sugar grown by slaves, beyond what they would pay for sugar grown by free labour, and then let the public take their choice. This great experiment ought to be properly carried out. It was the duty of the Government day and night to make the experiment complete; and the planters on their side ought to aid the Government. He was sorry to say, that he did not think the planters in Jamaica had evinced a sufficient readiness to obtain free labour. In Guiana free negro labourers were obtained from North Ame- rica. He should like to see that done in Jamaica. Jamaica ought to follow the example of Guiana, and encourage, as much as possible, the introduction of labourers of that class who were excellently adapted to the labour to be performed. He rose to protest against the motion, and to declare that it had his most decided opposition. All he desired was, that the people of England might entirely understand that it was a motion for encouraging the consumption of slave-grown sugar; let them understand that, and he had no fear for the result.

Mr. Villiers

said that he had as little difficulty as the hon. Member for Dublin in coming to a decision upon this question, for it was one of those plain and simple questions which he thought an honest Member of a British constituency ought not to doubt about; for it was one of those questions between the interests of the community at large and a section of it that admitted of no question, and he should take the course he ever had, and ever should upon such occasions, and vote for the community; and it was agreeable to observe that this question was just supported and opposed in the same spirit as all such questions were. He had nothing, therefore, to contend with but all those crooked and contradictory statements which are ever urged, as they ever must be, when they are made against justice and truth, and which he had never seen more completely exemplified than in the present instance; for he asked whether any person could make out what ground it was that the advocates of monopoly, either of the Member for Dublin, or of the Member for the Tower Hamlets, meant to rest their defence; whether they intended to advocate the interests of the planters, or the principles of humanity which had heretofore, he admitted, guided them in their course? for at one moment they told the House of the losses the planters would incur by being exposed to the competition of free labour, repeating in words to the joy of the great array of colonial proprietors opposite, all the very arguments which, for a quarter of a century, have been urged against themselves when pleading for freedom to the negro; and when they have been urging the laws of God, and the rights of man, against an unholy and selfish interest, and which arguments against they have never heeded for an instant; and the next moment they told the House that all they care for is to prevent the produce of slave labour coming into this country—that they care nothing for any interest bat that of humanity. What is it, then, they mean? Truly the alliance between the planters and the philanthropists is complete on this occasion, and the delight of the former Gentleman cannot be concealed at the accession of those learned Gentlemen. But how will that satisfy the people of this country, who seek to be relieved from a monopoly? Was there never to be any humanity exhibited in the cause of the people of England? were they the only persons to be excluded from the benevolent purposes of these Gentlemen? Was it only in Jamaica that the least sympathy was to be shown for suffering and misery? Was there never to be one care given for the wants of English people? Were they to be taxed for every purpose, and burthened by every monopoly, without a thought to be given to all they endure? What was the proposition now made? Why, that an article of necessary consumption—that which every human being in this country desires to consume, should be reduced upwards of one-half in price, without injuring, but certainly augmenting the revenue; which is tantamount to relieving the poor from a heavy tax on one of their comforts, and that at a time when they are suffering the most intense distress, as they have been suffering for now two years, and when the revenue was declining. Was that justice to England? When was that to be done, he would ask? and what was the pretence on which it was refused in this case? Why that they cannot let the people of this country consume the sugar at less price than monopoly affords it, because it may encourage slave labour. Was that the principle that they were prepared to act upon? If it was, let it be avowed; and if there was a real advantage in it, let it be at once acted upon; but let them be consistent. There was nobody more eager to abolish slavery than himself; but don't let the people of England be told that their sufferings were to be aggravated because the Legislature wanted to discourage slavery in foreign countries as far as their comforts were concerned, but encourage it as long as it might satisfy other wants of the community. Did the hon. Member for Dublin say a word about other produce of slave labour? Did he either originate, or say he would support, any general plan for the discouragement of slavery for other purposes? Would he refuse to admit raw cotton? Not a syllable had been said on that matter. But here his hon. Friend, the Member for Wigan, had reason to complain of gross misrepresentation; for it was said that the duty on sugar could not be reduced without the additional quantity introduced being entirely the result of slave labour. Now his hon. Friend said, what every one who cared for the truth knew to be the case, namely, that the best and cheapest sugar may be got from Manilla, Siam, and elsewhere, where there is no slave labour; and, therefore, that the benefit derived from reducing the duty, though it might, perhaps, be in some slight degree prejudicial to the West India planters, whose anticipated losses had been so amply paid for by the English people, yet it may be accomplished in great measure, to the extent his hon. Friend proposed it, without giving any encouragement to slavery, which, it seemed, existed at present in other countries whatever they might do. The House and the country would see, then, that the proposition was one for benefitting the poor in England, for the good of the community at large, and that it was opposed on the ground and upon the pretences which every monopoly, and every sinister intent, was maintained when it was assailed. He cordially supported the proposition of his hon. Friend, because he believed it would be a great advantage to the people of this country, because it would add to the revenue, and not promote slavery.

Mr. W. Gladstone

said, there were several courses and views which might be taken upon this most important question, which appeared to him to be all equally consistent and intelligible. He could perfectly well understand the course pursued by the hon. Member for Kilkenny (Mr. Hume), who now intended to vote for the motion of the hon. Member for Wigan, although that hon. Member could not fail to see that the effect would be naturally the promotion of the slave trade. But that hon. Member had never been one who made pretensions of sincerity upon the subject of slavery. It was clearly in his recollection, that in the year 1833, at the time the bill for the abolition of slavery had passed through all the preliminary discussions, and had reached to an advanced stage in that House, the hon. Member was the single person who was found to propose that a committee should be appointed to examine into the probability of there being a sufficient supply of free labour, and this he proposed as a substitute for the Slavery Abolition Bill. After having taken such a course as that, the hon. Gentleman was perfectly consistent in the vote he intended to give tonight. So, on the other hand, the hon. Member for Dublin was perfectly consistent in his course, for he had always raised his voice against all slavery, in every form. He must also state that the masterly argument delivered upon this subject to-night, almost relieved him from the task of rising, and made him feel how desirable it was, instead of his endeavouring to argue this question in the character of a person interested in the colonies, to leave it in the charge of one who united the longest experience with a reputation established in the hearts of every one who felt for the interests of humanity. These two classes of persons appeared to him perfectly consistent in the course they had taken; but there was another course which did not appear to him to be either intelligible or consistent with common sense; and that was the course which the hon. Member for Wigan, the hon. Member for Lambeth, and the hon. Member for Wolverhampton had pursued. Those hon. Members were men who were lovers of humanity, and the ardent foes of slavery; at least the two first; the third did not attempt to deck his speech with pretensions bearing mockery on the very face of them. He did not attempt any such disguise. But the hon. Member for Wigan, who made the motion, and the hon. Member for Lambeth, who supported it, did profess to be the ardent friends of freedom, and the foes of slavery in every form. Now, he would ask them, would they consent to stake the issue of this motion upon simply the question, whether it would tend or not tend to encourage slavery? There had been a studious attempt to misrepresent the character of this question. The hon. Member for Wigan had said, that this was a question affecting the West India, the shipping interest, and the landed interest. He denied that it was a West India question. In the first place it was a question of the negro quite as much as of the planters. In the second place it was a question of the East Indies quite as much as of the West Indies? And in the third place, it was a question of free labour against slave labour more than any other. Now, they were all agreed as to the evil that existed. But the hon. Member for Lambeth must have exaggerated extremely when he said, that the additional tax paid by the people for West India sugar, amounted to four millions and a half. He did not believe it amounted to any thing like that sum. Still, no doubt, a very heavy tax was paid, and it was most desirable to adopt any measure to lighten that tax. But with respect to the extent of the evil, the hon. Member ought not to assume that no part of the deficiency of supply that now existed was hereafter to be made good. The right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, had shown, that so far as cultivation depended upon the will of the negro, the predictions of those who contended that the negroes would not work, had been absolutely falsified. There was a great prospect of an increase of the produce of the West Indies, if they could but increase the supply of labour. That was the whole question. Had any one said that emigration was not desirable, or if it was desirable that it was not practicable? No one had maintained either proposition. Then, with respect to the East Indies, they supplied us at present, annually, with 30,000 or 35,000 tons of sugar, and it was perfectly well known, that the last season, in the East Indies, was extremely unfavourable. The capabilities of the East Indies for production, was unbounded. They had every advantage of cheapness of labour; they wanted but the influence of British capital, and the East Indies might compete with the whole world, in the production of sugar. The grand point yet remained. This was not a question of the interests of the planters in the West Indies, or the cultivators in the East Indies, but it was a question of free labour against slave labour. The hon. Member for Wolverhampton had said, that the question was, whether they would sacrifice the interests of the whole community to those of a portion? Did not this argument of the hon. Member refute itself? Who were the supporters of this so called sacrifice? the right hon. Gentleman, the President of the Board of Trade, on the part of the Government, the right hon. and learned Gentleman, the Member for the Tower Hamlets, and the hon. and learned Member for Dublin; and these were the advocates, who were stamped for the vote they were about to give, as giving a vote for the interests of the West Indian planters. The argument of the hon. Gentleman, the Member for Wigan, was, that Manilla and Siam, China and Java exported 56,000 tons of free grown sugar annually. He allowed that this was an increasing export; but the hon. Gentleman added that these countries now brought their sugar into competition in the market with the produce of slave labour, and he said that he had no fear that the sugar produced by free labour would be able to compete with that produced by slave labour. Now they all knew that the produce of these countries in which there was free labour met the produce of slave labour countries, Brazils, and Cuba, and Porto Rico; the argument then of the hon. Member would be, that there would be an extinction of the trade in slave sugar, and a rapidly increasing trade in free sugar; but what was the fact? Which increased the most? Mr. Buxton, in his valuable work upon slavery, informed them that the crop of sugar in Cuba alone was increased in the year 1838, as compared with 1837, by 18,000 tons, and he came to the conclusion that the quantity of sugar produced by slave labour, during the last century, had increased six fold; the produce of free labour had made no such increase; and, if this were so, how could the hon. Gentleman contend that sugar, the produce of free labour, could or did compete with, the produce of slave labour? He must observe, also, that the Emancipation Act had tended to increase the consumption of slave sugar of other countries. He did not say, this to tarnish the glory of that great act; it was an incidental, a collateral result. Before the abolition of slavery, we exported annually 45,000 tons of sugar; since emancipation that amount had been withdrawn, and the void had been filled by an increase of sugar, the produce of slave labour. The effect of emancipation on the slave trade was enough to prove the truth of the prediction, that a further decrease in the quantity of sugar in our own colonies must be to increase the sale of the produce of slave labour. The arguments of the hon. and learned Gentleman, the Member for Wolverhampton, that the interests of the English community were not to be sacrificed to support the interests of a portion, were as good against the Abolition Act, when it was introduced, as they were against the bill that night. One essential part of the act of emancipation was, the compensation to be given to the planters, and therefore, what the hon. Gentleman had said, was as good and valid against that act as it was in favour of the present amendment; for every argument which the hon. Gentleman had used against dear sugar now was equally valid against the payment of twenty millions, which the people of this country had generously given to advance the cause which they had so much at heart. The evil complained of was the high price of sugar; but the remedy which was now proposed brought with it evils ten thousand times worse than the present, for it would be followed by increasing slavery. The real remedy was the increase of the supply of labour to our colonies. The Emancipation Act had passed for seven years, but the Legislature had suspended, up to this time, all means of increasing the supply or labour to the West Indies, and if hon. Gentlemen found grounds for continuing an artificial restriction on the produce of the West Indies, they ought at least to find equal reason to support the present artificial system of duties. With respect to the right hon. Gentleman's remarks on the price of labour in British Guiana, he was not quite accurately informed. During the period of apprenticeship the work was done by way of task, and it was set out in such quantities as it was supposed an apprentice could accomplish in 7½ hours, and he was paid 17½d. or 18d. for each task, but the truth was, that a task which would be done by a slave or apprentice in 7½ hours, was capable of being accomplished by a free man in much less time, and the free man therefore earned more than the apprentice, the rate of payment for each task remaining the same. He held in his hand the report of two persons, Messrs. Peck and Price, who went to British Guiana from America, as deputies from the coloured people, to see whether, by emigration, they could improve their social condition, without injury to their temporal welfare. They had given a very interesting report; and, under the head of wages, they said that they saw a young woman at field labour who had finished her second task by twelve o'clock, and, upon asking her if she could do a third, she replied, that, if she was inclined after dinner, she would finish the third. They went away for a few hours, and when they returned she had finished the third task, receiving one-third of a dollar for each task. So that it appeared that in the course of twelve hours women at field labour could earn 4s. 6d. a day. One great cause of the scarcity of labour in the West Indies was not the idleness, but the diligence of the negroes. The cause was obvious. Where wages of this class could be obtained by labourers in field labour, it stood to reason that the honest and diligent man, who chose to perform three tasks, and earn 4s. 6d. a day, having also the advantage of a house, medical attendance, and provision grounds, would quickly amass such a sum as would enable him to purchase land for himself, and he would thus be taken out of the labour market. This was the most satisfactory state of things that could be imagined, that this industrious class of labourers should raise themselves above the class of labourers. The one thing that was wanted was, as this class was removed and was turned from labourers into proprietors, there should be others found to supply their places, and who would in their turn, and in a short time, attain a similar state of comfort and independence. When, therefore, complaints were made of the want of labour in the West Indies, it was most unjust to charge it upon the labourers themselves No one who had seen the excitement that had existed, the inaptitude of all classes to enter upon a state of freedom, no one who knew the difficulties that presented themselves on entering upon negro emancipation, could deny that the result, upon the whole, had been highly honourable to the class of men whom it affected. He by no means complained of the labourers, or said this in reprobation of the negroes, the want of labour was in a great part the result of their own industry and good conduct; but when the deficiency arose from these causes, they ought to supply, if they could, the stream of emigration that was so necessary. The interests he was contending for were not the interests of a class, not the interests even of a great part of the British empire, but the interests of a great portion of the human race.

Mr. Hawes

said, that as a Member of Parliament, he had a right to take what views he thought right, without having imputations cast upon him. He had never imposed any restrictions upon the labour of the West Indies; but he had opposed, and he would again oppose the exportation of human beings to the colony of the Mauritius, unless perfect security were given for their freedom. What he contended for was, that his hon. Friend's motion would have no such effect, and would produce no such consequences as the increase of slave labour. He believed, too, that there would be no reduction of sugar grown in Jamaica or the West Indies, but, at the same time, he did not wish to encourage the free labour sugar of the West Indies by any improper restrictions on other sugar.

Mr. Gladstone

explained that he had imputed no motive to the hon. Member but what he had contended for was, that the clear effect of the present motion would be to encourage slave labour and the slave trade.

Mr. Ewart

, in reply, said that Mr. Gladstone had used the term in no very courteous manner, of "sensibility on slavery." He would remind the hon. Member that there were those whose sensibilities were only of recent growth, and conveniently matured in accordance with their own interest and with the maintenance of monopoly. He had rested his motion on two positions; first, that the poor (not the rich who slumbered at their clubs) were the sufferers by the present rate of duty upon sugar; secondly, that free-labour sugar could compete, and successfully compete with, and beat the slave-labour sugar out of the markets of the world. On these two grounds alone he based the motion. It would be found that the sugar, the produce of the free-labour of Java, Siam, and Manilla, had increased more than the produce of slave labour, and he had the best authority for stating that the quality of the sugar produced by free labour had greatly improved, and that although these places were more distant than Cuba or the Brazils, yet the cultivators in Siam and Manilla could afford to take less profits and so compensate for the greater distance. On these facts he was convinced that free labour would triumph over slave labour in the markets of the world. The right hon. and learned Member for the Tower Hamlets in opposing this motion, seemed to have been borne away by that impetuous torrent which his hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, when they were not on such close agreement on the point of slavery, had described as a torrent of lava which was likely to overwhelm him. The dread of the slave trade made the right hon. Gentleman fear what was really not to be feared. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin took the same view as the right hon. Gentleman, but for another reason, the hon. Gentleman had mistaken his (Mr. Ewart's) views, and no wonder that he had taken a wrong impression, because while he (Mr. Ewart) was making his statement, the hon. and learned Member for Dublin was securely and soundly asleep. There had been that night professed a great deal of humanity on the side of real monopoly; they had just seen certain prejudices agree wonderfully with, certain false principles. These united to oppose a motion, which was brought forward only because the people could not procure their sugar at a reasonable price; the frequenters of clubs might not know and might not care about the price of sugar, but it was the poor man who felt all the ill effects of the price and who was the chief sufferer, and it was the poor man who was to be sacrificed on the altar of a supposed humanity. The alteration which he proposed would really promote true humanity, it would greatly extend commerce, and even Mr. Buxton was coming to the opinion that the extension of commerce was the best means of putting down slavery. But he should not pertinaciously adhere to his opinion (however conscientiously he had adopted it), if it were the sense of the House and his hon. Friend's that he should not divide the House upon it. If it accorded with their views, that he should proceed to the issue of a division, he at once would do so.

The House divided on the question that the words be added: Ayes 27; Noes 122; Majority 95.

List of the AYES.
Aglionby, H. A. Jervis, J.
Chalmers, P. Marsland, H.
Collins, W. Morris, D.
Evans, G, Norreys, Sir D. J.
Feilden, J. Pryme, G.
Finch, F. Salwey, Colonel
Hawes, B. Scholefield, J.
Hector, C. J. Smith, B.
Hobhouse, T. B. Talfourd, Mr. Sergeant
Hume, J. Turner, W.
Humphery, J. Vigors, N. A.
Hutt, W. Villiers, hon. C. P.
Wallace, R. TELLERS.
Williams, W. Thornley, T.
Wood, B. Ewart, T.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Lennox, Lord A.
Adam, Admiral Lushington, C.
Ainsworth, P. Lushington, rt. hon. S.
Alston, R. Lygon, hon. General
Baillie, Colonel Macaulay, rt. hn. T.B.
Baillie, H. J. Mackenzie, T.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Maher, J.
Barnard, E. G. Marshall, W.
Bateson, Sir R. Maule, hon. F.
Berkeley, hon. G. Miles, P. W. S.
Bewes, T. Morpeth, Viscount
Blair, James Morrison, J.
Blake, W. J. O'Brien, C.
Bolling, W. O'Connell, D.
Bridgeman, H. Palmer, R.
Broadley, H. Palmer, G.
Brodie, W. B. Parker, J.
Brotherton, J. Parker, M.
Browne, R. D. Patten, J. W.
Bruges, W.H.L. Pechell, Captain
Buck, L. W. Plumptre, J. P.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Protheroe, E.
Busfeild, W. Pusey, P.
Chapman, A. Rawdon, Col. J.D.
Clay, W. Reid, Sir J.R.
Codrington, C. W. Rice, E. R.
Collier, J. Roche, W.
Craig, W. G. Rundle, J.
Dalmeny, Lord Russell, Lord J.
Dalrymple, Sir A. Rutherfurd, rt. hon. A.
Darby, G. Sandon, Viscount
Davies, Colonel Scarlett, hon. J. Y.
Denison, W. J. Slaney, R. A.
Dottin, A. R. Smith, R. V.
Dowdeswell, W. Somerset, Lord G.
Dundas, D. Stanley, hon. E. J.
Evans, W. Stanley, Lord
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Stuart, W. V.
Gladstone, W. E. Strickland, Sir G.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Strutt, E.
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Tancred, H. W.
Grant, Sir A. C. Teignmouth, Lord
Greg, R. H. Thomas, Colonel H.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Thompson, Mr. Aid.
Harcourt, G. G. Tollemache, F. J.
Hawkes, T. Turner, E.
Heathcote, Sir W. Vere, Sir C.B.
Heneage, G. W. Vivian, J. E.
Hill, Lord A. M. C. Ward, H. G.
Hindley, C. White, A.
Hodges, T. L. Williams, W. A.
Hodgson, R. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Holmes, W. Wood, C.
Hope, hon. C. Wood, Colonel
Hope, G. W. Wood, Colonel T.
Hoskins, K. Wynn, rt. hon. C. W.
Howick, Viscount Wyse, T.
Ingham, R. Yates, J. A.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Young, J.
Irving, J.
Jones, J. TELLERS.
Kemble, H. Tufnell, H.
Labouchere, rt. hon. H. Troubridge, Sir T.

The clause of the bill was agreed to' and the House resumed.

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