HC Deb 07 May 1841 vol 58 cc16-88

The order of the day on going into Committee on Ways and Means having been read,

Lord John Russell

rose and said: Sir, in rising to move that you do now leave the chair, I think it incumbent on me, owing to the notice given by the noble Lord, owing to the discussions that have taken place out of doors, owing to the attitude that has been assumed by various parties, both political and commercial, with respect to the question, to state to the House the general reasons that have influenced the Government in the adoption of the course they have recommended. Sir, I agree with the petition presented a little while ago from certain inhabitants of Bath, that this is a question not to be looked at merely as a commercial and financial one; because if it were of that character, I should willingly leave it in the hands of my right hon. Friend near me, by whom it would be treated with by far more knowledge of the subject, and far more perspicuity in stating the views of the Government than I can pretend to; but I consider it is a great national question. And there never, perhaps, has been submitted to Parliament a question which will be more important, not merely to the finances of the year, not merely for the commercial regulations of the present time, but for the conduct of the finances of this country, and for the regulation of the commercial affairs of this country for a long time to come, than that which I am now about to submit to the House. Sir, I cannot, however, commence my observations on this subject without adverting to that which I know has been said, and which nothing but the most inveterate hostility to the present Government, and an entire ignorance of the characters of the Members of that Government, can any way palliate. I cannot commence my observations without adverting to the assertion which has been made, that this question was taken up at the spur of the moment on the day before my right hon. Friend brought forward his proposal. Sir, I say that a long habit of hostility to the Government, and a total ignorance in the character of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the other Members of the Government, may afford some palliation for such assertions, but the assertion was a most unfounded one, and one which ought never to have been attempted to be palmed upon the country. The Government knew full well this was a subject of the deepest interest. They were fully aware, from the commencement of the present year, that the state of the finances would require some course to be adopted which would be consistent with the character of the country and the future stability of our trading and commercial interests. Sir, this question naturally occupied much of our time, and long deliberation— the difficulties, the objections, such as had been stated to-night in many of the petitions, were carefully and fully weighed; they made a great impression on some Members of the Government, and on myself; but after a certain length of time it was thought necessary to come to a decision, and the general decision was taken, upon grounds which I shall afterwards State to the House, that the two great questions of sugar and timber, should be Undertaken for the sake of the revenue by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and that I should give notice to the House that, as a general question affecting the protection to the landed interests—affecting the general welfare of the country— that I should bring forward a proposal for an alteration of the Corn-laws. Sir, that resolution was taken some time before my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade gave notice of his resolution with respect to colonial duties, and that notice, I observe from the votes, was given on the 11th of March. Sir, I thought it not right, certainly, that the question should be brought forward before we knew at the end of the financial year the real return of revenue as compared to the expenditure; but I thought it right, when these resolutions were under discussion, to state, which I did emphatically, that all these questions relating to monopoly and restriction had been under the serious consideration of the Government, that the Government was united on these questions, and would be prepared to bring forward other measures when the proper time arrived. I must state, moreover, that it did so happen, on the very day that the budget was brought forward by my right hon. Friend, that I received a letter speaking of the budget as a matter that had been settled upon from the information already given; and this letter came not from a gentleman living some fifty or a hundred miles off, who might have received notice of what was intended within a short space of time; but from the Governor-general of Canada, who bad been informed of the intentions of the Government. I therefore think, after this plain statement, that, improbable as the story was before, that it will no longer be attempted to be whispered or palmed upon the public that this was a sudden resolution, adopted on the spur of the moment, from I know not what party motives. Let me state, moreover, in announcing the decision to which the Government has come, that we were not ignorant of the vast interests, and what various portions of the community might be arrayed against us. We have seen this night the results which a combination of those interests can produce. We have seen with how much tenderness those who import timber from Canada view the interests of the negroes. We have seen with what horror the landed gentlemen who oppose the introduction of foreign corn at a fixed duty, which I do not conceive to be an absence of protec- tion, but which I think will give sufficient protection, with what horror they look upon the sufferings of those men who are taken as slaves to foreign countries. All this, and all those combinations I am prepared to meet, and I know at what disadvantage I stand here, not having to represent gentlemen belonging to any large branch of commerce, or connected with our colonial interests; not speaking the sense of members of a great body combined and associated together, having their subscriptions, and advertisements, and meetings regularly marshalled before the eyes of the public, not speaking of any other body than that—and a very helpless one on most occasions, the great mass of her Majesty's subjects — whose interests, whose welfare, whose fortunes are so deeply involved in the decision to which this House may come. In adverting to the whole of this subject I must not, I cannot, allow the House to separate from its consideration the position in which the Government was placed with regard to finance. There were many questions of very great interest relating to our foreign affairs, relating to our colonial interests, relating to the state of the country at the time, which required an increase of expenditure. It became necessary, in the opinion of the Government, to have a settlement of the question which had long menaced the independence of the Ottoman Porte. It was essential to the honour of the British name that they should demand redress for injuries inflicted upon British subjects by the subjects of the emperor of China. It was necessary to suppress an insurrection that broke out in Canada, the result, as I think, of the legislative arrangements made half a century ago. At one time our domestic tranquillity was threatened, and when we resolved to meet the danger without having recourse to a law of extraordinary coercion, it was necessary to have a sufficient force belonging to her Majesty's troops to preserve the tranquillity of the country. With respect to all those measures, I know not that the House has differed from the opinions of the Government. In respect to some of them, individual Members may have disapproved of the course pursued; but with respect to all of them, they were supported by a great majority of the House of Commons. Of course if these efforts were to be made, it was necessary to endeavour that success should attend those efforts, and also to consider the means of providing for the increased cost. With respect to the success of those measures, with regard to Eastern affairs, I think that means employed, to the extent to which they were employed in that case, had never been attended with more speedy or more brilliant results. In Canada the insurrection which had raised its head had been effectually put down, and there were now great hopes of seeing a representation in that colony firmly loyal to the British Crown. With respect to our domestic affairs, tranquillity had been established without going beyond the ordinary law of the land. With respect to China, affairs there were yet in an unsettled state, but, as far as the expedition was concerned, as far as our naval and military affairs had proceeded, our success was unquestionable, and our forces have been attended with their usual prosperity. It became, then, necessary to provide for the cost of all these efforts, and we have now to decide upon the principle upon which this cost is to be defrayed. We have an amount, according to the statement of my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, of 2,400,000l. of excess in the expenditure of the year. I can understand, whatever plans may be adopted, that the opposition in this House, or a party in this House, on whatever side they may sit, may say, that those plans are founded on mistake; that the principle adopted is wrong; but to adopt the scheme of Gentlemen opposite, that of refusing to give any opinion at the time the Badget was brought forward, declining to give any opinion at that time, and now when we propose to go into a committee of the whole House, merely to propose to negative and reject the proposal of Government, without affirming upon what principle of finance they are prepared to proceed; that is a course, which, much as right hon. Gentlemen opposite may deride it, I do not think becoming any great party. Certainly a step more factious I have never observed in this House. Mind, I am not saying that an opposition ought to state the measures to be taken for restoring the finances. I am not saying that they ought to indicate the taxes to be laid on, or that they should indicate the particular sources from which the public fund was to be repaired. But this is a question with respect to opposite principles of conduct. We have four courses to pursue; one which, I think, ought at once to be rejected;—namely, that of attempting, by some small and petty modes of taxation, to make up part of the deficiency that has occurred. Another mode is, by means of a loan to repair the finances for the present year. We have considered that question, and we thought upon the whole that it would not be for the advantage of the public credit, seeing that those expenses must be continued, seeing that it was not fitting, at the present time, to reduce either the navy, the army, or the ordnance, of the country, — we did not think it wise or becoming to have recourse to loans to supply the deficiency. If that is a principle which hon. Gentlemen opposite think ought to be sustained, I hope they will no longer hesitate in declaring their opinions. But there is another course— namely, that of adding very greatly to the direct taxation of the country, either by a new income or property tax, or by a very considerable addition to the assessed taxes. But when we came to consider this course, we had to oppose to it the alternative, whether it would not be possible, by diminishing an excess of protective duties which existed at present, to give the public additional means of purchasing, not the luxuries, but some of the prominent comforts and necessaries of life, and, at the same time, to obtain an increase of revenue which should enable us to fill up the deficiency which has taken place. We came, in fact, to the opinion that this might be done; and from the moment that we had formed our deliberate opinion to this effect, it would have been wrong in us to have proposed to the House the imposition of an additional direct tax, either on property, or in the shape of an assessed tax, thus imposing additional burthens upon the whole of the people of this country whilst it was obvious that there were other ways by which the necessary income might be obtained, and, at the same time, the people at large not be oppressed, but rather relieved. This opinion, therefore, was taken up by her Majesty's Government; this course was resolved upon —a course and a principle more likely, perhaps, to lead any Government into difficulties than any other of the three alternative courses which I have already mentioned to the House; particularly when having to meet the additional feeling of opposition which the noble Lord has embodied in the resolution which he intends this evening to propose to the House. But we could not shrink from this resolution, when once its advantage to the country was agreed upon. When my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer shows, that according to his calculations, a large additional income may be derived from timber and sugar by means perfectly legitimate, and often resorted to heretofore in the financial arrangements of the country, we could not refuse to propose that scheme to the House. And now I put it to the House, whether, when called upon to consider sugar and timber as a means of revenue, I should have affirmed, "Yes, I do so consider them; but, at the same time, I dare not touch the project on account of the great particular interests which would be affected by it." With regard to the protective duty on corn, my opinion is, that it works no advantage to the landed interests themselves, who so pertinaciously adhere to it, whilst it could be modified with advantage, not only to all the great commercial relations of this country with other nations, but also to the growers of corn in this country. Now, if holding this opinion, I were to shrink timidly from the assertion of it, I should have met the House of Commons without the same chance of support which I have in proposing what I believe to be good and right measures—measures which I believe, one day or other, will lay a new foundation for" the commercial policy of this country. We could not have met the House with the same confidence as we now do, if, approving of these changes, we had been alarmed or deterred, by our fears, from proposing them. I shall say but a few words respecting those parts of the proposals of her Majesty's Government, which are not at present immediately before the House. With respect to the timber duties, I have been in correspondence with my noble Friend the present Governor of the Canadas, in the course of which I stated to him the intentions of her Majesty's Ministers on this subject, and he, as was very natural, replied, that the projected change would place him under great difficulties. There was another measure, however, which had been in discussion between my noble friend and myself before he left the country, the parti- culars of which I need not now mention, which it was thought would be a measure of great relief and additional prosperity to the Canadas, without imposing any additional burthen upon this country; and my noble friend stated, that if he were enabled to hold out a hope of passing this measure, the Canadas would on the whole be gainers by the scheme. With regard now to the duty on corn. I have stated to the House the duty which I mean to propose—a duty framed, not as the noble Lord opposite supposes, in disregard of the principle of protection to the landed interests; but, on the contrary, such a protective duty as, considering the prices of foreign corn, and the expenses of importing it to this country and preparing it for the market, would, I think, generally keep up the standing price of corn to from 50s. to 60s. a quarter, and at the same time not expose the country to those ruinous fluctuations by which at one time importation became wholly prohibited, whilst at others, by a skilful and artificial arrangement of averages, a large importation might take place at a merely nominal duty. I come now to that question upon which a proposal is about to be made by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in Committee of Ways and Means. The first thing which I think it necessary to state upon this subject is, that the present duties on foreign sugar bring the question completely within the scope of the principle which I wish to see adopted—the principle of abolishing prohibition, and constituting fair and moderate protection in its stead. I believe that the principle of prohibition is injurious in every way to the people of this country, and generally prevents the importation of the article itself at so cheap a rate, and so good, as it could be without it. The present duty on foreign sugar is 63s. a hundred weight, which, except on very rare occasions, as for instance in the course of last year, completely excluded it from the market. So much was this the case, that at certain periods, I think, for instance, in the year 1815, when it was thought right to admit foreign sugar into the market of this country, there were special Acts of Parliament to admit it at a lower duty. I am not now arguing whether foreign sugar should or should not be admitted into this country; but the case is certainly one in which the principle of prohibition clearly applies. The next proposition I shall state is, I think, supported by what is remarked in various petitions presented to the House this evening—namely, that the duty proposed by my right hon. Friend will give such an amount of protection to our West-India colonists as will enable them to grow their sugar with profit for our market. With a duty of 37s. per hundred weight, added to the present average price in bond of foreign sugar, which may be taken at 22s., the price would be 59s.; but allowing for the rise which would necessarily take place on the increased demand consequent on the reduction of duty, the market price could hardly be put at less than 61s. But, continued the noble Lord, this is the very price which the West-India planters themselves say they would be able to sell their sugar at; and, it may be asked, if they are able to introduce their sugars at 61s., why should it be necessary to introduce foreign sugars also at the same or a higher price? To this, I think, the answer is very plain. What the West-Indian growers have stated with regard to the amount of supplies which they may be able to produce, may be proved; but, until it is so, it is mere calculation and assertion; and if it should happen that the price of their sugars should rise to 86s. or 88s. a hundred weight, there would be no remedy against that high price. These high prices not being counteracted by any competition, would become that grievance to the people of this country, the magnitude of which could hardly be exaggerated. Now, with regard to this great principle of competition, I think that if I were to quote the instances of its beneficial operations, they would be so numerous that I should weary the House with them. But I know no reason why I should not state sufficient to apply the principle to the present case. For this purpose I will mention two instances. In 1786, the earthenware of England was admitted into France, and the result was, that in a short time the earthenware manufacture of France was greatly improved by the spirit of imitation and competition. Again, when French cloth came into England, the English, who previously produced an article of very inferior quality, imitated the produce of their neighbours, and sold the imitation as French, producing it, at length, as cheap and better than any that had before been seen in the country. Similar and equally notorious were the results in late years of the great and laudable exertions in favour of the principle of free trade, made by that talented man, and high official authority, Mr. Huskisson. For instance, on the measure for admission of foreign silks and gloves, Parliament was told that English silks and English gloves were of so inferior a manufacture that all those engaged in that manufacture would be ruined if they had to compete with articles of foreign produce; whereas, on the contrary, a great improvement and extension had taken place in those very branches of manufacture which it was predicted would be ruined by these changes. And what will be the case with regard to sugar? The statements which are received at the office, at the head of which I have the honour to be, give the most gratifying proofs of the beneficial effects which the abolition of slavery has had in inciting the growers to increased regularity and improved methods of cultivation. As long as slavery existed, nothing could be worse, or more barbarous, than the modes of cultivation pursued in the West-India colonies. The abolition of slavery was immediately followed by improved methods and contrivances. As an instance of these improvements, I will beg to read a passage from the official reports to which I have alluded:— Mr. Grant, senior stipendiary magistrate in Manchester, states a fact which contains much promise in it; a machine for peeling coffee, ' which will not only effect a great saving of manual labour, but will expedite the process of manufacture, perform the operation more effectively, and save the heavy and expensive buildings required for the rude and cumbrous machine now in general use,' has been invented by a Mr. John Humble, of St. Ann's. He has had to contend, according to Mr. Grant, with ' strong prejudices and ridicule, and opposition and apathy, before he could obtain a practical trial for his invention.' I presume, therefore, that it has been tried at last, and that the result of the trial has been satisfactory, but no further particulars are given. If there is one thing which the West-India planters should desire to see more than another, it is a man making his fortune by some patent invention for the abridgment of labour. This is a sample of the efforts at improvement which are now making by the West-India planters, and I contend that by the admission of some competition in the home market, by admitting the possibility of sugar and coffee from elsewhere being sold in this country, we shall be stimulating the inventions of these persons, and making them exercise that industry and that inventive energy which Englishmen have always shown themselves foremost in displaying and carrying into effect in all mutters of practical utility. I have now staled the principle upon which I wish the House to act upon this subject, and to fix the duty upon foreign sugar as low as they think it could properly be admitted at; what that duty should be in amount I will not now discuss further, it being a proper subject for the House to consider when it shall have resolved itself into committee on the subject. I now come to another point, one on which I think the House should lay the greatest stress, one on which I am sure all parties attach the greatest interest. After discussing questions on which so much opposition has been manifested in this House, I am happy to dwell for a moment upon one statement which I think will be gratifying to all parties —a statement showing that the great act of emancipation which this country so nobly carried into effect at an expense of 20,000,000l., has been most successful and happy in its results to the interests and happiness of 800,000 fellow-creatures. It is impossible to read without the liveliest satisfaction the official statements on this subject; from which it appears, that the negroes are many of them acquiring all the comforts of life, and proceeding to become the proprietors of small portions of land. Perhaps the House will permit me,—as the subject is one which does not often come before it in the ordinary course, and on which no direct motion is likely to be made, being a matter whose operation is going silently on, without the necessity for much legislation or active interference, to read a few of the statements which had been officially made to her Majesty's Government by the stipendiary magistrates appointed to the West-India colonies, showing some of the results of the Emancipation Act in the respective islands in which they were employed. The first passage which I shall read to the House relating to the crops in Jamaica is rather unfavourable:— Our accounts from Jamaica, as far as they relate to the sugar crops, are unfavourable. The crop of 1839 fell considerably below the average of the four years of apprenticeship, which was itself considerably below the average of the six years preceding. The crop of 1840 appears to have been shorter still—in twelve districts out of twenty, very much shorter; and even this is not expected to be equalled by that of 1841. The exact amount of the deficiency the reports furnish no data for estimating. In connection with this statement, however, it is gratifying to learn from the same authority, that "throughout Jamaica, it is an object of ambition with the peasantry to possess cottages and gardens of their own;" and to show the extent to which this feeling has prevailed since the year 1838, Sir C. Metcalfe, in a despatch, dated December 14, 1840, informs us, that the number of freeholders assessed as holding freeholds under forty acres was, in 1838 2,014, in 1840 7,842, being an increase of 5,854. Now, whatever deductions in regard to motives may be drawn from them, I think these statements are in themselves highly important; for, if we wish foreign nations to follow our example in the emancipation of negro slaves, it is highly important to show them, that the people to whom that great boon has been granted, are sensible of its value, and are improving in every way under its influence. In Barbadoes, according to the report of the stipendiary magistrates, the labourers are allowed the use of a cottage, and a spot of ground (about a quarter of an acre) rent free, but, in return, they are expected to work regularly for the estate. They work under verbal agreements from day to day; and the ordinary rate of wages is about Is. sterling for a day of eight or nine hours; not so high as in Jamaica. Task-work is hardly anywhere resorted to. The labourers are perfectly quiet and peaceable; and though the police magistrates (who are most of them planters), do not give them a high character for industry, or regularity, or duty to their superiors, the main fault imputed to them comes, I think, to little more than this, that they have no abstract love of field labour, and no such solicitude for their master's interests as should induce them to work harder on his account than they need to do on their own. It seems, however, to be universally admitted, that they are raising their scale of comforts, and improving in their habits and tastes; and that they supply themselves with the means of satisfying their new wants, by fair working at no extravagant rate of wages. Of Antigua we read as follows:— The transition from slavery to freedom, sudden as it was, settled kindly upon Antigua. The people continued, for the most part, to reside on the estates as before, and to work for them at moderate wages; and whatever may have been said about the want of continuous labour, the broad result was, that the average sugar crop of the first five years of freedom, ending in 1838, exceeded by about one-ninth the average of the last five years of slavery, ending in 1833. Since that time there has been a gradual improvement in the general condition of the island, but no very striking change. Offences have decreased in number, marriages have become more frequent, and concubinage more disreputable; schools and friendly societies have been extended, with good effects; the dislike to field labour has been observed to be going off; and the children (who had at first been withdrawn entirely from all work on the estates) were again beginning to be employed. Imports have increased ten per cent, and it is said, that, not six people in the island would have the former state of things back again if they could. But the accounts from British Guiana are still more striking:— By all accounts, the change for the better is universal and rapid, and apparently without any material drawback. The worst that can be said is, that the women are working much less than they used to do; that the boys and girls, between ten and fifteen, are mostly at school, and are afterwards brought up to domestic service, or to some trade, instead of performing the light work of the estates: and that the men will not always work ' when their pockets are full.' But while they are at work, they work as well, or better, than they used to do, and they work enough to enable them not only to eat and drink what they like best, and to dress as well as their masters, but in a great many cases to purchase their acre of land, at a cost of 15l., on which to erect a cottage that will cost about 50l. Their provision grounds are in better cultivation than they were; the imported produce consumed by them has increased largely; money circulates more extensively; new stores have risen up in great numbers; cottages and hamlets are rising in all directions on plots of land purchased for the purpose by the labourers; marriages and births are on the increase, mortality on the decline; schools and churches more numerous and better attended, the gaols almost empty, and the courts of session have scarcely anything to do. Two or three cases have occurred in which several labourers have clubbed together, and paid down large sums of money for estates, with the intention to cultivate sugar on their own account: and these enterprises appear to be regarded as promising, though the fruits have not yet had time to appear. One of these purchases of land was to the value of 20,000l., which was clubbed together for the purpose by a number of negroes. And as an instance of the value which was attached to the free labour of these men, it was mentioned, that on frequent occasions of taskwork, as much as 4s. 6d. a day was earned. I will now read another statement from a most respectable Gentleman, Mr. J. Candler, a member of the Society of Friends, the accuracy of which cannot be doubted, and the contents of which are most gratifying. I have examined ' M'Queen's Statistics of the British Empire,' published in 1834, in which he gives a prospective statement of what may be expected in the West-India colonies in the year 1840. He there places the number of prædial labourers as likely to work for wages at much too high, and places the wages they are likely to receive at much too low. An attentive inquiry leads me to the conclusion, that, comprising all who work, we may estimate the effective field labour done, as equal to that of one-third of the prædial population, or about 90,000 persons, working five days in the week, at 1s. 6d. sterling per day; and in this view of the case I am borne out by the opinion of Thomas M'Cornart, the custar of St. Thomas in the East, attorney to Andrew Archdeckne, Esq., of your country, with whom I talked the matter over in his own parlour. A much larger number of people than this is actually engaged in field labour, but many are women who are not robust, children under fourteen years of age, and infirm old persons. Many do not work five days in every week, and the wages that many receive are much less than 1s. 6d. per day; but, taking all these circumstances into consideration, this computation, I am satisfied, will be found moderate and below the truth. Now, 90,000 persons working five days in the week at 1s. 6d. per day, will receive 1,755,000l. per annum; and if we deduct from this the rent of 67,500 prædial cottages and provision grounds, on the calculation of M'Queen, of four persons to a cottage and ground, which, at 2s. per week, would amount to 350,838l., we have a surplus of 1,404,142l. paid annually in wages to prædial labourers alone; and if we add, on the same principle, the net wages paid to non-prædial, we shall have a total of 1,750,000l. paid annually to all the labourers. The provision grounds attached to the cottages furnish more than bread kind enough for all the families enumerated, giving them a surplus of provisions to be disposed of at the market towns for money, and leaving them nothing to buy but what they call salt, that is, salt fish, to season and improve their food, clothing (of which they want but little), and such luxuries as they may choose to procure. Now, I would ask, where besides, in the whole wide world, is there a peasantry that, with so little toil, has such a command over the good things of this life? These people keep poultry, which feed on the refuse of the cocoa nut, after they have boiled it for lamp oil; they keep pigs, which feed on weed bine and garbage, and fatten during four months in the year on the fruit of the mangoe tree, which spreads itself everywhere, in hedge-rows, and in all woodlands, and yields an incredible supply of food. They keep goats, which roam where they please; and many of them keep horses, asses, and mules, which they tether at home, or suffer to trespass on the open pasture. Under slavery all the people, except young children and the sick and infirm, were compelled to labour. On the calculation here made, only one-third of the population is considered to be thus employed, leaving children at liberty to go to school, mothers at liberty to tend their infants, and ample time, independent of the Sabbath, for recreation and rest to all classes. The people of Jamaica prove this statement to be correct by the manner in which they now live; they do not work very hard, they live well; they dress handsomely, they send their children to school, they attend a public worship, after walking and riding six, eight, and ten miles to do so; they build chapels at their own expense, support entirely many of the missionaries, and do works of mercy in sustaining their sick relatives and friends. Slavery, indeed, has left a taint which will require at least a generation to purge away. Much darkness, superstition, and heathenish immorality remain; but the change for the better is fast going on. We have every thing greatly to encourage us, both in the civil and religious condition of the people. Such is the gratifying account which we have of the state of things in Jamaica at the present moment. The accounts which we receive from the governors and others in other colonies are equally satisfactory and encouraging. With regard to the argument which is to be deduced from these statements, I would beg the House to consider whether they think that the happy condition of the Negro population depends upon a very high and excessive price being given for free labour. Upon this point I have asked those who have complained of a short amount of labour why they did not give higher wages; and to this question the answer was given that increased wages would not hold out an inducement to regular labour, but only to occasional exertion, in order to obtain the means of enjoyment during an interval of idleness: and this fact was used as an argument for the necessity of immigration. If, then, the duty on foreign sugar be reduced below 63s., is there any reason to suppose that the people of Jamaica would not continue to labour, and to be as well off as any population on the face of the globe? Upon this point I must say that, rejoiced as I am, and as all must be, at the termination of the existence of slavery in the West-Indies, I do not think it incumbent upon us to force the production of sugar there, which is not necessary for the people of Jamaica, whilst the article, itself is very necessary to the comfort of the people of this country. Having done all that we could in the generosity of our nature for the people of that country—having granted them their freedom, and given them a good and wholesome administration of justice, together with other advantages of the like kind, I do not think that we should be justified in giving our attention exclusively to their interests, and in endeavouring, by a mistaken policy, to force the cultivation of sugar in the West-Indies, whilst the people of this country were suffering from want of the common comforts and necessaries of life. I have told you of the extreme comfort enjoyed by the people of Jamaica, and the happy prospects in other West-India islands; and I will now give you a statement of another kind, that of a gentleman of good authority, relating to the' state of the labouring population in Bolton:— In the cotton mills alone, about 95,000l. less have been paid during the last twelve months. Many of the mills have been entirely stopped for all or part of the time, and with only two exceptions, all have worked short time for a considerable portion of the past year. I have made a very careful calculation from extensive personal inquiry, and assert most confidently that, altogether, there must have been at least 130,000l. less paid in wages in the Bolton Union. Now, add this 130,000l. less in wages to the 195,000l. more for food, and there is a total loss to Bolton of 325,000l. What are the consequences? There are now in Bolton 1,125 houses untenanted, of which about fifty are shops, some of them in the principal streets.—Here is a loss to the owners of 10,000l. to 12,000l. a-year. The shopkeepers are almost ruined by diminished returns and bad debts. There were, a short time ago, three sales of the effects of shopkeepers in one day. Distraints for cottage rents occur daily. The arrears of cottage rents, and the debts to shopkeepers, are incalculable, but they amount to many thousand pounds. The pawnbrokers' shops are stowed full of the clothing, furniture, and even bedding of the destitute poor.—Fever is also prevalent. Mr. R. S. Kay, one of the medical officers of the union, and a young practitioner of great promise, lately took the infection of malignant typhus fever, and last week fell a victim to his harassing duties. This gentleman had latterly worked almost day and night. A short time ago 590 persons were relieved by the Poor-law guardians in one day, in amounts varying from six to eighteen pence per head per week. In many cases two or three families are crowded into one house. In one case, seventeen persons were found in a dwelling about five yards square. In another, eight persons, two pair of looms, and two beds, in a cellar six feet under ground, and measuring four yards by five. There are scores of families with little or no bedding, having literally eaten it, i. e. pawned or sold it for food. The out door relief to the poor is three times greater in amount than on the average of the three years ending 1838. South of Bolton, four miles, a large spinning establishment, giving employment to 800 and subsistence to 1,300 persons, has been entirely stopped for nine months. The proprietor has upwards of 100 cottages empty or paying no rent, and, although possessed of immense capital, rinds himself unable to continue working his mills to advantage. Entering Bolton from Manchester, another mill, requiring 180 hands, has been entirely standing for eighteen months. In the centre of the town, another, 250 hands, stopped several weeks. North of Bolton, one mile, a spinning, manufacturing, and bleaching establishment, on which 1,800 persons were dependent for subsistence, has been entirely standing for four months. Several machine makers and engineers are now employing one or two hundred hands less than usual, at wages varying from 15s. to 40s. a week. A public subscription, amounting to nearly 2,000l. has just been raised to mitigate, in some degree, the sufferings of the destitute poor; in fact, to deal out a scanty pittance, just sufficient to keep them from actual starvation, to a body of workmen who possess, perhaps, greater skill and industry than any population of similar numbers on the face of the globe, but who are forbid, by the inhuman policy of our landowners, to exchange the produce of their labour for food in the open market of the world. There are other similar accounts from Manchester and other manufacturing towns, from which it appears that generally work is falling off, and the people with difficulty obtain wages sufficient to support life, and that bad as the present state of things is, there are still apprehensions that they may get much worse. I ask you, then, as the representatives of this country, with all your humane views in regard to the West Indies, not to be so misled as to force the people of this country to refuse themselves the use of some of the most essential articles of the most moderate and temperate diet, whilst the people of Jamaica —for whom you would call upon them to make this sacrifice—are a people with whom the unfortunate people of Bolton and Manchester would gladly and willingly change places. We are, in fact, as I consider, in a very great crisis in respect to our manufactures. Whether it be owing to the increase of manufacturing enterprise in Germany, Switzerland, and France —whether it be owing to a disposition on the part of the United States of America to impose still further restrictions upon the admission of our manufactures— whether it be that the manufactures of this country have already been carried to such an extent, that unless new markets be opened for its produce it cannot be sustained on the footing it has acquired —whether be it from one of these circumstances, or from all combined, the fact is still, I fear, undeniable, that there is very great danger—that a considerable portion of the working population of this country, so far from being able to enjoy, not the luxuries, but the ordinary necessaries and comforts of life, will be obliged to resort to the relief given to the poor as paupers before the close of the present year. And I ask the House whether at such a time as this, it will refuse to the people of this country, so circumstanced, that legitimate means of relief which a wise modification of fiscal imposts would be calculated to afford them. I have often witnessed with pain that too many working men are induced, for the temporary gratification of their appetites, to spend a large portion of their wages on intoxicating liquors. But I am glad to say, that this is not now the charge which I can bring against the working population of this country, whose unfortunate condition I now refer to. I find that, instead of spirituous and intoxicating liquors, these men now in great part resort to tea, coffee, and sugar, as a means of obtaining some little comfort, and of invigorating their frames for the toils of the day. I say, that this is a disposition which should be encouraged. Is the poor man to go into the grocer's shop (a case which I have heard occurred last year,) and, after hearing the price of sugar, turn away in sorrow and despondence because the article is placed beyond his reach? That has been the case under your present law—that has been the effect under your present duty. You may tell me of your expectations; that you have a promise of reduction from merchants, associations, and colonial clubs; but supposing these promises fail, and that Parliament, on the faith of them, have not changed the duties, why, in the course of the next autumn, your labouring people will be suffering the same privations from the want of this necessary of life as they are now. But we are told, that though there may not be a sufficient supply from the West-Indies, yet that in the East-Indies that deficiency would be supplied, and that a great capital would be sent from England for the purpose of raising; it. It is very possible, that your financial laws and restrictions may so order it, that in the course of years the sugar planter in the West Indies may find himself defeated, not by the competition of the foreigner at thirty shillings the hundred weight duty, but by the competition of the East-India proprietor at twenty-four shillings duty, and with a freight very little above the charge which the West-India planter has to bear. That you may find to be the case, but you will then have created a new and more formidable monopoly—not one upheld by a certain number of planters, not existing in such a place as the West Indies, with which Parliament is perfectly competent and formidable enough to deal, but a monopoly backed by a formidable government —backed, not only by those interested in East-India Sugar, but by all who take a part in the Government of the East-Indies. Then, again, will arise other questions: supposing the production of East-India Sugar should entirely extinguish the monopoly of the East—not entirely new, but of a most difficult kind—questions which I never hear without some apprehensions for the result of your interference. You, would have the question of how to deal with a population receiving three-halfpence a day, and which, when transferred to Demerara, you have been compelled to force to labour by corporal punishment: you will have the question how far it is proper to interfere, not with such a simple system of slavery as was established in the West Indies, but with the whole of the relations and complicated state of society in the East Indies; and you will finally have the question how far you are justified in giving an advantage to the East Indies as against the free labourers of the West. Therefore I should fear that no legislation could be adopted which would rest on a stable and permanent foundation if the East Indies, and the East Indies alone, were to furnish the whole supply to this country. Now, then, the noble Lord (Viscount Sandon) has proposed a resolution stating his objections to the particular measure of the government in very guarded terms. He does not say directly—he does not wish the House to say—that this country should never admit foreign Sugar. He does not choose to say, that slave-labour Sugar should be prohibited and never come into the market with free-labour Sugar, but he says, very cautiously, "This House is not prepared (especially with the present prospects of the supply of Sugar from the British Possessions)." Now, I can well understand—though I think it a most mistaken feeling—that a man, having such a scruple of conscience —such a horror of slavery and of slave-grown articles, as not to consent to consume them—should not give his vote that these should be admitted for consumption. I can imagine such a man, saying, "Be the hated traffic prohibited for ever, and whatever the price, I will have free-grown Sugar; but free-grown Sugar it must be, or I will not consume it." But the noble Lord says no such thing. He says that, with the present prospects of supply, "this House is not prepared"—to do what?- -" to adopt the measure proposed by her Majesty's Government." I understand that, as a great party move perfectly well. It leaves the noble Lord (Viscount Sandon) quite at liberty to say, hereafter, the increased supply we calculated upon is not forthcoming; the hopes entertained by our friends were, we admit, over sanguine; Lord Harewood and others of our supporters were mistaken in their views, and we now submit a measure, not the same as that introduced by her Majesty's former Government — that's gone by; we defeated th emon that question, but we feel compelled now to bring forward a proposition which will admit slave-grown sugar." There is not a word in the resolution of the 7th of May, 1841, which provides for adopting a new measure, should the other prospects which it alludes to, of a more favourable nature, be secured. I say the noble Lord, with his views, was right in moving the resolution in its present shape; but if it meant to embrace the sentiments of those who protest against slave-grown sugar, it should have been totally different. If you mean to raise a question as to the amount of protection, your course is clear, when my right hon. Friend (The Chancellor of the Exchequer) moves his resolutions in a committee of the whole House; but this resolution seems to forbid entertaining the question of introducing foreign sugar, and does not forbid it. This resolution looks as if it were full of humanity, and yet has a corner left open for the introduction of free trade principles. In fact, Sir, this resolution is totally unfit to be proposed before you leave the chair, and ought not to be adopted. With regard to the former part of the resolution, it is stated,— That considering the efforts and sacrifices which Parliament and the country have made for the abolition of the slave trade and slavery, with the earnest hope that their exertions and example might lead to the mitigation and final extinction of those evils in other countries, this House is prepared, &c. What do those words mean? Is it intended to convey by them that whatever may become of the commerce of the country, you are prepared to refuse admission to all slave-grown sugar? If that is the case, what do you say to various other articles now imported into this country? I shall leave out of the question cotton and other articles, on the ground that they do not compete with products supplied by free labour of our own. This may be considered some ground for their exclusion, though I do not consider it a sufficient one, when the question is based on moral and national considerations. The question, as the petitioners from Bath state, should be considered not merely as one of commerce, but in a national point of view, and turns upon the practicability of abolishing slavery in every part of the globe. But there are articles which you admit the produce of slave labour, though similar ones are supplied by free labour. There is one remarkable instance arising certainly from an evasion of the law, and which was brought to light by the import committee which has been so often mentioned of late. I allude to the importation of Brazilian coffee by the Cape of Good Hope. I have taken the following return from the statistical volume latety presented to the House:— *

Now, what is the history of this? This coffee is the produce of slave labour, though imported by the Cape of Good Hope. Does the noble Lord (Sandon) propose to levy, for the future, 15d. a lb.

* See Table following page. on this coffee? Does he think, that the persons consuming this coffee will be willing to pay it? Or, can he imagine, that those who would not receive slave-grown coffee will look upon it as perfectly harmless when filtered by a voyage to the Cape of Good Hope? Well, then, yon have slave-grown coffee coming into this country, and if you intend to prohibit it, you can impose the high duty I have mentioned above, and you will then have the satisfaction of reflecting, that you have raised the price of coffee as well as of sugar. But if you adhere to your present resolution, you will fall far short of the demands of what you are pleased to call an enlightened humanity. Where is the philanthropist who will tell me "I have a cup of good slave-grown coffee, and by putting a lump of free labour sugar into it I shall make the potation quite innoxious—and any person, whatever may be his regard for the negro, and however much he may prefer the interests of a man with a black skin to one with a white, will be exposed to no reproach—no remorse of conscience —if he qualifies his beverage by the addition I have mentioned." There is another instance of your acting contrary to your

1838. 1839. 1838. 1839.
lbs. lbs. lbs. lbs.
British Possessions 22,506,000 15,729,000 22,539,000 18,041,000
Foregn from within limits of Company's charter 3,343,000 20,802,000 3,217,000 8,667,000
25,756,000 26,708,000
professed principles, in the case of sugar. You are great refiners of sugar in this country. Men of great capital are engaged in that trade, and you carry it on for the purpose of exportation to foreign countries. How do you justify that? If it is wrong to deal with countries where slave sugar is manufactured, how can you defend your conduct in acting as it were as "a go-between" with foreign countries? But there is a still stronger case; for it appears in evidence, that the planters of the West Indies, wishing to obtain advantage of the low duty of this country, do advisedly send slave-grown sugar, when refined, from this country to the West Indies. But you (the Opposition) will stop that and twenty other things of the same kind. Let the noble Viscount (Viscount Sandon) stop likewise the importation of coffee from the Brazils by the Cape of Good Hope; let him stop all communication with slave colonies; let him interrupt and vex our commerce; yet I defy him, keeping the character of this nation as a commercial country in view with common humanity to the artisan of this country, to carry into effect a total non-intercourse with the slave-growing countries. Well, then, I come to the conclusion which one can hardly help arriving at, that this resolution, well as it sounds—philanthropic as it may appear, is in effect, good for nothing; but, as it serves a party movement, and tends to no other purpose than to embarrass the financial plan of the year, by collecting together, in opposition to it, all those who have an interest in the productions of the West Indies, and who would fain have something as like a monopoly as they can, and those who entertain a feeling, which does them the highest credit, and which must always be looked on with the greatest respect, of abhorrence to slavery. But if we consider the question as a party question, I am obliged to put another to the House—where is the party which has been ever anxious and foremost in assisting the abolitionist cause. I have been looking to records of speeches—not of those made in our day, and for the purpose of reproaching hon. Gentlemen opposed to me—and I find in them Colonel Tarleton, giving the number of ships and men employed by the port of Liverpool, in carrying on the Slave-trade on the coast of Africa and the West Indies. The. opposition was so great from Liverpool and other places, and the opposition in this House was so overwhelming, that Mr. Pitt, notwithstanding his eloquent speeches in the cause, found himself deserted, like other Tory leaders, when he exceeded the liberality of his colleagues; and the Slave-trade continued until the Whigs, in 1806, put an end to the abhorred and horrible traffic. With regard to slavery, also, though attempts were made by Tory governments to mitigate the most revolting features, such as the corporal punishment of women, and other improvements which were never carried practically into effect, it was not until another Government was called to power, that slavery was finally abolished, and that the noble Lord (Lord Stanley) who now sits opposite, as the organ of Earl Grey's Government, proposed a grant from this House, in order to get rid of that stain on our country and our commerce. If we have made these efforts with effect, and found an absence of any really practical plans for securing so noble an object on the part of our opponents—when I see a resolution of this kind, I am tempted to say to those who never did anything effectually for the abolition of the Slave-trade, or of slavery, "you now come forward for a party purpose with an affectation of humanity to which your past conduct does not give you a just title." Sir, I believe I have stated the reasons why, on general grounds, the proposition of my right hon. Friend should be supported, and why the resolution of the noble Lord should be rejected. There are various other questions which would remain even if the House went into committee on the subject. With regard to the protecting duty we propose, that is a matter of detail open to discussion in committee. With regard to other propositions made and supported by plausible reasons, such as that for the reduction of the duties on colonial sugar, I should say, as my own opinion, that while I do not think that the revenue would benefit to the extent stated by my right hon. Friend the other night by a reduction of the duties, yet these are the articles with regard to which all must look forward with anxiety to the time when such a reduction may be effected. There is no article connected with the comfort and welfare of the people on which it is more advisable to effect a reduction of duty than this; and though the revenue may for a time suffer by such a change, it would be speedily reimbursed by the increased con- sumption. There are other questions, particularly that arising from our relation with the Brazils. Supposing we were able to reduce the duty on our colonial sugar, we should then have an opportunity of knowing whether the Brazilian Government was disposed to renew their commercial treaties, and on what terms, and we should besides be in a position to point out to them the risk which that government and every other government must run which has a large proportion of its subjects retained in obedience solely by coercion; we should be able to show them not only the moral mischiefs and the guilt of slavery, but how, under a different course, their commercial and agricultural prosperity might be secured, and their relations to this country be rendered amicable and permanent. But if you adopt the resolution of the noble Lord, and at once announce your determination to reject all slave-grown sugar, what will the Brazilians—who may not criticise the resolution so nicely as I have done, do? Will they give up slavery? Will they renounce piracy? Will they not sell their sugar? Ay, sell it they will, and sell it they can; but they will sell it to other nations. Merchants who deal with the Brazils tell you that many articles will go there from Germany, and printed goods from Switzerland, in exchange for sugar produced by slave labour, which will not be in the least diminished. In fact, the only advantage gained, would be, that the commerce now carried on with us would be transferred to other nations. And what is all that you can effect? You do not change the Brazilians into free labourers, but you send their sugar and coffee, the products of slave labour, to be consumed by other countries. I cannot see that anything would be gained to the world, or that the negro slave in Brazil would be much comforted if he were told— "the sugar you are working is not to go into the mouth of the English shopkeeper or artizan; you shall work and be flogged to death that Germany and Switzerland may enjoy the products of your labour." I own, as I stated at the commencement of what I addressed to the House, that I do think that this question may in a different point of view from the noble Lord's be of great interest, not to the Brazils and the United States, but that with regard to the continent of Europe, the example you are now giving would be of the utmost importance. If they see that this great commercial country, this free country, which has long entertained such questions, has come to the decision that restriction and prohibition are the best maxims of commercial policy, they will quote that example for their own guidance; their manufacturers will quote it for their own regulations, and those of the people under them; and restriction and prohibition will thus become the rule of all the intercourse of the world. Now, is that for your advantage— is it for the advantage of the world? I say, for your advantage it certainly is not; for, as a great commercial and manufacturing nation, your plain policy is to promote the extension and diffusion of commerce and manufactures. No more is it for the advantage of the world; because my belief is, that the more free and unrestricted is intercourse, the more the nations of the world are mingled together by the ties of peaceful commerce, the further you carry your bales of goods and cases of hardware, the more widely will you diffuse that general knowledge and maxims of civilization and Christianity which belong to a nation which stand in the front rank for these qualities. You must observe that, though you now stand in so proud and eminent a rank in this respect, you are liable to those vicissitudes which may alter your position. You do not stand like Rome — Rome, it is thine alone, with awful sway, To rule mankind, and make the world obey, Disposing peace ond war thy own majestic way. We are, on the contrary, among several nations of great power, of great civilization, with institutions, some of them as free as our own, many of them having advanced to great wealth, and competing with and rivalling you in the arts of peace and the productions of commerce. Give them a right example, and you will still stand, not only their equal, but the foremost amongst them. Take a contrary course, and say this is the day on which you have resolved on restriction and prohibition; tell them your merchants of the East and West Indies, your timber merchants of North America, and the landowners of your own soil have raised monopoly as the standard under which they mean to march, and by which they will abide, and you will rapidly spread your example; and when you may wish to retrace your steps, you will find the lesson you have taught too well appreciated ever to be forgotten. Having these views of the state of this country,—having these views of the state of our colonies and of the other countries of Europe,—it was our bounden duty to state them to Parliament. And as they formed the subject of our advice to our Sovereign, we felt bound to produce the results of that advice to the House, and to let this House determine thereupon. If you should adopt the plan which we propose, we look confidently forward to the increased prosperity of the country. If you do not take that course, on this House be the responsibility of rejecting our measures. We have discharged the only duty incumbent on us,—that of not having concealed our opinions, and done our best for the service of our country.

Viscount Sandon

rose to move the amendment of which he had given notice. He said it was not in his power, nor did he feel it his duty, to follow the noble Lord into all the various topics which he had thought proper to bring before the House. Indeed he had been for some days labouring under indisposition, and on that ground must beg the House would excuse an imperfect discharge of the duty, which he had undertaken. But under any circumstance he should not have felt it necessary to enter into the wide field of discussion which the noble Lord had thought proper to traverse. He would not be led from the proper subject of that evening's debate, from which the noble Lord found it more convenient to escape, as soon as he could, to other and more exciting topics. He could not but observe on the novelty of the present proceeding. The Chancellor of the Exchequer came down with a distinct proposition, and when a notice of an amendment upon that proposition was given, another Member of the Government, in anticipation of defeat, gave notice beforehand of another amendment; an amendment which could only be put to the House, in case the proposition of the Government was rejected. In general, it was not the practice of those who expected to win the battle, to secure for themselves, at least so ostentatiously, a way of retreat. For his part he should confine himself to the distinct proposition before the House, the proposition, on which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had called on them to express an opinion, viz., a reduction of duty on foreign sugar, and would not eater into the question of that more general proposition which was involved in the amend- ment of the noble Lord, and which would, he had no doubt, by the defeat of the proposition of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, find place for a separate discussion. The noble Lord had dealt in a great deal of declamation which was beside the subject, without touching the main question at issue. The question was simply this, whether the proposition of the Chancellor of the Exchequer would or would not give a fresh stimulus to the Slave-trade, and whether there was any overweening consideration in the present condition of the supply of sugar to this country, which should compel us to have recourse to so lamentable a conclusion of all our efforts in the cause of abolition. He had never assumed the position, and indeed he knew no one else who had assumed the position, which the noble Lord had taken so much pains to ridicule and refute, that this country was bound to consume nothing but what was provided by free labour. He had never heard the warmest abolitionist profess it; it would be impossible to carry it out, and it was not necessary for, or in any way involved in his proposition. But this he thought, he had a right to ask, that we should not without the shadow of necessity for the interest of our own population, give a fresh stimulus to that execrable traffic, which we had incurred, and were incurring such heavy sacrifices to put down; and that to the detriment of an experiment on free labour in the cultivation of sugar in our 'own possessions, from the success of which we hope for the most beneficial effects to the whole negro race. This question he had a right to have answered—where was the necessity, where was the prospect of starvation prices with regard to sugar, which should compel her Majesty's Government thus to come forward and throw overboard the arguments they had used last year in resisting this very proposition when made by the Member for Wigan, and to sacrifice at once the noble fruits, which we hoped to reap from all our sacrifices, in the imitation by foreign nations of our successful example? Let the noble Lord look at the prices of sugar a few months back, and at those which now prevailed, and he would see what ground for apprehending high and burdensome prices now existed. He had treated with great levity the statements which had been made upon this point, because forsooth they were made by mercantile Associations; and had talked with great scorn of all such Associations, and had assumed to himself the position of one who stood up on behalf of that body of the community which was protected by no Association. Surely when he took this tone, he forgot the great Anti-corn-law league, with all its emissaries and all its engines, whose doctrines he was propagating, and whose language he was assuming. But it did seem fitting, that they should really know whether the assumed prospect of starvation, in regard to sugar, was borne out by the fact. He knew that it must be tedious to listen to statements which he had no doubt Hon. Members had, in one way or another, already been made acquainted with, but it was necessary in this case that they should be repeated. The Chancellor of the Exchequer would not dispute that there were 35,000 tons of sugar in hand at the beginning of the year. He would hardly dispute, that 5,000 tons might be expected from the West Indies beyond the quantity which they supplied last year; this would furnish 115,000 tons. Mauritius had already shipped 20,000 tons, and 20,000 more were known to be ready for shipment. Above 50,000 tons have already reached this country from the East-Indies and the remainder will not make up less than 70,000 tons from that quarter. Thus, there was, he might say, a certainty that between the 1st of January and the 31st of December of this year 260,000 tons of sugar will have reached this country, being 60,000 tons more than this country had ever consumed in any one year. Supposing that there was, which he did not believe, any exaggeration in this calculation, still, making every possible allowance, was not there afforded perfect security for an ample supply of sugar for the consumption of the country, and that at moderate and reasonable prices? And was this a state of things so discouraging, as to induce them to give up at once all chance of the success of their great experiment on the cultivation of sugar by free negro labour in their own colonies? Would the noble Lord, or the right hon. Gentleman, the President of the Board of Trade, or would the Chancellor of the Exchequer tell us that what they were about to do was to be no encouragement to the slave-importing and slave-employing countries? Why, it was their own argument last year that it would. But moreover he had thought, that they were about to offer it as a boon to the Brazils, and as a temptation to that country to renew the commercial treaty with that country, which was about to expire. Did they mean that it should be a boon, or did they not? If they did not, they were de- luding the Brazilians and the merchants who traded with Brazil, to whom they held it out as a boon; and if they did, whatever the amount of that boon was, it must be, whatever might be the intentions of her Majesty's Ministers, by so much to the advantage of the slave-importing part of the world, and to the disadvantage of our free possessions.—The noble Lord seemed now to treat it as a matter of slight importance that those colonies should grow a staple commodity at all, and to think it was of no consequence, so that we got sugar, and the negroes were at their ease, whether or not the sugar was the produce of the free labour of the West Indies. Such, at least, was not the opinion of Mr. Gurney, one of the most eminent amongst those who had promoted the great experiment of emancipation. In his interesting letters from the West Indies, he tells us, how he had impressed upon the negroes in Jamaica the importance, for the happiness of their brethren in other countries, that by assiduous cultivation of their great exportable staple,—sugar, they should show to the world, that an emancipated colony might still be a rich and a profitable possession; and he tells us how sensible they seemed to this appeal. He knew that if we were unable to show to France, to Spain, to the United States, that emancipation and a continued cultivation of the staple products, that freedom and prosperity, were compatible, our example and our efforts would not only be lost upon them, but that they would only serve as a beacon to warn others from following in the same course; that we should have rivetted the chains which we wished to strike off. Now, these were the grounds on which he (Lord Sandon) rested his opposition to the proposition of the Government, and he could see no reason in the circumstance of a few months of high prices, which had already gone by, and which he had shown could not return, for taking the course which had been adopted by the Government. It grieved him to see the noble Lord come forward to disturb the picture of prosperity and success which he himself had been depicting as existing in the West Indies, and which, if continued, afforded the best and most promising hopes as to the future destinies of the negro population in every part of the world. As a pure mercantile question between a colonial and foreign article, the protection that was at present afforded to the West-India colonies, he admitted fully, was greater than it need be; he would admit at once that it was so; but this question was one, which, under existing circumstances, stood by itself—it was a question which they had set apart as connected with a great experimental measure from which they still hoped success, on the successful issue of which the eyes of America, in particular, as well as of the rest of the world, were fixed, and which peculiarly affected the future interests and destinies of the negro in every part of the globe. On the ground, then, of a little pressure which they had felt, and which had been caused by circumstances, of the recurrence of which there was but little chance, he, at least, was not disposed to consent to their stultifying themselves in the eyes of the world, and abandoning the course in which they had embarked. He might be told that they would not be doing so: but these were the very expressions used before a committee of this House last year by a gentleman, who held a high station in the commercial world, and one who had recently suffered a defeat in an endeavour to enter Parliament in support of the present Government, Mr. Larpent. That gentleman, in recommending the admission of the productions of the East Indies, rested his recommendation, among other grounds, on this; that otherwise there was danger that prices should rise, and a clamour should be raised for the introduction of sugar from Brazil and Cuba, which he said "would stultify all your proceedings in favour of the abolition of the Slave-trade."

But it was not only the actual effect upon prices, resulting from the admission of foreign sugars at the duty proposed by the Government, which was to be considered. The moral effect of the proposition upon the minds of the cultivators of our own free sugar must be taken into consideration, when estimating its consequences, and the moral effect upon their minds would be, to convey the conviction that with that House cheapness was all in all, and that it would be prepared hereafter to abandon altogether all protection to the interests of free labour, for the sake of making sugar a little cheaper. Why was it, let him ask the noble Lord, that he could see nothing but hypocrisy in this motion? Was it not one, the ground of which was simple and intelligible, and plainly avowed; and which, as it was the very ground occupied by the noble Lord himself last year, he supposed he might presume, might be sincerely and honestly maintained? What right had the noble Lord to deny to him (Lord Sandon), and those who supported his amendment, the same regard for the interests of humanity which had actuated the government of the noble Lord last year in resisting the proposition, which they now brought forward? But was this feeling confined to those who oppose her Majesty's Government? Was it a mere factious feeling? It was that which was common, at least, to the Anti-Slavery Society, who had expressed the same opposition to the course of her Majesty's Government; this Society, consisting of persons who have no personal or political interest in opposing the proposition, and most of whom were supporters of her Majesty's Government, but who, overlooking all party considerations, had come forward to express the same feeling which was imbodied in his (Lord Sandon's) amendment. But the question brought before the House as the plan of her Majesty's Government with regard to sugar, was presented in the shape of a measure of finance; and if it had been one of finance alone, they (the Conservatives) would not have interposed to prevent the full consideration of it in committee in the usual course. But because he conceived it to be not a mere question of finance—and because he felt that they would not be justified, merely in consequence of circumstances such as had temporarily existed, in throwing aside their own great experiment with regard to the abolition of slavery in their colonies that they had felt themselves called upon to interpose, and oppose even the consideration of it in Committee. But looking at it merely as an acquisition of finance, he did not see, how the Chancellor of the Exchequer was, by means of the proposition he had laid before the House, to make up his budget. He intended to raise 700,000l. more in the present year than the last, by means of an alteration in the duty on sugar. Last year 180,000 tons of sugar were consumed, and to get his 700,000l. additional, he must expect an increased consumption of nearly 20,000 tons of foreign;, or nearly 30,000 tons of British sugar, the one paying 37s. 6d. the other 25s. per cwt. and for so large an expected increase of consumption, so much beyond all example, he saw no reason in any fall of prices, such as would be the consequence of the proposed change of duty. How was this revenue to be secured? He was now speaking as if only one rate of duty on foreign sugar had been pro- posed; and this, until this morning, was the case. One rate had been contemplated for the rich sugars of Cuba, and the poorer sugars of Brazil; the result of which would have been, that this boasted boon to the Brazils would have been monopolized by Cuba, to the higher saccharine qualities of which, both British and Brazilian sugars must have given way. In the interval, however, the Chancellor of the Exchequer had discovered his mistake, and he had endeavoured to remedy it by imposing an additional duty of 6s. on the fine white Cuba sugars. But even this will not help him; it would neither maintain his financial calculations, nor enable the British and Brazilian sugars to maintain the competition, for the differential duty which he proposes, being far below the real difference in the saccharine qualities, or amount of sugar contained in the cwt., the real duty on the Cuba sugar, as proposed, would be little more than that on British sugar, value for value, and much less than that on Brazilian sugar; and no moderate consumption, therefore, of this apparently higher taxed sugar would go far to swell the revenue to the required amount. To shew that he had not over-estimated this difference in the qualities of Cuba and Brazilian sugar, he would refer to a statement of the prices for the last month at Hamburgh, where there was no duty, but which was a free port, of the Havannah sugars and the Brazilian. He found there that the white Havannah sugars ranged from 27s. 7d. to 38s. 5d.; the Brazilian (Rio) white from 21s. 1d. to 25s. 11d. The difference between the best qualities of each thus appears to be between 12s. 6d., between the worst 6s. 6d. between the best and the worst, 17s. 5d. The Brazilian and Babia ranged from 22s. 2d. to 28s. 1d., the difference of the best qualities being thus, 10s. 4d, of the worst 5s. 5d.; difference between the best and worst 16s. 3d. These then were the prices and relative values in the Hamburgh market, and this must be taken as a fair estimate of the relative saccharine qualities, and would show the erroneous calculations of the Chancellor of the Exchequer even in their corrected shape. He was aware, that there must always be some uncertainty in any estimate of the effect of these changes of duty; and if we had a surplus, instead of a deficiency, to deal with, it might be indifferent whether we exactly made up the estimated result; but Gentlemen should recollect, that here we had a positive deficiency to deal with, which the Chancellor of the Exchequer en- gaged to fill up; and he (Lord S.) thought he had shown, that the result was, to say the least, doubtful, even as a measure of finance. The Chancellor of the Exchequer might increase the consumption of Cuba sugar, but he could not increase much the consumption of Brazilian sugar; because before Brazilian sugar could come into the home market, the whole of the West and East India sugar must be consumed, and of this there was now every prospect of having at least 60,000 tons more than the whole consumption of the year would require. The right hon. Gentleman, he supposed, hoped that a diminution in prices arising from his measure would increase consumption, but according to the calculations of the noble Lord himself, what was the extent of the reduction expected to be gained from the Government proposition? Why, 1s. 6d. the cwt.; and it was for this diminution they were called upon to adopt a step which would have the effect of shaking every interest connected with the West and East India colonies. Reducing, then, the price of sugar by 1s. 6d. per cwt., was the remedy by which the miseries of the people of this country, miseries which the noble Lord had so feelingly described, were to be alleviated; but the noble Lord had no right to attempt to rouse the passions of the country or the interest of this House by the miseries of the handloom weavers and other operatives in the manufacturing districts, unless he was prepared to connect those miseries with the price of sugar, and to show that reducing the price by 1s. 6d. a cwt. would be a remedy for the evils which he detailed. It was trifling with them, and unworthy of the noble Lord, to pretend that any such reduction could add much to either the comfort or happiness of the suffering population of this country, and if it could, before long the influx of free-labour sugar from our own colonies would bring the price of that article down to within a trifle of what the noble Lord desired, and his object would be attained without the mischiefs which could not be denied to belong to the present proposition. It was rather hard that a Gentleman, who had given notice of a proposition, should have his speech anticipated in the way his had been by the noble Lord, and it was still more unfair on the part of the noble Lord to imagine for him (Lord Sandon) topics on which he never intended to touch. The course pursued by the noble Lord obliged him to treat the subject in a more desultory manner than he could wish, but he trusted the House would excuse him. Let them consider the question in a commercial point of view. We were told of the vast interests at stake in the commerce with Brazil, and he did not deny their importance. But what were the commercial interests at stake on the other side? What were the exports of British manufactures to the East and West Indies? Had not they been progressively on the increase since emancipation in the one case, and encouragement to the growth of sugar in the other? East-India sugar was placed on an equal footing with the produce of the West Indies in 1836, and what was the result? Why, that the real and declared value of British manufactured goods exported to the East Indies was—

In 1837 £3,612,735
1838 3,876,196
1839 4,748,607
Not having the returns of the last year, he could not state exactly what the value of the exports were; but he knew that the real and declared value of the exports to the East Indies from Liverpool alone last year was 4,366,344l., or within a trifle of the amount of the whole of the exports to that country during the year preceding. Now, this progressive improvement in our exports in this quarter since the equalization of the sugar duties, proved sufficiently the importance to our manufacturers of having so good a remittance from India, in exchange, as sugar. What was the state of our intercourse with the West Indies during the same period? The amount of the real and declared value of our exports to the West Indies was—
In 1837 £3,456,745
1838 3,393,441
1839 3,986,598
or almost 4,000,000l. Our trade with our emancipated West-India colonies had been increased, and this was owing principally, he believed, to the change which had taken place in the condition of the negro population, and went far to prove the advantage of dealing with freemen instead of slaves. While slavery existed, the negro population were supplied only with the commonest and poorest description of goods, but, now that they were free and obtained high wages, they exercised their own fancies with regard to articles of dress, and what was the result? Why, that the demand for better descriptions of British manufactured goods applicable to the purposes of dress had greatly increased. In this way I the operations of the manufacturers of this country were extended more widely and employment increased, and yet this was the trade the stability of which her Majesty's Government proposed to shake. The export trade with the East and the West Indies in 1839 in point of value was worth little less than 9,000,000l.; and in 1840 undoubtedly much more. No doubt the export trade, with the Brazils was also valuable and deserved encouragement; but was it to be compared with the export trade of the East and West Indies? The whole value of the export trade with the Brazils in 1839 was given in the official tables at 2,650,000l., and to that might be added about 400,000l. for Cuba. A friend of his connected with the Brazils, told him, indeed, that the value as given by the official returns was much underrated, and he showed him good grounds for believing that it was: but even admitting this, would not the same observation be applicable to the returns of the value of the export trade to the West or East Indies? As a standard of comparative value between the exports to the different countries, the returns were quite sufficient, and comparison was all that was here in question. He could only say, that the manufacturers of this country would not be alive to their own interests if for the sake of extending foreign markets they sacrificed the growing and permanent advantages which the markets of our own possessions afforded to them. He (Lord Sandon) knew the apprehensions entertained by his right hon. Friend, the President of the Board of Trade, lest he should be fettered and embarrassed by our high duties on Brazilian sugar in his coming negotiations with the Brazilian government. He (Lord Sandon) knew that he thought, that that government would be disposed to place discriminating duties upon our manufactures in favour of those of countries which admitted her produce on more favourable terms; but, he believed these apprehensions to be exaggerated. The Brazilians sold to us much of their produce; for their sugar they found a ready market elsewhere. They bought our manufactures now in preference to those of other countries, because they were cheaper and better; they would not refuse to buy them as long as they were cheaper and better, and as long as they could pay for them, which indirectly they, though not directly, found the means of doing. He (Lord Sandon) was aware that this circuitous payment was not so convenient to the British merchant, and he regretted it; but there were greater considerations at the present moment which forbade him to apply the remedy proposed. One point of the speech of the noble Lord had been received with great rapture and applause by hon. Gentlemen opposite; but he thought, when examined, it would be found to have nothing in it. The noble Lord said, it was all very fine for the West-India proprietors to talk about free labour, but it was very well known that they sent home their own sugar, and sent out sugar, the produce of slave labour, for consumption in the West Indies in its place. Now the fact was, that the West-India proprietors had nothing whatever to do with the matter. The West Indies refine no sugar. What refined sugar they used, had been always brought from England, and as long as there was a surplus supply of British sugar enough for the consumption of Great Britain it was colonial sugar that returned there. But when that surplus ceased, the refined sugar sent into our own colonies for their consumption was, by an act of the present Government, foreign sugar undoubtedly, but had the planter or the proprietor anything to do with that? Nothing whatever; he did not export it to the colonies—the merchant or refiner did it, as an article of trade, and was alone responsible for it. But did the West Indian ask for it. On the contrary, they remonstrated against it; Jamaica had memorialized; Demerara had actually prohibited its introduction. But her Majesty's Government refused to listen to these remonstrances, and then taunted the West Indian with the result of their own act. This claptrap, therefore, successful as it might appear at the moment when it was delivered, when examined was found to be destitute of the slightest real bearing on the question. —If, then, he had succeeded in persuading the House that, financially, the prospect was one of at least doubtful result—that it must either encourage slave-grown sugar to a large amount, or that the revenue could not be made up, for no increase in the consumption of free labour sugar paying the lower duty, would be expected, adequate to make up the sum required—if he had succeeded in showing that, commercially, there was no sufficient inducement to take the proposed step, and that the consumer could not be materially benetitted by its adoption, surely he was entitled to say, that not even a temptation was offered to concur in the proposition of the Government for giving facilities to the admission of foreign sugar, as long as such a step would tend to defeat the great experiment which they were embarked in, for obtaining tropical produce by means of free emancipated labour, and as long as there was a fair hope and prospect that that experiment would be successful. With these views and feelings, he could not have said less than he had done; and thanking the House for the attention which they had paid to him, he begged leave to move his amendment,— That, considering the efforts and sacrifices which Parliament and the country have made for the abolition of the Slave-trade and slavery, with the earnest hope that their exertions and example might lead to the mitigation and final extinction of these evils in other countries, this House is not prepared (especially with the present prospects of the supply of sugar from British possessions) to adopt the measure proposed by her Majesty's Government for the reduction of the duty on foreign sugar.

Mr. Hogg

rose, to second the resolution moved by the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool—a resolution which not only disapproved of the specific measures proposed by her Majesty's Ministers, but declared that they ought not to be taken into consideration by the House; and he thought that the House would be of opinion that this was the fit and proper way to deal with a proposal which would involve in ruin the most valuable of our foreign possessions, would violate the plighted faith of the country, and which disregarded the most sacred dictates of humanity. He would not have ventured to have obtruded himself on the attention of the House, were it not for the relation in which he stood towards a part of the empire whose interests would be most seriously affected by these measures; and under these circumstances he ventured to hope for the kind indulgence of the House. He (Mr. Hogg) was not versed in parliamentary tactics, but he certainly had expected that the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies would have heard what the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool had to propose, and the reasons he had to urge in its support, before he (Lord J. Russell) would have addressed the House. The resolution of which the noble Lord opposite had given notice, indicated the consciousness of coming defeat, and to prevent that defeat being converted into utter discomfiture, the noble Lord had deemed it necessary to rise before the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool, and to address to the House one of those spirited and party speeches which no man could pronounce with greater force, ability, or effect. The noble Lord felt that the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer was, as it had been designated by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, barren and sterile indeed. The noble Lord felt that it was expedient to make a sort of supplementary speech to bolster up the deficiencies of what was courteously called the Budget of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, before it was safe to allow the subject to be submitted to discussion in the House. In the course of that supplementary speech the noble Lord had evinced the greatest sensibility and fear, lest it should be supposed in the House and in the country, that the recent defeats of the Ministry had any thing to do with the measures thus suddenly proposed. No such suggestion had proceeded from his (Mr. Hogg's) side of the House, as the noble Lord took good care to have the first word, and to address the House, not in reply to, but in anticipation of the speech of the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool. Whence then this sensibility as to an imputation which had not been made? He (Mr. Hogg) knew not from what internal monitor had proceeded the suggestion which the noble Lord was thus anxious to repel. Her Majesty's Ministers had sustained repeated and signal defeats in measures brought in by them as a Government, and close following those defeats, they had introduced three of the most important measures that could affect the interests or agitate the feelings of the country. The introduction of slave-grown sugar— the timber duties—and the Corn-laws. And instead of submitting them to deliberate discussion on the broad grounds of national policy and justice, had huddled them together without notice, and apparently without consideration, in a Budget speech. The noble Lord after expressing his anxiety that it might not be supposed that these measures in any way emanated from the recent defeats of his Government, went at length into the financial difficulties of the country, and addressing himself to his (Mr. Hogg's) side of the House, said "you never objected to the expenditure that has been made, and the course you now adopt is factious." And the noble Lord then proceeded at some length to repudiate the conduct pursued by the opposition side of the House, and to favor them with a lecture as to the course they ought to have adopted. He (Mr. Hogg) admitted with pain and regret the financial difficulties of the country. He would not dwell upon them in detail, but would contrast the Budget of 1830, the last brought forward by a Conservative Government, with the Budget of the present year. In the Budget brought forward in 1830, there was an excess of revenue over expenditure of 2,667,000l. In the present Budget the revenue fell short of the expenditure by 2,421,776l., thus making the deficiency in the present Budget as contrasted with that of 1830 upwards of 5,000,000l. The noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) in his financial exposition, attempted to mix up the foreign policy of the country with the question of finance, and urged as a legitimate conclusion, that the whole of that policy had been approved of by his (Mr. Hogg's) side of the House, because they had not withheld their assent from certain armaments and expeditions rendered necessary by the course which Government had pursued —nay he even had the hardihood to refer to China. It is true that Conservatives did not object to the expedition sent to that country. He himself was ready to admit, that this country could not have communicated with the emperor of China with honor, or with effect, except in the presence of an armed force. But, did it therefore follow, that he approved of the policy which rendered that armament necessary? Surely, the noble Lord must ill recollect the debates which had taken place in that House last Session, when he ventured to state, that the foreign policy of the Government had always been approved of by those who sat on his (Mr. Hogg's) side of the House. The noble Lord then adverted to the deliberations of Government on these subjects, and said, that the Cabinet had long had them under their consideration, and were all agreed as to the introduction of the principles of free trade, at least to the extent of the propositions now before the House. If this were true, then he said that the House, and the country, and the commercial interests of the empire, especially of that part of it with which he (Mr. Hogg) was more immediately connected, had just and strong grounds of complaint. He had bailed with pleasure and received with gratitude, the measure of justice conceded by the present Government to India in 1836. He was always pleased and proud to bear his testimony to the value of that measure. In 1836, the duties on sugar from the East and West Indies were equalized, and a great and valuable boon was thereby conferred on the East Indies. It was not, however, more than six weeks since a discussion had taken place on the rum duties, and if at that time the Government, had determined on the introduction of a measure like the present, the President of the Board of Trade was bound by official duty to have then given the House some intimation of it. It was misleading the House and the public not to do so. It was grossly misleading the public. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Labouchere) then said, as yet we have only nominally equalised the duties on East and West-India sugar— until we have equalised the duty on the whole produce of the sugar-cane—until we have equalised the duty on rum, I cannot say that we shall have done justice to India, or put that country in a position to supply the people of England with cheap and free labour sugar. Upon the faith of that declaration, capital to an immense amount had been sent out to India —machinery had been exported, and manufacturers had been shipped to that quarter of the world with the intention of bringing home sugar in return. AH this good would now be marred—great loss, perhaps absolute ruin, would be entailed on individuals, and yet the noble Lord solemnly assured the House, that the present measure had long been determined upon. How, he asked, could the noble Lord justify this concealment which had misled the mercantile world, and induced individuals to embark in a course of enterprise that could only end in ruin? What was the principal argument adduced by the noble Lord in support of this measure? He said the object he had in view was to give cheap sugar to the consumer, and yet in the same breath he ridiculed the apprehensions of the West-Indians, and contended that the proposed measure would not cheapen sugar more than 1s. 6d. per cwt. Great indeed must be the pressure of difficulties when a mind so acute as that of the noble Lord, could be driven to such inconsistency. The next point to which the noble Lord adverted, was the advantage to be derived from fair competition, not only to the consumer, but also to the producer of sugar in the East and West Indies. The noble Lord did not attempt to push this argument quite so far as it was carried before the Import Duties Committee. There it was broadly contended, that the best mode to put down the slave-trade, and to encourage the production of free-labour sugar, was to expose it to competition with sugar the produce of slave labour. Now he (Mr. Hogg) begged the attention of the House to the instances referred to by the noble Lord, in order to show the beneficial operation of free competition. He referred to the manufacturers of earthern-ware and gloves, which he stated had thriven when exposed to competition between England and France. But he would ask, did it therefore follow that two countries could compete with each other under circumstances wholly different, when the supply of late in one was restricted, and almost prohibited, and in the other unlimited? Did it therefore follow that the West Indies, where slave labour was prohibited, and free labour scarcely to be had, could contend in the production of sugar with Cuba and the Brazils, where there was no restriction as to labour either slave or free? He felt bound to say, that it was absurd to contend that the cases were in any manner parallel. But what said Mr. Hume, the great champion of free trade, when examined before the Import Duties Committee? His words are:— The laws in this country having deprived the planter in Jamaica of that means (meaning slave labour) of raising his produce, I conceive that this is a question taken out of the category of free trade. Again, what did Mr. Hume say as to the introduction of slave-labour sugar? He said:— That if our colonies could not supply sugar sufficient for our consumption, then, but not before, the public must make up their mind as to the distinction to be maintained between free and slave-labour sugar. The noble Lord then referred with some exultation lo the practice which has prevailed of late, of importing coffee from the Brazils into the Cape of Good Hope, and shipping it from thence to this country for consumption. He (Mr. Hogg) confessed himself at a loss to understand what argument could be derived from that practice. His reply was, that the whole proceeding was a fraud upon the revenue, and that the right hon. Gentleman, the President of the Board of Trade, had introduced a bill last Session for the express purpose of putting a stop to that fraud. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had rested the Government proposition upon three grounds; the scarcity in the supply of sugar, the high price of sugar, and the financial difficulties of the country. He (Mr. Hogg) would not dwell further on the question of finance, and the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool had already shewn the House that there was no reason to apprehend a scarcity of sugar, or a continuance of the late high prices. He (Mr. Hogg) had taken every means to inform himself accurately as to the prospects of supply for the present year, and the result was very nearly the same as had been stated by the noble Member for Liverpool. The stock on the 1st of January last was 35,000 tons; the estimated imports from the West Indies 115,000 Ions; from the Mauritius 35,000 tons; and from the East Indies 60,000 tons, making a total of 245,000 tons; while the consumption of the United Kingdom had never reached 200,000 tons, leaving a surplus of 45,000 tons, which must be exported to the Continent, where it would meet the sugars from the Brazils and Cuba, and thus tend to keep down the prices in the home markets. The last Gazette average price for British plantation sugar was 37s. 7—d. per cwt., being a progressive fall of 12s. since the commencement of the year, and reducing the price of sugar to a trifle more than 6d. per pound to the consumer. There was, therefore, for the present year a supply exceeding the consumption, nearly one-fourth, and prices moderate, with a falling market. Thus much as to the argument of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, founded on the scarcity and high price of sugar. The right hon. Gentleman (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) in making his statement, said: "In fixing the rates of duties, I still leave 50 per cent, in favour of British colonial sugar." That no doubt was true in fact, but practically it afforded no protection at all, when the qualities of the sugars, and the quantity of saccharine matter which they contained, were taken into consideration, and it was only that very morning that the right hon. Gentleman had apprised the House of his intention to alter his announced scale of duties. This was not the first occasion when her Majesty's Government had pro- posed an important measure, and subsequently, on obtaining information respecting it, had made most material alterations. It was only that day they had learned that there was to be any distinction with respect to the clayed sugars of Cuba and Brazil, and he had, therefore, a right to suppose that the measure had been introduced in haste and with precipitation, otherwise the right hon. Gentleman could not have failed to have been adequately informed on the subject. The right hon Gentleman had broadly stated in his Budget speech that he would reduce the duties upon all foreign sugar to 36s., which would have been an absolute bonus to the slave-labour sugar of Cuba and Brazil. The difference between the fine sugars of the Havannah, and the ordinary brown or Muscovado West Indian, was more than 12s. per cwt.; so that a man, by purchasing fine Cuba sugar, though nominally dearer, would in reality get a greater quantity of saccharine matter than he could obtain for the same money of free labour sugar. He (Mr. Hogg) had been informed by a gentleman well acquainted with the trade, that one cwt. of colonial sugar, when refined, yielded 61lb. refined, 22lb. bastard, 24lb. molasses, and 5lb. waste, while one cwt. Havannah yields 90lb. refined, 10lb. bastard, and 10lb. molasses. To show that 36s. would be an inadequate protect ion, he begged again to refer the House to the evidence before the Import Duties Committee. What, he asked, was the request urged by the Brazilian merchants who appeared before that committee? In such cases men generally asked for a little more than they were likely to get; but all they ventured to ask for was, that the duty on foreign grown sugar should be reduced to 36s., and the Government at once conceded the whole of their demand. He believed that this country would be inundated with foreign sugar at a protecting duty of 36s.—yes, he believed it would. He did not stand there to pretend that, in opposing the introduction of slave-grown sugar, he would not enhance the price of sugar. He did not think that the West Indies could ever compete with slave-grown sugar, and that the East Indies could not for many years to come. To show the House the extraordinary power of production of Cuba, that Island produced one-fourth of the consumption of the world, while it was an astounding fact, that twenty years ago Cuba imported sugar for her own consumption. A great deal of stress had been laid upon the advantage that would result to the revenue from the increased consumption, occasioned by a diminished price of sugar, and upon the consequent benefit that would arise to the manufacturing interests from increased exports to sugar-producing countries. Of course every one must admit the general principle, that reduced prices tended to increase consumption. He (Mr. Hogg) fully admitted every thing that had been said in that and preceding debates as to the necessity and expediency of reducing, as far as was practicable, the price of every article consumed by the lower classes. He admitted further the high moral obligation which, under the changed habits of the people with respect to temperance, now existed to cheapen to the utmost the price of sugar. He felt that the result would be, to increase the consumption of tea and coffee, and to prevent the working classes having recourse to ardent spirits. It appeared, however, that alterations in price did not affect the consumption so much as the House had been led to suppose. In 1830, the price of sugar was 24s. 11d. per cwt., and the consumption was 3,722,044 cwt. In 1831, the price was 23s. 8d., and the consumption was 3,781,011 cwt. In 1828, the price was as high as 31s. 8d. and the consumption was 3,601,419 cwt., and in 1827, when the price was 35s. 9d., the consumption was 3,340,927 cwt. Now the highest price was in 1827, when sugar was 35s. 9d., and the lowest price was in 1831, when sugar was only 23s. 8d,, and yet the consumption in 1827 fell short of the consumption in 1831 by only a little more than 400,000 cwt.; although, in the latter year, there was a four years increase of population; so that the consumption of sugar in this country seemed to depend, of course, to a certain extent, on price, but a great deal more on commercial prosperity and high wages. With commerce prosperous, and wages high, sugar would always be consumed to a great extent in this country, if the price were not absolutely extravagant. With respect to the increased demand for our manufactures in Brazil, consequent upon the reduction of the duty upon foreign sugar, he (Mr. Hogg) believed that Government were calculating rather loosely. If we admitted slave-grown sugar into this country, we should get it chiefly from Cuba, where it was cheapest, and not from the Brazils. In proof of this he begged to state, that although the Americans who traded with the Brazils, experienced the same difficulty that we did in obtaining returns from that country, yet they were in the habit of returning empty, rather than bring a cargo of sugar which they found they could import cheaper from Cuba; so that the great and wonderful advantage of increasing the export of our manufactures to the Brazils, was nearly imaginary. Thus the bounty given to sugar was exactly in proportion to the encouragement given to slavery by the country which produced it. Cuba, where the slave-trade raged in all its horrors, would benefit most; next the Brazils, where slave-labour exclusively prevailed; while our own colonies from which slavery was excluded, would be ruined by the enactment. With the permission of the House he would give the exports to the Brazils, the foreign West Indies, including Cuba, the West Indies and the East Indies, from 1830 to 1839. He found, on referring to the official returns, that in 1830 the exports to the Brazils amounted to 2,400,000l.—in 1831, to 1,323,000l. —in 1834, to 2,460,000?.—in 1837, to 1,824,000l.— in 1839, to 2,650,000l., which he begged the House to bear in mind was the greatest amount of exports ever sent to the Brazils, as shown by the official returns. The exports to Cuba, which would benefit more than any other part of the world by the proposed alterations, were very trifling. They are not stated separately in the official returns, but are included in the exports to the foreign West Indies. In 1839, the total only amounted to 891,826l. of which he believed one-fourth did not belong to Cuba. Now contrast the above with the exports to the East and West Indies. In 1830, the exports to the East-India Company's territories, including Ceylon, were 3,895,000l. In 1835, the year before the equalization of the Sugar Duties, they amounted to 3,192,692l. — in 1836, to 4,285,829l., and in 1839, to 4,748,607l. The exports to the West Indies in 1830, amounted to 2,838,000l., and in 1839, to 3,986,598l. It thus appears that the exports to the East and West Indies, including the Mauritius and Ceylon, in the year 1839 amounted to 8,735,205l., while, during the same period, the exports to the Brazils amounted only to 2,650,713l. It would be seen that his statement varied much from that made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer upon the same point. He (Mr. Hogg) took his information from official returns laid before the House, and he confessed himself at a loss to know where the right hon. Gentleman got his figures when he stated to the House that in 1839 the exports to the Brazils had exceeded 5,000,000l., and amounted to nearly as much as the exports to the East and West Indies, during the same year put together. [Here some hon. Member said, from the Evidence before the Import Duties' Committee.] Yes, (continued Mr. Hogg) he was aware that some such allegation had been made before that committee, but why did not the right hon. Gentleman when making an official statement to that House, refer to official returns, and not take his facts from loose allegations made by interested merchants. He had one more observation to make with regard to the evidence before that committee. Mr. Cockshott, one of the witnesses, when wishing to shew how much the price to the consumer would be reduced if the introduction of Foreign sugar was permitted, stated, that he had then a vessel at Falmouth with 265 tons of Brazil sugar, which he would be glad to deliver at 25s. for the white, and 21s. for the brown, equal in quality to British colonial at 61s. and 57s. in bond. He added, that if he were permitted to land his sugars at a duty of 24s. the difference in price to the consumer would be 36s., while he himself would have a fair mercantile profit. So these Brazilian merchants, who modestly ask the committee to reduce the duty on Foreign sugar to 36s., giving to British sugar a protection of 12s. admit themselves, that with a difference of 36s. they could realize remunerating prices. Mr. Mc. Queen, a gentleman of great intelligence, who was examined before the East India Produce Committee, of which he (Mr. Hogg) was a member, stated that one acre of Land in Cuba would produce as much sugar as six of the most fertile acres in the East Indies. The Government measure disregarded all the considerations suggested by the report of the Import Duties' Committee, upon which it professed to be founded. That committee had recommended that a change should be effected "in such a manner that existing interests may suffer as little as possible in the transition to a more equitable and liberal state of things." That was the principle that until now had always been acted upon; that was the principle which had been acted upon by Mr. Rice, as Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1836. When introducing the bill for the Equalization of the Sugar Duties, that right hon. Gentleman said, that he admitted the principle and fairness of giving adequate notice to the interests affected, and he contended that the discussions which had taken place in Parliament had afforded what was equivalent to two years notice of the intention of Government to introduce the measure then under consideration. Upon the same occasion Mr. Rice most strongly expressed #his opinion against the introduction of any foreign grown sugar, not actually the produce of the British territories; in India, and said, that it would be a fraud in legislation to admit foreign-grown East-India sugar, thereby excluding the produce of our subsidiary States. The Cabinet in 1836, therefore, could not have had the remotest intention of allowing the introduction of foreign sugar, still less slave-grown sugar into this country. But, was such a question suggested in 1836? It was—the price of sugar was then high, it exceeded 63s., and the expediency of reducing the duty on foreign sugar was contended for, both on the grounds of lowering the price, and of encouraging our trade to the Brazils. The right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had not stated how he expected to realize the additional revenue of 700.000l. He (Mr. Hogg) feared that it could only be effected by dislodging British sugar, paying a duty of 24s., and introducing so much foreign sugar at a duty of 36s., as would make up the required sum. This was the only way in which the proposed alteration could serve the revenue, and it would be easy to estimate what a vast amount of British plantation sugar must be dislodged in the home market. When referring to the present time as chosen for these changes, the right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had said most deploringly, "Look at the present state of affairs! A most important crisis has arrived!" What the nature of that crisis might be, whether financial, commercial, or political, he (Mr. Hogg) could not pretend to say; but the pressure of that crisis was the reason assigned by the right hon. Gentleman for bringing; forward these propositions at the present time. The noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) in his speech that evening, had dwelt with satisfaction on the state of the labouring classes in the West Indies. He had described the comforts, almost the luxuries enjoyed by the emancipated negro, and he stated that the great measure of emancipation had been attended with a success, far beyond the expectations of its most sanguine advocates. But when the noble Lord thus described in glowing language the condition of the abouring classes, he had altogether forgotten to advert to the position of the proprietors. The situation of the labourer was such as the noble Lord had represented, but it was derived from the power he possessed of exacting from the proprietors whatever terms he thought fit to demand. When things were progressing towards the introduction of free labour, when the experiment which had been made was about to prove successful, when the labourer was happy and contented, and when the proprietor was making every effort to conform to the wishes and injunctions of the Legislature. When he was submitting quietly to past losses, and still incurring a large expenditure, in the hope that his sugars would find a market in this country, was that the moment to mar, by a measure like the present, the hopes and the prospects that have been thus fondly indulged in. The noble Lord might contemplate with satisfaction the condition of the emancipated negro now, but he would beg of him to look at the other side of the picture, and to consider what would be the state of that negro if the present measure should pass into a law. Did the House suppose, that after the measure of emancipation was carried, any West-India proprietor would have continued to submit to the sacrifices he has since been called upon to make, could he have anticipated the introduction of such a measure as the present? He should like to ask the noble Lord what he would have said, if, during the discussion on the Emancipation Bill, which he has told us the people of Liverpool, and the West-India proprietors so strongly opposed, some hon. Member had said on their behalf, that just as they should be emerging from their difficulties, how did they know that the Government would not come forward and propose the introduction into our markets of the slave-grown sugar of other countries? If any hon. Member had ventured to risk such a suggestion, doubtless he would have been indignantly hooted down by the House. With respect to the East Indies, he (Mr. Hogg) did not think that the operation of the proposed measure would be quite so injurious as in the West Indies. He had endeavoured to fight the battle for the East Indies when claiming for the produce of that country the same duties as were imposed on the same produce when coming from the West Indies, and had opposed many friends with whom it was painful for him to differ; but he had done so believing that the principles for which he contended were true. He then contended, and he was still prepared to contend, that the same duties ought to be imposed on the same produce when imported from different dependencies of the same empire, but the course which he had then pursued should not prevent him from looking at present to the condition and interests of the West Indies. Let it not however be supposed, that because he supported the resolution of the noble Lord, the Member for Liverpool, he was an advocate for restrictions on trade. He would have no restrictions that were not called for by some paramount national policy, or from a due consideration for some existing interests. The great object of the equalization of duties in 1836 was to secure cheap and free-labour sugar to the consumers in this country, and he had al-leady shown from what passed on that occasion, that Government could not then have had any intention of introducing foreign, and still less slave-grown sugar into this market. He would now beg the attention of the House to what had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman, the President of the Board of Trade, in June last, in the debate upon Mr. Ewart's motion for the reduction of duty upon foreign sugar. Mr. Labouchere then said, He must 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 time, that the question should be seriously considered by the House of Commons. And again, If on looking at this question, he were to do so, merely, in a financial and commercial point of view. If he were to apply 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 consider in connection 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. And again, 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 it was a course that would be agreeable to their constituents, when they came to understand all the facts of the case. Speaking of the other articles of slave produce admitted into this country, he said, He was not prepared to say, that upon this subject the course of legislation in England 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. And again, He found also, that while this diminution was going on in the supply from the West Indies, the quantity imported from the East Indies and the Mauritius had considerably increased; so much so, that last year there was imported from those distant regions, no less a quantity than 1,131,000 cwt.; that fact undoubtedly justified a hope, that we might look to that quarter for a very considerable supply of this necessary article of consumption. One more extract and he had done, 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 that 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. Such were the opinions expresed by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, only ten months ago, and they were then responded to by the whole House. He (Mr. Hogg) begged to assure the House, that the sentiments which he had expressed were not merely those of himself as an individual; the Game sentiments had already been communicated to her Majesty's Government, by the Court of Directors of the East India Company as a body. The view of the subject, taken by the Home Government of India as far as they were not controlled by her Majesty's Government, would be seen from the following letter, which, with the permission of the House he would read. It is dated the fifth of May, and addressed to W.Clay, Esq M.P. Sir,—In reference to the intention which has been expressed on the part of her Majesty's Ministers to propose a reduction of duty upon foreign sugars imported into Great Britain. I am commanded by the Court of Directors of the East India Company to call the immediate attention of the Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India, to the fact, that consequent upon the recent equalization of the duties upon East India sugar with those upon sugar from the West Indies, an impetus has been given to the production of East India sugar, which, if unchecked, will assuredly and without delay, yield to the consumers of this country an ample supply, and enable India to take more of the manufactures of Great Britain in return. But, if in the early stage of the great measure of equalisation, from which so much benefit both to India and to England, is justly anticipated, an alteration be made in the duties upon foreign sugar with the view of bringing a large supply of it into competition in the home market with the sugars of the British possessions, the Court apprehend nothing less than a total defeat of the hopes and expectations under which they so long sought, and at length successfully accomplished, that act of justice for India. The Court desire me further to, submit that the effect of any such change will be most seriously detrimental to capitalists, both European and native, who have been led to embark their property in the cultivation of sugar. The Court rely upon the Board to interpose with a view to obviate the injurious consequences which the Court deprecate, and to protect the people from severe disappointment just at the moment when they are beginning to reap the benefits of the equalization of duty so wisely and justly accorded to them by Parliament." "I have, &c. In order to show the House how severe must be the pressure in India, if a measure like the present should be carried without adequate notice, he begged to state to the House, that the British merchants in India, made advances to the Ryots, or native cultivators of the soil, for sugar, indigo, and all other produce. He believed, that advances for the coming year to an immense amount must already have been made on the faith of the continuance of the present duties, and from all he had heard, he had little doubt, that the produce of India, next year, would not be much under 100,000 tons. But apart from all considerations relating to the interests of the East or West Indies. Supposing, that the present prospects as to sugar were other than he had represented —Suppose, that the supply from our own possessions, was not likely much to exceed the consumption, and that a continuance of the late high prices was to be apprehended. He asked the House, whether they would, on that account, consent to repeal the great and glorious measure of emancipation? And whether they would add to the disgrace of such a proceeding', by acting indirectly, and repealing it, by the provisions of a customs bill? If they did regret the efforts and the sacrifices they had made for the suppression of the horrid traffic in human flesh, let them boldly and openly declare that regret— let them boldly and openly avow their intention to retrace their steps, and let them give to the West Indies with the rest of the world, unrestricted liberty to import slaves from the coast of Africa; and let them proclaim to the people of England, that the doctrines of free trade and political economy were paramount to the dictates of humanity, and the holiest obligations of religion. Was it to be endured in a Christian—nay, was it to be endured in a deliberative assembly—that after they had expended twenty millions of money, in the extinction of slavery in our own possessions, and more than twenty millions in attempting to extinguish it abroad —after they had maintained settlements, and sent out expeditions at a frightful expenditure of life and of treasure—after they had fearlessly encountered and continued to encounter the risk of war with foreign countries, by the interference of our cruizers, they should be called upon to give fresh life and vigour to that revolting traffic, because sugar happened to be a penny a pound dearer, and because her Majesty's Ministers had deranged the finances of the country? It was well known to Parliament, and to the country, when slave-labour was abolished within our possessions, that the effect must inevitably be, at least, for many years, to diminish the production, and consequently to enhance the price of sugar. Did the right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, suppose, that any such paltry consideration could have influenced the country when accomplishing such an object? Or, that such a consideration could influence them now? It mattered not how specious might be the grounds on which the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, endeavoured to rest the question. He (Mr. Hogg), did not believe, that the House of Commons would tolerate, that a tottering Ministry, instead of dealing with the great questions of the corn-laws and slave-labour, on the grounds of national policy and justice, should, for purposes which they did not, and perhaps dare not avow, be permitted to introduce them into the Budget, as mere matters of finance, and to urge in their excuse, a crisis brought about by their own misrule. They all knew, that the noble Lord was not only an able, but a bold politician; and the success which had attended him, might induce him to think he might be not only bold, but reckless. But he would venture to tell the noble Lord, that he would find that night, there was a limit to the endurance of the country, and to the confidence of those who surrounded him. If this were a mere party struggle, as had been insinuated by the noble Lord, Government might possibly escape, as they had lately done, with a majority against them, of some ten or twenty. But being a question that involved the honour of the nation, the feelings of humanity, and the precepts of the Gospel, he felt confident, that the House, without reference to party or to politics, would declare their opinion, by such a majority, that could hardly fail to prove fatal to the Go- vernment, and would, most assuredly, be hailed with satisfaction by the country.

Mr. Hawes

was not at all surprised at the turn which the debate had taken, after the speech which had been made by the noble Lord in the opening of the discussion. He was not at all surprised, that the statesmanlike views which the noble Lord had taken of the commercial policy of the country, had been, by Gentlemen opposite, suddenly-narrowed down to a question of mere East and West India interests. Neither was he surprised when the hon. Member who had just sat down declared himself an advocate of free trade in all cases in which no existing interests, no vested interests were endangered. But though not surprised at what he heard, he must confess he was struck with the boldness of the hon. Members inconsistency. But the other day he was assailing the West Indian monopoly, in conjunction with him (Mr. Hawes), to day he was its advocate, because it now was a useful ally to the additional monopoly in the East. The hon. Member then grounded his claim to the admission of East Indian Rum to the English market, upon equal terms, on the principles of free trade, and the interests of the consumer. Both are now forgotten in his advocacy of the East Indian interest. When, however, the question of free trade was fairly brought before the House, he always expected that a serious effort would be made to divert the attention of the House, from those interests which immediately affected the condition of the working classes of the country, to those of the monopolist. In that expectation he had not been disappointed; it was sufficiently apparent in the speech which the noble Lord, the Member for Liverpool, intended as an answer to the speech of the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies. Hon. Gentlemen opposite might as well be told at once, that this was no sugar debate. If indeed it were, certain right hon. Gentlemen opposite could scarcely be expected to take a hostile part in it; for, in the year 1828, the hon. Member for the University of Cambridge had assented to propositions infinitely more favourable to the introduction of slave-grown sugar than the present. [Mr. Goulburn: No, no.] Well, if the right hon. Member for the University of Cambridge had not consented to such propositions, the hon. Member for Harwich had. It was either the one or the other of them. Now, however, they both expressed their great horror of a similar proposal, Mr. Charles Grant now Lord Glenelg, when he brought the question of the sugar duties before the House, stated that to the scale of duties which he then proposed, viz: a duly on West India sugar of 20s., and to quote the report in 'Hansard' on the 9th June, 1828. His next proposition was that the duty on East Indian sugar should be lowered 5s., and that foreign sugar should be admitted at a duty of 28s., (and Mr. Grant added) that this proposition was favourably considered by his right hon. Friend, and other Members of the Government. After this, he (Mr. Hawes) would leave the right hon. Gentleman to reconcile his present, with his past policy upon this question. But passing from this topic he certainly expected, that the noble Lord in bringing forward his amendment on this important subject, would have made some reference to the present embarrassed state of the trade of the country. No one could view it without apprehension and alarm. He must know, that trade was greatly depressed in the manufacturing districts. But there was not a word from the noble Lord on this subject—not a word shewing that the noble Lord had any plan, or adopted any principle calculated to relieve our trade, or the sufferings from artizans, or meet the financial difficulties of the country. Now, he undertook to say, that the state of trade was more depressed than at any former period. From peculiar circumstances connected with the United States, the exports in that direction had lessened. From the state of our relations with China, hon. Gentlemen opposite had not ventured to condemn the general policy of the Government, and had they done so, the interruption of our friendly relations with China from whatever cause or policy, however mistaken, now added to the depression of trade. Hence the pressing question for the House to consider was, whether that could be removed by emancipating it from the restrictions which now fetter it. With regard to our trade, there was every reason to suppose, that whilst the population and capital of this country had greatly increased, trade had not increased in the same proportion. This was the consequence of narrowing the channels of commerce, of refusing to expand our Legislation in coincidence with our commercial enter-prize, and of our practically declining to open new markets to our merchants. There was no mode of making trade keep pace with population, but by increasing the number of markets, by tempting foreigners to buy our goods by taking theirs in exchange. If the House referred to the value of British exports in 1801, a time of war, they would find the amount to be 39,700,000l., which was at the rate of 2l. 8s 7d. per head, for the whole population. In 1840, making a similar comparison of exports with population, the rate per head would not be more than 1l. 17s. It appeared, then, that while population and capital had increased, trade had not increased proportionately; and such being the case, it was of the utmost importance, that the question now before the House should not be treated as a party question, not as a sugar question, but as a question which concerned the great commercial and permanent interests of the country. The noble Lord who introduced the amendment should have put forth the principles on which his party were prepared to deal I with the great interests now in peril, and then the country having them and those of her Majesty's Government before them, might temperately consider, and calmly decide between them. But it was necessary to deal with the objections raised specifically to this plan on the ground, that it would increase slavery and the slave-trade, and the plea of injustice to the West-India interest. The West-India interest, during the last fifty years, had always been complaining of their sufferings. They had been ruined every year during that period. In 1798, when the slave-trade flourished, they said, that nothing could save the planters but a high price of sugar. During the war they complained of unusual competition from foreign countries. When slavery was abolished, the same complaint continued. They still demanded protection—that was to say, that the people of this country should be taxed for their own peculiar benefit. These were not mere assertions, but statements founded on official and West-Indian authorities. The plea of injustice was always raised by the West-Indian interest, whenever any measure endangering their monopoly was proposed. Twenty millions had not satisfied them, nor would twenty millions more, so long as an unjust protection enfeebled their exertions. Protection, not free trade, would be their ruin. When he heard the hon. Member for Beverley speak of making common cause with the West-India interest, he owned he felt astonished at the facility with which he changed his opinions. When the question of equali- zation of duties on East-India produce was before the House, no man had more eloquently contended, than the hon. Member, that the free trade enjoyed by the British possessions in India was the foundation of their prosperity. All the great branches of its staple produce, were supplanting the produce of slave labour. Indigo from the East Indies, which was of comparatively recent introduction, had already supplanted slave-grown indigo, in every market of the world. East-India sugar competed with West-India sugar, even while slavery existed, and the cotton of India was sold at a lower price than slave-grown cotton, and was supplanting American and slave-grown cotton, in all the markets of the East. He laid it down, then, as an incontrovertible position, that free-labour and free trade, was, under all circumstances, more productive than slave labour and protection, and he could give no better illustration of this, than by referring to Porto Rico, one half of which was cultivated by free, and the other by slave labour; the former presenting every where the most cheerful and luxuriant prospects, the latter, a state of comparative misery and degradation. In that portion of the island cultivated by free labour, Captain Kinter, in his account of Porto Rico, stated, that the planters were flourishing; and, on the contrary, in that part of the island cultivated by slave labour, he states, that the estates are mortgaged, and the planters embarrassed. And, in reference to Cuba, he would just remind the House, that Admiral Fleming, in his evidence before the West-Indian Committee, stated it to be his opinion, that if slavery were put an end to, not a single estate would be thrown out of cultivation. In fact, the climate and the soil gave these islands their legitimate and only advantages. He believed, therefore, that by a reduction of duty, they were taking the course most likely to promote the permanent interests of the free labourers, and to enable free labour to compete successfully with slave labour, because, by the removal of an injurious protection, enterprise and skill would be stimulated healthfully and successfully. The sugar grown in the West Indies would have to rely only on its own resources. Economical production would be promoted, and the legitimate application of capital—sources of wealth which neither time nor circumstances would impair. His right hon. Friend, the Member for the Tower Ham- lets, he ventured to anticipate, would take another objection. His right hon. Friend was impressed with the idea, that the reduction of duty on our colonial sugar, would encourage the slave trade and slavery; to promote either the one or the other, he deemed a sin—a violation of the law of God. In fact, his right hon. Friend took, in common with many others, a religious objection to the supposed result of this measure. Now, granting, for the sake of argument, that slavery was sinful, and its encouragement the consequence of this measure, was his right hon. Friend prepared to contend, that the importation of slave-grown sugar, the produce of countries as independent as our own, and its consumption by our own population was sinful and that he was entitled, because he so viewed it, to enforce his views by act of Parliament? Was not his right hon. and learned Friend imposing his own view of what was against the law of God upon others—was he not proposing to legislate on the very same basis on which had rested every bigoted and intolerant measure, introduced into this House. Would not the same principle be equally good for the enforcement of an act of uniformity, and equally so for the insisting upon any matter of faith or ceremonial? How far were they to go, or where could they stop in the application of such a principle in matters of trade? Ought they not equally to exclude all kinds of slave produce? Did his right hon. and learned Friend go that length? He had no doubt his right hon. and learned Friend had slave-grown produce in his pocket in the shape of snuff, cotton in one shape or another, about his person, also the produce of slave labour. There was as much violation, it must be admitted, in using one kind of produce as another. This objection he humbly considered as untenable, and inconsistent with those principles of religious liberty and the rights of conscience, of which his right hon. Friend had for so long a period been the eloquent and consistent advocate. He was surprised at hearing hon. Gentlemen opposite say, that a diminution of price would not increase consumption. He thought the increase of consumption capable of proof. He found, that the consumption of sugar and molasses included, was, in 1839, upwards of 20lbs. per head. The population was 24,000,000, and the price of sugar 23s. and a fraction in bond. In 1840, the consumption was but 15lb per head, whilst the popula- tion had augmented to 28,000,000. And the revenue of 1840, as compared with 1831, showed a falling off, notwithstanding the increase of population, of upwards of 200,000l. But if the consumption of sugar had increased with the increasing population, the revenue ought to have been in the following proportion. As 24,000,000, the population in 1831, is to 4,650,590l., the revenue of the same year, so is 28,000,000, the population in 1841, to 5,425,000l. But the actual revenue in 1841, was only 4,449,000l. or upwards of 900,000l. less than it ought to have been, according to the consumption of 1831—a year selected on account of the low price of sugar, as 1840 is selected on account of the high price of sugar. A judicious reduction of the duty, therefore, by the ad. mission of foreign sugar, would have been the means of preventing any defalcation of the revenue. But to show, that the consumptive ability of the people of this country is underrated, take only the quantity of sugar allowed to old female paupers, under a Poor-law dietary, viz., seven ounces of sugar per week, which being assumed as the true consumption, and no more, of the population, would give a consumption equal to 287,000 tons annually, or about 67,000 tons over and above the largest probable Importation. If, however, a revenue were not to be raised from foreign sugar, would hon. Gentlemen point out any better source from which it could be derived? Our finances were admitted to be greatly in arrear, and this plan presented the means of repairing the damage without the imposition of any new tax, and with the prospect of an extension of our commerce. Under the present scale of sugar duties, adulteration was carried on to a great extent, to lower the price, as was proved by the evidence before the Import Duties Committee. And, another proof of the oppression of the present heavy duty was, that the coffee-house keepers of the metropolis had stated before the same committee, that they should not be able, if the price of sugar continued high, to supply coffee without advancing it price. That a large class would thereby be unable to purchase it for their coffee, and would, consequently, be deprived of the beverage altogether. He thought, consisidering these facts, that the noble Lord opposite need not have talked so lightly of a reduction of Id. per pound, when the article was one of universal consumption. But Gentlemen on the other side demanded protection for the West-Indian sugar grower. Wherever protection had been adopted, its removal had been always attended with an increase of manufactures and commerce, and nothing could more strongly illustrate this than the present condition of the manufacturing interest in Russia, where protection had been carried out with a despotic hand, and had protected no branch of manufacture from ruin, and none from unsuccessful foreign competition. At this moment, the proceedings of other nations were such as to suggest the propriety of revising our commercial system: we should soon be engaged in commercial negotiations with the United States, and Spain and Austria were both endeavouring to find relief from financial difficulties by a liberalization of their commercial codes. It was equally necessary to revise our own, whether for the maintenance of our trade, or the better preservation of peace. That peace which the right hon. Member for Tamworth so earnestly desired the other night, could be in no way so easily attained as by the reciprocal interests and ties of commerce. [Loud cries of Order, Order.] Hon. Gentlemen, who manifested so much impatience, should recollect, that a subject of this sort could not be treated in a cursory manner, nor could the discussions upon it, dry as they naturally were, be made entertaining, nor would they come to a very speedy conclusion. The noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies, whose able and statesmanlike speech would make a deep impression out of doors, proposed to overcome our financial difficulties without the imposition of any new taxes. The noble Lord was opposed at the very first stage, and that opposition would be appreciated by the country. Lei not hon. Gentlemen suppose that the present state of things could continue. With the increased enlightenment and information of the people, they would soon understand the principles which divided the two great parties. When they saw that one was the advocate of a liberal commercial policy, which wolud cheapen all the great necessaries of life, they would not be slow to rally round that party. Hon. Gentleman opposite would be disappointed if they expected any great popularity from the course they were now taking. He would not trouble the House further, except to state that he gave his humble but most earnest thanks to the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) for the ability and earnestness with which he had expounded a scheme of the largest and most comprehensive commercial policy ever discussed in any legislature before, and to express his belief that in doing so the noble Lord had done more to give strength to his principles than he could by any compromise or concession whatever.

Mr. Handley

said, he was anxious to seize the first opportunity of stating the course which a painful, but imperative sense of duty compelled him to pursue. The forms of the House, so essential to the regulation of its proceedings, were too often perverted to party purposes, and seized upon by Parliamentary tacticians to trim their sails so as to catch the popular gale. He (Mr. Handley) could have wished this question had been brought forward in a manner more convenient for discussion in that House, and more intelligible out of doors. He could not, however, disconnect the sugar duties from the other great interests embraced in the plan of the Chancellor of the Exchequer who had made the Timber Duties, the Sugar Duties, and the Corn-laws matters of financial arrangement. If however, he could have entertained a doubt on the subject, it had been removed by the straightforward course pursued by the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, who had placed a resolution on the notice paper of the House, dealing with protective duties without distinction. But he had in his speech furnished him with a conclusive argument; for the noble Lord had asked him with what face could they address themselves to the Timber Duties, and the Sugar Duties, if they had shrunk from considering the great question of the Corn-laws? The converse of this proposition was also true; for how could he (Mr. Handley) give his consent to a proposal for diminishing the protection afforded to Canada, now so closely connected with us by the ties of sympathy for those emigrants who had left our shores at our instigation. How could he sacrifice the protection of the West-Indian planter, now struggling in the infancy of a new, a fearful, but glorious experiment, with the enormous wages paid to the emancipated labourer; and, when he came to the question of the Corn-laws, turn round, and exclaim, "Thus far shall thou go, but no further: you now touch upon hallowed ground?" But, to crown the whole, the noble Lord had come forward with the monstrous and astounding proposition that our present protective duties on corn should be exchanged for the scale of fixed duties which he had announced. He (Mr. Handley)was fully persuaded that even the noble Lord had exceeded the fondest expectations even of the anti-Corn-law league, and that his proposals would carry terror and dismay throughout England, not only in agricultural districts, but wherever property was to be found. He (Mr. Handley) would not, on the present occasion be led into a discussion of the Corn-law question: indeed, he hoped that occasion would not speedily arise; but he would tell the noble Lord, emphatically and advisedly, on the part of his constituents and himself, that they would rather be without the semblance of protection at all than the fallacious one which the noble Lord had proposed. He repudiated the proposition—he altogether denounced the project and the scale. Let the noble Lord throw open the corn trade altogether; but let him at the same time throw open the gates of the Custom-house—let him abolish the Excise—and then let him ask the public creditor how he liked the exchange of security, from cultivated fields to a wide waste covered with a pauper population, and a revenue depending on the collateral security of mills and manufacturers. The position he was placed in was not of his own seeking: it was forced upon him by her Majesty's Government—by those with whom he had concurred in the great principles of their policy; and however painful it might be to vote against them he should have the consolation of having pursued the plain and honest course which his conscience dictated.

Mr. James

said, that the speech of the noble Secretary for the Colonies was the finest and most statesmanlike speech he had heard for twenty years. He had no doubt, that the noble Lord opposite had brought forward this resolution with the expectation of catching the votes of all the philanthropists, and of all those more closely concerned with the West Indies. He happened to be one of those who had a personal and private interest in this matter, being a proprietor of a pretty extensive estate in the island of Jamaica. If the noble Lord opposite expected to get his vote on the present occasion he would be disappointed. He had never yet opposed his private interest to the performance of his public duty, and he hoped he never should. They were now to choose between exercising humanity towards the black population of the West Indies, and exercising humanity towards the miserable, half-starved, white population at home. His vote would be given, as it always had been, to support the interests of our own population, in preference to those of the blacks, although, perhaps, he might feel a certain degree of regret that Government had been compelled to bring forward a proposition which might certainly have a tendency to make slavery and the slave-trade more profitable than ever.

Dr. Lushington

said, circumstanced as I am, I think the House will naturally expect that I should feel it my duty to address a few observations to them; and, undoubtedly 3 I should have felt that obligation, even if my hon. Friend the Member for Lambeth had not taken upon himself the rather unusual course of forestalling the opinions and statements of a Member of this House, putting them in his own language—language which I altogether disclaim—and striving to cast upon them some degree of ridicule. To that I have been subject for many years, and I feel that it has not done me any injury, in my own opinion or in the opinion of others. With respect to the principle first stated by my hon. Friend, I shall persevere in its assertion, if the hon. Member meant this—that I have ever been the determined enemy of slavery, whether it assumed its most hateful form of the slave-trade which had ravaged the whole western world, involving the murder and bloodshed of thousands of our fellow-creatures, or other forms scarcely less detestable, as it existed in the West India islands, and as it now exists in the Brazils, where human existence is at the lowest ebb of degraded misery: if the hon. Member meant this, that I have ever expressed my abhorrence of these practices, have ever been their determined opponent, as contrary to the laws of God and of man: if that were what the hon. Member meant, I shall ever stand by that principle, and the hon. Member states that which I claim as an honour, let who will, think it a subject of ridicule. "But," said my hon. Friend, "what right have we to force our virtuous principles upon other states, to pass an act of uniformity for Spain and the Brazils, and whatever Other countries may choose to carry on these dreadful practices? "What right? Why, have we not declared these principles by an Act of Parliament in 1807? Have we not avowed them in Congress in 1815? Have not all the great States of Europe concurred in declaring that the slave-trade was contrary to the justice of man, and the law of God? Have we nothing more to say? Why we have treaties subsisting with every one of the great Powers upon this subject—treaties in which the Brazils are included. Indeed, I lament to say that almost all the treaties which have ever yet been made for the protection of suffering humanity in the case of the Africans—and it is one of the most extraordinary incidents in the history of the world—have been dealt with as though they were waste paper. We have gone to war for possessions which would not pay for their maintenance, and we have allowed treaties for the protection of the rights of humanity to be violated with scarcely a remonstrance. We have a right to the fulfilment of those treaties—we have a right to assert their principles—and the claim which we urge partakes neither of intolerance nor dictation. We have a right, and I say so, after attending to the observations of my hon. Friend, to take measures for the suppression of that which all Europe concurs in stigmatizing as a crying wickedness and iniquity. I am aware, that in approaching the present discussion, it will be truly said, that we must take into consideration many great and important topics. I am aware of our financial difficulties—I am aware of our commercial difficulties, I am aware that the time may be coming when we shall have to encounter some embarrassments in dealing with foreign governments on commercial subjects. I forget none of these topics. I say them not out of my consideration, but speaking of one measure, and one only—the present proposal of her Majesty's Government —I am prepared to say, that that measure will not remove the difficulties, will not relieve them from the embarrassments under which they now laboured, will lower them in the face of Europe, will degrade them in their own opinions, and will not receive the approval of the suffering people of this country. The measures proposed have reference to sugar, corn, and timber, I have ever been the friend of free trade, I have ever voted for an alteration in the Corn-laws, I maintain that opinion still. I have altered my sentiments with regard to the timber-duties; but I have always voted against every measure that tended to in- crease the slave-trade or give it fresh rigour. I did so last year, and I am of the same opinion still. If any one had changed, I am not that one. I have not altered one iota of the opinions which I expressed on my hon. Friend, the Member for Wigan's motion last year. I see no reason to change these opinions now. It was then decided by an immense majority of the House against twenty-seven, that it would not be proper to reduce the duty upon foreign sugar to 34s. when the price was between 50s. and 60s.; and I see no reason to decide that it would be more proper to do it now when the price is from 37s. to 40s. At that time, when we expected that the price would increase, as it undoubtedly did, we did not think it necessary to provide against the contingency of a failure of the crop, and a very high price. Much less is there the slightest reason for making such provision now, when it is a matter of perfect demonstration that there will be an amply sufficient supply. I will state simply and plainly the grounds upon which I mean to vote, laying aside all party considerations, though I am as much attached to my party, I apprehend, as any living man, and mindful of their conduct with respect to these great questions in former time. I am anxious to repay them with all the fidelity that is consistent with honour

STATEMENT for GREAT BRITAIN for the First Four Months of 1839, 1840, and 1841.
1839. 1840. 1841. 1839. 1840. 1841. 1839. 1840. 1841. 1839. 1840. 1841.
Br. W. India, Tons. 19,500 18,300 17,500 35,700 41,100 24,000 .. .. .. 21,309 9,200 14,000
Mauritius, Tons. 12,500 12,200 17,500 7,800 11,500 12,000 .. .. .. 9,000 6,100 8,500
Bengal, Tons. 8,700 8,900 31,000 7,000 7,500 17,000 .. .. .. 5,200 5,400 19,000
Total British .. .. 40,700 39,400 66,000 50,500 60,100 53,000 .. .. .. 35,500 20,700 41,500
Total Foreign .. .. 3,800 6,700 14,000 .. .. .. 3,300 7,600 11,500 10,500 14,000 28,500
Total Tons .. 44,500 46,100 80,000 50,500 60,100 53,000 3,300 7,600 .. 46,000 34,700 70,000

Placing together the West Indies, Mauritius, and Bengal, it appears, that in 1839, the total quantity imported was 40,000 tons, in 1840, 37,400 tons, and in 1841,66,000 tons. Thus, it appears, that in the present year, the produce is nearly double what it was last year. This is a strong and incontrovertible fact; I trusted it would be contradicted, if possible, but it is not possible either to contradict or refute. I hold in my hand a statement from a house of high character in Calcutta, and duty. First, I oppose the Government upon this question, because it gives a stimulus to the slave-trade; secondly, because it will augment the horrors of the existing state of slavery: thirdly, because it is unjust to the West Indies; fourthly, because it is deleterious to the happiness of the emancipated population; fifthly, because it is not just with reference to the capitalists, who have engaged in the cultivation of sugar in the East Indies; and lastly, because I believe, that there exists no necessity whatever for taking the present course, in order to supply the people of England with sugar. To refer to the last topic first, leaving out of consideration the stock of sugar on hand, which amounts to about 35,000 tons, we have almost a moral certainty, we have at least a right to expect, a supply of 205,000 tons in the course of the year 1841. I speak from the most authentic documents when I estimate the supply from the East Indies 60,000, from the Mediterranean at 30,000 tons, and the remainder, namely, 115,000 tons from the West Indies. The actual existing state of importation affords the best data. I will state to the House the import of British sugar for the first four months of 1839, 1840, and 1841. The right hon. and learned Gentleman quoted the following document:—

bearing date the 16th of January, 1841, with a postcript of the 13th of February, in which, after stating the actual export, it is remarked that— For the following year, it is scarcely possible to say what may come, if we have a favourable season for manufacturing, our prices will be maintained, unless the duties are altered at home, which we rather fear as far as other eastern sugars are concerned, and which are not the produce of slave labour. It is noticed there too, that the crop for the present year is expected to be unusually large. Such is the state of the East Indies; let us now look to the West. In the first place, the unusual droughts have terminated at Guinea, and especially at Barbadoes, and in the great island of Jamaica; and, according to the ordinary range of human occurrences, we have no right to expect a repetition of the same calamity. Then peace pervades Jamaica, with an increase of industry; and we have a right to expect free, the fruits of that industry. I have a right to say so, looking to past experience, when, in the little island of Antigua—perhaps the most exhausted of all the islands which Britain possesses—since the abolition of slavery, the exports have increased from 7,000 to 11,000 hogsheads. I see no reason to fear; if we allow a proper period of time to elapse, they will have in all quarters, the increased production which increased consumption would make necessary. In no one year has there ever been consumed more than 200,000 tons of sugar. I have shown you, that in the present year, you will have 205,000 tons, without regard to the stock on hand. The present price is about 37s., or as follows:—

s. s. per cwt. s.
BENGAL Khaur 21 @ 25 25 46 @ 50
White 34 .. 41 25 59 .. 66
WEST INDIA & MAURITIUS Brown 31 .. 33 25 56 .. 58
Good & Fine 35 .. 49 25 60 .. 66
MANILLA .. 17 .. 21 38 55 .. 59
BRAZIL Brown 18 .. 20 38 56 .. 58
White 21 .. 24 38 59 .. 62
CUBA Brown 21 .. 24 38 59 .. 62
White 24 .. 30 38 62 .. 68
SIAM Brown 18 .. 19 38 56 .. 57
White 21 .. 23 38 59 .. 61

I ask you whether there is not every reasonable probability, that sugar will be supplied to the people of this country at a reasonable price. The English are great consumers of sugar, notwithstanding its high price. If any man will take the trouble of looking at the whole consumption of sugar through the western world. he will find, that Great Britain takes about one-fourth of all that is consumed. Let us consider for a moment what will be the effect of admitting foreign sugar. I have been so fortunate as to obtain very recent advices from Cuba, as recent as up to the 1st of April, in this year. From two ports alone, the increase in exportation amount to no less than 9,500 tons; namely, from 24,200 tons, in 1840, to 33,700 tons, in 1841. The ports to which I allude, are Havannah and Matanzas. The right hon. and learned Gentleman referred to the following Table:—*

* See Table following page.

How is that increase obtained? By an augmentation of slavery—by employing gangs of males only—by working them out without mercy, refusing them even the ordinary quantity of sleep necessary to sustain human nature. Every man's arm was there lifted against the slave, and the bitterest enmities are excited by this enormous infliction of evil. My hon. Friend has spoken of the advantages of free labour in India; can we institute any comparison between British India and these slave possessions? Has any one of the examples of indigo or cotton put by my hon. Friend any adaptation of the subject now under discussion? He has shown, that the productions of free labour in the East Indies surpass all the efforts of slavery. But my hon. Friend forgot, that in the East Indies the population is enormous in point of number, and the price of labour 1½d. a-day, the lowest rate at which man can sustain life, while, in the West Indies, labourers are few, and the price of labour excessively high. I deny, however, that this is a question of free trade. In free trade, there is fair competitition between parties who use the same means and appliances to attain the same end. But when have you heard of fair competition between the honest manufacturer and the man who robs on the high road?—between the man who pays just obedience to the laws of his country, and complies with all legal exactions, on the one hand, and the lawless smuggler on the other? Whoever heard of competition, where on one side murder is legalized, and on the other the sacred duties of humanity are reverentially recognised? It is no competition. The result is this; immediate prosperity to the lawless trafficker, and injury to the honest trader; while the ultimate conse- quences will be heavy indeed even for the wicked themselves. Humanely speaking, they ar e working their own ruin. In twenty, thirty, or forty years, as the case may be, they will reduce the finest land, that ever God gave to man to a howling wilderness. We have examples of this in the southern states of America. Mr. Joseph Gurney told me, that he had seen the land in every state of exhaustion, from being worked without rest or manure, reduced to an equality with the sands of the ocean, recovering after a lapse of twenty years, and by degrees, becoming partially restored—when, in every sense, made extinct by the abuse of man, revivified by a benevolent process of nature, occupying a quarter of a century. But how will this scheme affect our own colonies? I am not at a loss for evidence. I will refer to the testimony of Mr. Joseph John Gurney, a gentleman who has no interest whatever in this question, of unsuspected character, and great practical knowledge. He travelled through the West Indies and the United States, for the express purpose of acquiring information; and of all the men whom I have ever known, he is the most attached to truth. I happen to have his sentiments in writing upon this subject, given to me before this question was mooted, and I will take the liberty of reading them to the House. The right hon. Gentleman read as follows: — I feel it to be of immense importance to the welfare of our West Indian colonies, and

1841 1840 1841 1840
England .. .. .. .. 3621 1551 1651 1297
Cowes and a market .. .. .. 8628 14482 7909 10543
Russia .. .. .. .. 16987 1822 9193 1224
Sweeden and Denmark .. .. .. …. 220 …. ….
Hamburg .. .. .. 6415 19203 9288 11607
Bremen .. .. .. .. 4565 5272 1310 1918
Holland .. .. .. .. 4697 2394 …. ….
Belgium .. .. .. .. 4729 3526 …. 3001
France Havre and Bordeaux .. .. .. 396 754 …. ….
Marseille .. .. .. 5908 5533 2371 907
Spain .. .. .. .. 21546 10001 5951 3787
Italy .. .. .. .. 1119 1651 2911 ….
New York .. .. .. 12845 3165 8117 1178
Boston .. .. .. .. 2853 3087 10244 4202
Charleston, S. C. .. .. .. 440 147 1958½ 2290
New Orleans .. .. .. 2270 2639 669 123
Mobile .. .. .. .. 66 488 260 ….
Other parts of the United States .. .. 2366 1349 5196 999
Various .. .. .. 676 619 1314 360
Total .. .. 100127 77905 68342½ 43436
to the cause of humanity, of our maintaining inviolate the present prohibitory scale of duties upon foreign slave-grown sugar. Were these duties to be relaxed, and put upon the same footing as other sugars, the growth of our own colonies, the inevitable consequence would be the ruin of the planters, the loss of daily wages to the liberated negroes, as a compensation for their labour on the establishment, and above all the vastly increased surplus of the Cuba and Brazilian slave-trade.

This is the statement of one who has no West-Indian interest to influence his judgment; he had nothing but a sense or justice to guide him. A charge of inconsistency has been brought against those who oppose the present measure, because they consent to consume other articles, the produce of slave labour, and do not protest against the importation of slave grown cotton. I consider that that man gives the greatest proof of wisdom, and is the best friend of humanity, who looks to the practical execution of beneficial measures, and not that man who, not able to attain all the good of which he is desirous, gives up the good which is in his power. He is not a wise man who, because circumstances over which he has no control force him to submit to the evils of resorting to slave countries for certain products, should, because so great a calamity was inflicted on him, by the force of circumstances, take a course which would augment the evil he could not avoid. I have always endeavoured to attain all the practical good in my power throughout the discussion of this question. At first little progress was made, and I sat for years on the opposite benches scarcely expecting success, but I contented myself with working and hoping on, guided by public opinion, first of all bringing about the abolition of slavery— next procuring an amelioration in the condition of the negro—then by endeavouring to procure a gradual abolition of slavery— and at last, when public opinion was ripe, by the total abolition of slavery. The supporters of that measure were contented with the practical good they could effect, and had waited throughout for public opinion. There are some other matters well worthy of attention. I agree with the hon. Member for Beverley that Cuba sugar will enter into the greatest competition with British sugar, but I believe the Brazilian sugar will also find its way here, and that an encouragement will be given to the importation of slaves, and a great increase in the sufferings of the slaves will be the consequence. Bui are we quite sure that it will end there? Are we quite sure that the Brazilian government and the Brazilian planters will not be inclined to abandon the cultivation of cotton, which is now partially pursued, and take to the cultivation of sugar? See the course which was formerly pursued. In the West Indies the cultivation of cotton was abandoned, and the cultivation of sugar increased. How can we assure ourselves that it will be for the advantage of this country to depend exclusively for the supply of cotton upon the United States? Sir, I am of opinion that any measure which tend to render us solely and exclusively dependent upon the United States and to deprive us of the supply of that necessary article from other countries must be most detrimental to the commercial and mercantile interest of this country, and one of the most dangerous courses that England can adopt. I have listened with deep attention to the speech of my noble Friend, the Secretary for the Colonies, and cannot forget the pathetic description he gave of the sufferings of the poor of this country. I hope, Sir, that I am not deficient in the most earnest anxiety to relieve those sufferings, and to restore them to a better state. But when that eloquent description of their sufferings was given, and which will now go off to the country exciting their feelings and raising their passions—that description of their suffering from being forced to purchase a dear article may be contrasted with the sufferings of the negroes, which must be the consequence of the adoption of this measure for the relief of our people. When I sat on the other side of the House, with but few friends to support me, actuated only by the spirit of truth, and when sometimes my courage failed me, I found the feelings of the people of this country rising to my support, encouraging every effort, and stimulating me to fresh exertions and fresh hopes; and I believe that, if the question were put to the people of this country, whether they would have their sugar cheaper by taking the produce of the labour of the slave, or whether they would suffer their present calamities, I believe they would reject the proposition with disdain. I have such faith in their principles and good feeling, that I believe they would prefer their dinner of herbs to the stalled ox that is offered to them by this measure. I have made these observations to justify myself, and to show my own consistency and adherence to my principle. I deeply regret being obliged to give a vote different from my noble Friend, but I am obliged, on this occasion, to separate from him. If the proposition of the Chancellor of the Exchequer could be put in such a form that I could say no to it, I should be desirous to do so, and as far as the forms of this House would permit, that is the course I should pursue. With regard to the other questions, I will not enter into them. I only rose to vindicate my own opinions, and I am content.

Mr. Hawes

begged to explain that he had certainly no intention to throw ridicule upon the opinions of his right hon. Friend, and if his words were susceptible of any such interpretation, it was contrary to his wish.

Debate adjourned.