HC Deb 18 May 1841 vol 58 cc562-668
Mr. Sheil

The department with which I have the honour to be connected, will afford me a justification for interfering in this debate; it has been protracted beyond the ordinary period of the duration of our debates, but not to a period incommensurate with the importance — the incalculable importance, of a subject upon which, in the exercise of their appellate jurisdiction, the people of England must ultimately decide. I shall not trespass upon the indulgence of those who surround me, or upon the forbearance of those to whom I am opposed, at any inappropriate length. I shall confine myself to the resolution of the noble Lord, and do my best to avoid the example of those who have wandered far away from it, and who have indulged in dissertations not more mysterious to their auditors than to themselves. I shall, Sir, in the first instance, address myself to that branch of the question in reference to which, the people of England, the virtuous and humane people of England, feel a deep and a most honourable concern. If, Sir, to the progress of the slave-trade, by an exorbitant differential duty between colonial and foreign sugar, any effectual impediment were interposed—if, notwithstanding that exorbitant differential duty, the slave-trade were not successful to an extent which has been stated, with too much justice, in the course of this debate, to cast a stain upon Christian Europe,— if to slave-grown sugar every port upon the continent were not thrown widely and indiscriminately open,—if with the produce of slave-labour in many forms—coffee, cotton, tobacco—our own markets were not glutted,—if we were not ourselves the importers, the refiners, and the re-exporters of slave-grown sugar to the continent, aye, and to our own colonial possessions, to an enormous annual amount, I am free to confess that with regard to the propriety of making a reduction of a differential duty, thus supposed for a moment, for the purposes of humanity as well as of monopoly, to be effectual, I should be disposed to entertain a doubt. But, Sir, when I consider that in checking the progress of the slave-trade, the safeguard of monopoly is utterly without avail,—when I consider that the differential duty, which keeps the price of sugar up, does not keep the price of human beings down—when I consider that without casting upon a barbarous traffic any, the slightest impediment, the differential duty has the effect of impairing the public revenue, and, by enhancing the cost of one of the necessaries of life, of imposing upon the humbler classes of the community, a grievous charge—when I consider that the differential duty confers no substantial benefit upon any class of the community, excepting upon those benevolent monopolists whose sensibilities are not unprompted by their profits, and who, to the emotions of a lucrative philanthropy, find it as easy, as it is convenient, whenever a purpose, personal or political is to be promoted, to give way—I am at a loss, I own, to discover any just motive for giving sustainment to a monopoly fraught with so much multifarious evil, or for supporting the resolution of the noble Lord. That resolution is conceived in a spirit of such obvious partisanship that I cannot withhold the expression of my surprise that my right hon. and most distinguished Friend the Member for the Tower Hamlets should have considered it to be consistent with his unaffected abhorrence of slavery (for his abhorrence of slavery is unaffected) to give it his support. It does not require his sagacity, forensic, judicial, and senatorial, to perceive that this resolution is little else than a sort of previous question in disguise; it contains no pledge against the future introduction of slave-grown-sugar—it is transitory and ephemeral; it provides a ready retreat from the high ground which the new, I should rather say, the novel associates of my right hon. Friend in the cause of freedom, have so vauntingly taken up, and while it states, that the House of Commons is not prepared (no—not yet prepared) to recognise the introduction of slave-grown sugar, it intimates that under happier auspices, through that preparatory process, the House of Commons may be prevailed upon to pass. How little does this resolution, dexterous, adroit, and almost crafty, accord with the frank, the ingenuous, and, in the cause of virtue, the ardent and impassioned character of my right hon. Friend. If any doubt could be entertained regarding the object and the effect of such a resolution, it would be removed by the speech of the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire, who declared again and again, that for the present a great experiment ought not to be disturbed. Surely this ought to convince my right hon. Friend, who will forgive me, I feel convinced, if I am bold enough to tell him that in supporting a resolution, couched in such phraseology as this is, he is almost as inconsistent as those incongruous sentimentalists by whom, provided it be not presented in a saccharine form, the produce of slave-labour is unscrupulously consumed. But from personal and innocuous inconsistencies, let me pass to the anomalies, which are incidental to our fiscal system. Last year we imported upwards of 28 million lbs. of slave coffee, of which upwards of 14 millions were slave-grown. The noble Lord the Member for Lancashire, struggling with this overcoming fact suggested that to the supply of the coffee-market our colonies were not adequate. The noble Lord seems to think that the encouragement of the slave-trade is matter of mercantile expediency, and that on the price-current our philanthropy ought to depend, and our markets should be opened or shut to slave-grown produce as they rose or fell. It is quite true that when the duty upon coffee was high—was 1s.. 7d. per pound—the consumption was so inconsiderable that the colonies supplied us with all the coffee which we required; but when the duty was lowered, the consumption increased to an extent which, without exaggeration, may be designated as enormous. It is worth while to look with some minuteness into the effect which the diminution of duty produced upon the importation of coffee. The following table is remarkable.

Years. Quantity retained for home consumption. Rate of duty per lb. Net revenue.
lbs. s. d. £
1807 1,170,104 1 7⅞ 161,245
1812 8,118,734 0 7 255,184
1824 7,993,040 1 0 407,544
1831 21,842,264 0 6 559,431
1840 28,723,735 0 6 922,862
From this table it is manifest, that by the reduction of duty an enormous augmentation in the importation of coffee was produced. In 1807, when the duty was 1s. 1d., no more than 1,170,164 pounds of coffee were imported, the revenue was no more than 161,245l.; and when the duty was reduced, the importation of coffee rose to the vast amount of 28,723,735 pounds of coffee, and the revenue produced was 922,862l. I repeat that of this vast mass of coffee, more than 14 million pounds were slave-grown. But this anomaly, great as it is, is little when compared with the monstrous incongruity of receiving slave-grown sugar in bond, of refining and exporting it, and at the same time, of excluding it from the home market, where, upon its consumption, a duty might be raised. In 1840 we imported upwards of eight hundred thousand hundred-weight of slave-grown sugar—it was refined and exported. What revenue was raised upon it? Not a single shilling, while all the expenses incidental to the bonding system were incurred in its regard. By no one could such a system be sustained, except by the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire, by whom an elaborate vindication of these anomalies was fearlessly undertaken. I shall not attempt to follow the noble Lord through the various and exceedingly irrelevant topics with which his speech was made up, but I think it right to disabuse the country of any erroneous impressions which, in reference to the opinions of Mr. Huskisson, the noble Lord laboured to produce. The noble Lord told us that he was a disciple of Mr. Huskisson, and took upon himself to set his opinions forth. Never was there a more egregious misrepresentation. After hearing the noble Lord, I turned to a more authorised source of information—the speeches of Mr. Huskisson—and I found that, in the account given of the sentiments of that illustrious man, his disciple was most signally mistaken. In the year 1830, in the month of March, Mr. Huskisson made two speeches; one was delivered by him on the 16th of March, in a debate on the state of the country; the other on the 25th of March, upon a motion of Mr. Poulett Thomson. On the 16th of March, Mr. Huskisson said:— Our Corn-laws, however expedient to prevent other evils in the present state of the country, are in themselves a burden and a restraint upon its manufacturing and commercial industry. Whilst the products of that industry must descend to a level of the general market of the world, the producers, so far as food is concerned, are debarred from that level. But, Sir, in a subsequent but proximate debate, Mr. Huskisson expressed himself in a manner still more unequivocal. I shall read his exact words. They are to be found in page 555 of the third volume of his speeches. Those words are these: — It was" he said, "his unalterable conviction that we could not uphold the Corn-laws now in existence, together with the present system of taxation, and at the same time, increase the national prosperity and preserve public contentment. That those laws might be repealed without affecting the landed interest, whilst, at the same time, the distress of the people might be relieved, he never had any doubt whatever. A general feeling prevailed, that some change must be effected, and that speedily. Nor were there any individuals more thoroughly persuaded of it than those who moved in the humbler walks of life."* Such was the language of Mr. Huskisson in 1830, language expressive of opinions very different from those which the noble Lord, who told us that he was his disciple (who could have conjectured it?), had ascribed to him. In 1830 Mr. Huskisson had been liberated from the trammels of the Tory party; he had abandoned that party to which the noble Lord is united now, and had thrown off the shackles which the noble Lord has now put on. Sir, I pass from the noble Lord to the monopoly which he sustains. I support what is commonly called, the West-India interest. There are West-Indians, I rejoice to say, who, of the mode of promoting the prosperity of our colonies, entertain a just appreciation. On the 11th of February last, a meeting was held * See also Hansard, vol. xxiii. New Series, pp. 602, 816 in Trinidad of the chief proprietors and agriculturists. Mr. Burnley was in the chair. He spoke as follows (I quote from a Trinidad paper): I shall hail with pleasure the day when every monopoly and restriction can, advantageously for the rest of the empire, be done away with, thank God ! we are now emancipated as well as our labourers; and we can walk abroad, bold and erect, and claim the benefit of the freest principles; and if we are honestly and fairly allowed to trade with all the world without restriction, we fear no competition from any quarter in the colonial market of the mother-country; and when that is effected, the agriculture of Trinidad will successfully compete with that of every other country depending upon slave-labour. These are wise and liberal opinions, but in these opinions, it is but just to say, that West-Indians, in this country at least, do not generally coincide. For my own part, I should be much disposed to make allowance for the feelings of the West-Indian proprietors, if they did not affect sentiment, if they did not talk of slavery and of its horrors (what right have they to talk of it?), and if they contented themselves with stating the circumstances which constitute the alleged hardship of their case. Their case is this—their slaves were emancipated in 1833, and for the Joss which they sustained, they consider themselves to be entitled, in the shape of exclusive priviliges, to compensation. This is a plain statement, and the answer is also plain—England paid a ransom, which almost dizzies the imagination, and she is entitled to a receipt in full. No, answers the Member for Newark, whose motion is insatiable, and who cries out like the horse-leech's daughter "More, more." The Member for Newark insists that the West-India planters were entitled not only to twenty millions, but to countless millions beyond that sum. He acknowledged, that since 1833, in addition to the twenty millions, the West-Indians had received at least, ten millions in the form of a protective duty. This admission is most important. But the Member for Newark is mistaken in supposing the sum paid to the West Indies, in the form of protection, to be so small as ten millions, in addition to the twenty which was paid them. I inquired of my friend Mr. McGregor, the Secretary of the Board of Trade, how far the Member for Newark was correct, and he, who is distinguished for accuracy as well as for surpassing talent, told me that the West-Indies had received upwards of nineteen millions, in addition to the twenty millions already paid them. He gave me the following table:
Years. Quantity consumed. Difference of price. Amount of tax or premium to West-India Interest.
£ s. d. £
1834 4,154,411 0 6 2 1,280,943
1835 4,421,145 0 6 0 1,326,343
1836 3,922,901 0 13 0 2,549,885
1837 4,349,053 0 13 4 2,679,934
1838 4,418,334 0 12 5 2,743,048
1839 4,171,938 0 17 1 3,471,151
1840 3,764,710 1 7 7 5,192,161
Total tax since abolition 9,243,465
The House hates vulgarities of all kinds, and of all vulgar things, hates vulgar arithmetic the most; but on this occasion some indulgence for figures ought to be manifested, and the table which I have produced ought to be examined, when to the West-India planters we are invoked to extend our commiseration. But mark, these West-Indians arė not contented with that they have already got; they insist upon a permanent tax upon the English people. I contend, Sir, that a perpetuation of monopoly was no part of the contract made with the West-India planters. The noble Lord the Member for Lancashire, who told us, that as the organ of the Whig Government (the organ of the Whig Government! !) he introduced the Emanciaption Act, has not suggested that the continuance of monopoly was any part of the contract. If it were, upon what principle could the equalisation of the duties on East and West-Indian sugar and rum have been sustained? When that equalisation was proposed, the unfortunate West-Indians made out precisely the same case as they make out at present. They told us that the West Indies were in a state of transition, that a great experiment ought not to be disturbed, that East-India sugar was the produce of slave-labour, that it was produced from dates at a very inferior cost. With what scorn were these expostulations received by the representatives of the East-Indian interest in the House of Commons! how indignant they were at the remotest, and the most delicate refe- rence to Hill Coolies and to slaves; and with what impassioned force my hon. Friend, the Member for Beverley, denounced the effrontery of the men, who with twenty millions in their coffers, to a continuance of their monopoly had the audacity to put in a claim: but now— now, Sir, that these East-Indians have got a share in the privileges against which they inveighed so vehemently: now that they are embraced in the monopoly which they represented as so detestable, they who have made no sacrifice, by whom no loss of any kind has been sustained, whose slaves have not been emancipated; they forsooth, have the unparalelled intrepidity to turn round, and, uniting themselves with those very West-Indians of whom they were before the fierce antagonists, talk to us of the expediency of sustaining the colonial interests, while of the interests of the people of England they are utterly forgetful, and think nothing of the sacrifice which an exorbitant protection, even upon their own admission, of necessity involves. The resolution adverts to sacrifices: yes, much has indeed been sacrificed, but you are not contented; you require that an annual tribute shall be offered to monopoly, and to ensure its punctual payment, you insist that, instead of recruiting the revenue by a just apportionment of existing duties, new burdens shall be imposed upon the people. This proceeding will, most assuredly be attended with evils far greater than any which can by possibility arise from reducing the duties upon sugar, from introducing it into a larger consumption, and thus producing that accession to the revenue which, if we may judge from the parallel case of coffee, must necessarily ensue. If such consequences followed from the reduction of the duty upon coffee as I have proved to have been derived from it, from the reduction of the duty upon sugar, whose admixture with coffee is indispensable, and of which the use is so multifarious, analogous results must follow. Independently of this fiscal advantage, a two-fold benefit must accrue to the great mass of the community. In the first place, we cheapen one of the necessaries of life, and in the next place it is obvious that if we take more of the produce of other countries, other countries must take more of the produce of our own; to that extent the manufactures of England must be promoted, and to that extent the employment of our operatives must be encouraged. To their sufferings, the Tories everywhere I hope, at the hustings I am sure, are alive; but when the obvious means of alleviation are proposed, they sacrifice the interests of that vast class of the community for which so much commiseration is possessed by them, to the maintenance of that too narrow commercial system, by which, if we adhere to it, consequences the most pernicious will be entailed upon us. We are met upon the continent by retaliatory tariffs. Of our discoveries in mechanics, of our finest and most powerful machines, of the advantages of which, we were once in the exclusive enjoyment, our foreign competitors are now possessed; to other markets, to markets in the countries, in which manufactures do not exist, and in which it will be our fault if they shall arise, the eyes of every British statesman ought to be intently turned; and, above all, to that splendid mart which is opened to us, in the young and prosperous empire of Brazil. I am astonished that any man should speak of our commercial relations with that rapidly progressing country in the language of depreciation. Before his constituents, such language would not be adopted by the noble Lord, the Member for Liverpool; he would not, before his constituents venture to insinuate that he considered the renewal of the treaty with Brazil as a matter of small amount; or if he did, and looked from the hustings to the harbour of that great city which he has the honour to represent, in many a noble ship, of all his fallacies he would behold the competition. But how can we reasonably expect that the Brazilians will make concessions to us, if to them we refuse to make any concessions; and if the Parliament of England is not prepared (to adopt the phraseology of your resolution) to take the produce of Brazil, have we not reason to apprehend that the Parliament of Brazil will be unprepared to take the produce of England? And, even with reference to the slave-trade, is it not likely that we shall accomplish far more by treaty, enforced as treaty ought to be, than by any fiscal regulations which it is possible to devise? One of the evils resulting from these fiscal regulations is this:—the people of England are taught to rely upon them as the means of restraining the slave-trade, instead of adopting the measures by which that important object might be obtained. Meetings are held, harangues are delivered, admirable resolutions are passed, and the work of abomination all the while goes on. Of a great and powerful country expedients, so unavailing as our differential duties have been proved to be, are unworthy, and when England stands forward in the cause of humanity, it is not from the Customhouse that her weapons should be supplied. Despite your differential duty, the slave-trade is infamously prosperous— despite of it, the monster consumes his thousand victims a day. There is not a creek upon the slave-coast in which the barks engaged in that atrocious traffic do not lie in wait; and even while I speak— while we sit in council here—across that ocean which Englishmen are accustomed to call their own—across that ocean which has been most nobly called "your home upon the deep "—how many a slave-bark, freighted with woe, despite your differential duty, holds on with impunity her swift and unimpeded way, while you, with the evidence, the incontrovertible evidence before you, of the futility—the utter and most scandalous futility of your differential duty for the accomplishment of any one purpose by which the interests of humanity, as distinct from those of monopoly, can be promoted—instead of calling upon England, to put forth her might, and invoking her to employ the only efficient means by which this horrible traffic in our fellow-creatures can be put down expatiate upon the blessings of monopoly; descant upon 63s, and 36s., and 24s., and propound resolutions for the sustainment of that fiscal anomaly, by which (and you know it,) to the atrocities of the slave-trade not the slightest obstacle is presented, while to our revenues the deepest detriment is done. The embarrassments with which every Minister of this country, whether he be Whig or Tory, will have to contend for many a day, will be augmented, by which a deprivation of one of the commonest commodities of life will be inflicted upon the lower classes—by which industry will be paralysed, the employment of our suffering and pining operatives will be abridged, our commercial relations with one of our best allies will be endangered, and we shall run the risk of closing, perhaps for ever, a field of almost boundless enterprise upon the commercial genius of the English people.

Mr. Herries

was well aware of the difficulty of arresting the attention of the House after so long a debate, especially at the close of a speech in which the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down had displayed almost more than his usual brilliancy of rhetoric. He was aware, that both the House and the country were weary of the subject, and that the constituencies of the empire who looked for something more than a long protracted debate, were expecting with impatience the decision to which the House was to arrive. It would have been unnecessary for him to trouble the House on this question, after the unequalled and unanswerable speech of his noble Friend the Member for North Lancashire, had he not wished to recall hon. Gentlemen to the real matter in debate, and place the issue on a proper footing. The propositions announced to the House by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, were founded upon the present financial emergency, and it was necessary in the first instance to examine what was the nature of that emergency, which required the application of such remedies, and then to look at the remedies themselves, and see how far fitted they were to meet the object for which they were intended, and also how far they were free from other objections which might render them inexpedient. The House had been informed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the noble Lord, that the finances of the country were in a deplorable condition. That, then, was the difficulty in which the country was placed, and the question was how did it come to be placed in that difficulty? After four years of administration by the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues— after four years of embarrassment, a crisis at length arrived—things had come to a dead lock, and the right hon. Gentleman called on the House for assistance. The right hon. Gentleman a few evenings before, had challenged a comparison between his own administration and those of his predecessors, and had most incautiously and unaccountably told the House, in answer to a remark of the hon. Member for Surrey respecting the necessity of maintaining a large surplus, that no former Chancellor of the Exchequer, any more than himself, had ever taken any heed about a surplus. He was strangely deceived if Mr. Huskisson had not always declared himself strongly in favour of a prudent line of conduct in the management of finance, and of maintaining a large surplus. When he heard the expressions of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, he was lost in astonishment, for it was a most remarkable fact, and one to which the attention of the House could not be too strongly directed, that the present Administration was the first and the only one, he believed, in the history of this country, which in time of peace had suffered a continued deficiency to exist in the public finances. He really wondered, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was not shocked by the contrast when he cast his eyes back on the official career of his predecessors. In time of war, indeed, there must, from the nature of things, be a deficiency, for then the revenue was not adequate to meet the extraordinary expenses that arose; but that in time of peace a Government should suffer the finances to fall into such a state of derangement that in five consecutive years of peace a deficiency of 7,000,000l. should have been accumulated, was a fact widely different from anything that had occurred under any former Administration. What was the course followed by modern Administrations in order to the maintenance of a sound financial system? Between the years 1816 and 1828, when the subject was brought under the consideration of the finance committee, it appeared from the statements produced before that body, that the surplus in those twelve years, arising from public monies, and applied to the reduction of the public debt in that period, was 31,900,000l. In the three years following—namely, 1828, 1829, and 1830—when the finances were under the Administration of his right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge, there was a surplus of 10,000,000l. In the six years which foltowed, composing the Administration of Lord Althorpe, and the two first years of the Administration of Lord Monteagle, there was a surplus of 6,700,000l.; and then commenced the fruits of the policy followed by Gentlemen opposite. He should be wrong in saying there had been no deficiency during the period over which he had glanced; there was one, and that furnished an instance of the difference in spirit between the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and those who had preceded him in his office. That occurred under Lord Althorp, and every one who heard him, who had then been in the House, must recollect with what regret Lord Althorp deplored the occurrence of that deficiency, with how much assiduity he applied himself to repair it, and how anxious he was that there should not be a recurrence of it in any future year. Not only was Lord Althorp exceedingly solicitous to prevent such a deficiency in future, but when he made an estimate of the finances, by which it appeared to him, although he then took too unfavourable a view, that his resources would not exceed by more than 300,000l. his expenditure, he said— Now, Sir, although I never was an advocate for a large sinking fund, or a large surplus revenue, I certainly think that a surplus of 300,000l. is coming too near the margin. Such were the opinions of the predecessors of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, and such was the way in which they conducted themselves while in office. Now came the period when that financial emergency arose which the House was now called upon to remedy, and that too without any apology, as if such embarrassments were things of course—as if they had occurred under all his predecessors, and had been often heard of in that House. The emergency was not the less urgent that shifts had been resorted to unscrupulously, that means of defraying the current expenditure had been taken, which were only explained after they had been employed; that 4,000,000l. of Exchequer-bills had been funded at the end of a Session, end that an additional number was to be funded; but, above all, that from year to year Government had been poaching upon the savings'-banks, although those institutions furnished a machinery that had never been intended for such a purpose. Yet the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had broadly told the House, that he found the Treasury could exercise that power, and that, though it was not intended to be used, he would make use of it. He was not imputing this as blame exclusively to the Chancellor of the Exchequer; he was imputing it as blame to the whole Government with which the right hon. Gentleman was connected. Let not hon. Gentlemen opposite, suppose that he did not mean to impute blame. He did impute it; for he should be shrinking from his duty if he did not. He charged the Go- vernment with the most flagrant and heinous mismanagement of the finances that had ever taken place under any Government, which had conducted public affairs in this country. To what then was this to be traced? Was it to some national disaster? Had any of the springs of our national wealth been dried up? Had our revenue failed us? Nothing like it. Had there been any extraordinary or unforeseen expenditure for foreign services? No such thing. There had been no extraordinary expenditure that ought not to have been foreseen by any Minister at the time of framing his budget. Why was it, then, that year after year we had been gradually involved in increasing distress and danger? The reason was so obvious that he did not believe there was a child of ten years old within these realms, who did not perfectly understand it. He did not believe, that anybody was so little informed on public affairs, or so devoid of reflection, as not to know that the whole of those great difficulties in which we were involved was owing to the feebleness of Government. They were the result of engagements and compacts made to obtain support from parties in that House, without which the Government could not exist, and for the sake of which it had made those sacrifices. The deficiency on the present year was 2,400,000l. of which 1,700,000l. was a permanent charge, and out of this 1,400,000l. was owing to the giving up of the Post-office revenue. If they had been now in possession of that revenue, there would have been no necessity for any of those extraordinary measures which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had proposed. He had established, then, that the basis of the proposition was to be found solely in the conduct of those who had held the reins of power for the last few years, and they were now called upon to go into committee to consider a scheme which was held forth as the only means of extricating us from the difficulties of our situation. In any remarks which he should now make, he should consider that this was not the time for criticising the computations upon which the budget was made to rest, He should assume, then, that the deficiency was correctly stated at 2,400,000l., and proceed to consider the measures which they were asked to adopt —1st, as measures of finance; 2nd, as the foundation of a new system for the administration of our fiscal and commer- cial affairs. The principle upon which it was proposed to alter the duties on timber, sugar, and corn undoubtedly was, that they should admit into the consumption of the country a certain portion of the produce of foreign states, so as to displace a part of the produce of our colonies, which was now used in its stead. If any return of money was expected on any of the heads which the Government plan embraced, the principle was that competition should be allowed partially to substitute foreign for native produce in the consumption of the home market. The first two articles were singularly ill-chosen, because at this particular time there were objections of a higher kind than any of a merely fiscal nature, which especially operated against the adoption of such alterations. With respect to timber, the House had been told by the noble Lord opposite (J. Russell), that he had received from the person of all others the best qualified to judge of the probable effects of the measure, the Governor-general of Canada, an intimation that that alteration of duty at the present time would create embarrassment to him in the great settlement of the Canadian government, and constitution which was now in progress. The noble Lord had coupled that observation with the remark, that there was some other plan which would compensate Canada for the change; but the House was left in the most complete ignorance of its nature and object. He should merely say, that if, in addition to the other objections to the alteration of the timber duties, it was calculated to throw difficulties in the way of the noble Lord at the head of our North American provinces, that consideration alone should deter the House from thinking, for an instant, of such a change. With respect to the sugar duties, which were more immediately before the House, the objections expressed in the resolution of the noble Lord, the Member for Liverpool, and dwelt upon by those who had taken part in the debate, rendered it unnecessary for him to enter on the subject at much length. But the objection which, in his judgment, had been most properly taken, was to going into committee at all, because the objection was one of principle against the adoption, at the present time of this particular alteration. He for one felt convinced that this objection was of such paramount importance, and such validity and overwhelming force, that he was prepared to vote against going into committee to consider these alterations. The objection in principle was this, that the Legislature was called upon by the Government to make a change in these duties, whereby they either did nothing at all, or they would admit into consumption in this country the produce of other countries, displacing thereby the produce of their own colonies; and the objection went still further, inasmuch as a change of this description at the present time, and under existing circumstances, would in the opinion of those best acquainted with, and most competent to give an opinion on the subject, put to hazard of the greatest extremity, the important experiment to abolish slavery and put an end to the slave-trade, which this country had made. Upon this point the House had already heard so much of the testimony of those most capable of giving evidence upon the subject, that he felt it was unnecessary for him again to travel through it; but he could not refrain from stating and endeavouring again to impress upon the House, some of the most forcible grounds which the testimony of those witnesses established, and which, in his humble opinion, called upon the House to abstain from the adoption of a measure of the description proposed by the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer. What was the state of the case with respect to the West-India colonies and the great experiment of emancipation? All those best able to afford information, all the public documents now before the House, all the reports received from the governors of those colonies, all the testimony of the individuals who had visited the colonies for the purpose of acquiring information, all the opinions of those most deeply interested, and who had taken the most active part in obtaining negro emancipation; all these evidences appeared to agree in the fact that the experiment was at present working successfully and producing those fruits which the country had a right to expect after the enormous sacrifices which had been made to attain that object, and also that it was yet matter of doubt whether or not the free peasantry which, by an act of the Legislature, had been established in the British colonies, would be enabled to produce a sufficient supply of the staple articles of those colonies for the consumption of this country. When he looked at the character of the opinions which had been given on that subject, he could not hesitate to come to the conclusion that beyond all question if the experiment which had been made were allowed a fair trial—if interference of any description were avoided while that experiment was made, there would be every reason to expect that the utmost hopes of the country would be realized, and that there would be a successful issue to all their endeavours by a sufficient cultivation of the staple commodities of the colonies by the newly established free peasantry. There was a person who had visited those colonies lately, and to whose testimony on the point the right hon. and learned Member for the Tower Hamlets had, on a former evening referred—a person who was deserving of all consideration and attention, not only on account of his high character and integrity, but also on account of the great intelligence and judgment which he possessed. Mr. Gurney on this subject said, But, lastly, in making this republication, I have one peculiar object in view—an object which I deem to be of the highest practical importance to the future prosperity of the cause of freedom, and especially to my own plan for the extinction of the slave trade— I mean the maintenance of the present prohibitory duties on slave-grown coffee and sugar. If, under the difficulties of the present crisis, as it regards the quantity and price of those articles, the duties in question should be relaxed or extinguished, a market of immense magnitude would immediately be opened for the produce of the slave-labour of the Brazils, Cuba, and Porto Rico. The consequence would be, that ruin would soon overtake the planters of our West-Indian colonies, and our free negroes would be deprived of their principal means of obtaining an honourable and comfortable livelihood; but far more extensive, far more deplorable, would be the effect of such a change on the millions of Africa. A vast new impulse would be given to slave-labour, and therefore to the slave-trade; and both the number and energy of those who delight to prey on the vitals of Africa would be indefinitely increased. True, indeed, it is, that the high price of sugar is an inconvenience of no small magnitude to the population of great Britain and Ireland; and if that price should be still somewhat increased, the inconvenience would be more severely felt than it is at present. But the following letters contain, I trust, some clear and indisputable evidences that these difficulties are in their nature temporary. The present diminished produce of sugar and coffee in the West Indies is the result of that unsettlement which took place immediately after the date of full freedom. Such was the opinion given by a person eminently qualified to pronounce a judgment upon the subject. There was another testimony recently brought under the notice of the House which was scarcely less impressive than that which he had just read. Sir T. F. Buxton, a witness who, from every side of the House, deserved consideration, respect, and attention, a man whose whole life had been devoted to the subject, stated, I can have no hesitation in saying, that, in my opinion, the hest and wisest course that we can pursue is to enforce the prohibitory duties against slave-trade-grown sugar—that is against the sugars of Cuba and Brazil. It seems to me one of those questions in which ordinary rules are to be disregarded, and in which considerations of political advantage must be made to yield to the superior law of moral duty. We cannot admit the produce of Cuba and Brazil into home consumption without giving a vast impulse to the growth of sugar in those countries; or, in other words, without giving the strongest encouragement to the slave-trade. These remarks embraced the fundamental principles, and stated explicitly the strong grounds upon which he felt disposed to oppose the consideration of that proposition on the part of the Government at such a time, under such circumstances, and for such an object, and with such prospects as the West-India colonies presented. Setting aside entirely all consideration of the interests of the West-India planters, setting aside also all reference to the contract supposed to have been made with them at the time the 20,000,000l. was paid them, he contended that the present state of the colonies and of the liberated slaves, the prospects of the free peasantry which had been therein created, and the chance of the complete success, if undisturbed, of the experiment which had been made, afforded sufficient grounds to induce the House to pause before it went into committee, even for the consideration of this question. And what were the advantages which it was supposed would be derived from the proposed change? The right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer had urged the great probability that the West-India colonies, if left alone, would produce sugar more than sufficient to meet the demands of this country, and, therefore, to furnish, as hitherto they had done, an additional supply for exportation. Now, if it were true that there was no danger of an inadequate supply for home consumption (and this appeared from the paper which had to-day been presented to hon. Members), then it followed as the right hon. Gentleman seemed to surmise, that without the introduction of foreign produce, there would be a reduction in price, which it was the object of the present scheme to effect. Prior to emancipation, it was well known that sugar was imported from the British colonies to an extent more than sufficient to supply the home consumption, and the price of sugar in the United Kingdom, with the exception of the bounty allowed on the process of refinement, had been the same as it was upon the Continent. From the papers this day laid before the House, it appeared, that the whole difference between the continental price and the English price of sugar arose from the difference which existed in the habits of the two nations. Such being the state of the case, and if it were true, that in all human probability, the country had a right to expect, that the produce of the British colonies would be amply sufficient to supply the demands of this country, and so as to afford sugar to all classes of the population at as low a rate as could be expected to be obtained by the competition of foreign sugar, then he contended, that to attempt to carry the measure—a measure fraught with so much danger—was little short of insanity. Such were the grounds upon which he mainly founded his objections to going into committee on the proposition of the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But it had been stated, that this and the other two measures connected with it came before the House, recommended not merely on the ground of their being calculated to have the effect of restoring the embarrassed state of the finances, but recommended by the wider consideration—that of the introduction of a better principle in the administration of the fiscal and commercial affairs of the country. Of this principle a great boast had been made by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and in the course of those boastings high words had been used, and constant reference had been made to one particular section of the House which comprised the political economists. Now he begged to state, that as far as he could understand the statements of the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the right hon. Gentleman had not made any proposition that was in accordance with the principles of that party. If he (Mr. Herries) at all understood the principles of free trade as maintained by the disciples of the "Blue Book," they were these— that the population of this country were to consume in every respect that produce which came to them cheapest— whether it was the produce of foreign or British colonies, and that the Legislature ought not to impose any protection, by restrictive duties on foreign produce, which should yield an advantage to British produce, even in the British market. These were the principles laid down and maintained by the purest political economists. Was that the principle which her Majesty's Government now proposed to adopt—did they mean to go that length? It was right that the House and the country should know whether those who, for the sake of procuring applause and agitation out of doors, and votes within the House, had proclaimed principles which in reality they did not mean to sustain. In short, was not the Government by their present proposition, seeking to gain votes under false pretences? There was no part of the doctrines of the Chancellor of the Exchequer which did not savour of protection; they intended to give protection. As to corn, they said that 8s. was a protection. They said also, that with regard to sugar, 50 per cent. was a sufficient protection, and they did not pretend to take sugar where they could get it cheapest. There might be much difference as to the degree of protection, or whether any protection would be afforded by those duties, but that would still be only a question of degree; and the Government meant merely to provide, by means of an adjusted scale, that when our own supply failed us, the foreign supply should come in. These were no principles of free trade—they were principles which, on that side of the House, had always been recognised and acted upon; they were the principles upon which all the great commercial reforms, which took place under Mr. Husks son and Lord Liverpool, between 1820 and 1830, proceeded—they abated excessive protection: they removed prohibition, which was excessive protection; and if the right hon. Gentleman could show them that by removing these duties, the protection would only be reduced to a fair and reasonable level, these were subjects proper for discussion in the committee—they were points for practical enquiry; but to these measures there were objections antecedent to going into committee, and these objections he had already stated. In the course of these discussions some observations had been made upon what were called "class interests." It was with great regret that he had heard a Minister of the Crown make sneering observations of that sort, and speaking of "class interests" as if it were to be assumed that for the sake of those interests alone these special protections had been imposed—as if it had been done for their benefit—as if these were separate classes, who were protected at the expense of the rest—as if the shipping interest was a class interest—as if supposing that they did give great encouragement to their shipping, as he hoped they ever would, they did it for the sake of those who were the holders of ships, or who were connected with ships, or for those who sailed in ships. And did they really think that that was the case? As if the agriculture of this country were a class interest—and they believed it! Impossible; and they believed that our colonies was another class interest? And they thought that the policy of this country had been for the sake of the colonial proprietors, for the sake of the shipping proprietors, and for the sake of the landed proprietors—to give encouragement and support to these interests? And that the policy of this country had been so miserably short-sighted—as hon. Gentlemen would make it? Were not hon. Gentlemen aware that the interests of our mercantile and military marine were not limited to any particular individuals in this country—that they were as much the interests and the property of the whole nation as the air we breathed and the light by which we saw. Good God ! how was it possible to suppose that these protections had been maintained for the sake of a particular class. If the House should conceive that the protection of the landed interests of this country, the encouragement of that branch of industry which supplied sustenance to the people, the protection of three-fourths of the inhabitants of the kingdom, was not a national object, then was he at a loss to know what was. If these were the views of the statesmen at the other side of the House —if these were the maxims of the Government—not taking into consideration how much of our own glory, wealth, and pros- perity as a nation was dependent on these great branches of our colonial, shipping, and agricultural trade—that, being for certain class interests, they are therefore not for the benefit of the whole, but only for the benefit of the particular class—then it was better that other men should administer the Government of this country. He could not hear without disgust the sneers which had been thrown upon the great interests of the country, as if they were the impediments to our national prosperity. If it could be shown that the landlords were protected only for themselves—if it could be shown that the country would be better, that the honour the wealth, the happiness of the country would be better provided for, that the shipping interest, that our colonies, and our interchange with them, were of no service to our commerce, and that no wealth was derived from them, then the arguments of Gentlemen opposite might prevail. But it was because these interests were essential to the interests of the whole, that they were inseparably connected with the whole empire, that in them the safety, the honour, and the strength of the nation was concerned, that that House could not, wisely or justly, considering the national interests, refuse to give that support for the good of the whole, which was absolutely necessary as a proper protection. Whenever it shall happen that these great interests shall be considered merely as a class, and not as a part of the whole nation, and whenever any Government shall carry out its principles to such an extent, and whenever it shall happen that the Parliament of this country shall treat the colonial, the sugar, and the agricultural interests as interests not deserving of support and protection, then the honour, the glory, and the wealth of this great country shall have passed away. He had nothing to add to that observation, except that he should give his best support to the amendment of his noble Friend the Member for Liverpool. As far as the sugar duties were concerned, he felt that this country would incur an enormous responsibility if at present it should interrupt the great experiment which had been introduced by giving encouragement to the introduction of slave-grown sugar.

Mr. Villiers

said, that he had listened to the speech of the right hon. Member with great interest, for, knowing that he had been connected with the finances of the country, and expecting that he might soon be so again, he was anxious to learn his views on the state of that financial emergency in which he had described the country to be placed—he wished to learn the objections which he entertained to the plan projected by the Government; but he did not remember to have ever been more disappointed, for all that he learnt from the hon. Member was, his opinion that the present financial condition of the country was owing to the feebleness of the present Government—an opinion, certainly that he expected to have heard supported by him, but which he had been content merely to state. He certainly informed them that it was on high ground on which he op-j posed the means which the Government had proposed of supplying the deficiency, but he did not inform them by what other means he would supply that deficiency himself. Nor had he done much towards the conversion of Members on that side by merely proposing the question whether they could really believe that the commercial restrictions of which they complained existed for a mere benefit of those whose: interests were served by them; he asked a question, and until he shewed them I some reason for not doing so, he must hear in reply that they did confidently entertain the opinion that these classes and interests were so profited and protected for their own interest, at the expense of the community. He was, however, glad to have heard the hon. Member, for the same reason that he was glad that the debate had been protracted, namely, that the country should be able to judge of the validity of the arguments used against the measures projected by the Government; and when it was considered how various were the principles, how opposite was the policy and how different were the reasons upon which Members were going to vote together that evening, it was not without its use. The protraction of the debate, however, was a necessary consequence of the circumstances under which the resolution of the noble Lord was proposed, for by this means the state of the whole nation was brought under review. They were now in a moment that had long been predicted as at hand, that had been desired by many, and that all must admit to have arrived, namely, a time of great financial difficulty; and it had come connected with, if not caused by, greater commercial embarrass- ment than had occurred in the memory of most people living. The Government announced this fact to the House, and stated their plans with the view to supply the deficiency, and maintain the resources of the country. Now, if he understood the scheme which they had proposed, and the principles on which it was based, they were these—that inasmuch as the taxation of this country depended on the general expenditure, and that this again depended upon the employment of the people and the prosperity of commerce, they proposed by removing the restrictions on commerce, and the duties on articles of general consumption, to extend the means of consumption, and improve the ability of the consumer. They proposed, in fact, to raise the revenue, not by imposing fresh burdens, but improving the general condition of the community. These restrictions, however, had not been imposed from caprice, but for the purpose of upholding particular interests and particular classes, whenever those interests or classes were unable to uphold themselves. Resistance, therefore, to their removal was offered, and though not avowedly perhaps on the ground that they were monopolies, yet resistance on some pretext or other there was sure to be; and in the battle for monopoly against freedom which had now begun, the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool had taken the lead. The noble Lord, when he appealed to their sympathies for the negroes in Brazil, in opposition to a project for the improvement of the condition of the people at home, made it necessary to refer to their condition; and from the manner in which the noble Lord's friends, and others, had argued the question, it was rendered incumbent on them to discuss the whole scheme of policy propounded by the Government, and upon that, doubtless the decision would be taken. And certainly he for one who had, with others in this House, and on behalf of others out of this House, invariably advocated the principles involved in that policy, could not but express his hearty satisfaction at seeing them thus recognised by the Government. He knew that their recognition would aid their discussion, and he believed their discussion would establish their truth. He felt, indeed, nothing but satisfaction at the prospect which the present circumstances offered of their ultimate triumph. He viewed their progress in the country as the sign of the spirit and intelligence of the people,—for having been shown, by means of an active and intelligent agitation throughout the country for two years past, the partial and arbitrary character of their commercial and protective laws, and they were rising in every direction in opposition to them. The influence of the general feeling had reached this House, and he could not help being diverted at the eagerness which this year was displayed on the part of some Members to avow themselves either the new converts to, or old friends of, the doctrines of free-trade; whereas in the last year they were derided as visionary, theoretical, or impracticable. Indeed, there had been some signs of this new-born zeal on the other side being deemed indiscreet by the leaders of the party; and he thought he could discover in the speech of the noble Lord the Member for North Lancashire, something like trouble taken to explain the opinions of his friends. An able and important speech, doubtless it was, of the noble Lord's, and one on which his party seemed much to rely, but its importance seemed to him chiefly to turn upon the means which he employed to reconcile the friends of monopoly with the friends of free-trade. The noble Lord, however, only proved to him that this was a question which it was difficult to meet, and that it would be wise to evade, and the noble Lord showed that while he knew well what were the principles of free trade, he was not an advocate of those principles. The noble Lord on this occasion drew a weapon from the armoury of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth—one that he told them he was in the habit of using, namely, dressing up statements for the purpose of imposing on this House; for the noble Lord attempted to dress up a principle which he professed to avow with regard to commercial policy, that he must have hoped would have been taken for free trade by its advocates, and for monopoly by those who maintained that system. The noble Lord, after repudiating the doctrines of free trade, denied also that he was for monopoly; what then was he? Why he said he was a disciple of Mr. Huskisson, who, he told us, was the minister of common sense, and that he was his follower, and that his principle, as opposed to that of free-trade, was competition subject to limitation, or competition regulated by protection. Why, what was to be understood by such a principle, and what was there that might not be meant by it. Why it would include any monopoly and restriction the most objectionable that could be named. The landowner would ask him what competition he meant for them, and he would say that which was regulated by the Corn-laws. The shipowner would seek the same information, and he would learn of course the present timber duties. And so with the West-India proprietor, who might be assured that the people should never be allowed to consume cheap sugar. And he might thus satisfy the monopolists all round. But, Sir, though this might satisfy the scruples of some troublesome partizans of the noble Lord, it would, he might be assured, do little to please the commercial classes in their present mood, and that now that the public mind was directed exclusively to this subject of protection, some better explanation must be given than this of the views of the noble Lord. This was not a moment for a man to have any doubt as to his opinions on this subject; the whole question of protection must now be discussed. There was no such thing as a little protection here, and a little more there; it either rested on some principle, or it did not. If it did, then it should be generally applied; but if it did not, then one interest was not more entitled to it than another. The noble Lord thought he had satisfied the point when he said, that the Government only proposed protection, and not free trade, and that he, on his side, did the same. Now, he saw this difference between the noble Lord and the Government—he understood the latter to be for free trade as a principle, and have its establishment in view as an end, and that when they retained protection, or professed to maintain it, it was either with the view to deal with some powerful interest, from whom it was impossible to obtain complete justice for the community, or it was when any particular interest bore some exclusive burthen, against which it was just to give indemnity: but he understood the party opposite to recommend protection on the principle of the right hon. Member for Harwich, namely, that it was right to uphold by legislation particular interests and particular classes, with a view to some general good as they would allege that the country derived from that system. But he contended that the claim of one interest to protection was as good as that of another, and there was not one single argument that could be advanced against protection, when claimed by any interest against a public improvement by which it was affected by it, such as a ailroad by those who profitted by the old mode of intercourse by a working man against machinery, or by any invention that superseded his employment, that did not equally apply to the claim of the landholder, or the shipowner, or the West-Indian, when he asked for his interests to be maintained against the community by some law. The argument of the poor man when he destroyed machinery, or combined with his fellow-workmen to keep up their wages, was, that he should suffer by being deprived of his occupation, or that he should lose by a reduction of his wages. And what was it that they heard on questions of Corn-laws and sugar laws, and timber laws? Why, that however beneficial their removal might be, the parties interested in them, would suffer by their repeal. This, then, was the view taken of this subject now by the great body of the productive classes. "Protection to all or none," was their cry. And that it was hard to sacrifice the poor man to the general good, when he was made to suffer further to uphold the particular interest of the great and powerful. It was, therefore that the public were looking with intense interest to know what the precise views of the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, were on this principle, and of its application to the great interests affected by the scheme of the Government. The right hon. Baronet certainly had been hitherto consistent in resisting any infringement of the protection which the great interests had in this country, and in referring to a very able speech that the right hon. Baronet made on the subject of the Corn-laws, he certainly found, that the right hon. Baronet pledged himself to adhere to the great protection which the landlords had; and he was not likely, to be affected by the argument that it was not the right time, which was adduced against the noble Lord's proposition, for the right hon. Baronet had said, "If you had called on us to abandon this protection with all the authority of an united administration, with the exhibition of superior sagacity, and triumphant reasoning, we should have been deaf to your appeal." This, doubtless, was candid, and he hoped that the right hon. Baronet would be equally clear when he expressed his opinions that night, for nobody could doubt that this was really the question at the bottom of all this discussion; and it was the one on which the public cared to have his opinion; so strongly indeed did he feel this, that he hardly knew how to look at the resolution that was proposed to stop the progress of the Ministerial scheme. He did not, of course, intend to impute motives to the noble mover of this resolution, but really he could not but think, if they heard of any other people refusing commercial intercourse with themselves oh such grounds, they would be apt to charge such a people with prostituting a sacred principle to serve a sordid purpose. What could they say to the Americans, for instance, if they were to refuse intercourse with them because the great body of the people were not represented here as fully as they were; and if they found that those who urged this plea were those who desired to raise their own tariff to exclude English manufactures. Indeed, what would they say if they found the Americans taking the same view of their Corn-laws as they did of their system of slavery, and refusing intercourse with us while we maintained a system so fraught with misery and wretchedness to the people of this country. It was the same principle; which was that of regulating their commercial relations with other countries by the condition of the working classes of those countries. And was it so very impossible that this view of their own Corn-laws should be taken? He had received a paper from America only that day, in which he found that they were regarded as the corresponding outrage in this country with their slavery. These were the words of the American writer:— The statesmen, and merchants, and farmers, and philanthropists of the United States, have long been in the way of regarding the Corn-laws of Great Britain and the slave laws of America, as belonging to the same class of statutes. * * * And as we see a very intimate connection of the two, in their nature and influence, we expect to see a very close connection of the two in their overthrow—that as they have been eminently hateful and mischievous in their lives, in their deaths they will be not far divided. From a pamphlet of the same date, published in Washington, he found all the evils and mischief springing out of the Corn-laws pointed out and implying, that a time was at hand when it might be politic to discontinue their commerce with this country. The passage which he would read was as follows:—

The British Corn-law, as settled in 1828, by the act of 9th Geo. 4th, c. 60, is one of the most ingeniously contrived schemes that can well be imagined, calculated to injure the grain-growing interests of other countries, and the grain-consuming portions of its own people, without, it is believed, a corresponding advantage to the agricultural interest, for whose benefit it was intended. The tendency of this system to general impoverishment, and to the increase of misery and discontent among the poorer classes, is already awakening intense observation in Great Britain. The manufactories stop work, because orders do not come from America; and the orders are not sent, because that with which payment might be made to a large amount, will not be received on any just and reasonable terms. The goods are wanted here, and our free industry is abundantly able to produce the means of payment; but the great staple of the north-west is under an interdict. The operatives are thrown out of employment, and reduced to the lowest means of subsistence, and unable to consume a full measure of the products of agriculture, and thousands are made paupers, and become an absolute charge upon the land. The consumption of agricultural products is diminished — the agricultural labourers share the common distress—and agriculture itself, the very object sought to be benefited by this unnatural arrangement, is oppressed by its own protection. It is demonstrable that a well employed, well-paid, well-fed, prosperous community of operatives, would consume and pay for more agricultural products, in addition to the wheat they might import from America, than a depressed and starving community would without the wheat.

He mentioned this, however, to show, that they were not so wise and benevolent in this country, in the estimation of others, as they might deem themselves; and that if they sanctioned the precedent of nations, regulating their commerce upon such principles, that they might one day be the sufferers. But was this a principle, that any people could consistently act upon, or did they do so? Hon. Members talked of scorn and indignation being visited upon this country by the world, if they should not adopt the resolution of the noble Lord, he thought those feelings were more likely to be visited upon those who recommended it, when it was seen, that in numberless cases, when they might adopt the same principle, they abstained from doing so, because it affected their interests, and that they were eagerly seeking to extend that very commerce in their manufactures, which, as it has been truly said, was the real cause of slave-labour being employed in order to produce what was given in exchange. When it was seen, that in other parts of the world, we were anxiously seeking friendly and commercial relations, though slavery and the slave-trade was carried on in the most avowed and systematic manner, and under circumstances, in some particulars, of greater aggravation than they had heard of in the western world. What was the favourite policy of the other side? he wished it was less in favour on this side — that of preserving the integrity of the Turkish empire, and maintaining that people with their religion, their laws, their customs, their slaves, and their systematic traffic in slaves. Were they not ready to enter into treaty with them and to receive their produce? Had they not lately expended life and treasure on behalf of that country? And was it not part of that policy expenditure that had caused a deficiency incurred by that means? And yet they were called upon to refuse to supply that deficiency by reducing the duty on sugar, simply because it was produced by slave-labour. Was that consistent? Was that upholding what was termed a resistless principle, and standing by a great moral example, as it was called, in not holding intercourse with slave-labour countries? Why, if the world was to pass judgment on the matter, what was it to think of the mover of this resolution being the Member for the greatest mart for slave-produce in the world; seconded by an East-India director, whose friends in this cause say they must now direct all their energies to abolish slavery in the British possessions of India; and the organ of the anti-slavery party this week is teeming with evidence of the slavery that now exists in their Eastern possessions, and they quote from official documents to show, that it exists and is tolerated, owing to the apathy and indifference of the Company's servants on the subject—that this resolution is supported by men who have just disposed of and been indemnified for slave property, or indeed by those who have avowed themselves to be still slave-owners in this House? This will surely shake the confidence of other countries in their sincerity, and would be far more likely to discredit the benevolent objects of the really faithful friends of the slave, and tend to discourage other nations from acting upon their example. They were told that they must not interrupt the great experiment that was being tried in the West-India islands, but hon. Gentlemen opposite seemed to be under a mistake as to the nature of the experiment to which they refer. The great experiment was, whether the negro was really capable of freedom—whether he had any taste for the enjoyments of civilised life, and could live without that control which had been supposed to be absolutely necessary in order to make him a useful labourer. That was the great experiment to be tried by emancipation; and, as far as the result went, the experiment was tried and found satisfactory within one year after the great act had passed. It was found out they were ready to work for wages, and their labour as any where else, could be obtained for a sufficient price. This country never undertook to guard the Jamaica planter against all the contingencies arising out of the natural competition of capital and labour. Much was said about the competition of slave-labour in Cuba with the free labour in Jamaica; but in Jamaica, with an exhausted soil, competing with a fertile one in Cuba, just the same result would occur if slavery were abolished there. It was competition with more productive soils that had embarrassed the proprietors of Jamaica in the days of slavery, and would do so again though no slavery existed. But there was a term in the noble Lord's resolution which seemed to imply, that if there was not an adequate supply of sugar from our colonies that then would be the time to disregard the argument for slave-grown sugar, and to reduce the prohibitory duty. This raised the question of the means of the people of this country at present, and he did not know how it could be said that they were not in the condition when any induction of price was of the greatest importance to them. From all parts of the country he had received the most affecting details of the sufferings of the people in the towns. A letter which he had in his hand said,—

You may mention what are facts—that there are in Preston (and Preston is not near so depressed as some other towns) 1,220 empty houses, that the number of paupers in our union has increased 127 per cent. since 1837, besides having been relieved two winters by a public subscription. Such is the want of employment that people are begging to work for the parish at 1s. per day and their dinner. Nobody except those who are conversant with the people, can believe the number which are out of employment. Crime continues so to increase that an intermediate session is obliged to be held to dispose of it. The shopkeepers complain dreadfully, and failures are taking place every week. Something really must be done." "The number of empty houses is— old ones, 1,110, and new ones 110; total unoccupied 1,220. The increase in the number of paupers in the Preston union who received out-door relief from March, 1837, to March, 1840, is 83½ per cent., and from March, 1837, to 1841, is 127 per cent., being an increase in the last year of 40 per cent., while at the same time the in-door relief has been kept up to the full extent of the accommodation the workhouse would admit. The distress of the poor has been relieved during the last two winters by public subscription; 1,330 families were relieved last winter with articles of bedding, such as chaff and Bolton sheets. It is the opinion of some connected with this charity that there are 2,000 families, consisting of 10,000 individuals, who have not a single woollen blanket to cover them with. From the last return of the chaplain of the House of Correction, it is stated that crime had increased 37 per cent. Indeed the increase has been such as to render an intermediate session requisite, in order to dispose of the cases. As to employment, it is impossible to say how many are unemployed, but the number is very great. Factory wages have been reduced 10 per cent. within the last six months; weavers' wages from 25 to 30 per cent. since 1836. All kinds of artisans are walking about, having nothing to do. Many classes keep up their wages by trade-unions and combinations, but in those cases half of their numbers are generally tramping the country.

From Bolton the writer of a letter said: — I may state generally that trade was never so universally bad as now in this district. It has been coming on four years. Within a circle of six miles of this town there are many hundreds of houses empty, and those occupied are reduced from 50 to 75 per cent. in value. Hundreds of cottagers cannot pay any rent, and distraints are daily taking place. Paupers are increasing, rates getting higher, and trade languishing. Many of the smaller class of tradesmen are with extreme difficulty lingering on, and must inevitably go down ere long, unless some substantial changes, such as Lord John proposes, are brought about, and in a short time.

From Blackburn a correspondent among other things said:— I understand the number of empty houses is now about 1,400, and short time is being worked by a few mills, and amongst them Bolling's.

From Little Bolton he begged leave to read the following:— The whole district of Little Bolton contained 3,203 houses; of these 409 were empty (and in November there were 1,083 empty in Great Bolton); 300 houses were visited, containing 500 beds, and occupied as follows:— 23 persons without beds; 8 persons slept in one bed; 42 persons slept, 7 in a bed; 78 slept, 6 in a bed; 185 slept, 5 in a bed; 432 slept, 4 in a bed; 582 slept, 3 in a bed; 220 slept, 2 in a bed; 31 slept, 1 in abed. Their incomes were—1,025 averaged below 1s. 6d. per head weekly, 359 more under 2s., 165 below 2s. 6d., and the rest above 2s. 6d. weekly.

From Blackburn the following account has been transmitted:— There is a vast amount of misery and destitution, which is very much on the increase; and, from the evidence of collectors of rates, the comforts of the work-people in their dwellings are continually and very fast decreasing; we have no means of ascertaining anything like correctly the number of people out of work, but from the best information I can get, should say 500 to 1,000. There are none working short time, but it seems to be the general impression amongst the millowners that they must come to it very soon. There are a considerable number of houses empty, and they are on the increase, from the circumstance of a number of families living in one dwelling. From what I can gather at the towns-office, I believe that the amount of empty and excusable property (i. e. owing to poverty of occupiers) there will be an increase this year over last year of something like 60 per cent., and the increase of out-door relief is one-third more this six months than last. There are four cotton-mills not working in this town and neighbourhood, three of which are quitted, the machinery being sold out; and a machine-shop is shut up, which was considered one of the largest in the county, the parties having employed from 200 to 300 mechanics, at from 20s. to 3l. per week. We have an instance here of a fire-proof cotton mill, with eighty-six horsepower engines, and filled with machinery to supply 500 looms, with a loom-shed containing 500 looms, fifty cottages, and two good dwelling-houses, having been sold within the last two or three months for 13,000l., after originally costing very near 50,000l.

To these he would add an extract of a letter from Oldham:— Within the township of Oldham there are forty-eight cotton-mills and manufactories, out of which eight are entirely at a stand, or, rather, seven and two halves; and I think that those standing are an average, or nearly so, of the same number of those at work. The estimated number of houses in 1837 (and there has been very little increase since that time) was 7,853. At the present time, from the collectors of the poor-rates' return, there are upwards of 1,200 empty houses and shops, nearly one-sixth of the whole, and I know, from daily experience and observation, that a very great number of the occupants of cottages are not able to pay rent in consequence of some, or all, of the family being out of work; there are a great many cases of two or three families living together in one house in a miserable manner. The mills, houses, shops, &c, now empty in Oldham, if occupied, would yield a clear rental of not less than 12,000l. per annum. As the preceding remarks apply to the township, and almost entirely within the town, it is proper to remark that the borough of Oldham consists of four townships, and the other townships within the borough, or immediately adjoining Oldham, are suffering equal to us. Within the limits of our gas mains there are thirteen mills entirely at a stand, and the shopkeepers and tradesmen in this town have a portion of the suffering through the hands of the empty mills without the town.

From Nottingham, it is stated, that "160 fathers of families (all operatives) are employed in mending the roads: several hundreds in improvements on the race course: 700 receive out-door relief, and there ate 600 in the workhouse." The subsequent paragraph he took from a Leicester paper:— It was told to me yesterday, by a gentleman who actually saw it, that as he was looking out of his window into the yard behind his house, he saw a man standing over his swill tub, into which was thrown the wash, &c, for his pigs, and taking several pieces of something out, and eating them with a voracious appetite! he called to him and asked him what he was doing, but the man did not speak; he then went to him and asked him if he would like some bread to eat, and the man, with a tremulous voice, said he should be very thankful for it.

In a Bolton Newspaper he met with the following:— Mr. Harry Thomas, farmer, of Thirnham, near Royton, had a cow, which died last week, and not liking to sell the carcase, he buried it in a field. After it had been interred a day and a half, about twenty females, from Crompton and Shaw, near Oldham, came to see if the farmer would let them have it. After hearing their distressed circumstances, he told them they might take it if they pleased. The females disinterred the body, cut it into pieces, took it to their respective families, who ate heartily of the carrion, and have since declared the meat to be the best they have tasted for many mouths past,

From Manchester it was stated that no fewer than 4,000 individuals were subsisting (living he could hardly call it) upon 13½d. per week. He would not enter into details from thence, because he believed they had been given by the hon. Member for Salford. Facts of the kind were not only supplied by persons who had written private letters, but they were also furnished in painful abundance under the authority of public commissioners. Mr. Hickson, in the report of the hand-loom weavers, said, respecting what Was usually considered a prosperous district of Ireland:— In Belfast I found the cotton weavers and others, living to a great extent, upon a diet which in England would only be used as hog's wash. It is a liquid called sowens, made in the process of manufacturing starch … The sowens is sold to the poor at the rate of a halfpenny a measure, a measure containing nearly a gallon. It is boiled, and used by them chiefly as a soup or broth for breakfast and supper. Several persons came for it while we were present, and we saw it ladled out to them. We were informed that some who had attempted to live wholly upon it, had found it fatal to their health. The quanity sold in this manner by Mr. Emerson, amounted to 6l. per week, from which it would appear that upwards of 400 persons are supplied with sowens, for food, from this establishment alone,—allowing seven gallons per week to each individual. A little flour held by the water in solution after the starch has been extracted, is the share of wheat, and a poor share it is, which these 400 persons obtain by all the present protective system. It is satisfactory that this is not a picture which applies to the majority of the working classes of England. Wheaten bread and flour are used by them as daily food, but the price at which they obtain them, by absorbing the largest proportion of their wages, compels them either to go without animal food, or to confine themselves to pork. Families of factory operatives, earning, collectively, very high wages, and our better paid classes of skilled artisans, are exceptions. But taking the whole body of agricultural labourers, supposed to derive the greatest practical benefit from our Corn-laws, beef and mutton, as articles of food among them, are almost unknown from the north of England to the south. Pork is the only description of animal food they get, and often little of that; so generally are they under-fed, that it is often very difficult to rally a constitution after an attack of fever or ague in the rural districts. I have often heard medical men say, "We give them tonic medicines, but the only physic they want is a slice of mutton or beef every day for three months, and that we cannot prescribe, for how are they to purchase meat, without denying themselves bread? When 8s. out of 15s. must be spent in bread and flour by a family, and the greater part of the rest be expended in rent, cloathing, and fuel, what is there left for animal food?

In another part of the report of the same commissioners he met with the following paragraph:— A woman, the wife of a silk weaver, relating the sufferings of her family, said to me, 'Often, Sir, and often, were we obliged, when half starving, to go without a pennyworth of bread, and buy a pennyworth of coals, or take the Children over to a neighbour's to borrow a warm at their fire, or put them early to bed shivering and crying with cold.

Elsewhere, Mr. Hickson observed:— I have heard the question asked, 'Which is most contrary to the will of God, to extinguish the life of a child before it has arrived at the knowledge of good or evil, or to give a nominal consent to its existence, and say, eat, if you can find food in the spot where you were born, but for the rest of the world, the earth for you shall not yield its increase, nor shall the trees of the earth bear fruit each after its kind?

It was to be recollected that this class of persons amounted at present to no fewer than 800,000, and it could not be wondered that hatred to the Government and constitution should prevail among them. Much had been said, about our vast dependencies, and the magnitude of our foreign possessions, but of what value could they be to these unfortunate people? What was the worth of the East Indies or the West Indies to a starving population. The people of this country were called upon to contribute taxes for the maintenance of our colonies, and soldiers for the defence of them, but hundreds and hundreds of thousands, in a time of profound peace, and for no misconduct of their own, were reduced to a state of absolute misery and destitution, and what a mockery it was to talk to them of the value of our colonies. The moment it was proposed to improve the condition of the working classes —the moment it was wished to afford them some of the comforts, not to call them luxuries, which our colonies, or other tropical countries produced—hon. Gentlemen on the other side exclaimed, "No, you shall not enjoy any of these advantages; you shall be taxed and shall bleed for the colonies, but benefit from them is beyond your reach, because we consider it essential to protect, support, and maintain monopolies." When the condition of the slaves of the West Indies, (for whom so much and such proper sympathy was felt) was contrasted with the state of the working classes in this country, he could not help quoting the sentiments of a writer who had great influence with the lower orders, derived from the force and justice of his reasoning and the truth of his statements—Mr. Cobbett. Poverty" (said this admirable writer) "is, after all, the great badge, the never failing badge of slavery. Bare bones and rags, are the true marks of the real slave. What is the object of Government? To cause men to live happily, which cannot be without a sufficiency of food and raiment. Good government means a state of things in which the main body are well fed and well clothed. It is the chief business of a Government to take care that one part of the people do not cause the other part to lead miserable lives. There can be no morality, no virtue, no sincerity, no honesty, amongst a people continually suffering from want; it is cruel in the last degree to punish such people for almost any sort of crime, which is, in fact, not Crime of the heart—not crime of the perpetrator—but the crime of his all-controlling necessities,

It was impossible to dispute the justice of this remark, and it ought to be borne in mind, when adverting to the comparative condition of the African slave and the English (slave he would not call him) operative, enduring at this moment such unexampled suffering. It might, however be said that what he had just read was the language of a demagogue or a democrat appealing to the feelings and passions of the uninformed: but, on the other hand, he begged to trouble the House with what had been written on the same theme, not by a democrat, but by an individual who was now a high Tory. In ah article on the progress of discontent in Great Britain, by Mr. Southey, he had met with the subsequent passage:— We had arrived at a state in which the extremes of inequality had become intolerable and that unless 'the condition of the populace physical, moral, and intellectual, were improved, a bellum servile— a war of the poor against the rich—would be the result.

This was the language of a Conservative in 1817. What amelioration of the condition of the people has taken place since that period? He considered that he had not in any respect given an exaggerated picture of the condition of the people; he should be extremely sorry to do so, and most happy to learn from any good authority that their distresses were not as great as he apprehended. He should be most happy to find, that there was any prospect of improvement—that their sufferings were not in any respect owing to the present state of trade—and that the present state of trade was not to be attributed to the restrictions upon commerce. Last year he had stated that the manufacturing classes were in an unfortunate condition, and he had, moreover, adduced the opinions of many manufacturers that that condition was the necessary consequence of their not being allowed to exchange the produce of our own country for the produce of other countries. The warehouses of Liverpool and of other places were almost bursting with flour imported from America, which would afford food for the starving, and enable those who were most anxious, to take that food in exchange for manufactures, and give employment to the distressed. Under these circumstances some strong ground should be stated for continuing the restrictions complained of, and for maintaining that the condition of the African slave was better worth our care than that of our own population. But what prospect is there for the people? We are now (continued Mr. Villiers) going to a division —perhaps to a dissolution. I hope we are. It is generally expected that the project of Government for affording some comforts to the working classes, instead of adding to their burdens, will be negatived—that on a division Ministers are to be defeated. The division lists will appear on the morrow. [Cheers.] The right hon. Baronet (Sir E. Knatchbull) is pleased with that observation, and his name, no doubt, will appear in the majority; I hope that some time will then be allowed to the people to reflect on the conduct of those who compose that majority. I do not say so because I wish to mark the names of the majority; no doubt they think they faithfully represent their constituents; but a question of great importance is connected with this point. We are living in times when people are not regardless of politics —when the great mass of the population of the kingdom is putting forward its claim to be included in the political system, and will mark the conduct of those who claim on this occasion to represent them. The great body of the population assert that they are not represented, and put forward claims for representation. What is it that they are told? That they are virtually represented—that the electors are trustees for the rest of the community and that those who have the right of voting will judge of the manner in which Members discharge their duty. If ever there was a time then, when these representatives were put upon their trial, and when Parliament could be fairly tested, it is the present; and if ever there was an occasion when the general interests of the community, and the particular claims of those who assert their right to the suffrage were entitled to consideration, it is the present. No one is less desirous of meddling with the constitutional powers of the country than myself, but there must be some limit to the argument that the House does virtually represent the whole body of the people; we cannot constantly tell the people that there has been a gross breach of trust on the part of the Members of the House, and yet constantly refuse them redress by extending the suffrage. It seems to me that we are rapidly approaching the period, when, if we do not do justice to the people, the people will claim to do justice to themselves. What is now likely to occur? What do Gentlemen hope and expect on the other side of the House will follow the division? That one set of men will be substituted for another in the Government of the country. I do not believe that the people care from whom the good comes, if it be good; but before they are called upon to depose one set of men who propose to give them something good, they will require to hear what are the principles of the other set of men, and to be informed distinctly what are the benefits they intend to confer. The present Ministers tell us what they will do; will the prospective Ministers do more? and if so, what will they do? During the whole of the seven nights' discussion we have heard of nothing from the other side, but what is hostile to the interests of the suffering classes. Some hon. Member went so far as to assert that there is no distress, or, or at all events, nothing new in the distress; a West-India planter insisted that he had not had indemnity enough; he said one hundred millions more was due. I see before me, an hon. Baronet who is identified with another question which would add to the burdens of the people. I mean Church extension. He is a Member who would naturally have great influence with a Government composed of his party, and he would add to the burdens of the people; but what promise do they make of any relief to the people? I know of much evil, I want to hear of the promise of some good. The people are bent upon having these restrictions upon commerce removed. What says the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire? He is against free trade. What says the right hon. Baronet? "I will resist any plan which proposes an abandonment of the protection to agriculture." There is, therefore no hope from that quarter. At present we may say, there are three parties in the State. 1. Those who are for keeping things just as they are. 2. Those who think that justice ought to be done to the people, and who hope to do that justice, and yet preserve the constitution. 3. Those whom hope deferred has made sick, and who call for a change in the constitution. I understand the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, to put himself at the head of the second party. He wishes to do justice to the people, with a proper regard to the existing constitution. That is a prominent and worthy place, befitting his name and character, and he has shown that he possesses talents, information, and experience, to make him the leader of such a party. In that capacity, he has set himself against monopoly, and in favour of the general interests of the nation, and we have every reason to expect success under his conduct. I think that the commercial and manufacturing classes, and all those who complain of restriction, will do well to keep the noble Lord at their head. I say this quite independently, and with a view only to the advantage of the interests I have hitherto advocated. If the noble Member for North Lancashire, or the right hon. Baronet, had avowed themselves the warm supporters of those interests, I should have said precisely the same. They have taken an opposite course, while the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) has avowed himself the champion of general interests, and, in my judgment, the people would be unwise indeed if they repudiated his leadership. I trust that he will not be deterred by the silly taunt that he has proposed this change at a moment which is inopportune, especially when the objection comes from those who have warned us that they will resist such measures at whatever time they may be brought forward. I trust, too, that the noble Lord will be nothing daunted by the reproach, that he has proposed a measure which will array and excite one interest against another. This is not the fault of those who have recommended the change; it is one of the cursed consequences of such laws, that they do set one class in array against the other. But that is an argument in favour of any tyranny at any time; it was as good in 1641, as in 1841, and we know that our ancestors had the spirit to disregard such fears. The gentry of that day resisted the encroachments of the Crown on a matter somewhat similar to the present—unjust taxation. The endeavour was to tax the people for the benefit of the Crown, without regard to principle or to their interests. That is what the aristocracy would now claim against the community at large; and I cannot believe that the commercial and indus- trious classes will show themselves degenerate sons of those who sowed the seeds of liberty in our soil, and established it in the other hemisphere; and I trust, that if the noble Lord is now defeated, that he will not expose himself to the reproach of refusing to those classes throughout the country a full opportunity of expressing their opinions on this great question.

Sir E. Knutchbull

did not pretend to follow the hon. Member who had last addressed the House through his elaborate speech, for if he did so, he should be obliged to speak upon many subjects foreign to the question before them. The hon. Member in the course of his speech, had touched upon almost every topic which could be entertained by the House; but in the observations which he should feel it necessary to make, he should confine himself within a narrower compass, and he trusted the House would afford him a patient hearing. Allusion had already been made to the great length to which the debate had been carried, and he could assure the House that he regretted that the debate should have been so long protracted. Not that he was unwilling the question should be fully and deliberately discussed and thoroughly investigated in all its bearings, for the judgement of the country—but he lamented that eight nights had been occupied in that discussion, as he was of opinion that great public interests of the country must have felt themselves affected during that period. He thought that some responsibility attached to her Majesty's Ministers for not having used the influence which they possessed with their supporters, in order to put an end to the debate at an earlier period. There were many subjects alluded to by the hon. Gentleman who spoke last upon which he joined issue. However, when the hon. Member said, he thought that the time was come for stating what hon. Gentlemen intended, he agreed with him. He thought that the time had come when the Ministers of the Crown ought to state what their intentions were. The hon. Gentleman said he was opposed to all protection. Now, in that respect, he could not agree with the hon. Member. The hon. Member stated that the manufacturers were ready to support that proposition. Was that the case? He would ask the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer if it were possible? He would ask that right hon. Gentleman were not duties upon some articles necessary to the revenue? Had it not been stated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself that a certain amount of duty on corn and other articles was necessary to raise an additional amount of revenue of 400,000l. With respect to the sugar-duties, the conclusion which he came to was that in all probability the revenue expected to arise from that proposition would be secured, but he thought also that, without such a proposition being carried into effect, the increased consumption that would arise from the increased supply which was anticipated from our possessions would produce a great increase in the revenue. This was the opinion expressed by his right hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge the other night, and a most undue meaning had been attributed to the language of his right hon. Friend, as if he had spoken of duties generally, whereas he had only referred to the sugar duties. The Member for Cambridge University, had stated, that he would let the sugar duties alone. Gentlemen opposite, had charged him with declaring, that he would apply this principle to all the interests of the country, and to all the duties of Government— could anything be more unfair? The right hon. Judge Advocate had misstated this the other evening, but upon the explanation of his right hon. Friend had with the candour and manliness of his character admitted his error. Nevertheless, the hon. Member for Kilkenny and one of the Lords of the Treasury bad again repeated the misrepresentation. Such had been the conduct of the other side in this debate, and it was right that the country should know it. With respect to the subject of slavery, as connected with the question before the House, he was utterly astonished to see, that hon. Gentlemen opposite gave up those principles which they before entertained upon that subject. He had always been opposed to that most inhuman traffic and, when on former occasions he had heard opposition to the slave-trade expressed, he thought that the whole black creation was included in the sympathy which was indicated, and that it was not confined to the slaves of our own colonies. Whether or not it was expedient to act upon the principles proposed by her Majesty's Government, the present was the worst moment that could be chosen to bring forward propositions of the kind. When the noble Lord opposite was reminded of the injury that those measures might inflict in the present state of Canada he told the House that he had been in communication with the Governor of Canada upon that subject, and that noble Lord stated, that, if the Timber duties were altered, it would place him in difficulties that he might not be able to meet; but that, if an alteration of the Timber Duties was accompanied by other measures (meaning no doubt a repeal of the Corn-laws), in that case, the Governor-general of Canada would not fear to encounter any difficulties that might present themselves. He thought that it was conduct highly deserving of censure for a Government to come forward and propose measures to Parliament without any expectation of being able to carry them. Did the noble Lord opposite, when he made his statement entertain the least expectation that he would be able to carry through that House, a measure, for repealing the Corn-laws? He knew that the voice of the country was against him, and the noble Lord knew that he was deceiving the country, and deceiving the Governor-general of Canada when he made that proposition. The ground on which he and those who thought with him rested, and which they thought the only grounds that could be wisely acted upon, were, that it would not be safe to allow a country like this to be dependent on foreign nations for a supply of the first necessaries of life. He believed that was the safe principle to act on, and one which would be the most beneficial to all classes of her Majesty's subjects. He would refer to the opinions of Mr. Canning on this subject, which set forth the sound view of the question in language more impressive than any which he could use. Mr. Canning said:— It seems perfectly clear that the duty, to be an effectual protection an the one hand, and not an undue burden on the other, must vary with the price of corn. On this principle he (Sir E. Knatchbull) was directly opposed to the proposition of a fixed duty of 8s. the quarter. He contended that 8s. was tip protection at all. Why, what did the hon. Member for Marylebone say the last night of the debate? That he supported the proposition of the Government to have a duty of 8s., because he knew that that duty could not long be continued, and that in the end they must get rid of all protection whatever. How, then was it possible for him (Sir E. Knatchbull) to entertain the propositions of her Majesty's Government? He was surprised at some opinions that had been expressed last night by the hon. Member for West Kent, and the Member for Hertfordshire; and he could not well understand the principles on which the conduct of both those hon. Members rested. They told the House that they considered that protection to agriculture was essentially necessary, and yet these Members for two counties gave their unqualified support on all occasions and on this occasion, to her Majesty's Ministers, who by every means in their power, were advocating, and promoting, the very measures which they themselves so strongly condemned. All that he could say was, that the conduct of both these hon. Members was most inconsistent, and he rejoiced to add that there was another tribunal beyond that House where they would be afforded the opportunity of explaining their conduct. He regretted that he did not then see the hon. Member for Wolverhampton in his place. Nothing was more unfair than for an hon. Member to come down to that House and make a long speech, treating of all subjects, and referring to all parties, and when he had done, to leave the House. Frequently, during the course of this lengthened discussion, he had seen the Ministerial benches entirely empty. If eight nights' debate were requisite upon this question, such should not have been the case. He was desirous that all questions of this kind should be decided on the principle of what was best to be done for the people of this country. The hon. Member for Wolverhampton had expatiated on the deep distress which the people suffered. He did not deny, that great distress prevailed; but he certainly must beg to say, that the Gentlemen who sat on his side of the House entertained as deep sympathy for those who suffered that distress, and were as active in relieving it, as any other Members on the other side of the House. However, admitting the existence of this distress, he should be glad to ask in what way the repeal of the Corn-laws would benefit the agricultural community? Supposing the price of corn to he 60s. the quarter, there could be no doubt that if the price went down to, 40s. the quarter the people would be better able to purchase it, provided they had the same wages as when the price was at 60s. Take the rate of wages at 13s. 6d. a-week, and corn at 60s. the quarter; a labouring man could support his family with a bushel of corn, the price of which would be 7s. 6d., and, deducting this from the 13s. 6d., he would have a clear surplus remaining of 6s. for all the comforts and necessaries of life. But if, according to the theory of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, the duties were abolished, the price would be about 40s., but wages would fall in the same proportion. Instead of 13s. 6d. per week, the labouring man would receive but 9s. For the bushel of wheat, at 40s. the quarter, he would have to pay 5s., and there would then only remain 4s. instead of 6s. for the comforts of life. Now he appealed, to the House whether he would not be better off with 6s. a week than 4s. It is certain, that if the price of corn falls, the wages of labour will fall also. In this opinion, I have the authority of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Villiers) himself; to the following effect he spoke at Birmingham:— One of the disadvantages we sustain in competing with the foreign manufacturers is, that we are much more heavily taxed. Half of our income is devoted to the support of our public establishments—the army and navy, and the supplies, of ships in the dock-yards. The cost of provisions enters into every one of these, and, in proportion as the price of bread is reduced, are savings effected in all these items. Can any one doubt that we are paying more to every public servant than would be necessary if provisions were lower? What is the great amount of our local burdens—the poor-rates and county rates—composed of, but the cost of supporting a certain number of persons in public institutions and gaols? Every local tax must consequently be increased, by whatever increases the cost of provisions. It is to be presumed, that Gentlemen who agree with the Member for Wolverhampton, are prepared to act accordingly —the salaries of all public officers must be reduced—the pay of the army and navy must be subject to the same principle—every man's income, even the labourers must be reduced—if the Government are not prepared to act on this principle, they ought to he opposed to the hon. Gentleman. He wished to read to the House, the situation of the country as it is expected to be, when the principles of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Villiers) shall prevail—the following is an extract from a publication of the Anti-Corn-law League:— Be in no fear that the farmers would be ruined by a repeal of the Corn-laws. With free trade, in twenty-five years, Manchester, and all the surrounding towns within seven miles of its Exchange, would be one great city. With free trade, England, Ireland and Scotland would be one great grazing and dairy farm, studded with thriving towns. With free trade, Northern Europe and Northern America would be our corn fields, France and Spain, and Portugal, our vineyards. With free trade, the nations would convert the sword into ploughshares, and spears into pruning-hooks, and men would learn the art of war no more ! Thus it appears, that the agriculture of the country was to be destroyed—the capital embarked was to be sunk—the farmer and his labourers were to be reduced to ruin—and England was to be entirely dependent on foreign countries for corn— this was the state of things which the advocates of liberal measures anticipate and desire—it was to this state of things, which for the sake of the farmer, for the sake of his labourers and for the sake of his country, he was opposed. Taking into consideration the great improvements in agriculture, only now in their infancy, he was satisfied that the capability of this country to supply corn would be rapidly extended, and for several years back, there was no period during which corn had maintained so steady a price. If by a free trade in corn, they made this country dependent on other nations for a supply of the first necessary of life, the time might come when they would have to lament so fatal an error. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on a former occasion, asked the Gentlemen at that (the Opposition) side of the House, when they objected to the measures of the Government, what measures were they prepared to bring forward to meet the present difficulties? The right hon. Gentleman even went so far as to say, that in all cases of difficulty and emergency the country had a right to look to that House. He had always thought that the initiation of all measures rested on the responsible advisers of the Crown, and he had never yet heard that a Government had the right to call upon the Opposition for the production of measures. The practice of that House and of the country, had heretofore been the reverse of such a course as that. The public had always looked to the Ministers of the Crown for such measures as the country required. These measures were proposed to Parliament, and if the Gentlemen who brought them forward failed in obtaining the approval of Parliament, they generally had the decency and decorum to refuse to press any longer on the attention of the Legislature, measures which they knew they could not carry, and to propose which must be productive of great inconvenience and confusion. He was not of the number of those who despaired of the country. He placed the greatest reliance on the strength and spirit of the good sense of the people. He placed the fullest confidence in the intelligence and sound judgment of the people of this country. He knew that they possessed a fund of good sense, in which the utmost confidence might be placed. He believed, above all, that the country required, a strong and efficient Government, and that in such hands they would be able to continue to uphold the character of this country, and to maintain the interests and secure the happiness of all classes of her Majesty's subjects.

Mr. Charles Buller

had never experienced deeper disappointment at any speech that he had ever heard in that House, than at the speech of the right hon. Baronet who had just sat down, particularly when at the end of that speech the right hon. Baronet so cruelly denied that information, for which, in the earlier part, he had given the House some reason to hope. The right hon. Baronet complained of the discursive nature of this discussion, and promised to confine himself within a narrow compass; if the right hon. Gentleman meant by the term narrow, that he would keep on the outside of the question before the House, and would not discuss the question of the sugar duties, he had completely performed the promise he had made. He did not mean to pursue the same course; he hoped, that there would be other opportunities of discussing the Corn-laws, when the right hon. Baronet would be able to dilate upon the dreadful state to which England would be reduced when this country should be converted into smiling pastures and flourishing towns, and when the din of war should be no more heard. But the right hon. Baronet had not been content with making his own statements; he had gone deeply into authorities, and he had taunted those on that (the Ministerial) side with inconsistency. He wondered, that the word did not choke the right hon. Gentleman. He wondered, that when the word was to be uttered the lips did not refuse to give it utterance; and that there had not come out instead, "malt-tax repeal." The right hon. Gentleman had found nothing but deception among his opponents, as he had once done among his present friends; and he could not help thinking that the right hon. Gentleman had returned to his old modes of thinking, and that the whole of his changes might be summed up in the well-remembered exclamation nusquam tuta fides. He did not intend to enter into all the positions of hon. Gentlemen opposite; he thought, that the arguments which had been used against her Majesty's Government were so special in their nature, that when they had been already once or twice refuted, there was no occasion for any other person to refer to them. Above all things, however, the doctrine embraced in the resolution of the noble Lord, the Member for Liverpool, with respect to slavery was a doctrine of the most refined and exaggerated fanaticism that he had ever heard in any country, and he need not discuss it till he found some one on that or the other side of the House get up to avow it. The doctrine was of value only in proportion to the consistent rigidity with which it was acted up to with respect to all countries, and to the produce of every country where slavery existed; and he would not discuss it, whilst he found no Gentleman on either side of the House value his consistency upon the subject a single pinch of snuff. As to hon. Gentlemen opposite, who opposed the present application of the principle of free-trade, as abstract lovers of that principle, they had been forced, for their argument, to carry their doctrines to a height which he had never expected to find them carried in the present century; they had carried it to the height, not only of maintaining, but of creating protection to trade. For what else was the argument with respect to the East-Indian trade? At any rate, the exportation of sugar from the East Indies was not an ancient trade; there were no vested interests there; there had not, as yet, been any large amount of capital embarked in it, for our unwise laws had done everything to discourage the cultivation; and yet the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Cambridge, now came down and told them to take care of the fertile valley of the Ganges, that these were the interests, that they ought to encourage, and that they ought, to give this encouragement, not by keeping up, but by creating protective duties. And for whose benefit were these protective duties to be imposed? They might benefit the great capitalists, whose capital had been diverted from the West Indies to the East Indies; but would any one tell him that it would be any advantage to the labourers in the East Indies? If there were any curse that they could impose upon that county, it would be by diverting the industry into such channels as these. They would be inducing the people of the East Indies to enter into competition with other sugar not in the free markets of Europe, but they would confine all their exertions to a competition with other colonies, under protective laws with the mother country alone. So that by the time capital should be applied largely to the cultivation of sugar in the East Indies the producers would be liable to all the fluctuations caused by our protective duties at home. He said, then, in the name of the people of India, "Do not inflict this curse upon us." We had inflicted injury enough upon that country; we had interfered with their religious ceremonies; we had subjected them to great and heavy taxation we had destroyed their ancient manufactures of muslin and of cotton; we had driven them out of their own markets by the introduction of our manufactures, whilst we refused to take their produce, but of all the curses we could inflict, the worst would be fostering and protecting a forced industry. It seemed, also, that we were to be induced to foster the cultivation of sugar in the East Indies and in the West, not alone by the usual arguments in support of monopoly—although these had not been forgotten by hon. Gentlemen opposite, because they told them that monopoly was the best thing to secure low prices, and that if monopoly should be maintained, there would be no want of a large supply of West-Indian sugar at the lowest price; but we were to foster the growth of sugar in the East Indies and in the West Indies, to prevent the consumption of sugar, the produce of slave-labour. Why, no one was chimerical enough to believe, that if we refused to take the sugar of the Brazils, we should thereby put an end to slavery. No one was fanatical enough in his views to declare that we ought not to take any produce of slave-labour. The only plausible ground for continuing the monopoly was, on account of the experiment we were trying in the West Indies; but this was a most dangerous course to adopt, because we were placing the success of this great experiment upon a basis that was sure to disappoint us. When emancipation had been granted by us we ought to have foreseen that a portion of industry would be diverted from the cultivation of exportable produce. What had they seen in Jamaica? An old colony in which the sugar land had been nearly worn out, the demand for labour was large, and the population having taken to the cultivation of other land, and the raising of other produce, the quantity of sugar for exportation had fallen off. In Berbice, and Antigua, on the contrary, the price of labour was low, the land was good, and the proprietors were enabled to compete with the produce of other countries. No one had heard that in Berbice, in Antigua, or in Trinidad, they had not been able to compete with slave-grown sugar. He found it expressly stated by Mr. Burnley, that the demand of the people of Trinidad was "free us from all restriction, and we shall be able to compete with any country in the world." But Mr. Burnley was unlike other West-India planters, for the instant the emancipation of the negroes was effected he took care to procure a supply of free labour, and he might now venture to invite competition with the world. But after all, it was not upon the mere question of the sugar-trade that the House was called upon to discuss this subject, but there were other relaxations of our duties which were proposed, and the consideration of which was of the utmost importance. The House must look at those circumstances which rendered the adoption of a system of free trade imperative upon the Government. The real vital importance which pressed the relaxation of the commercial code upon the Government was the absolute necessity which prevailed for adopting free trade, as a means of maintaining the existing markets for the export trade which this country enjoyed. He wondered sometimes whether hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House, who talked so lightly of the necessity of maintaining the foreign markets for the manufactures, of this country, had ever inquired what it was that supported the immense population of this country. What was it, he asked, but the superiority of those trades which we carried on for the purpose of raising exports to sell to foreigners? There was one fact which appeared to him to afford a striking piece of evidence upon this subject; it had been frequently mentioned, but it could not be too often pointed out as proving the immense importance of the maintenance of our export trade. They all knew the great increase of the manufacturing produce of this country—the great increase of the cotton and the hardware trades—which were our export trades. It was our exports, therefore, which enabled us to support our population—it was upon the maintenance of that department of our trade that the support of these two and a half millions of our fellow-countrymen depended. Let them, then, destroy our export markets before they raised up new ones, and our population, instead of being the most prosperous in Europe, would be the most beggarly and the most suffering. He, therefore, conceived that an English Ministry really estimating the importance of those great interests to which he had referred, and duly alive to the welfare of our population, could view nothing with so much terror as the destruction of any of the present markets for our manufactures. When we knew that our trade with the Brazils, and with the United States was in jeopardy—that both those states were about to revise their commercial codes, and to retort upon this country, he thought that every other consideration must give way, and that the Government was right in taking this opportunity of coming to the House and saying, "we must no longer falter on this subject, and keep up the system of restriction, but we must adopt a system of free-trade, in order that our people may live." A great deal had been said about the exceeding inconvenience of the time at which this question had been brought forward. For his own part he had never yet found the time at which it was convenient for monopolists to give up their long enjoyed privileges; and whether the change was proposed in the time of high or of low prices, they could always turn round on the Government and say, "you have taken the wrong time to make this change; you should have proposed it at some more favourable opportunity." Hon. Gentlemen opposite affected to sneer at the success of the agitation which had been created on the subject of the corn-laws. He could only say that the effect of the proposition which had been brought forward upon the minds of the people of this country, had been; much more rapid than he could have anticipated, for he had never imagined that a question of so much magnitude, and. presenting such an infinite variety of topics, would have been so immediately taken up as this had been. But he begged hon. Gentlemen to consider that it was in the nature of such an excitement as this to go on increasing, and he entreated them to reflect on what the consequences of a continuance of the excitement might be. It certainly could not continue with anything like calm results, if the question of the corn-laws long remained in agitation in this country. He could not believe that any subject so dangerous could long continue to agitate the country, because it was a question with which men's interests and men's feelings were most strongly connected. Hon. Gentlemen told the House that a strong excitement prevailed — that the Chartists were against the proposition which was made, and one would almost think that the hon. Member for Northampton had them all in his pocket; but he said that this was not one of those questions on which it was wise for the Government to yield for any time, and that it would not be wise for them to let the question be long discussed among the people. Whatever might be the sophistries by which the Corn-laws were defended, and upon which it was contended that they would produce lower prices in the end, the people would see inevitably that they were sought to be retained merely for the purpose of benefiting the governing classes of the community. Hon. Gentlemen opposite had thrown the blame of mooting this question upon the Government, but he said, that they were defended in the course which they had taken by the general opinion of the thinking classes, and by the general opinion of the working and manufacturing classes of this country; that they were justified in it by the feelings of the great mass of the people, who demanded a relaxation of the present system. He assured the House that he opposed most strenuously such appeals to the people, he deprecated the moving of such things in the popular mind, but he said that those who produced the excitement were the monopolists themselves, and not those who came forward to fight against those monopolists in favour of the great masses of their fellow countrymen. But, notwithstanding the length to which this debate had been protracted, and the opportunities afforded to hon. Gentlemen opposite as to the course which they intended to pursue, the House was still ignorant whether they took their stand on the maintenance of all existing monopolies, or whether they only intended to oppose that in opposition which they would support when they came into power. He should hope that a course so unworthy as this would not be taken, and he should hope that, before hon. Gentlemen opposite pretended to come forward to dispossess the Government of their present positions upon such a question as this, they would let the country see on what grounds and for what purpose they were proceeding, and on what principle they intended to carry on the Government if they should succeed in obtaining it. But there was one thing which he thought that the Government could do—they could force hon. Gentlemen opposite to explain what they meant to do explicitly—if not by word of mouth, by their votes. The Government did not take up this matter for the interest of party, or of official men, but for the great interests of the country, and they could only prove the worthiness with which they had taken it up, by persevering steadfastly in their course, with a view ultimately to secure the object which they had in view. Whatever imputations could be thrown upon the motives of the Government, the House might be sure that the people would not heed them, because they might be sure that the country would see that they were battling for a good cause, which would justify an obstinate struggle. Let them force from hon. Gentlemen opposite, by their votes, an indication of what they meant to do. If they would not give cheap sugar, would they give cheap timber? If they would not give cheap timber, would they give cheap coffee? and, above all, if they would not give cheap coffee, let them see whether they would give cheap bread. In the course of this discussion, either by very shame, or by some inadvertence, he hoped that the House would elicit from hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite, how it was that they meant to provide for the national expenditure, and if they refused to increase the revenue by diminishing the burdens of the people, that, at least, they would explain to the people what new burdens they were about to put upon them. He had no hesitation in forming a conclusion as to the result of this struggle. He had seen many changes in the course of his political career; he had seen powerful Ministers of the day, powerful also in opposition—measures which, at one period, hardly found support, in another year carried by acclamation; but he had never seen the permanent failure of any great and popular cause, taken up by a great party in that House, year after year he had seen such principles taken up by small minorities, but as time advanced the minorities increased, and the measures were at last triumphantly carried, asserting the power of popular principles and popular justice. He had never battled under better auspices than now. They had, on the part of the Government, the distinct and clearly-expressed unanimous opinion of every writer and thinker upon this subject [Cheers]; he repeated, of every writer and thinker upon this subject whose name was known to him. Perhaps hon. Gentlemen opposite might name some person whom he had forgotten; but the Government had on its side the precepts and the policy of the greatest of our modern statesmen — the wants and the distresses of a suffering people—the sense of justice, and the revolting against injustice of that people, who complained that their comforts were diminished in order to provide for the luxuries of an aristocracy; they had these things on their side, and he would venture to say, that those who fought under their standard would be sure to conquer.

Sir R. Peel said,*

this, Sir, is not the first time that I have felt the extreme embarrassment of being called upon to address you when every argument and every topic which could be converted into the semblance of an argument have been exhausted. And, I should have been perfectly content to relinquish all claim on the attention of the House, if I did not feel convinced, that the whole House, without reference to party distinctions, will acknowledge, that it is not fitting, that I should permit this debate to close without the expression of my sentiments. If it be the general opinion of the House, that I have no alternative but to address them on this occasion, I am sure the same feeling will also induce hon. Gentlemen to grant me, whilst I do address them, their indulgent attention. Sir, I shall first apply myself to the proper subject of debate—the question which is involved in the resolution which has been moved by my hon. Friend. That resolution implies an opinion on the part of this House, that, considering the sacrifices which we have made for the abolition of the slave-trade and of slavery, it is not expedient to sanction the proposal for introducing into the market of the United Kingdom sugar which is the production of slave labour. And, Sir, after all the ability * From a corrected report published by Murray. which has been exhibited in opposition to that principle, my opinion remains the same, that it would not be for the interest nor for the honour of this country to open our market to sugar the produce of slave labour. Sir, I should give my vote on this question apart from all other considerations. If 1 had heard nothing about Corn-laws, if I had heard nothing about timber duties, I should have been prepared on the abstract merits of this particular question earnestly to support the resolution of my noble Friend. I will state the grounds on which I give that resolution my support. I do not support it on the assumption, that there is some overpowering moral obligation which compels us to abstain altogether from the consumption of the produce of slavery. I do not recognise that principle —I do not charge the right hon. Gentleman opposite with any unheard-of violation of moral duty in bringing forward this proposition. I myself have voted for the reduction of duties on articles of consumption the produce of slave-labour. I have voted for the reduction of the duties on cotton for the purpose of encouraging the manufactures of this country. I supported the right hon. Gentleman opposite last year in the proposal he made for getting rid of the absurd system of sending coffee, the produce of Brazil and of Venezuela, round by the Cape of Good Hope, in order to introduce it here at a lower rate of duty. I gave I him my support on that proposition, and it was not in consequence of any opposition from me, that the right hon. Gentleman subsequently abandoned it. Prudential considerations may enter into the discussion of questions of this nature. Reference may be had to the preponderance of good or evil. If, by excluding cotton, I should reduce thousands and tens of thousands in this country to a state of starvation, should paralyse the greatest branch of our manufacturing industry, should undermine the foundations of our national strength—I cannot admit, that I am morally bound to entail such enormous evils on my country, because the cotton I require is the produce of slave labour. If such considerations may influence my judgment as to the admission of cotton, I cannot insist, that they shall be altogether excluded in determining the question of sugar. But after giving their fair weight to these considerations—after attempting to adjust this balance of good and evil—I have made up my mind in favour of this continued exclusion of sugar, the produce of slave labour. Sir, my con- viction mainly rests on a consideration of the state of the West Indies, and of the progress of the great experiment of slave emancipation in those colonies. I do not ask you to continue this exclusion for the purpose of supporting the interests of individual West-India proprietors. I admit, that your liberality has been so great, that that if their individual pecuniary interests were alone concerned, you would have a right to call on them to sacrifice those personal interests to considerations of public advantage. But, Sir, I forget their individual interests in the much higher considerations that are involved in this question. I look to the moral and social condition of that part of your empire in which you have recently made the greatest, the most hazardous, and, as I admit, with cordial satisfaction, the most successful experiment which has ever been made in civilized society. And can I conceal from myself what may be the consequence if, at this time, when society in these colonies is staggering under the shock of that experiment, you take a step which may decide for ever, that sugar shall no longer be produced at a profit by free labour in those colonies? Sir, the hon. Gentleman, the Member for Liskeard says, that it is a matter of utter indifference whether sugar should continue to be produced in certain of the old colonies of this empire. "Abandon," says the hon. Gentleman, "abandon the cultivation of sugar in Jamaica—confine it to Demcrara and Berbice." Is that, then, Sir, the point of view in which hon. Gentlemen opposite consider the interests of the great colony of Jamaica, and of other of the old colonies of this empire? Is it a matter of utter indifference what becomes of the capital invested in the cultivation of sugar? Is it just to tell the capitalists and proprietors of Jamaica, that emancipation made it necessary, that they should incur great additional expense for the moral and intellectual improvement of the negroes who were about to be liberated—that it was necessary for the social welfare of the colony, that they should burthen themselves with the expenses of increased establishments for the purposes of education, police, and justice— that at this critical moment, the welfare of the liberated slaves depends on the increased exertions and expenditure of the colonists is it just, after having called on them to make these sacrifices, to inform them, that it is a matter of no concern, whether sugar cultivation be continued in Jamaica? Can we see with indifference Jamaica reduced to the condition of St. Domingo? Can we see the negroes become the proprietors of all the land in that colony, and content themselves with such a degree of cultivation as will not produce them one single article in the shape of export from that colony? Is this the result which the hon. Gentleman contemplates from the adoption of his principles of free trade? Is this to be the result of that great experiment of emancipation which has been proclaimed to be so successful? Is this to be the great and striking example which we are to hold up to the imitation of all other countries? The example, in point of fact, which the hon. Gentleman would have the greatest colony of England exhibit is, the expulsion of the white population from the island, and the occupation of the soil by negroes, content with the bare necessaries of life—the mere agricultural produce of the country—who are to raise no one exportable commodity —who can, therefore, have no trade with England: and this, this is the happy condition which the hon. Member for Liskeard anticipates with joy—this is the state to which the hon. Gentleman would reduce that population which has so largely excited the sympathies of the people of this country The hon. Member tells us that there is not a writer—not a man of the slightest authority—who has given an opinion in contradiction to his own. The hon. Gentleman says he can refer to a witness of the highest character and of the greatest experience—Mr. Burnley. On the instant I will refute him from the mouth of his own witness. I have, by mere accident, an extract from the published opinions of Mr. Burnley—and of course the hon. Gentleman will attach special weight to those opinions. Mr. Burnley says:— That unless the power of combined labour be ensured, either by immigration or some other means, against the termination of slavery in 1840, the capital invested in those expensive works and machinery set up for the cultivation of sugar must perish; and in his opinion, unless the system under consideration be established before 1840, the most mischievous consequences must ensue. ["Date, date," from Mr. C. Buller.] I am reading from Mr. Burnley's evidence before the East-India Committee, q. 1,418. [Mr. C. Buller here made some observation which did not reach the gallery] Why, does the hon. Gentleman imagine that if he prevents the export of produce from Jamaica, if he makes the slaves con- tent with the mere agricultural produce which they can raise from the soil, immigration of labour will flow into Jamaica? Mr. Burnley further went on to say, That there was not a man living in Porto Rico, Cuba, and the United States, who did not believe that ruinous prices must arise in 1840 in the British West Indies; and that if the first commencement of the experiment of free labour in those colonies should prove disastrous, it would create such an unfavourable impression through the world as no subsequent efforts would be able to remove. Now, Sir, having read to the hon. Gentleman the evidence of his own witness, I have another authority for him, to which I think he will be disposed to pay equal attention. ["Now it is coming!" from Mr. Brotherton.] What is coming? Oh ! you have heard, then, of the Manchester pamphlet, have you? Sir, I had an interview with three intelligent gentlemen who formed a deputation from the Chamber of Commerce of Manchester. They called on me to advocate the principles of free trade. I told them that while I must reserve for my place in Parliament the declaration of my own opinions on any of the subjects which they brought under my consideration, I was perfectly ready to hear with the greatest attention men for whose extensive experience and personal character I had high respect. Towards the conclusion of the interview, a particular wish was expressed that I would read a certain pamphlet on the extension of slavery, and to which I was assured that I should attach great importance. I made a promise that whatever might be my avocations I would read that pamphlet, and I confess that I entered on its perusal with no little anxiety after the assurance I hart received from such high authority that it was difficult to resist its conclusions. From Mr. Ash worth, a gentleman of great ability, and one of the deputation from the Chamber of Commerce of Manchester, I received the pamphlet in question, with a note, which I will read:— Esteemed Friend—Herewith I send thee a pamphlet of William Greg" (the brother, I believe, of the hon. Member for Manchester; a gentleman of great ability, and, as I am told, of great authority on the West India question), "which I commend to thy attentive perusal. I do not hear that either Sir F. Buxton or any of his adherents ever attempted an answer, merely remarking that such reasoning is cold philanthropy. Now, Sir, towards the close of this pamphlet I find a discussion on this very question, namely the policy of importing into England sugar from Cuba and Brazil. I find an impartial view taken of the merits of the question—I find it stated, That the planters have no right to demand, and, moreover, to expect, that the British nation can permanently or long continue the payment of the enormous prices which have of late been charged for two of the most indispensable articles of general consumption, and that the welfare of our own population, as well as that of the negro population, requires some alteration in this respect; that, with relation to the interests of our manufacturers, we ought to consider that the Brazils were large consumers of our fabrics, but would not long remain so if this country continued to refuse the reception of their principal articles of produce in exchange; and that we ought not to endanger the interests of one class of the community to promote those of another. Now, then, hear what is said by this gentleman so connected with the manufacturing interests, the chosen champion of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce— one who entertains a due regard for the value of the Brazil market, and also for the interests of the British consumer. This is evidently a gentleman who is prepared to take an enlarged and a liberal view of this question even according to the notions of the Member for Liskeard. And what is the conclusion to which this gentleman comes?—He says:— Few things can be more certain than that the ceasing of the sugar cultivation in our colonies, and the consequent destruction of the capital now invested therein, would lead to the complete abandonment of them by the white population, who would carry to more hopeful lands their knowledge, their energy, and all their capital. Not only would emancipation singularly fail, so far as the moral condition of the negro is concerned, but the effects which it was expected to operate on slavery in other countries, and the anticipated good consequences that were expected to flow from our example, would be wholly lost. And now I beg the special attention of the hon. Gentleman opposite. The pamphlet goes on to say, that, If ever the negro population of the West Indies shall become squatters and cultivators of waste ground, instead of labourers for hire, slavery and the slave-trade will then have received the last and greatest encouragement which it is possible for them to receive. Mr. Greg foresaw the argument that would be raised, that we consume slave-grown tobacco and coffee, and could not therefore consistently refuse to receive sugar. His answer is, that the objection is rather a smart than a sound one, and that the inapplicability of the position will be obvious on a few moments' consideration.— In one word (says Mr. Greg) this country is not called on to exclude foreign slave-grown cotton, because it never has been excluded. It is called on to exclude slave-grown sugar, because it has never been admitted. The conclusion of the pamphlet is as follows:— That the only method of destroying the slave-trade, and putting an end to slavery, is by destroying the demand for slave-grown produce, and thus doing away with the demand for slaves; that this can only be accomplished by establishing to the world, and through the medium of the West Indies, the superior cheapness and productiveness of free-labour; that the prosperity of the West Indies can only be continued and ensured by an extensive and systematic system of immigration, and by the temporary continuation of the present protective discriminating duties on sugar. Sir, in case hon. Gentlemen opposite should not perfectly understand the last passage, I will repeat it for their benefit. "The prosperity of the West Indies cannot be ensured without the temporary continuation of the present protective discriminating duties on sugar." This, Sir, is not the first time, that I have been indebted for an argument to the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. Sol occubuit, nox nulla secuta est. I have kept my promise, I have read the pamphlet, and it has confirmed me in my opinion, that we ought not to admit to the British market foreign sugar the produce of slave-labour. Sir, I am not unaware, that owing to the effects of the emancipation of the West-Indian slaves, there has been a great diminution in the productiveness of these colonies; and if we had no other source to which we could look for a supply of Sugar, the pressure would be so severe that we could not continue to the West Indies their present monopoly. Whatever might be the advantages of encouraging the cultivation of sugar in the West-India colonies, still, if we could only look to a supply of sugar to the amount of 115,000 tons yearly, we could not continue the prohibition on foreign sugar. But, Sir, I look to the east. I look to India to afford a security and check against extra- vagant prices; and I am of opinion, that if you permit the experiment which we have entered on to be carried out, the West Indies, the Mauritius, and India, will together amply supply us with sugar at a fair and moderate rate. Sir, the right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, referred with apparent satisfaction to the increase that had taken place in the price of sugar on the day on which he spoke. But, Sir, I believe the right hon. Gentleman will find, that for some weeks past there has been a progressive reduction in the price; and, notwithstanding the prevalent expectation that this House would refuse to confirm the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman, this expectation has not produced any increase in the price of sugar. The Member for Liskeard says, we are about to inflict an enormous injury on the East Indies, by opening the British market to East-India sugar, refusing, at the same time competition with foreign sugar; that we are fostering a new monopoly, and presenting to it a single market which will soon be overstocked. But surely the markets of the world will continue open to East-India sugar. Why should not East-India sugar, if the supply for our use be superabundant, compete in the markets of Europe with foreign sugar? But, says the hon. Gentleman, "Do not divert from their present employment, the labour and capital of India." Divert the labour and capital of India ! Have you considered the position in which India stands with respect to this country? Remittances are required from India on behalf of Government, to the amount of 3,200,000l. yearly; private remittances amount to about half a million more; and there is no other mode of paying these remittances, except by the agricultural produce of India. If, then, I encourage the produce of that country, and thus enable it to make up the amount of the remittances—if I do this, shall I be told, that I am inflicting an injury either on this country or on India? Shall I be told, that when I am dealing with a country from which we exact a sum of 3,200,000l. for Government purposes only, and which has no other mode of making up that sum, except from the produce of her agricultural industry, I must apply strictly and rigour-ously the principles of free-trade? Sir, I have often listened in this House, with painful emotions, to debates respecting the condition of India, and to the evidence of the injury which this country has done her by destroying her manufactures through the substitution of our own. Can I forget the accounts of Dacca, once a great and flourishing city, the seat of prosperous manufactures, containing a population of 150,000 inhabitants, now reduced to 20,000 or 30,000, with the malaria and famine extending their ravages, and threatening to turn it into a desert? I recollect, in a debate respecting the emigration of the Hill Coolies, being struck by the speech of the hon. Member for Roxburgh, a gentleman well qualified from knowledge and experience, to deal with the subject. He spoke of the danger and mischief that would ensue if you refused an outlet for the agricultural labour of India. He gave an account of the wages of agricultural labourers in Bengal, and of the condition of the inhabitants. The wages of the labourer are about 6s. a month—that is, 1s. 6d. a-week, or about 2½d. per day. They subsist he says, upon rice; and if rice fails, they starve. He described the manner in which he had seen the unfortunate people hurrying by thousands to receive the relief given by the Government of Bengal. "I have seen," said he, "whole villages swept away by dreadful inundations, and vast tracts of land utterly ruined for cultivation." The hon. Gentleman then drew a picture of horror more dreadful than the most romantic imagination could have conceived. I know nothing more appalling than the simple truth related by the hon. Gentleman. "I know this," said he, "that an officer charged with a mission from Calcutta was obliged to turn back in consequence of the horrible smell arising from the unburied carcases of those unfortunate beings who had died from famine, and whose bodies literally strewed the roads." And are we, with such accounts as these, to be fearful of disturbing the application of agricultural labour in India? Have the people of that country, ruined by our manufactures, and subject to heavy fiscal demands, to be met only by the produce of agricultural labour—have they no paramount claim upon us? The rigid principles of free-trade may make no distinction between their produce and that of the slaveholder of Cuba; but surely there are obligations—moral and social obligations— duties you owe to millions submitted to your sway—which compel you to have some regard for other considerations than cheap sugar. These are the main grounds on which I support the resolution of my noble Friend (Lord Sandon); first, I am desirous of giving fair scope for the experiment we have made by the abolition of negro slavery, and of encouraging the production of sugar by free labour in the West Indies. Secondly, admitting the deficiency of our present supply from the West Indies, I will give a decided preference to the East Indies in procuring an additional supply. Thirdly, I will not, without more cogent evidence of the necessity, incur the risk of encouraging slavery and the slave-trade by opening, for the first time, the market of England to the sugar of Cuba and Brazil. Sir, I never at any time sought to inflame the minds of the people on the question of slavery. I gave my support to the measure of my noble Friend (Lord Stanley) for the abolition of slavery; and I gave every credit to those who took part in the introduction of that measure. Sir, I never lent myself to the cry of Anti-slavery, and I will not now lend myself to the cry of cheap sugar. The right hon. Gentleman opposite, reproached my right hon. Friend, the Member for Cambridge, and myself, with inconsistency in having formerly been parties to a proposition of Mr. Charles Grant, for the introduction of foreign slave-grown sugar. The right hon. Gentleman said, the proposition had been supported by the Cabinet, of which my noble Friend and myself were Members that the great principle of Mr. Grant's measure was the admission of slave-sugar into competition with that of the East Indies, and that the protection proposed for the latter was only 3s. per cwt. The right hon. Gentlemen said to us, "Are you now prepared to ride into office upon such grossly inconsistent grounds as the rejection of a proposition similar to that which you yourselves supported?" Sir, neither I, nor any Member of that Cabinet, have any recollection of such a discussion as that which the right hon. Gentleman has mentioned. If my noble Friend Lord Glenelg, had any recollection of it, I should have given up my own impressions; but I believe his impression is the same as mine—that no such proposition was ever submitted to that Cabinet. It may have been suggested by him to individual Members of that Cabinet, but the Cabinet never went into the formal consideration of any such proposition. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says, we did not then dissent from the principle of Mr. Grant's measure. Very true—but the principle in question was not the competition of slave-sugar with East-India sugar —the principle was, the increase of consumption of sugar by lowering the duty. We said, we agreed to that principle, but feared risking the loss of revenue. But it must be recollected that since the period in question slavery in our own colonies has been abolished, and that completely alters the view in which this subject is to be regarded. There was besides at that time a bounty on the export of our own sugar, and the protection proposed by Mr. Grant, at least as far as the West Indies were concerned, was complete. Foreign sugar could not have entered into competition with colonial sugar at the rates of duty he proposed. I am surprised, I confess, at the altered tone which Gentlemen have lately assumed respecting slavery. After all our magnificent professions, is this the course which is proposed, and are these the arguments by which that course is recommended? We are now to tell foreign countries that the only effectual way to abolish slavery and the slave-trade, is to admit slave-grown sugar to free competition with our own. True, we may give a temporary stimulus to the produce of slavery, but then we shall improve the manufacture of free-labour sugar, by rivalry with that of sugar the produce of slave-labour. But will not the improvement be reciprocal? If the result of competition will be to economize the application of capital on our part—to introduce improved machinery— to stimulate skill and invention, as applied to free-labour sugar—will not the influence of that same competition produce similar results in Cuba and Brazil? But who will believe your professions? Who will believe that your motive in opening, for the first time, the market of England to slave-sugar is the benevolent wish to extinguish slavery? No, tell the truth. If you want cheap sugar, say so. If the high price of sugar diminishes the comfort of your own population—if you want to open the markets of Brazil and Cuba to your manufactures by taking their sugar in exchange—avow your object, and foreign countries will understand you. But they will only laugh at your pretence that you are labouring to extinguish slavery by increasing the consumption of slave-grown produce. I have heard, with surprise, from Cabinet Ministers, in the course of this debate, the doctrine that the delinquencies of foreign countries are no business of ours; that we never contemplated removing slavery in other countries by our example; that it is enough for us to have removed the taint from ourselves; that the conduct of other countries with respect to slavery is a matter of indifference to us. The Member for Wolverhampton, says the United States would have as good a right to refuse commercial intercourse with us on account of the Corn-laws, as we have to do so with other countries on account of slavery; in short, that the question is a matter of indifference to us. Why surely the hon. Gentleman said, the municipal laws and usages of other countries were no business of ours, and applied his remark to the continuance of slavery and the slave-trade by countries with which we had commercial intercourse. The intense feeling that once animated the people of England with regard to the abominations of slavery may have abated, but I am mistaken if there will not be great regret, great indignation at our altered views and altered tone with respect to slavery, and to the moral obligations which we are under to discourage, by every effort we can make, the slave-trade and slavery in other countries of the world. We are now, it seems, to abandon the high position we have hitherto taken, and to deny our own right to speak to other nations in the language of commanding authority on the subject of slavery. The noble Lord alluded to the difference between England and Rome, and quoted the beautiful lines of Dryden for the purpose of heightening the contrast:— Rome, it is thine alone with awful sway To rule the world, and make mankind obey, Disposing peace and war, thy own majestic way. True it is that we have no such power as that which the poet ascribes to Rome. We have formidable competitors in the struggle for empire; we cannot compel obedience to our commands by the exercise of material power: but I had hoped until I heard this debate that there was a sway, an "awful sway," which we could still exercise—that there was in our hands not a material but a moral power, enabling us to "rule the world," and, through the influence of high principles and of glorious sacrifices, to "make mankind obey." Peace and war we cannot dispose according to our arbitrary will, but I thought we still hoped to dispose other nations to follow the "majestic way" which has conducted us to humanity and justice. If we still cherish these hopes, if we have not abandoned these high pretensions, then the noble Lord may still claim for England some of the high privileges asserted for Rome, and, continuing his quotation, may confidently say— To tame the proud—the fetter'd slave to free,— These are imperial arts, and worthy thee. Sir, these are the grounds on which I give my vote for the resolution of my noble friend. And in voting for that resolution I am taunted by the noble Lord with factious purposes. The noble Lord commenced his speech, Sir, by repelling with indignation the accusations against her Majesty's Ministers, and said with much earnestness that he was conscious no man who had watched the progress of the Government of which he was a member could ever suppose them capable of bringing forward any public measure with a view to court popularity. Now, Sir, I say nothing on the subject of the noble Lord's defence of himself—but I had hoped that the experience of the noble Lord would have sufficed to free us from the charge of having offered a factious opposition to her Majesty's Government. Before he levelled any such accusation against us, he might have recalled to his recollection several occasions when, if we had offered a factious opposition to him, his position as a Minister of the Crown in this House would have been far less easy than it has been. He might have borne in mind the question of privilege—the question of the union of the Canadas—the question of the Poor Law—and, Sir, the noble Lord might have had, on a review of these measures, the justice to give us some credit for not having been desirous against our convictions to embarrass his Government on great public questions. But the course I pursue is a factious course!—I, who take the same course now that I took last year —I, who, when the Member for Wigan proposed to introduce into this market foreign sugar the produce of slave-labour, in competition with colonial sugar the produce of free labour—voted against the hon. Member's proposition on precisely the same grounds on which I vote against that of the Government this year—I, forsooth, am to be charged with faction, not because I alter, but because I adhere to, my opinions ! Why the only primâ facie evidence of faction in this case is, that her Majesty's Government pursued the same course. I have had some experience of Parliamentary assurance, but it is an unexampled specimen of it, when Gentlemen who abandon their opinions this year charge those who adhere to those same opinions, both parties having held them together in concert last year, with faction. There is another objection to our resolution. "Oh," say hon. Gentlemen opposite, "you embody no great irrevocable principle in your resolution." They point, no doubt, to the illustrious example of the noble Lord's resolution of 1835, on the appropriation of Church Revenue in Ireland. "Why content yourselves," they say, "with temporary grounds of objection to our present measures? why not declare that no settlement ever can be satisfactory which does not exclude now and for ever foreign sugar?" No, no, we have had memorable examples of irrevocable resolutions —we have them fresh in our memory—we find them recorded in the Journals—the standing opprobrium of your Government. "But see what an enormity you commit" —say hon. Gentlemen opposite. "You absolutely leave a loophole to escape by. Who can predict but that next year you will be compelled to adopt this very proposition which you now reject? "Why, even if we should do so, should we be worse off than the Gentlemen opposite? They opposed last year the very motion they make this, and thus left for themselves the loophole by which they are now escaping. But do not mistake me. Do not believe that I vote for the resolution of my noble Friend with the intention of deviating from my present course in a future year. I will be frank and explicit with you. My deliberate opinion is, that the great experiment which has cost this country so much —the great experiment for the extinction of slavery—should be fairly and perfectly tried; and that to this effect we ought to encourage sugar, the production of free labour, by giving it the preference in the market of the United Kingdom. If our West-India Colonies and our possessions in the East can supply the consumption of this country, can ensure us a supply of sugar at reasonable prices, at such prices as shall permit the accustomed use of sugar— I would continue to them, on the special and peculiar grounds which I have referred to, the preference in the home market. The price of sugar is falling; it was 56s. 10d. in July, 1840—it is now only 37s. 7d.; and you have recently given, by equalizing the duties on East-India and West-India rum, increased encouragement for the production of sugar in India. I confidently hope, therefore, that we may look for an adequate supply of sugar the produce of free labour. I should be perfectly content to have terminated my observations with what I have stated, but that I am reminded by the speeches of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite that this question is a great financial and commercial question, as well as a question of sugar—that it is connected with others of equally grave and serious import to the State—that her Majesty's Government court investigation into their whole plan of finance, and that it is expected that hon. Members should not confine themselves to one particular topic in discussing it, but embrace all its bearings. With this I do not agree. I contend that the policy of admitting foreign sugar must be determined by other considerations than those of ordinary commercial policy—that it stands on special and peculiar grounds— and that I might fully admit the principles of free trade—and yet exempt from the application of them this particular question. Sir, I do not deny that in this country there exists great manufacturing distress;—and I am sure that, whatever may be the issue of our party contests in this House, we all hear with pain those details of individual suffering that have been read in the course of the debate. But, Sir, I protest against these details as legitimate arguments to influence our judgment on the question before us. No man can hear them with more pain and sympathy than I do—no man can more cordially or more anxiously desire to relieve them; but, at the same time that I admit this, I am bound also to remind you that, at all times and under all circumstances, similar distress has existed; and so long as we live in our present complicated state of society, I see no reason to suppose that such will not exist, and that appeals, founded on it, will not be preferred, and attempts made to influence by these means our reason and judgment. But, Sir, although I freely admit the existence of such distress, I do not, I confess, view with the same alarm as hon. Members opposite have professed to view it the commercial and manufacturing condition of the country. I have referred with some anxiety to the accounts that have been laid before the House as to the commerce and manufactures of this country; and I see nothing in them to justify the belief that the depression in these branches of our national industry is more than temporary, and that we may not expect a speedy revival, from the elasticity of our resources. I shall take first the most unfavourable document that I can find. The House is aware, that there are comparative estimates of the exports and imports of the United Kingdom for three years, beginning with 1838, and ending with 1840. The official value of our exports was, in 1838, 92,000,000l.; 1839, 97,000,000l.; 1840, 102,000,000l. But official value, it may be stated, is only a criterion of quantity, and the declared value is a better test of the profitable nature of our trade. The declared value then of exports was, in 1838, 49,630,000l.; 1839, 52,700,000l.; 1840, 51,000,000l., showing a decrease of 1,7000,000l. on a comparison of the last year with the preceding. In the cotton manufactures, however, there is he decrease, nor in the linen manufacture. The decrease has been on the earthenware manufactures, hardware, the woollen manufactures, and the silk manufactures. These have been the chief articles on which there has been a defalcation. The total defalcation is 1,700,000l., comparing the declared value of 1839 with that of 1840; and the defalcation in earthenware, hardware, and in our silk and woollen manufactures, will account for 1,600,000l. of the whole. Now, I find that for these four articles the United States are our chief customers. The United States take two-fifths of our earthenware, two-fifths of our hardware, one-half of our silk manufactures, and one-third of our woollen manufactures; and, when I consider the unsettled state of the United States in respect to credit and currency, I see ample cause why there should be a temporary decrease of demand for articles of British manufacture, and grounds for the confident hope, that, when the difficulties of the United States have passed away, the demand will again revive. We must not be too desponding on this subject, when we consider the great variation in demand, which has frequently taken place in the American market. It is quite singular to observe the vicissitudes of our commercial intercourse with the United States. I have been furnished with a return of the value in dollars of exports from Great Britain into the United States for some years past. In 1834 it was 47,000,000; in 1835, 61,000,000; in 1836, 78,000,000; and then it suddenly declined to 44,000,000. The year after it was again so low as 44,000,000; in 1839 it was 65,000,000; and, as might be expected after so sudden an increase, the next year: was one of depression and deficiency. Thus the experience of our trade with the United States warrants us in entertaining the hope that the demand in the United States will revive, and that the depression in those particular manufactures which have fallen off within the last year will ere long cease. Let us now take the state of our navigation during the last three years. I cannot reconcile that state with any serious and general diminution of our manufacturing and commercial prosperity. In 1838 the tonnage of vessels built and registered in the ports of the United Kingdom; these are newly-built vessels, was 157,000; in 1839 it was 290,000; in 1833 it was 333,000. In 1838 the total shipping; I take the tonnage and not the vessels, because the number of vessels might be increased and yet the tonnage remain the same, or decline in quantity; the tonnage of shipping entered inwards in 1838 was 4,000,000; in 1839, 4,433,000; in 1840, 4,657,000. The tonnage of shipping cleared outwards was, in 1838, 4,099,000; in 1839, 4,494,000; in 1840, 4,783,000. The tonnage of vessels built and registered in the ports of England was, in 1838, 127,000; in 1839, 144,000; in 1840, 165,000. Now, fully admitting, that there is severe pressure of manufacturing distress in some parts of the country, I can hardly reconcile the existence of the very serious extent of commercial distress, which some persons suppose to exist, with that increase of the trade and navigation of the country which is indicated by the increase of the tonnage. Looking, then, at the state of the United States; looking at the state of our relations with China, and the interruption of our intercourse with that country looking, too, at the condition of Syria; looking at the position of France, and other countries of Europe, influenced by the fear of war, affecting in a certain degree the course of peaceful commerce; if under such a combination of circumstances there should have been a diminution in the declared value of British exports during the last year, I am not led to infer from that diminution that all hopes of the manufacturing prosperity and superiority of this country are extinct. At the same time, Sir, I am quite prepared to admit, that, even if the state of affairs was most prosperous, that is no reason why relaxations should not be made in restrictions upon commerce. Do not let us remain stationary. If we can improve the commercial position of this country, do not let us be content with maintaining our present ground, but apply ourselves to a fair consideration of the means by which that increased prosperity may be obtained. The hon. Mem- ber for Wolverhampton insists upon it that I must make a declaration of my sentiments with respect to the principles of free trade. The hon. Gentleman says, that his principles and the principles of his Friends who concur with him are, that, without reference to any other consideration whatever, your true policy is to buy in the cheapest market. Now, if these are the principles of the hon. Gentleman, and to be uniformly and invariably applied without reference to the circumstances under which, and the time at which, they are to be applied, I can only say, that in those principles, or rather in the application of those principles, I do not concur. I do not contest them with reference to countries in which, if it were possible to conceive such a case, there are no preformed relations of society; but as my noble Friend justly said, in that admirable speech which he has delivered in the course of this debate—in a country of such complicated relations, of such extensive empire, in a country where there exist moral and social obligations wholly independent of mere commercial considerations, I say invariably and uniformly to apply the principle of buying in the cheapest market would be, in my opinion, to involve this country in extreme embarrassment. I apprehend, that her Majesty's Government will be obliged to dissent from the principles of free trade as laid down by the hon. Gentleman. If the principle of the hon. Gentleman is really to buy in the cheapest market without reference to any other consideration, what does he say to the proposal of her Majesty's Government to impose a duty of 8s. per quarter on the importation of corn? Why does he not demand from them the free and unrestricted importation of wheat, sugar, timber, and everything else? But, in fact, her Majesty's Government claim exactly the same privilege that I claim, viz., that I will not commit myself to your mere abstract principles without knowing the circumstances under which, and the time at which, you propose to apply them. If by the principles of free trade you simply mean the progressive and well-considered relaxation of restrictions upon commerce, I may venture to refer to the past. I can say with truth, notwithstanding the observations of the noble Lord, that there was no man in this House from whom Mr. Huskisson derived a more cordial and invariable support than he derived from me. I know not whether the principles on which he acted are unpopular, now or no, but I do not hesitate to declare that I did at that time cordially support the proposals made by Mr. Huskisson, and that the result of those measures has confirmed me in the wisdom of that course. The noble Lord, however, seemed to consider that Mr. Huskisson met with a cold and hesitating support from his colleagues and from the party who generally acted in concurrence with them; but this I know, and I may appeal to the noble Lord (Lord Palmerston) to confirm my statement, that Mr. Huskisson assigned, as one of his chief reasons for joining the Duke of Wellington in 1828, that he would have in me a colleague from whom he had previously received constant and cordial support in his commercial measures. Now, a word as to the unvarying assistance which Mr. Huskisson received from the noble Lord's party. The fact is, that the most formidable opposition which Mr. Huskisson had to encounter came from the hon. Member for Coventry; and on that very question which has been so particularly referred to, the silk manufacture—on that particular question the Member for Coventry (Mr. Ellice), boasting, of course, of the most enlarged views of commercial policy, yet, being pressed by his Coventry constituents—collected together every argument which he could possibly collect, with the assistance of the silk manufacturers of Coventry, to show why silk manufactures should be exempted from the principles of free trade; and the only opposition in point of an actual motion which my right hon. Friend encountered, was the motion made by the hon. Gentleman, the grande decus columenque rerum of her Majesty's Government. And the hon. Gentleman was seconded and cordially supported by a learned Gentleman (Mr. Williams), a faithful adherent of the same party, who was then Member for Lincoln, and has since been elevated to the office of judge. That hon. Gentleman (a sound Whig I presume) not only contested the principles of free trade, but he accused Mr. Huskisson and us who acted with him of being "cold-blooded metaphysicians, who," according to the language of Mr. Burke, "were actuated by all the malignity of the devil—and by the same sovereign contempt for the happiness and welfare of mankind." And now, forsooth, we are to be told that Mr. Huskisson met with nothing but obstruction from his own party, and that he was wafted over all his difficulties on the flowing wave of Whig enthusiasm. The noble Lord seems to claim an exclusive inheritance of the principles of Mr. Huskisson. Nay, he makes the awful announcement, that if he and his colleagues are driven out of office, they will pack up the principles of free trade and carry them off with them. "Don't rob us of our property," says the noble Lord; but at last the generosity of his nature prevails, and he promises that, if he is properly applied to by his successors, he will not withhold a contribution from the stock of liberal policy. Why, what right has the noble Lord to claim this exclusive dominion over the principles of Mr. Huskisson? When did we hear a word of them until the pressure of the present moment? Was there ever any public man who pronounced so positive a condemnation of the principles of free trade as the present Prime Minister of this country? And did one of you dissent from that declaration? When Lord Melbourne said, that it would be absolute insanity to deprive the agriculture of this country of protection—and when he held language from which it must be reasonably inferred that he thought it impossible, in the complicated relations of society in this country, to apply the pure principles of free trade to the trade in corn or almost anything else—when he gave that plain indication of his sentiments, as the head of the Government, did one man of you rise in this House to express his opposition to those sentiments? Was the budget of last year brought forward on the principles which are now advocated? Was the five per cent, additional on customs and excise a specimen of your comprehensive financial views? When the President of the Hoard of Trade, in the simplicity of his heart, said there could be no great harm in putting five per cent, additional on tobacco since the present amount of duty was 1,200 per cent, on the prime cost of the article— had he then become a convert to the principles of Mr. Huskisson? Let us do justice to Mr. Huskisson, and not confound his measures and proceedings with yours. Mr. Huskisson applied his principles soberly and cautiously, and with the power and means and intention of effectually carrying them out. He prepared the public mind for the adoption of these principles; he anticipated opposition to them, and prevented the success of that opposition by the cautious and deliberate manner in which he approached them. You ask me what I propose to do with reference to the Corn-laws. Sir, I will not shrink from the expression of my opinion. If I saw a reason for changing my course, I would do so, and frankly avow it. But I have not changed my opinion. Notwithstanding the combination which has been formed against the Corn-laws, notwithstanding the declaration that either the total repeal, or the substitution of a fixed duty for the present scale, is the inevitable result of the agitation now going forward—notwithstanding this declaration, I do not hesitate to avow my adherence to the opinion which I expressed last year, and again to declare that my preference is decidedly in favour of a graduated to a fixed duty. I said, last year, and I repeat now—for I may refer to the speech I then made as the expressions of my opinions now, that I viewed with anxiety the state of the manufactures of this country. I stated then, as I state now, that I consider the prosperous state of the manufacturing industry of this country to be intimately connected with the welfare of our agriculture, and that the prosperity of our manufactures s a greater support to our agriculture than any system of Corn-laws. That was the language I held then, and that is the language I now repeat. I said that I preferred the principle of a sliding duty to a fixed one. I said that I would not bind myself to the details of the existing law, but would reserve to myself the unfettered discretion of considering and amending those details. You declare, however, that no man can maintain the present system of Corn-laws, and be friendly to a liberal commercial policy. I deny that conclusion, and I refer you to Mr. Huskisson. He certainly never considered protection to agriculture incompatible with the removal of restrictions on commerce. An hon. Gentleman has quoted some opinions said to be delivered by Mr. Huskisson after he left office, but I know that, during the period I was united in office with him, there was no more strenuous supporter of a graduated scale, and no more determined opposer of a fixed duty. And to put that question beyond all doubt, and to set at rest any suspicion of my stating opinions as his which he had not entertained, I will quote them to the House. Mr. Huskisson stated in 1827, that it had been urged against him that he held the opinion that England ought not to depend largely on other countries for the supply of corn, and that he had declared in 1815, and still maintained, that nothing could be more dangerous than a reliance of this country on foreign countries for her food. He avowed that such were his opinions, and with regard to the graduated scale, he observed, that he was not only the advocate of it, but that he claimed credit for being its actual author. In 1827, Mr. Huskisson said:— I proposed, in 1814, a graduated scale, and it is not likely I should now recommend a principle utterly inconsistent with it. In 1828 Mr. Huskisson spoke thus:— An hon. Gentleman had spoken in favour of a fixed duty; abstractedly, that might look well enough; but, when they regarded the circumstances of the country and the wants of the people, they would see the impossibility of adopting such a principle. If a high permanent duty were imposed, then, in periods of scarcity, the poor would be exposed to sufferings, the infliction of which no claims for protection on the part of the home corn-grower would ever justify". "A permanent fixed duty was out of the question. This was the opinion of Mr. Huskisson in 1828, two years before the termination of his useful career. The noble Lord will, however, propose the adoption of a fixed duty. I shall offer my opposition to it on the ground that I do not think a fixed duty can be permanently maintained. The Member for Marylebone agrees with me for he supports the proposition, not on its own merits, but because it will be a stepping-stone, to absolute freedom in the trade of corn. The noble Lord's fixed duty will be assailed by the same arguments by which the graduated scale is now attacked. The Members for Finsbury or Wolverhampton will again detail cases of severe privation in the manufacturing towns—the cry of "no bread-tax" will be raised—the noble Lord will infallibly be met by that illegitimate warfare of which he has set the example—and what is his confidence that he will be enabled to maintain his fixed duty? You ask again —what do you propose to do with respect to the timber-duties? I answer, I reserve to myself an unfettered action on this point. Before I consider the timber-duties I shall require that the noble Lord will give me the benefit of that information which he has derived from the Governor-general of Canada. How is it possible for me—how could any rational man venture to form an opinion upon such a subject as the timber-duties, without having been put in possession, not only of the financial and commercial, but of the political circumstances connected with them? Did the noble Lord apply without hesitation, the principles of free trade to the timber-duties? No; the noble Lord availed himself of the advantages which his office gave him. He knew that there was a great political crisis in our North American colonies. He looked to the state of Canada. He considered the great experiment which had been made there by the union of the provinces. He reflected upon the state of our relations with the United States of America, consequent on the apprehension of Mr. M'Leod, and the long-pending and unsettled question of the north-eastern boundary. He took all these important circumstances into consideration, and wisely said,— Before I disturb the trading interests of Canada by great alterations in the existing timber-duties, I will ascertain the state of feeling in that country on political questions, and confer with the Governor-general as to the political effects of a commercial measure. And what answer does he receive from the Governor-general? An avowal that the alteration of the timber-duties, under present circumstances, would greatly add to his difficulties in conducting the Government of Canada. And is there any justice in your demanding from me positive declarations of my opinion on the subject of these duties, and denying me at the same time the opportunity of weighing the political considerations that are involved in them? The only information you give me is, that the measure of the noble Lord will increase the difficulties of governing Canada, and yet I am to declare preremptorily in its favour. But it seems that the Governor-general of Canada has informed the noble Lord, that if some other measures were proposed concurrently with an alteration of the timber-duties, the dissatisfaction in Canada might be materially abated. The noble Lord has not given us the faintest conception of the nature of that other measure. How preposterous it would be to enter into the question of the timber-duties with nothing but partial information, and mysterious notices as to the possible effect which the agitation of that question might produce in a colony which is in the crisis of a hazardous experiment in Government, and which is on the frontier of a powerful State with which our relations are far from satisfactory, Still, however, there remains the argument, that we are in a state of extreme financial difficulty, and some extraordinary effort must be made to relieve us. There is great financial difficulty; but, for that financial difficulty you—her Majesty's Government—are mainly responsible. You have had the possession of power since the year 1835. You have had the complete uncontrolled administration of the finances of this country during that period. Whenever you happen to be successful you boast of success as a proof of your wisdom, but you never admit failure to be even primâ facie evidence of your incapacity. But the whole course of your financial administration has been a series of failures. Year after year there has been deficiency, year after year increasing expenditure, and diminished means of meeting it. And now, when the aggregate of our yearly deficiencies amounts to near 8,000,000l. —when the burden becomes intolerable— when exposure and disgrace are inevitable —instead of penitent confessions of your own incapacity and mal-administration, you represent yourselves as martyrs in the cause of free trade—and call upon me to furnish you with a budget. And I am by no means surprised at your confidence. You recollect that when I left office in 1830, had I been connected with an administration which, during the period in which it had the management of the finances of this country, reduced the public debt by 20,000,000l. of capital, and the annual charge upon that debt by more than 1,000,000l. You remember, too, that we left a surplus of 1,600,000l, of revenue over expenditure — and mark! we did all this with the incumbrance of an unreformed Parliament. You have had your own way for five years, with the advantage of a reformed Parliament; you have had the full enjoyment of the promised blessings of "cheap government." You got rid of these your illiberal colleagues in 1834—[pointing to Lord Stanley and Sir James Graham]—and with all these advantages in your favour, a reformed Parliament, cheap Government, no patronage, no obstruction from illiberal colleagues, the shameful result is a deficit for the present year of 2,400,000l., a total deficit of 7,500,000l. And you consider me responsible for this, and demand from me a Budget. You recollect, no doubt, the aid which I gave you with respect to the Jamaica question on a former occasion—when I rescued you from the perils of your own evil ways, when I enabled you to retain popular representative Government—when I prevented you from disturbing the foundation of the security of every other colony which boasted of a representative system— when you were compelled to take my advice, and were glad and rejoiced in your counsellor—you remember all this, and, with good reason, invoke my aid again— and be assured that, if the circumstances were the same, I would again give it you, and again compel you to take my advice. But I cannot help you now. No, great as is my commiseration, I cannot assist you. I view with unaffected sympathy the position of the right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It has been remarked, that a good man struggling with adversity, is a sight worthy of the gods. And certainly, the right hon. Gentleman, both with respect to the goodness of the man, and the extent of his adversity, presents at the present moment that spectacle. Can there be a more lamentable picture than that of a Chancellor of the Exchequer seated on an empty chest—by the pool of bottomless deficiency—fishing for a Budget? I won't bite, the right hon. Gentleman shall return home with his pannier as empty as his chest. What absurdity there is in demanding a Budget from me—in requiring that I, who am out of office, who have been out of office for ten years, shall agitate the public mind by declaring what taxes I would impose, or what taxes I would remit, if I were in power! There may be some young Member silly enough to suppose, that I will permit declarations on such a subject to be extorted from me— that I will give you the advantage of hinting at a property-tax, or threatening to increase the penny post. I will make no declaration whatever as to the course which I will pursue, if in office, with regard to financial measures. Nay, more, my first act in office must necessarily be to demand a vote of confidence from the House of Commons, in order that I may be enabled to review the financial situation of the country—to consider its expenditure, and the various causes from which the present difficulties have arisen. I would not receive office on the condition of making hasty, ill-considered attempts to repair the existing evils. I admit now, as I have often admitted, the bad policy of incurring debt during peace; but that admission should not prevent me from proposing such temporary arrangements as might give time for mature consideration on the present financial condition and prospects of the country. The decision of to-night will involve a vote of confidence. If unfavourable to the Government, it will imply distrust in their competency to relieve the country from its present embarrassment. They are chargeable with having produced it: it is in vain for them to refer to occasional causes of extraordinary expenditure—to a rebellion in Canada—to an expedition against China. After making allowance for these, there is the evidence of gross mismanagement— there is proof that, while there was a growing increase in expenditure, not only there was no effort made to provide fresh means of meeting it, but existing means were thrown away. Revenue was abandoned while estimates were increasing—revenue was abandoned not from the conviction of the Government that the sacrifice was wise, —but abandoned for the purpose of conciliating party support. What has been the cause of this? What has led us step by step to the brink of this precipice? Not the want of ability in individual Members of the Cabinet—not negligence, not incompetence—;no, the evil is to be found in a departure from constitutional principles— in the persevering attempt to govern without having the confidence of the House of Commons. There may be dexterity in this, but it is fraught with intolerable evil to the country. I speak not of occasional defeats, but of the exhibition year after year of the inability of a Government to carry its own measures. You yourselves must be conscious of this. You have written your own condemnation. When I retired from office in 1835, after a short and ineffectual struggle of three months—when I relinquished office on the express ground, that I did not possess the confidence of the House of Commons—the noble Lord told me, that I had acted in the spirit of the constitution. When Lord Melbourne returned to office in 1839, after the defeat of Government on the Jamaica Bill, Lord Melbourne—after referring to a conversation between King William 3rd and Bishop Burnet, in which the King observed, that the worst form of Government was a weak and inefficient monarchy—said, that the worst administration that could be formed was that which did not possess sufficient of the confidence of Parliament to be enabled to carry the measures which it deemed important for the public welfare. It is a violation of constitutional principle—a violation of the spirit of representative Government—that this state of things should continue. It is not fit that we should present to Europe the spectacle of a House of Commons constantly refusing to sanction the measures of an Administration, yet not influencing the fate of that Administration. It is not for the interest of free and popular Government, that this exhibition should continue. It is not for the interest of monarchy, that the servants of the Crown should be powerless in the House of Commons. It is not for the interest of the measures which they recommend, that those measures should be viewed with suspicion and distrust on account of the position of their authors. It is not for the interest of public men—it detracts from their weight and authority—it is injurious to their public character — to retain office without power. Power, indeed, in one sense, they do possess. I do not underrate it. They can excite and inflame the people; they can, by the minute detail of sufferings—by imputing those sufferings to the acts of the Legislature—by comparing, for instance, the wretched condition of a manufacturing population with the ease and comfort of liberated negroes, they can obstruct the calm and dispassionate consideration of public measures. But this is a sorry triumph: this appeal to passion can always be made—it always has been made: distress—severe distress—privations that are afflicting in the recital—will always exist in such a society as that in which we live, and can always be urged against any measure which partakes (as the best measures may partake) of an unpopular character. These appeals have a powerful effect, when made by individual Members of the Legislature. When made by men in authority —by men whose duty it is to resist the influence of such appeals, and to expose their tendencies—they act with tenfold weight. It may be, that you will succeed in your present object; it may be, that amid the conflicts of passion which you will have excited, amid the collision of contending interests, you may gather up the scattered elements of discord, and combine them into the materials of party strength; but you will find them dangerous and uncontrollable instruments of Government. Rely upon it, that when authority supports itself by invoking the assistance of agitation, it calls to its aid an ally, powerful no doubt, but an ally that will be its master, and not its slave.

Viscount Palmerston spoke as follows

* The right hon. Baronet, the Member for Kent, in the speech which he addressed to the House this evening, expressed his regret at the long duration of this debate; that regret did not surprise me, because a debate less favourable to one side of the * From a corrected report. House, and attended in point of argument, whatever may be its result as to numbers, with greater triumph to the other side, it never has been my lot to witness; I can well understand therefore that the Member for Kent should regret the protracted length of the debate; and notwithstanding the speech of the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, who has just sat down, and though I admit the great dexterity with which he has handled the various topics which he has treated, I do not think that even that speech will induce the right hon. Member for Kent to retract the regret which he has expressed. The right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, who has just sat down has been pleased to make himself exceedingly merry at what he conceives to be the forlorn condition of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer fishing for a budget. My right hon. Friend is fishing for no budget, he has caught his budget, and has laid it on the table. My right hon. Friend does not go begging to the other side for a budget. He has been reproached on former occasions, and has been taunted to night, for playing a part which is stated to be utterly unworthy of a Chancellor of the Exchequer. He has to deal with a deficiency in the revenue and has brought forward a budget to supply that deficiency, and he is charged with an entire forgetfulness of the duties incumbent on a Chancellor of the Exchequer, because instead of coming down with a proposal to add to the burthens of the people, he proposes to fill up the deficiency of revenue by relieving the people from a portion of those burthens. The right hon. Baronet is mistaken in saying that we asked him for his budget instead of ours. What we asked was, and not even tonight has an answer been given to our question, tell us aye or no what you mean; we intend to supply the deficiency of the revenue by striking a blow at some of the great monopolies which have hitherto retarded the prosperity of the country, you object to our proposal upon narrow and insufficient grounds; tell us then plainly whether you are willing to make up the deficiency in the way we have intended to do so; or whether you are prepared to vote new taxes for the purpose. That is the question put to the other side, and to that question we have had no answer. The right hon. Baronet, indeed stated that he would give us with the utmost frank- ness his opinion on the three questions, about sugar, corn, and timber: but what were his declarations, what were those explanations which were to be given in the spirit of such unreserved frankness? As to the sugar duty, he threw over in the beginning of his speech, the principles and doctrines contained in the resolution of his noble Friend, and said that the question was one of prudence, rather than of principle, and in the latter part of his speech he said, that the only pledge he would give about the sugar duties was, that he would wait to see whether the expected supply from the East Indies would cover deficiency in the duties, and that for the next year he should propose no change in the rate of duty; but the right hon. Baronet, reserved himself for the future, and beyond next year he would give us no pledge either way. Well, then we were to have his unreserved opinion on the subject of the Corn-laws. What was it? why that he preferred a sliding scale to a fixed duty. A sliding scale may be a slippery thing. The right hon. Baronet took care to guard himself against declaring whether that sliding scale would or would not be a scale materially diminishing that amount of inordinate protection which the present law affords. But the question he was called upon to answer is, whether he is willing or not to supply a part of the deficiency of the revenue, by creating an extension of our commerce, by means of a reduction in the present amount of the duty on corn? About the timber duties too we have had the right hon. Baronet's equally frank and candid declaration. If my ears did not deceive me, he said, that on that question he should keep himself totally unfettered for the future. That until he knew what is at present known only to my noble Friend the Secretary for the colonies, and until he should be put, like my noble Friend, into the confidence of the Governor-general of Canada, it would be utterly impossible for him to afford us any information as to his views. Well then, Sir, am I not justified in saying, that never do I remember a great question like the present, debated by one party on grounds so narrow and inadequate. The question is, whether the great springs of our national industry shall be relieved from some of those artificial obstructions, which have hitherto retarded their developement, or whether the sources of our national pros- perity shall for the benefit of private interests, and of privileged classes, continue to be choked up? The question is between free trade, (and by free trade I mean trade open to competition) on the one side, and monopoly on the other. The question is between reason and prejudice; between the interests of the many, and the profits of the few—and the hon. Gentleman opposite, shrinking from a question which they dare not manfully grapple with, and afraid to join issue with us on the real merits of the case, because they know that the verdict of the country would be against them, have endeavoured to narrow the discussion down to one collateral point, and under a delusive pretence to entrap this Mouse and the country into an erroneous decision. The epithet hypocritical applied to the resolution by speakers on this side has been taken amiss by Gentlemen opposite; I will endeavour not to repeat offensive expressions; I will content myself with saying that this resolution is the homage which monopoly pays to free trade. But an homage so unwilling and constrained that those who pay it have not been able entirely to assume the virtue which they do not feel; but have thought it prudent to leave themselves a loophole for escape; and by that notable parenthesis which was so well exposed by my noble Friend (Lord J. Russell) they have provided for themselves the means of descending if necessary from the lofty ground of principle on which they profess to take their stand, to the lower and more convenient level of expediency. Their course reminds me of that sometimes pursued by their friends the Spanish Carlists—on more than one occasion in the late civil war, the Carlists when wanting to attack the Queen's forces, placed and drove along at the head of their column a number of helpless captives, trusting that the humanity of their opponents would disarm their resistance, and that thus they should succeed in their attack. So now the hon. Gentleman opposite put forward the sufferings of the negroes. I forbear from inquiring how many of those who are foremost in the cry, have had their share in causing those sufferings; though some things have passed in this debate which tend to throw light upon such an inquiry. But they put forward the sufferings of the negroes, and under cover of that pretence the whole tend of monopolists rush forward to scale the fortress of power. But the party opposite stand upon principle against interest. The principle they stand upon is the principle of humanity; the interest they oppose is that of the 25,000,000 of people who inhabit these islands. Now, I honour and respect principle. I admire a man who acts upon principle, even though in carrying his principle out, he should thwart me, and obstruct my path. But then, let principle be the rule and not the exception. Let it be the guide of conduct, and the inspirer of actions, and let it not be merely put forward as a pretext for the purpose of arriving at unacknowledged ends. They say humanity is their principle—an excellent principle it is—charity is said to begin at home; why should not humanity also be a domestic virtue? True it is there are millions of suffering negroes abroad; true also is it that we have millions of suffering fellow-countrymen at home. Why should our humanity bestow itself exclusively on the former, instead of giving a due share of its attention to the latter? The principle laid down by Gentlemen opposite is, that we ought not to consume the produce of slave labour; that is the principle which has been maintained by the noble Lord, the Member for Liverpool, who moved the resolution, but it was not so clearly asserted by the right hon. the Member for Tamworth. He seemed, indeed, to set it aside. This may have arisen from proofs which have been given by what has passed in other places, of the manner in which the people of the country view this matter; and I am not surprised, that at the close of this debate, the principle on which Gentlemen opposite laid such stress at the outset, should now be allowed in some degree to remain unnoticed. But the principle contended for is, that we ought not to consume the produce of slave-labour. Well, if that principle is to be adopted, apply it honestly, faithfully, and throughout. Prohibit the importation of the enormous quantities of cotton which are brought every year from the United States of North America. Prohibit the tobacco; prohibit the rice which you bring from thence and which is all the produce of slave labour. ["Oh!"] The hon. Gentlemen opposite laugh and cry Oh! at the very idea of such a thing —they shrink from such an application of their principle—they know that such an application of their principle would deprive of employment some millions of their fellow-countrymen, and would bring them to utter ruin. They say it would not be expedient to do this; expedient, indeed ! a pretty principle this to take stand upon, the practical application of which is to depend on comparative expediency. But they think they have an answer to this argument: they say it is one thing to submit to an evil that exists, it is another thing to create a new evil; and although we have long encouraged slave-labour in North America, that is no reason why we should now begin to encourage slave-labour in South America. But would the effect of our measure be that we should begin now, for the first time, to permit the consumption of things produced by slave-labour in South America? Do we not already encourage the employment of slave-labour in South America, and to the extent of our means? Do we not send out every year to the Brazils vast quantities of our manufactures, and are we not paid for them by the sugar and coffee which is there produced by the labour of slaves? Do we not glut the Brazilian market with our goods, and stimulate them every year more and more to produce more and more slave-labour commodities to buy those goods with? It is true that the sugar and coffee come not here but go to Germany to be sold, and it is the money they are sold for that is remitted to us; but does this alter the nature of the transaction? We are told that we must not encourage the employment of slave-labour, and yet we first set the slaves in North America to work, to produce for us as much cotton as possible, and then we add to the value of that cotton and send it out to South America in order therewith to set the slaves of South America to work, to produce as much sugar and coffee as they can. The details of these transactions of ours with the Brazilians are sufficiently curious to be worth following out. We say to the Brazilians we can supply you with cotton goods cheaper and better than any you can get elsewhere, will you buy them? By all means, reply the Brazilians, and we will pay you for your goods by our sugar and our coffee. No, say we, your sugar and coffee are produced by slave labour, we are men of principle, and our consciences will not allow us to consume the produce of slave-labour, we cannot take your sugar and your coffee. Well then, any body would imagine that the transaction ended here; that we sent our manufactures to some free labour market, and left the Brazilians to eat and drink their sugar and coffee, or to dispose of them as best they may. No such thing; we are men of principle, but we are also men of business, and we try to help the Brazilians out of their difficulty. We say to them, it is true that we cannot consume your slave-labour sugar and coffee; but close by us, and near at hand, live some forty millions of industrious thriving Germans who are not so conscientious as we are; take your sugar to them; they will buy it of you, and you can pay us for our cottons with the money you will thus receive; and though we cannot take your sugar and coffee, we shall not scruple to take the money you have sold them for. But the Brazilians represent that there will be some difficulty in this. The Germans, they say, live on the other side of the Atlantic, we must send them our sugar in ships; now our ships are few in number, and are ill-fitted to cope with the waves of the great ocean; what shall we do? Our reply is ready.—Do not let this disturb you, we have plenty of ships, and they are quite at your service. It is true that slave-labour produce would contaminate our warehouses, our shops, and our tables; but our ships are different things, and they shall carry your sugar for you. But the Brazilians have another difficulty; indeed there is no end to their difficulties. They tell us that the Germans are particular in their own way about these matters, and have a fancy for refined sugar. That it is not easy to refine sugar in Brazil, and that the Germans do not like the trouble of refining it themselves. Our desire to oblige is inexhaustible, we again step in with an expedient: Come never mind, we will help you here also; we will not only carry your sugar, but we will refine it for you too. It is sinful, indeed, to consume slave-labour sugar, but there can be no harm in refining it, which, in fact, is to cleanse it from part of its original impurity. Accordingly we refine the sugar, and, to be sure, we think we have done. Not a bit. The Brazilians are at us again. The fact is, say they, we produce a great deal of sugar; more than the Germans will buy, at least at a remunerating price; what are we to do with our surplus? Well, our goodness is infinite; having carried the Brazilians on so far, we are determined not to leave them till we have seen them safe home; we have a remedy, we tell them, for this also; we ourselves will buy your surplus. It cannot, indeed, be consumed at home, because the people of this kingdom are the inhabitants of the mother country, and are men of conscience; but we will send it to the West Indies, and to Australia; the people who live in those parts are only negroes and colonists, and what right can they have to consciences; your slave-labour sugar can do them no harm: and now, that you may not plague us any more about these matters, we tell you at once, that if ever the price of our own sugar shall rise above a certain amount, we will then buy more of your slave-labour sugar, and eat it ourselves. Now, without meaning the slightest offence, let me ask if it is not the grossest hypocrisy, that when these things are as notorious as the sun at noon-day, we should be asked, on pretences so hollow, and so inconsistent with what is constantly going on, to forego an arrangement which will relieve our commerce, and assist our finances. But then it is said that the proposed measure will encourage the slave-trade. It can encourage the slave-trade only in as far as it may give any great additional stimulus to slave-labour, and I have already dealt with that objection. I can assure the House, that if we had thought that this measure would give to the slave-trade any encouragement, which we should not be able by other means amply to counterbalance, we would not have proposed the measure to Parliament, whatever might have been the advantages otherwise to be gained from it. I think we have given proof of the sincerity of our zeal for the suppression of the slave-trade. During the time we have had the honour to conduct the affairs of the country, we have laboured assiduously, perseveringly, and not without some success, in the pursuit of this great end. The suppression of the slave-trade, is to be effected by two means—first, by I the vigilance and activity of that maritime police, which, by virtue of our treaties with other powers, we are enabled to establish; secondly, by those measures of internal administration which foreign governments may put into execution, either in compliance with our suggestions, or in fulfilment of treaties concluded with us. I contend that the measure which we pro- pose will assist us in both these respects; for it will give us a better chance of obtaining by treaty any additional powers and authority, which our maritime police may stand in need of; and it will increase the disposition of foreign governments to fulfil the engagements they have taken towards us, to put down the slave-trade within their own territories. When we came into office in 1830, we found the slave-trade carried on to an immense extent, and under various flags, notwithstanding the treaties we had then concluded with Spain, Portugal, Brazil, the Netherlands, and Sweden; and notwithstanding the declaration made at the Congress of Vienna, which was alluded to by the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for the University of Cambridge, and which cannot be mentioned with too much honour to the statesmen who proposed it, and to the Governments by which it was adopted. The treaties with Portugal and Spain were insufficient for their purpose. That with Portugal only applied to slave trade north of the line, and neither that nor the treaty with Spain gave sufficient powers for the detention of vessels equipped for slave trade. We had no treaty with France, and slave trade was carried on under the French flag. The first thing we did was to obtain a treaty with France, giving mutual right of search and detention to the cruizers of the two nations; and when Gentlemen recollect how much the events of the last wars between England and France must have rendered such a mutual right distasteful to both nations, and repugnant to their feelings and their pride, the mere fact of such a treaty having been concluded, must be a convincing proof of the sincerity and zeal with which both Governments were animated in their endeavours to put down this traffic; and the success of that treaty has been complete, for from that moment the slave trade has ceased to be carried on under the flag of France. Next we obtained from Spain, by a new treaty, larger powers for our cruizers, and fuller and more complete engagements on the part of the Spanish crown; and I must say, that if the Spanish governors of Cuba had acted with good faith, and bad rigidly enforced the law of Spain, and had punctually fulfilled the treaty engagements of the Spanish crown, their exertions, assisted by those of the British cruisers, would long since have entirely put an end to the Cuba slave-trade; and a similar result would have been obtained in Brazil, if the Brazilian government had executed with good faith and vigour the engagements it has contracted on this matter towards Great Britain. But we were told, and by many of the most zealous friends of abolition, that our treaties would be of no avail to suppress the slave-trade until every maritime state in Christendom should have joined in the league to put it down; for as fast as we drove the trade from one flag it would take shelter under another, and that nothing effectual would be accomplished as long as any one flag remained by which it could be protected. We felt the truth of this assertion, and we set ourselves to work in right good earnest to enlist all the maritime states of the world in the Christian league against slave-trade. We have laboured hard, and I am proud to say not without some success. At the present moment we have treaties concluded and ratified with France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, the Hans Towns, Sardinia, Tuscany, and Naples; we have been negotiating a treaty between England, France, Austria, Russia, and Prussia, to be founded, upon the treaty now existing between England and France. The details of this treaty have for several months been agreed upon, and the signature of the treaty has been delayed solely by the peculiar position in which France has for some time past stood with relation to the other four powers, and not in consequence of any difficulties as to the treaty itself; and I trust that very shortly that treaty will be signed. When that treaty is signed we shall propose to Belgium, to Hanover, and to Greece to accede to it, and I trust there can be no doubt of our obtaining the accession of those states. The Greek government has indeed lately, and very much in consequence of representations made to it by the British Government, passed a law prohibiting under severe penalties that Mediterranean slave-trade in Greek vessels which had begun to attract the attention of Europe. If we succeed in all this, as I see no reason to doubt, we shall have enlisted all the maritime slates of Europe in the Christian league. Nor have we been idle as to America. We have concluded treaties which have been ratified, with Brazil, Buenos Ayres, Venezuela, and Haiti; we have concluded treaties which have not yet been ratified, with Mexico, Montevideo, Chile, and Bolivia; and we have concluded additional articles which also have not yet been ratified with Brazil. We are negotiating a treaty with the republic of the Equator, and we have proposed an improved treaty to Brazil. We have also proposed a treaty to Peru, but the present disturbed state of that republic, prevents us, for the moment, from making any progress in that negotiation; the party now in power in Peru having set up the strange doctrine that Peru is not to make treaties with any but American States. Well, then, if we succeed in these various negotiations, which I have no reason to think we shall not, we shall have enlisted in this league against slave-trade every state in Christendom which has a flag that sails on the ocean, with the single exception of the United States of North America; and I cannot believe, that the American people, descended from the same ancestors as ourselves, imbibing from their earliest infancy the same principles of liberty, and the same doctrines of religion, will long stand aloof, and refuse to join the league, when they find themselves the only Christian nation that has not subscribed to its engagements. They have hitherto been deterred from doing so by the fear of agreeing to that mutual right of search which is the main foundation of all these treaties, and an indispensable means for the suppression of the slave trade. But they have not sufficiently reflected, that the right of search which is necessary for the suppression of the slave-trade is a thing utterly and entirely different from that right of search, which on former occasions has been the subject of dispute between them and us. I trust that the people of America will not allow themselves to be carried away by names, but will investigate the nature of things; and when they find, as on consideration they must do, that what we ask is not inconsistent with their national honour, and is essential for abating a great evil, they will join the other states of Christendom, and give the slave-trade its death-blow. I think, then, that we may assert that our conduct proves, that we Teel no indifference about this great question of the slave-trade; and that we are not men who would lightly, and in order to, escape from a temporary difficulty, sacrifice a principle which has long guided our course, and forego an object which we have laboured so hard to attain. On the contrary, as I have already said, by adopting the proposed measure, we shall acquire additional facilities for the accomplishment of our purposes. I have said, that the slave-trade would long since have been put down in the Brazils and in Cuba, if the Brazilian government, and the governors of Cuba, had chosen to enforce their own laws, and to fulfil the obligations of treaties concluded with us. Why have they not done so? Because they do not believe in the sincerity of our professions, and attribute our anxiety for the suppression of the slave-trade to motives very different from those which in reality prompt us. They see in us nothing but commercial enemies. On the one hand we shut our markets against their produce; on the other hand we try to prevent them from getting what they erroneously consider a necessary accession of labourers. They judge of one part of our conduct by the other. They see, that with a spirit of narrow-minded commercial jealousy, we exclude their produce, that it may not compete in our markets with the produce of our own colonies; they think, that we want to prevent them from getting fresh slaves, in order that thus their sugar may cost them more and may become dearer; and that so the sugar of our colonies may be better able to compete with their sugar in the market of Europe. I regret that much has been said in this debate, which is ill calculated to undeceive them in this point; for doctrines have been held in this discussion exactly the reverse of those which we press upon the Brazilians when urging them to abolish their slave trade. We have endevoured to persuade them, that free labour is cheaper in the end than slave-labour, and that the cessation of the slave-trade would be no injury, but in fact a benefit to them. We have been justified in holding this language to the Brazilians, because we held it to our own West-India colonists. When we wanted them to agree to the emancipation of their slaves, we told them, that in the end they would find free labour less expensive than slave-labour, and we told them the truth; and nothing that has yet happened in the working out of the great experiment which we are making in the West Indies, leads me in the slightest degree to doubt that the assertion we made to them is true. But what has been the argument which has been maintained on this point in this debate by many Gentlemen opposite, most connected with the West Indies, and best acquainted with the state of our colonies there. They have all contended, that if we admit to consumption in this country the sugar of the Brazils which they say is cheap, because it is the produce of slave-labour, our own sugar which they say is dear, because it is the produce of free labour, will be driven out of the market; and thus our Colonies will be ruined; and the hon. Member for the town of Cambridge pressed this argument with peculiar vehemence, saying, as a reason for his doing so, that on the decision of this matter, his dearest interest, nay, as far as his West-India property is concerned, his very existence depends. The great argument, then, of these Gentlemen is, that the free-labour sugar of the West Indies cannot compete with the slave-labour sugar of the Brazils; now what is this but declaring to the Brazilians and the Spaniards, that we have been telling them untruths all this while, as to the comparative cheapness of free labour? Will they not think that we have added to the odiousness of our commercial hostility, the meanness of duplicity and falsehood; that we have been endeavouring to trepan them into an abolition of their slave-trade upon false pretences; telling them that slave labour is the dearest, and, therefore, the least, advantageous to them, though we knew and were convinced all the while, that it is the cheapest and most profitable. Let us convince them, by our conduct, that in our doctrine we were sincere. Let us convince them that we do believe free labour to be, as it unquestionably is, cheaper than slave labour. Let us do so by admitting their slave-labour sugar into competition with free-labour sugar in our market, not indeed into competition on equal terms, for that is not at present proposed, but into competition modified by a discriminating duty of fifty per cent. in favour of the produce of our own colonies. If this measure is carried, I shall enter into negotiation with the Brazilians and Spaniards with better hopes of success, and shall think that I have a better chance of persuading them to employ the means which they themselves possess, to put a stop to the slave-trade within their own territories; for they will listen to our remonstrances with a more willing ear, when they shall believe them to be dictated by principle, and when they shall no longer suspect them to be the offspring of commercial jealousy. Sir, I lay the greater stress upon this, because it is only from England, and from the exertions of England, that any hopes can be entertained of the extinction of the slave-trade, and of the ultimate abolition of slavery throughout the world; because it is England alone that feels any deep and sincere interest in the matter. England now holds a proud position among the nations of the earth; and exercises a great influence upon the destinies of mankind. That influence is owing, in the first place, to our great wealth, to our unbounded resources, to our military and naval strength. But it is owing still more, if possible, to the moral dignity which marks the character and conduct of the British people. I fear that the resolution of the noble Lord, the Member for Liverpool, will tend, if adopted, to impair all these elements of our strength. I cannot but think that the respect which foreign nations have hitherto felt for the sincerity, the plain dealing, the straightforwardness of the British character, will be lowered, when they see the House of Commons adopting a resolution by which the principles of humanity and justice, are, (I am sorry to say so), prostituted to serve the party purpose of a day, and I am sure that we shall sap the foundations of our strength, if, by the continuance of our restrictive and prohibitory regulations, we undermine those great commercial and manufacturing interests which are the main supports of our power. Those who desire to see the principles of liberty thrive and extend through the world, should cherish with an almost religious veneration, the prosperity and greatness of England. As long as England shall ride pre-eminent on the ocean of human affairs, there can be none whose fortunes shall be so shipwrecked, there can be none whose condition shall be so desperate and forlorn, that they may not cast a look of hope towards the light that beams from hence; and though they may be beyond the reach of our power, our moral support and our sympathy shall cheer them in their adversity, and shall assist them to bear up, and to hold out, waiting for a better day. But if ever by the assault of overpowering enemies, or by the errors of her misguided sons, England should fall, and her star should lose its lustre, with her fall, for a long period of time, would the hopes of the African, whether in his own Continent, or in the vast regions of America, be buried in the darkness of despair. I know well that in such case, Providence would, in due course of time, raise up some other nation to inherit our principles, and to imitate our practice. But taking the world as it is, and states as they are constituted, I do not know, and I say it with regret and with pain, I do not know any nation that is now ready in this respect to supply our place. I say, then, that they who are the sincere friends of that cause of which we have been the strenuous advocates, and the not wholly unsuccessful supporters, instead of giving their assistance to a resolution which is founded upon a hollow pretence, ought to lend their aid to us, and to help us to accomplish those purposes, which they themselves have so deeply at heart. Now, I have said, that the real question at issue is, the choice between monopoly and free trade. The noble Lord, the Member for Lancashire (Lord Stanley), and the right hon. Baronet who spoke last (Sir Robert Peel), have given us their views of the meaning of the term free trade; and defined it to be a trade free from all duties whatever upon the importation of foreign produce. That is not my notion of free trade. That is not the free trade which I wish to see introduced. We must have an army and a navy, and civil establishments. To maintain these we must have a revenue; and, in my opinion, there is no more proper or legitimate mode of raising a part of that revenue than by duties upon the importation of foreign commodities. But then I say, let those duties be laid on solely for purposes of revenue; let them not be laid on for what is called protection; that is, to enable a comparatively small number of men to carry on a trade in itself a losing one, at the expense of the rest of the community. I know that in an artificial state of society, such as that in which we live, it is impossible at once, and without some delay, to carry into full application, principles of this kind. Because, if suddenly adopted, they would derange the course of transactions, and involve thousands in ruin. To do this is neither our intention nor our wish. But let us keep these principles steadfastly in view; let them guide and direct our course; and let us apply them as nearly and as quickly as circumstances will permit. Protection, in the sense in which the word is used by those who now oppose the plan of the Government, is a tax levied upon the industry and skill of the mass of the community to enable a few to remain indolent and unskilful. Such protection is not only erroneous in principle, but, after all, utterly useless to those for whose particular benefit it is maintained. Shew me a trade that is free, by which I mean, open to fair competition, and I will shew you a trade carried on with intelligence, enterprize, and success. Shew me a trade that is highly protected, and I will shew you a set of men, supine, unimproving, and probably labouring under perpetual embarrassment. But the evil does not end here. Not only does this excessive protection paralyze the very interests it is intended to invigorate; but it operates most injuriously upon the general welfare of the country, in relation to our commercial intercourse with foreign nations. For protection is a game that two can play at. It is impossible that a great country like England can go on protecting, as it is called, its various interests, and that other countries should not follow the example. Can we tell other countries that they ought to diminish the duties of their tariff; that competition is the very life of trade; that emulation inspires activity and enterprize, and that without enterprize and activity commerce can never flourish nor be beneficial to those who carry it on? Can we hold these doctrines to other nations, and at the same time persist in our own restrictive system? When we propound these principles to foreign Governments, they listen to our arguments with civil incredulity; they appeal from our doctrines to our practice; they point to our own tariff, and tell us, in diplomatic paraphrase, "When you alter your own commercial system; when you bring down to a moderate amount your excessive import duties, we may become converts to your doctrines, and shall be ready to talk with you about a revision of our own tariff." I have had to dicuss these matters with most of the Foreign States with which we have commercial relations, and they are all in the same story. They invariably give us to understand, that when we ask them to permit a more liberal admission of our manufactured goods into their markets, we ought to set them the example, by allowing a more liberal admission of their produce into our market. Commerce, they observe, is a system of barter, and if we exclude from our ports their corn, their timber, their sugar, their coffee, every great article, in short of their produce, which they could offer us in exchange for our commodities, how can we suppose that they can carry on trade with us? I have said, that one great evil of our restrictive system is, that it induces other states to fancy that it is the secret of our prosperity, and that it sets them to imitate our example. Is this an imaginary evil?—far from it. In proportion as the increase of communication between countries in time of peace, has enabled every country to be better informed as to what is going on elsewhere, other nations have seen more deeply into the details of our restrictive system, and have been tempted, some by ignorance, some by prejudice, some from a spirit of retaliation, to imitate our example. First, there is the Prussian Commercial Union, which has spread itself over almost all of the central and northern states of Germany. That league has just renewed itself by treaty for twelve years from 1842. Next year their deputies will meet for the purpose off revising their tariff, and this House and the country deceive themselves greatly if they imagine that a perseverance in our restrictive system, and in our prohibiting duties, will not induce the German League to continue their present high duties upon our manufactures, and perhaps to increase those duties in such a manner as to shut our commodities out from the whole of that part of the market of Europe. Russia and Sweden prohibit a great number of our manufactures, and when we ask them to relax their tariff, they say, take our corn and timber, and then we will talk with you about admitting your manufactures into our ports. About two years ago Sweden sent over here a nobleman of high distinction, and of great influence in his own country for the purpose of endeavouring to come to some agreement with us for a mutual modification of the tariffs of the two countries, but timber was our stumbling block, and we had no hope at that time of being able to carry through Parliament any arrangement of our timber duties that would have met the views of the Swedish government; we had had a mortifying experience but a short time before of the manner in which any proposition of that kind was likely to be dealt with in this House. France, which ought to be a great market for our commodities; France, a country so near to us, producing many things which we want, and wanting many things which we produce; France has a tariff which excludes many of our principal manufactures. But France will not alter her tariff unless we alter ours. As an instance of the extent to which this mania of protection rages, France not content with prohibiting our cotton goods, and excluding by high duties our iron, has lately descended to a minuteness of protection which would be ludicrous if it were not an indication of the force of existing prejudices on these matters. France has lately laid an excluding duty upon our needles and fish hooks, for the purpose of protecting that important branch of her own national industry! The Belgians too are running wild with the notion of protection, and are for excluding by protect-ting duties almost every commodity which the industry of man can make. When you preach to these foreign nations the absurdity of such practices, they reply, it is all very well; but we observe that England has grown wealthy and great by these means, and it is only now, when other nations are following her example that she has discovered that this system is a bad one; when we shall have attained the same pitch of commercial prosperity which England has reached, it will then be time enough for us to abandon a system which perhaps may then no longer be necessary. It is in vain we tell these people, that England has grown great and prosperous, not by means of this fallacious and mischievous system, but in spite of it. It is in vain we tell them, that this protective system has checked our growth, and has prevented the full developement of our national resources. Until we prove by our practice, that we are sincere in our doctrines, neither France, nor Belgium, nor Germany, nor Russia, nor Sweden, nor any other country in either hemisphere, will be induced to relax their own restrictive and prohibitory laws. The United States of America have imitated our example, and have established a protecting tariff. The ill effect of this tariff upon the commerce between these two countries has been mitigated by the circumstance, that the Southern States are chiefly agricultural, and have few or no manufactures to protect, and that thus the protecting tariff of the north cannot prevent a great trade between the two countries, the result of which is to send over to us vast quantities of that slave-labour cotton, which all parties have acknowledged it is so essential for us to have, and which it would be impossible for us to do without. Yet no man can doubt, that if England and the United States were mutually to revise their scales of import duties, the commerce between the two countries would greatly increase. But are the United States the only country in America where this vicious system has taken root? Mexico is following the example—and who, does the House think, are the parties who have petitioned the Mexican government for protection against the importation of British manufactures into Mexico? why some renegade sons of England, who have established manufactories in Mexico, and who are endeavouring to prevail upon the Mexican government to exclude, by high protecting duties, British manufactures of the same kind as those which they are themselves making. Such is the course which our restrictive system induces other countries to take. And what then is the state of our trade generally with other countries? It is is quite true, as stated by the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tam-worth, that there is nothing in the condition of our foreign trade to inspire despondency; I trust that the resources of the country are too deeply rooted to be withered even by this vicious system, though it prevents their full growth and developement. But if you examine and analyse our foreign trade, you will trace in it remarkable proofs of the injurious effects of this system. You will see how these protecting laws cramp the industry of the country. Every year a smaller and smaller portion of the manufactures which we export consists of articles in the making of which much labour and skill are employed. Every year a greater portion of our exports consists of articles of an elementary nature, which are not destined for use and consumption, but are to serve as materials which are to afford employment to the foreign manufacturers. For instance, the exportation of cotton goods does not increase in the same proportion as the exportation of yarn. Then again look to our artisan and capitalist. Both of them are leaving the country. The capitalist goes elsewhere with the notion of finding cheaper labour. The artisan with the hope of obtaining better remuneration for his industry. Every year our protecting system is raising up against us in other parts of the world manufacturing competitors, and every year British skill, British industry, and British capital, are transferring themselves abroad, to render the competition of foreign countries more and more formidable. We are thus ourselves assisting to exclude our own commerce from the markets of other countries. If this system is persevered in, we shall at last come down to that spendthrift industry, which is to consist inexporting machinery, as well as the elements of manufactures, and when our exports consist of capital, skill, industry, machinery, and materials, we shall no doubt wonder how it happens, that our finished manufactures are no longer able to compete with those of other countries in the markets of the world. Sir, in my opinion, there never was a discussion in which it was more clear, which side of the House advocated the true interests of the nation; aye, even the interests of those nominally protected classes, whose supposed interests have banded together so large a phalanx in opposition to the proposals of the Government. But the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, has said, that we, the Government, have by the improvidence of our administration created the financial difficulties for the remedy of which we have brought forward these measures, and that we have ourselves been the cause of that excess of expenditure over income which our plan is intended to provide for. But surely the right hon. Gentleman does not mean to say, that the rebellion in Canada was owing to any misgovernment of ours; and as to our dispute with China, the right hon. Baronet has very properly and very handsomely abstained from prejudging a matter which is not yet ripe for discussion. But then I would ask, has the deficiency arisen from our having made any undue increase in our military or naval forces? Has it arisen from any wanton expenditure incurred by the Government in spite of the resistance of the hon. Gentlemen opposite? On the contrary, the Government has been found fault with year after year for not augmenting the military and naval establishments of the country. They have reproached us for too much economy, never for being too prodigal. The Gentlemen opposite have therefore no right to attribute the present deficiency to any mismanagement or misconduct on the part of the Government— it has arisen from a variety, and from a combination of circumstances, over which the Government had no control; and I will venture to say, that if the Gentlemen opposite had been in office that deficiency would not have been less; I abstain giving an opinion whether it would have been greater. The question then is, whether the House will adopt the plan of my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for a reduction of duties, by which the revenue would be increased, the commerce of the country relieved, and the industry of all classes encouraged; or whether the House will take counsel from the Gentleman opposite who would supply the deficiency by betaking themselves to a loan, or by imposing fresh taxes, and by thus adding to the burthens of the country. Whatever may be the result of this discussion, and whether we succeed or not in our present attempt, depend upon it the days of these monopolies are numbered, and their doom is sealed. The only question is, whether they shall fall to day under our blow, or whether they shall be reserved to meet their fate hereafter from the hands of those very persons who now stand forward to defend them. To maintain them much longer is impossible, the country has spoken out upon the matter. The general opinion of all those persons who are engaged in carrying on the industry and commerce of the country is too strong to be resisted by any set of men who may be called upon to administer the Government. What has been the course of Parliament in this respect for several years past? It has done nothing but destroy monopolies. First we abolished that monopoly which by the Test and Corporation Acts the members of the Established Church held against their Dissenting fellow subjects; this was accomplished by the efforts of my noble Friend (Lord John Russell), assisted ultimately by the concurrence of the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth. Then was attacked that giant monopoly which the Catholic disabilities gave to the Protestants of the kingdom over their Catholic fellow countrymen. That monopoly defended itself with astonishing determination, its resistance was obstinate and fierce, but it measured its length upon the ground. Then was assailed that huge monopoly which placed in the hands of a comparatively small number of persons the power of returning Members to serve in the House of Commons. That battle was still more severe, the resistance was still more desperate, the conflict almost shook the country to its foundations, but at last the victory was complete, and that monopoly fell. Then came the monopoly by which certain self-elected corporators exercised in the towns throughout the united kingdom, a paramount authority over the local interests and affairs of their respective boroughs. This was less vigorously defended, and it has fallen. Then there was the great monopoly by which the East-India Company excluded the commerce of their fellow countrymen from all the vast regions of Asia; that was acknowledged to be indefensible, and it yielded without a struggle. We are now attacking another set of monopolies, and my right hon. Friend, the President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Labouchere), has announced, that he intends to carry the principle of relaxation still further, and to apply it to other parts of our tariff, so as to relieve our commerce from many of the trammels which at present confine it. These, then, are the principles on which we stand; our plan is plain, simple, and intelligible. I think that hon. Gentlemen opposite might have given us an equally plain and intelligible answer to our question, what they would propose to do. They might have told us distinctly, and at once, whether they would rest their plan of finance upon the abolition of monopolies, or upon the maintenance of monopolies. They have not however chosen to speak out, but I will venture to say, that before these discussions are brought to a close they will be compelled to speak out. It is due to themselves, it is due to us, it is due to Parliament, it is due to the country, that the opinions of hon. Gentlemen opposite upon these important matters should no longer be shrouded in mysterious silence, or be concealed by evasive declarations. We have a right to call upon them, not to give us a new budget, for that we do not want, and would not accept if offered it, but to tell us, aye or no, whether they will adopt the principles on which we have founded our budget, and of which the country has unequivocally expressed its approbation. But I will venture to predict, that although they may resist these measures to night for the purpose of obtaining thereby a majority in the division, yet if they should come into office, these are the measures, which a just regard for the finances and commerce of the country will compel them, themselves, to propose and carry.

Lord John Russell

said, that it might be for the convenience of the House if he stated the course which he intended to pursue in respect of the resolution, he had placed on the books, in case it should be negatived by the House. He proposed that resolution, in the first place, that he might record the principle of the budget of his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer: and, in the next place, because he thought that the first discussion would turn entirely and totally on the question of the sugar duties. He thought that it might be desirable that they should have some question on which a more general debate could be taken; but as this debate had been so protracted, and so many subjects had been entered into in discussing it, he did not think it necessary to raise a debate on the resolution itself. He should content himself, therefore, after the division, by merely moving the resolution. Certainly some things had been said in the debate on which he wished to say a few words, and he thought it might be for the convenience of the House that he should then do so. In respect to the statement which had been made by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, he thought that the right hon. Gentleman had misapprehended what he (Lord J. Russell) had stated to the House in regard to the meaning of Mr. Huskisson. Some words had, he believed, fallen on a former occasion from his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, which might have been misunderstood, but he did not think that he had ever stated that the merit of supporting Mr. Huskisson was due the party to which he (Lord J. Russell) belonged, and did not properly belong to those who were then Mr. Huskisson's colleagues, and to the party who at the time surrounded him. The only statement that he (Lord J. Russell) remembered to have made of the sort was at the commencement of the present Session, before Easter, when he said that he was quite willing to give the credit of these principles—not to Mr. Huskisson only, but also to those who then acted as his colleagues; and he was quite satisfied, for his own part, that the whole merit of having first proposed those principles of commercial policy should rest with the colleagues of Mr. Huskisson and himself, and that they (the Liberals) should only be considered as following in their footsteps. So far was he from entertaining any desire to claim for himself or his party, any of the merit which properly belonged to Mr. Huskisson and his supporters. The right hon. Baronet had alluded to the use of the term factious by him as applied to the Opposition, and had complained of the use of it. He did not now see any reason to modify or to retract that expression. It was intended to apply to their conduct upon the present occasion; and with regard to the finances of the country, the derangement of which had been fully and frankly laid before the House by his right hon. Friend in a manner which he (Lord J. Russell) had hoped would have led to a response from hon. Gentleman opposite,—he had confined his application of the expression to these particulars, and had not extended them to the general conduct of the right hon. Baronet. He was bound to state that on the privilege question, that of the Union of the Canadas, and that of the Poor-law and some other questions, the conduct of the right hon. Baronet had been as far as possible from deserving the epithet which had been complained of. The right hon. Baronet had concluded with some remarks as to the conduct of the Government, in which, after speaking of the talents, and characters, and principles of individual Members, he had nevertheless said that they (the Government) had not acted in accordance with the principles and spirit of the constitution. The right hon. Baronet had drawn a sort of comparison between the conduct of the present Government and that of his own when last in office. The right hon. Gentleman on that occasion had been placed by the late King in a situation of entire confidence, as entire as that reposed in her Ministers, by her present Majesty. What was the course taken by the right hon. Baronet? In the first instance, though there was no great equality of parties in Parliament, or any peculiarities in the state of public affairs, calling for the dissolution of a Parliament that had only been two years in existence, the right hon. Baronet had recourse to the measure of an immediate dissolution in order to maintain his Government. That was the first step of the right hon. Baronet, one which he certainly would have thought right to have been taken on some large ground of necessity, or founded upon some extensive system of public policy; but which, as far as he could judge, had only been adopted because the right hon. Gentleman had assumed the place of Lord Melbourne, and because he thought it necessary, in order to maintain the power thus assumed, to dissolve a Parliament which had hitherto carried on the public business with a decided majority in favour of Government. The short administration of the right hon. Baronet, with one exception, was a succession of Parliamentary defeats. Now he (Lord J. Russell) had never blamed the right hon. Gentleman in the perseverance which he had shown on the occasion. When he came down to the House stating that he was actuated by no love of power, no desire to cling to office, but that he thought it his duty to his sovereign to persist, and to continue to persist. When the right hon. Baronet came down to the House and stated these things, lie (Lord J. Russell had given him full credit for the determination which he then expressed. The only thing which he (Lord J. Russell) remarked in the resignation of the right hon. Baronet was, that in so doing he had acted in the spirit of the constitution, because he thought it was then sufficiently proved that he could not regain the confidence of the House of Commons—a House of Commons that had not then set three months after assembling subsequent to a dissolution. But while he (Lord J. Russell) said he did not blame the right hon. Baronet, he at the same time must say, that his course on the occasion in question seemed to him to afford a much stronger instance of a Government retaining office than anything that had occurred during the time the present Government had been in office. At the commencement of the last Session of Parliament, hon. Gentlemen opposite had thought it necessary to bring to the test the question whether those who sat on that (the Ministerial) side had the confidence of the House of Commons. The question was fully debated, and the House ultimately decided, by a majority of twenty-one, against the motion of the hon. Gentleman opposite. Now was not that a totally different case from any that had occurred during the administration of the right hon. Baronet. If, during the Session of 1835, the right hon. Baronet had obtained a majority of twenty-one in that House in his favour, on a vote of want of confidence, would he not have thought himself justified in assuming that he had the confidence of the House? He (Lord J. Russell) was bound to say, that he would have been so justified. In looking back at all that occurred, he could not think that they had been wrong. Their probable successors did not certainly seem to enjoy the confidence of the country to such an extent as to justify them in taking their places. He would not say what might be the case at the present moment; but with regard to the result of the single elections, he must say, that he did not think they showed any decisive evidence. The right hon. Gentleman had given them no reason to hope that he would be favourable hereafter to the principles of which Ministers were the advocates. Even had he been compelled to oppose the proposition now on account of the state of the West-India interest, still it might have been better to have intimated the probability of some amelioration. He had certainly not been able to succeed in his endeavour to find means to produce regularity in the Corn-trade with the preservation of the sliding scale. Fluctuation, gambling, interruption of trade, and want of a market for our commodities would be the inevitable consequence of preserving that principle. If any great alteration were made in the law, preserving that principle, the change would be resisted on the other side with equal vehemence. However, he would not now enter into a further discussion of the Corn-laws, because he should have a future opportunity of doing so, he only wished to make one observation upon what had fallen from the noble Member for North Lancashire in reference to the trade in grain. That noble Lord had said that the producer of corn could not depend upon his own skill and industry, but must rely upon the sunshine or the storm for the abundance and scarcity of his crop. That was true as to the producer of a particular country; he must depend upon a higher power; but the same power that directs the storm had given a remedy for any local disadvantage, for such was the bounty and benevolence of Providence, that if in one country there was a bad season, and a deficient crop, another was blest with a good season, and an abundant harvest. It was fortunately in the power of man, by his skill and ingenuity, and the means they gave of traversing the ocean, to take advantage of the beneficence of the Creator. If that inter- course were not permitted by short-sightedness and error, do not let it be said that it was to the infliction of heaven that a deficiency of food was to be attributed. Let the blame be laid where it was due. Let the laws be blamed which defeated the magnificent scheme by which plenty would be given to all the nations of the world, more or less, depending upon each other, and keeping up a kindly and a beneficial intercourse. Let the laws be blamed which blasted the fair prospects of a nation, and inflicted the curse of sterility, barrenness, and scarcity upon a land where plenty might reign, and marred the gracious designs of Providence by unjust legislation.

Sir R. Peel

rose amid cries of "question," and solicited permission to explain upon a single point. The noble Lord had adverted to the proceedings of the House, and to the appointment of a noble Friend (the Marquess of Londonderry) to the embassy to Russia. The House had come to no vote on that occasion; but a motion had been made for the production of the appointment, which, in fact, had not taken place. He had been no party to the withdrawal of his noble Friend from the appointment, the retirement had been the act of his noble Friend, and of his noble Friend alone. If the House had proceeded to present an address to the Crown on the subject, it had been his (Sir R. Peel's) firm intention to have retired from office. He begged to repeat that the act of his noble Friend had not been counselled or suggested by him.

The question was then put as follows, That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair:—Amendment proposed, to leave out from the word 'That' to the end of the question, in order to add the words, ' 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 not prepared (espesially 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 sugars,' instead thereof: — Question put, ' That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question.'

The House divided;—Ayes 281; Noes 317: Majority 36.

List of the AYES.
Abercromby, hn. G. R. Duke, Sir J.
Acheson, Viscount Duncan, Viscount
Adam, Admiral Duncombe, T.
Aglionby, H. A. Dundas, C. W. D.
Ainsworth, P. Dundas, F.
Alston, R. Dundas, D.
Andover, Viscount Easthope, J.
Anson, hon. Colonel Edwards, Sir J.
Archbold, R. Elliot, hon. J. E.
Armstrong, A. Ellice, Captain A.
Bainbridge, E. T. Ellice, right hon. E.
Baines, E. Ellice, E.
Bannerman, A. Ellis, W.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Erle, W.
Barnard, E. G. Etwall, R.
Barron, H. W. Euston, Earl of
Barry, G. S. Evans, Sir De L.
Beamish, F. B. Evans, G.
Bellew, R. M. Evans, W.
Bewes, T. Ewart, W.
Blackett, C. Fazakerley, J. N.
Blake, M. J. Fielden, J.
Blake, W. J. Ferguson, Sir R. A.
Blake, M. Ferguson, Colonel
Blewitt, R. J. Fitzalan, Lord
Bodkin, J. J. Fitzroy, Lord C.
Bowes, J. Fitzwilliam, hn. G. W.
Brabazon, Lord Fleetwood, Sir P. H.
Bridgeman, H. Fort, J.
Briscoe, J. I. Fortescue, T.
Brocklehurst, J. French, F.
Brodie, W.B. Gillon, W.D.
Brotherton, J. Gisborne, T.
Browne, R. D. Gordon, R.
Bryan, G. Grattan, H.
Buller, C. Greenaway, C.
Buller, E. Greg, R. H.
Bulwer, Sir L. Greig, D.
Busfield, W. Grey, rt. hn. Sir C.
Byng. G. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Byng, rt. hon. G. S. Grosvenor, Lord R.
Callaghan, D. Grote, G.
Campbell, Sir J. Guest, Sir J.
Carew, hon. R. S. Hall, Sir B.
Cavendish, hn. G. H. Hastie, A.
Chalmers, P. Hawes, B.
Childers, J. W. Hawkins, J. H.
Clay, W. Hayter, W. G.
Clements, Viscount Heathcoat, J.
Clive, E. B. Hector, C. J.
Collier, J. Hill, Lord A. M. C.
Collins, W. Hindley, C.
Colquhoun, Sir J. Hobhouse,rt.hn.Sir J.
Corbally, M. E. Hobhouse, T. B.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Hodges, T. L.
Craig, W. G. Hollond, R.
Crawford, W. Horsman, E.
Currie, R. Hoskins, K.
Dalmeny, Lord Howard, hon. E.G.G.
Dashwood, G. H. Howard, F. J.
Dennistoun, J. Howard, P.H.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C.T. Howard, Sir R.
Howard, hn. C. W. G.
Divett, E. Howick, Viscount
Duff, J. Hume, J.
Humphery, J. Power, J.
Hurst, R. H. Price, Sir R.
Hutchins, E. J. Protheroe, E.
Hutt, W. Pryme, G.
Hutton, R. Pryse, P.
James, W. Ramsbottom, J.
Jervis, J. Rawdon, Col. J. D.
Jervis, S. Redington, T. N.
Johnson, General Rice, hon. E. R.
Labouchere, rt. hn. H. Rich, H.
Langdale, hon. C. Rippon, C.
Langlon, W. G. Roche, E. B.
Lascelles, hon. W. S. Roche, W.
Leader, J. T. Rumbold, C. E.
Lemon, Sir C. Rundle, J.
Lennox, Lord O. Russell, Lord J.
Lister, E. C. Russell, Lord C.
Listowel, Earl of Rutherfurd, rt. hon. A.
Loch, J. Salwey, Colonel
Lushington, C. Sanford, E. A.
Lynch, A. H. Scholefield, J.
Macauley, rt.hn.T. B. Scrope, G. P.
Macnamara, Major Seale, Sir J. H.
M'Taggart, J. Seymour, Lord
Marshall, W. Sheil, right hon. R. L.
Marsland, H. Slaney, R. A.
Martin, J. Smith, J. A.
Martin, T. B. Smith, B.
Maule, hon. F. Smith, G. R.
Melgund, Viscount Smith, R. V.
Mildmay, P. St. John Somers, J. P.
Milton, Viscount Somerville, Sir W. M.
Molesworth, Sir W. Standish, C.
Morpeth, Viscount Stanley, M.
Morris, D. Stanley, hon. W. O.
Muntz, G. F. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Murray, A. Staunton, Sir G. T.
Muskett, G. A. Steuart, R.
Nagle, Sir R. Stewart, J.
Noel, hon. C. G. Stuart, Lord J.
Norreys, Sir D. J. Stuart, W. V.
O'Brien, C. Stock, Mr. Sergeant
O'Brien, W. S. Strickland, Sir G.
O'Callaghan, hon. C. Strutt, E.
O'Connell, D. Surrey, Earl of
O'Connell, J. Talbot, C. R. M.
O'Connell, M. J. Talbot, J. H.
O'Connell, M. Talfourd, Mr. Serg.
O'Ferrall, R. M. Tancred, H. W.
Ord, W. Tavistock, Marq. of
Oswald, J. Thornely, T.
Paget, Lord A. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Paget, Colonel Tufnell, H.
Palmer, C. F. Turner, E.
Palmerston, Viscount Turner, W.
Parnell, rt. hn. Sir H. Verney, Sir H.
Pattison, J. Villiers, hon. C. P.
Pechell, Captain Vivian, Major C.
Pendarves, E. W. W. Vivian, J. H.
Philips, Sir R. Vivian, rt.hn. Sir R. H.
Philips, M. Wakley, T.
Philips, G. R. Walker, H.
Phillpots, J. Wall, C. B.
Pigot, rt. hon. D. Warburton, H.
Pinney, W. Ward, H. G.
Ponsonby, C. F. A. C. Wemyss, Captain
Ponsonby, hon. J. Westenra, hn. H. R.
Westenra, hon. J. C. Wood, C.
White, A. Wood, Sir M.
White, H. Wood, G. W.
White, L. Wood, B.
White, S. Wrightson, W. B.
Wilbraham, G. Wyse, T.
Wilde, Sir T. Yates, J. A.
Williams, W.
Wilshere, W. TELLERS.
Winnington, Sir T. E Parker, J.
Winnington, H. J. Stanley, hon. E. J.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Burroughes, H. N.
A'Court, Captain Calcraft, J. H.
Adare, Viscount Campbell, Sir H.
Alexander, N. Canning, rt. hn. Sir S.
Alford, Viscount Cantilupe, Viscount
Antrobus, E. Castlereagh, Viscount
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Cavendish, hon. C.
Archdall, M. Cayley, E. S.
Ashley, Lord Chapman, A.
Ashley, hon. H. Cholmondeley, hn. H.
Attwood, W. Christopher, R. A.
Attwood, M. Chute, W. L. W.
Bagge, W. Clements, H. J.
Bagot, hon. W. Clerk, Sir G.
Bailey, J. Clive, hon. R. H.
Bailey, J. jun. Cochrane, Sir T. J.
Baillie, Colonel Codrington, C. W.
Baillie, H. J. Cole, hon. A. H.
Baker, E. Colquhoun, J. C.
Baldwin, C. B. Compton, H. C.
Baring, hon. F. Conolly, E.
Baring, hon. W. B. Cooper, E. J.
Barneby, J. Coote, Sir C. H.
Barrington, Viscount Cony, hon. H.
Basset, J. Courtenay, P.
Bateson, Sir R. Cresswell, C.
Bell, M. Crewe, Sir G.
Benett, J. Cripps, J.
Bentinck, Lord G. Dalrymple, Sir A.
Berkeley, hon. H. Damer, hon. D.
Bethell, R. Darby, G.
Blackburne, I. Darlington, Earl of
Blackstone, W. S. Davenport, J.
Blair, J. De Horsey, S. H.
Blakemore, R. Dick, Q.
Blennerhassett, A. D'Israeli, B.
Boldero, H. G. Dottin, A. R.
Bolling, W. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Botfield, B. Douro, Marquess of
Bradshaw, J. Dowdeswell, W.
Bramston, T. W. Drummond, H. H.
Broadley, H. Dugdale, W. S.
Broadwood, H. Dunbar, G.
Brooke, Sir A. B. Duncombe, hon. W.
Brownrigg, S. Duncombe, hon. A.
Bruce, Lord E. Dungannon, Viscount
Bruce, C. L. C. Du Pre, G.
Bruen, Colonel East, J. B.
Bruges, W. H. L. Eaton, R. J.
Buck, L. W. Egerton, W. T.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Egerton, Sir P.
Burr, H. Eliot, Lord
Burrell, Sir C. Ellis, J.
Estcourt, T. Irving, J.
Farnham, E. B. Jackson, Mr. Serg.
Farrand, R. James, Sir W. C.
Fielden, W. Jermyn, Earl
Fellowes, E. Johnstone, H.
Filmer, Sir E. Jones, J.
Fitzroy, hon. H. Jones, Captain
Fleming, J. Kelly, F.
Foley, E. T. Kemble, H.
Follett, Sir W. Kerrison, Sir E.
Forester, hon. G. Kelburne, Viscount
Fox, S. L. Kirk, P.
Freshfield, J. W. Knatchbull, rt.h.SirE.
Gaskell, J. M. Knight, H. G.
Gladstone, J. N. Knightley, Sir C.
Gladstone, W. E. Law, hon. C. E.
Glynne, Sir S. It. Lefroy, rt. hon. T.
Goddard, A. Lennox, Lord A.
Godson, R. Liddell, hon. H. T.
Gordon, hon. Captain Lincoln, Earl of
Gore, O. W. Lindsay, H. H.
Goring, H. D. Litton, E.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Lockhart, A. M.
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Long, W.
Granby, Marquess of Lowther, hn. Colonel
Grant, Sir A. C. Lowther, Viscount
Greene, T. Lowther, J. H.
Grimsditch, T. Lucas, E.
Grimston, Viscount Lushington, rt. hn. S.
Hale, R. B. Lygon, hon. General
Halford, H. Mackenzie, T.
Hamilton, C. J. B. Mackenzie, W. F.
Hamilton, Lord C. Mackinnon, W. A.
Handley, H. Maclean, D.
Harcoart, G. G. Mahon, Viscount
Harcourt, G. S. Maidstone, Viscount
Hardinge, rt. hn. SirH. Manners, Lord C. S.
Harland, W. C. Marsland, T.
Hawkes, T. Marton, G.
Hayes, Sir E. Master, T. W. C.
Heathcote, G. J. Mathew, G. B.
Heneage, E. Maunsell, T. P.
Heneage, G. W. Meynell, Captain
Henniker, Lord Miles, W.
Hepburn, Sir T. B. Miles, P. W. S.
Herbert, hon. S. Miller, W. H.
Herries, rt. hn. J. C. Milnes, R. M.
Hill, Sir R. Monypenny, T. G.
Hillsborough, Earl of Mordaunt, Sir J.
Hinde, J. H. Moreton, hon. A. II.
Hodgson, F. Morgan, O.
Hodgson, R. Neeld, J.
Hogg, J. W. Neeld, J.
Holmes, hn. W. A. Nicholl, J.
Holmes, W. Norreys, Lord
Hope, hon. C. Northland, Lord
Hope, H. T. Ossulston, Lord
Hope, G. W. Owen, Sir J.
Hotham, Lord Packe, C. W.
Houldsworth, T. Pakington, J. S.
Houstoun, G. Palmer, R.
Hughes, W. B. Parker, M.
Hurt, F. Parker, T. A. W.
Ingestre, Viscount Patten, J. W.
Ingham, R. Peel, rt. hn. Sir R.
Inglis, Sir R. H. Peel, J.
Irton, S. Pemberton, T.
Perceval, Colonel Sturt, H. C.
Pigot, R. Style, Sir C.
Planta, rt. hn. J. Teignmouth, Lord
Plumptre, J. P. Tennent, J. E.
Polhill, F. Thesiger, F.
Pollen, Sir J. W. Thomas, Col. H.
Pollock, Sir F. Thompson, Mr. Ald.
Powell, Colonel Thornhill, G.
Powerscourt, Visct. Tollemache, F. J.
Praed, W. T. Tomline, G.
Price, R. Townley, R. G.
Pringle, A. Trench, Sir F.
Pusey, P. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Rae, right hn. Sir W. Trotter, J.
Reid, Sir J. R. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Richards, R. Vere, Sir C. B.
Rickford, W. Verner, Colonel
Rolleston, L. Villiers, Viscount
Rose, rt. hn. Sir G. Vivian, J. E.
Round, C. G. Waddington, H. S.
Round, J. Walsh, Sir J.
Rushbrooke, Colonel Walter, J.
Rushout, G. Welby, G. E.
St. Paul, Sir H. Whitmore, T. C.
Sanderson, R. Wilbraham, hon. B.
Sandon, Viscount Williams, R.
Scarlett, hon. J. Y. Williams, T. P.
Shaw, right hon. F. Wilmot, Sir J. E.
Sheppard, T. Wodehouse, E.
Shirley, E. J. Wood, Colonel
Sibthorp, Colonel Wood, Colonel T.
Smith, A. Worsley, Lord
Smyth, Sir G. H. Wyndham, W.
Smythe, hon. G. Wynn, rt. hn. C. W.
Somerset, Lord G. York, hon. E. T.
Sotheron, T. E. Young, J.
Spry, Sir S. T. Young, Sir W.
Stanley, E. TELLERS.
Stanley, Lord Baring, H.
Stewart, J. Fremantle, Sir T.
(Not Official.)
Paired off.
Acland, T. D. Crawley, S.
Burdett, Sir F. Cave, hon. R. O.
Cartwright, W. R. Anson, Sir G.
Copeland, W. T. Morrison, D.
Duffield, T. Roche, Sir D.
Eastnor, Lord Campbell, W. J.
Egerton, Lord F. Denison, W. J.
Fector, J. M. Chapman, Sir M.
Gore, W. R. O. Crompton, Sir S.
Heathcote, Sir W. Wallace, R.
Jenkins, Sir R. O'Conor Don
Jones, W. Shelburne, Lord
Kerr, D. Walker, C. A.
Morgan, C. Heron, Sir R.
Palmer, G. Chichester, Sir B.
Sinclair, Sir G. Sharpe, General
Sugden, rt. hn. Sir E. Butler, hon. P.
Vernon, G. Spencer, hn. Captain
Berkeley, hon. C. Chetwynd, Major
Berkeley, hon. G. Clayton, Sir W.
Bernal, R. Davies, Colonel
Dundas, hon. J. Heathcote, Sir G.
Dundas, hon. Sir It. Lambton, H.
Fenton, J. Maher, J.
Fitzgibbon, hn. Col. Pease, J.
Fitzpatrick, J. W. Parker, R. T.
Grattan, J. Strangways, hon. J.
Hallyburton, Lord D.
Analysis of the Division.
Majority for Lord Sandon's resolution (Tellers included) 319
Minority against (Tellers included) 283
Pairs 18 36
Ministerialists absent 18
Conservatives absent 1–19
Speaker 1

On the question, that the question as amended be agreed to,

Lord John Russell

moved to leave out from the word "considering" to the end of the amendment, in order to add the following words:—

That it is practicable to supply the present inadequacy of the revenue to meet the expenditure of the country, by a judicious alteration of protective and differential duties, without any material increase of the public burdens; such a course, will, in the opinion of this House, promote the interests of trade, afford relief to the industrious classes, and is best calculated to provide for the maintenance of public faith and the general welfare of the people.

Mr. Fielden

moved, that the debate upon this amendment be adjourned. The motion fell to the ground for want of a seconder.

The resolution moved by Lord John Russell was negatived. Main question agreed to as follows:— Resolved, 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 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 duty on foreign Sugars.