HC Deb 21 June 1844 vol 75 cc1212-4

Report on the Sugar Duties Bill brought up and read.

On the question that the Amendments be read a second time,

Mr. Ewart

said, that his hon. Friend (Mr. Hume) being unavoidably absent, had requested him to embody the Motion of which his hon. Friend had given notice. He objected to the Bill as it now stood, because it was uncertain in its application, and because the merchants would not know how to act under it. He also objected to it because it left Government the power to say, from time to time, what sugar should be admitted and what should not. This was a power which might be abused; but, at all events, it was most objectionable in this—that it was a transfer of the legislative power of that House to the President of the Board of Trade. It was said that the preterit measure had for its main object the putting down of the Slave Trade. They had already attempted that by means of treaties and steamers and gun-boats; but they had failed. By our former measures on this subject we had interfered with the external relation of Foreign States. By the present Bill we were about to interfere in their internal affairs. But in this we should also fail, for the Bill was based on erroneous principles. He would call on the House to adopt one of two alternatives—either to define more clearly what were the terms on which free-labour sugars were to be admitted, or at once to admit foreign slave-labour sugars. This was not a question of party, but of principle, and he hoped the House would so consider it. The present measure did not set the door of importation fully open; but rather left it ajar, and so did not do justice to either party. He concluded by moving to leave out from the words That the, to the end of the question, in order to add the words, "distinction sought to be established between free-labour and slave-labour sugar not being supported by any adequate definition in the Bill, and such absence of definition (while it devolves an unusual and objectionable amount of discretionary power on the Government) leaving the British and foreign merchant in a state of uncertainty as to the import of sugar, it is expedient, either clearly to define the limits within which the merchant is to act, or to admit free-labour and slave-labour sugar at the same rate of duty.

Mr. James

said, that the Motion now before the House was neither more nor less than one which had been brought forward on a former occasion, and against which the hon. Member for Montrose had both voted and spoke. If anything at his time of life could astonish him, it would be the fact of the hon. Member for Montrose putting such a Notice as the present on the books of the House. It would seem as if the hon. Member had been down to Epsom among the jockies, and, tutored by them, had endeavoured to run an aged horse and a feather against a three-year old and twelve stone. But it would not do. The House would not be taken in by the attempt. He should like to know from Her Majesty's Government whether they intended to give up the emancipation scheme or not? If they intended to act on it, and carry it fully out, it must be by extensive immigration of free-labour in our West-India Colonies. It was said that we might bring in free-labour to a large amount from India. Upon this point it had struck him as a question for consideration, whether regiments of Sepoys might not be induced to do duty in our West-India Colonies, and after a few years obtain small portions of land, which they might be willing to cultivate by a bounty of a small pension, and that after a little time their officers might be induced to assist in this plan by similar encouragement. At all events, it would enable them to supersede the black regiments, and thus increase, to a certain extent, the number of labourers in the Colonies. He would also put it to the Home Secretary whether convict-labour might not advantageously be employed in the West Indies? In many parts of Jamaica and the other islands they might be employed without serious injury to their health, and thus be enabled to earn a great portion of their subsistence, while the punishment inflicted would be greater. On the whole, he could not support this Motion, because he thought it unjust.

Mr. D. Barclay

gave the Government credit for their desire to carry out the great plan of the abolition of slavery. He hoped when they introduced their measure next Session they would bring it forward at an early period, and would effect a permanent settlement of the question, for until it was settled trade would be embarrassed, the revenue would be impaired, and all persons connected with the Colonies would suffer injury. He could not support the Amendment of his hon. Friend.

The House divided on the question that the words proposed to be left out, stand part of the question:—Ayes 183; Noes 65: Majority 118.

List of the AYES.
Ackers, J. Barrington, Visct.
A'Court, Capt. Baskerville, T. B. M.
Acton, Col. Bateson, T.
Adderley, C. B. Beckett, W.
Allix, J. P. Beresford, Major
Antrobus, E. Blandford, Marq. of
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Borthwick, P.
Arkwright, G. Botfield, B.
Astell, W. Bowles, Admiral
Bailey, J. Brooke, Sir A. B.
Baillie, Col. Brownrigg, J. S.
Baird, W. Bruce, Lord E.
Bankes, G. Bruges, W. H. L.
Barclay, D. Buck, L. W.
Baring, T. Buckley, E.
Barneby, J. Bunbury, T.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Hornby, J.
Campbell, Sir H. Houldsworth, T.
Campbell, J. H. Hughes, W. B.
Chapman, A. Hussey, A.
Chelsea, Visct. Hussey, T.
Chute, W. L. W. Irton, S.
Clayton, R. R. James, W.
Clerk, Sir G. Jermyn, Earl
Codrington, Sir W. Jones, Capt.
Colquhoun, J. C. Ker, D. S.
Cresswell, B. Knight, F. W.
Cripps, W. Lefroy, A.
Damer, hon. Col. Legh, G. C.
Darby, G. Lennox, Lord A.
Davies, D. A. S. Lincoln, Earl of
Denison, E. B. Lindsay, H. H.
Dodd, G. Long, W.
Douglas, Sir H Lopez, Sir R.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Lyall, G.
Douglas, J. D. S. Lygon, hon. Gen.
Douro, Marq. of McGeachy, F. A.
Dowdeswell, W. Mackenzie, W. F.
Drummond, H. H. Mackinnon, W. A.
Dugdale, W. S. McNeill, D.
Duncombe, hon. O. Mahon, Visct.
Du Pre, C. G. Mainwaring, T.
East, J. B. Manners, Lord J.
Eastnor, Visct. Meynell, Capt.
Egerton, Sir P. Mildmay, H. St. J.
Eliot, Loid Milnes, R. M.
Entwistle, W. Mordaunt, Sir J.
Estcott, B. Morgan, O.
Eastcourt, T. G. B. Mundy, E. M.
Feilden, W. Neville, R.
Ferrand, W. B. Newport, Visct.
Forman, T. S. Nicholl, rt. hon. J.
Gaskell, J. Milnes Norreys, Lord
Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E. O'Brien, A. S.
Gladstone, Capt. Palmer, R.
Godson, R. Palmer, G.
Gordon, hon. Capt. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Gore, M. Peel, J.
Gore, W. O. Plumptre, J. P.
Goulburt, rt. hon. H. Polhill, F.
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Pollington, Visct.
Greene, T. Powell, Col.
Gregory, W. H. Richards, R.
Grimsditch, T. Rolleston, Col.
Grogan, E. Round, C. G.
Halford, Sir H. Round, J.
Hamilton, J. H. Rous, hon. Capt.
Hamilton, G. A. Russell, C.
Hamilton, Lord C. Russell, J. D. W.
Hanmer, Sir J. Shaw, rt, hon. F.
Harcourt, G. G. Shirley, E. J.
Hardy, J. Shirley, E. P.
Harris, hon. Capt. Sibthorp, Col.
Hayes, Sir E. Smith, A.
Heathcote, Sir W. Smith, rt. hn. T. B. C.
Heneage, G. H. W. Smollett, A.
Henley, J. W. Somerset, Lord G.
Hepburn, Sir T. B. Sotheron, T. H. S.
Hervey, Lord A. Stanley, Lord
Hodson, F. Sturt, H. C.
Hodgson, R. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Hope, hon. C. Tennant, J. E.
Hope, G. W. Thesiger, Sir F.
Thompson, Ald. Vesey, hon. T.
Thornhill, G. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Tollemache. hon. F. J. Whitmore, T. C.
Tollemache, J. Wodehouse, E.
Trench, Sir F. W. Wood, Col.
Trevor, hon. G. R. Wynn, rt. hn. C. W. W.
Trotter, J. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Turner, E. TELLERS.
Verner, Col. Young, J.
Vernon, G. H. Baring, H.
List of the NOES.
Archbold, R. Marsland, H.
Armstrong, Sir A. Muntz, G. F.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Murphy, F. S.
Barnard, E. G. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Bouverie, hon. E. O'Brien, J.
Bowes, J. O'Connell, M. J.
Brotherton, J. O'Conor Don
Buller, E. Paget, Col.
Busfeild, W. Pattison, J.
Byng, rt. hon. G. S. Philips, M.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Plumridge, Capt.
Collett, J. Ponson, hn. C. F. A. S.
Curteis, H. B. Rawdon, Col.
Dalrymple, Capt. Redington, T. N.
Dashwood, G. H. Ricardo, J. L.
Dennison, W. J. Rice, E. R.
Dennistoun, J. Russell, Lord J.
Duncan, G. Scholefield, J.
Duncannon, Visct. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Dundas, Adm. Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Dundas, D. Stanley, hon. W. O.
Easthope, Sir J. Stanton, W. H.
Esmonde, Sir T. Strickland, Sir G.
Ferguson, Col. Thornely, T.
French, F. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Tufnel, H.
Howard, hn. C. W. G. Warburton, H.
Howard, hn. E. G. G. Ward, H. G.
Howick, Visct. Wawn, J. T.
Langston, J. H. White, H.
Langton, W. G. Yorke, H. R.
Layard, Capt. TELLERS.
Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B. Ewart, W.
McTaggart, Sir J. Bowring, Dr.

Amendments agreed to. Bill to be read a third time.