HC Deb 24 February 1845 vol 77 cc1043-151
Mr. Milner Gibson

rose to move the Amendment of which he had given notice, and said: If the House will give me indulgence for a short period, I will endeavour, as briefly as may be consistent with a clear exposition of the views I entertain, to explain the grounds why I have thonght it proper to move an Amendment, which is as follows:— That no arrangement of the Sugar Duties will be satisfactory and permanent, which does not involve an equalization of Duty on Foreign and Colonial Sugar. I am aware that there is an objection entertained by many Members of Parliament to the moving of what are called "abstract" Resolutions; and certainly, if I were asked the question whether or not it is a desirable course to move an abstract Resolution without indicating any practical result to follow; I should answer that such a course would not be the wisest for a Member of Parliament to pursue. But it is not necessary to ask the assent of the House to what may be termed the "abstract principle" contained in this Resolution, because I believe that principle has already received the full and unqualified concurrence of the Ministers of the Crown; and, as I believe, also has been affirmed by the great majority of the Members of this House. It is because this Resolution is a practical Resolution, and indicates a mode of arranging the Sugar Duties on something like a permanent footing, that I have undertaken to submit it to the House. The course I have taken is fully sanctioned by precedent; because it will be in the recollection of the House that when the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool—on a mode of arranging the Sugar Duties having been brought forward by the late Executive Government—submitted his view in the form of a Resolution; in that Resolution he indicated what he conceived would be a fitting mode of placing those Sugar Duties on a permanent footing. The point to which he drew the attention of the House was the necessity of maintaining a distinction between sugar the produce of slave labour and free labour in the markets of this country. The noble Lord contended that it would be inconsistent with the course hitherto taken by Parliament with regard to the Slave Trade, so to arrange the duty on foreign produce as to give a direct encouragement to the Slave Trade. But though the noble Lord invited us to take that course, as something like a permanent settlement of the Sugar Duties, experience has proved that no settlement was effected; for the question of the Sugar Duties has ever since been in a state of constant suspense. Since that period the sugar trade has been in continual uncertainty and depression; and we have had already to pronounce our opi- nion on several distinct measures for altering the taxation on sugar. And we know well that nothing is so prejudicial to the sugar trade of the country as to subject the duty to continued alterations. The questions which have been put to the right hon. Gentleman this evening are strong arguments in favour of something like a permanent settlement of this matter being effected. The hon. Member for Coventry has been calling upon the Government to make some recompense to those parties who will be visited with a great loss in consequence of their having paid a higher duty than it is now proposed to levy on the sugar which they held as stock in hand; and the hon. Member for Norwich also put a question of a similar tendency to the proposition of the hon. Member for Coventry, showing how much the holders of duty-paid sugar would be affected by the alteration of the duty. But I think I shall have no difficulty in obtaining the consent of the House to a principle which is palpable and consistent with common sense—namely, that we should endeavour to place the Sugar Duties upon such a footing as would be likely not to be changed for a long time to come. I am aware that the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer will tell me that there is constitutional difficulty in making the Sugar Duties depend upon a permanent Art of Parliament. I am perfectly aware that this is one of the duties which, upon constitutional principles, are reserved for an annual vote by the House; but it does not follow that it should not be arranged and based upon such a footing as would make it probable that Parliament would sanction it in subsequent years, and not subject the sugar trade to the injurious consequences of frequent changes. But the point to which I wish to call the attention of the House—and which I think must necessarily be introduced preliminarily to any arrangement of the Sugar Duties—is the protection which you propose to give to the colonial proprietors. I call your attention, Sir, not to the question of the Slave Trade or of slavery, because I leave that to be discussed upon some future evening upon moral and philanthropic grounds; but I call your attention to a plain question of justice in taxation—to a matter which I think I can make clear to every man—namely, that it is not consistent with our duty as legislators, when we are resolving ourselves into a Committee of Ways and Means for the sole purpose of voting a supply to Her Majesty to meet the current Expenditure of the country—that it is not consistent with our duty at the same time to take the opportunity of levying another tax, as it were, which is not to be paid to the public Exchequer, or to be applied in defraying the expenses of the country, but it is to be appropriated to a certain class of our fellow-countrymen who have not yet made out any good claim for any such favour, and have not set forth any intellible ground why we should take this legislative mode for making compensation for any alleged grievance. But it is proposed to take this indirect mode of putting the hands of the Colonial proprietors into the pockets of the people of England at a moment when we are professing simply to be engaged in voting money for the Public Expenditure. What is the position of the House at this time? The right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury has invited us to go into a Committee of Ways and Means to vote a Supply to Her Majesty. I make not the slightest objections to accede to that invitation. I think, if you are to raise taxes by indirect duties on articles of consumption, a duty on sugar is a very simple and natural one. No one could object to sugar as a subject of taxation for the purposes of revenue; but it is to the second object the Government evidently has in the mode of imposing this tax that I object—namely, by imposing a different rate of duty on Foreign and Colonial Sugar, to divert the amount of the tax paid by the consumer from the Exchequer to the Colonial proprietors. It is to that part of the proposition I entertain an insurmountable objection. There can be no doubt such must be the result of the measure based on the principles submitted by the right hon. Gentleman to the House. Nothing is more clear than this, that if you impose different rates of duty with reference to the place where the sugar is grown, then the amount of that difference will, in many cases, go into the pockets of some particular class of persons, and will not find its way into the Exchequer. If this position be doubted, I will endeavour to make it clear; and if there be any fallacy in my statement, I hope some hon. Gentleman will set me right. I will take, as an illustration, two samples of sugar in bond of equal intrinsic value—of equal value I mean in the markets of the world. I will take that value at 24s. the cwt. To one of these samples I will apply a duty of 28s.; to the other sample I will apply a duty of 14s. What is the consequence? It is quite clear that if the sample to which I applied 28s. be sold in the market of this country, it must fetch 52s.; because that is the sum of 24s. and 28s. It is also equally clear that the other sample, being of equal intrinsic value, must also fetch in the market an equal price with the first. But to this second sample I apply the duty of 14s., and still it, in the same markets must fetch 52s.; but if you deduct 14s. from 52s., what is left?—38s. The supposed intrinsic value of the sugar is 24s. exclusive of duty. Add to 24s. a duty of 14s., and that makes 38s. But in the former case, the intrinsic value is also 24s.; but there is a duty of 28s. which makes 52s. Now, deduct 38s. from 52s., and that leaves 14s. Here, then, is a difference of 14s. between the price in bond of Foreign and Colonial sugars. How does this difference of price arise? Certainly not from the intrinsic value of the sugars, irrespective of duty, because both Foreign and Colonial sugars are assumed to be at 24s. the cwt. The difference then arises from the duty—that on Foreign sugars being 28s., that on Colonial being 14s., and hence a difference of 14s. But to whom does this difference go? Not to the consumer, because the price of both Foreign and Colonial is the same in the market. Then it must necessarily go to the grower of Colonial sugar. Now, in all these cases, it is clear that this excess of price goes into the pockets of the Colonial proprietors, and not into Her Majesty's Exchequer. The question is not, whether the identical duties which are received at the Custom House go into the public Exchequer; but whether the additional price paid by the consumer in consequence of your differential duties goes to the Public Revenue. If not—and my argument is that it does not—then I contend that a gross act of injustice is perpetrated upon the people of this country, for which they receive no adequate compensation. I do not know whether any Gentleman will dispute that such is the effect of a differential duty. If you impose a rate of differential duties, you will attach to the value of every description of Colonial sugar the full amount of the difference of those duties. If the amount of protection be 10s., as the right hon. Gentleman says it is, then 10s. will be added to the value of all Colonial sugar over and above the price it would otherwise sell for. The right hon. Gentleman first adds 14s. duty to the price of Colonial sugars, and he then adds 10s. (according to his own statement) to that price, by way of protection, by subjecting Foreign sugar to an extra tax to that amount. What, then, is the real extent of this fraud—if I may use so strong a term—upon the Revenue, as resulting from this system of protection? The right hon. Baronet told us the other evening, that he expected 230,000 tons of Colonial sugar to be consumed in this country in the course of the next year. Now, this, at a duty of 10s. per cwt., being 10l. a ton, upon 230,000 tons, amounts to 2,300,000l. That is the sum which we are now invited to take from Her Majesty's Exchequer, and pay over to the West and East India proprietors. 2,300,000l., for whch no explanation has been given, is to be taken out of the pockets of the people of this country and be paid over to our Colonial producers. What a monstrous act of injustice this appears to be upon the face of it! I know there are Gentlemen who will contend that there are good reasons why the Colonial proprietors should thus be entitled to deduct 2,300,000l. from the Public Exchequer next year. I know there are Gentlemen here who would contend that a case has been made out for such a transfer of the public money. But I, as a Member of Parliament, representing the public interest, and not the interest of any peculiar class, am entitled to ask, what are those grounds and reasons? I am entitled to ask that something like a case should be substantiated before the claim is assented to, and that the House should not, in a blindfold manner, make a transfer of so large a sum of the public money to individuals of whose right or claim no notice whatever has been given to the House. We are invited to give money to Her Majesty's Exchequer, but we have since been asked to give 2,300,000l. to the West and East India proprietors. Why was not that mentioned also in the invitation? Why not set forth, as it were, in your proposition? The Government are ostensibly doing one thing, but in reality are doing another, and a very different thing. I should be the last man to advocate the principle I am now advocating, if I thought that any injustice would be done to our Colonies. I hope hon. Gentlemen will not attach to me the charge so frequently thrown out, that because a Member of Parliament advocates justice in national taxation, that therefore he must necessarily be influenced by peculiar animo- sity against some particular class of British producers. I say it with the most perfect confidence, that there is no man in the House who would be more glad and desirous than I am to see the Colonial proprietors prosperous, and that all the interests connected with our English settlements should go on prospering and flourishing. But it is quite consistent with such a desire that I should be anxious to prevent any undue tax being imposed upon the people of this country. And if there be one duty more incumbent on a Member of Parliament than another—or if there be one course of action which is more distinct and legitimate for him to follow than another, it is that he should take care that the taxes levied upon the people of this country should not be applied to private and individual uses, but scrupulously devoted to public purposes, and faithfully used for meeting the National Expenditure. I hope I may advocate these principles fairly and boldly, without laying myself open to the charge of being actuated by any peculiar animosity against the West and East India proprietors. It has been alleged that there are grounds for transferring these 2,300,000l. during the next year to the Colonial proprietors. It has been alleged that by the legislation of this country in former times, you acted towards the Colonial proprietors in such a manner as to give them a just and equitable claim upon your Exchequer. If that be so, I should prefer a more direct mode of making that claim than that of giving a compensation to the West and East India proprietors in the form of a monopoly. I believe it would be more satisfactory also to the public, if they could see an account made out—for there is nothing which the British people like so much as a balance-sheet, fairly set forth in a clear and perspicuous manner—and if a just claim could be made out, they would not object to compensate the parties from the public Exchequer. I contend that no such claim has been or can be made out; and that whatever difficulties the Colonists may have laboured under in consequence of what may be termed the legislation of this country, have been amply compensated in the shape of the vote of public money to the amount of 20,000,000l. sterling. I remember the right hon. Gentleman now at the head of Her Majesty's Government distinctly stating that we were entitled to deal with the West India interests according to our judgment; that we had purchased the right to do so. When the right hon. Gentleman used that expression, I conceived that he alluded to the twenty millions granted to the Colonies by the British Parliament. With regard to the alleged deficiencies of negro labour in the Colonies, and to the difficulties said to have been caused by legislation, I wish to make this observation to the House:—If 2,300,000l. are to be given out of the pockets of the people. I would ask, is it reasonable to give it to other than those who complain of these grievances, of want of labour, and impediments caused by legislation? Have the East Indies, has the Mauritius, or have even some of the West India Islands themselves, suffered from want of labour? Why, then, do you propose to give to the proprietors of the Colonies this large sum of money indiscriminately? Many of them never pretended to have any claim upon the House; and if it be true that some of the West India Colonies are deficient in negro labour in consequence of legislation, is that a reason why you should give this monopoly to the Mauritius, the East Indies, and those islands of the West Indies which have no such deficiency? If we are to vote this 2,300,000l. in this indirect and unsatisfactory manner, at any rate let us vote it to those who have a claim upon us, and not indiscriminately to them and to parties who have no claim. We know, and the hon. Member for Paisley (Mr. Hastie) will substantiate the statement I am about to make, that there is no part of the globe in which labour is more abundant and cheaper than in British India; and I believe I am correct when I state, that at the present moment in the Mauritius there is a surplus of labour, and that persons are wandering about for want of employment. So great is the number of Hill Coolies who have arrived there, that there is not sufficient labour for them. This is a point which must not be lost sight of. If it be right to vote this 2,300,000l. to the Colonists on the ground of a deficiency of labour, it cannot be right to give it to the East India possessions, to the Mauritius, or to those islands of the West Indies which have a sufficient supply of labour. It must be admitted, too, that Barbadoes is at the present moment overflowing with labour; so likewise is Antigua. Now, all these, I contend, ought to be left out of the list of share of 2,300,000l. This, then, will very much reduce the number of Colonial producers who can have any fair and just claim upon the Legislature for compensation. The list of exceptions are the British East India possessions, the Mauritius, Barbadoes, and Antigua. Let us now consider whether the residue of Colonial producers (after striking these out of the list) are themselves entitled to any portion of this 2,300,000l. What is the alleged grievance with reference to the deficiency of labour? It is meant to be said that labour is dear in consequence of labour not being abundant. It is meant to be said that the cost of the production of sugar in these West India islands is increased by the difficulty of obtaining labour, except at a high rate of wages. These are the allegations; but what are the facts of this case? We must receive very cautiously the statements of interested parties when we come to the question of the cost of producing sugar. Therefore, if I take any evidence on this point, I will confine myself solely to such evidence as must be deemed credible and important, as coming from persons entitled to be considered authorities upon the subject, and at the same time totally disinterested. What, in the first place, then, was the cost of producing a cwt. of sugar during the time of slavery, at a period when the thought of the emancipation of slaves was not very substantially or confidently entertained by any portion of the community? I will take the year 1828, the emancipation of the slaves taking place in 1834. I will state the cost of producing a cwt. of sugar with all the advantages of slavery, when it existed in its most unmitigated form. The authority I shall quote is entitled to respect, it being that of one of the public officers of the present Government—Mr. Porter, of the Board of Trade—a gentleman perfectly disinterested, and who has written a very able book on the Culture of the Sugar Cane. What does he say as to the price of producing a cwt. of sugar during the period of slavery? Why, he says that the cost of producing a cwt. of sugar previous to 1828, when slavery existed and emancipation was hardly expected, was 9s. 10¼d. He states, that for a period of ten years, from 1819 to 1829, the expense of cultivating a particular estate in the West Indies, including salt provisions, provision grounds, lumber stores, expenses of manufacturing sugar, and the salaries of overseers, amounted to 26,851l. The number of slaves, of all ages and both sexes, averaged at 140. The produce for these years was 29,492 cwt. of sugar, and 164,285 gallons of rum. The rum, valued at 1s. 6d. per gallon (it is now 2s. 4d.), would amount to 12,321l., thus leaving a balance of 14,530l. as the cost of cultivating the sugar, being at the rate of 9s. 10¼d. per cwt. This is what Mr. Porter informs us, and he is a perfectly disinterested authority. I am aware that very different statements may be brought forward, made by West India gentlemen before Committees of this House, in which they have endeavoured to make out that the cost of production has increased since the abolition of slavery; but I contend that if we, as Members of Parliament, are to resort to authorities, let it be the authority of a public officer—a man of great experience, and possessing the confidence of the Government—and let us not refer as authorities to less impartial sources, or persons who may have some purpose to serve. The evidence of such a man as Mr. Porter is worth five hundredfold more than evidence given by interested parties before a Committee of this House. I have given you the cost of the cultivation of a cwt. of sugar during a period of slavery—namely, 9s. 10¼d. I will now give you the cost of producing a cwt. of sugar since slavery has been abolished, and this also upon an authority which must have great weight with the House. I will give an estimate of the costs on two estates which are at the present moment subject to all those difficulties which are now complained of, and which are alleged as the ground of this proposed protection to the colonist. The quotation I shall make is from the Jamaica Royal Agricultural Society's Reporter of the 20th of June, 1844. It is a quotation which has appeared in a very ingenious periodical, which I am sure Her Majesty's Government cannot fail to have read, namely, the Economist newspaper. It is to that paper that I am indebted for my information. It is a fact, not an argument. The statement is this:— The Clarendon Agricultural Society gave a prize of 20l., or a piece of plate of that value, to the manager in the parish making the greatest quantity of sugar at the smallest cost, from the 1st of January to the 31st December, 1843, all things considered. To the manager's expenses are added all other expenses, which are included in the estimates of the cost of the cwt. of sugar during the time of slavery. But what is the sum stated in this report as the cost of producing one cwt. of sugar? On one of the estates, the cost was 10s. 2d.; and on the other, it was about 6s.d. So we have a good authority for stating that the cost of producing one cwt. of sugar in the West India islands during the period of slavery, was 9s. 10¼d., while at the present moment it was something between 10s. 2d. and 6s.d. I want to know why that can possibly be a ground for giving the West India proprietors a protecting duty of 10s.? Why, 10s. is more than the whole cost of the sugar! I will take the protection duty at 10s., as stated by the right hon. Gentleman (Sir R. Peel) himself, though rumour is saying that the measure of the right hon. Gentleman will give a larger protection. But, taking it at 10s., I ask upon what ground is it that you give this large additional price upon every cwt. of sugar produced in the West India Colonies? I repeat, 10s. is more than the cost of all the labour; so that if Brazil could grow sugar for nothing—if their sugar rained down from the skies, without the slightest effort used by common industry to produce it—still this protection duty of 10s. on Colonial sugar will subject the sugar of Brazil to a disadvantage as compared to the produce of the West Indian proprietors. Can anybody deny the justness of this argument? Have I not established this fact upon sufficient authority? If it be so, I ask, are we, without any further inquiry, or without any attempt to resist this obnoxious tax in favour of our Colonial sugar,—are we calmly to allow you to take the public money, and not call upon you emphatically, and in a spirit of remonstrance, to give us a clear and satisfactory account of what it is you mean by asserting a necessity for imposing this 10s. protection duty? If you say it is in consequence of the deficiency of labour in your West India Colonies, then I ask you, is that the fact? Will any Member of the West India body, get up and state that even in the Colonies which suffer most, they find any real difficulty in obtaining labour, or that they suffer any difficulties from the fewness of labourers? Why, the noble Lord, the present Secretary of the Colonies, who now sits in another place, told us, a year or two ago, that the present quantity of labour in the West India Colonies was sufficient, if that labour were properly applied, and if the labourers were properly used; and he went on to say, that if all the remains of those evil practices which existed during the time of slavery were abolished, and if the West India proprietors would attempt to carry out the principle of emancipation in a faithful and true spirit, there would not be any difficulty—I think I am entitled to infer this much from the language of the noble Lord—in obtaining a continuous supply of labour. These were his words The noble Lord, in the debate of the 24th of February, 1842, said,— He would venture to say this, with respect to the expense of cultivation, that there was no single instance in which this natural consequence had not followed as effect and cause,— namely, that when they gave to the negro labourer an interest in the amount of work to be performed, and in the amount of produce raised, then they would obtain constant and industrious labourers; but when they did not give that interest they would not obtain them. The amount of competition carried on there at present was ruinous. The planters were competing with each other in this way, by employing their labourers for a certain time, and paying them accordingly; and not giving the labourers an interest in their work, by awarding according to the actual portion done This, he thought, was a great cause of the ruinous expense which the planters were now subject to in the West India Colonies. Thus, then, it appears that the reason why you cannot get labour in the Colonies continuously, and why you cannot get the negro to give his exertions in your service, is based on a very natural ground—it is that you will not reward him according to the work he does. If this be a correct statement—and I have it on the word of Lord Stanley himself, who ought to be an authority with the West India proprietors—for the noble Lord was a great advocate for the 20,000,000l. compensation grant—why then, I say, that if you were to adopt the same principle with respect to your British labourers, and were to deal with them as you have with the West India labourers, by not paying them according to the work they did, I very much doubt whether, in many branches of industry, you would not find the same difficulty to obtain continuous labour, as that which you now complain of in the Colonies. It was stated the other night at a public meeting, that besides the deficiency of labour, the West Indies laboured under another evil—the number of able-bodied paupers. If so, it presents a very strange anomaly; for on the one hand we hear that there is not a sufficient number of labourers, and on the other that there is such a surplus of labourers that parts of the West Indies abound in able-bodied paupers. This seems a mere contradiction, unless we can suppose that there is such affinity between able-bodied paupers and monopoly, as we know exists between certain chemical substances, which, to the uninitiated, appear to be of very opposite natures. If these able-bodied paupers exist, their existence arises, in my belief, from the nefarious system pursued in the West India Colonies with reference to the manner in which labour is employed. You create the greatest repugnance to the employer, if you persist in making the freeman a slave. I doubt whether the conditions imposed upon a great number of West Indian labourers are not inconsistent with the spirit of the Emacipation Act, and with the notion that the negro was to be raised to all the rights and privileges of the freeman. There is another reason why you experience great difficulty in your West India Colonies, which was formerly adverted to by the noble Lord at the head of the Colonial Department, who pointed out so many of the causes of the present condition of affairs there. The noble Lord pointed to the absentee system, which prevails to such an extent, that as long as it continues it is in vain to hope that industry would be productive under any system of monopoly or protection. The great bulk of West India proprietors live away from their estates, and are ignorant of all the branches of industry necessary to the cultivation of their estates. Those estates are left entirely at the mercy of overseers and attorneys, persons who have no interest in the permanent value of the inheritance, but merely in getting as much out of the soil as will answer their own purposes. Manufacture, agriculture, distillery, chemistry, are all necessary to the production of sugar—all these are entirely neglected by the only person who has a real and lasting interest in the successful cultivation of his property. I may ask my hon. Friend the Member for Stockport (Mr. Cobden), if he were to reside in Vienna, and leave his print-works to be conducted by attorneys and agents, bent only on filling their own pockets, whether he would find it possible, however favourable markets and prices might be, to continue his business with such profit as ought to give him a due return for his capital? Yet this is the condition in which the West India proprietors place themselves. An English landowner lets his estate to a tenant, and it has at least the benefit of the personal presence and exertions of that tenant; but the West India proprietor, who is landlord, tenant, manufacturer, distiller, and merchant, all in one, comes to us and tells us that his business is not profitable, and that the Representatives of the people of this country must levy a contribution on the great mass of working industry, in order to make good a deficiency produced by his own absurd and injurious management. Every body, I think, must admit that there is considerable force in this observation; but I would not claim for it that merit, if it had not been already made by persons of greater authority, and by nobody, perhaps, oftener than by the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies. For my own part, I should be sorry that my hon. Friend the Member for Weymouth (Mr. Bernal) should exchange his agreeable residence (to no one more agreeable than to his friends) in Eaton Place for the island of Jamaica. I should regret, also, that he should be exposed to the influences of that unpleasant climate; but I confess I see no hope for the West India body, unless they take upon themselves the management of their estates in person, instead of trusting them to those who have not the same interests as the proprietors. There seems to me no hope, unless the proprietors will gird up their loins, and quit this country in order to attend to their own business abroad. There can be no prosperity for the West India Colonies by any arrangement or juggling of duties in this House. No majorities here will give prosperity to the West Indies; and no dancing attendance at the Colonial Office will accomplish any such end. Nothing can be done for these Colonies but by adopting a better system of management—a more economical application of labour—an introduction of better modes of cultivation, by the application of science and machinery. The noble Governor of Jamaica, Lord Elgin, has stated that the mere substitution of the plough for the hoe would make a difference of 50 per cent. in the amount of production. Are all the authorities I have taken the liberty of quoting to go for nothing? and is nothing to be done for the West India Colonies but through protection and monopoly? But I would ask whether the most convincing facts may not be brought forward to show that the little labour in the West Indies is very ill applied? Of what comparative use is manual labour if you do not make it more productive by the employment of machinery? It has been long a maxim in our manufacturing districts, that if you have only so much manual labour you must increase it by machinery; and why is not this principle to be applied to the West Indies? There has been no necessity to use such arguments to our manufacturers at home; they have retained possession of the markets of Europe, not by manual labour, but by having discovered that it is expedient to unite machinery and labour, in order to make both adequately productive. That must be done in the West Indies. I observe in a West Indian journal of great merit and consideration, the speech of a Captain Dillon, in which he urges this doctrine in an extremely able and sensible manner; he asked whether it was not more advisable for them to expend part of their Colonial income in purchasing steam-engines, and in importing new machines from England, than in promoting the immigration of fresh labourers? In truth, he took a most sound view of the subject; and it is a fact, that during three centuries there has not been the slightest improvement in the cultivation of sugar. I have been told, on the best authority, that the steam-engine, which has proved go beneficial an aid of human labour, has not been generally used in the West Indies. Upon this point I will venture to read a short extract from a West Indian newspaper, which deservedly possesses considerable influence in the Colonies. It is called the West Indian, and the editor remarks,— We have repeatedly declared our conviction, that obstinate perseverance in the use of manual labour, in the production of sugar, must prove ruinous; the only safe alternative if to resort to a plan which, in a great measure, would supersede its use. It seems to me that this obvious resource has been entirely neglected in the West Indies; and there cannot be a more striking proof how unwilling the West India interest is to make any effort to render labour productive, than the fact I am about to mention. At present, a great number of labourers are employed, in consequence of want of facility of locomotion, and the means of conveying goods from one part of the island to another; and some spirited individuals, therefore, proposed a railroad between Kingston and Spanish Town. Not one of the gentlemen whose interests are protected, and whom protection, according to their own account, stimulates to improvement, could be found to give countenance and support to this undertaking. Who, then, were the parties who did come forward to take up the proposition, and to furnish the funds? The persons who have no confidence in protection, but who look forward to the adoption of free trade, and to exposing the West Indies to free compe- petition with the produce of the world. These were the parties who found the money for the railroad between Kingston and Spanish Town; who relied upon the soundness of their own principles; and who, as necessity, according to the old proverb, is the mother of invention, see the time not far distant when competition will reduce the West Indies to the necessity of introducing improvements. If the West India proprietors had faith in their own principles, why did not they step forward to establish this railway? If protection affords such a safe investment of capital, why did they let others step in to reap the advantage? The truth is, that they believe there is to be a speedy end to protection; and, so believing, why do they not give it up at once, instead of keeping trade, manufactures, and the interests of the producer in the West Indies, in such continual suspense and uncertainty? I am persuaded that the West India Colonies are enervated by protection; and the reason why the railway project was left to free-traders was that the West India proprietors are enervated by monopoly. This is an important fact, which ought not to be forgotten, and nothing tells so well upon Members of Parliament, and upon the British public, as plain and stubborn facts; and here we see that not a single protectionist could be found to take a step in the matter, while it was left entirely to those who advocate the principle of the equalisation of duties. Is there not, then, some ground for the assertion that monopoly enervates; and that in order to make a branch of industry flourish, it must stand on the sound, solid basis of free trade and competition? I will not dwell longer on this part of the question, because I fairly admit that if it could be shown that, in the West Indies, plans of most economical cultivation are adopted—if it could be shown that protection has worked all the good the most sanguine of its advocates could predict, I should still say that it was an injustice to the great body of the community. I should still say that our merchants had a right to supply the consumer with sugar by the operation of commerce with Brazil and Cuba. I should still place the question on the broad ground of justice and sound policy. I maintain that you cannot, with any show of justice, interfere with freedom of exchange, and that if we had an ample supply of sugar, and at the prices of the world, it is incumbent upon us to change the system, and to adopt the principles of free trade, in justice to all classes of Her Majesty's subjects. I know that such an abstract view of the question is not palatable to hon. Members on the other side; they are fond of saying that although protection bears on the face of it injustice to the rest of the commerce of the Empire, yet that we gain an advantage by some extension of importation, by some increase of trade, by some augmentation of power, or by something which has a tendency to satisfy the people that national interests are consulted. Let us take, then, a short view of this allegation. Can it be said that we augment our imports by the protection afforded to the West India Colonies? Here I ought to say, that I take the liberty of limiting my statement to the West India Colonies; because I well recollect that, when the right hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. Labouchere) brought forward the question of the Brazil Trade, the right hon. Member for Newark (Mr. Gladstone) said, that protection was not meant for the Mauritius, nor for British India, but solely and exclusively for the West India Colonies. I shall, therefore, direct my argument to that point, and I ask whether protection has increased our imports from the West Indies? I will take a period previous to the abolition of slavery, and I assert that your production was decreasing for many years before 1834, when Emancipation was carried. Your production and your importation were decreasing, in spite of your boasted monopoly and the advantage of slave labour. It is not to be forgotten that this protective duty was enacted at a time when you were owners of slaves, and the employers of slave labour. It did not arise out of any new theory, or from any philanthropic considerations regulating taxation, or the imposition of duties; but it was adopted during times of slavery and slave labour. Nevertheless, the imports from the West Indies had been gradually failing; and what has been the case since? Notwithstanding the vast increase of our population—notwithstanding the vastly augmented demand for sugar—and notwithstanding our vaunted anxiety to promote the comforts of the labouring classes—notwithstanding, I say, all this, your imports have been nearly stationary. They may have varied a little from year to year; but I believe I am correct in stating that there was a larger quantity of sugar imported in 1834, the very year of emancipation, than during the year 1844, the last date to which the accounts have been made up. It will be in the recollection of the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government, that he distinctly informed us that there had been no material increase in the quantity of sugar imported from the West Indies, and that although in one year, perhaps, it might have been a little greater, still that upon the whole the import had been comparatively stationary. And when we consider the enormous increase in population, what a real deficiency does this establish? The same limited amount has been divided between such an increased number of persons, and how much smaller a share must have fallen to the lot of every poor person! We know that the middling and higher classes have not diminished their consumption of sugar, so that the diminution must have fallen upon the poorest classes, and so far their few comforts must have been materially reduced. Can anything be more unreasonable than to doubt the evil inflicted upon this community by continuing your supplies of sugar mainly from the protected West Indies? Let us look at the price of sugar last year as derived from continental price-currents; let us look at the average price of Colonial sugar in bond during the last year; there were none but Colonial sugars consumed last year, excepting a very small quantity of slave-grown sugar, which the right hon. Baronet cannot keep out of the market. It may be said, therefore, that the consumption was entirely sugar of our own Colonies, and what was the average price here and abroad? It was 21s. per cwt. on the Continent, and 34s. at home. Thus there were 13s. per cwt. difference upon no smaller a quantity than 207,000 tons: 13s. per cwt. is 13l. per ton, and 13l. per ton upon 207,000 tons, according to my calculation, makes a difference of no less than 2,600,000l. paid by the people of this country for their sugar beyond the price paid for an equal quantity on the Continent. Is this legislating for the benefit of the poorer classes? Is this in accordance with the Queen's Speech, that we were at last to consider the condition of agricultural labourers and artisans in the various branches of industry, with a view to promote the comforts of the lower orders? Are you prepared to maintain that the working man in England shall pay 13s. per cwt. more for his sugar than the working man upon the Continent? Is that your pretended sympathy for the sufferings of the poor, and your vaunted anxiety that their comforts should be increased? Are not such professions disgusting, and do they not tend to humiliate us in the eyes of the world? It is humiliating for us to affect such sympathy for the working classes, and to show such real anxiety for the welfare of protected interests. We cut down the expenditure—we pretend the deepest regret at the sufferings of the poor—we are anxious to relieve the great body of the tax-payers from their burden, but we coolly, and without explanation, inflict a real impost of several millions a-year on the lower orders in the shape of protection to the West Indies, and augment the miseries we profess to feel and pretend to relieve. It is substantially made out that your imports have not been increased by protection; you had monopoly and slavery, and your imports declined, and now you have monopoly and free labour, and your imports are stationary. But some may assert that exports do not depend upon imports, and that our exports have increased—that we have a larger trade with the West Indies than if protection were abolished. Is this the fact? Is not the fact the very reverse? Have your exports increased under the protective system? Certainly not. They were as great in 1794 as they are now. It may, indeed, be alleged that in 1794 the West India Colonies were the mart for the supply of our manufactures to the Spanish Main, and that on this account the comparison is not fair: I will, therefore, take the last twenty years, and ask whether your exports have materially increased? Have they shown a disposition gradually to augment? Quite the reverse. The House does not like to be troubled with tables, but let us look for a moment at the exports at various periods during the last twenty years. At this moment they were not so great as in 1794, when the exports amounted to 3,632,073l. In 1804 they were 4,281,736l.; 1814, 6,315,000l. 1824, 4,837,086l.; 1829, 6,612,085l.; 1842, 2,591,425l.; and in 1843, 2,882,441l.; The difference, therefore, between 1824 and 1843 was upwards of 2,000,000l., so that this beneficial system of protection had had the effect in twenty years of most importantly reducing the exports. If there be truth in figures this point is incontrovertible. I sit here having the honour to represent the borough of Manchester; and, as a Manchester man, if you prove to me that the West Indian is a better buyer of cotton goods than a Brazilian, I will say that there is something in protection; but I never heard it stated that the West Indian pays one farthing more for a bale of calicoes than a Brazilian; and what is the benefit of protection to the manufacturer if one customer pays no more than another? What is the use of telling me in an indefinite way that protection is beneficial, when facts cry out loudly that it is injurious? I have satisfactorily shown that both imports and exports have been lessened by it. You may tell me, to be sure, that the East India trade has increased under a system of protection; but let us look at the facts a little there too—let us analyse the various commodities, and we shall find that instead of protection having done good, free trade has done good. The increase has mainly been in articles not protected, such as indigo and wool, while in sugar it has been comparatively small. I see that my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley (Mr. Hastie), smiles at my statement, and I am ready to defer to him as unquestionably a great authority on such matters; but I contend that the improvement of trade with the East Indies establishes the advantages of free-trade principles. What other argument can be used in favour of monopoly? I may be told, indeed I have been told, that it has long been the practice to protect our Colonial interests—that it is part of our English policy, and that it ought not to be discontinued at once. If so, how inconsistent is the right hon. Baronet (Sir Robert Peel), who proposes to admit cotton from India upon the same terms as cotton from the United States, or from any other part of the world. Only the other day he admitted the wool of foreign countries upon the same terms as the wool of Australia. Were not those departures from his principle of protection? Consistency in wrong is therefore on every account out of the question, and protection resolves itself into an arbitrary system, which you choose to adopt whenever you have the power to enforce it. I believe that the right hon. Baronet would be willing to put an end to it, but that he is prevented by his Parliamentary supporters who have placed him on that bench, a situation he is reluctant to relinquish, though he retain it at the price of some of the best interests of the community. I have shown it is not for revenue, because I have shown that whilst we are putting a tax upon the consumer, we only pay a portion of it into the Exchequer, and the remainder is paid over to private individuals. Therefore, this protection cannot be for revenue, for it defrauds the Revenue. I have shown you that it is not for imports, for the quantity of sugar imported into this country under it has not increased. I have shown it is not for exports, because the trade with our Colonies which has been protected, has been a stationary trade, and has not been favourably influenced by your protection. I have shown that it is not for consistency, for the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government has but the other evening proposed to admit Foreign and Colonial produce upon the same terms. I have shown that it is at variance with sound principles, which principles are admitted by the First Minister of the Crown, and assented to by this House. I have shown that it is at variance with the principles laid down by eminent philosophers and political economists. What, then, must we presume to be the meaning of this protection? It is only an arbitrary tax, levied on the people of this country by force of the numbers who support the monopoly in this House, for which there is no adequate return. That is the position which I am entitled to take upon this question, unless you show me that my arguments are ill-founded, and I have been misled by fallacies. And I say that, if my reasoning has been fallacious—if I have assumed anything which I ought not to have assumed—or have been misled by anything like false reasoning—I call for the refutation. But I do say, as a Member of this House representing an important manufacturing district—representing a great body of the industrious classes—if you fail in that refutation I am entitled to ask you to desist from this unworthy system of legislation. If you fail in that refutation, I ask you to desist now, and I believe that no future time will be better fitted than the present. To Her Majesty's Executive I would say emphatically, if they would only beard some of their supporters, and resist the oppression practised on the Executive Government of this country, be they Whig or Tory, by these great monopoly interests—I say if they would do this, although the right hon. Baronet might for a short time forfeit the Parliamentary confidence of a few of his supporters, he would be backed by the intelligence and public virtue of the great body of the community, and considered as a Minister who had acted in a manner at once just and fair to all classes of Her Majesty's subjects. I should be unwilling to do injustice to the West Indies. If I thought this proposition of mine had the slightest tendency to injustice, and did not show a due regard to the interests of any portion of my fellow-countrymen, I would not be the man to bring this question forward. But because I believe that the interests of the West India proprietor, the merchant, the consumer, and the Revenue, in short, of all classes, are combined in the abolition of this Colonial protective system, because I firmly believe this, I advocate the abolition of all distinctive duties. We want not the example of foreign countries. We have been told that foreign countries are more restrictive than Great Britain, and that if we do make these sacrifices, sacrifices of the few for the benefit of the many—if we do make these sacrifices, we have been told that foreign countries are acting on a different principle. That may be true to some extent; but if we see the fallacy of our legislation, don't let us make it an argument, because foreigners choose to tax the consumer for the benefit of a favoured few, that we take the same course. But is it true? Have we not some bright examples of foreigners not adopting the same system of Colonial protection? Take the case of the Dutch Government. The Government of that country admits the sugar and coffee, and all the produce of Java, upon the same terms as the produce of Brazil and Cuba, and other foreign countries. That is to say, at the same rate of duties. And what is the consequence—what is the practical result of that fair competition? Why, that the production of sugar by free labour in Java has gradually increased during a long period of years, and has risen from 10,000 to 50,000 tons. But, Sir, I have the figures here, and I will take the liberty of stating them to the House. I know, however, that the House does not like tabular statements, and I will only, therefore, say, that from 1829 to 1843, the produation of sugar in Java increased from 91,227 cwts. to 929,583, or nearly 1,000,000 cwts. Here is an increase with fair competition with the sugars of Brazil and Cuba—free labour against slave labour, a competition which you are unwilling shall take place in this country. Here is a bright example which may satisfy you that free labour produce may compete with slave labour produce; and I call upon you, if you have any wish to see the emancipation of the slaves carried out in all parts of the world, not to sanction that dangerous doctrine, that the labour of the free man cannot compete with the labour of the slave. I have now done, but before I sit down I will thank the House for the indulgence with which they have listened to me. If I have said one word that may at all be supposed to show a feeling of animosity to any peculiar interest or class, I wish most distinctly to deny that I had any such intention. My object is simply to see a sound system of legislation adopted, and with that single remark I conclude by moving my notice as an Amendment upon the Order of the Day. The hon. Member concluded by formally moving the Amendment stated at the commencement of his speech.

Mr. Ewart

said, he did not regret, but rejoiced, that his hon. Friend (Mr. Gibson), in a moment of inspiration, had taken this cause out of his hands; the magnitude of his constituency, and the ability with which he advocated their common principles, entitled him to discharge the duty upon which he had voluntarily and properly entered. He regretted, however, that those who occupied the Bench below (the front Opposition Bench) had not earlier brought this important subject under the consideration of the House; and that the noble Lord the Member for London, instead of moving an Amendment with regard to the relative proportions of duty, did not meet the whole question by boldly moving the equalization of the duties on Foreign and Colonial sugar. He should rather have seen that noble Lord, instead of engaging in a system (if he might so call it) of flirtation with free trade, entering into the holy bonds of matrimony with her. When he thought of the position of that noble Lord and of free trade, he was sometimes inclined to quote the lines often cited before— Libertas: quæ sera tamen respexit inertem; Candidior postquam tondenti barba cadebat: Respexit tamen, et longo post tempore venit. But the principles of free trade, adopted first of all, perhaps, by Members of the extreme Opposition, supported afterwards by the Whig Members of the House, and finally taken under the protection of the right hon. Baronet opposite, were working their way silently and securely, and must eventually triumph. The evil of this protective system was proved by the statement the House had just heard; and that statement was confirmed by the evidence of Mr. J. D. Hume, and Mr. M'Gregor, by the testimony of Mr. Porter, and allowed by every writer on finance. The enormous pressure of this taxation upon the people would scarcely be credited. The House had no right to restrict the free trade in sugar. The Foreign trade of this country went on increasing; its Colonial trade did not increase in an equal ratio; what right had they to exclude their people from that increase? Let the House look at the relative proportions of the trade of this country, and of America with Cuba. The United States carried on a trade with Cuba double that of this kingdom, and solely in consequence of these unjust and oppressive duties. Let them take the case of Brazil and China—the two parts of the world with which most especially their trade might be extended. An enormous duty was placed upon the tea of China, and the sugar of Brazil, and thus the operations of trade were limited and restricted. But it might be urged, in the case of sugar, that this duly was kept up because of the existence of slavery. Did they think they could put down slavery by fiscal regulations? Why, suppose that when first their great manufacturers introduced the cotton and tobacco of America into this country, they had been objected to because they were the produce of slave labour; would the rejection on this ground have destroyed slavery in the United States? He believed there was only one great emancipator, and that was commerce. That was the only legitimate means for destroying slavery, or the Slave Trade, in any portion of the world. The unhappy traffic in human beings was more undermined by the slightest influence of commerce, than by all their gunboats, or by any naval armament. The merchants of Liverpool and of London, who traded with the western coast of Africa, were doing more to put down the Slave Trade by encouraging commerce, than all the surveillance of the coast by all the naval powers of Europe. The real remedy for slavery, which was ostensibly held forth as the cause of these high duties, was, therefore, the extension of commerce. But he should be told that they were bound to maintain the existing protection of Colonial interests. What had been the result of all their protection? Lethargy — complete paralyzation of the powers which ought to be called out and developed in the West Indies. His hon. Friend the Member for Manchester had alluded to what was going on there. He had spoken of the Kingston and Spanish Town railway. Now he happened to be connected with that very railway, and could confirm what he had said. A near relative of his happened to be the Chairman of the Board of Directors of that railway, and he would take the opportunity of remarking, that so far from finding the poor negroes unwilling to work, he bore testimony to their industry, for they were the workmen employed in the execution of the undertaking. There was great promise that the enterprise would be a successful one, and well repay the British capital embarked in it. One of the greatest maladies of the West Indies was the gigantic evil of absenteeism. Talk of the absenteeism of Ireland, what was that compared with the West Indies, at a distance of 3,000 miles from the residences of so many of the proprietors of the land. How was it possible that the proprietors of land in the West Indies could ever exercise that paternal care over their property which was so necessary to develope its resources? There was his hon. Friend the Member for Cumberland below, and he would ask his hon. Friend whether the system of agencies and overseers was that best calculated to bring forth the energies of our Colonies? He knew that the most sound thinking men amongst the West India proprietors saw the evil of absenteeism; and he also knew that many of them were sending out at this moment excellent agriculturists from England, who understood the chemical properties of the soil, and the proper application of manures, and agricultural machinery; they were, in fact, applying all the modern refinements adopted in our present system of agriculture to the development of the West Indies. These were the men who would call forth the energies of the West Indies and increase their produce, and not the protectionists. This species of competition in the West Indies was but an echo from this country; and when it came into full operation it would produce great results. Competition was the only means of putting down slavery and developing the resources of the West Indies, and not fiscal regulations and naval armaments. But he might be told that they had now introduced to the notice of Parliament a mode of settling the question of the Sugar Duties. Did they call their present plan a settlement of the question? Why, if the system which they introduced last year, which drew the distinction between free and slave-labour sugar—if that was not a settlement of the question, he should like to ask if the present scheme was anything like an approximation to it? A more intricate scheme — one which had perplexed the sugar traders, accustomed as they were to all the perplexities of fiscal duties—a more complicated scheme, he would say, had seldom been propounded; and he did not know any one in the trade, whose authority could be relied upon, who did not say that the discriminating duty now attempted to be created would be vain, and could not be carried out with success, and that the ad valorem would not tell in favour of the poor consumer. He knew not by what means the clear intellect of the right hon. Baronet had been induced to adopt such a complicated scheme as this; perhaps it might be attributed more to the credulity of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer than to the right hon. Baronet; and it might have sprung from the West India proprietors, seeing that it would operate, if at all, beneficially to themselves. He thought it was vain to draw a distinction between different kinds of sugar; there would be a mixture of clayed with Muscovado, and all kinds of ingenious devices would be resorted to which would surely defeat the object of the right hon. Baronet. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer might recollect the attempt to establish this distinctive mode of duty as to tea; but it was found that different kinds of tea were so intermingled, that it was impossible to maintain the discriminating duties, and they were finally abandoned. He (Mr. Ewart) ventured to predict a similar fate for the proposed discriminating duties on sugar. The true policy of the right hon. Baronet should be to adopt as low a duty as he could, without any distinction as to quality. His hon. Friend the Member for Manchester was influenced by no factious motive: it was for the consumer alone that he advocated this equalisation of the duty, and it was only by a low duty that justice would be done to the consumer. None of the present measures were likely to be successful. The present duties were fraught with injustice—they imposed an enormous amount of taxation—they limited trade—they did not put down slavery or the Slave Trade—they did not really advance the interests of the West India colonists, neither did they settle the question, but kept it in a state of perpetual agitation, more detrimental to the colonists than any other part of the community. While the question was in its present state of agitation, it was impossible that the Colonies could prosper, and, as he had before said, the discriminating duties, on the authority of the most experienced of the sugar merchants, could not be satisfactory, and he believed that the right hon. Baronet did not think they could be lasting. With these convictions he should second the Motion of his hon. Friend; and he was convinced that, although for a few years the present false system might be carried on, it would at last sink under the weight of public condemnation, so fraught as it was with uncertainty and injustice.

Mr. James

said, that after the allusions which had been made to him by the hon. Member for Dumfries, it might not be improper for him to rise for the purpose of making a few remarks early in the debate. In the last Session of Parliament he, as one of the West India Proprietors, was amongst those who ventured to make an appeal to the justice and sympathy of the Government on behalf of the distressed West India interest; and it was most gratifying to find that the appeal had not been altogether made in vain. He was anxious to avail himself of this, the first opportunity which had been afforded to him, to offer respectfully his thanks to the right hon. Baronet for the relief which he had felt it to be consistent with his public duty to offer to the West India interest—a relief which he could assure him was much wanted by that body. Whether it would be sufficient to enable them to cultivate their estates with much profit he did not know; but he did hope that, at least, it would be the means of securing them from those extremely heavy losses which they had had to sustain by keeping their estates in cultivation for the last two or three years, in the hope of the arrival of better times. With respect to the question before the House, he certainly gave credit to the hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester for the best intentions in bringing this subject forward. He believed that the hon. Gentleman's object was to give cheap sugar to the people, and not to court popularity. But he must confess that the hon. Gentleman was not very par- ticular as to the means by which he could effect his object. He (Mr. James) begged to remind him that the resolution of the Government, when it was carried into effect, would give cheap sugar to the people. It would be 11s. 3d. per cwt. cheaper than at present, or between 1d. and 2d. per pound, and that without inflicting injustice on any one. If the Amendment which had been moved were carried into a law, it would inflict a most grievous injustice upon millions of human beings. It would be the means of rendering slavery and the Slave Trade more profitable than ever; and thus would inflict more torture on the African race, and fresh injustice on the colonists. The hon. Gentleman who made the Motion had said that it would be very convenient not to discuss this question of slavery or the Slave Trade at present; but that appeared to him (Mr. James) to be the most important part of the whole question. To leave out the question whether they should encourage slavery or not, would be like performing the play of Hamlet, and leaving out the character of Hamlet. The hon. Gentleman had talked about the great relief which was about to be given to the West Indian planter, which he estimated at 2,300,000l., but he must be permitted to doubt whether that would be the case. He did not know where the hon. Member obtained his figures from, but he should think that amount of relief was much overrated. Both the hon. Mover and Seconder of the Amendment had said that the estates could not be cultivated by agents. He agreed with them that the presence of the proprietor was most desirable, in proof of which, as he had stated last year, his son resided on his West India property. It had been said that sugar cost 6s. or 7s. per cwt.—now it cost no such thing. He believed that it would be produced for 5s. or 6s. a cwt.; but even at that cost estates did not produce any profit. The freight was 5s. per cwt., and notwithstanding, they wanted to bring the sugar of the West Indies into competition with the sugar of the East Indies, which was frequently brought home as ballast. He did not know whether his hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, who had brought forward that Motion, was a cotton-spinner or a master-manufacturer; but whether or not, he must know that the manufacturers of Manchester paid some thousands of pounds weekly as wages to their work-people. Now what would the hon. Member think if it was proposed to put those manufacturers, paying that amount of wages, into competition with other manufacturers who paid no wages at all? Now this was precisely what he wanted to do with respect to the unfortunate West India planters. If they agreed to the Motion of the hon. Member, the effect would be to bring back the Slave Trade in a more cruel and more horrible form than ever. That was the proposal; but he was sure there was too much good sense and too strong feelings of justice in that House ever to sanction, he would not say so iniquitous, but at all events, so unjust and unfair a proposition. His hon. Friend had again reminded them of the compensation which they had received. That subject had often been discussed. He wanted to know if the constituents of his hon. Friend had been, by an Act of that House, placed in such a situation as that their mills and machinery would be of no value to them, would they be satisfied to receive half-a-crown in the pound as compensation for a loss of that kind? He would venture to say they would not be satisfied. Now they (the West India) interest had received exactly that kind of compensation. They had, indeed, received some compensation for their slaves, but they had received no compensation whatever for their lands. Now, land could not be tilled without labour. How would the hon. Member's constituents feel if an Act of Parliament had been passed to deprive them of the use of their mills and machinery? It was really difficult to speak with any patience on the subject. If the West India interest had had justice done them, some step should have been taken towards the close of the apprenticeship system to ensure them a supply of labour. The want of labour, or sufficient supply, was the reason why they had been in such a state of difficulty for the last ten years. The hon. Member for Dumfries had said that we used slave-grown coffee, and slave-grown cotton, and why not slave-grown sugar? Sugar required an immense deal of labour for its cultivation, which was not the case either with cotton or coffee. The objections to the admission of slave sugar was not so much because it was produced by slaves, as because it would tend greatly to stimulate the Slave Trade. Much had been said about the price of sugar and the prospects of the West India planter. Now, the cost of producing a hogshead of sugar in Jamaica was about double the price at which it could be pro- duced either in the Brazils or Cuba; and if the West India planters were to be placed on equal and direct competition with the planters of Brazil and Cuba, the consequences would be, that they would be driven out of the market, the cultivation of their estates must cease, and they would be altogether ruined. If his hon. Friend's Motion was carried into effect, there would be such a demand for slave sugar to supply this country, that all expectations of inducing Foreign States to emancipate their slaves would be hopeless. After all the exertions of this country for the last thirty-five years, under all Governments, Whig and Tory—after expending about 35,000,000l. of money in the attempt to put down the detestable and nefarious traffic in human beings—the Amendment of the hon. Member for Manchester, if it were carried, would make that traffic more flourishing, and give it such an impetus that no power on earth could control or put it down. He remembered that formerly Lord Brougham observed in the debate on the case of Missionary Smith, "man can have no property in man." That maxim was greatly admired at the time; but now a feeling appeared in some quarters to adopt the exactly opposite principle. He could not sit down without alluding to one most respected friend of his who had not changed his opinions on this question: he meant Dr. Lushington, and who still remained as much as ever opposed to every thing which would promote the Slave Trade. The true question, however, was confined within a very narrow limit—it was this, that those who wished to carry out effectually the abolition of slavery and the Slave Trade should support the plan of the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government, while those who wished to support and keep up a traffic in slaves should vote for the Amendment.

Mr. Ricardo

thought that if he wished, like the hon. Member who had just sat down, to speak in favour of one class, he might easily find means to make out a case. The abolition of the export duty on coals was a matter of some importance to his constituents; and the earthenware of foreign countries might be brought into competition with their earthenware, in consequence of the regulations of the right hon. Baronet allowing coal, clay, and iron to be exported free; but his constituents were not so ungenerous as to look to their own interests alone; they were willing to trust to their own resources, considering that to be the only real element of success; they were too independent and too honest to look for their prosperity to the subsidies of their fellow-countrymen. But they had a right, he thought, to ask what was the reason why so much was taken off one class of persons to be laid upon them; they could not understand what supernatural attribute belonged to sugar and its twin sister, corn, that they should be excepted from the same operation that had been practised on almost every article else that passed throught the right hon. Baronet's hands. They could not understand what "divinity doth so hedge" these articles that should except them from the fate of other articles of commerce; they could not understand how the principles which the right hon. Baronet had proceeded upon with respect to other articles could be made consistent with the manner in which he meant to deal with sugar. The right hon. Gentleman, when he talked of the duty on raw cotton in bringing forward his Budget, said— I know it will be said that this trade is now in a flourishing condition; but we must not disregard the formidable competition to which it is exposed; we must consider how materially this cotton manufacture has contributed to the strength of the country, how materially it aided in enabling us to go through successfully that great conflict in which we were some thirty years ago engaged—what thousands and tens of thousands of persons there are who are indebted to it for their occupation and subsistence. Seeing and considering these things—seeing the amount of duty imposed upon the coarser fabrics—seeing the extent of competition to which they are exposed—seeing the importance of this manufacture to the commercial greatness of this country, we are prepared to advise the abolition of the duty upon cotton wool. The estimated loss to the Revenue by the abolition of the duty on cotton wool, taking as a guide the amount received last year, will not be less than 680,000l. In that instance there was no compromise as to cotton from the East Indies—no temporizing in order to see if we could obtain reciprocal advantages from the United States—no slave labour or free labour considerations urged—no compromise of any kind made; but total abolition of the duty was resolved upon. In future times would any one who took up Hansard—that record which could not be disputed of proceedings in Parliament—believe that the right hon. Baronet announced to the House of Commons the measure respecting sugar, whilst the words in which he had proposed the total abolition of the cotton duty were still ringing in the ears of hon. Members. Any person reading that speech would say that no two measures were ever more opposed or distinct from each other than the principles which the right hon. Baronet acted upon in dealing with cotton and sugar, and that while the one was simple, effective, and just, the other was complicated, weak, and unjust, and above all, as he sincerely believed, altogether impracticable. The one measure went upon the principle, that by affording fresh facilities to your imports you will increase your exports; and the adoption of the other involved the sacrifice of one of the best markets in the world for our manufacturing produce. By the one you take off a duty which interferred with the extension of your manufactures without waiting to see whether any modification of the Tariff of the United States can be got in return; and by the other you inflict a deep injury on the Brazils, on account of some differences in philanthropic tenets and philanthropic feelings. If any proposition has ever been laid on the Table of the House which warranted the Amendment proposed by his hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, it was the one brought forward by the right hon. Baronet. His hon. Friend had proposed as an amendment,— That no arrangement of the Sugar Duties will be satisfactory and permanent, which does not involve an equalization of duty on Foreign and Colonial sugar. The plan of the right hon. Baronet was unnecessarily complicated. He (Mr. Ricardo) found that there were no less than nineteen different descriptions or rates of duty to be levied on sugar; according to that plan, he could almost have imagined that the 400 and odd duties that were to be taken off had been transplanted into the paper which detailed the plan, and was in the hands of the hon. Members. The plan was full of distinctions without differences, and differences without distinctions; of ad valorem duties that would be inoperative, together with numberless useless and vexatiously minute details. There was too a needless sacrifice of revenue without any corresponding advantages. He was ignorant of the source from whence the right hon. Baronet had obtained his information, nor did he know what aid the right hon. Baronet had provided for carrying his scheme into execution; but if any man would tell him in practice where Muscovado ended, and clayed sugar began—if he could mention any test by which clayed sugar could be distinguished, or by which it could be ascertained if sugar had been clayed at all; then that man was more acquainted with the trade than any of the eminent merchants who had passed their lives in it, with whom he had spoken on the question. If the right hon. Baronet had found such a man in England, for the service of the Custom House, it was matter of congratulation to him, for such a man would be wanted immediately. The right hon. Baronet should take care at once to engage him and secure his services for the Custom House. The Government said their officers had certified that they could distinguish them; but the brokers of most experience in the sugar trade declared that could not be done. He had received several letters from merchants most extensively engaged in the trade, who all described the scheme as extravagant and absurd. He would trouble the House with an extract from one of their communications, the circular of an extensive wholesale broker who said,— It is almost ludicrous to find ourselves thus travelling backward in commercial legislation; neither Mr. Vansittart, nor any of his predecessors, ever sought to introduce any measure more annoying or vexatious in its operation than this is likely to be. Every mat or bag of sugar, say upwards of 700,000 to the port of London alone, will require to be specially examined and decided upon by a Custom House officer—who must stand, 'test in hand,' to pronounce authoritatively upon a differential duty against the importer to the extent of 17 per cent, on the 14s. per cwt. rate. His hon. Friend the Member for Manchester had spoken of the immense sacrifice made by the people of this country as regarded the price of sugar; he thought that his hon. Friend said that the difference between the price of sugar in this country before it passed through the Government turnpike, and the cost of it on the continent, was 13s. the cwt., or 13l. a ton. Now he (Mr. Ricardo) made the difference in price even more than this. He found that last year the average price in bond, according to the Gazette, was 34s. per cwt., while the average price per cwt. on the Continent was only 20s., thus showing a difference in the amount of sacrifice made by the English consumer of 14s. the cwt., or 14l. per ton. The amount of the consumption of sugar in this country is 20,700,000 cwt. Thus the unnecessary expenditure or sacrifice to England, in the purchase of sugar alone—without contributing till that were paid one farthing to the Revenue—was 2,895,000l. He had examined the matter as to the effect of the right hon. Baronet's plan; he had taken the right hon. Gentleman's own figures as to the estimate of the consumption of sugar for the next year, and he made out the following result. The right hon. Gentleman said, that we should consume 15,000 tons white clayed foreign at the natural price of the world, subject to the highest duty of 28s. per cwt.; 5,000 tons of brown clayed, or Muscovado, at a duty of 23s. 4d.; 70,000 tons white clayed Colonial, at a duty of 16s. 4d.; and 164,000 tons of Colonial Muscovado or brown clayed, at a duty of 14s. These different rates of duties being thus chargeable would act as protective duties; thus the

15,000 tons at the 28s. duty would be at its natural price, and there would be no loss.
5,000 tons at the 23s. 4d. duty will establish a relative protection to the extent of 4s. 8d. per cwt., or £23,333
70,000 tons at the 16s. 4d. duty will establish a protection to the extent of 11s. 8d. per cwt. on the natural price of the world; and of 7s. on the protected foreign Muscovado; the whole protection will be equal to, at 11s. 8d. 816,666
160,000 tons at the 14s. duty will establish a protection to the extent of 14s. per cwt. on the natural price, 2s. 4d. per cwt. on the clayed Colonial, and 9s. 3d. per cwt. on the foreign Muscovado; the whole protection being at 14s. 2,240,000
Showing a greater sacrifice to be made by the English consumer, under the proposed plan of the Ministers, than was made under the previous arrangements. Then, as to the Revenue, he thought that there could hardly be a question that if there was an equalised duty on all sugar that the Revenue would be greatly increased, for it could be shown to demonstration that whenever there had been a reduction in the price of sugar, the consumption had increased, not merely in proportion to the reduction, but in a much greater ratio. Thus, if they took Mr. M'Culloch's estimate of the allowance in workhouses at 34lbs. per head per annum, which might very fairly be taken as a low average of the power of consumption of the whole population, the population being 28,000,000; the consumption of sugar, in the proportion which he had stated, would be 952,000,000 lbs. Now, taking an equalised duty of 1½d. per lb., or 14s. per cwt., the amount which the right hon. Baronet proposed to levy as the new duty on West India sugar, the revenue or amount of duty would be 5,950,000l. Deduct from this, in round numbers, four millions, which the right hon. Baronet estimated as the amount of revenue, there would remain 1,950,000l. If to this were added the charge of the extra cost price of sugar, which has been taken at 3,079,000l., it will give as the result 5,029,000l. as the amount of loss to the consumers of sugar; and this amount might very easily be transferred to the Revenue of the country, instead of being thrown away, as it was to be by the right hon. Baronet's measure. The consumers would not suffer more by paying this amount to the Public Revenue than by paying it to the West India proprietors, to whom this amount would be paid without any corresponding advantage. This amount was very nearly equal to the receipt of the Income Tax; it equalled in fact the estimate of the sum the right hon. Baronet took as the expected revenue from that tax. He thought, therefore, that it would be more consistent with the right hon. Baronet's character as a financier, and more politic in him as a Minister, if he had come down to that House, and instead of asking them to continue the Income Tax, in order to enable him to reduce the duties upon sugar, he announced his intention of reducing the duties on sugar, to enable him to dispense altogether with the Income Tax. He knew that such a proposition would be met by considerable grumbling from hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House, and by some angry speeches from hon. Members on both sides of the House; but let the right hon. Baronet depend upon it that public opinion was the true source of power—that it alone would retain him in the situation he now occupied—and that with it he might safely set at nought all the growlings or grumblings that might be raised against those concessions which the necessities of the time demanded. He believed that the right hon. Baronet would willingly make those concessions if he were not afraid of his Parliamentary majority. He saw signs of such a disposition in every commercial arrangement which the right hon. Baronet made, excepting those which related to corn and sugar. He quitted his ordinary path as regarded these, and entered into a compromise with the monopolists of them, unworthy of his great station, and his great financial reputation. He hoped the West Indian proprietors would see the necessity of yielding in time—that they would begin to find out that the ball was rolling, and that nothing that they could do would suffice to stop it, and that they would at length discover that their better course was to follow the example of the English manufacturers to trust to their own ingenuity and their own resources, and at once give up the absurdity of protection and monopoly. Capital so unnaturally employed, was like a house built upon sand, and all their protection and discriminating duties would not prevent it from falling. His advice to them, then, was, to yield gracefully, in a time of prosperity, that which would be forced from them at a period of adversity.

Sir G. Clerk

After the repeated discussions which have taken place upon this subject, and feeling with the hon. Member for Manchester how very little abstract discussions are suited to the taste of this House, I shall, upon the abstract part of the question, touch lightly indeed. The hon. Members for Manchester and Stoke-upon-Trent, who have addressed the House with so much ability, although they began with observations directed against the maintenance of all protective duties whatsoever, found it more convenient to confine their subsequent observations to the subject matter now before us—as to whether any protection should be granted to the Colonial producers of sugar, than to argue the question upon general grounds. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Stoke-upon-Trent said, if particular interests were to be considered in dealing with the proposed changes, that he might put in a claim on behalf of his constituents. The removal of the duty on coal will affect them little indeed, and he might easily take credit for being generous upon such a point. But I should like to know what sort of a reception the hon. Gentleman would receive from his constituents, if he were to propose to them the removal of the duty on French porcelains and china. [Mr. Ricardo observed that he had told them so a thousand times.] With respect to the removal of the export duty on coals, he suspected the effect would be experienced at distant parts of the country, and not by the constituents of the hon. Gentleman. The removal of the export duty upon coal they may readily agree to, because it cannot affect them much; but their readiness to agree to that proposition does not at all prove that they are prepared to give up all protection. [Mr. Ricardo had approved of the removal of the protecting export duties on china, stone, and clay.] I will not dwell upon that point. The hon. Gentleman says, that the right hon. Baronet's proposals regarding the Sugar Duties are inconsistent with the removal of the duty upon cotton, wool, and other raw materials, which form the basis of most of our important manufactures. Those questions must be considered each upon its own grounds, and in dealing with the question of sugar, it is our duty to look to the peculiar condition of our colonists in the West Indies, and to see whether it is such as to justify us in continuing protection to them—in continuing protection to a particular article—in the produce of which great masses of people are engaged, and a great amount of capital is invested. I admit that the protective system may be carried too far; that it has already been greatly abused in attempting to bolster up manufactures not suited to the clime or circumstances of the country. But in the complicated state of this country, both as regards her institutions and her finance, with the pressure upon her of a great debt, it becomes a different question whether you will remove all protection from her domestic industry. It by no means follows that protection is to be given to every article to the same extent. There are branches of manufactures in this country for which we possess peculiar advantages, and it would be absurd to say that they could be benefited by any system of protection. That, however, does not apply generally to all; and when you come to consider the peculiar case of the West Indies I must say that I think they have, in their present situation, a strong claim upon this House. Recollect what was the situation of those Colonies until a recent period. Under a system of cultivation which had received the sanction of the Legislature of this country, I mean the system of slave-labour, supplied by the importation of negroes from Africa, our West Indian Colonies were enabled to produce not only a sufficient supply of sugar for this country, but were enabled to export besides large quantities of that article to the continent of Europe. This country, most wisely and justly, about forty years ago, put an end to the traffic of slaves in our Colonies, and ten years ago it determined that slavery should no longer exist in any part of the British dominions. About that time the House came to a resolution to the effect that, however desirable it might be, and however praiseworthy the object, to seek the immediate abolition of slavery, yet, that the people of this country must be prepared for the results of such a step, and expect that for a certain time the production of sugar would be greatly diminished, and that they would, in consequence, be obliged to pay an enhanced price for it. The House in effect said at that time, you cannot expect both the blessings of liberty to your fellow-subjects in the West Indies, and cheap sugar. Now, let us see what, up to a late period, was the effect of that step? Let me first observe, that in the years 1831–2, the quantity of sugar brought from the East and West Indies greatly exceeded the quantity which was required for the consumption of the country; and that in price it was quite as cheap as it could be had from Brazil or Cuba. If hon. Gentlemen will look to the average price in 1831, they will see that it could not exceed 23s. a cwt. In 1834, the amount imported from the West Indies alone was 3,800,000 cwt., and in 1839, when the Parliament had declared that slavery should no longer exist in our British possessions, the produce of sugar fell off from 3,800,000 cwt. to 2,500,000 cwt. This reduction on account of the change in the condition of the labourer in the West Indies, was followed by two or three most unpropitious seasons, by which the produce was still further greatly diminished, so that in 1841, in which year the amount of produce had reached its minimum, the whole quantity of sugar from the West Indies amounted only to 107,000 tons, instead of 200,000 tons, the amount produced under different circumstances ten years before. In 1843, it rose to 125,000 tons; and we have reason to believe that the quantity sent home from the West Indies in the present year will not be less than 140,000 tons. Now, Sir, after having tried so great an experiment in the years 1838–9, the success of which has exceeded in many respects our most sanguine expectations, that experiment having been unattended with any outbreak or any breach of the peace, notwithstanding the difficulties to be struggled with at the time, is it, I ask, wise for this House now to interfere and say that those who suffered by that experiment shall no longer be entitled to any protection? There does appear to me to be an inconsistency between the arguments used by the hon. Gentleman who addressed the House in support of the Amendment, and the nature of the Amendment itself. If it is true, as the hon. Member for Manchester has said, that in the course of next year we shall pay a bonus to the West Indian proprietors out of the pockets of the people of 2,300,000l., or as the hon. Member for Stoke-upon-Trent calculated it, of 3,300,000l., if such is their belief, they will be guilty of a great dereliction of duty if they do not take the sense of the House upon the question, which was brought forward in 1842 and 1843, that there shall be an immediate abolition of all distinctive duties between sugar the produce of our Colonies, and sugar the produce of any Foreign State. I know that advocates of free trade have brought forward that question to divide the House on it. But I know also that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen below them, likewise professing free-trade principles, felt that there was something so peculiar in the situation of our West Indian Colonies as to preclude them from going the length of voting for the abolition of such distinctive duties. And I do not think from the appearance of the House to-night [there were about fifty Members present] that the hon. Member for Manchester has any reason to hope for the support of the noble Lord the Member for London, or those Gentlemen who generally act with the noble Lord upon this question. The hon. Member for Manchester has stated that because we give a differential duty of 10s. a cwt. it follows that the whole of that duty must be paid out of the pockets of the people of this country; while the hon. Gentleman the Member for Stoke-upon-Trent, if I understand his calculation rightly, maintains that upon the sugar that comes in at 28s. duty there will be no loss to the people, but that upon every sugar that comes in at a lower rate of duty there will be a loss proportionate with the amount of duty, and which in the aggregate he calculated at 1,000,000l. He said that if the sugar to be consumed in this country was admitted at a duty of 28s., it would make no matter to the consumer whether it came in at that duty, or whether he paid the amount in some other shape to the West Indian proprietor. Now I think the hon. Gentleman would find it difficult to convince his constituents that the immediate removal of a duty of 20s., or 15s. upon the manufactures of earthenware would be of no consequence to them. And yet he undertakes to tell his constituents that they can purchase the article of sugar just as cheaply if the Chancellor of the Exchequer puts on it a duty of 28s., as if he only puts on a duty of 10s. The hon. Member for Manchester entered into a statement of the expense of cultivating sugar in former times, and quoted the result of some prizes given for the cultivation of sugar upon a late occasion, showing that the expense of cultivating it in the West Indies was not so great as was alleged. But the hon. Member forgot to inform the House that the account he quoted embraced only the expense of labour in the field. He must be perfectly aware, or if he is not I must say that his information is most erroneous, that that amount has nothing to do with the general expense of management; that in fact it contained no charge for the premises, for the capital expended, for work at the mill, or taxes, being confined to the expenses connected with the land. The hon. Member seems to think too that the West Indian planters are encumbered with surplus labour, that they give low wages, and hold out no inducement to the emancipated negroes to work, and opposed themselves in every instance to the introduction of an improved mode of culture and machinery. Now, although my information is not very extensive, it is so completely the reverse of that which the hon. Gentleman has placed before the House, that I am really at a loss to understand from which quarter he derived his information. It is certainly not what he may have gathered from the discussions which have taken place upon the subject in this House, because the noble Lord the Member for London has in some of those discussions referred to the extreme comfort in which the negro of the West Indies was now placed, on account of the high wages he received. I understand that he now receives 2s. a day, instead of 6s. or 7s. a week under the old system. I moreover believe that the complaint has rather been on the part of the planters, and to this effect—that owing to the great difficulty of obtaining labourers they were obliged to pay too high a rate of wages. I think, too, that it was rather unfair that the system of apprenticeship should have been prematurely put an end to before measures were taken to supply the planters with a sufficient amount of labour. I do trust, however, that even in that respect an improvement is taking place, and will continue to take place, in the West Indies. But certainly if there be any West Indian Gentlemen in this House, any Gentlemen who may have the misfortune to have large estates in Jamaica, or other West Indian islands, I think they must have been surprised to hear the hon. Member for Manchester state that the estates ought to be in a more flourishing condition now than in the time of slave labour. So far from that, I believe, that the present is the only year from which they will have derived 1s. of benefit from those estates, which formerly yielded them very large profits. I know that the Members for Manchester and Stoke-upon-Trent are of opinion, that it is in vain for the West Indian body to look for any improvement; that they may as well despair; that they are going from worse to worse; and that the best thing they can do is at once to give up protection and abandon the cultivation of sugar altogether. I would ask whether they would, under similar circumstances, give the same advice to the coal proprietors? I would ask them even what do they suppose would be the price of sugar if their policy was adopted. I would ask them whether they expect that, under existing circumstances, sugar would come into this country at 19s. or 20s.—whether, after having destroyed our own Colonies, and thereby given a most extraordinary stimulus to those countries where slave labour continues, and slavery still exists, they suppose we would have sugar much cheaper than at present? If they do I think they would be sadly mistaken. On the contrary, I believe that by continuing a moderate protection to the West Indian planters, who are producing an increased and increasing quantity, you will secure to the consumer a low price, while you will avoid inflicting any injury on existing interests, and avoid giving a stimulus to the continuance of slavery. It has been said that the West Indies have always been a drag upon this country; that for their monopoly we are paying 2,000,000l. or 3,000,000l. a year out of the pockets of the labourers and artisans of this country unnecessarily; and that it would be infinitely better for this country, as the hon. and learned Member for Bath says, that the whole of these islands should be blotted out of the map of the world. I believe that the hon. and learned Member is singular in that opinion, for I believe that the West Indies are very valuable to this country. If we look at the Returns laid before the House, we see that of the large amount of 56,000,000l. or 58,000,000l. of exports which go to our East Indian, our West Indian, and our North American Colonies, about one-fifth of the whole goes to the West Indies. That is a trade which is not liable to those alternations which any misunderstanding with other countries may create. It is one also carried on by the shipping of this country; and we must recollect that it is the possession of that Colonial Empire which alone can secure to us a commercial marine of a magnitude sufficient to enable us to maintain our maritime pre-eminence. No nation without the Colonies which this country possesses will ever be able to rival us in our commercial marine. But you may depend upon it if you by your legislation make the West Indies, as has been expressed, "a drag upon the country," instead of being a benefit, you will wish that they were blotted out of the map of the world. You may depend on it that the injury that would be done to this country would not alone consist in our loss of trade to the amount of about 3,000,000l., but it would materially affect our shipping interests, and a blow would be struck at the maritime power of this country which it would never recover. The hon. Member for Manchester stated, that our imports have fallen off from the West Indies, while our exports have not decreased. It is perfectly clear, that if, as an immediate consequence of your legislation, the produce of these islands fell from 200,000 tons of sugar to 100,000 tons, that sufficiently accounts for your imports falling off, whilst those in the West Indies could not import many articles into the West Indies which were to be paid for by their own products; and it is only remarkable that the export of the manufactures of this country to the British West Indies has not fallen off in a great proportion. But I do trust, as the West Indies improve in their condition, and are better supplied with labour, or as the emancipated negroes apply themselves more diligently to the cultivation of the estates, that we shall see a very great improvement in those islands, and consequently, have an improved export trade there. The same reason has operated against the introduction of machinery to some extent. The hon. Member for Cumberland will be surprised to hear that no attempt has been made to introduce machinery into the West Indies—that steam engines have never been heard of there. I rather think that thirty years ago, on passing through a large establishment at the other side of Westminster-bridge, I saw it full of steam-engines for the West Indies. But the want of capital has diminished the exertions that were formerly made in this respect. The hon. Member for Dumfries spoke of the state of lethargy which arises from the enjoyment of a monopoly and the want of competition; but many of the West Indian proprietors have, out of their other capital, been sending out every improvement in machinery in the forlorn hope that some of these improvements would lead to profit. I wish the hon. Gentleman, who appears to be so well acquainted with Mr. Porter's book, would look at the patents and improvements in machinery for sugar-making in the West Indies. I think there are very good reasons why persons who are most anxious to devote any spare capital they may possess to the improvement of their estates, should not have that great overflow of capital which seems to oppress Liverpool and Manchester, to lay out in railway speculations. A railway had been laid down between Port Royal and Spanish Town. If the capitalists of Jamaica had been investing capital in that railroad for a return, the argument of the hon. Member for Manchester would have been supported; as it was, the fact was against him. The hon. Member said to the West India proprietors—"You are absentees, and don't know what is going on." I should think it is just as likely that the hon. Member for Cumberland will take care that his West Indian estate is properly managed, as that the railway directors living in Liverpool and Manchester will take care that the railway there is properly managed. With regard to other topics mentioned by the hon. Members for Dumfries and Stoke-upon-Trent, I think it would be extremely unfair to attempt to discuss detached portions of the plan of the Chancellor of the Exchequer until he has the opportunity of stating the whole plan before the House. It would also be anticipating a great part of the discussion to take place on Wednesday night, and would be unfair to the noble Lord the Member for the City of London, who I am sorry is not in his place. [Mr. Hawes: Ministers are absent too.] The hon. Member for Lambeth will agree with me, that in the absence of the noble Lord the Member for the City of London, it would be improper to anticipate any part of the discussion on any of those important points, regarding which the noble Lord placed a Notice on the Books for Wednesday. Under these circumstances, I feel that I have no right to offer any answer to those parts of the speech of the hon. Member for Stoke-upon-Trent which can only be properly discussed when we debate the noble Lord's Motion. I have no wish to trespass longer on the House; I have endeavoured to show that it has ever been the policy of this country, and one on which I trust it will continue to act, to give a fair protection to the domestic industry of this country. The hon. Gentleman opposite, the Member for Manchester, may select some extreme case to show where protection has not been beneficial, but we must look to each question by itself. I may refer to what has been the policy of the right hon. Baronet; for, though he has maintained the principle of protection, he has carefully looked at every article, to be enabled to afford a relaxation of duty to the consumer without doing injury to the producer; because I am convinced that much injury would be done by carrying out any exploded system of monopoly in the hope of bolstering up any trade for which the altered circumstances of the country are not adapted. Looking at the whole plan which the Chancellor of the Exchequer will submit on Wednesday evening, and the effect which it will produce to the consumer — seeing that the people of this country will have sugar at a much cheaper price than they have had it for the last thirty years, and that this will be effected without the slightest injustice to the producers of sugar either in the East or in the West Indies, and believing that a greater consequent consumption will give a fresh stimulus to the industry and energy of the West India proprietors—I think we may look to the West Indies coming back to their ancient prosperity—to the condition in which they were ten or twelve years ago, when they supplied the whole amount of sugar required by our population, and had some 5,000 cwt. to spare for exportation. Looking forward to this result of the measures of Her Majesty's Government, I am utterly at a loss to know what practical result is desired if the House should agree to the Resolution of the hon. Member. I do not understand what hon. Members picture to themselves by submitting that Resolution to the House. An attempt has always been made to raise ancient prejudices against persons holding West India property, on account of the system of slavery which prevailed. I do think that it is rather unfair to the West India proprietors, who have submitted without complaint to changes in their property, and have been exposed to suffering and losses to an extent of which many Gentlemen opposite cannot be aware—it is very unfair whenever this question is brought forward that they should be held up to the obloquy of the country. Under these circumstances, I do trust that the House will not support the Motion of the hon. Member for Manchester.

Mr. Villiers

said, it was rather remarkable that the right hon. Baronet who had just sat down should have proposed to his hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-upon-Trent to satisfy himself and the House as to the soundness of his opinion on the question then before them, by visiting his constituents and asking them whether they agreed to the doctrine of free trade or not. If it was meant to decide whether the doctrine of free trade or that of impeding commerce was the wisest by such a test, he thought the right hon. Baronet might already enlighten them a good deal on the point after the recent visit he had made to his constituents: he could tell them how far he considered the constituencies of this country appeared disposed to support those views of obstructing trade which the right hon. Baronet advocated. He perceived that the right hon. Baronet recognised his allusion to his late reception by his constituency. The weather was still in about the same state as when the right hon. Baronet had experienced the feelings of his constituents towards him; and if his hon. Friend (Mr. Ricardo) went down as he (Sir G. Clerk) had invited him to do, he scarcely thought he would meet with similar proofs of the opinion of his constituents, in consequence of his avowal of the doctrine of free trade. On the other hand, he thought that the right hon. Baronet had not much improved his chances of a more favourable reception from his constituents by the opinions which he had just expressed, and the speech which had just been delivered by him. With every respect for the right hon. Baronet personally, he did not think that he had much raised himself by that speech. He did not mean to say that the right hon. Baronet's address was not a fair average speech for a functionary of a Government; but it seemed to him to be that sort of a speech which might have been drawn at any time from a pigeonhole of the Board of Trade, where it might have lain untouched for the last twenty years, and brought out to be used in the absence of an answer or an argument suited to the question. It was really a tissue of common-place of vague generality, of that sort of evasion of the question by declamation which they knew was in use in that House, when time was to be occupied and no answer to be given. For as far as any answer to the specific question which his hon. Friend had brought before the House was concerned, he did think that there never was an occasion when a Gentleman of mature years, and holding so responsible a position as that filled by the right hon. Baronet, did occupy so much of the time of the House without applying himself to the matter really before them. The right hon. Baronet had throughout contented himself with alluding to things which had never been referred to by his hon. Friend, while he altogether avoided any answer to the questions which had been put to him — questions which must be satisfied and answered before that discussion could cease in that House. The right hon. Gentleman said he objected to these sort of abstract questions, and he said he would sift what was practicable from that which was abstract. He said he would tell the House what the claims of the West India planters were for those enormous sacrifices which the people of England were called upon to make in their favour. He (Mr. Villiers) had some recollection, and his hon. Friend had shown that he had also some recollection of former circumstances connected with those interests, which if he mistook not, opened a pretty wide field for their gratitude to this country; and he had anticipated that the right hon. Baronet would actually inform the House what fresh or peculiar claims the West India proprietors had still upon this country—upon what such claims were rested, and how the debt, if really due, arose, which was said yet to be owing to them. He had expected to hear some reason assigned for the sacrifice which the country was called upon to make in their favour—that the right hon. Baronet would condescend to tell them what it was they were paying for; for, as the hon. Member for Manchester said, the people of this country, when they are called upon to pay, they like to see the bill, to know what it is they pay for. Now, he would ask any Gentleman present, who heard the speech of the right hon. Baronet — and he had been treated with great attention throughout—whether the right hon. Baronet had left on his mind any shadow of an idea of what the claims of these Gentlemen were, or whether they had any claim whatever to the 2,300,000l. a year, which it was proposed to vote to them. He put it to the House whether they could remember—and he called upon them to tax their memories to the utmost—whether they could at all comprehend, from anything that had fallen from the right hon. Baronet, why this enormous sacrifice should be made, or what claim the West India proprietors had upon the country to entitle them to draw so large an amount from their pockets. The right hon. Baronet said he could not understand what his (Mr. Villiers') friends proposed to themselves by moving such an Amendment as that before the House. He could tell the right hon. Baronet in reply, that they proposed to bind that House to a principle which, if adopted, would be the means of doing justice to the country, which justice was withheld; and they farther proposed by this Amendment to learn, if possible, why this justice was withheld. The right hon. Baronet said that it should not now be rendered; that protection had always been a scheme of policy in this country; that the Colonies had always been protected; and that protection to the West Indies had always been maintained by the Government. Why, that was the language that was then being constantly addressed by the friends of Government to the First Minister. They said, "You want to destroy the scheme of policy adopted and acted upon by this country for ages: you are disturbing it every day;" and the fact was, that the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government never spoke on these subjects without expressing some sentiment utterly at variance with the policy which these Gentlemen said had been so long adopted, and in truth preparing them for its entire abolition. What the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) held out to them last year in regard to the West India interests, he was departing from this year. He was now disturbing the protection which he had established not twelve months before; in fact he was constantly changing the terms and the grounds of this protection; and yet the right hon. Baronet (Sir G. Clerk) turned round on them, and thought it was an answer to all that had fallen from his hon. Friend, to say that it was a part of a grand scheme—that the Government intended to continue and perpetuate the protection which had so long been maintained by the country. Now, he asked the right hon. Gentleman whether he thought that would be accepted by the country as any answer to the Motion of his hon. Friend? Would it not be almost better for him and his Government to have said nothing at all; to have allowed it to be thought that they meant well, but that they had not power to do what was right; or that they did not like to commit themselves to a principle of justice, or to have declared that they would have perhaps carried out the principle, but that they did not like to commit themselves. What was the good, he wished to ask, of bringing forward worn-out doctrines which they had exploded themselves; which were utterly opposed both to the wants of the country and the policy which they were themselves pursuing? He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would excuse him for saying that his doing so was casting ridicule upon the commercial measures the Government contemplated proposing this Session. The right hon. Gentleman said something in the course of his speech about his wish that the hon. Members for Cumberland and Weymouth were present, because they knew something of the matter before the House. He must say he thought that wish was quite natural on the part of the right hon. Gentleman; the inference was certainly that the right hon. Gentleman had not precisely the requisite information himself, but still, under those circumstances, it was natural to turn to those who might possibly aid him in his difficulty. They had property in the West Indies, and they might possibly know what reason there was for enhancing its value by an Act of that House, at the expense of the community. The right hon. Gentleman evidently knew of none himself, and he believed that it was in that sense that the new Sugar Bill was framed; that it was in utter ignorance of the real state of those Colonies which it purported to protect. This was one of the things of which the hon. Member for Manchester complained. He believed the fact to be, that the plan of the Government was not adapted to the interest even of those whom it was meant to protect. He should like to have some statistical information with respect to the West India islands before they finally legislated on the matter. He should like to know whether these Colonies and dependencies were all exactly in the same state or not, and how the mystical sum of 10s. 6d. had been discovered exactly to suit all cases and all the countries to which it was to be applied, and thus render justice to all parties. 300,000l. was to be taken out of the pockets of the people of England, and, as the case stands at present, without any information being given as to the reason of this great sacrifice. There was nothing yet said or proved to show them, that if the Colonies were suffering, that this would be the cure for their case. But he would ask the House to look at the condition of this country at the time they were called upon to submit to this enormous tax. The Government had imposed a tax that pressed with great injustice upon the precarious incomes of the industrious and productive classes; and why could they not remove it? Because they were unable to spare that amount of revenue. Now, he wanted every individual in the country to look at the question in that light. They were about to lose an amount equal to 2,300,000l. of the income of the country. This, not lost, might be applied to the further reduction of taxation. Here was an unequal and an impolitic tax levied upon incomes arising out of trades and professions—that tax, so described, could be dispensed with. What prevents it? Nothing but an enormous protective duty on sugar to be presented to the West India planters—not only causing the consumer to pay more for sugar, but by the same means preventing the Revenue deriving the benefit of a duty levied on a larger amount. He would wish to know whether that view of the case was disputed. Not one word that had fallen from the right hon. Baronet could let him know whether it was or not. Here was a positive waste of more than two millions, which might be applied in commuting other taxes. This country wanted to have the duty on tea reduced, so as to lower the price of that necessary article to the people, who were anxious to have it cheap, while it would greatly facilitate exchange with the distant and important market recently opened to us. The country was also anxious to have other taxes reduced. The right hon. Baronet had told them if he had more surplus revenue he would apply it as he had done the remainder. But why had he not a greater surplus to devote to the reduction of taxation? Because the amount which should be expended in relieving trade and the consumers generally, was swallowed up in meeting a claim unaccounted for and undefended on the part of the West India proprietors. [Mr. Bernal: And the East India interests also.] His hon. Friend the Member for Weymouth had reminded him that the protection was extended to the East India interests as well as to those of the West Indies. That was one of the things that he (Mr. Villiers) and his friends complained of. The only grounds upon which this protection was ever pretended to be defended, did not apply at all to the East Indies. The Government said that the sugar producers in the West Indies had not labour cheap, and on this account the protection must be continued; but then, how does this apply to the East Indies? What was the rate of wages there? He believed it did not exceed 2d. a day at the utmost. Now, under such circumstances, what possible reason could they have for protecting the East India interests? They had there no vested rights — they had no old interests to be maintained—on the contrary, the Government was creating an interest there in protection which would at some future time be pleaded for its continuance. They were tempting capital to be invested there with the view to the protection that would as readily be invested without it. There was not an excuse for the favour which the duty promised to them, being under no disadvantage not experienced by other countries, and having labour actually cheaper than in any other country; and yet these were the parties who were to be protected at the expense and loss of the English people. Under these circumstances he thought his hon. Friend the Member for Cumberland had been wise and somewhat ingenious in his mode of argument. He found that he could not reply to the case of his hon. Friend who had brought forward the Motion, and he therefore changed the issue as quickly as he could. The hon. Member for Cumberland had started the whole question of slavery, which his hon. Friend's Motion did not necessarily raise. His hon. Friend asked why they should put on a protecting duty of 10s. 6d. to favour particular proprietors, and which they did against the sugar of Java and Manilla, which was raised by free labour. No answer had been given to that question. Where was the applicability of the slavery argument in those countries, or in those named in the Bill providing for the higher duty to be imposed upon them? His hon. Friend the Member for Cumberland told them to think of the horrors of slavery. He said, that was what concerned him, and not any mere selfish anxiety about his own estate, and he begged them to consider that the question was one simply of humanity. He would wish to know from his hon. Friend what aid would be given to the cause of slavery by allowing the sugars of Java, or China, or Manilla, to come in at the same rate of duty with that of Bengal or Barbadoes. He would wish to know on what principle his hon. Friend could justify, upon his own view of the case, the voting for these distinctive duties between countries in which free labour existed. If they had any confidence in these distinctive duties between slave-grown sugar and free-grown sugar as a means of abolishing slavery, let them give equal encouragement to countries in which slavery did not exist. They said they were anxious to give an example to the world that free labour was better than slave labour—that the former was more economical, and that by encouraging it they wished to lead to the entire abolition of slavery. He said, that the experiment had already been made in the markets of Europe, and that the sugars produced by free labour could compete with those by slave labour; and that every day the sugars of Cuba and Java were selling together in the same market at the same price. With what excuse, then—with what pretence of sincerity, could they put forward as their motive for imposing that distinctive duty, the ground of discouraging slavery, when they put on the additional duty on free-labour sugar? It was quite clear that slavery had nothing whatever to do with the policy of these protecting duties. It would, he would maintain, be far more honourable on the part of the Government to avow their real motives at once. He believed the right hon. Baronet (Sir G. Clerk) had admitted that the protection was continued for the purpose of favouring the West India planters, though he had altogether abstained from telling them the grounds on which that favour was granted. The right hon. Gentleman appeared to have some confused notion about a great Colonial empire, and he said something about the dominion of this country being best supported by a continuation of these protecting duties; but here again he never showed us how that would be the case. The right hon. Gentleman distinctly stated that the West India planters were suffering from the abolition of slavery. He would contend that there was no pretext for that statement. Whether enjoying protection, or during the period of slavery, the cry which the planters invariably raised was that they were suffering, and required more favour and more protection from the mother country. That was the argument which they eternally used during the agitation for the abolition of slavery, when Cropper, and Macaulay, and Stephens, and others, were exerting themselves to effect that most philanthropic object; and who invariably and equally denounced monopoly and slavery as alike the bane of those possessions. The right hon. Baronet should have been more careful on another ground how he used this argument. He would take leave to remind him that there was a Member of the Cabinet at the present moment who said, twelve years since, that the real cause of distress in the West India Colonies had been the existence of slavery; and yet here was the Vice-President of the Board of Trade, belonging to the same Government, declaring at the present day that the West India proprietors were distressed, and required protection, because slavery had been abolished—and arguing as if no protection would be needed if slavery was re-established. This was one way that monopolists had of deluding the country—they impute to their opponents rash objects, and represent them as careless of existing rights, of not duly considering the consequences of what they recommend. In this case it is sought to show that the monopolists have been called upon to make some great sacrifice; and that they on this side were utterly heedless of the advantages which had been surrendered, and of the time required for the transition from a happy, prosperous, and contented state, to one of comparative deterioration. Now, it is important for the country to see and to understand that this is a wholly false and fallacious view of the case: That these planters have for the last fifty years and upwards, with the Slave Trade, or without it, with slaves or without them, been equally complaining of their condition, and equally clamorous for more favour from this country. Many years since, a Committee of the House of Assembly, in Jamaica, appointed for the purpose of inquiring into the cause of their great and overwhelming distress, reported that there had been, in the course of a limited period, 177 estates sold for debt, and fifty-five thrown up; while, at the end of that period, ninety-two estates remained in the hands of creditors. He quoted from the work of an author who wrote in the interest of the proprietors, Bryan Edwards, the historian of the West Indies, and he gave the result of the inquiries of that Committee which he had just stated to the House. [A Member: What is the date?] 1792. Now the right hon. Baronet who had just spoken, had not given them any such gloomy details as resulting from the abo- lishing of slavery. He was sure the hon. Member for Cumberland would have mentioned it, if Jamaica had been in that state at present. He was sure the hon. Member for Weymouth was not going to say that things were quite so bad at present. [[Mr. Bernal: I am not going to say anything.] His hon. Friend, he thought, was quite right on this occasion; he deemed it more prudent to say nothing. He sees, I am sure, that the case is no longer defensible. He knows that he was stating the case correctly, when he said, that these complaints of the planters had been uttered under all circumstances. In the Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons appointed in 1832, it is remarked that it appears from the Committee of 1807. That during the late war, and while still supplied with slaves from Africa, the planters complained of inadequate returns, and of unequal competition in foreign markets. These results were then ascribed to the circumstances of the war, which have long ceased, and were necessarily independent of the causes now alleged. Your Committee are well aware that this similarity of complaint, and discrepancy of assigned reasons, must occasion some distrust of the accuracy of those which are now put forward. Again, in 1824, an inquiry into their condition took place, and a further inquiry in 1833, all tending to the same results. In that year it was, he believed, that they got the Earl of Ripon's view of the matter. He would read an extract from his despatch, which was prior to the abolition of slavery:— The existence of severe commercial distress (he says) amongst all classes of society connected with the West Indies, is unhappily but too evident. Yet what is the just inference from this admitted fact? Not that the body should yield to despair, but that we should deliberately retrace the steps of that policy which has led to so disastrous an issue. Without denying the concurrence of many causes, it is obvious that the great and permanent source of that distress which almost every page of the history of the West Indies records, is to be found in the institution of slavery. It is vain to hope for long-continued prosperity in any country in which the people are not dependent on their own voluntary labour for support, in which labour is not prompted by legitimate motives, and does not earn its natural reward I cannot but regard the system itself as the perennial spring of those distresses of which, not at present merely, but during the whole of the last fifty years, the complaints have been so frequent and so just. There was the language of the Earl of Ripon, a Member of the present Government, who was Colonial Minister at the time, and as such had opportunities of knowing the condition of the West Indies. He hoped the right hon. Baronet would consult that noble Lord before Wednesday; ask him if he is of the same mind still, or whether he agrees with him (Sir G. Clerk) that slavery was a great advantage to the planters, and its abolition is the cause of their distress; and state the result to the House on that day for which he appeared so anxious to reserve himself. The extracts from this despatch tallied exactly with all the authentic reports of the past state of their Colonies—exactly with all the authentic reports which were received from these Colonies at present. The right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government had stated in that House that the experiment of the abolition of slavery had answered in a more striking manner than any other experiment ever made. The slaves seemed fit for freedom—were disposed to work for proper wages, and with adequate motives were good workmen. In Barbadoes, at this present moment, the emancipated negroes were working for reasonable wages; were all of them doing well, and the island was prosperous. What the West India proprietors needed was not protection by Act of Parliament to promise them high prices, but that greater care should be taken of their estates; that their estates should be better managed; and that an end should be put—by increased and personal attention—to the gross fraud, waste and robbery, which must then take place, when the agent and the principal were 4,000 miles apart. For a long series of years had these islands, under a system of protection and of slavery, been suffering, dwindling, withering; this next year they were likely to be more prosperous than they had been for the last twelve years. And why? because there has been of late an apprehension that this system of protection cannot last, and something like care, skill, and energy, has been shown in the management of properties—and this is what the proprietors should aim at, instead of continuing this baneful system of protection, which inflicts a serious injury upon this country, and ultimately upon their own property, and let them see to the improvement of their own estates, or let those have them who will super- intend them. Let them adopt the example of the hon. Member for Cumberland, who had lately sent out one of his own family to manage his estates in Jamaica; and who could, doubtless, fully confirm his (Mr. Villiers') statement, that in Jamaica, as well as in other West India islands, the absent planters were subjected to every species of loss, by ignorant, or indolent, or dishonest agents. He had authority for stating, that agents had sent over to their employers the most appalling accounts of the state of affairs, with the intimation that unless they are prepared to transmit large sums of money to be expended—in a manner tantamount, it is broadly suggested, to throwing it into the sea—the estate had better be abandoned. The owner, utterly horrified, gives directions to sell the estate for what it will fetch, and it is accordingly sold for next to nothing; and, in some cases, the agent himself, or some friend, has been the purchaser; or, if proper attention had been given to the property, it need not have been sold. There is so much ignorance—so much dishonesty—in the statements that are made, that it is impossible to credit anything one hears on the subject of these West Indian estates. A gentleman who had recently returned from examining his own property there, told me that the safest rule was not to believe one word that was stated on the part of absent proprietors. He said his family had been connected with certain estates for upwards of 100 years; and that, in consequence of the desperate representations made of the state of things, he had gone out himself to see what was to be done. He said he could hardly believe his eyes when he got there; when he saw the waste, the ignorance, the backwardness of everything connected with the management of the property. Nothing could be more barbarous than all that he saw; and he satisfied himself very soon that the distress was not necessary—that the properties might be rendered profitable—and that all the desponding statements sent to this country were gross exaggerations; and he gave me one proof of his sincerity, that instead of abandoning his estates, as he expected to do, he added to them by making fresh purchases of some that were for sale. This was the brother of a gentleman having a great commercial establishment in London, and standing in the highest repute in the city. It is clear, then, from this statement, and all that one had heard besides, that the real remedy for the distresses of these islands is better management—more skill—adopting improvements—and by personal residence, or by superintendence on which they could rely, preventing fraud. If labour is necessarily dear in some of the islands, this would tend to cheapen the cost of production, and render estates profitable that are perhaps worthless at present. Let the House then vote for the Amendment of his hon. Friend. This would notify to the proprietors that they must still further depend upon their own resources than they are doing at present; and as the expectation of this has already done more for their properties than anything that has been before attempted, so will the thing itself, when it really occurs, restore them, or rather place them in a more healthy state than they have been before. It is clear that neither slavery nor protection are needful for their prosperity. Every prediction respecting emancipation has been falsified by experience; and as the day for abolishing protection approaches, those dependencies are in a more healthy state than they have been for many years before. To support his hon. Friend's Motion was to promise a great boon to the community at home. It afforded, therefore, an excellent opportunity to those Gentlemen in that House who were ever expressing their solicitude for the sufferings of particular classes in the country; whose names were prominent in the lists of public charities; who received extraordinary credit for their sympathy with the poor—to prove their sincerity in voting for a measure that might greatly reduce the price of an article of almost necessary consumption; and which certainly, the subjects of their solicitude all desired to consume. And not only by benefit conferred in this way, but as a way of extending the business of the country, extending the demand for unemployed labour. Next week a large portion of the aristocracy was going to dance for the good of the distressed needlewomen. Let the House and the country, meantime, bear in mind, what these poor creatures—in common with the rest of the community—paid every week for sugar beyond what they ought to pay, for the benefit of the West India sugar growers; every week did the metropolis pay 4,000l.; every week did the rest of the country pay 50,000l. more than they need do, being the sum paid for sugar beyond the sum which ought to be paid, and beyond the sum which would be paid for sugar, were his hon. Friend's Motion carried. This calcula- tion was no mere vague speculation. It was a calculation carefully made, and published in a weekly newspaper, and which no one had ventured to controvert. He would ask the country, then, to decide whether they were not justified in bringing this matter before Parliament. By the means proposed in the hon. Gentleman's Motion, the right hon. Baronet opposite might be enabled to reduce a great part of his Income Tax, diminish considerably the duties on the lower-priced teas, and give increased employment to a large class of the community, nay, indirectly to the whole community. He trusted then the House would, on this occasion, shake off the conventional indifference with which it was too much in the habit of receiving practical Motions of this kind if they did not emanate from the head of one of the party. Let them consider the impolicy of always presenting these Colonies as an obstacle to the enjoyment, by a great mass of the people, of some articles of general desire; and for the support of which they are to be heavily taxed. It was only the other night that they heard that it was the number and wants of our Colonies that made the maintenance of so large an Army requisite. On this account our regiments were placed for long periods in places where their sufferings were so great, where the mortality was so fearful, that in this House the Secretary at War had refused to make a Return, shewing the amount of death and disease among the troops, lest the detail should produce too great a disgust and shock to the public mind. This, then, was surely price enough to pay for these dependencies (whose value as such he was not going then to question), without causing the people further to waste annually a large sum in what they paid for their products; and to forego great relief, which, but for this tax, might be extended to them at home. He implored the House to consider these things before they determined to persist in a course which limited trade and mulcted the people to so large an amount, and for the benefit of a class whose claims on this country they had yet to learn.

Mr. P. W. Miles

said, he could hardly expect, after the assertions which the hon. Member for Wolverhampton had just made, that any one would believe what he, a West Indian proprietor, might state. But he believed it was an admitted fact that these Colonies had for a long time past been suffering under severe distress, that capital was employed without profit, and also that the proprietors were in many cases brought to the very verge of ruin. But he trusted that, now that the right hon. Baronet had given evidence of his disposition to afford relief to the West Indian interests, not only by this measure which he had brought forward, but also by his measure for the admission of labourers last year, he trusted that some remuneration would at last be obtained for the amount of capital employed; that was all they asked and all they could expect to have. He had listened with the greatest attention to the speech of the hon. Member for Manchester, who appeared to think that great fortunes were now to be made out of the West Indian estates. He could assure him that that was not the case; and if the hon. Member doubted his assertion, he had a good mind to offer him to take one or two of them out of his hands. The hon. Member looked upon the reduction of duty which was about to be made, merely as a benefit to the proprietors, without any corresponding reduction in price to the consumers. That was easily said; he doubted whether it could be as easily proved. The West Indian proprietors would not object to it if it were. It had also been stated that the proposed duty in favour of Muscovado sugar was a direct premium upon the slovenly manufacture of the article, and a direct boon to the West over the East Indian cultivators. He thought anybody who knew anything of the matter, would know that this was not the case; for it would be more for the advantage of the West Indian proprietors to send over sugar at the higher rate of duty than at the lower. Not only would they thus save the loss of weight upon the voyage home, but they would be able also to extract more sugar from the bulk produced; whilst the East Indians might also, if they chose, send home their sugar at the same low rate. But notwithstanding the proposed reduction of duty, it would require the utmost economy and the best management on the part of the proprietors to establish for themselves any degree of profit. He knew that in former times recklessness of the most extraordinary character prevailed. He admitted that; but then hon. Gentlemen ought to know that the pressure of necessity had long since put an end to it; and if they looked to the accounts from these islands, they would see that the estates were managed now on a greatly reduced scale. He regretted the right hon. Baronet at the head of Her Majesty's Government had stated that he did not intend these duties to last longer than July, 1846. He thought if the right hon. Baronet would reconsider the question, he would see the necessity of continuing them for a longer period, not only on account of the present circumstances of the West India Colonies, but because this continued change of duties prevented the confidence of persons in trade from being established. If they continued thus to make annual changes, it would prevent capital from being employed, or machinery from being sent out. The hon. Member for Manchester said that there was no machinery used on these islands. He had been there, and he could state that there were few estates on which machinery was not employed. Such a large increase in the amount of supply of sugar as the right hon. Baronet anticipated would require an increase in the imports, not only from the East Indies, from Java, or from the Mauritius, but also from the West Indian Colonies; while the uncertainty as to the permanency in the amount of duties would paralyse trade, and prevent the poorer estates from being brought into cultivation. With reference to the question more immediately before them—tho equalisation of the duty on Foreign and Colonial sugars—he could not agree to it. The hon. Member for Wolverhampton had said, that the question of slavery did not enter into this subject; but he (Mr. Miles) did not know how he could have read the Motion of the hon. Member for Manchester, which was to this effect:—"That no arrangement of the Sugar Duties will be satisfactory and permanent, which does not involve an equalisation of duty on Foreign and Colonial sugar." It seemed to him, that if the Motion meant anything, it meant that they were to admit slave at the same rate of duty as Colonial sugar. So long as this country thought it necessary to continue its efforts for the suppression of the Slave Trade; so long as it was necessary to go to the expense of maintaining a large force on the coast of Africa for the suppression of that trade, so long would it be unjust and impolitic to admit slave-grown sugar at an equal rate of duty with that grown in our Colonies, or with free-labour sugar grown in foreign countries. But, independent of this argument of slavery, which to him appeared sufficiently conclusive—he must confess that he adhered to the argument in favour of protection to our home interests, whether agricultural or manufacturing; and he thought that the West Indian Colonies ought to be treated as an integral part of the Empire, and that the Government were bound to protect them; and if protection was to be given at all, he did not see how they could be offered less than that which was now proposed by Her Majesty's Government. Last Session an important measure was passed for the admission of free labourers into the West Indian Colonies. Whether that measure might not have been introduced earlier — whether greater facilities might not have been given, or might not still be given, they were not called upon at present to discuss. It was not improbable that that experiment would succeed. If they might judge by the accounts received from Demerara, and particularly from the report made by the Sheriff of Demerara to Governor Light, who stated that without disparaging the negro, the Coolie worked better than the negro did—he thought the experiment would succeed; and if it did, he did not see why the West Indian Colonies should not send an increased supply of sugar at as cheap a rate as any country employing slave labour. But he thought it would be unjust at present to overwhelm the energies of the West Indian Colonies, by bringing in a mass of slave-grown sugar which would come into direct competition with them. He believed it was an admitted fact that a labourer working for a fair rate of wages, and for his own benefit, would do more work than a slave, even though working under the lash of a slave-driver. If he might judge from the opinions of the Ministers of other countries—he alluded to the letter of Mr. Calhoun to the American Minister at Paris — they would find that other nations were now arguing as to the impossibility of discontinuing the Slave Trade, and on the failure of the experiment in the West Indies. It was said that the consumer in this country paid a higher price for his sugar than he ought to do. Whose fault was that? Not the fault of the West Indian proprietors. Emancipation was by our own act, not theirs; and though the hon. Member for Manchester might laugh at the trifling amount of exports which were sent from the West Indies to this country, yet he thought that ought not to be looked upon as a light question; for if the three millions of exports to the West Indies were thrown back upon the home market, it would glut it instantly. He said then that the country would derive a benefit from the proposed measure; and he was asking no more than what was fair and right when he asked the country to give them a trial. He hoped the House would not do the West Indian proprietors the injustice of supposing, when they talked of reducing the wages of their labourers, that they meant to grind down their wages to the lowest degree, and leave them nothing but a bare subsistence. What they wanted was a fair day's work for a fair day's wages, and a constant supply of it; not to see the labourers leave off their employment in whole gangs at twelve o'clock, and then go and idle their time in the neighbouring villages. They wished to put a stop to this practice; to induce the negroes to pursue an industrious and frugal mode of life, and to show them how much a system of constant moderate labour was to be preferred over a life of idleness. Rather did they wish to bring over large supplies of foreign labourers; it was the conviction they wished to establish in the negro mind—that if the first supply of Coolies was not sufficient, there was an unlimited supply in reserve. It was the knowledge of this fact on which they depended for inducing the negroes to work, and not so much upon the actual amount of labourers. He trusted, therefore, whatever outcry there might be raised in or out of this House, that Ministers would not depart from the line of policy they had hitherto pursued on this question — that they would use all legitimate means to suppress the Slave Trade. Hon. Gentlemen opposite were accustomed to taunt their Friends with inconsistency in voting against the introduction of slave-grown sugar, while they allowed the use of slave-grown cotton, and slave-grown tobacco; he thought by the same rule of consistency those Members who supported the present Motion ought to vote next for striking out from the Navy Estimates the large sums which were annually expended for the suppression of the Slave Trade, the supplies for which were cheerfully granted by the House, and which he believed did not meet with a dissentient voice in the country; for he believed that the prevailing opinion among the people of England was that there was no sacrifice to which they would not cheerfully submit for the suppression of this traffic, rather than give any support to the continuance of it.

Viscount Howick

said: I think, Sir, the House can hardly have failed to observe that the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, being a great West India proprietor, and the right hon. Baronet who spoke before him, being a Member of the Government, have both explicitly admitted a fact which has been alleged on this side of the House, viz., that by the existing system of protective duties with regard to sugar, a tax is levied upon the people of this country beyond that which is received into the Exchequer. As to the amount of this tax, which has been calculated by the hon. Gentleman who made the motion before us at 2,300,000l., they have not explained their opinion; but the remarkable fact that a very considerable tax beyond that levied for the public service will be imposed upon the consumers of sugar, has been distinctly admitted by the hon. Gentleman. [Mr. Miles: No.] The hon. Gentleman says "No;" but I appeal to those who heard his speech, whether his whole argument did not go to prove that the tax should be paid, and whether he did not admit that he and the West India proprietors anticipated great advantage from it. The right hon. Baronet laboured also very much to the same effect, and at the commencement of his speech he repeated the argument—already so hacknied on the Treasury Bench that I hardly know how to meet it—that the Amendment of my hon. Friend was merely an abstract question. For my own part I can hardly conceive anything less abstract than the question before us, since, whatever be the form of the Resolution, no man who listened to the speech of the hon. Gentleman who moved it, can doubt what its real effect and intention are. Its real effect and intention are, as I understand it, to reduce at once the duty on Foreign sugar to the same rate as the proposed duty on Colonial sugar. I confess that I should have preferred, for my own part, that we should have gone into a Committee of Ways and Means, and that then this alteration in the scale of duties proposed by the Government should have been brought before us in the ordinary way. But, after all, the form in which a question is brought before us is of little consequence. I, for one, distinctly support this Motion as a Motion for equalizing the rates of duty on Foreign and Colonial sugar; and I intend to endeavour before I sit down to show you, first, that it is of the greatest importance that the equality of the duty should be established; and, next, that the opportunity which is afforded you by being able to make a large reduction on the duty upon Colonial sugar is one which you ought to avail yourselves of in making this change in your policy. First, with regard to the effect of the existing rates of duties. It has been argued on this side of the House, and it has not been disproved, that the effect of the proposed measure of Her Majesty's Government is to raise the price of all Colonial sugar 10s. a cwt. at least beyond the amount which it might otherwise be sold for; and if that be not the object I am really at a loss to understand for what purpose this differential duty is proposed. [Cries of "No."] If you don't admit that without a differential duty Foreign sugar could be introduced at a lower price than Colonial sugar, and that Colonial sugar would fall to that price, with what object is it that you propose a differential duty at all? I can only understand it in that way. I believe you find that sugar can be produced in foreign countries 10s. per cwt. cheaper than it can in the British Colonies, under existing circumstances; if it were permitted to come into our markets upon the same terms as Colonial sugar, the latter of course could not command a higher price than that at which the foreign producer could afford to sell his produce: therefore, to prevent a fall in price which would be injurious to the Colonies, you saddle Foreign sugar with an extra duty of 10s. per cwt.; for the very purpose of causing the whole of the Colonial sugar imported in the ensuing year to rise in price 10s. a cwt. or 10l. a ton more than it would sell for if exposed to the equal competition of Foreign sugar. But as the right hon. Baronet calculates the import of British sugar at 230,000 tons, by thus raising its price you are laying on the people the immense tax of 2,300,000l., which the hon. Member for Manchester has described, in addition to what is paid into the Exchequer. I do say, considering how very nearly sugar now partakes of the nature of a necessary of life, considering how largely it enters into the consumption of even the poorest families of this country, that this is a most exorbitant tax to be levied on it in addition to what you levy for purposes of revenue. And, really, when I hear Gentlemen call this system "protection of British industry," I am at a loss to understand by what perversion of terms you can apply such a description to such a system. Instead of calling it "protection of British industry," I call it a most unjustifiable spoliation of the British labourer of the produce of his hard-earned toil. Let us fallow out in detail how this system works. You will admit, I presume, that sugar, whether Foreign or Colonial, is ultimately paid for by the export of British manufactures. It is simply an exchange of the produce of British industry for the produce of the industry of those countries in which sugar is cultivated. I believe there has already been some change in the market in consequence of the announcement of the measure of Her Majesty's Government; but I was informed only a few days ago, that before the intended alteration of duties was known, Brazilian sugar was sold in bond at 18s. 6d., while Colonial sugar of the same quality cost 26s. a cwt. Now, it is quite obvious, that 26 tons of Foreign sugar at 18s. 6d., and 18½ tons of Colonial sugar at 26s. a cwt., will each cost 481l.; in other words, that the produce of British labour to the value of 481l. will exchange for 26 tons of Brazilian sugar, and only for 18½ tons of Colonial sugar. Now, these are sugars of precisely the same quality, and of course, therefore, if they were admissible on equal rates of duty, the cheapest would govern the market price, and the manufacturer, therefore, would be able to exchange his goods to the value of 481l., not for 18½ tons, but for 26 tons of sugar. But you will not allow that to take place. There is Brazilian sugar in your bonding warehouses—the owner is anxious to exchange it for your manufactures, and the manufacturer is equally anxious to exchange his produce for Brazilian sugar; but that simple exchange you will not permit. You step in with your fiscal regulation, and say to the British labourer and to the British manufacturer, "Though your labour is honestly worth 26 tons of sugar, it shan't be permitted to fetch more than 18½ tons." That is the nature of the transaction; and I wish to ask you who, last year, in the discussion on the Factory Bill, said that the right a man had in his own labour, as it was the first of all property, so was it the most sacred and most inviolable—you who told us that it was the height of injustice to prevent a man turning his labour to the best advantage—you who said that even for the sake of a great public benefit such a right ought not to be trenched on—I ask you to account to this House and to the country why you say that the British labourer (and in this respect I use the words "manufacturer" and "labourer" as synonymous)—why the British labourer should not be permitted to make the most of his own labour, and give it in exchange to that man who will give him the most in return for it? That is the simple question which you have to explain; no explanation has yet been offered, and I think we have a right to demand one. It is true that the loss does not fall upon the manufacturer alone—of course not; it falls upon the whole community—upon all who purchase sugar, but most especially upon the labouring classes, whether manufacturing or agricultural; and it does so because it tends to diminish the power of British industry; and by diminishing the power of British industry, it diminishes the remuneration which that industry can command. But you greatly under-estimate the evils of this protection, if you imagine that the only benefit to be derived from its alteration would be the introduction of cheap sugar. It goes far beyond that. The right hon. Baronet at the head of Her Majesty's Government told us last year that so unreasonable was Brazil, that she would not admit our manufactures on favourable terms unless we would admit her sugar in-return; and he said, if we should admit her sugar on the same terms as we did Colonial sugar, that there would be no obstacle to the admission of our manufactures into Brazil. If you admit, then, Brazilian sugar for consumption, it is clear, on your own showing, that that alteration would be the means of opening a new and valuable trade with the Brazils, and that exchanges would go on to a large extent; and only see how advantageously it would work in this country. You would create, by this new trade, additional employment for the manufacturing labourer, and improve his wages; that, of course, would increase the demand for agricultural produce, and more employment of agricultural labourers would follow, whilst they in their turn would consume more sugar and more manufacturing produce. Thus, the indirect effect of these measures would be equal to the direct, and you would give an impulse to British industry, of which you can hardly conceive the extent and value. Hon. Gentlemen opposite, representing the agricultural interest complain loudly that nothing is done by the Ministry, which owes its existence to the "farmers' friends," either for the farmers or for the agricultural labourers. Why do they not join us upon this occasion? Why do they not ask their Minister to get, rid of the monopoly of sugar? By doing so they would give more real relief to British agriculture and commerce, and to every other branch of British industry, than by any attempt to draw tighter the protection, as it is called, which they already possess. Such are the commercial advantages, and such the advantage of the relief to your population, which might be obtained by this simple measure. And let me point out to the House that these advantages need not be purchased by any sacrifice of revenue. On the contrary, by consenting to accept these advantages, you will obtain revenue, instead of that heavy loss which the right hon. Baronet proposes to incur. The right hon. Baronet calculates the direct loss to the Revenue by the measures he has submitted to the House at no less a sum than 1,300,000l. I believe he has greatly under estimated the loss. I believe his calculation of probable receipts in the ensuing year will not be verified; but, assuming it to be correct, I am persuaded, that if you will consent to admit Foreign sugar at the same rate as Colonial, this heavy loss will, to a great extent, be covered; and that if not immediately, in a very short time at all events, you will regain the revenue which you at present derive from the article of sugar. You will afford an immense relief to the consumers, and the Treasury will suffer no loss whatever by the change. I know we shall be told (for this has been the one string harped upon during this and former debates upon the same subject) that we shall be told such a measure would be unjust to our Colonies. I should be glad to be informed in what respect it would be unjust? We already pay no inconsiderable charges for those Colonies. We defray, in the first place, the whole expense both of their civil and military protection, and in the next we make a very liberal grant for the purposes of education and of maintaining a stipendiary magistracy in our West India Colonies. There is a grant for religious education also. ["No."] Yes, there is a charge upon the Consolidated Fund for the Bishops and part of the Clergy of the West Indies, paid out of British taxes. When we pay so much already for our Colonies, I want to know upon what ground it is that they claim a right to impose upon us a further tax to the very serious amount which I have already adverted to? When you talk of "injustice," I am very anxious to know to what class in the Colony that injustice would be done? When you talk of "justice," explain yourselves a little further, and tell me to what particular class in the Colony justice requires that this burden should be continued upon the people of England. Is it the labourers? The right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President of the Board of Trade, who has just sat down, has told us that the labourers in the West Indies are in an extraordinarily prosperous condition—that they can earn 2s. a-day, besides their provision grounds, with a very few hours' labour, and the only difficulty is that they really are so well off, and they earn so much, that there is not sufficient inducement for them to do a fair day's work. I believe the right hon. Gentleman is nearly correct in this representation of the state of things. Then I want to know, if you compare the condition of the negro labourers in Demerara or Trinidad with that of the peasantry of Dorsetshire and Wiltshire, is there any justice in taxing the Dorsetshire or Wiltshire peasant for the benefit of the singularly well-off peasant in the West Indies? No man can assert that justice or anything like justice would be done by such a proceeding. But if it is not the labourers, is it the merchant or the shipowner? No Gentleman, who has looked into this subject, can doubt that both merchants and shipowners would gain far more by an unrestricted trade, in sugar, Foreign and Colonial, than they can possibly gain by this protection. Then, if it is for neither of these classes, what remains? There remains no other class than this—the owners of land in the West Indies, the planters resident in this country. And the people of England would do well to understand, when you talk of "justice" to your Colonies, that what you mean, stated plainly and intelligibly, is simply this—that you propose to tax the people of England to a very heavy amount, in order to place a large sum of money in the hands of certain West India proprietors, gentlemen resident in this country. This is really the object and the result. If the West India proprietors have any case against this country, I am prepared to meet it fairly. Let us, as was suggested by the hon. Member for Manchester, look into it. Let them state their case—let them make it out—and I am quite certain the people of England will not shrink from meeting any fair demand upon them. We have already shown that we have no such disposition by the liberality with which we granted the large sum of 20,000,000l. Then, make out your case—prove it clearly, and upon indisputable evidence — and the people of England will meet your fair demands. But let us do it in the way least onerous to ourselves. Take a direct sum from the Treasury—charge the Consolidated Fund with annuities for these gentlemen—but, for one, I will not consent upon account of any supposed claim of the West India proprietors to incur a tax which, at the very least, for every pound it puts into their pockets, takes two out of the pockets of the people. I will venture to rest the whole case upon this fact—that I prove to the satisfaction of any Gentleman, that for every pound which is really made by the West India proprietors by this monopoly, the charge upon the people of England is at least 2l.; the difference being wasted in the misapplication of labour and of capital. I say further than this—I am persuaded, that while this measure will most grievously injure the people of England—while it is a grievous injustice upon your own industrious classes—I am persuaded it will altogether disappoint the West India proprietors — that it will altogether fail to confer upon them the benefit which they anticipate. The grounds of that belief I think it is not very difficult to state. Sir, any Gentleman who has taken pains to make himself acquainted with the actual condition of the West Indies—above all, those who have read the mass of evidence which was taken before the Committee appointed by this House to inquire into the state of these Colonies in 1842—I say those who have taken pains to make themselves thus acquainted with the state of those Colonies cannot be ignorant that what is now complained of is the competition with the small supply of labour there. The competition of the planters among themselves raises wages so high, that the negroes, by working only a comparatively small portion of the day, are enabled to supply themselves with all those articles of consumption to which they have been accustomed. Of course, like men in every clime and country, they do not like work for work's sake. When they can provide themselves with those necessaries, and comforts, and luxuries, to which they have been used, of course they will labour no more; and we find, that whatever the price of sugar is, the planters outbid each other, in trying each to obtain as much labour as possible, until they give the highest wages the price of sugar at the time enables them to afford to take labour away from each other. This is the necessary effect of a deficient supply of labour in the market. Then, what will happen if you, by a reduction of duty, un- accompanied by an extension of the sources of supply, greatly increase the demand for Colonial sugar; thus raising the price received by the planter? My conviction is, that the competition for labour which already exists in your Colonies, will become more intense; that wages in consequence will be raised; that your wishes to benefit the planter will not be realised; but that the negroes will be enabled to supply themselves with all they want, by means of even a smaller amount of labour than they now give. The effect of your measures will, therefore, most probably, be rather to diminish than increase the supply of Colonial sugar, and to place the West India proprietors in a worse situation, as compared with the East Indies, than they are in at present. I think, then, there are strong reasons for believing such will be the effect of the measure which the right hon. Baronet proposes. Upon the other hand, let me point out to you—if I have already shown, as I cannot help thinking I have, that the existing system of protection imposes a heavy burden upon the British people—in the next place, that in consequence of the great reduction you now propose to make in the duty upon Colonial sugar, you have an opportunity which is not likely again to occur, of changing the policy you have hitherto followed, without incurring even the temporary inconvenience which might under other circumstances be apprehended. I think, that at a time when it is in your power to make a great diminution in the duty levied upon Colonial sugar, you have a very great facility for making a change of policy, which at any other time I admit might be difficult. At any other time I do think, after having so long acted upon the system of protection, the change would, in the first instance, be attended with great temporary disturbance to industry in the Colonies. I think that likely to be the effect; but at the time when you are making a large reduction of taxation upon the article of sugar, I think you have a reasonable ground for expecting that you might make this change of policy, and escape any such serious shock to Colonial industry. It is also to be considered that it is only by doing this—by making the two measures simultaneous—by coupling to the reduction of the duty upon Colonial sugar the equalisation of the duty upon sugar of all descriptions—it is only, I say, by making these two measures contemporaneous, that you can hope to secure to the consumer the benefit he ought to have from the reduction. If you were to reduce British and Colonial sugar without extending the sources of supply, the great probability is there would be no fall of any consequence in the price of sugar. The consumption in this country is so entirely kept down by price, and it is so infinitely below the real wants of the people, that my firm belief is, if you do not extend the sources of supply at the moment of reducing the duty, the demand will rise in the same proportion; and the whole advantage of the reduction will be divided in the shape of increased profits and increased wages between the planters and the labourers who are employed in the production. If there were to be no extension of the sources of supply, I think this would inevitably happen. I believe even the inadequate extension of the sources of supply which the right hon. Baronet has proposed this year and last, by admitting free-grown sugar at a differential duty, will to a certain extent counteract this effect, and the consumer will gain really something, I hope rather considerable, from the measures of the right hon. Gentleman. But if you were to carry that extension of the sources of supply somewhat further, and if you were to admit all Foreign sugar at the same rate of duty you propose for Colonial sugar, I think, when you look at the present consumption in this country, you can hardly doubt that it would immensely increase. What would be the effect? The total supply of sugar in the market of the world does not now exceed the demand. There is a demand in Europe and other parts of the world for all the sugar produced in all our own Colonial possessions, Brazil, and elsewhere; but if from that supply a considerable proportion is to be drawn off to meet the increased consumption of this, the richest and most numerous body of consumers in the world—if a large increase of consumption of that kind is to take place, it is quite obvious that, as the supply of sugar cannot be immediately increased, the price in the market of the world must of necessity rise. Prices would be thus supported; and when I look at the fact that the difference of price of equal qualities of Brazilian and Colonial sugar was lately only 7s. 6d., and the remission you propose to make of duty upon Colonial sugar is 11s.—when I consider this, I feel persuaded that the price of all kinds of sugar in the market of the world would, for a time at least, be so supported that the immediate fall of prices in this country could not go beyond the amount of the remission of the duty; that the 11s. you propose to remit of Colonial duty would cover the reduction of price for which sugar of whatever kind would be sold in bond in this country. If so—and this is the argument I wish to press upon the House—it follows, if you make this great and most desirable change of policy, without at all injuring, at all events for the present, the condition of the Colonial producer (since, if the fall of price in this country does not exceed the remission of duty, he remains as well off as he is at this moment), you will, therefore, be able to effect this great change of policy without any disturbance to Colonial industry, and without any immediate pressure upon the Colonial producer, who will remain in the same situation as he is at this moment. I have guarded myself by saying that this would be the case only for the present. No doubt the supply of Foreign sugar would gradually increase, and the increased prices would probably be brought down by degrees, not at once, I believe, but by slow degrees, according to the real cost of production; but do you not see that the effect of this would be to make foreign competition come gradually upon your own Colonial producer? He would not be exposed to any immediate difficulty of this sort; it would be only by slow degrees that the pressure of competition would be brought to bear upon him. The difficulty would come upon him gradually, which, in my opinion, is what he must expect, and he can have no right to ask for more than that he be gradually, and not suddenly exposed to competition. It is all that right hon. Gentlemen opposite, when arguing upon the policy of free trade, ask for. When they admit the principles of free trade are those of common sense, they always go on to say, "Do not introduce them at once, give us time, let us be exposed gradually to this new difficulty." That is precisely what would be the effect of making these two changes at the same time. It would be exposing the Colonial planter only by degrees to the pressure of competition with his Foreign rival. In the meantime I am persuaded, if proper exertions were made, the British producers might be in a situation to bid defiance to the competition of Foreign producers. Those who are aware of the state of things in the Colonies must know how much it is in the power of the colonists themselves and of the Government to reduce the cost of the production of sugar. The hon. Member who last spoke candidly admitted that up to a very late period the system of Colonial cultivation was one of reckless extravagance. He said that under the pressure of necessity considerable improvement had taken place. I believe it; and I believe that under the pressure of further necessity still greater improvements would be introduced. I believe that by an increase in the supply of labour—by a change in the present system of management—by a more economical mode of cultivation and of manufacture—I believe, by means of this kind, you may so reduce the cost of Colonial sugar, that by the time the supply of Foreign sugar is so increased as seriously to interfere with your own in your own market, your own will have no need to fear the rivalry. That is my opinion; but in expressing that opinion let me not be understood to mean that by any change you can adopt you can enable free-labour sugar to meet in competition with the sugar of slave states, if the existing system of cultivation by non-resident proprietors is continued. The hon. Member for Manchester very properly laid great stress upon this argument. I believe it lies at the bottom of the whole subject. I remember some years ago I asked the same question. I asked you, if you had to carry on the cultivation of an English farm, or the management of an English factory, while the proprietor was resident at Naples or Moscow, what chance there would be of profit from such a transaction? We know that an English farm is not often a very gainful pursuit in the hands of a gentleman, even if he is upon the spot to watch over the proceedings of his agent, but that if he is absent, loss is the invariable rule. Why should it be different in the Colonies? The production of sugar involves both agriculture and manufacture. Like every other business of the same description, profit entirely depends upon strict economy in detail—upon the energy, the enterprise, and the judgment which are displayed in adopting every possible improvement in the processes both of cultivation and of manufacture; and I say that all experience proves it is utterly impossible that the agent of a non-resident proprietor should be able, be he ever so honest and ever so active in every respect, to equal a resident; proprietor. It is totally impossible. I am convinced, Sir, that in the end the change now proposed would be highly beneficial to our Colonies, because it would stimulate those improvements which are so much required; it would make the Colonial Legislatures ex- ert themselves to do all which depends upon them. Much depends upon them. I have taken some trouble to look into the Returns laid before the Committee to which I have already adverted; and I was much struck with the fact, that in every one of those Colonies there exists a system of taxation the most unwise it is possible to conceive; a system objectionable, less for the amount of money it raises, than for the means by which those sums are raised, calculated not to stimulate, but to depress industry. As I said before, there is a ruinous and wasteful system of management by attorneys and by overseers. I am persuaded that if you reduce the duties, the change which has already begun to a certain extent will go on much more rapidly; proprietors will sell or lease their estates; and the negroes are rising so fast both in property and intelligence that many of those properties would fall into their hands. With the stimulus of personal interest I have not the least doubt that cultivation and manufacture would both be improved to the greatest degree. Besides that, you must remember that in a few years you will have the advantage—every day it is beginning to be more felt—of a peasantry fast rising into manhood—not educated under the degrading influence of slavery, but enlightened by freedom and education. When you have all these advantages—a change in the organization of society by leasing or selling of property by non-residents, an improved character of the peasantry, an increased supply of labour, a more judicious distribution of taxation, improvements made in cultivation and manufacture—when you may have all these advantages, can any man doubt we should find the practical truth of that principle which the advocates of emancipation used always to avow;—namely, their thorough confidence in the superiority of free over slave labour? By slavery, it is true, you can extort the mere physical exertions of the slave, but you cannot draw out the qualities of his mind; for that purpose slavery is wholly inefficient—utterly powerless. All experience proves that every business which is carried on by slave labour, whether it is in your own Colonies, whether it is in the United States of America, whether it is in the Brazils—in all cases every branch of industry carried on by slave labour is invariably carried on by the rudest means, and without any of that economy of labour which is the first condition of cheap production. The intelligence of the labourers cannot be called forth; and therefore the rudest and most barbarous means of applying his strength are still, to a great extent, adhered to. Sir, that is just the case with regard to the cultivation of sugar—that is the reason why, although intelligent and civilized Europeans have now for about two centuries been engaged in it, it is so little advanced beyond its primitive state. And I believe, Sir, that more has been done towards improvement within the half-dozen years since slavery was really abolished in your own Colonies, than even during the two preceding centuries. If I am well informed, in some of your Colonies, and particularly in those in which there are resident proprietors — in Antigua and in Barbadoes more especially, considerable improvement is going on. Taking that improvement into consideration — taking into consideration the further improvements which will no doubt be made, and the stimulus which they will naturally give to competition—looking at all these things, I feel perfectly persuaded that in a few years you will find that free labour will be far cheaper than slave labour; and that the rich regions of Demerara, Trinidad, and Jamaica, will be able not only to drive the produce of slave labour out of your own markets, but to drive it out of the market of Europe and out of the market of the world, and by doing so abolish not only the Slave Trade, but slavery. Sir, these are the great results to which, I believe, you may confidently look, if you have so much faith in the truth of great principles—so much reliance on the ultimate triumph of what is right and good over evil in all its shapes as to venture to adopt an enlarged and enlightened policy on this subject, instead of timidly shrinking from what may be the temporary difficulty and the passing inconvenience with which it may no doubt be attended. For I admit that if you adopt the line of policy I recommend, some temporary inconvenience, some fleeting evil might arise. I am not prepared to deny that for a time encouragement might be given to the Foreign Slave Trade. ["Hear."] Sir, I am perfectly prepared for that sneer from the other side; but I can assure the hon. Gentleman that it does not at all shake my confidence in the opinions to which I have given expression. Any temporary evil that might arise from the adoption of the principles I recommend, would, in my opinion, be of minor importance, when you take into consideration the great object sought to be achieved. I do not deny that the feeble and hesitating measures which you have directed against slavery and the Slave Trade—your partial exclusion of the produce of slave labour, from your markets, rejecting some kinds, whilst other kinds you have thought it too great a sacrifice to refuse—your endeavour to bolster up the industry of your emancipated Colonies by maintaining protective duties—your attempts to put down the Slave Trade by an expensive force, while its continuance is assured by the immense profits it produces—I do not, I say, deny that by these means you may have palliated, in some degree, though you could never hope so to get rid of the evil with which you have been contending. If, therefore, you should now resolve to change your course—if, trusting to the truth of the principle on which you have partially acted, that free labour is better and cheaper than slave labour, you are prepared to commit your Colonies unaided—I ought to say unincumbered—by protecting duties to a struggle in your market with the produce of slave labour—if, with a view to an ultimate triumph over slavery itself, you venture to discontinue some of the measures by which you have hitherto hoped to escape giving encouragement to the Slave Trade; and if, acting on the conviction that no real good can arise without steadily pursuing some principle, you should determine to get rid of the inconsistencies of your present system, and to admit slave-grown sugar as you admit slave-grown cotton, slave-grown tobacco, and slave-grown coffee—should you, I say, take this course, I should be quite prepared to find that, for a time, there might be some increase of the Slave Trade; but the apprehension of this passing and fleeting evil cannot deter me from doing that which I believe to be wise and right in itself, and calculated in the end to gain a great victory for the cause of humanity. It is the unshaken confidence I feel, that in the struggle that would sooner or later ensue, the produce of free labour will triumph over the produce of slave labour, and thus an end would be put to the existing system, which induces me to give my support to the proposition of the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Gibson). And to the hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House who are pleased to impute to us for acting upon these convictions, that we would encourage the Slave Trade, I beg to say, I am not more indifferent now to the horrors of slavery and of the Slave Trade, than I was when we were engaged in the arduous and finally successful struggle to abolish it in our own Colonies, in the days when it there flourished, and when the new-born philanthropy of those who now taunt us on this subject did not prevent them from defending it, and profiting by its abuses to the latest moment that they were permitted to do so. I say, I am not less opposed to slavery now than I was at that time when I was, though a very humble, a very sincere supporter of those men by whose exertions the character of the British nation has been cleared of the stain of supporting slavery in its Colonies. I was an humble and a sincere supporter of those Gentlemen; and I cannot help here expressing my regret that we have lately lost one of the most remarkable of them, distinguished by his advocacy of the cause, by his sincerity, and the ability with which he supported his opinions. But, though I strenuously assisted the late Sir Fowell Buxton in his struggle on this subject, and though I retain all the views and the feelings I then entertained, I say again I am not to be prevented by them from supporting the Motion of the hon. Gentleman; and I do hope the people of this country will look into this question, and that they will compare the former conduct of those who resist this Motion on the ground that its adoption would encourage slavery, with the conduct of those who are in favour of it, and then they will see how much of sincerity there is at the bottom of the argument made use of by the Gentlemen opposite; and I hope they will ask themselves whether, on account of an argument like this, which I think is unfounded, they will continue to subject the distressed labouring classes of this country to an undenied burden, and to an undenied tax—a tax to a very large pecuniary amount, and a burden far heavier than even the amount shown by the pecuniary tax.

Mr. W. E. Gladstone

I for one do not intend, Sir, to follow the noble Lord the Member for Sunderland, in what he has said with reference to the question of slavery and the Slave Trade. This important subject we shall on a future occasion have an opportunity of fully discussing. The few words I have to say upon the subject at present will be entirely of a defensive character. I quite concur in the sentiments of regret expressed by the noble Lord (Lord Howick) at the departure from this world of a man of considerable emi- nence in connexion with the abolition of the Slave Trade—I mean Sir Fowell Buxton. I entirely agree with the noble Lord in entertaining feelings of the highest respect for the character of that philanthropist. I never shall forget his sincere and earnest zeal in the cause he espoused; and I must be permitted to add, I shall never forget that which is a rarer quality in popular assemblies in this country, the gentle and kindly manner in which he was accustomed to pursue the subject which was dear to his heart. But, Sir, I must say, that I felt when the noble Lord was happy in choosing this particular moment for passing an eulogium upon Sir Fowell Buxton, he was unhappy in fixing charges on the character, and impugning the motives of his opponents, in desiring to have their conduct censured and condemned for the conduct they had pursued, and in talking of what he called their new-born philanthropy. For on the question of the Sugar Duties the Members of the Government have thought it their duty to take the very course which was pursued by Sir Fowell Buxton, the object of the noble Lord's eulogy. But, Sir, I will say no more on that subject at present, but leave it for a future occasion. With regard to the question before the House, I scarcely know how I am to approach it. Those Gentlemen who spoke of the Motion, have undoubtedly treated it as a Motion to pledge the House to the immediate equalization of the duties on British and Foreign sugar. Now, I must confess that the proposition brought forward by the hon. Member for Manchester has been framed somewhat ingeniously, and with a view to combine many who, had it been otherwise framed, might probably have been opposed to each other. The advocates for extreme measures have, as I think, left out one strong point in this case, and that is, of not putting parties out of doubt, of not bringing the question to a final settlement, and, if practicable, of preventing the possibility of future legislation. I think, Sir, that this merit cannot be applied to the Motion of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester. And I cannot help thinking that he has framed that Motion to catch stray votes, and to combine in a common expression of opinion Gentlemen not exactly agreed; and an announcement was made by a distinguished Member, that though he was not prepared to accede to an immediate equalization of the duties on Foreign and Colonial sugar, he was prepared to vote for the Motion of the hon. Member for Manchester—the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Devonport distinctly said this. And, therefore, the hon. Gentleman has himself shown some want of courage, and some want of confidence in those principles which he advocates. The hon. Gentleman has not been prepared to state the case on the merits of those principles alone; but he has shown himself anxious to join those who are not prepared to unite with him in endeavouring to carry into effect those practical measures of which he himself is the advocate. Therefore the hon. Gentleman must not come to us and say, that he is prepared to bring forward a measure, the adoption of which would settle and put an end to long agitated questions; and that the policy we recommend only tends to increase contentions already existing, and is not calculated to effect a settlement of them. The hon. Gentlemen opposite have spoken to-night of what they called the heavy burden of the tax paid by the people of England on account of the differential duty on West India sugar. And I don't deny that there is a payment, which if you please you may call a tax, made by the people of England on account of this differential duty. I admit this; but why should hon. Gentlemen resort to unnecessary exaggeration on this subject? The noble Lord, himself, who does not usually indulge in exaggeration, but whose habit was one of great precision, had nevertheless been no doubt unintentionally led into exaggeration, and had commenced his speech by fastening on my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol the charge that he assented to the doctrine that 2,300,000l. was the minimum of this tax levied upon the people of England. Now, what did the noble Lord proceed to do, having made this statement? He proceeded to make a calculation founded upon the statement made by the hon. Member for Manchester, and stated that the amount of differential duty was 10s. per cwt., or 10l. per ton. But this was carried much farther by other hon. Gentlemen. Some made the duty amount to 3,000,000l. But the noble Lord himself afterwards went into details, from which he made it appear that the amount of differential duty was only 7s. 6d., instead of 10s. or 13s., and 10l. or 13l. [Lord Howick: That is now, and not what it would be after the change.] You say it would rise. While some hon. Gentlemen said that the differential duty was 10s. or 13s., the noble Lord himself stated the difference to be 7s. 6d. The noble Lord says, that that is what it is now, and not what it would be after a change. But he has informed us, and invited our attention to the statement, that if the measures proposed were adopted, there would be a very considerable increase in the amount payable for Foreign sugar, and a proportionate decrease in the payment for Colonial. Well, but the effect of that would be to diminish the difference, and to lessen the pressure of the tax. All I wish to do at present is, to deprecate unnecessary exaggeration on a matter of this importance. But I will now refer to the real question before the House, and state what may be considered in a great measure the gist of the argument. I grant you that we are bound to say on what principle we contend for the maintenance of the present duty. And let me observe, that while the Government considers itself justified in making a relaxation of duties for the benefit of the country at large, it feels itself bound to adhere to the principle which has been long adhered to—that the policy of this country has been to maintain a system of protection; and under that system of protection, interests have been formed, capital and labour have been distributed—and perhaps, if you like to say so, in a vicious and defective manner—but still capital and labour have been so distributed, and the principles upon which the British House of Commons have always acted, have been not to take any unfair advantage of such interests, wherever they existed. And while I must say, that I don't think this House will be prepared to depart from the principles hitherto followed, yet, I believe, it is the opinion of a small number of Gentlemen that we ought to apply with an inconsiderate and unsparing hand the principle of free trade. To the question that has been raised by the Gentlemen on the opposite side of the House, I think a most definite reply may be given. The hon. Member, for Wolverhampton (Mr. Villiers) asks what claims have the West India planters? Now, I grant that this is a question upon which, on the part of the West India proprietors, we are bound to answer. I wish heartily that it were possible that equality, or something like equality, could be established between the native and the foreign productions. Such an equality cannot be established; and I do believe that the adoption of the proposition of the hon. Member for Manchester would bring down ruin on a numerous class of persons at home, and carry dismay into the Colonies—a dismay that would spread throughout all classes of the community—and be attended with the most injurious consequences to the labouring classes. I grant you that the extreme dearness of production in the West Indies forms the difficulty of this question. I admit that it would be unfair to make a demand on the people of this country as an encouragement to the grower, if no reason existed for such a demand being made. But reasons exist for such a demand. I should at once abandon the differential duty, if it could be shown that it would be reasonable to do so. But that cannot be done. But what are the causes of the dearness of production in the West Indies? Now, I don't wish to adopt the language of partisanship in this matter. There has been a passion for saying that scarcity of labour has been a cause of the dearness of production. That, in my opinion, is not the sole cause, but one of the most important causes. I assert, as I have asserted before, that although scarcity of labour is one cause of the dearness of production, the scarcity of proprietors (of course I mean resident proprietors) is another. Although it would be desirable that both these evils should be remedied, if possible; yet it would, perhaps, be the more important of the two, if you could change the non-resident proprietors of estates to a resident class. Although both considerations were material, yet this was, perhaps, the first in order and importance. Now, what is the source of these two causes of the dearness of production? How had the West India proprietors come to be non-resident? Because non-residence was perfectly compatible with the produce of slave labour, and when a heavy system of expenditure was entailed, in consequence of the proscription of slave labour, this was a departure from the system formerly established and recognized, for the result of which the Legislature of this country was responsible. That great and serious disadvantages resulted from non-residence is a position which no one will attempt to gainsay; but having, by the permission of slavery for so many years, prevented non-residence, we must not now claim to be exempt from the natural and unavoidable consequences of our own acts. The question will then naturally be asked of the West Indian proprietors—"Why do you not become residents, or, failing to become residents, why do you not place in the care of your estates some near connexions of your own, who would have a direct interest in the well-being of the labourers, and in the productiveness of the estate, or why not hand over your estates to eligible tenants, or part with them to persons who will reside in the Colony?" Those questions are much easier asked than answered. Surely hon. Members must see that arrangements so extensive could not be effected in periods of time that could be reckoned by months or years. The framework of society could not thus be changed throughout a whole country in so short a time as that which elapsed since the abolition of slavery. It would not, in my opinion, be too much to expect that a whole generation should pass away, before such a change could be effected. Then, with regard to the other cause, respecting which so much has been said, namely, the scarcity of labour; I rather imagine the House will agree with me that that scarcity does not proceed from any single act, or from any individual cause. No man can shut his eyes to the fact that the Parliament of this country has been the cause of making labour scarce. I should be the last man in the House to deprecate the measures by which that result was brought about. To deprecate the abolition of slavery is the furthest thought in the world from my mind; but though we may rejoice that slavery has been abolished, we must not shut our eyes to the truth that the stale of the West Indies cannot be considered in the same light as it must have been viewed before the abolition of slavery. Labour was then cheap—labour is now dear; and those who were the cause of this effect must not at present refuse to bear their proper share of the consequences of their own acts. We all know perfectly well that the estates of the West India proprietors may be improved; but we likewise know, that the West India proprietors as a body do not reside in the Colonies; they reside in this country. Certainly not one in ten, or, indeed, I might be within the mark if I said there is not one in fifty, who does not stand on the wrong side of the account, and that has been unfortunately the case for many years past. This state of things they conceive to be referable to the acts of the British Legislature; but whether that opinion be well founded, or the contrary, they should go shares with us in every attempt to improve their own condition. To come, however, to the observations of the noble Lord; he tells us that the present is a most favourable opportunity for equalizing the duties on Foreign and Colonial sugar. But I hope the House will recollect how fully it is admitted that the difference of price between sugars of the same quality, one being Foreign, and the other Colonial, is about 10s. 6d.; when the noble Lord sets it down at 7s. 6d. I believe that he understates it; but assuming that it is now 7s., let us recollect how recently the difference was 17s. per cwt., though both sugars were of the same intrinsic value; and this state of the markets had been in a great degree the prevailing state during the last six or seven years; and previous to that time West India sugars of corresponding qualities with Foreign sugars were often charged at double the price of the Foreign sugars. It was at one time said that a stand ought to be made at 20s. per cwt. protecting duty. Don't let it be now said that in laying on 10s. duty we are endeavouring to maintain a monopoly. There is a severe and heavy pressure upon the West Indian interest; but I do say that, in the mode by which we are endeavouring to lower the premium upon the production of West Indian sugar, we are giving every motive to the practice of economy—every motive to the spirited and enterprising employment of capital—every motive for the judicious and effective employment of machinery with a view to the production of a better and a cheaper article; and we are anxious, in common with the noble Lord, to reduce within the most moderate limits the burden which the people of England bear in connexion with this article. I will not on this occasion take up the time of the House by going into the general question of an equalization of the duties; for you are now called upon to deal with circumstances which have grown up around you—you have to deal with difficulties of your own creation; and I would entreat of you, in dealing with them, to bear in mind how readily the noble Lord admits that his measure would produce some temporary inconvenience—some fleeting evil—that it would, in short, give some encouragement to the Slave Trade. Does any one doubt that this would give a fatal shock to the West India interest? Where-ever we are to have trade, let us take care to have it where there is no risk; let us have it where there are natural supplies of raw material, where there is a judicious employment of machinery and active employment of capital. But these principles of legislation cannot be without reserve applied to our West India Colonies; for, with reference to their produce, they come before us with a special plea, for they say with perfect truth and justice, that they have to compete with causes of which you are the creators; that non-residence prevents a wise economy—prevents an employment of the best methods of cultivation; that it produces scarcity of labour; and that the employment of negro labour has been rendered much more expensive and less productive by the abolition of slavery.

Mr. Labouchere

would detain the House only for a few moments; but having so often had occasion to address the House on the subject of the Sugar Duties, he was unwilling to let the present occasion pass without offering a few observations. He did not conceive that the present was the occasion to discuss the scheme of Her Majesty's Government—a scheme to which he had great objections. He rejoiced that the Motion of his noble Friend the Member for the City of London would afford him an early opportunity of stating his objections to that plan. At present he should only say this, that one of his objections to the scheme was, that it was not only intrinsically bad in many respects, but that instead of bringing the Sugar Duties to a point of greatly diminished protection, it would, by aggravating the protection that already existed, greatly increase the difficulty of dealing with the question in future, even on the principles which the right hon. Member for Newark laid down. But he conceived that the question now was, whether the House would at once completely and effectually substitute for the present system of differential duties a system of perfect equality between the sugar of our own Colonies and that of other countries. That was the question, fairly stated by the hon. Member for Manchester, and his noble Friend the Member for Sunderland; because he agreed that if it could be considered in any other light than a proposition for a sudden and immediate change, nothing could be more unwise than that Parliament should condemn the difference of duties, and not proceed to equalize them. This would introduce universal confusion, and paralyse all the branches of the sugar trade. The House must treat the Motion as one to equalize the duties upon Foreign and Colonial sugar. He was bound to say on this occasion—such being the question before the House—that he did not think that would be a wise course to pursue, and, entertaining that opinion, he could not be a party to putting in force such a Resolution. He was unwilling to detain the House with his reasons for this opinion; the more especially because, although he would not shrink from avowing his sentiments, it was painful to him to argue against those Gentlemen with whom he generally agreed. He quite agreed with them, that the general danger in that House was not that protection would be suddenly withdrawn—not that protection would be diminished too much, but that protection should be kept on too long, and should be exaggerated in a manner mischievous to the country, and even to the protected interests themselves. It was, therefore, with no pleasure that he argued against the Motion of his hon. Friend the Member for Manchester. But opposing that Motion, he felt it his duty to the House as well as to his constituents, to declare his opinion upon it. It was now proposed to them that they should substitute for the present system, which was practically one of complete exclusion and monopoly, one of complete free trade. In dealing with great interests, precipitation should be avoided. If they looked to the most celebrated writers on political economy, from Adam Smith to Mr. M'Culloch, they would find that they all concurred in this, that in applying the principle of their system, the greatest circumspection and caution should be used. Since he (Mr. Labouchere) had been in that House, he bad often listened to the most distinguished statesmen, from Mr. Huskisson down to the present day, and had never heard a contrary opinion expressed by any public man whose name carried any great weight with it. If they looked at the practice of the world in legislating on these matters, he knew no country that ever pursued a course of suddenly and completely removing a long-existing protection. Whether, therefore, he looked to authority or the practical hearing of the matter upon the present condition of the country, he could not bring himself to believe that the interests of trade, or the general interests of the country, would be benefited by now pursuing a course of this description. If he were asked to apply these general principles to the question before the House, he should say, that there was, in the present position of the West Indies, looking to the situation in which they now were, and to the course of legislation pursued towards them, every reason why, if these principles were in themselves just and reasonable, they should be applied to the West Indies. He never would, however, deal with a Colonial interest—though he was himself unprotected in every way, and had no interest whatever in the Colonies which were protected — he never would consent to deal with the Colonial interest more harshly and abruptly than with an interest existing in this country. Being of opinion that these were just views and principles applied to trade in general, he was not prepared to adopt any other view, or take any other course in regard to Colonial interests. It was not necessary for him to trouble the House at greater length on the present occasion, as he had merely risen to state that he should feel bound to pursue that course on this question which he had always formerly pursued when it was before the House; and however much he regretted any part which Her Majesty's Government should take tending to increase protection, he was not at the same time prepared to give his vote for the Motion of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester for suddenly equalizing the duties on Foreign and Colonial sugars.

Mr. Cobden

said, that he had taken some pains to justify himself, as the present was a question on which he had suffered some little obloquy some months ago. He had made inquiries in the city, and found that the proposal of the Government was Mr. Miles's proposition over again. They had not only got the Measure of last year, but they had got something worse. Now he had been rather ill-used in this matter. The right hon. Baronet was disposed to have a flirtation with the free traders' principles, and for a time they had been charmed with the constancy of his attachment. Now, if the right hon. Baronet went back to his first love, he must not expect to pass muster for a free trader. The right hon. Baronet had done something in the way of fiscal changes. He had taken money from the pockets of the people by the Income Tax, and restored something to them in the shape of cotton and glass duties. But on the whole, speaking as a free trader, with the Government Sugar Measures forming part of the scheme before him, he believed that they stood in a worse position now, as regarded protective duties, than they stood in last year. He did not know that he had any branch of the question before the House to refer to, except that which had been alluded to; and when it was said that they were anxious to evade the question, he meant that branch of it which had reference to the question of slavery. The noble Lord the Member for London had been charged with having attributed motives to the hon. Gentlemen opposite. Now he (Mr. Cobden) would not attribute motives to them; nothing, in fact, was so difficult to discover. But although he himself would not charge any motives upon them, he might do the hon. Gentlemen opposite some service if he told them what were the motives which the people out of doors attributed to them. A great deal had that night been said of Sir T. Buxton and the Anti-Slavery party; and hon. Gentlemen thought that, holding these duties under the plea that by so doing they were preventing slavery, they were sure of conciliating the support of the Anti-Slavery body. In that they were most grievously mistaken. As a body, he respected the Anti-Slavery party, and he had made some acquaintance with many of the most influential members of that body which had fought and won the Anti-Slavery battle. The very same men, in all parts of the country, who fought and had won that battle, were now in the ranks of the Corn Law repealers. They had in London, it was true, a committee sitting in Broad-street and in Lombard-street and of all localities, he was most ready to suspect committees sitting either in Broad-street or in Lombard-street. Over these they might have some influence; but he could tell hon. Gentlemen opposite, that by the great body of the Anti-Slavery party they were suspected, and that that party regarded them as hypocrites. He did not charge them with being so. He was only telling them what was the feeling out of doors. Now let them look at whom they represented, and who they were who were represented on that (the Opposition) side of the House. The Anti-Slavery party, when it existed in its strength, had exercised a power over the acts of that House, and had its representatives in that House; and where then were its head-quarters? In Manchester, Kendal, Leeds, Bath, &c.; and were the Members of these constituencies now on his side of the House, or on the other? By whom were the men representing these constituencies sent there? By that body to which the Anti-Slavery party belonged. Let them take the case of Leeds, in which they were divided, in which the hon. Gentleman opposite had one representative, and they (the Opposition) another. And who sent the Member which hon. Gentlemen opposite claimed as their own? and who the Member on his side of the House—who? Why, the Conservative Member represented the party opposed to the abolition of slavery; the Liberal Member represented the Anti-Slavery party. He would ask the hon. Member for Bath—although he was afraid the hon. and learned Gentleman was suffering from a severe cold, and could not answer—were the Anti-Slavery people of Bath anxious to keep up the discriminating duty—to tax the poor people of Somersetshire to put down slavery? They repudiated such a notion. He would venture to say that the great body of them would support the hon. and learned Gentleman when he went to the hustings, after having voted against this attempt to tax the sugar of the people. Well, seeing these facts, if the Ministerialists were the parties opposed to emancipation—if they were the parties who had voted even against the abolition of the punishment of women by the lash—and some of their very leaders recorded their votes against the abolition of that revolting practice—seeing that they never lent a hand to carry out that object—why, the last deputation which came to London in 1838, consisting of 230 Members, had not six of the Tory party amongst them—he believed not three; and on asking his friend, Mr. George Thompson, about it, he was informed by that gentleman that he thought there was not even one; seeing these things, he could not refrain from telling them the honest conviction of the people out of doors, who regarded their conduct as utter hypocrisy, in setting up such a plea in that House. He did not charge them with hypocrisy. He showed them that there was certainly some argument on his side, when he could show them that very questionable motives were charged upon them by the people out of doors. Parties out of doors spoke out, and it was important that hon. Gentlemen should know what was the opinion held of them, and what motives were attributed to them out of doors. As regarded foreigners, too, they should know these things; and he could tell them honestly that they were by foreigners suspected in this matter, and it was known to foreigners that they were suspected by parties at home. Their own statements convicted them in this matter. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Cumberland, in the same breath in which he argued the necessity and propriety of putting down slavery and the Slave Trade, admitted that the West India planters could not compete with slavery, and that the Government must not take off the differential duty, for that they could not carry on the business of sugar making if they were compelled to compete with the labour of slaves. What said foreigners of such language as that? They put their arguments in juxtaposition, and compared them with one another. What said Mr. Calhoun, in a correspondence intended for history—what did he say? He openly accused Her Majesty's Government of hypocrisy. In Brazil the same opinion was entertained—in Madrid and Cuba they were openly proclaimed to be hypocrites, who, under the pretence of putting an end to slavery, were only preserving their cherished monopolies. Hon. Gentlemen had assumed that they could not carry on the business of making sugar in competition with slavery, and the hon. Gentlemen the Member for Cumberland asked very innocently how they (the manufacturers) would like to carry on their manufactures in Manchester and other places against competitors abroad who paid no wages to their workmen, that was to say, against those who stole the work of their fellow-beings without any remuneration. He could tell that hon. Gentleman that let their workmen have none but gangs of slaves to compete with, and he would guarantee them the market of the world. Was there ever seen so monstrous an absurdity as to suppose that a slave community could possibly compete with a nation of freemen. The very nature of slavery precluded those economical arrangements on which cheapness and facility of production depended. What did slavery involve? Why, the absence of all independent labourers. What did that imply? It was necessary that each planter should keep on his establishment a sufficient number of workmen of every description to carry on their business. If a sugar maker required casks, it was necessary that he should have those upon his estate who could supply him with casks. As he wanted occasionally to send his casks to the wharfs, it was necessary that he should keep the necessary number of waggons and waggoners to serve his purpose. He must thus provide himself with everything, keeping men, cattle and implements for twelve months, perhaps, and requiring them only once. In such a state of society, which precluded the division of labour, would anybody tell him that against such a state of society free labour could not contend? They had heard that night some of the assumptions of their opponents. A great deal of assumption had pervaded many of the speeches which had been delivered, especially that of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gladstone), who had addressed them from behind the Treasury Benches. That right hon. Gentleman assumed that if they equalised the duty, they would assuredly bring ruin upon the Colonies. What they thus assumed he undertook to say was a bold and audacious fallacy. He altogether denied their premises. Had they not disproof of them in the case of Manilla and Java? If these countries could sell sugar in Holland and in England in opposition to the Brazils, why should not the West India Colonies sell in opposition to the Brazils also? Many hon. Gentlemen appeared in that House in formâ pauperis, asking for the means of enabling them to carry on their business. But before the House doled out money to those Gentlemen, it would be but right to investigate their accounts. Let it be seen first how they carried on their business. If all they heard were true, nothing could be more wasteful than the extravagant and improvident system of mismanagement which prevailed on the West India estates. He had heard great fault attributed to the workmen. He very much feared the blame lay wholly with the masters. The workmen were now labouring for a shilling a day. The noble Lord the Member for Sunderland, led on by a remark which fell from some hon. Gentleman on the opposite side of the House, had given them 2s. a day. But he had that very day received advices from Jamaica, and he found that 1s. a day was the average rate of wages. [Mr. James: Half-a-crown a day is the highest.] Half-a-crown the highest? He could show the hon. Gentleman that he was right, and the hon. Gentleman wrong by an extract from one of the latest Ja- maica papers. He had a copy of the Jamaica Times—and the hon. Gentleman could not believe that that paper would publish an erroneous statement of a fact, the falsity of which could be so easily detected on the spot—and in that paper he found it stated that when labour was done by the day, 1s. and 1s. 3d. was the standard rate of wages for first-class hands. But job and task work was now very general, and it appeared the most satisfactory to all parties. That was not a bad description of workmen who liked job work instead of day work. The whole matter lay with the masters. If the House would allow him—and he would not occupy their attention long, nor would he trouble them with extracts which were unimportant—he would read some passages from a private letter lately sent over from Jamaica, and he might premise that a copy of the letter was in the hands of the Under Secretary for the Colonies, who knew the party from whom it came, and a copy of it also was in the hands of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Weymouth (Mr. Bernal), who had been so struck with the details afforded by it that he requested a copy of it. As the letter was a private one, and contained private accounts, he would not read the names mentioned in it, but every one who chose might see these names. The Gentleman who had written it was resident in Jamaica, and he would read them a description of how things were managed in that island. The writer gave this description with respect to the evils of non-residence on the part of West Indian proprietors. He says:— I grant you that an absentee proprietor can never expect to get anything out of his estates; first, the attorney, then the overseer, then the bookkeepers, and though last not least, the merchants in Kingston must have their portions before a single shilling can be remitted to the proprietor in England. Let that proprietor, however, come out and look after his own business, and a very different result would very soon be apparent. My friend Mr—, resided in England, and his estate was bringing him into debt year after year; he came out, made 110 hogsheads of sugar and sixty puncheons of rum, purchased stock and repaired his buildings for 1,100l.; after the crop was sold and all expenses paid, he had lived out of the estate, and cleared 1,000l. The writer further says:— Mr.—, (a creole and a man of colour) sub-leases at an increased rent from Mr.—, for 850l. Without any pecuniary assistance whatever beyond about 100l. he had saved as an overseer, and some money received from negroes, he made 110 hogsheads of sugar, with the usual proportion of rum, and after maintaining himself and family he had a surplus of 600l., and this in the face of drought. Another case is that of Mr.—, Who" (the writer says) "shipped ninety hogsheads of sugar, and the usual (one-third) quantity of rum, at a total outlay, from first to last, of 900l. sterling, including the expense of living like a gentleman. He perceived that his hon. Friend the Member for Cumberland's mouth watered at descriptions like these. He would read him another, and he hoped his hon. Friend would profit by it:— Mr. —, who has, by adhering to a principle which he laid down some five years ago of confining his cultivation to the quantity of land which he could properly manure, made a small fortune out of — estate in St. Thomas in the Vale, and which was considered one of die poorest in the district. He had other cases to adduce to them still—and he saw that the mouth of the hon. Gentleman (the Member for Cumberland) quite watered at the details and descriptions furnished to the House. If the hon. Gentleman would allow him, he would read another case; and he trusted that the hon. Gentleman, who would not only hear it, but might afterwards see and read it for himself, would learn to profit by it:— Mr.—, who lives like a gentleman, and is a good planter, leases property, which had been sinking money for years, at a rental of twenty tons of sugar per annum. He has this year made 100 hhds., and will clear 800l. sterling. Another case was that of— Mr. — (who came here as a clerk some few yean ago), purchased an estate for 60,000l. which had for many years been sinking money for the proprietors. He spent 4,000l. in putting it in order, imported two or three Scotch agricultural labourers, began with the plough, and worked horses instead of oxen: he assures me that if we only have moderate October seasons, he will clear 2,000l. this year, after every expense; and further says, that if he resided on the property, he could effect a saving of 500l. per annum. Yet notwithstanding this, all the surrounding estates belonging to absentees are sinking money, and many it is said, must be thrown up. Now, if the hon. Gentleman would listen, he would read the concluding passage, which would furnish him a hint:— The radical vice in our system is, we have too much land; if proprietors would only cultivate what they can properly manure they would do well, but they grasp at large fields, and an overseer must boast to his attorney that he has sixty, eighty, or 100 acres in plants. Where he tells the attorney that be had only fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five acres, but that he was properly manuring them, and keeping down expenditure, he would get his "ticket," as lazy and incompetent; and thus it is, always has been and, I fear, ever will be. If the absentee proprietor does not choose to come and look after his estate he mutt be victimized: I say nothing of many instances of abuses which have lately been exposed. It is not for me to speak of the faults of others, but, knowing what I have stated to be true, how can I join in the cry that we are ruined? He thought there was enough in the series of quotations he had just read the House—coming from the authority from which they did—and the Under Secretary for the Colonies, who had applied for a copy of it, was well aware of the importance of the value of the communication—to prove to the House how much the whole matter still lay with masters and owners. It was enough to make one pause, and consider whether they should not find by and by, as they were beginning to find in the case of agriculture at home, that this protection to sugar was just as great a bane as protection had proved to corn in their own country. The free traders had always found that their strongest position as Corn Law repealers, was on the agricultural ground in England; and he would undertake to say that if any one examined and maintained the West India question well, he would find that the strongest ground for advocating the repeal of protection on sugar, would be that of benefiting the Colonies themselves. He would not then enter into further arguments in reference to the question. The hon. Gentlemen opposite, however, must not console themselves with the idea that their present plan was to be a settlement of the question. Let them look out of doors. Had the principle of free trade been progressing or retrograding during the last year? The adherents of free trade were by some hon. Gentlemen called violent men. He would wish they would have the goodness to recollect who it was who were represented by the Corn Law repealers in that House. Did they call the City of London a violent body of men? There was not a house in the city of London which had not a vote; that city had been plied and tested on the question whether it would stand up for protection or free trade. Upon that question the opposite parties had contended; and he would just ask the hon. Gentleman the Member for Huntingdon to tell the House which party had won. The protectionists dared not to go to Manchester, to South Lancashire, or to the West Riding of Yorkshire to test their opinions. They had there in that House, among the violent men the Representatives of the great towns; and what were they but the exponents of public opinion? In comparison with them, what were the pocket boroughs of their opponents? They might depend upon it, that when they had only these to walk out into the lobby with them, they would find no Minister who would have the courage to attempt to carry out the present system, when he had nothing to depend on but a numerical majority of pocket-boroughs. Now, whatever their vote might be, it would not be a settlement of the question. He asked the West India interest—he asked them — if it would not be better for them to be free from the incumbrance of protection? They had now come down to a protecting duty of 10s. 6d. What was it? He could tell what the West Indies wanted. They wanted more capital—they wanted it in the shape of railroads—they wanted people to invest money amongst them; but the people never invested money where there were protecting duties. On Thursday week, however, he should have something more to say to them on the subject. See how miserably low Macclesfield had fallen under protection. Now he said again, no one would go to Jamaica for the purpose of investing money; for as long as they had a protected interest there, they would have no confidence in it. At the close of the last Session there was between both sides of that House a sort of rivalry upon that which they called "the condition of England question." Now, there were some people who argued that sugar was not wholesome; the children of the poor were told by their parents, that if they went to the cupboard to look for it they would find "Old Bogey" there. It was because it was so dear, it was said it would spoil their teeth, that it would injure their stomachs. Never was there a greater mistake. There was no more nutritious food. Second to bread itself, there was no one thing that it was more fitting that the people should have in a great quantity than sugar, and yet they in that House deprived the people of that comfort. They all professed a great love for the people—they professed to be wonderfully charitable—they all professed a great tenderness for the poor, as long as the question they had to deal with was not a money question; but when it was, then the landlords and the sugar lords both combined together upon corn and sugar, and put their hands into the pockets of the poor people. What would be thought of those who did this? What said of them? That there they were, noble Lords and hon. Members, professing their regard for the poor, declaring their willingness to serve them, but when it came to the test—when it came to be a question of protection—when it came even to the small difference of a penny in the price of a pound of sugar—then they threw the poor and their families to the winds, and stood by their party.

Mr. Cardwell

would trespass but shortly on the time of the House, and confine himself to replying to observations that bore directly on the subject of debate, abstaining from those extraneous topics which it appeared to him had been unnecessarily introduced into the discussion. The noble Lord the Member for Sunderland had called it a stale trick of the Treasury Bench to meet free-trade notions by the general allegation that they were founded on abstract principles, and had no practical object in view. If it were a stale device, the fault did not rest with the Treasury Bench; for it was—he did not say a stale device, but certainly by no means an infrequent practice, on the other side, to bring forward sweeping Motions founded upon principles which in the abstract they knew were not disputed—motions on which they relied because they carried with them a certain amount of plausibility, and threw upon their opponents the necessity of entering into the complicated relations of our commercial system, and bringing forward the less obvious and superficial, but sounder and mere pertinent arguments supplied by a practical application of circumstances, facts, and figures. The Motion before the House was a broad assertion of free-trade doctrines in their bearing upon the commodity of sugar. What right had hon. Gentleman opposite thus broadly to apply these principles to Colonies that laboured under special disadvantages which they had themselves imposed? It was all very fine for hon. Gentlemen and noble Lords to descant to the West Indians, in glowing terms, on the superiority of free labour. The world was growing older—and he hoped they might see the day when free labour should assert its superiority, and slave labour disappear from the market. But that was notoriously not the case now with the West Indies as compared with Cuba. And what right had the hon. Member for Wolverhampton to come down and taunt his right hon. Friend the Vice-President of the Board of Trade with having gone to a pigeon-hole for papers, and having dealt in official commonplace,—when his own speech was made up of such vague and inapt generalities as these? It was all very well to say that slavery had been the bane of the West Indies. Probably it had,—but who established it? And again, it was easy to assert that the abolition of that bane had been a blessing. Did the free traders mean to deny that the West Indians were competent judges of their own affairs,—or did they dispute the falling off in produce that followed the termination of apprenticeship? Well, but the West Indians said, and they might justly say,—for he was now arguing to please hon. Members opposite, on principles of free trade, and discarding the question of humanity—"give us a fair start,—re-establish slavery, re-enact the Slave Trade,—and on equal terms we will not fear to compete with Cuba, or any other country under heaven." [An hon. Member: "The twenty millions."] If they could only be put into the situation in which they were when Parliament began to meddle with them, no doubt they would cheerfully repay to Parliament the seventeen millions they had received. But we had imposed upon them, they said, great disadvantages. God forbid, that he should find fault with that, for no man had sympathized more warmly than himself in the great struggle for negro emancipation. But he did assert that on free-trade principles you must give both sides fair play. We had placed the Colonies at a disadvantage, first, by the imposition of slavery; next, by the sudden abolition of slavery: and now with professions of free trade hon. Members called on those who carried weight to run an equal race with those who carried none. And to make the injustice worse, the bur- den was one which they themselves imposed. Thus then stood the case, as one of abstract principle. Did it stand any better as one of practical expediency? There was no famine of sugar. Since the termination of apprenticeship in 1838, the price had never been so low. The noble Lord had stated it as low as 26s. the cwt. The demand was fully met from the ordinary sources of supply. Now, the noble Lord founded upon that fact an argument that the present was an excellent opportunity, and that if the change were now made, the planter would be able to supply the market, and need not apprehend a fall in price. He confessed that he was not able to follow the noble Lord through that argument, neither could he understand how, if there was to be no fall in the price of West Indian sugars, and no introduction of Foreign sugars, either the condition of England question could be affected, or Her Majesty's Exchequer benefited. It did appear to him that if there were no fall in price and no foreign importation, there would be no relief to the consumer, and the Revenue would derive no possible advantage. But he believed that from free labour we should obtain, under the present measure, an increased importation and a fall of price. He contended that the supply from the Mauritius would be greatly increased; the East India produce they knew had also been increased, the cultivation in Java had largely increased before the new stimulus was given to it, and he had no doubt that from all these sources we should receive an ample supply. Then what was the present condition of the West Indies? The hon. Member who had just sat down, had stated that job work was beginning to be general, and that this was an excellent sign; the hon. Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton said that there never were such excellent prospects for the planter as there were this year; and the noble Lord the Member for Sunderland grew quite poetical when he declared that where there was slavery there was always waste, that Demerara would bid defiance to competition; and though he admitted that some evils existed in the West Indies, they would readily beat all competitors out of the field. If these anticipations were correct, there could be no doubt of an ample supply; and perhaps, if they continued the present system a little longer, the West Indies might beat all competitors out of the field; but those who were the advo- cates of free trade did not know their own principles if they thought the depression of the West Indies would have no effect upon the price of sugar. He was looking only to the commercial and financial view of this question. Let them suppose the supply from the West Indies seriously reduced, and that our supply depended upon Cuba and the Brazils. He would not go so far as to suggest that if these countries had the monopoly they would tax the consumers here by an export duty levied there; but suppose they put the West Indian produce out of the market of the world, did hon. Gentlemen conceive that the calculations they had made would be true? While we were admitting Cuba sugar with the left hand, we were putting down the Slave Trade with the right. We boasted we were doing this successfully. But if the Slave Trade were checked, the growth of slave-grown sugar would not increase. If, therefore, we depressed the Colonies, we should, in fact, diminish the whole amount of sugar grown in the world; and the ultimate result must be a rise, and not a fall, of price. If, however, the progress in our Colonies were not stopped, there would, he believed, be a great increase in the produce of the sugar of the world, and a great consequent reduction in price. He believed that the calculations of hon. Gentlemen opposite rested almost wholly on an erroneous consideration of the commercial part of the subject. Good evidence had been referred to of the increase which had taken place in the produce of the East as well as in our own Colonies, so that he believed sugar would attain a fair price, that it would be derived from sources wholly unobjectionable, and would tend to our financial and commercial advantage. The hon. Member who had last addressed the House, had introduced topics to which he need scarcely advert; but he did think that when imputations were intended they should be plainly and openly made, rather than any hon. Member should imply imputations by referring to what he heard out of doors. If he rightly understood the observations of the hon. Member, people out of doors would call them hypocrites, and the hon. Member gave this rather extraordinary reason for his belief; he said: "I know, by experience, that among 300 persons who formed a deputation against slavery in 1833, there was not one Tory, and those who then joined in that cry, now join, with me in the cry for cheap sugar." Let these 300 Gentlemen reflect whether if the public out of doors came to imputing motives and to calling names, they might not be as likely to fasten the charge of hypocrisy on those who said "no slavery" then, and cry "cheap sugar" now, as those who were consistently improving our commercial system, and at the same time giving as much security as possible to invested capital. But it was said—and here was the great argument for the proposition of the hon. Member for Manchester—"only equalize your duties, and you will have a permanent settlement, and capital will flow into your Colonies, which will be of great advantage." It might be so, but then it might happen that by this equalization it would be discovered they had greatly increased the Slave Trade; and then might be again raised the Anti-Slavery cry from the very Gentlemen who now cried out for cheap sugar. There was no room for a permanent arrangement except on principle, and hon. Gentlemen would never get this country to agree to an equalization of duties in slave-grown and in free-grown sugars. If it could be shown that there was an increasing supply to be derived from unobjectionable sources—if the price of sugar were lower than it had been since the abolition of slavery—if the supply was equal to the demand—and if they were able to do all this without any injury to existing interests, that arrangement was more likely to be permanent than if they subscribed to the arguments addressed to the House by hon. Gentlemen opposite; and, in spite of the reference which had been made to the large constituencies, and the appeal to what was said to be the opinion of the public, he did not believe that the principles advocated by those hon. Gentlemen would be sanctioned either by the people at large, or by the exclusively commercial portions of the community.

Mr. Bright

said, the hon. Member who had last sat down had taken upon himself to assert that the proposition submitted to the House by his hon. Friend was of an abstract character. There was, however, some evidence that some hon. Members did think it something more than an abstract Motion. The hon. Member for Cumberland, who was himself a West India proprietor, he had not seen in the House, to the best of his recollection, since the Sugar Duties were under discussion last year; and if, as he understood, the hon. Member came from a distant capital of Europe to be present at that discussion, it did not appear to be an abstract proposition. The right hon. Gentleman the late Vice President of the Board of Trade did not consider it an abstract question, for he had shown some extraordinary symptoms of resuscitation; and the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had, throughout the discussion, displayed a countenance of more than usual solemnity. He maintained that the present proposition was the most plain, and the most easily understood, of any that had ever been submitted to that House, or to any branch of the Legislature. The proposition before the House was—legislation with respect to the Sugar Duties could not be satisfactory—that was to the great body of the people of this country—and that it could not be permanent to the planters and the producers of sugar, unless the duties on Foreign and Colonial sugars were equalised. He maintained that by their protection to the sugars of the East Indies, the Went Indies, and the Mauritius, they were taking from the people of this country a large annual tax which was not paid into the Exchequer of the Queen, but was paid—so far as it was not lost to everybody—into the pockets of the planters. Now, there was a remarkable coyness whenever they talked of these pocket interests. The hon. Member for Sheffield was about to move for a Select Committee to inquire into the burdens upon land—that Committee would not be granted—noble Lords and hon. Landowners were afraid to go before a Committee with their statements, and bare them examined; and so it was with the hon. Gentlemen connected with the West Indies, they did not like to have their statements examined. He had that morning been looking over the speech which the right hon. Baronet made on opening what he called his financial statement. In that speech he found the right hon. Baronet stated that the whole amount of sugar he expected from the West Indies during the present year was 140,000 cwts.; from the East Indies, 70,000 cwts.; and from the Mauritius, 40,000 cwts.; making in the whole an expected supply, during the present year, of 250,000 cwts. It was acknowledged that the object of the Government plan was to give 10s. 6d. a cwt. protective duty. Now, what was the meaning of a protective duty? Was it to raise the price by that amount in favour of the planters, or was it not? The hon. Members for Cumberland and Bristol took the proposition according to its natural meaning; they could not be persuaded to take it in a non-natural sense. They took it to mean that the price of sugar was to be raised in the home market 10s. 6d. higher than if there were no protective duty. Now, the exports of West India sugar to this country were stated to be 140,000 tons per annum. This, raised by the duty ten guineas a ton, put 1,470,000l. per annum into the pockets of the West India planters. The exports from the East Indies were 70,000 tons per annum; which at the same rate of increase, added 735,000l. per annum. The exports from the Mauritius were 40,000 tons, which, at the same rate, added 420,000l. per annum, the total being 2,625,000l. per annum. Now, at the same time that this was going on, our exports to the West Indies were considerably under 3,000,000l. per annum, and according to what he had just stated, we were about to vote to the West India planters 1,470,000l., or more than the half of the whole manufactures of Great Britain consumed by the West Indies. Again, while we were about to vote the Mauritius 420,000l. by this measure, the whole of the exports of British manufactures to that Colony in 1843 were only 258,014l. It was quite true that the right hon. Gentleman the late President of the Board of Trade, loosened as he was from the shackles which bound men while in official station, had told them that he had no claim to make to protection for the Mauritius and the East Indies; yet what he had just stated was the real state of the case. The only pretext set up for protection as regarded the West Indies was the price and the scarcity of labour there. This plea, at least, could not apply to the Mauritius, where there was as great an abundance of labour as in Dorsetshire; and with respect to the East Indies they had the authority of the Chancellor of the Exchequer last year, that there was no country in the world whose soil, climate, and population gave it so great an advantage in the growth and production of sugar as the East Indies. So that the pretext of deficiency of labour could not apply there. But they were not merely called on for these extra payments to the West Indies, the East Indies, and the Mauritius; they were also called on to sacrifice the Brazil market for the export trade of manufactures, which, in the existing state of the manufacturing districts was a serious matter. The returns of that trade for the year 1841–42 showed that exports were for that year 2,500,000l., of which 1,500,000l. alone consisted of the cotton manufactures of this country. Of the importance of that trade to this country—although there were many in that House ready to depreciate it—the right hon. Gentleman had spoken in strong terms when introducing his financial statement. He had not overrated it. Yet here were we about not only to endanger, but almost inevitably to destroy, an export trade to the extent of 1,500,000l. Where were the reciprocity principles of Gentlemen opposite? The Brazilians were ready to take our goods if we would take their sugars. It was sometimes complained that other countries would not meet our free trade advances. Yet the Brazilians were ready to adopt the principle of reciprocity. But all was sacrificed when class interests were interfered with. But the strongest argument he had heard adduced on the question, was that which arose out of the reduced cultivation of the produce of the West India islands, notwithstanding all the protection they had enjoyed. This had been going on for many years past. In the year 1821, the West Indies shipped cotton to this country to the extent of 5,855,000lb. In 1840, nineteen years afterwards, their exports had dwindled down to 866,000lb.; in fact, their whole cotton exports did not amount to more than 12,000 or 15,000 bales in the year. In 1821, on the other hand, the United States shipped to this country 116,000,000lb. of cotton, and in 1840 their export had increased to 514,000,000lb. During this period, the West Indies enjoyed a prohibitory protection duty on sugar, and a very considerable protection on cotton. The United States, without any protection whatever on the raw material, made this enormous increase in their exports; while the West Indies, with all their protection, had so greatly diminished. Again, with respect to sugar. From 1830 to 1835, the exports from the West Indies to this country were 3,735,819 cwt.; while from 1837 to 1842, they were 3,868,500 cwt. So that at best, the production of sugar there, under their extraordinary protection, was stationary, if it did not retrograde. Yet this was the very article specially protected by legislative interference! The reduction in the production of coffee had been great. From 1830 to 1835, the average exports of coffee from the West Indies were 20,837,000lb., while in 1842 they amounted to only 16,618,000 lb. So that in cotton there had been an absolute decrease; in sugar no progress; and in coffee the production had absolutely retrograded, under the protective duties, to the extent of not less than 20 per cent. But this system of protection not only thus acted as a sort of opiate to these West India gentlemen; it also converted them into everlasting grumblers. There was, indeed, no protected interest whatever that did not come annually to Parliament to beg the Legislature to interfere in some way or other. The other day, he was looking over some petitions presented some forty or fifty years ago from the West India colonists; they were extraordinary in their complaints, and extraordinary, too, in some of their remedies. One of them prayed, on the ground of humanity, that the Slave Trade and slavery might not be done away with. They had altered their opinion, it seemed, in that respect, though they had not altered their opinion of the advantage of protection. In the year 1807, the Glasgow planters prayed for a protection for rum, by the exclusion of brandy and other foreign liquors, or at least the imposition of a higher duty. In 1825, the same parties asked for a sliding scale of duties on coffee. He hoped it was some satisfaction to them to find that this Government was now on a sliding scale; and for his part, he hoped it would be a downward slide as far as monopoly went. The right, hon. Baronet at the head of the Government, and Lord Elgin, the Governor of Jamaica, appeared to be both in the same position in one respect. Each seemed to be a sort of dry-nurse to agriculture. The right hon. Baronet was sometimes surrounded, he was glad to see, by Dr. Buckland and other able men who encouraged the application of science to agriculture, and they all knew the present he had himself made to the farmers in his own neighbourhood. Lord Elgin, in the same way, not long since, made a speech in Jamaica, in which he expressed his hope that his government would be signalized in after-times as the period in which the plough was employed in the cultivation of the island of Jamaica. Now, why was all this coaxing of the landowners and the planters? Why, because they were perpetually coming to that House and asking to have laws made to raise prices and protect them, and by so much to injure the consumer, and to the destruction of that energy and of those pushing qualities by which alone men could hope to prosper. The Vice-Presi- dent of the Board of Trade bad spoken of the effect which the abolition of slavery had produced in the West Indies. That statement amounted to the fact that labour was deficient. Why, Jamaica had bees peopled by Europeans during 300 years. For 200 years, from 1656, it had been in the possession of this country. There had been not only the natural popution, but also an addition of some hundreds of thousands of negroes from Africa; yet the population was said to be insufficient for the cultivation of the island. The reason was simple. It was, that during the existence of slavery, those men who now professed so much affection for the negroes, so tortured them and so treated them that, instead of increasing, they had diminished in numbers. This point, however, had already been sufficiently insisted on. He now asked the right hon. Baronet and the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what principle it was they proposed the protection to the East Indies and the Mauritius. There could be no paltry excuse of a deficiency of labour there, yet the reason for protection had never been explained to the British public. He was inclined to view the matter in a very simple form. He knew hon. Members were disinclined to see questions viewed in that way; Indeed, the right hon. Baronet had been pleased to term some remarks of his, on a former night, "vituperative." He thought the only reason why they were considered vituperative was, that they really could not easily be misunderstood. He held in his hand a pamphlet which was supposed to be written by the right hon. Gentleman the late President of the Board of Trade; if it were not written by him, he would be able easily to correct the impression. It was entitled, "A Vindication of Ministers against the Supposition that they had attacked the West India Interest;" and the extract he would read was an important one:— Now, it is worth while for a moment to consider who are the Members of this Administration, which is supposed to have pursued a course of so much severity towards the colonists of the West Indies. Of Sir Robert Peel it may be sufficient to say, in this place, that he has always acted with that party in the State which has been deemed most friendly to the Colonial interests. Among his colleagues in the Cabinet there are three, and three only, who can be said to have a special and departmental concern with the question of the Sugar Duties, namely, the Colonial Secretary, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Presi- dent of the Board of Trade. But Lord Stanley made himself remarkable, in 1833, not more by the masculine vigour which he applied to conducting through Parliament the great and difficult measure of Abolition, than for the courage and high-minded fidelity with which he exerted himself to procure the recognition of the claims of the then proprietors of slaves to liberal dealing on the part of the British people; and it is supposed to be an opinion not a little prevalent among the West Indian colonists, that he was the only man who had at that period both the disposition and the ability that were necessary in order to procure for them the grant of 20,000,000l. Next, Mr. Goulburn is himself a Jamaica proprietor, and Mr. Gladstone, the father of the President of the Board of Trade, is an owner of estates in that island, and is likewise a proprietor of sugar works in Bengal. It therefore appears, at least, that if the Ministry have done injustice to the West Indians and the other British producers of sugar, they have gone astray in the direction opposite to that of their party connexions, their ancient reminiscences, and their personal and family interests. Now it was not to be wondered at, if the late President of the Board of Trade had published such a pamphlet, that the public should be led to suspect that Gentlemen sitting opposite should be the supporters of this sugar monopoly, or that they should think that public ends, and public justice, and public rights, were forgotten; and that private ends, and private interests, and—but he would not say private rights, were held by them to be more important than those public interests and rights. Those who thought and felt as he did with respect to the sugar monopoly, maintained that it was hurtful to the people, hurtful to the Colonies, but most of all, hurtful and disparaging to the character of those public men by whom it was thus prolonged. Was it not lamentable to hear such a man as the hon. Member for Clitheroe compelled to bring forward such a lame, such a paltry defence on behalf of the sugar monopoly? He recollected when Mr. Huskisson brought forward, in 1824, his celebrated resolution for lowering the protecting duty on silks, gloves, and other articles of foreign manufacture, the right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir R. Peel) showed great courage in assenting to the change, which destroyed for the Spitalfields weavers and the manufacturers of gloves the exclusive possession of the English market. Why could he not show as much courage in dealing with the great sugar growers as he had done with the little silk weavers? Were the Spitalfields weavers to have no protection, and were the sugar producers to be continued in their monopoly? The right hon. Baronet pursued a similar course in 1842. He then, in proposing his new Tariff, stated as the basis of his future policy, that he thought the best way of proceeding was, to buy in the cheapest market and to sell in the dearest. In the last few days the right hon. Baronet had again, in bringing forward his financial project, stated, with respect to the great coalowners, that he had no sympathy with a monopoly which restricted the production of coal in order to enhance its price to the London consumers, and he took upon himself to lecture the coal interest upon this proceeding. Was not the right hon. Baronet making himself a party to a monopoly, by restricting the consumption of sugar to narrow limits; and did not this monopoly extend to Ireland and Scotland, as well as to England? Was it not a monopoly affecting an article not such as coal, but one which was universally admitted to be amongst the primest necessaries of life? The right hon. Baronet the Home Secretary, the other night, in bringing forward his Bill for the alteration of the Law of Settlement, took occasion to state that one-tenth of the whole population of England were paupers—that was to say, that every one person in ten was a pauper; and he also said, that since the year 1815, no less a sum than 200,000,000l. had been raised for the relief of the poor. Was it not a subject well worthy of inquiry, as to whether there was not some principle at work in the institutions of the country which compelled the land to raise and expend these sums, whilst it pauperized the country? He warned the House against adopting a system of legislation on private interests. He protested against a system like that which the right hon. Baronet followed, and the whole tendency of which was to cripple trade and commerce,—a system which debarred the people from an article of prime necessity, and which put 2,000,000l. annually into the pockets of the planters at the expense of the consumers,—a system which entailed great evils on the Colonies themselves, and which was the main barrier of another and a still greater monopoly—that of the food of the people of England. It was not remarkable, nor could it at all surprise him, that the corn and sugar monopolists wished a debate such as the present to close. He believed there had not been a single hon. Member who had risen on his side of the House with any hope of sooth- ing the monopolists by his observations. They were another sort of men altogether. They had other purposes in view. Their object was, to expose the injustice that had been endured for so many years at the hands of the monopolists. They had proclaimed that injustice out of doors, and they would not expose it with less freedom within those walls. It must not be supposed they were there for the purposes of the monopolists, or for their own purposes. They were there in the service of the people; and if the right hon. Baronet and his supporters did as they ought, he was sure not an individual on the other side of the House would stand up and defend acts of injustice of which they ought to be ashamed. He knew very well that, on a division, he should be one of a small minority; but he called upon the other side to recollect other questions upon which, with as small a minority as that which he expected the result of the division would show, a signal success had shortly after followed. Only three years before the Minister came down to that House with the proposal for emancipating the negroes, the Jamaica papers had proclaimed the Abolition party to be dead, and described their efforts as the last struggles of an expiring faction. The free traders in corn were swelling the ranks of the Opposition, whilst the adherents of the right hon. Baronet were deserting him fast; and although he expected to be in a minority on that occasion, he should shortly again meet the right hon. Baronet, and then he would again propose to him the question why he taxed the whole population of the kingdom to the amount of 2,000,000l. per annum for the benefit of the planters. He could not imagine how the Government could suppose it was doing its duty, when it was acting in a manner so manifestly against the interests of the people, by the measure before the House.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, that many different reasons had combined to prevent him from addressing the House on the present question. One of those reasons he admitted to have been the reason which had influenced the noble Lord the Member for Bath—and he would not have addressed the House at all if he had not been anxious to say a very few words in answer to some of the observations of the hon. Member opposite. He was desirous, for many reasons, to reserve the statement of his opinions until the whole subject was before the House on the Motion of the noble Lord. The present sub- ject appeared to him to be entirely exhausted. And if he wanted a proof of it, that proof had been offered by the speech of the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down—who had wandered from the immediate question before the House into every possible topic. Bat the hon. Gentleman had imputed to him that he was actuated in his opinions on this subject by feelings of selfishness—by the circumstance of his possessing certain property in sugar plantations. To that influence the hon. Gentleman had ascribed his support of the differential duties which were proposed by Government on Foreign and Colonial sugar. He hoped, and he believed, that if the hon. Gentleman had known more of the course he had taken in that House, he would not have brought such a charge against him. He could appeal to many of those who were opposed to him in general politics whether his conduct was fairly open to any such imputation. He would not refer further to the observations of the hon. Gentleman. He knew how easy it was to throw out such imputations. On questions involving personal and private interests, such charges might very easily be brought against any man. He would not further allude to them. But, in the course of his speech, the hon. Gentleman had proved two things. First, he had proved that there had been a gradual progress towards reduction of the duties on sugar; and, secondly, that since the abolition of slavery, the property of the West Indian planter had been much diminished in value. The abolition had led to a diminution of labour, and Parliament had imposed upon the sugar growers a difficulty which entitled them to some protection. The hon. Member for Stockport had quoted a letter from Jamaica, in which it would appear that the writer contemplated a speedy fortune and a rapid increase of prosperity. He had seen that letter, and he begged to ask the hon. Member for Stockport why he had not read its opening paragraph? All the calculations of that letter—all the prospect of fortune and prosperity held out in it, were founded upon the supposition, contained in its first paragraph, that there was a protective duty of 10s. Upon that ground, and upon that alone, this Jamaica planter had argued for the prospect of fortune and prosperity. [Mr. Cobden said, the letter referred to the state of things last year.] Yes; but the hon. Member had applied it in the present debate to the proposed scale of the Sugar Duties, and he had totally kept out of view this opening paragraph. However, he should only apologize at present, for not having taken part in the discussion. He had not abstained from so doing because of any unwillingness, but he had been actuated partly by a desire to have the whole question mooted before the House.

Viscount Sandon

would not detain the House many minutes; but one argument had been so often pressed upon the House in favour of this Motion, that he was desirous of answering it. It had again and again been asked, what right had they to tax the people of this country to the extent of two or three millions? Now, he wanted to know upon what basis this calculation rested. Why, it was founded upon the amount of differential duties imposed upon Foreign and Colonial sugar. The difference in amount between those sugars was taken as the measure of the increase of price paid by the people of this country; and this calculation was put forward by men who professed to be very learned in the principles of political economy—who passed themselves off as the illuminati on all questions of this nature—but never had an argument been put forward more destitute of common sense or common philosophy. How stood the facts? The difference in the duties on Foreign and Colonial sugar was the difference between 24s. and 63s.; but what was the difference in price between the two articles? The noble Lord the Member for Sunderland had told them, the difference in price between Foreign and Colonial sugar at the present moment was 7s.; and yet the difference between the respective duties was seriously put forward as the same as the difference in price. Was 7s. the difference between the duties? No. The difference between the duties was the difference between 24s. and 63s.; and that latter difference has been always made the basis of calculating the amount of tax imposed upon the consumers in this country. The differential duties had nothing to do with the price of the commodity. The price of the commodity was alone determined by the supply and the demand, and if the supply from the West Indies were increased, the price would proportionally diminish. This was the true principle which regulated the price of the article, and this plain and simple principle had yet to be taught to the learned economists on the other side of the House. Away, then, said he, with the fallacy of reckoning the increase of price by the difference between the respective duties. He had been anxious to expose the obvious error which had been so often repeated by the political economists, and which by them had been used as an argument to persuade the people of this country to withdraw all protection from their West Indian Colonies.

The House divided on the question that the words proposed to be left out, stand part of the question:—Ayes 211; Noes 84: Majority 127.

List of the AYES.
A'Court, Capt. Clive, Visct.
Adderley, C. B. Clive, hon. R. H.
Ainsworth, P. Cockburn, rt. hn. SirG.
Alford, Visct. Codrington, Sir W.
Allix, J. P. Colquhoun, J. C.
Antrobus, E. Colvile, C. R.
Arbuthnot, hn. H. Connolly, Col.
Archdall, Capt. M. Corry, rt. hon. H.
Arkwright, G. Courtenay, Lord
Arundel and Surrey, Earl of Cripps, W.
Darby, G.
Astell, W. Denison, E. B.
Bagot, hon. W. Dickinson, F. H.
Bailey, J. Jun. Dodd, G.
Baillie, Col. Douglas, Sir H.
Baillie, H. J. Douglas, J. D. S.
Baird, W. Drummond, H. H.
Barclay, D. Dugdale, W. S.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Duncombe, hon. O.
Baring, T. East, J. B.
Barneby, J. Egerton, W. T.
Baskerville, T. B. M. Egerton, Sir P.
Beckett, W. Emlyn, Visct.
Bentinck, Lord G. Entwisle, W.
Berkeley, hn. G. F. Farnham, E. B.
Blackstone, W. S. Fitzmaurice, hon. W.
Blakemore, R. Fitzroy, hon. H.
Bodkin, W. H. Flower, Sir J.
Boldero, H. G. Forbes, W.
Borthwick, P. Fox, S. L.
Botfield, B. Fremantle, rt. hn. Sir T.
Bowles, Adm. Fuller, A. E.
Bramston, T. W. Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.
Brisco, M. Gladstone, Capt.
Broadley, H. Godson, R.
Brownrigg, J. S. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Bruce, Lord E. Goring, C.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Burroughes, H. N. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Cardwell, E. Granby, Marq. of
Charteris, hon. F. Greenall, P.
Cholmondeley, hn. H. Greene, T.
Clayton, R. R. Gregory, W. H.
Clerk, rt. hn. Sir G. Grogan, E.
Clifton, J. T. Hale, R. B.
Halford, Sir H. Newport, Visct.
Hamilton, W. J. Newry, Visct.
Hamilton, Lord C. Nicholl, right hon. J.
Hanmer, Sir J. Northland, Visct.
Harcourt, G. G. O'Brien, A. S.
Harris, hon. Capt. Owen, Sir J.
Hayes, Sir E. Packe, C. W.
Heneage, G. H. W. Pakington, J. S.
Henley, J. W. Patten, J. W.
Hepburn, Sir T. B. Peel, rt. hn. Sir R.
Herbert, rt. hon. S. Peel, J.
Hillsborough, Earl of Pennant, hon. Col.
Hinde, J. H. Plumptre, J. P.
Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J. Polhill, F.
Hodgson, F. Praed, W. T.
Hogg, J. W. Pringle, A.
Hope, hon. C. Reid, Sir J. R.
Hope, A. Repton, G. W. J.
Hope, G. W. Round, J.
Hughes, W. B. Rous, hon. Capt.
Hussey, T. Rushbrooke, Col.
Ingestre, Visct. Russell, Lord J.
Irton, S. Russell, C.
James, W. Ryder, hon. G. D.
James, Sir W. C. Sanderson, R.
Jermyn, Earl Sandon, Visct.
Jocelyn, Visct. Sibthorp, Col.
Johnstone, H. Smith, A.
Jones, Capt. Smith, rt. hn. T. B. C.
Kemble, H. Smythe, hon. G.
Labouchere, rt. hn. H. Somerset, Lord G.
Lambton, H. Sotheron, T. H. S.
Law, hon. C. E. Stanton, W. H.
Lawson, A. Stewart, J.
Legh, G. C. Stuart, H.
Lennox, Lord A. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Leslie, C. P. Talbot, C. R. M.
Lincoln, Earl of Taylor, E.
Lockhart, W. Taylor, J. A.
Lowther, Sir J. H. Tennent, J. E.
Lowther, hon. Col. Thornhill, G.
Lygon, hon. Gen. Tollemache, J.
McGeachy, F. A. Trench, Sir F. W.
Mackenzie, T. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Mackenzie, W. F. Trollope, Sir J.
Mackinnon, W. A. Trotter, J.
Macnamara, Major Tyrell, Sir J. T.
McNeill, D. Vane, Lord H.
Mainwaring, T. Waddington, H. S.
Manners, Lord C. S. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Manners, Lord J. Wellesley, Lord C.
Marsham, Visct. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Martin, C. W. Wodehouse, E.
Martin, T. B. Wood, Col.
Masterman, J. Wood, Col. T.
Maxwell, hon. J. P. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Meynell, Capt. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Miles, P. W. S. Wyndham, Col. C.
Miles, W. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Milnes, R. M.
Morgan, O. TELLERS.
Mundy, E. M. Baring, H.
Newdegate, C. N. Young, J.
List of the NOES.
Aglionby, H. A. Barnard, E. G.
Aldam, W. Berkeley, hon. H. F.
Blewitt, R. J. Langston, J. H.
Bowring, Dr. Leveson, Lord
Bright, J. Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B.
Brotherton, J. Marshall, W.
Buller, C. Martin, J.
Buller, E. Mitcalfe, H.
Busfeild, W. Mitchell, T. A.
Cobden, R. Morris, D.
Colborne, hon. W. N. R. Morison, Gen.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Napier, Sir C.
Collett, J. O'Connell, M. J.
Craig, W. G. Ord, W.
Crawford, W. S. Osborne, R.
Currie, R. Paget, Col.
Dalmeny, Lord Pattison, J.
Dennistoun, J. Philips, M.
Duke, Sir J. Plumridge, Capt.
Duncan, Visct. Ponsonby, hn. C. F. A. C.
Duncannon, G. Pulsford, R.
Duncannon, Visct. Ricardo, J. L.
Duncombe, T. Roebuck, J. A.
Dundas, F. Ross, D. R.
Dundas, D. Russell, Lord E.
Easthope, Sir J. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Ebrington, Visct. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Ellis, W. Stuart, W. V.
Evans, W. Strickland, Sir G.
Ewart, W. Strutt, E.
Fitzroy, Lord C. Thornely, T.
Fox, C. R. Trelawny, J. S.
Gill, T. Turner, E.
Gisborne, T. Villiers, hon. C.
Gore, hon. R. Wakley, T.
Guest, Sir J. Walker, R.
Hawes, B. Warburton, H.
Hayter, W. G. Ward, H. G.
Hindley, C. Watson, W. H.
Hollond, R. Wawn, J. T.
Horsman, E.
Howard, hn. E. G. G. TELLERS.
Howick, Visct. Gibson, T. M.
Humphery, Ald. Bouverie, E.

Order of the Day read, and the Committee deferred.

House adjourned at a quarter to one o'clock.