HC Deb 26 February 1845 vol 77 cc1234-346

On the question that the Order of the Day for going into Committee of Ways and Means be read,

Lord J. Russell

rose and said: Sir, I believe the House cannot but feel that the question brought forward for our consideration by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer is one of the greatest importance, both in a commercial and a financial point of view. The right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury, in proposing his plan to the House, laid down these two propositions:—first, that it was desirable and necessary to renew the Income Tax for a limited period; and, secondly, that the use to be made of the surplus revenue thus acquired, or at least a part of it, should be the relief of the country from certain taxes, and to the benefit of trade and commerce. With respect to the first of these propositions, this House has already, by a great majority, agreed to the renewal of the Income Tax, thereby declaring that, if the other alterations of taxes and duties about to be proposed shall appear to this House to be the best that could be proposed, the House has no objection to try the experiment proposed by the right hon. Baronet at the head of Her Majesty's Government. But with respect to the second proposition, that appears to me to be one of such vast importance, as to require a second and most deliberate consideration more especially with respect to those articles which were of the greatest importance, as being articles of general consumption. The first article upon which the Government asks the opinion of the House is that of sugar; and it would appear to me—although it has not been positively so stated—that the views of the Government are to endeavour to make such an alteration as will place our duties upon sugar for some time in a condition that they should not be lightly altered. If that be the proposition of the Government, this House ought to feel that certain conditions are necessary to be complied with in the plan they propose. The first condition would be that the plan should be agreeable to sound principles; that it should not be inconsistent or contradictory; and should not take from the consumer a greater amount of tax than is absolutely necessary for the purposes of revenue. Now, Sir, the first objection I have to this plan is, that it professes to keep up a distinction which I think is, in fact, impracticable and illusory—a distinction between Foreign free-labour and Foreign slave-labour sugar. That that project is illusory seems to me so plain, that if it were not that the plan of the Government contemplates its adoption, I should hardly attempt to detain the House to prove so obvious a proposition. When we discussed this question last year, certain answers were made to the proposal which I submitted to the House—namely, that all Foreign sugars should pay the same duty. I on the present occasion think it necessary to take notice of those answers. I considered this distinction between Foreign free-labour grown sugar and slave-labour grown sugar illusory; because in regard to other articles of slave produce you have no objection to admit them into this country. You take coffee, tobacco, and cotton, which are the produce of slave labour, as readily as those articles which are the produce of free labour. It was answered that you did not propose to interfere with the trade in those articles, nor to disturb the system of commerce which had been so long established; but that in respect to any new scheme, the distinction between slave labour and free labour ought to be kept in view. But this answer is not agreeable to the fact. The alterations made in the duties last year, and those alterations proposed to be made in the present year, in respect to these articles, show no distinction between slave labour and free labour. On coffee the duty was reduced from 8d. to 6d. equally upon slave-grown coffee and free-labour coffee. Then with regard to copper ore, you have proposed next year to admit Foreign copper ore, the produce of slave labour, free of duty; and with respect to cotton, you propose to take off the entire duty this year. You do not propose to make any distinction between the cotton that comes from the States of America, the produce of slave labour, and that which is raised in the East Indies and elsewhere by free labour. On the contrary, I have always found that those who are the greatest opponents to slavery, and who are the philanthropic advocates of freedom to the human race, have maintained the principle of admitting the articles I have just mentioned upon equal terms; for while they say we cannot exclude altogether the products of slave labour, yet many of them regard with dissatisfaction the encouragement which is given to slave-grown coffee and cotton. In the next place, it was argued that you did not in practice encourage slave-labour sugar, because you admitted, and professed to admit, the sugar of those countries which was the produce of free labour. But if this distinction of the two growths could be kept up, and if the Custom House regulations were so accurately observed that none but free-labour sugar should be admitted, yet even then you would do nothing more than this—you would abstract from the other markets of the world a certain quantity of free-labour sugar, which would be supplied by slave-labour sugar; therefore you would be as much encouraging slave-labour sugar as if you were to admit it directly into this country. The reply to this argument was certainly of a very refined nature, but I own it was not a very successful reply. You said that by this distinction you would give to the free-labour sugar of Java a better price than would be given for slave-labour sugar. Now, Sir, I cannot think that this would be the case. Let us assume that the produce of Foreign free-labour sugar is 67,000 tons, and that you take 20,000 tons of this for your consumption, this will reduce the quantity to be consumed on the Continent. Now, there is no difference made in the duty by the Continental States between sugar the produce of free labour, and that which is the produce of slave labour; the probability, therefore, would be that these 20,000 tons which you abstracted from the markets of the world would be supplied by Cuba and Brazils, being the produce of slave labour. But in the next place there is this difficulty, that you cannot confine your consumption to free-labour sugar. You have certain treaties with Foreign countries, the produce of which you are bound to admit upon the same terms as that coming from the most favoured nations. You therefore cannot, consistently with those treaties, exclude sugar which is the produce of those countries. There are several countries which come within this category. A fact has recently occurred showing the practical operation of your law. A small quantity of sugar has been admitted into this country from Venezuela, owing to the Treaty existing between England and that State, which Sugar was the produce of slave labour. I have read various statements in regard to this. Some say it has been recognised as sugar imported into Venezuela from Porto Rieo, others from Surinam, and others from Brazil; but all are agreed that it was not Venezuela sugar, but sugar which, by some fraud or other, was imported into this country as Venezuela sugar. But this has happened so early that it has preceded any or those importations for the sake of which you have altered your law. If this be the case, what may you expect if for the whole next ten years, for instance, you preserve this distinction? What can you expect but this, that ingenious persons will contrive a scheme by which they will evade your regulations; and that sugar the produce of Brazil and Cuba will be sent to the ports of Venezuela, where they may find a Consul not suspicious, and a custom-house open to bribery? By these means they will constantly evade the provisions you have made for the exclusion of the produce of countries raised otherwise than by free labour. If this be the case, I submit to you that it is impracticable to keep up this distinction. You are attempting that which is contrary to the nature of things; you are attempting that which you cannot follow in practice. I will not say there is any hypocrisy in the proposal, or that there is any mock humanity in it. I do not wish to cast any such imputations; but I contend that giving you as much credit for your good intentions as you yourselves can claim, still it is not a plan that you can carry into effect; it is impossible that your regulations can actually exclude slave-labour sugar. So long as you create a want of a supply of sugar in the market of the world, it is immaterial to them whether you yourselves purchase their sugar or not. All that they ask for is a market for their produce, and when you create that market they are satisfied. Such being one of the obvious defects of your measure—defects which I think will, from year to year—become more and more obvious and striking, I proceed next to what I consider another fault in the measure, and that is, that it rather aggravates, than otherwise, the protection which is at present given to the Colonies. I was happy to hear, the other night, the principles of free trade admitted by all who spoke on the question, except by the Vice-President of the Board of Trade. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Newark, who so lately quitted the office of President of the Board of Trade, made a most remarkable admission on this subject. He admitted that the East Indies had no claim for protection—he admitted that nothing but the scarcity of labour in the West India Colonies, resulting from the Emancipation Act, could form a ground for protection with respect to sugar. This is a most important admission. It is most important, because it implies, that it is no reason, because sugar is the produce of our Colonies, that any protection whatever should be extended to it. [Mr. Gladstone: I did not say that these Colonies had no claim for protection. What I said was, that they had no claim to a greater protection than 10s. per cwt.] Then I misunderstood the right hon. Gentleman. I understood him to say that the Colonies had no claim for protection. However, I will take it as he states it. Be it observed, that this declaration of the right hon. Gentleman, that they had no claim to protection beyond 10s. per cwt., narrows the question of protection very considerably, because a protection of 10s. or 10s. 6d. per cwt. as proposed, according to the right hon. Gentleman, is not required by justice with respect to 70,000 tons which come from the East Indies, neither is it required with respect to sugar from the Mauritius, where there is a sufficiency of labour. Indeed, so ample is the supply of labour said to be, that the newspapers of that island state that labourers cannot get sufficient employment. This demand of protection to the amount of 10s. 6d. does not apply either to Barbadoes or Antigua, because those Colonies have likewise a sufficiency of labour. Then the demand of protection made on behalf of the West Indies amounts only to a claim of protection for Jamaica, Trinidad, and Demerara. Now this, I must say, makes a great difference in the case; because you are proposing an equal protection of 10s. 6d. both for those who may in justice demand it, and for a great many others who have no such claim. Now, Sir, let us examine the protection which is thus proposed. My hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, in bringing forward his Motion the other night—and I find it impossible not to refer to that debate, because it is almost a part of the present question—my hon. Friend stated on that occasion that the protection given amounted to a tax of about 2,300,000l. on the people of the United Kingdom. My noble Friend the Member for Sunderland stated that it was a protection to that amount, and at the same time he said that there had not been a difference of above 7s. 6d. in the price of Colonial and Foreign sugar. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Newark, to whom I must again allude, said that there was an evident inconsistency in these arguments—that if the difference was no more than that, it was impossible that the protection could now be 14s. Now, certainly, when I heard that declaration, I felt impressed with the importance of it as coming from the right hon. Gentleman; but, at the same time, I could not agree in its justice, and I will state my reasons why I think it was fallacious. What the right hon. Gentleman (Sir R. Peel) proposes is, not to continue the present importation and the present duty, but a new importation and new rates of duty. If the present importation were to continue, and the difference of price, which was 20s. and 27s., we might say that there was only that difference in price, and that with the present rate of duty there was no great protection proposed. But let it be observed, that the protection to be given is on a consumption of 250,000 tons of sugar. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir Robert Peel) assumes that the consumption of sugar will increase from 207,000 tons to 250,000 tons; and the consequence must be, that until this Foreign sugar, which is proposed to be admitted, comes into the market, the West India sugar will continue to rise in price. Therefore, supposing that the price of Foreign sugar is now at 20s., and you impose on it (which, according to the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman, would amount in quantity to 15,000 tons) a duty of 28s., then it is clear that Foreign sugar cannot come into the market at a less price than 48s. Now, supposing that the price of West India sugar is now, as it was a few weeks ago, 28s.; it will, then, by the addition of a 14s. duty, be raised to the price of 42s., and it will not be until it has risen to 48s., that Foreign sugar can be brought into the market to compete with West India sugar. If sugar be, therefore, at the price which it was a few weeks ago, the price at which it will be sold will give a protection of 14s. a cwt. to West India sugar. I think it is most necessary to remark this, because we shall obtain by it the measure of advantage which is given to the consumer, and the loss occasioned to the Revenue. It does not seem to me either arithmetically or commercially that the proposition can be controverted; namely, that one of two things may happen, either that the right hon. Gentleman (Sir Robert Peel) may be deceived in his calculation as to the amount of the consumption of sugar, and that when the price of sugar shall have risen to 30s. or 32s., the increase of consumption may stop. In that case, Foreign sugar will not be admitted into the market. None of these Foreign sugars will come in; the Revenue will not answer to the calculations of the right hon. Gentleman, and the price of West India sugar will not rise any further. But, on the other hand, if we are to suppose that 250,000 tons of sugar will be the consumption of the country, and that this alteration of the duty is made out of that 250,000 tons, there will be 15,000 tons of Foreign sugar, charged at a 28s. duty, then by this increase of consumption there must be a rise in the price of West India sugar to the amount of 34s. And what is the effect of this reduced duty of 14s.? The present duty is 25s. 2d. If you reduce that to 14s., you make a difference of 11s. 2d., but you do not give the whole benefit of that remission to the consumers in this country. The effect of the remission, as far as I have been able to make it out, (and there have been a variety of prices,) will be about 5s. or a little more for the benefit of the consumers, and about 6s. to the West India planters and to the other colonists. Others have calculated differently. A Gentleman who has been a long while engaged in this trade, has said that he believes the reduction will give 6s. to the consumer, and about 5s. to the planter. But in whichever way you view it, there can be no doubt that the reduction of 11s. 2d. will benefit the consumer to the extent only of about one-half, and the other half wll go to the exclusive benefit of the planter. It has been most truly stated by Mr. Deacon Hume and others, that this is neither more nor less than a tax upon the people of this country to the extent of 5s. or 6s., for the sole benefit of the West India planters. It is as if you were to make the whole of the duties equal, and reduce that duty to 8s., and then pay the full sum so received to the West India planters, and not one farthing into the Exchequer. It is, in fact, paying no less a sum than 1,100,000l. a year to the planters out of the Exchequer. It is at present a tax divided between the Exchequer and the West India planters, one part of it going to the Revenue, the other being for their benefit. But then it is said that you must give this great protection on account of the state of the West Indies, and the abolition of slavery. I could not vote for my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester the other night, because I think the West Indies have a very considerable claim upon us owing to the recent abolition of slavery. I think the recent abolition of that mode of compulsory labour makes it advisable either to have a gradual equalization of duty, or to have what is much the same thing—a protecting duty for a short time for the benefit of the planters. But let us observe what is the state of the West Indies in consequence of this very great advantage given to them. The West India labourers have had the advantage of a great degree of prosperity ever since the passing of the Act of Emancipation. During the last year that state of prosperity was diminished, in so far as wages decreased, being, I believe, not more than 1s. a-day, or, at the most, about 7s. per week. Now, how has it been proposed to alter this state of affairs? What has taken place in the West Indies has been this:—There have been great plans for immigration, and for the admission of a great number of labourers into the West Indies, that there might be a sufficiency of labour to supply sugar to this country. But the way in which that scheme has operated has been this. Taxes have been imposed under this immigration ordinance, which have borne with great severity on the labourers. In proof of this, I hold in my hand a letter from a person who is a most remarkable man, who took an active part in the Colonies upon the subject of slavery, and who now has a most extraordinary influence over the minds of a great part of the population of Jamaica. The person to whom I allude to is Mr. Knibb, the Baptist missionary. This letter was dated December 23, 1844. Mr. Knibb says,— I do not believe that there is a labouring population on the face of the earth who have so patiently borne a reduction of wages as they have, and this, too, connected with an increased price of provisions, by a cruel and abominable tax on the necessaries of life, imposed for the avowed purpose of raising money to increase the number of labourers, and thereby still further to curtail their comforts, and still further to reduce their wages. Now, this proves that the plans you propose, though they may have the effect of giving so large an amount as 1,000,000l. or upwards to the planters, will not have the effect of increasing the comfort or happiness of the peasantry of the West Indies. I believe that the admission of labourers from Afriea to the West Indies, if conducted under regulations, and allowed to take place in small numbers, would be for the advantage both of the West Indies and of Africa. I have recorded that opinion, and I still believe both that the civilisation of Africa would be promoted by persons going from Africa to the West Indies, and that the general prosperity of the West Indies would be improved by that plan. But I own I look with very great dread to the scheme proposed for taking a great number of people from Africa to the West Indies. In the first place, I should beg the House to look back to the period of the great Act of Emancipation. Seeing the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with whom I acted in the Committee which preceded that Act, in his place, I would ask him what, in his opinion, it was which made that great Act so safe and so successful an experiment as it is universally allowed to have been, so far as the peace and happiness of the people of the West Indies were concerned; but that, much to the credit of the masters, the slaves of that day had been so far brought into a state of civilization that when the Act of Emancipation took place, society fell into its natural order, and there were not any of those outbreaks or riots, or disturbances, that might have been expected from the sudden change from slavery to freedom. But be it remembered that that change took place a very considerable time, nearly thirty years, after the Slave Trade had ceased, whereby the people of the West Indies had become, to a great degree, a civilised community, and a great revolution was effected without convulsion. When I am stating this, I am aware that I am stating, and I am very glad to state, what is highly to the credit of the owners of the slaves of the West Indies. But if you are now to introduce vast numbers of Africans from the shores of Africa, if you are to take them from places where they are still in a state of barbarism, and are to transplant them by wholesale to the West Indies, and turn them at once to labour, I cannot but foresee that, in no long course of time, you will have a population whom it will be very difficult to bring into that state of civilisation which your present negro population of the West Indies are in. And yet that is the attempt you are now making. It is an attempt which I hardly think will succeed; because the great cost of carrying labourers from Africa to the West Indies is very much against it. But still the attempt is making in this way, by making large loans in Trinidad and Demerara, and taxing the people—and especially taxing the admission of their food—for the purpose of raising means to bring great numbers of people from Africa to the West Indies. Any law which you may pass in this country which has a great tendency to give a monopoly, as far as this country is concerned, to sugar the produce of the West Indian Colonies, will produce a disadvantageous effect upon people living in the West Indies. In the first place, it will tend to the oppression and disadvantage of the labouring population there. I state this upon the authority of Mr. Knibb—a man who possesses great authority among the labouring population of the West Indies—a man of most remarkable talent, and of great influence and power. In the next place I think it would endanger the future condition of the West India Colonies, making it doubtful some twenty years hence—when we consider the immense numerical superiority of the black population over the white—whether the Colonies may not become the scene of some most frightful convulsion. And, be it observed, all this is done to keep up a system which is quite contrary to your own general principles, with regard to free trade; and it is all done at a very great expense, in order to produce an artificial price of sugar in this country, and thereby to promote, as you say, the prosperity of the West Indies. I confess it appears to me that the result must be very dangerous, and may be fatal in the end to the interests of those you are anxious to protect. But when Gentlemen speak of the additional advantage which this system of protection is to confer on the labourers in the West Indies, let them not entirely forget that there are also labourers in this country. That there are labourers employed in agriculture, and that there are artisans employed in manufactures, who also require some little consideration. I can readily conceive that a sudden and immediate reduction of all duties on Foreign produce, as compared with the produce of the West Indies, to 14s. or to 28s., alike might produce such an immediate disadvantage to the West India proprietor as to cause a great shock; but, on the other hand, if you attempt to give an additional advantage to the planters, you will put off to a still further period the time which we all hope to see arrive, when the principles of free trade shall be universally adopted. I heard the other night an hon. Gentleman who has recently become a Member of the Government (Mr. Cardwell) state that the principles of free trade were true in the abstract. That principle I believe is universally admitted; but I wish to see the practical application of those principles with regard to such great articles of consumption as those which we are now called on to consider. I now come to the results which the right hon. Baronet stated would ensue from his proposition, as far as the finances of the country were concerned. He stated that the result would be an increase in the consumption from 207,000 tons to 250,000 tons of sugar, but that by the reduction of duty he should lose 1,300,000l. of revenue. Now, it appears to me that, without any injury whatever to the West India Colonies, the whole of that amount of revenue might be saved. If you were to have, for instance, a duty of 20s. or 28s.; or if, reducing the duty very largely, you were to have a very small duty, or one similar to that proposed by the right hon. Baronet of 10s. or 12s. on Colonial produce, and a duty of 18s. or 20s. upon Foreign produce—you would not make any difference in the present rate of prices between the colonists and the foreign producers; but you would preserve a very great part of your income, and have the means of making other experiments. The right hon. Gentleman has proposed this experiment with regard to sugar. He might make that experiment with regard to sugar, and he might preserve the whole of the revenue, if he would but admit all Foreign sugar, and decrease the protection he proposes to give. Suppose the price of Foreign sugar to be 20s., if he were to add a duty 2s., he cannot have a less price than 48s. If you were to have a very much less duty, it is evident that the consumer would obtain a great benefit, and you would very much increase the consumption of sugar. It is very doubtful as you now stand, whether the loss of 1,300,000l. will be the total loss the Revenue will sustain. Unless consumption increase at the rate the right hon. Gentleman anticipates, the loss to the Revenue will be 1,800,000l. or 1,900,000l. Now you could save that revenue, and I think I have shown that there need be no additional price to the consumer. You need not make the consumer pay a single farthing more for sugar, and at the same time you might preserve the whole of the revenue. Now, when I consider the various duties which press heavily on the consumer, which might be lightened if you had but that sum to spare as part of the surplus, I cannot think that this very great sacrifice to the West India planters is at all advisable. There are various duties of which the right hon. Gentleman has declared his disapprobation. There are duties which were mentioned when the Tariff was discussed. I will take an instance, cheese and butter. When these duties were mentioned, it was said that the duty was 30 per cent., and on some inferior descriptions of cheese 100 per cent.; and the right hon. Gentleman the late President of the Board of Trade said it was impossible to look to maintaining that duty. That duty was absurdly high. But the right hon. Gentleman said it was then impossible to make experiments in the Revenue, for they had no surplus to deal with, a fact which none could deny. But you are now proposing a plan which will cause a diminution of revenue of 3,330,000l. at the very least; if, therefore, you could keep up this duty on sugar without making the consumer pay any higher price, I think this is the opportunity you ought to take for making the experiment. There are other duties, such as those upon silk and brandy, which gave rise to a great deal of smuggling, many commodities coming in on which no duty was paid; and if the right hon. Gentleman had a surplus of 1,300,000l., the experiment might have been tried whether some remedy might not have been afforded for this evil. Looking therefore at the scheme of the right hon. Baronet, I see in it a needless risk of revenue. In his speech on a former night, the right hon. Gentleman had alluded to an observation of mine, that some of the reductions were a total loss; and the right hon. Gentleman remarked upon my apparent inconsequence in asserting that though there might be a total loss to the Revenue on one article, there might be a gain upon another. I was of course aware of this; but, when considering the Revenue, it is not to be forgotten that there are a good many commodities on which the duties are very high, without a corresponding benefit to the Revenue. If there were no surplus it would be quite just for a finance Minister to say "I cannot afford to risk the experiment;" but when there is a surplus, that seems to me the time for making the experiment I have recommended, viz., trying whether by a fair reduction of duty the whole of the revenue could not be regained. What had the right hon. Gentleman been doing instead? He was making this distinction: he was imposing a duty of 14s. on the productions of our own Colonies, including the Mauritius, where there was plenty of labour, and imposing a duty of 28s. upon part of the Foreign production of sugar which was allowed to be introduced. The consequence can only be that, while be lost more than 11s. on every cwt. in the reduction of duty, great part of that 11s. was left as a tax upon the consumer, for the benefit of a particular interest. It will be a question hereafter in the Committee, whether it would be wiser to act as the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. M. Gibson) proposed in his very able speech, by at once taking away all protection, or to adopt the course recommended by Lord Grenville and Mr. Huskisson, that the reduction should be gradual, so as by degrees to advance to the final adoption of the principles of free trade. It seemed to him (Lord J. Russell) obvious that the present plan of the Queen's Government, while it did not give adequate benefit to the consumer, preserved an illusory distinction between slave-grown and free-labour sugar, and risked a revenue, not for the sake of the Exchequer, not for the sake of the maintenance of the Army and Navy, but to favour a particular class, comprehending only a small portion of the people either of this country or of the Colonies. The great mass of the population here and in the West Indies could only be sufferers by the adoption of this partial and impracticable measure. The noble Lord concluded by moving the following Amendment:— That it is the opinion of this House, that the plan proposed by Her Majesty's Government in reference to the Sugar Duties, professes to keep up a distinction between Foreign free-labour and Foreign slave-labour Sugar, which is impracticable and illusory; and, without adequate benefit to the Consumer, tends so greatly to impair the Revenue as to render the removal of the Income and Property Tax, at the end of three years, extremely uncertain and improbable.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said: When the noble Lord first gave notice of the Motion which he has just submitted to the House, I was induced to think that it might have been the more convenient course to have entered upon the discussion after you, Sir, had left the Chair. But, having heard the speech of the noble Lord, I am bound to say, that it appears to me to embrace so great a variety of topics, not immediately connected with the Resolutions, as to make it a subject better fitted for general debate than for discussion in Committee. Feeling confident in the justice of the course which I am here to advocate, I am quite prepared to meet the noble Lord on the ground which he himself has chosen; and I can assure the House that I am prepared not only to meet him on his own ground, but also to imitate him in the tone and temper in which he discussed this question, considering the question as one of the greatest interest both in a commercial and financial point of view. I shall forbear making any comment on the particular terms of the Resolution, and shall come at once to the substantial question at issue. The noble Lord objects to the proposition of Government, in the first place, because it is not conformable to sound principles; and he states that any attempt to draw a distinction between free-labour sugar and slave-labour sugar is impolitic and illusory. The noble Lord has disclaimed on this occasion, and very properly disclaimed, all parcipation in those imputations of hypocrisy usually urged against those who support the views of Government; but the noble Lord has repeated to-night most of the arguments which have been used on former occasions. He has stated that he can see no distinction between the admission of slave-labour sugar, and other articles the produce of slave labour—such as cotton, tobacco, and coffee. I admit that there is this common to all those products, that each may be cultivated by slave labour; but I must repeat what has over and over again been stated in this House, that there is a great distinction between the suffering occasioned to the slave, and the encouragement given to the Slave Trade by the application of slave labour to the cultivation of sugar, as compared with the suffering or the encouragement caused by the application of slave labour to the cultivation of the other commodities referred to by the noble Lord. Often have we been told in this House, and too truly, of the waste of human life in sugar plantations cultivated by slave labour, and of the light degree of labour required in cultivating cotton, coffee, and tobacco; and it is not to be denied, for it is matter of fact, that in recent periods the importation of negroes from Africa to Brazil and Cuba has not taken place with a view to the cultivation of cotton or tobacco, but for the express purpose of that cultivation which, while it is the most severe, is also the most profitable—the cultivation of the sugar cane. There cannot be a stronger proof of this than the intelligence which we receive from countries in which this cultivation is carried on. I hold in my hand a Report addressed by our Consul in Brazil to the noble Lord the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, which points out practically the state of the different plantations in that country, of coffee, cotton, and sugar, with regard to the labour employed. He says,— The slaves employed on sugar estates, average one-third Creoles and two-thirds Africans, half of the latter being contraband; while in the cotton districts the Creoles average four-fifths and the Africans (almost all imported prior to 1831) one-fifth. Indeed, the sugar estates being all situated close to the coast, as you advance into the country, it is very rare to meet a newly-imported slave. With the view of facilitating the introduction of slaves into the country, these sugar plantations were established on the coasts where the slaves could be most easily landed and employed at the greatest profit. He goes on to say,— Estates for want of labourers are not at present half cultivated, profits not being sufficient to induce them to add largely to the number of their slaves, by the purchase of Africans at the high price which slave traders are obliged to demand; consequently a reduction of duties, by raising the price of sugar in this market, would increase the profits afforded by its production to an amount which would incite the planter to purchase slaves adequate to the working of his engenho to the full extent of its capabilities, and must, by causing a demand for slave labour, such as would enable the importer to command his own price, give an impetus to the trade, which it is to be feared the utmost exertions of Her Majesty's Government would be insufficient to counteract. We see, therefore, from this extract, which is in strict conformity with the intelligence we receive from other quarters, that the reason why slave labour is required in Brazil—and it is the same, I believe, in Cuba—is that it may be applied to the cultivation of sugar. It appears that the cultivation of sugar is the inducement which, in that country, leads to an extensive importation of slaves; and that where the labour is applied only to the other articles to which the noble Lord referred, incitements to the Slave Trade are not created. I will say to the noble Lord, that if we have attempted to establish any distinction between free-labour sugar and that which is the produce of slave labour, it is because we are anxious to vindicate and carry out those principles which have been so often and strenuously enunciated by the people of this country—which they have made such sacrifices to uphold—which have been so repeatedly pressed upon Parliament, and by Parliament upon the Government—which have been recognised by the Legislature, and enforced by treaties. This nation is pledged to the abolition of the Slave Trade; and if we were to adopt principles which give a direct encouragement to it, we should ourselves be even more to blame than those who carry on that trade. The noble Lord says to us, "How futile and inoperative will be this measure which you propose; it is entirely incomplete and inefficient, because you will introduce from Foreign countries sugar which has been produced by slaves." Now what is the evidence the noble Lord himself gives of the effect of this measure, according to his own anticipations of the result? The noble Lord relies on the importation of sugar which have come from Venezuela, a country with which we have a treaty containing the most-favoured-country clause, which entitles them to the benefit of sending in their sugar on the same terms as any other most favoured country with which we have commercial relations. The imports from Venezuela, then, I admit, are to be upon the same footing with those of any other nation. We were threatened last year with two evils, first, with a fraudulent importation of sugar from Venezuela; and secondly, that sugar grown there and cultivated by the labour of slaves would be sent to this country. At the time I admitted that, although it was not consistent with good faith to prohibit the sugar of Venezuela, the produce of slave labour, from competing in this market with that which was the produce of free labour; I also showed that the circumstances of Venezuela were such as to allow of its produce being received without any violation of the spirit of the Emancipation Act. I showed that there were circumstances connected with that country, and with the United States of America, which rendered it impossible that any so large amount of sugar could be had from either country as to be at variance with the principle which we recommended and adopted. What are the circumstances connected with Venezuela? The noble Lord cannot but be aware that in Venezuela the Slave Trade has long since been abolished. In 1822 they passed a law in that country, enacting, that every man born in that country, subsequently to the year 1822, should be a free man; every individual under 23 years is in consequence at present a free man in that country. So that as we progress in life, as each succeeding year rolls on, we are certain that indulgence shown to that State in the encouragement of its importations, is an encouragement given to the production of sugar by free labour, and is perfectly consistent with the objects we have in view. The noble Lord tells us that the exclusion of sugar from the Brazils and Cuba tends greatly to aggravate the protection afforded to the Colonial interests. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester, who spoke the other night on this subject, adopts this line of argument too; and if there be any truth in the argument of that hon. Member it goes to this—that whatever was the amount of the protecting duty afforded to the produce of the Colonies, by so much, and to such an extent, was a burden imposed on the consumer in this country. The hon. Member in his speech made no distinction between free labour and slave labour, for none could be made. This assertion was equally true, whether the protection afforded was against the free-labour sugar of Java, or the slave-labour sugar of the Brazils. There is, then, no ground for supposing that this burden, so alleged as being about to be put on the consumers in this country, has anything whatever to do with sugar being the produce of free labour or slave labour. But when he talks of the burden imposed by this plan, I differ from the noble Lord the Member for London, and the hon. Gentleman who represents Manchester. If we can show that by the admission of free-labour sugar, taken in conjunction with sugar supplied from our own Colonies, we can have a supply beyond even our augmented consumption; that would be a sufficient answer to the argument. Previously to the extinction of slavery, there were no complaints that the public were taxed to the amount of the difference of price, although the protecting duty was far beyond that now proposed. And why was this so? Why did no one then urge an argument like this? Because the supply was greater than the demand, and the supply and not the differential duty must have an effect on price. But, I say, moreover, with respect to the admission of two distinct articles into this market, that however they might fluctuate in value for a time, and the price of one might be more or less than that of the other — however Foreign sugar might come into the market in competition with Colonial produce, both would soon find their level; and the difference of amount between the duties to which they are respectively subject, would not be the exact measure of taxation. If by any means that you can adopt, you are able to create in this country a supply beyond the demand of the country, you cannot put out of your view the relative cheapness produced by that supply when you calculate the burden of a differential duty. No man will deny but that that duty does to a degree enhance price, and is a sacrifice to the principles upon which you have been professing to act. It is a duty which the consumer sees fit to pay, for the accomplishment of a purpose towards which the public made great exertion. But the argument as to the burden of these protecting duties, whatever it may be, applies to the noble Lord's view of the case, as much as it does to that of the Government against which the noble Lord's oratory has been directed. The noble Lord refuses to vote with the hon. Member for Manchester in his proposition. He admits that the Colonies are entitled to some protection. Last year, the noble Lord thought they were deserving of a protection of more than 10s. In the year 1841, the noble Lord thought the protection should be as much as 12s. And with this consideration, if the noble Lord thinks that the Colonial grower of sugar is entitled to protection against the Foreign grower, I ask him how that plan of his could be more or less effectual in taxing the consumer, than that against which he has directed his oratory to-night? I have my doubts whether, by the plan of the noble Lord, the consumer in this country would derive any benefit, or that reduction in the price of the article would be the consequence. I know that sugar the production of slave labour can be raised cheaper than that which is raised by free labour. I know the difficulty and expense attending on the management of a population just freed from slavery, and the repugnance which such classes naturally have to engage in employment, or to undertake hard labour. I know that the sugar of Brazil can be produced at much less expense, in consequence of these circumstances, than that which can be produced in the West Indies; and if, therefore, the sugar of Brazil was to be brought into competition with that of the West Indies, with a less protection, the effect would be, in the first instance, perhaps, that the article would, for the moment, become cheaper; but that cheapness would be soon followed by an excessive though gradual rise in the price. We know that in our own Colonies a great number of estates have been thrown out of productive cultivation; the quantity of the produce of the West Indies, which used to be about 4,000,000 cwts., has fallen to 2,500,000; and that the stock to meet the demand of this country was lessened by so much; and if we were to throw into this country the sugar raised in the Brazils by the operations of slave labour, we should produce such a revolution in the state of things in the West Indies as would lead to the abandonment of more properties there, and a great diminution in the quantity of produce. Already one or two of the islands of the West Indies are on the eve of being given up as regards the production of sugar; the abandonment of estates in others would soon follow; and the result finally would be, by the abstraction of so large a portion of the supply as those islands afford, a very great rise in the price of sugar in this country; so that a severe penalty upon the community would be contained in the indulgence you profess to give them. One third of the sugar consumed all over the world is grown in British Possessions. In the West India islands of Britain are grown 130,000 tons. Now, suppose that, by allowing the competition of slave labour, and lessening the protection you give your Colonies, you diminish the produce of the latter, what would be the effect on the markets of all the world of withdrawing 70,000 tons from them? Infallibly to raise the value of the remainder, and with it that of Cuba and Brazil. The effect of raising the price of slave-labour sugar would be an immediate importation of slaves into Cuba and the Brazils; and that importation would be continued, till they were enabled to make the supply of sugar equal to the demand. But am I speaking without authority for what I assert? By no means. What I am stating as probable has once before occurred, and is recorded in the Papers and Reports of this House. In or about the year 1792, the island of St. Domingo furnished of sugar, for the consumption of the world, from 40,000 to 60,000 tons. But when, from the repeated insurrections on that island, and various other causes, it became unavailable for the production of this article, and, in fact, the amount of its former produce was withdrawn from the quantity necessary for general consumption, what was the result? Why, the price of sugar rose in this country from 50s. and 51s., progressively up to 75s. per cwt.; and that rise gave an increased impulse in our West Indian islands to the cultivation of sugar. The vacuum thus created in the production of sugar was attempted to be filled up by increased cultivation; and that increased cultivation caused the importation of a greater number of slaves into our own West Indian islands. This appears from the number of ships fitted for the Slave Trade which left Liverpool previous to the stoppping of the supply of sugar from St. Domingo, and the number which left it subsequently; the number of ships fitted out two years before were 80 and 93; while in two after, the number increased to 122 and 133. And in the next year or two after the supply from St. Domingo was so stopped, the numbers of slaves imported from the Coast of Africa were in proportion to the void created; for, instead of 9,000, 10,000, 11,000, or 12,000 persons a year, which had been the previous rate of slave importation into the West Indies, the numbers rose to 32,000 and 36,000. You have in your own Colonies a picture of what you are about to produce in Brazil, if you encourage the slave-grown sugar of that country in preference to that of your own islands. The result would be that you would increase tenfold the horrors of that Slave Trade which was formerly under the control of law; but which, if attempted to be carried on now, would be so completely out of all supervision, that its horrors would be aggravated, and the consumer in this country would derive no benefit whatsoever by it. The noble Lord went into a calculation to prove that there would be a high price of sugar after the present measure was carried into effect. The noble Lord does not object to protecting duties, nor is his advocacy opposed to them. On this point the noble Lord is in the same boat with myself. The noble Lord would impose the same burden upon the public, though he is objecting to that I am about proposing. I think the noble Lord made a loose calculation with respect to the competition of the sugar of Java or Cuba in the market. The noble Lord's calculation went to show that there would be a difference of 8s. between every hogshead of West India sugar, and that of Java; but I maintain if there were those two commodities in the market, the market price for both would eventually come pretty much to the same level. Now, in his calculation, I think the noble Lord has made a mistake with respect to the prices of sugars, and the result of the duties. The highest quoted prices of Java sugar at present are from 22s. to 24s. 6d.; but ordinary Java and Manilla sugar are lower—say about 17s.; the average may, therefore, be taken at 20s. Then, supposing the first cost of Java sugar to be 20s., by adding the amount of duty—23s. 4d.—it gives a total price of 43s. 4d. Then, with respect to West India sugar, the average Gazette price of that article is 29s. 7d.; add to that the duty of 14s., the total is 43s. 7d.; and that calculation only shows a difference in price between the two articles of 3d. This would make it little dearer than the Java; and I think I have taken a fair average, upon the whole. To the higher classes of British sugar, it would be necessary to add the higher duty of 16s., so that the result would generally be to bring them to the equality which I have stated. The noble Lord in the course of his speech entered into another subject, which could not exactly be considered a legitimate portion of this debate. It was a matter which more immediately concerned the Colonies than the direct subject of this discussion. The noble Lord entered into a glowing description of the condition of the people in those Colonies. With respect particularly to Jamaica, the noble Lord said that it was proposed to tax the necessaries of life in that country, for the purpose of paying the interest on a loan, for the introduction of labourers to compete with those in the Colony. Now I beg to say that the Legislature of Jamaica did not add to the burdens of the working men, in order to carry out their objects. In this the noble Lord has stated what he did from misinformation. The tax alluded to has been placed on the exports of the country, and is, therefore, paid by those proprietors whose produce constituted those exports. This explanation I wish at once to make, in contradiction to the statement of the noble Lord, who, of course, has been misled, but whose authority would give great and unjust weight to this erroneous impression, if allowed to pass unanswered. The noble Lord said that the House ought to have some consideration for the artisans and labourers employed in the Colonies, as well as for the planters. [Lord J. Russell: I said also the artisans at home.] I beg the noble Lord's pardon. I quite agree with the noble Lord that the artisans, whether resident in the West Indies or in this country, are entitled to every indulgence and to every remission of taxation which can safely be afforded to them. But I am sure that I speak the sentiments of the well-judging and the well-thinking classes of this community when I say that they would not be willing to purchase an exemption from any burden by the sacrifice of the principles upon which they have so long acted. I think I have said enough to show the House that if we consider not the immediate and transitory gain which the people of this country might derive from a reduction in the price of sugar, but if we look to their permanent interest, even as respects that particular commodity, we shall not think it advisable to expose the West India proprietors to an overwhelming competition by the introduction of Foreign slave-grown sugar; nor think that a means by which we can advance our own permanent interests. The noble Lord, in dealing with the financial part of the question, contended that the reduction of the Sugar Duties is not one of those measures of reduced taxation which we ought to have introduced upon the present occasion. ["No, no."] I thought the noble Lord had stated that there were other articles upon which he would rather have recommended a reduction of taxation.

Lord J. Russell

What I stated was that we might, in my opinion, make a reduction in the Sugar Duties which would have produced the same amount of revenue, and would have been of the same advantage to the consumer, as the proposal of Her Majesty's Government; and we might thus be enabled to reduce the duties upon other articles. Under the system proposed by Her Majesty's Ministers, the benefit of the reduction will go in a great measure to the planters.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

continued: I agree with the noble Lord that the amount of the reduction will go partly to the consumer and partly to the planter. That is a natural result; but as the noble Lord agrees with me that it is advisable to maintain differential duties for the benefit of our colonists, I do not know how he is to prevent that result. When we resisted on former occasions the proposal for a reduction of duties, we did so on the grounds that as we were to draw our increased supplies from a great distance, it was advisable that we should give timely notice, and not make that alteration at a time when we could only hope for a limited supply. But when it became our duty to consider in the present year whether the Income Tax should be renewed or not, we thought it indispensably necessary to take into our consideration this article of sugar, with a view to ascertain whether, while we guard by a protective duty the Colonial interest, we cannot make such a change as will cause a material reduction in prices for the benefit of the public generally. That reduction in prices might have been effected by either of two modes. We might have retained the mode hitherto adopted of assessing the duty without classification, and thus making the duty equal upon all classes of sugar; or we might have adopted the proposal which we now submit to the House, of dividing sugar into two classes, and imposing a lower duty upon one of those classes than upon the other. The latter plan appears to us to have this advantage—that it will enable us to effect a reduction in the price of the inferior description of sugar, which is principally consumed by the lower classes, and thus contribute to their comfort, and to the diminution of their burdens. I believe that by the alteration of duties which we propose—it will be for the House to determine whether it be advisable to adopt the proposal or not—the price of the sugar consumed by the lower classes of the community will be reduced by not less than 1½d. per lb.; and I maintain that if you were to adopt the proposal of the noble Lord, and impose a duty of 20s. upon Foreign sugar, you will deprive the Revenue of a certain amount of duty, and you will have no chance of obtaining an equivalent for the reduction of duty in an extended consumption of the article. We have had experience in the years 1827 and 1828 of the effect of reducing the duty by 3s. per cwt.; and we know that a reduction to that amount only takes money out of the Treasury without affording benefit to the consumer or to the planter; for it goes principally into the pockets of the intermediate dealers in the article. We have, therefore, thought it advisable to make a reduction so extensive that it will reach the lowest cottage in the country; we are prepared to risk an amount of revenue which I admit to be considerable; but I believe it will ultimately be repaid to the country by the increased comforts of our population, and by the increased revenue which we may hope to derive, not only from sugar, but from other articles which enter into general consumption. The noble Lord talked of a gradual reduction of duty as a substitute for our proposal. Now I have the greatest respect for the noble Lord, and whenever I differ from him in opinion, I am inclined to entertain great doubts of the correctness of the conclusions at which I may have arrived; but I must say, that to propose that we should introduce a gradual reduction of the Sugar Duties—that we should take off 3s. one year, and 3s. more another year, and thus throw the whole sugar trade of the country into a state of perpetual change and confusion—with all respect for the noble Lord, I must say, that such a proposal is one which I have heard from him with astonishment, and is one which I should never be disposed to recommend. It appears to me to be better that we should once for all make such an alteration of duty as will effectually reduce prices and produce a settlement of the question. I believe that our proposal will, if it be adopted, be attended I with those results; and it is on my belief that a large reduction will greatly increase consumption, that I rely for the recovery of the revenue within the time for which we wish that the Income Tax should be renewed. The noble Lord at the end of his Resolution attempts to captivate popular support by stating, that if those reductions of duties which we propose, and of which the reduction of the Sugar Duties is one, now take place, there is no chance that the Income Tax will be remitted at the expiration of three years. Now I wish to address the House with perfect frankness and candour. But I do not believe that any man, whatever may be his talents or ingenuity, can by any possibility say with certainty what may be the results, commercial, financial, or political, which may follow from any measure at a distance of three years. But this I say, that so far as experience goes of the elasticity of the resources of this country, and of the power which it possesses, when relieved from burdens, of applying increased energy and industry to the extension of its commerce, and of extending its consumption of those articles upon which duties still remain,—I say that so far as experience goes, we have reasons to calculate that our anticipations of the results of the measures which we now propose will not be disappointed. There can be no doubt but that events may occur which will defeat the best-considered arrangements, and produce results utterly at variance from those upon which men have calculated; but I say that if you look back to what has occurred before in this country—if you take the income of the country at periods before reductions have been made in its taxation—and if you take the income at periods subsequent to those reductions, you will find that we are justified in our anticipations of the beneficial results to the Revenue from reductions in duties, provided they be judiciously made. I stated the other night, that in October last the income derived from the ordinary sources of revenue was precisely of the same amount as that which we received before the Income Tax had been imposed, although we had in the meantime repealed no less than 1,600,000l. of taxes. You would, therefore, now be enabled to repeal the Income Tax if you did not find it necessary to increase your expenditure. I need not, however, allude merely to occurrences in our own time, for I have here instances for many years of an elasticity in our Revenue proportionate to the amount of relief from taxation which we have granted from time to time. I shall mention some of those instances to the House. The right hon. Gentleman read the following:

In 1816, the ordinary Revenue was £51,573,920
Taxes repealed that year 3,228,792
Revenue after deduction 48,345,128
In 1819, the Revenue was 52,885,000
Being an increase of £4,540,000
In 1822, the Revenue was £55,074,000
Taxes repealed 2,159,000
In 1823, the Revenue was 53,100,000
Being an increase of £165,000
In 1823, the Revenue was £53,100,000
Taxes repealed 1823 £4,050,000
1824 1,700,000
1825 3,600,000
1826 1,900,000
In 1829, the Revenue was 51,330,000
Being an increase of £9,480,000
Similar results followed the reduction of taxation in the years 1830 and 1834. In all those cases a new impulse was given to the industry of the country, either by the reduction or the repeal of taxes; for, let it be observed, that in many of those instances taxes were altogether repealed. Is it, then, inconsistent with sound policy that we should expect that recovery of revenue after the repeal of taxes which we have seen occur before, not in one or two instances, but in a variety of instances, and that when the period shall have arrived to which it is proposed to extend the Income Tax, we may be enabled, as we are now in a situation to do, to leave it to the House to decide whether that tax shall be abolished, or whether it shall be continued for the purpose of enabling us to effect other reductions of duty? I do not know that there are any other topics to which I need refer. If the House is prepared to abandon that principle for which it has so long contended, of endeavouring to impose obstacles in the way of the continuance of the Slave Trade—if the House is prepared to give up those treaties into which we have entered with Spain, Portugal, and other countries, for the purpose of putting an end to that trade—if the House is prepared to adopt such a course, well and good. I know that by abandoning our former principles we may give some temporary advantage to the consumers of sugar; but, if we are to maintain the character we have heretofore maintained throughout the world—if we are to have it believed that we have, upon moral grounds, contended for the abolition of slavery, and endeavoured to enforce our views upon other countries—I say that, in that case, we can never pursue, with respect to the article of sugar, the cultivation of which is the principal incitement to slavery, a course which would prove that for the sake of cheapening the article to our own consumers, we are ready to abandon our past efforts, and to open scenes of desolation and of misery, the extent of which it would not be easy for man to calculate. And do not let the noble Lord or the hon. Member for Durham suppose that if we pursue what I deem so unworthy a course, the country will continue as it is now, silent, and in a state of apparent apathy upon this subject. I firmly believe, that if the effect of a general introduction of slave-grown sugar into the markets of this country should be, as I apprehend it would necessarily be, instrumental in increasing the importation of slaves from Africa to South America, and if the slaves should be subject, as they necessarily would be, to greater cruelties than could be apprehended if the Slave Trade were free and open, I firmly believe that the accounts we should then receive of the miseries of those wretched victims during their passage, and of the fate that awaited them on reaching their destination, would again call forth the exertions of benevolent individuals in this country, and that this House would be compelled by the unanimous feeling of the British public to repeal its own enactments, and to adopt a course of policy more conformable to the dictates of true wisdom and humanity.

Lord John Russell

I wish to correct a misapprehension into which I find I have led the right hon. Gentleman. I expressed myself, perhaps, very imperfectly; but I certainly never intended to propose that the duty should be reduced 2s. or 3s. one years and 2s. or 3s. the year following. What I proposed was, that a protective duty should be levied for several years, but that as opportunities afterwards occurred, an approximation to the principle of a free trade should be adopted.

Mr. Labouchere

said, that when the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Treasury introduced to the House his series of commercial and financial measures, he declared, that in determining the course which he had adopted, no fear of being taunted with change—no seeming inconsistencies on his part, should prevent him from proposing that which, upon experience he was satisfied, upon the whole, was for the public benefit. He was far from wishing to say anything, except in approbation, of that statement, which had been exemplified by the right hon. Gentleman proposing to the House this year the unusual course of repealing certain important duties which no later than two years ago he had imposed; but the right hon. Baronet would, he hoped, excuse him for thinking that, if he had acted fully and fairly upon that declaration, they would not have seen the Sugar Duties proposed in the form in which they were now presented to the House. He had too high a respect for the understanding and experience of the right hon. Baronet to believe it. That which he (Mr. Labouchere) did not fear to say was almost the universal condemnation of one portion of the right hon. Gentleman's scheme—namely, the attempt to draw a distinction between Foreign sugar, the produce of free labour, and that which was produced by slaves—a condemnation shared in by all mercantile men, by the public in general, by foreign countries—nay, even by the West India planters themselves. ["No, no."] If hon. Gentlemen disputed that, he thought he should be able to prove its truth. These facts, he could not help thinking, must have shaken the opinion which the right hon. Gentleman had before entertained upon the subject; and if this question had not been connected with the party polities of that House, and, in the hand of the noble Member for Liverpool, had been the very weapon by which the late Government fell, the right hon. Baronet never would have proposed to enact such distinctions with regard to the Sugar Duties. The right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down defended this part of the scheme upon one ground only; he said that to adopt any other course would be to give great encouragement to slave labour and the Slave Trade in foreign countries. He believed that there never was an assertion made more utterly destitute of foundation, and in support of which it was impossible to advance any sound argument. He would take the very arguments which the right hon. Gentleman had used upon another part of this subject, and apply them to this question, and show how untenable his position was. What did the right hon. Gentleman say in talking of the sugar trade in this country, when our Colonies produced a surplus beyond what was required for consumption in this country, as to the effect which it would produce upon the price of sugar in general? He said, and truly, that all protective duties under those circumstances were entirely nugatory. There was a surplus of sugar, and we had some to spare to foreign countries; and whether they put on a differential duty or not, it was utterly nugatory. The price of the sugar which we could not consume was, of course, governed by that of Foreign sugar; and the differential duties were a dead letter on the Statute Book. But if this was true with regard to a part of our Colonial sugar, under those circumstances, was it not equally a sound argument with regard to Foreign free-labour sugar produced at the present moment in the world? What were the statements of hon. Gentlemen opposite on this subject? What were their calculations? They said that 60,000 tons of free-labour sugar would be produced in Java, Manilla, and other Eastern countries. And what did they say they anticipated, under the present plan, would become of this? That we should take 20,000 tons, and the other 40,000 tons would be sent to the general markets of the world. Of course, if that were the case, the price of the 20,000 tons which might come to us would be governed by the price of the 40,000 tons that were sent abroad, and any effect which our legislation might have on the price of the 20,000 tons, would equally affect the 40,000 tons which would go to Germany and elsewhere to meet the sugar of Brazil and Cuba. Whatever, he repeated, we might do here to raise the price of the 20,000 tons, would equally affect the 40,000 tons that might go to Germany, and would equally affect the sugar of Brazil and Cuba; and he, therefore, defied the wit of man to deny, as far as prices were concerned, that we should not be giving the same encouragement to slavery by this measure of the Government, as we should be if we at once took the 20,000 tons from the ports of the Havanna, taking it for granted that the right hon. Gentleman really thought by his scheme that he should exclude Foreign slave-grown sugar. He doubted whether any one could answer for the sugar which came into this country being the produce of free labour, and he believed that was the opinion entertained by every person who had turned his attention to the subject; and he stated advisedly that the West Indies were full of suspicion upon this point. As to the cargo of Venezuela sugar which had arrived in this country, it was doubted whether it was not the produce of Surinam or Porto Rico, and not of Venezuela. If the right hon. Gentleman could show that any palpable and real benefit would result from his scheme, well and good; but when they saw how imaginary and illusory was the idea that any discouragement would be given to the slave trade at all under this system, it was a matter for grave consideration whether they would not create much positive mischief by introducing increasing fraud and prevarication in the mercantile world, upon a question of this description. His first and great objection to the proposition of the right hon. Baronet was one which, if well founded, ought, in his opinion, to have great weight. It was, that he did not think it likely to be a permanent settlement of the question. It had none of the elements of permanency. He agreed with the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who said, "Are you to be every year shifting your duties upon such an article as sugar, leaving your trade, and all the great interests connected with it, in a state of utter uncertainty?" He agreed with the right hon. Gentleman, that it would be no slight evil to be constantly shifting and changing their legislation upon questions of this kind. But when the Chancellor of the Exchequer was so severe upon the proposition which he thought the noble Lord had made for a gradual alteration of the Sugar Duties, and said it was so monstrous a thing for a Government one year to alter the Sugar Duties, and then to lead people to suppose that they would be tampered with again in the next, he must say that the right hon. Gentleman displayed a degree of candour which he did not expect. His conscience must have pricked him severely to have induced him so strongly to censure what he had himself done. Nothing could be more unfortunate for the merchants of this country than the course pursued by the right hon. Gentleman last year, when he proposed an alteration of the Sugar Duties, and at the same time held language which could lead no person to doubt that he intended this year to propose another alteration. The consequence had been a period of peril and uncertainty to every person connected with the trade, and he hoped it would be a warning to the right hon. Gentleman not to trifle thus in future with the commerce of the country. He knew that the proposition of the right hon. Baronet could not be permanent; for, if he did not alter the law, there were other circumstances besides legislation by which it would be changed. A treaty with Brazil or Cuba might greatly affect the right hon. Baronet's arrangements. He said, therefore, that there was nothing like permanency in the scheme of the right hon. Baronet. It contained all the elements of uncertainty. No one could know the degree and extent of fraud that would take place. Who could say by what means merchants and planters would defeat the enactments of this Bill? He had stated, that he believed those opinions were held by the West Indians themselves, for whose benefit the right hon. Gentleman said he was proposing this anomalous and strange system of legislation. He could not, however, help thinking that, although the West Indians were put forward as the cause of the proposed scheme, it was much more to be attributed to the unfortunate party engagements of the right hon. Baronet, than to any particular care for the West Indians. His own opinion was, that they had no belief in the efficacy of the attempt to discriminate between slave-grown and free-labour sugar; in which opinion he was borne out by a paragraph which he had read in a morning paper of that day, extracted from a Jamaica journal. The right hon. Gentleman then read the following paragraph:— The admission of Venezuelan sugar into Great Britain at the rate of duty upon which sugar the produce of free labour countries is admissible, has caused much excitement among the agricultural interests in this island. Fears are entertained that, in consequence of the admission of this sugar, the products of Cuba and Porto Rico will find their way through the United States into the British markets at the lowest rate of duty. A meeting, to memorialize Her Majesty and the Imperial Parliament on this subject, has been held in St. Andrew, and it is supposed that similar meetings will be held in every other parish in the island. Better far that the sugar question should be definitively settled, even though the worst fears of the planters should be realized, than this constant excitement, which begets nothing but doubt and disappointment, should continue. These, he believed, were the views, faithfully represented, of the Jamaica public on this question. He had now given expression to the vital objection which he had to the scheme of the right hon. Baronet; and he must also say that he feared, especially after the late conduct of the Government on this subject, that the high tone assumed as to the grounds upon which this distinctive course was pursued, was not likely to raise the opinion, in foreign countries, (which it was desirable should be kept high,) of the sincerity of this country as to the discontinuance of the Slave Trade. He was afraid when they saw the same Minister who so lately lowered the duties on coffee in favour of Brazil and Cuba—who had this year altered the duties on Foreign coffee produced by a description of labour infinitely worse than that which cultivated the sugar cane—when foreigners, he said, observed this, they were not likely to believe that it was on any sound principle for the suppression of the Slave Trade that the measure of the right hon. Baronet was proposed. The duty on Foreign slave-grown cotton had been very properly taken off; but when these things were considered, it was impossible to say that they held out to the world the prospect of consistent legislation on these subjects. With regard to another point, he confessed he could understand that they were discouraging the Slave Trade and slave-grown sugar while they were completely excluding all Foreign sugar from this country; but he could not see how they were doing so by admitting Foreign sugar the produce of free labour, when the effect of that would be to raise the price of slave-labour Foreign sugar. It was a strong sense of the defects of this part of the scheme of the right hon. Gentleman which had induced him to address the House. With regard to the remaining portion of the subject, he would, therefore, confine himself to a few observations. He agreed in the latter portion of the Resolution of the noble Lord the Member for London. This, however, was not the time to discuss the merits or demerits of the Property Tax; but he could not help recollecting that the First Lord of the Treasury, when he proposed the tax in that Houses—although he had held that language much more faintly on the last than on the first occasion—yet he always represented the tax as a most oppressive one, which he could only call upon the public to submit to under extraordinary circumstances; and he desired, he said, to give the public and Parliament a fair opportunity of deciding whether they would continue it or not. He confessed his opinion was, that being the case, the right hon. Gentleman ought not to have dealt with the Timber Duties exactly as he did. The language which his noble friend had applied to the right hon. Baronet's treatment of the Sugar Duties, applied, he (Mr. Labouchere) thought, equally to the Timber Duties, namely, that, without an adequate benefit to the consumer, he had thrown away one of the great sources of revenue to this country. The right hon. Baronet appeared to deal with sugar much on the same principle. Without entering into any nice calculations, he was afraid that, as a measure of finance, it would disappoint the right hon. Baronet. At any rate, this must be obvious, namely, that he was curtailing one of the great sources of the revenue of this country. He agreed with his noble Friend, that if they had given less protection to the planter, they would have given all the advantage to the consumer, with a less defalcation to the Revenue. By the course proposed, they gave all the advantage to the planters; and the consumers in this country would not only hardly obtain any advantages, but the probability was, that such would be the defalcation in the Revenue occasioned by these new Sugar Duties, that it would be found necessary, at the end of the period named, to continue the Income Tax. He believed that, by a just system of Sugar Duties, the Revenue might have been entirely restored, by which means they might have got rid of the Property Tax. This would have been a just, and sound, and legitimate experiment, and he had no doubt would have proved highly efficient. If, however, they intended, and were determined to keep up a high differential duty, and not to look to the benefit of the consumers at home, he was satisfied that, as a measure of finance, the result would be, that there would be no other chance of keeping up their Revenue at the end of three years but the continuance of the Income Tax. It might be right or wrong that the Income Tax should be continued, to form a portion of the general Revenue of the country; but it was not the principle upon which the right hon. Baronet professed to act when he brought forward his Income Tax, and it had not placed the House in a proper situation with the country. It was not his intention to go into an examination of the details of the scheme of Her Majesty's Government, for there would be several other opportunities of doing so, and of discussing the very important questions that would arise out of them; his object being, on the present occasion, shortly to state the reasons why he thought it to be his duty to support the Resolution of his noble Friend. He concurred in both parts of that Resolution, and considered that the plan of the Government involved an attempt to discriminate between articles in a way which was impracticable and illusory for any good purpose. They were told that the adoption of this plan would discourage the Slave Trade, and the cultivation of sugar by slaves. Now, he believed that it would be demonstrated, as clearly as any proposition could be proved, that instead of this plan leading to a decrease in the cultivation of slave-grown sugar—on the contrary, that the amount of free-grown sugar that was taken out of the markets of the world for the consumption of this country, to that amount there would be an increased cultivation of slave-grown sugar to supply the deficiency occasioned in the markets of foreign countries. He was as anxious as any could be to see the object in view accomplished; but he dreaded to see a great country like this laying such unsound principles of legislation, which would not stand the scrutiny of the world. He was also prepared to support the second part of the Resolution of his noble Friend, on the ground that when they were making a great reduction in the duty of an article, they should embrace that opportunity of lessening the differential duties in such a degree as to lead to an increased consumption, by diminishing the cost of sugar in this country, and thus keep up the revenue derived from this source, so as to enable the Chancellor of the Exchequer, at the end of three years, to get rid of the Income Tax.

Mr. Gladstone

felt anxious to take an early part in the debate, both from his general desire to express his opinions on the question involved in the Resolution of the noble Lord, and also as he was anxious at once to declare that out of office he was desirous to take upon himself his full share of responsibility for the plan before the House. But, before he proceeded further, he felt bound to thank the noble Lord, and the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, for the tone and temper in which they had addressed the House, and for their having abstained from those severe and extravagant expressions which had so often characterized former debates on the subject. He had been present at every debate that had taken place in that House upon the Sugar Duties of late years, and uniformly, when it was proposed that distinctions should be drawn between free-grown sugar and the produce of slave labour, the observation was met with terms of very harsh reproach. He never recollected the occasion of a debate of this kind before, in which several accusations of hypocrisy had not been made by the Gentlemen opposite against hon. Members sitting on his side of the House. He, therefore, thanked the noble Lord for saying that he would not accuse the Government, or those that supported them in this place, of hypocrisy, or of mock humanity, in the course which they had taken. And accordingly, while he expressed his satisfaction that the noble Lord had expressed his disapproval of the use of such hard expressions as had so often been employed in the course of these debates, he would, for his own part, observe, that if he had ever been chargeable with harshness of language in discussing this question, he sincerely regretted it; and while he was far from accusing any individual of a want of humanity or sympathy for his fellowmen because they did not agree with him to exclude sugar the produce of the labour of slaves in certain foreign countries, he hoped that, if they would not give him credit for being actuated by high and honourable motives, yet still they would believe that the majority of that House, in the course which they took, were not open to an accusation the very heaviest of all that could be brought against the character of men. As for the Motion before the House, he had to thank the noble Lord for submitting his proposition to the House in phraseology which they could easily follow and comprehend; and as the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, said, that he had not the slightest hesitation in supporting the whole of the Resolution, so he (Mr. Gladstone) felt no difficulty in stating that he could conscientiously reject the whole of it. The noble Lord, in the first part of his Resolution, said, that the plan which professes to keep up a distinction between Foreign free-labour and Foreign slave-labour sugar was impracticable and illusory,—he denied it,—and in the second part, that without adequate benefit to the consumer, it tended so greatly to impair and cripple the Revenue as to render the removal of the Income and Property Tax, at the end of three years, extremely uncertain and improbable. He was also prepared to deny that the present measure would render the renewal of the Income Tax, at the end of three more years, inevitable. He would not then go into the question as to the continuance of the Property Tax; but he could not help observing that it must excite some curiosity as to what made the noble Lord suggest, three years beforehand, such a strong opinion as to the non-removal of the Property Tax at the end of three years. Was the noble Lord's suggestion made with reference to any supposed revolution in the wheel of fortune before that time arrived, and that then other parties than those who now occupied the Treasury Bench would have to make provision for the Public Revenue? or was it in consequence of a wish on the part of the noble Lord to facilitate the labours of the present Government three years hence? But, whether this was the case or not, he was sure, first, that the noble Lord had not introduced these words without a substantial purpose; and secondly, that that purpose was by no means one which contemplated only the debate and the division of that evening. But to proceed to examine the Resolution before the House. The first part of it declared that the attempt to keep up a distinction between Foreign free-labour and Foreign slave-labour sugar was impracticable and illusory. Now, he had not on previous occasions said the distinction was so clear that it could be drawn with uniform and absolute precision, for perhaps that might not always be the case; but the real question was, whether they should or should not exclude sugar raised in countries which continued to carry on the African Slave Trade. The Bill of last year did not go to the full extent which the Resolution appeared to imply; it did not pretend to keep up a distinction between all slave-grown and all free-labour sugar, for it specifically provided for the admission of sugar of the former description from countries having certain treaties with us. The House should bear in mind that the real question was as to the exclusion of sugar the produce of Cuba and the Brazils. Then the question was, whether an attempt to distinguish between such sugar and free-grown sugar was impracticable and illusory. The right hon. Gentleman who had last spoken said, that sugar from these countries would come in through fraud; and also, that if the effect of the present plan was to withdraw from the markets of the world a portion of free-grown sugar for the consumption of this country, that that deficiency would be filled up by a supply of slave-grown sugar from those two countries. Now these objections were not started in any novel terms, but in language which had been very often used against the proposal made last year. He then had said that it was not very likely that the sugar of Cuba or Brazil would come into our markets under the pretence of its being the produce of the countries which, on the score of treaties containing the clause of the most favoured nation, were entitled to the introduction of their sugar upon the same terms with that of Java. The noble Lord made some allusions on this point in reference to the recent introduction of sugar from Venezuela; and he stated that some unknown gentleman had informed him that he thought the sugar so introduced was the produce of Porto Rico, or of Surinam, or Brazil, or of some other place. He begged the House to mark that this person did not say distinctly that it was the sugar of any of these countries;—this unknown authority would not say clearly and openly that it was not the sugar of Venezuela, and that it was the sugar of some other country. He challenged the noble Lord to bring this party to book, and require him to give the grounds for the opinion which he had communicated to the noble Lord; and when he obtained that opinion, let it be placed in the hands of the Government, for by this means the noble Lord would impose upon the Government the necessity of instituting a strict inquiry into the whole matter, and it would throw on the officers who certified this sugar the duty of stating the grounds they had for saying that it was Venezuelan sugar. If the noble Lord would take this course, and obtained from the Government an answer to his inquiries in conformity with the suspicions he had so vaguely declared to-night, he would next year be provided with a powerful argument for resisting any attempt to persist in these distinctions; but if he did not do so, he was only again flooding the House of Commons with the most worthless rumours, of which this subject had on former occasions been so prolific. He would not go into the question as to the quantity of sugar of slave countries with which we had treaties that was likely to come into our markets, as he had gone at great length into the question last year; but he must observe, that most extraordinary means were resorted to, to create objections on this ground to the proposal of the Government. He was then repeatedly told that there were certain laws in the United States, by which sugar could be introduced into that country; and that by some unheard-of system of payments and repayments, and by some kind of transfer from the right hand to the left hand, a large portion of American sugar could be imported into this country; and that in its place an equal quantity of sugar would be imported into the United States from Cuba and the Brazils. It was rather hard to expect that any one should have the laws of a foreign country at hand; and in any case it was very difficult to meet an assertion so confident with an absolute negative. A little time, however, had settled the dispute, so as at once to give a positive statement, on the subject; but this matter had been much pressed upon him, and he had been repeatedly challenged on the point. It now appeared, however, that the whole was either a mere fiction, and that the statement was invented for the purpose of deception, or else, and, as he believed, more probably, that it was a mere figment imposed on the minds of hon. Gentlemen. [An hon. Member: It was stated on the Ministerial side of the House.] He did not well know on which side of the House the statement was first made in debate; and indeed last year, upon the question of the Sugar Duties, it was not always easy to tell which was the Ministerial side of the House; but if he was not mistaken, it originally appeared before the public of this country in the Economist newspaper; and he hoped that those who had so credulously adopted the statement would be more fastidious for the future as to putting such arguments into hon. Members' mouths. He would not, at that time, go further into the subject of distinctions between free and slave-grown sugars, as it was unnecessary; for no new evidence whatever had been adduced to show that there was any likelihood of the fraudulent introduction of Foreign slave-grown sugar. He should, therefore, pass to the next succeeding allegation of the right hon. Gentleman, and would ask whether the right hon. Gentleman was warranted in saying that the plan of the Government would give the same stimulus to the production of sugar in Brazil and Cuba, as if we admitted it directly into our markets? He confessed that he should attach very great importance to this argument, if the right hon. Gentleman could make it out to be good. The right hon. Gentleman referred to the common and general opinion on the subject. Now, he believed that the common opinion was against, rather than in favour of, the statement of the right hon. Gentleman. It was all very well to take up a well-known general dogma of political economy, and by applying it with rigid uniformity to details, or minute parts of a question, to draw a certain conclusion; but by thus proceeding they might destroy any well-established proposition of that department of knowledge. The right hon. Gentleman said that the markets from which we obtained a supply of free-grown sugar would fill up the vacuum so created, by taking an equal quantity of slave-grown sugar. He did not say that there might not be a tendency to this result if it was not checked in practice, and, therefore, he by no means denied the truth of the general rule. But it appeared to him, with regard to this and to many other conclusions of political economy, that there was too much disposition to apply them in their full abstract rigour, without making allowance for the circumstances which modify and vary them in their application and practice; and that, in this manner, they were often practically converted into falsehoods. In the case now before them, his opinion was that the power of access to the British market would, upon the whole, give a better—though he would not say a greatly better—price to the Java and Manilla growers for their sugar. One of the elements which tended to give superior value to an article manifestly was the power of access, at any given moment, to the greatest possible number of markets. Java and Manilla sugar would now have a chance opened to them, which was not open to the sugars of Cuba and Brazil; this would enable them, on many occasions, to be sold with greater advantage; and the prospect of such advantage was in the nature of an additional encouragement. He found evidence of the truth of the same opinion in the conviction of the West Indians, that the exclusion of the sugars of Cuba and Brazil was beneficial to them. It was a matter which, last year, they had occasion to consider pretty closely. He was satisfied that if the West Indians had not believed that the exclusion of Brazilian sugar would be advantageous to them, they would have supported the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman opposite last year, when the Sugar Duties were before the House, and have thus endeavoured to carry out the views of Gentlemen opposite on this subject. It was well known that a large amount of British capital was invested in Brazil and Cuba; and, perhaps, on this account, there was more apprehension of great and rapid extension of the culture of the cane in those countries. This was not a new argument, for his right hon. Friend at the head of the Government had alluded to it when he first submitted the subject to the House. He did not wish to cast any stigma upon a principle of political economy; but he felt called upon to object to the strict application of a principle, when circumstances were greatly modified and restricted. For his own part, he sincerely believed that this measure would give a stimulus to the production of sugar in Java and Manilla, which would be much less sensibly felt in the Brazils or Cuba. He would not deny, that if there was a great vacuum in the markets of the Continent occasioned by the flow of free-grown sugar into this country, that the Brazils and Cuba would supply some portion of sugar. He could not positively deny that this might occur, although he should much regret the circumstance; and should then only have to reflect that it was not justly chargeable upon us, for if other countries would do as we did, the result could not possibly arrive. But he did not seriously apprehend such a consequence. He believed indeed that the result of the measure would be, that the demand for sugar would be greatly increased in this country; but he also felt assured that there would be a great increase in the importation of sugar from our own Colonies, and this to a much larger extent than there was any prospect of a short time since. He, therefore, felt with perfect confidence that the plan was not impracticable and illusory. Now, as to the statement that the change would be attended with no adequate benefit to the consumers, he admitted that the consumer had a right to claim the full benefit of the reduction at no very remote time; and that when the first flush had passed off the market, that the consumer should gain to the full amount of the reduction of duty. It was his perfect conviction, also, that the consumer would gain all this within no distant period. The right hon. Gentleman had intimated, that the plan now proposed would increase the amount of protection proposed last year: on this point, the right hon. Gentleman differed entirely from the hon. Member for Bristol and others who had a practical acquaintance with the subject. He for his own part was satisfied that, although there might be some increase of price immediately, the result would be, that the whole, and even something more than the whole benefit of the reduction of duty would be obtained by the consumer; and he was at a loss to understand what arguments could be used to justify the contrary statement. The right hon. Gentleman expressed the very high opinion that he entertained of the part of the speech of the noble Lord in reference to this subject. Now, he must say, that it appeared to him shadowy and obscure in the last degree. There was the assumption throughout that the differential duty would be in all cases 14s., and that no free-grown sugar would be introduced under that rate. His right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, however, had clearly shown that the better sugars of Java, at least, were of such prime quality that there was nothing to prevent parties paying that duty. He believed, indeed, that sugar would bear introduction with the existing duties and prices. He was utterly at a loss to understand what pretence there was for saying that the plan of the Government involved an increase in the protective duties. As it was, it was proposed to divide unrefined sugar, to be introduced into the markets of this country, into two classes. They divide it into Muscovado and what were termed clayed sugars. This distinction he made in those terms for the mere matter of convenience; although he knew that, strictly speaking, the phraseology was not perfectly correct. Taking, then, this distinction, the differential duty between British and Foreign Muscovado would not be 14s. but 9s. 4d. The noble Lord assumed throughout that the protection would be 14s., and went on the supposed notion that the duty paid on all sugar imported from the British Colonies would be 14s., while that from Foreign countries would pay 28s. The noble Lord must be aware that in the Resolutions, as far as they possibly could, they had adopted the very same terms now used in applying the 14s. duty to British Colonial sugar, of the lower quality, or the 23s. 4d. duty to Foreign sugar of the same quality. It was, therefore, obvious, having one duty at 14s., and the other at 23s. 4d., that the protective duty in favour of British Colonial sugar was 9s. 4d., and not 14s., as stated by the noble Lord. An hon. Gentleman opposite shook his head. Did he mean honestly to say that he was not correct? He challenged the hon. Member to contradict him, when he told him that every ton, or nearly every ton, of sugar from Manilla would be admitted under the low duty of 23s. 4d.; and be it remembered that it was from Manilla that they expected the largest supply of Foreign free-grown sugar. Was, he repeated, the hon. Member, or any other hon. Gentleman, prepared to contradict this statement? He, therefore, said, that so far from all the free Foreign sugar paying a duty of 28s., and all the British Colonial only 14s., the greater portion of the Foreign sugar would pay only the duty of 23s. 4d.; and if this was not the case with the great proportion of free Foreign sugar, it would be because the importers of sugar from Java might find it worth their while to introduce a more valuable article, being in a more advanced state of manufacture. There was, however, nothing to prevent the brown sugar, either Muscovado or clayed, not being white clayed sugar of Java, from being introduced into the market of this country at the duty of 23s. 4d., unless, indeed, there should be a surplus supply from our own Colonies, which of course would exclude all Foreign sugars paying either the higher or the lower duty. The right hon. Gentleman said that the Java sugar was, generally speaking, of less value than the British plantation sugar; now he would state with confidence, that if they took the average return of Colonial and Java sugar, looking in each case, the latter bore a higher price than the British. It would be recollected that the British Colonies raised sugar only for a protected market, and they, therefore, were compelled to send it all here; whereas only that portion of Java sugar would be sent which was required to make up the deficiency of British sugar, so that of the Foreign sugar the better descriptions would be chosen; and estimating the tax with reference to value, he considered that the real protection afforded by the duty of 9s. 4d. would be not quite equal to that amount, although not very greatly falling short of it. He was not then speaking of Manilla sugar, but only of that of Java. So far, therefore, from the present arrangement being calculated to increase or enhance prices, he thought that it would tend to diminish them, in a degree even somewhat greater than the reduction of duty. Then the noble Lord went on to say, that the adoption of this plan would be attended with no adequate benefit to the consumer. How, he would ask, was it possible that the consumer should not get all the advantage of the reduction of duty? He might be told, that since the proposal of the plan, such a stimulus had been felt in the British sugar market, that they had risen in price 1s. or 2s. per cwt. Now, after what the West India interest had suffered for such a long period, he certainly could not grudge them this extent in the increase of prices. The House should remember that the West Indians had not only to undergo a season of distress last year, but that it had happened for several previous years. He was prepared to defend what had been proposed and done by the Government last year with respect to this subject, but that was not the question. The question was, whether the House should agree to vote against the present plan, because a mere momentary rise in price had taken place. Now was not this the case with every article in the first instance when a duty was removed from it? He would appeal on this point to Gentlemen connected with the manufacturing districts. He had before him a circular from a house in the cotton trade, in which it was stated, that not only the removal of the duty on raw cotton had not led to the reduction in prices, but also that there was no symptom of the giving way in the price of goods. Some ignorant men arguing, might, on hearing that this removal of duty had not led to the reduction in prices, say that the Government had thrown away 700,000l. a-year revenue, and had placed it in the hands of the manufacturers. Every one, however, who had considered the subject well, knew that ultimately, and that, too, at no very distant time, things would find their level, and that the effect of this removal of the duty on cotton would be to stimulate manufactures, and that thus an ultimate reduction of prices in favour of the consumer must take place. So in the sugar market there might be a very small rise in price of that article for a short time, but competition would soon be felt, and the ultimate advantage of the reduction of duty would come entirely to the public. He did not think, therefore, that, as far as the adjustment of these duties was involved there was any chance that the public would be deprived of any advantage from this reduction which they had a right to expect. The noble Lord seemed to believe that all the British Colonial sugar would pay the low duty, while all the Foreign sugar would pay the higher class of duties. No doubt sugars of all qualities would be introduced; but while he believed that a large portion of the Foreign free-grown sugar would come in under the lower scale of duties, still he thought there were some qualities of Java sugar which would fully bear to pay the higher duty. He held in his hand [the right hon. Gentleman had a small tin case] a specimen of Java sugar of peculiar whiteness, and of very superior quality. At present many persons entertained very erroneous opinions as to the probable prices of Foreign free-grown sugars which would be introduced under this proposal of the Government, and these erroneous opinions were chiefly occasioned by the prices printed in the Price Currents. This arose from the circumstance that a large quantity of Java sugar was brought here for the purpose of being refined, while the sugar of the quality which he held in his hand chiefly went to Holland. He would not then go into the question as to the classification of sugars, which necessarily would give rise to further discussion in the future stages of this measure. The question, however, might arise, whether an article of very superior quality, which if there were no classification, would come in under the lower scale of duties should not, as a matter of equity, have an increased tax. For instance, such as the specimen which he held in his hand from Java, which, as the resolution stood, would pay the lower scale of duties, the extraordinary whiteness and quality of which must strike the observation of every hon. Gentleman. Thus much for the argument of the plan being without adequate benefit to the consumer, which, the noble Lord also says, tends, at the same time, to seriously impair the Revenue. The noble Lord said that some plan might have been devised by which the consumer would have been benefited, and which would not have taken such a large sum from the Revenue. His right hon. Friend at the head of the Government, when he brought forward his plan, calculated that there would be a defalcation for the present year in the revenue derived from the duties on sugar to the amount of 1,300,000l. He trusted that the Revenue would not be impaired beyond that amount; but the House should be aware that the intelligence received on each subsequent day from the West Indies led to the belief that there would be a greatly increased production of sugar in our Colonies, and the consequence would be that less of Foreign free-labour sugar would be introduced. This might be attended with a heavier loss to the Revenue than his right hon. Friend anticipated; but you could not expect a reduction in the price of an article consumed upon so immense a scale to the extent of from 20 to 25 per cent., without a very considerable sacrifice. The noble Lord went into some details of a plan which he proposed, and a scale of duties; but it appeared to him to be a perfect mystification of the subject. He should like some of the hon. Gentlemen opposite, who had the control over the financial measures of the late Government under the noble Lord, he would especially invite the late Chancellor of the Exchequer to enter into a financial detail of the plan of the noble Lord, and show that his promises could be made good, that the plan which he proposed would be a great boon to the consumer, and would not be attended with loss to the Revenue. As he understood the noble Lord's plan, it was that the duty on British Colonial sugar should be 10s., and on Foreign grown sugar 16s., or on British 12s., and on Foreign 20s.—thus giving a protection to the West Indians of 8s. the cwt., and by this plan the noble Lord seemed to think that there could be no loss of revenue. The noble Lord in this suggestion clearly admitted the doctrine of protection, and would not adopt a free trade, as was urged a few nights ago. The noble Lord said that by the adoption of his plan there would be 1,300,000l. to spare, which could be devoted to the relief of the country from other taxes which pressed heavily on it. He should proceed to give some general outline as to what would be the effect of the adoption of this plan of the noble Lord, as well as examine some of the data on which the noble Lord rested his case. He thought every Gentleman in the House would agree in thinking that when, instead of 250,000 tons, he was allowing 300,000 tons for the consumption under the noble Lord's estimate, he went as far as could possibly be expected of him—that they would regard that amount as a very liberal allowance indeed. Now, he would take 230,000 tons as the very lowest allowance under that estimate of sugar from the British possessions; and that, at 12l. per ton, would produce a revenue of 2,760;000l. He would then allow 70,000 tons as the amount of Foreign grown sugar imported under the noble Lord's plan, and that, at 20l. a ton, would bring in 1,400,000l.; so that both together would produce a revenue of 4,160,000l. Therefore that plan of the noble Lord's, while it would bear very severely on the Colonial interests, would not, he thought, be as perfect a substitute for the present amount of revenue as was pretended; but, on the contrary, so far from its producing, as the noble Lord stated, an equal amount to the present duties, it would ensure a loss to the Revenue of not less than 1,050,000l. But then there was a second plan suggested by the noble Lord, under which the respective duties would be, 10s. for Colonial sugar, and 18s. for Foreign sugar. He would, in consequence of the decrease of 2s. a cwt. on the duty in this case below the former plan, allow 10,000 tons for the additional consumption under it, making, instead of the average consumption of 208,000 tons, a consumption of 310,000, which was certainly as much as could possibly be expected to take place. Now, giving the noble Lord the advantage of that increase, and allowing the proportion of Colonial sugar to be 230,000 tons, and of Foreign sugar to be 80,000 tons, it followed that the revenue from the former at 10s. a cwt., or 10l. a ton, would be 2,300,000l., and from the latter 1,640,000l., making together a total amount to the Revenue of 3,940,000l., instead of the present receipt of 5,210,000l. The loss to the Revenue, therefore, if the second plan of the noble Lord were adopted, would he no less than 1,270,000l. That was the most favourable inference that he could possibly calculate; and he would feel greatly indebted to any Gentleman who would show him from which of the plans of the noble Lord any result could possibly be drawn by which the present income accruing to the Exchequer from the duties on sugar could be replaced. If the fact, then, were as he had stated, he thought the consequence would be a very serious drawback from the efficiency of the noble Lord's plan. [Lord J. Russell here entered the House.] He exceedingly regretted to perceive that the noble Lord was not present while he endeavoured to supply what certainly appeared to him to be an exceedingly important want in the speech of the noble Lord. It appeared to him that some attempt should have been made by the noble Lord to verify his propositions; to show that if his plans were adopted the Revenue would have been placed in the same position in which it stood under the existing system; and that the loss which would follow from the course proposed to be taken by his right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Treasury would be avoided. The noble Lord, however, made no such effort — to the great loss of the House who had heard him, and he had no doubt of the public out of doors; and he, wishing to supply the part of the noble Lord's case which he had left unfinished, ventured to make the calculations which he had just mentioned, and from these he found that if one of the noble Lord's plans were adopted, the loss to the Revenue would be no less than 1,500,000l., while if the second were taken, the Revenue would be minus 1,270,000l. The noble Lord had given in his speech no more than a secondary prominence to that part of the question before the House which referred to the distinction proposed to be made between free-labour sugar and slave-labour sugar. So far as regarded the points which constituted the noble Lord's statement in reference to this question, he really could see no reason why he should detain the House upon them; but he could not resist taking advantage of the occasion to offer some remarks to the House on that important question of national policy, which had now for so long a time been in discussion, whether a distinction should or should not be drawn, in dealing with the question of Sugar Duties, between free labour and slave labour—in other and more accurate words, whether the sugars of Cuba and Brazil, which were raised by slave labour, should be excluded from our markets, or admitted on the same footing as the produce of other countries where slavery did not exist; and more especially where the African Slave Trade was not pursued. Now, if any theory had been propounded on that (the Ministerial) side of the House, which could be only supported by large and high-sounding phrases, about the necessity of not contaminating the markets of this country by sugar the produce of slave labour, if such a thing were the only ground on which they called for the vote of the House in their favour, then he would fully and at once admit that the proposition of the Government could not be sustained; but he should at the same time say, that he considered the practical question before the House had no reference to any such theory. The practical question, apart from every ideal speculation of that nature was, whether a great and powerful stimulus was to be given to the Slave Trade or not, which stimulus, in his opinion, would be applied by the adoption of any proposition for the admission of Cuban and Brazilian sugar. Now, he did not pretend to establish any theory to silence the argument of those who impugned the consistency of the British Legislature on this matter, but he would beg to call the attention of the House to the position in which, as he conceived, they were actually placed. In the year 1840, the hon. Member for Dumfries moved a Resolution for reducing the duty on sugars produced in foreign countries, and the argument was then seized that we actually admitted cotton, tobacco, and coffee, from slave-owning and even from slave trading countries; and the answer which was then given to him by the Government of that day was, that the cases of the commodities proposed to be affected were not analogous in some important particulars. He continued to hold that opinion, and to contend that the question of the importation of sugar from Cuba and Brazil stood upon very peculiar and special grounds, which involved in practice the whole question of the cessation or the continuation of the Slave Trade. But, whether he was right or wrong in his opinion, he would appeal to the noble Lord and to the House on the extreme inexpediency of pressing annually upon Parliament such motions as the present, as by doing so they were gaining neither of the objects which were contended for in that House. In seeking to have the sugars of Brazil and Cuba introduced, hon. Gentlemen opposite, though doubtless in no way indifferent to purposes of humanity and philanthropy, were clearly influenced by the desire to gain the greatest commercial advantages to the country. He trusted it would not be contended that the party of the Government were indifferent to the interests of commerce; but they, at the same time, did not think that commercial objects were at all times the only matters to be regarded by the Legislature. They thought that commercial interests, high and important as they were, should not stand in their way in every instance, and prevent them from attaining other great and desirable ends. It had been for a long time a part of the national policy to put an end to slavery and to the Slave Trade; but he would maintain, by the incessant agitation which was continued by bringing forward again and again the question of the admission of slave-grown sugar, neither that policy, nor the purposes of those who continued that opposition, could be attained. On the one hand, they (the Government party), who were the majority of the British Parliament, had contended for the propriety of continuing a distinction between sugar grown by free labour and sugar the produce of slave-trading countries, and they had repeatedly shown by decisive votes their determination to allow the experiment of seeing how far that policy would be effectual in retarding the Slave Trade to have a fair and full trial; while, on the other hand, the party of the noble Lord prevented, by their regularly renewed opposition, that experiment from being efficiently put to the test. In 1841, it had been admittedly the cause of a great crisis taking place in their affairs; he could not blame any of those who were instrumental in placing the question in a position in which it became a great subject of party contention; but it was certainly a result to be very deeply lamented. But for this he felt quite certain the contest would have been allowed to drop, like other Parliamentary contests, when once it had been fairly fought; and however much he might respect the views of hon. Gentlemen opposite, as far as they differed from those entertained on his side of the House, still he could not but regret that those hon. Gentlemen should not now, and for a time at least, respect the certain and established judgment of Parliament on that matter, and not continue their opposition to it. The question was, Had the subject been as yet sufficiently investigated or not? He would, in replying to that question, simply recount to the House what the divisions were that had, within the last five years, taken place on that great subject; and he would then leave it to them to say whether this resistance, quite hopeless for the purposes of its promoters, and only effective in impeding and obstructing the views of Parliament, should further continue. In 1840, the hon. Member for Dumfries moved that all British sugar should be charged a duty of 24s. a cwt., and all Foreign sugars a duty of 34s. a cwt. On a division on that Motion, the numbers were—Ayes 27, Noes 122; leaving a majority against the motion of 95. Again, in 1841, the question was again brought forward by the noble Lord opposite (Lord John Russell); and, on a division, the numbers were — Ayes 281, Noes 317; leaving a majority against the noble Lord, then in the Government, of 36. On that occasion, the judgment of Parliament was recorded after the most mature deliberation, and after a discussion, he believed, as long as any that had ever taken place on any question in that House. Again, in 1842, it was natural and fit that the subject should be brought forward before the new Parliament, and accordingly a Motion was proposed by the right hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. Labouchere). The right hon. Gentleman moved that the duty on Colonial sugar should be fixed at 20s., and on Foreign sugar at 30s. a cwt.; and on a division, he was left in a minority of 81, the numbers being—Ayes 164, Noes 245. In 1843, the same subject was again brought before the House in the same spirit, and on the same grounds, as in the former years. In that year, the hon. Member for Lambeth moved the adoption of a differential duty of 10s., and the House divided, the numbers being—Ayes 122, Noes 203; leaving a majority against the Motion of 81. It would thus appear that no change had in the interim since the preceding division taken place in the feeling of the country on the subject. On the 7th of March, 1844, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Taunton again revived the discussion, by moving an Address to the Crown on the subject of the commercial relations of this country with Brazil. The question of the admission of Brazilian sugar was thus as to its whole substance, though not in terms, brought again before the House; and on a division, the numbers were—Ayes 132, Noes 205; leaving a majority against the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman of 73. Again, in the month of June, last year, the noble Lord opposite made a Motion haying the same effect—the only difference in the piece appearing to be in a change of the performers. The purport of the noble Lord's Motion was, that British sugar should be admitted at 24s. duty, and Foreign sugar at 34s. duty; and on a division the numbers were—Ayes 128, Noes 197, leaving a majority of 69 against the proposition of the noble Lord. Now, the result of that statement which he had taken the liberty of laying before the House, showed that the present was the seventh time on which Parliament had been called upon to vote on this subject within a period of less than five years, comprised between June 1840 and February 1845. In that brief period that House had been required seven distinct times to adjudicate upon that particular question, and on every one of these occasions it had given a most definitive and sensible response. He would grant that the commercial feeling in the country differed to some considerable extent from the policy of the Government, but on the other hand there was also a considerable proportion of that feeling in their favour. He perceived an hon. Gentleman opposite shake his head. [The right hon. Gentleman was supposed to allude to Mr. Cobden.] The hon. Gentleman had deservedly a high reputation in that House, but it was not that of the most impartial, considerate, and candid man. He also adopted very naturally the views of a very large and a very peremptory association; but he ought, notwithstanding, to admit that parties opposed to him might have strong and genuine feeling upon matters to which he was indifferent, or in connexion with opinions opposite to his. The hon. Gentleman said that no section of the community supported the Government on the present question. He (Mr. Gladstone) should distinctly assert the contrary. When he mentioned the names of the late Sir Thomas Buxton, of Sir Stephen Lushington, and of the Members of the Committee of the Anti-Slavery Society of London, as being all engaged in support of the views of the Government on the question then before the House, he believed that it would be admitted he had some grounds for that assertion. He might be told that the abolitionists were generally attached to the Reform or Liberal party, and that they approved the policy now recommended by the noble Lord; but he replied it was not to be wondered at if they still continued to show symptoms of prepossession in favour of the party to which many in common with the noble Lord opposite belonged. On the other hand he would give them much stronger evidence in the proceedings of men who had sacrificed all their former prepossessions to their convictions upon this subject. The gentlemen to whom he referred had such strength of feeling, such depth of conviction, as to the real interests of humanity, which were involved in the question, that the most ardent and thorough partizans, and the most honourable in every relation of life, men like Sir Stephen Lushington, were found ready to forget all their predilections in order to support the Government in the course which they were resolved to maintain, and in which, it was contended by hon. Gentlemen opposite, they were wholly unsupported. Mr. Sturge and Mr. Scobel, and other men, who had aided in giving the last blow to slavery under the form of the apprenticeship—whether rightly or wrongly it was quite unnecessary for his present purpose to inquire—men whose political opinions went, it was well known, even farther than those of the noble Lord opposite and his party, gave their support to the present Government on this question; and he had, he conceived, therefore a right to say, that while a feeling existed in the country favourable to the views of the hon. Gentlemen opposite, there was also a strong feeling in favour of the Government and of their exertions to put an end to slavery and the Slave Trade in Cuba and Brazil, and a disposition to allow the commercial policy of the country with respect to sugar to be influenced by a regard to that great subject. As far as he could see, no great change had taken place for the last four or five years, either in the country or in that House, on the subject. On the contrary, the interest in it seemed to diminish more and more every year; and as a proof of that he might observe that he never recollected to see the Benches of that House worse furnished than on the present occasion, when the leader of the Opposition brought forward his Motion, and when the Chancellor of the Exchequer was prepared to state the views of Government in reply. But whatever the feelings in that House might be, there was no doubt but that still less interest was attached to it out of doors. There could be no doubt but that the speech of the noble Lord and of other distinguished Gentlemen on that night would be very well reported in the morning; but he questioned whether it was equally certain that they would be read very generally. Under these circumstances, he put it to the sense of the House whether it would not be better to give the Government an opportunity of ascertaining, by refraining for an interval from the disturbance of the question, the result which their present policy was likely to have in the diminution of slavery and of the trade in slaves. It was said on the other side, that the question between slave labour and free labour had been already decided by Europe, and that the opinion of foreign countries was not very favourable to the views of England. They had heard the letter of Mr. Calhoun to the American Minister at Paris on the subject of the policy of England, quoted during that discussion, as a proof that we could not hope to gain credit for sincerity in this policy. He thought with respect to that declaration of the American Government on the policy of England, that it was discreditable to one of the parties concerned, but England was not that party. If, however, it were true that the opinion entertained abroad was generally unfavourable, he thought the cause might naturally enough be found in the course which had been pursued by the party opposite. When Englishmen could be found ready to denounce the policy of the Legislature as hypocritical, could we be surprised that natives of other countries should re-echo the charge? Where this question was perpetually contested, there we could scarcely hope to obtain the benefits that might follow upon a policy established and clearly understood. The slave-growing countries might say to themselves, the British Government may impose restrictions on our trade, but with some 250 or 300 Members in the House of Commons opposed to them, it is not very likely that matters will continue long in their present unfavourable position. These countries would, therefore, be induced to continue the Slave Trade under the impression that the measures against their trade adopted by England could not be permanent. If he thought there was the least probability of the intentions of hon. Gentlemen opposite being carried into effect before next year, or the year after, or within any limited period, then he would not ask them to abandon these constant endeavours to recommend their views; but when the result of former divisions showed them that no grounds really existed for entertaining any such hope or expectation, then he would say they ought not to persevere in efforts which could have no other result than that of thwarting the great experiment in which the Government and the country were engaged. Would it not, as he had before said, be better for them to show a respect for the judgment of Parliament, and allow the present policy to receive a fair trial? The Government did not, as he apprehended, deny that the object of hon. Gentlemen opposite was an important one—that great responsibility rested with those who interrupted the legitimate course of commerce for purposes not of a commercial nature; but on the other hand hon. Gentlemen opposite should not refuse on their side to allow the great importance of any effort to induce the Governments of Cuba and Brazil to give up the Slave Trade in which their people were at present involved. He considered that the public business could be efficiently carried on only by the minority giving way when they perceived that they were acting contrary to public opinion and to the feelings of the majority. He considered it to be unwise, and he might even say unfair, with these practical purposes in view, that the opposition, which had been so long and so hopelessly continued, should, without any remission, be persevered in. He thought the country had now a fair prospect of having the advantage of cheap sugar, and that, while the Colonial interests were reasonably protected, there was at the same time a security, by the admission of Foreign sugar, against any unreasonable prices being demanded. He thought the charge of hypocrisy brought against the Government and the majority of that House an extravagant one; but still it was a charge which he could, to some extent, understand. The charge, however, if applicable at all, would apply equally to the country generally, and a charge of hypocrisy against the community of this country, which had made such noble and such costly efforts, with full knowledge of their costliness, and with deliberate purpose for the extinction of slavery, was a charge too absurd to deserve even confutation and exposure. Whatever motives might be attributed to the Colonial interests, to the majority in that House, or to the Government, it was clear that no such motives could be applicable to the people of England, and that the feeling which led the people to concur or acquiesce in the ministerial plan was, therefore, one arising from motives of humanity alone. The noble Lord the Member for Sunderland had lately alluded to the propriety of doing away with the Right of Search altogether. He knew not whether there was any intention of introducing a Motion to that effect before the House; he could conceive it to be a question on which much might be urged on either side. It might be held at least with plausibility that we had better confine ourselves to the government of our own people, and no longer attempt, after so much experience of the difficulties in our way, to teach other nations their responsibilities. But this he felt very strongly, that there was a close connexion between the policy of employing force to repress the Slave Trade, and the policy of the Government with regard to the admission of sugar from Cuba and Brazil. If we abandoned the former, the latter might very probably also be abandoned. But if we maintained the former, he thought that to act upon the principles recommended by the noble Lord, would be found to involve us in a flagrant outrage upon common decency and those sanctions of opinion which regulate the proceedings of nations. He did not think we could continue to send an armed force to intercept the slave ships upon the Atlantic, with instructions to put down the traffic in slaves, when necessary, by violence, and when necessary even by blood, after we should once have determined to open our markets now closed against the sugar of Cuba and of Brazil, and should thereby have afforded the most powerful encouragement to the Governments of these countries to continue and extend the Slave Trade. He begged in conclusion to express his thanks to the House for the attention with which they had heard him, and his perfect assurance that the House was not prepared to alter, upon such grounds as had been shown, a policy so highly cherished; and he could not accordingly do otherwise than refuse to concur in the vote of the noble Lord.

Mr. Macaulay

said: If this were merely a financial or merely a commercial question, I should not think myself justified in offering myself to the notice of the House, for I am well aware that there are Gentlemen on both sides of the House much more able to throw light upon the subject in that point of view than I am. But I cannot perceive that the question at issue can be said to be either a commercial or a financial question; for I do not understand it to be disputed that, if we were to decide that question upon purely commercial and financial grounds, we should at once adopt the course recommended by my noble Friend (Lord J. Russell). The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Gladstone) distinctly states that we are undoubtedly sacrificing great commercial facilities and advantages for moral benefits; nor in the course of all the debates I have heard on this subject, including what has been addressed to the House to-night, have I heard one word said on either side of the House, implying that fiscal and commercial arguments are not in favour of the recommendation of my noble Friend. I take it for granted, therefore, that the objections advanced against the course proposed by my noble Friend are urged purely upon moral grounds. We are told that we lie under a moral obligation to make a distinction between the produce of free labour and of slave labour. Now, I should be as unwilling to fall under the imputation of indifference to the welfare of the African race as any hon. Member of this House can be to fall under the imputation of hypocrisy. I do, however, think it is in my power to show strong reasons at least for believing that no such moral obligation as that which is alleged rests upon us. If no such moral obligation does lie upon us, then, as it is not pretended that there are any fiscal or mercantile considerations in favour of the distinction recommended by the Government, I contend that we ought to adopt the Resolution of my noble Friend the Member for the City of London. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Gladstone) said—as, indeed, it was very necessary he should say—that he did not put up any pretence to perfect consistency with respect to the course adopted by Her Majesty's Government. It would, indeed, have been difficult for him to put up any such pretence, for the policy of the Government is obviously most inconsistent. Perfect consistency, I admit, we are not to expect in human affairs; but surely a certain degree of consistency—something like that decent consistency to which the right hon. Gentleman alluded towards the close of his speech—ought to be observed. The right hon. Gentleman clearly felt, as any man would do, that the test of sincerity in moral conduct is consistency; that in public or in private, when any person says he does one particular thing on a particular moral ground, and in order not to violate a particular moral rule, and such person does not on any other occasion evince the least respect for that moral rule, we roust consider him (I would not use such a word as hypocrisy, or impute that odious vice to any hon. Gentleman) at least, as bringing his good faith into some question. Be it man, party, or Government, when any person, or any body of persons, declare that they do a certain thing for certain moral reasons, and with regard to other things falling exactly under the same rule act in a manner directly contrary, it is impossible to say they do not bring, if not their sincerity, at least their judgment and powers of moral discrimination, most gravely into question. I deny that we lie under any obligation to turn our fiscal code into a penal code, in order to correct the vices which exist in the institutions of independent states. If once you admit that principle, it leads to consequences from which every one of us would revolt, and which would throw the whole commercial system of the world into utter confusion. If that principle is adopted, it follows that our whole fiscal legislation is one mass of inhumanity and injustice, and that the Budget of the right hon. Baronet in particular, is one mass of inhumanity and injustice. I am far from deriving the paramount authority of moral obligation; I am far from desiring to render fiscal or commercial considerations superior to moral obligation; for I know it is not only wicked, but in the highest degree short-sighted, to suppose that we can promote the permanent interests of a great nation like this by any systematic violation of the principles of justice and morality. I would adhere to those principles, but I would adhere to them consistently. I would not set up a moral law to serve one turn to-day, and then quibble it away to serve another purpose to-morrow. I would not keep two standards of right and wrong: one to be employed when I wish to serve a favourite interest, and the other when I desire to promote the commercial advantage of the country. I would not have two weights or two measures; I would not blow hot and cold; I would not strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. But I contend that this is what the Government has done. If hon. Gentlemen opposite wish to follow out their principles, they have opportunities enough; for the whole Statute Book swarms with enactments opposed to those principles. I will take one single instance from the existing Statute Book, which seems to be a decisive test—I will not say of the personal sincerity of hon. Gentlemen opposite, against whom I do not wish to make the slightest imputation, but of their powers of discrimination. Why, look at the single article of tobacco. Not only do you take the tobacco of the United States, which is slave produce—not only do you take the tobacco of Cuba, which is grown by slaves, and, as you tell us, by slaves recently imported, in defiance not only of the general principles of justice and humanity, but of the provisions of solemn treaties—but you positively interdict the free labourer of the United Kingdom from growing tobacco. During two centuries you have had on your Statute Book a law prohibiting the growth of tobacco in England, and directing that all tobacco plantations in England shall be destroyed. But the free peasantry of Ireland took to cultivating tobacco; its cultivation spread; it was becoming an important article of produce, and it seemed likely to be a prominent article in the trade of that country. Then down came the Legislature, and you made a law interdicting the Irish freemen from growing tobacco. Observe—you take the tobacco grown by slaves; you give the producers of that tobacco a monopoly, and if the freemen of the United Kingdom attempts to grow it, you Exchequer him—you grub up his plantation. That I conceive to be a very fair test to offer to right hon. Gentlemen opposite, by which they may prove to what degree they mean to be consistent in the policy they adopt. I will ask—are you prepared to take this monopoly from the tobacco producers of the United States and of Cuba? I am confident that the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel), the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the right hon. Gentleman the late President of the Board of Trade (Mr. W. E. Gladstone), will instantly answer, "No; certainly not." And why not? "Because it would injure the Revenue" is their answer. "We know," they will say, "that all the tobacco imported from abroad is grown by slaves; that a great deal of it is grown by newly-imported slaves; but we know also that at the Custom House we are able to obtain a duty of 600 per cent. upon that tobacco"—indeed, sometimes 1,200 per cent. "And," those right hon. Gentlemen will add, "if we suffered the freemen of this country, who do not work under the lash, to grow tobacco in England and Ireland, it would be difficult to get an excise duty of even 100 per cent. We cannot submit to this loss of revenue, and therefore we give this monopoly of tobacco to the slaveholder, and make the growth of tobacco by freemen a penal offence." If, then, this moral obligation of which we hear so much, may, with perfect propriety, yield to fiscal considerations, on what principle are we to be debarred from the import of Brazilian sugar? If this moral obligation be one which must not yield to fiscal considerations, let us, at all events, have British snuff and cigars. It may be said in favour of the existing Government—and I fully admit the fact—that they did not enact the law to which I have just called the attention of the House. They found that law in existence; and I fully admit there is a great deal of soundness in the Conservative principle on which they have maintained it—that there are many things we ought not to have set up, which, nevertheless, when we find them set up, we ought not readily and violently to pull down. But the right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir R. Peel), is not content with maintaining laws which he finds existing in favour of slave-grown produce. He introduces new laws to the same effect. He comes down to this House and proposes to take off completely the duty upon cotton, and he says he does so in accordance with a great principle. He tells us that this will effect a great amelioration of our financial system, and that it will confer an important benefit on the people of this country. In that opinion I quite agree with the right hon. Baronet, and I intend to give my support to that part of his measure. But by whom is this cotton grown? Is it not grown by slaves? I have seen in the writings of those who have eulogized the right hon. Baronet's scheme, a paragraph to this effect:— Thus has this eminent statesman given to the English labourer a large supply of this important raw material, and disappointed those ravenous Whigs who wish to inundate England with sugar dyed in negro blood. But, in defence of their consistency, hon. Gentlemen opposite maintain that there is a distinction between the case of cotton and sugar. "The cultivation of cotton," they say, "is less painful, and less destructive to human life, than that of sugar," But that position seems hardly tenable; for the right hon. Baronet is now actually reducing, to a considerable extent, the duty on slave-grown sugar imported from the United States. Then a new distinction is set up. The sugar and cotton of the United States, it is said, are undoubtedly slave-grown produce; but they are not produced by means of the Slave Trade. This brings me to a part of this subject which I approach with great unwillingness. I utterly deny the proposition that the products we are to take from the Southern States of America are not the fruits of the Slave Trade. I say they are; and I say that, if there be, on the face of this earth, a society which, before God and man, is more accountable than another for the misery of the African race, it is that very Republic of the United States, to whose produce the right hon. Baronet proposes to give free admission into this country. I can assure the House that I feel no pleasure in going into arguments of this nature. I conceive that it is not the duty of Members of Parliament here to discuss abuses which exist in the institutions of other nations. By discussions of that nature, indeed, we can scarcely expect to produce any salutary effect with regard to the reform of such abuses. They are rather calculated to wound national pride, and to inflame national animosity. But the right hon. Baronet opposite turns this House into a judicature where we are to arraign and criticise the conduct of all nations under Heaven, before we determine what our scale of duties shall be, and with what countries we shall or shall not trade. The right hon. Gentleman forces upon our consideration questions with which, as a Member of Parliament, I have nothing to do, and which I am anxious to avoid. But how can I do so? The shopkeepers and professional men whom I represent say, "Why are we to go on paying, probably for several years, an impost admitted by those who imposed it to be grievous, unequal, and inquisitorial?" The paper manufacturer and the soap manufacturer ask why, if the Income Tax is to be continued, they are not to have some share of relief? The answer is, "Because Brazil does not behave so well as the United States with respect to the negro race." Thee, can I avoid instituting a comparison? Am I not absolutely forced to test the truth of this statement? I say, then, that there exists in the United States a slave trade in no respect less odious or demoralizing—and, in my opinion, more odious and more demoralizing—than that which is carried on between the coast of Africa and Brazil. North Carolina and Virginia are to Louisiana and Alabama, what Congo is to Rio Janiero. The slave States of the Union are to be divided into two classes—the breeding States and the consuming States. In some of the United States slaves are bred—the human beast of burden is reared up till he is enabled to endure deadly labour in the sugar and cotton estates, with which you are extending our relations, and to which he is sent to be killed. The extent of this traffic we may learn from the census of the United States of 1830 and that of 1840. North Carolina and Virginia are two of the chief breeding states. During the ten years from 1830 to 1840, the number of slaves in North Carolina has been, as nearly as possible, stationary. In Virginia, during the same period, the number positively decreased, although, both in North Carolina and Virginia, propagation was going on to an enormous extent. In both those States, during the tune I have mentioned, hundreds of thousands of negro slaves were born; the births exceeded by hundreds of thousands the number of deaths. What, then, became of these people? Look at the census of those States where we know the negro race is worn down by a cruel labour, and where from its own resources it could scarcely keep up its numbers—nay, where those numbers would rather diminish. Take the case of Louisiana. In 1830, there were in that State 107,000 slaves; in 1840, 170,000. The slave population of Alabama, in 1830, was 117,000; in 1840, 253,000. In Mississippi, during the same period, the slave population increased threefold. In 1830, the numbers were, 65,000; in 1840, 195,000. That is the scale of this Slave Trade. As to its nature, ask any Englishman who ever travelled through the Southern States of America. Jobbers go about from State to State, taking advantage of the difficulties of the planters in the breeding States; they rend asunder the dearest ties of nature and of marriage as unscrupulously as any Guinea captain; they buy slaves until they have made up their "gang" to 300 or 400; and then these human beings, handcuffed, fettered, guarded by armed men, are driven as you would drive (or rather as you would not drive) a herd of oxen to Smithfield, to the Southern States, to undergo the deadly labour of the sugar mill. In Louisiana the labour of the sugar mill sends, in a short time, the stoutest African to his grave; but still in Virginia negroes are growing up to supply the horrid trade. God forbid that I should extenuate the Slave Trade in any form; but I must say, that I conceive it may be viewed in its most horrible and odious aspect in the United States. It is bad enough that uncivilized men should go to the coast of an uncivilized country, and that they should there seize upon wretched barbarians and carry them in slavery to a foreign land; but that civilized men—Christians, freemen—should breed the slave, and, if I must speak out the whole horrible truth, even beget the slaves they breed—that a man, proud of his liberty, calling himself a Christian, a baptized man, frequenting a Christian church, should see his own offspring gambolling about him in their childhood, that he should watch them growing up to age, and that he should then sell them for 500 dollars, and consign them to a life which is a lingering death—this is more painful, infinitely more painful to contemplate than the Slave Trade of Africa. I am now talking of a Slave Trade which extends to tens of thousands of human beings every year — a Slave Trade as regular as the trade in pigs between Dublin and Liverpool, or in coals between the Tyne and the Thames. I have no no wish to extenuate the evils of slavery in the Brazils; but I do say, that on the whole it is less hopeless, and its evils are not so dreadful, as those of slavery in the Southern States of America. The evils of slavery everywhere are great; but the peculiar characteristic of slavery on the American continent—that which, where-ever it exists, almost destroys the hope that you can ever see a free community there—is the antipathy of colour. That antipathy does not exist in Brazil to anything like the extent to which it prevails in the Southern States of America. It is well known that in Brazil there is a free coloured and black population, comprising many hundreds and thousands of persons; they are not excluded from honourable professions, and there may be found among them physicians and lawyers, numbers who bear arms, and many priests. Whoever considers the honour and dignity with which the Roman Catholic religion invests its priests, will appreciate the estimation in which these men must be held. It is by no means unusual to see while penitents kneeling to confess their sins, and to receive absolution before the spiritual tribunal of a negro; nor is it uncommon to witness a negro dispensing the Eucharist, to whites. I need not tell the House how utterly different is the state of things existing in the Southern States. Fully admitting all the evils of Brazilian slavery, if I were compelled to state in which of the two countries I considered it probable the condition of the African race would be most elevated eighty or a hundred years hence, I should at once reply in Brazil. But the system of maritime police by which we sought to prevent the Slave Trade has been referred to by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gladstone); and how stands the case as regards the conduct of the United States, and of Brazil, with reference to that measure? Brazil agreed to grant you the Right of Search; and, if it be found impossible to exercise that power, the impediment has been opposed by the United States. What the opinion of the present Government is as to that power we know from the letter of Lord Aberdeen, which was published the other day. I believe I state correctly the spirit of that letter, when I say the opinion of the noble Earl, as there expressed, is that the Right of Search is the only efficacious means of suppressing the Slave Trade, and that he entertains very great doubt whether any other effectual mode can be adopted for the prevention of that traffic. To this system of maritime police which, as I think with great humanity and wisdom, the Government of this country proposed to institute, Brazil submitted. The United States refused to submit to it, and by such refusal deprived the system to a great extent of its importance and efficiency; nay, they even contested that Right of Visit which, I will venture to say, was perfectly consistent with the Law of Nations; and in every part of the continent of Europe they have been endeavouring, through their diplomatic agents, to excite an opposition to it. You cannot have forgotten General Cass's letter. You cannot doubt that, if the United States had submitted to the Right of Search, the outcry in France against the exercise of that power would never have been excited. But when one maritime nation makes it a point of honour to refuse assent to such a power, you cannot wonder that any country in which there exists a feeling of national pride, should be unwilling to submit to its exercise. They will naturally say," Why should the tricolour submit to this degradation more than the stars and stripes?" It is very well for the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Gladstone) to say that, if my noble Friend's proposition is adopted, the Right of Search will be useless. We all know that this Right of Search is already, in effect, abandoned. A negotiation has been entered into on that subject with France. Every body knows how that will end. France will be released from the supervision of this maritime police. Spain will then ask for a similar release, and, if it is acceded to, all other nations will make a like request. The Right of Search is worth nothing when France and America refuse to accede to it; and I will venture to say, therefore, that the Right of Search is abandoned in consequence of the course of conduct pursued by the United States of America. For the existence of the Slave Trade between Congo and Brazil the United States are more responsible than the Government of Brazil itself. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Gladstone) has alluded to Mr. Calhoun's letter; and I will put it to the House whether the Government of the United States has not, with reference to this subject, placed itself upon a bad eminence, to which Brazil never aspired, and I to which, if it had aspired, it never could have attained? The United States' Government has openly declared itself the patron, the champion, and the upholder of slavery; it has admitted that it sets up its own principles of slavery in opposition to the principles of freedom, as if it considered that this conduct gives it a title to glory — that it renders itself illustrious as the evil genius of the unfortunate African race. I well understand how statesmen in the United States should say, with reference to slavery, "It is a horrible evil, but we were born to it; we must endure it; what can we do?" But that is not the feeling of the American Government. They are actuated by a propagandist spirit; they seek to spread and extend slavery with more energy than was ever exerted by any other nation to diffuse civilisation. Nay, more than that, they seem to think the cause so holy that it sanctifies all means they can employ to promote it; and with that object they snatch away provinces right and left, from those of their neighbours who enjoy free institutions. They put themselves at the head of the slave interest, just as Queen Elizabeth put herself at the head of the Protestant interest of Europe, and, wherever their favourite institution is in danger, are ready to stand by it as Queen Elizabeth stood by the Dutch. I say, therefore, that I think I have made out this, viz., that of all the States now existing, the republic of the United States is that which has long been acting, and is now acting, in a manner the most culpable as regards slavery and the Slave Trade. I say that they have been restlessly active in preventing every efficient measure of ours for suppressing the Slave Trade; and I say that the Slave Trade between Brazil and the coast of Africa is to be attributed, in a great measure, to the United States. Then I come to this: the right hon. Baronet says he can't admit Brazilian sugar, because the Brazilians use the negroes so ill; but he will admit the slave-grown cotton of the United States. Is it possible for him to prove that my noble Friend's proposition would give a stimulus to the Slave Trade in Brazil? I use his own argument to prove that his proposition would give a stimulus to the Slave Trade of the United States. I have not the least doubt but that as soon as the contents of his Budget shall be known across the Atlantic, the Slave Trade traffic will become more horrible than ever—that the jobbers in human flesh and blood will be more busy than ever—that the gangs of manacled negroes moving southward to their doom will be more numerous on every road. But the right hon. Baronet says, that this is a great boon that he is giving to the country. But I don't intend to oppose his proposition—I intend to support it, and I can perfectly reconcile it to my conscience. How the right hon. Baronet can reconcile it to his, is what I am quite at a loss to conceive, and what I am very curious to hear. The right hon. Baronet cannot say that it is an old abuse he is keeping up. He comes forward to propose a Budget favourable in the highest degree to that society which of all societies has the most to answer for in respect to the Slave Trade, and in the same breath he says that he cannot possibly admit the sugar of Brazil. No one is more capable of doing justice to his case than the right hon. Baronet; and it would be in the highest degree presumptuous in me to anticipate the defence that he means to set up. But I hope the House will permit me, as one who feels deeply on this subject, to explain how I shall justify the vote which I shall give to his proposition; and that explanation will, at the same time, explain the vote which I shall give now. I most fully admit the paramount authority of moral obligations. But what are our moral obligations to other men? We are bound not to wrong them. We are bound to regard them with benevolence; but it is nevertheless true that Providence has assigned, both to individuals and to societies, certain spheres within which it is desirable that their benevolence should be peculiarly active; and if, neglecting that within their province, they aim at setting right what is beyond, in all probability their too active benevolence will fail in its intention, and more harm than benefit will arise. We can all see this. None of us would be justified in injuring any stranger to benefit ourselves; it is clear that any stranger is justified in claiming from us many good offices, which we are clearly bound, by the laws of humanity, to render him; but it is not true that a man is bound to exert himself to serve strangers as he exerts himself to serve his family. It is not true that a man would be justified in subjecting his wife and children to disagreeable privations, in order to save, even from ruin, some foreigner whom he never saw. If we were to conduct life on that principle, we should entail misery on our families. The same of nations: no legislature, no statesman, ought to injure his own country by benefiting others. No statesman ought to omit any reasonable opportunity that comes in his way of rendering good services to another nation; but, after all, our country is our country. Observe: I am not so narrow-minded as to prefer the happiness of a particular society to the happiness of mankind; but I say, that by promoting the happiness of the society which I know best, and with which I am most connected, I shall best promote the happiness of mankind. If we attempt more, in what a wilderness shall we not find ourselves! Look at the factory system pursued in England. We may agree that there are evils in that system which might be amended by legislation; we shall at any rate all agree that every Member of this House ought to give his mind to the subject; in the same manner we shall agree that there are great evils in the system of serfdom pursued in Russia; but could any good be done to the cause of humanity if the Emperor of the Russians and the British Parliament were to exchange their sympathies in these matters, and the Emperor were to take our factory children under his special care, whilst we undertake the cause of the poor peasants on the banks of the Volga? What good, I say, would be done to the cause of humanity, if, pursuing this course—if, thus extending and exchanging our active benevolence—we should say to the Emperor, "We'll take none of your tallow or your hemp until you emancipate your serfs;" and he were to say to us, "I'll take none of your manufactures till you emancipate your factory children?" By this I mean no sophistry, or casuistical quibbling; but I think, on these principles of common sense that I can vindicate (as I hope I shall ever be able to do) the whole course of conduct which I have pursued with respect to the question of slavery and the Slave Trade. When I first came into Parliament I had, as was natural that I should have, a strong feeling on this subject. I found then slavery existing; and I gave, according to my situation and my measure of ability, every aid in my power in order to its removal. I never shrunk from any exertion, or hesitated to make any personal sacrifice, to accomplish it. I do not mention this as a matter of boast. It was merely my duty. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department knows that for this cause, in 1833, I put my resignation into the hands of Lord Spencer, and voted and spoke against the Government of which I was a Member, at a time when office was of as much consequence to me as it could be to any one. Lord Spencer and Lord Grey did not choose to accept my resignation, and I remained in office; but for some days I did, in consequence of the course I then pursued, consider myself out of the service of the Crown. However, slavery was abolished. Then, in my opinion, as a Member of the British Parliament, intrusted with the care of my black fellow-subjects, it was my duty, at any sacrifice of my own interests, to do everything in my power to remove that stain from our laws, and to set at liberty the negroes of Jamaica. But now comes the question of the negroes of Louisiana and Alabama, and I consider that they do not stand in the same relation to us as the negroes of Jamaica. I have a great and solemn duty to perform to those whom I represent—to a great number of persons, who I will not say are in a state worse than slavery, but who are toiling hard from sunrise to sunset to obtain an honest living—persons who, if I could succeed in opening to them some great new market, might possibly experience some alleviation of their hard lot. I cannot doubt that the evil which I should inflict on them by going out of my sphere would be great; but the good which I should do to the negroes of Louisiana and Alabama is exceedingly problematical. With regard to the right hon. Gentleman's proposition, it has, I admit, a tendency to give an impulse to the Slave Trade in South America. But I look at it in this way—I very much doubt whether the marked interference of the English Parliament would on the whole have a good effect with the South Americans. What right have we to interfere? All nations have a susceptibility of feeling upon such a point as this. No nation likes to be told "We are more virtuous than you." I feel this myself. I feel that there are many abuses in Ireland which we ought to redress; but I must confess that when I take up a New York paper and read most furious attacks upon our country (such for instance as the speeches of President Tyler's son), in consequence of our treatment of Ireland, I feel almost inclined to retrace my own steps, and to ask "of what concern is it to America?" If there be anything to be done with regard to the amelioration of the American institution as respects slavery, we must look to the co-operation of that large, enlightened, and respectable body of citizens of the United States, who hate slavery as much as we. They may possibly accomplish something. But if we refuse to take their produce in order to punish them for their national offences, we should probably wound the pride and excite the resentment of those very persons; and it would become a point of national honour with them to stand by slavery, which they have hitherto thought a national disgrace. We should thus confer no benefit on the negro, whilst we should inevitably inflict mischief upon our own countrymen, by making them pay higher than they need pay, for the necessaries of life. On these principles I can reconcile to my conscience the vote which I intend to give on this part of the right hon. Baronet's plan; but on the same principle I can reconcile the vote which I shall give to my noble Friend to-night. I confess I shall find some difficulty in understanding in what manner the right hon. Baronet will distinguish between the cases. There are many other points that have been referred to in the course of this debate, to which I will not advert—there is one, however—"the refining" of the right hon. Gentleman, that I cannot help touching on. Was such a distinction ever heard of? Not for the world are we to eat one ounce of the accursed thing; but we are to dress it up in a more pleasing form, and to export it to Hamburgh, or Leghorn, to all the coffee-houses of Italy or Germany! But we don't taste it;—no! We can stand up with a pharisaical air, and thank God that we are not as those Italians and Germans are, who eat slave-grown sugar. Clearly such distinctions as these in matters of morality are most absurd. I hardly know what to say to them. It seems to me very like the distinction drawn by the perjured witness. "What," said he, "I perjure myself! not for the world—no, no—I only kissed my thumb—I didn't kiss the book—I wouldn't do it on any account." But this is surely not the way in which we should treat considerations of this sort. I remember something very analogous to it in an old Spanish novel that I read some time ago, and which seems to me to be singularly apropos. A wandering lad, something after the fashion of Gil Blas, is taken into the service of a rich old silversmith—a most pious man, who is always telling his beads, who hears mass daily, and observes the feasts and fasts of the church with the utmost scrupulosity. He is always preaching honesty and piety. "Never," he constantly repeats to his young assistant, "never touch what is not your own; never take liberties with sacred things." Sacrilege, as uniting theft with profaneness, is the sin of which he has the deepest horror. One day while he is lecturing after his usual fashion, an ill-looking fellow comes into the shop with a sack under his arm. "Will you buy these?" says the visitor, and produces from the sack some church plate and a rich silver crucifix. "Buy them!" cries the pious man. "No; nor touch them; not for the world. I know where you got them. Wretch that you are, have you no care for your soul?" "Well then," says the thief, "if you will not buy them, will you melt them down for me?" "Melt them down!" answers the silversmith, "that is quite another matter." He takes the chalice and the crucifix with a pair of tongs; the silver, thus in bond, is dropped into the crucible, melted, and delivered to the thief, who lays down five pistoles and decamps with his booty. The young servant stares at this strange scene. But the master very gravely resumes his lecture. "My son," he says, "take warning by that sacrilegious knave, and take example by me. Think what a load of guilt lies on his conscience. You will see him hanged before long. But as to me, you saw that I would not even touch the stolen property. I keep these tongs for such occasions. And thus I thrive in the fear of God, and manage to turn an honest penny." But really I do say that the cause of morality is very much injured by admitting such distinctions as these—nothing can have a more immoral tendency than the quibbling away our moral obligations in this way, making distinctions of such a description as we have of late seen introduced into theology, where it was attempted to be shown that a gentleman could hold the dogmas of Rome, and hold with them the best benefice in the Church of England. I hope we shall keep the sophistry of Tract XC. out of these debates at all events. Then, the right hon. Gentleman wonders that people on the Continent say that all this is hypocrisy. Why, can anything be more natural? It is, I should say, perfectly natural; and, I should add, that it is all the effect of this new distinction. I do not think, till the right hon. Baronet came into office, that the particular topic of our admitting slave-grown cotton and tobacco was ever mentioned, much less ever made a charge against an administration. But as soon as the right hon. Baronet began to profess that he acted on a new and exalted moral principle, every body began to inquire whether he consistently adhered to that principle; and the result of the inquiry is that every foreign journal, whether in Germany, or France, it signifies not what country, laughs at the philanthropy of England. "Oh!" say they, "it is nothing but a farce, for it applies only to sugar, and affects not cotton, tobacco, or coffee. You take the Havannah cigar, and grub up the plantations of the poor Irish freeman who wants to cultivate tobacco, and you even admit the sugar of New Orleans." I care little about the abuse which foreign journalists or orators may throw on the Machiavelian policy of perfidious Albion. But I am sorry and ashamed when I feel that I have nothing to say in reply to their reflections. The right hon. Gentleman who preceded me said a good deal about the former history of slavery; and he alluded to the names of one or two persons who were very eminent indeed in their exertions in the abolition of slavery, who did agree with the measures of the right hon. Baronet in 1841. But I must tell the right hon. Gentleman that I very much doubt whether my lamented Friend, the late Sir T. Buxton, or Sir S. Lushington, would approve of the present Budget of the right hon. Baronet. They, at least, I believe would be consistent. But, if you go back to the services of those eminent men with regard to slavery, is it possible to deny that there are some circumstances in the conduct of the supporters of that plan which lays them open—I won't say to the charge of hypocrisy, but to be accused, in some degree at least, of having deceived themselves, to say nothing of the possibility that their own interests may have exercised, even without their knowing it, some influence on their minds. Who are now the great supporters of the right hon. Baronet's plan in this House? His right hon. Colleague the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the right hon. Gentleman who immediately preceded me in this discussion. Now, when I look back to the history of the great struggle which ended in the abolition of slavery, I find nothing there that leads me to conceive why their sensibility upon this point should be greater than ours. The right hon Baronet at the head of the Government would think that I was speaking of him in terms of irony, were I to say that during the whole of that great struggle he ever threw the weight of his influence on the side of the negro. At the very last, when the Bill was brought in which put an end to slavery, I myself well remember that the right hon. Baronet declared that he could not give his support either to the plan of immediate emancipation proposed by my noble Friend, now the Member for Sunderland (Lord Howick), or to the plan proposed by the noble Lord, now Secretary for the Colonies (Lord Stanley); and I well remember that the right hon. Baronet said—"I shall now claim no credit for this measure; I only desire to be absolved from the responsibility." As the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer is not present, I shall not advert to his course of conduct further than to say that I believe he has always acted as other West India proprietors acted upon this point; but as to the right hon. Gentleman the late President of the Board of Trade, he must allow me to bring to his recollection the part which he took in the debates in 1833. He said, "You raise a great cry about the distinctions between cotton and tobacco cultivation, and the cultivation of sugar. I don't mean to say that there is no difference between the hardship of cultivating cotton and tobacco on the one hand, and sugar on the other hand; but it is not so great as you may think. In some damp marshy soils the cultivation of sugar may be very difficult, but it is not so in other situations. Go, for example, to Barbadoes, and there you will find the slave population engaged in the cultivation of sugar extremely well off." That was what the right hon. Gentleman then said upon this point. He said, too, that there were other employments quite as injurious and detrimental to health as that pursued by the slaves, and he referred particularly to "grinding," saying, "See how grinding injures the sight and shortens life." He went on to say that he thought the system had originated with the West India Legislature. [Mr. Gladstone: Really I never said anything of the sort. You are not quoting me at all correctly.] What, not about the grinding? [Mr. Gladstone: Yes, about the grinding, but nothing more.] I at once admit the right hon. Gentleman's denial. I will let that pass. Now, I must say that I am forced to look for some common principle that shall explain the meaning of these Gentlemen going all round the compass in this manner; one time assuming one ground, and at another time another; and I do find that there is one principle common to all, and that that is a great desire to protect the West India interest. At one time they are for protecting slave-labour sugar against free-labour sugar—at another time free-labour sugar is the only sugar that is to be admitted at all. When I see Gentlemen moving from one side to the other in this way, what am I to understand?—what can I do but see, if amid all these changes there be any one point to which they universally adhere? I have so looked, and I perceive that one point governs all their actions; to one principle, regardless of consequences, they ever point, and that is—protection to the West India interest. These are my views on this subject, and I do hope that I have at least succeeded in acquitting myself of the charge of inconsistency, or of insensibility, to the evils of the Slave Trade, in the vote which I am about to give; my conduct I can perfectly reconcile with my conscience, and I must say that I shall be much surprised if the right hon. Baronet or the Government can readily reconcile their present conduct with their past actions, and convince the House of their consistency.

Mr. Gladstone

The House, I am sure, will allow me to put myself right upon one part of the right hon. Gentleman's address. I wish the right hon. Gentleman had quoted in the usual manner when references are made to former speeches—namely, that by which the matter can be verified. My right hon. Friend founds a very severe charge against me—namely, that I adopt contrary language and conflicting arguments at one time or another, precisely as they happen to promote the West India interest. Now will my right hon. Friend allow me to say this—that during the whole of these discussions I never have said one word, to my knowledge, upon the nature of sugar cultivation as being destructive of life? I am aware there were extremely exaggerated notions abroad upon that subject; I still believe it to be the case, but I doubt very much whether in all the speeches with which I have troubled the House during the discussions of the last four years, I have ever said a single syllable to the effect of there being a great destruction of life in the cultivation of sugar. I therefore beg to observe to my right hon. Friend that the severe charge he has made against me is totally groundless, and that there is not one syllable to support it.

Sir J. Graham

I do not venture to appear before the House, Sir, from any vain desire to place myself for one moment in competition with the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down. It is not from such a motive I am induced to rise upon this occasion; and conscious of the disadvantage under which any Gentleman in this House must follow a speech so able and so brilliant as that just addressed to you by the right hon. Gentleman, I again assure the House it is from a sense of duty solely that I now appear before them. I feel more particularly impelled to do so by the personal appeal which the right hon. Gentleman has made to me. It relates to a circumstance so much redounding to the honour of the right hon. Gentleman that I willingly give my testimony to the strict accuracy of the statement he has made. At the period when the great question of the emancipation of the slaves in our West India Colonies was under discussion during the Administration of Earl Grey, in which Administration I was a Member, the question with regard to apprenticeship arose. The right hon. Gentleman, then holding a place under the Government of Earl Grey, differed from the Executive Government upon a point materially affecting, as he thought, the interests of the slaves, and he was anxious by his vote to give effect to his opinion, and oppose the plan of Government. Most certainly upon that occasion the right hon. Gentleman, regardless of all personal interest, and from a sense of duty, did place at the disposal of Government the office he held, in a manner the most honourable, and the most disinterested, and as I think, quite worthy of his firm attachment to those principles respecting slavery which he has ever professed and uniformly acted upon. I also, I think, may, on my own part, claim from the right hon. Gentleman an admission that I, ever since I have taken a share in measures respecting slavery and the Slave Trade, have taken a consistent part. I was a Member of the Administration to which the right hon. Gentleman has referred. I was the intimate Colleague of my noble Friend the present Secretary of the Colonies; whose duty it was to bring forward that measure for the abolition of slavery. To the best of my ability, I gave to that measure a cordial and sincere support; and ever since I have had the honour of a seat in Parliament, I do not think I have omitted any opportunity of recording my vote in favour of the emancipation of slaves. I took an active part in all his preliminary measures, particularly in the Committee of Inquiry which preceded emancipation, and to the best of my ability I have since uniformly given my constant and consistent support to those measures which I thought most conducive to the interests of the coloured population. I must be permitted to observe upon the very able speech we have just heard, that brilliant as that speech was, connected with one part of the subject we are now discussing, I cannot regard it as taking a comprehensive view of the entire matter submitted for our consideration. The right hon. Gentleman began his speech by saying he would not deal with this as a commercial or as a financial question; but he would rather treat it as touching political morals; and throughout his whole speech he dealt with it on this ground. The right hon. Gentleman will permit me to say, that this can hardly be regarded as a statesmanlike view, comprehending the whole of this great question; for I contend that the question cannot be now regarded absolutely and abstractedly as a branch of political morals, discarding financial and commercial considerations. On the contrary, I am bound to treat it as a question involving not only political morality, but as a question of finance and commerce of the highest importance. And when I so consider it, I am at the same time bound to state, that whatever may be the feelings of morality with regard to it, which I strongly and decidedly entertain, the difficulty of Government and of Parliament is this—that we are treating a great commercial question upon principles not purely commercial, and by the mode in which we are treating it from mixed considerations of morals and of commerce, we are introducing a policy not strictly commercial, but contrary, in some leading particulars, to those great rules and principles which ought to decide commercial questions in this country. The right hon. Gentleman has said that when he considered the question of slavery, he took a very different view of it when the slaves of our West India Islands were concerned, from the view he took, having regard to political morals, of the condition of slaves in the territories of other countries not immediately connected with our domestic legislature. It is not for me, occupying the situation which I have the honour to fill, to follow the right hon. Gentleman into the discussion of the social institutions of any great country with which Her Majesty entertains amicable relations. I cannot think it expedient to follow the right hon. Gentleman in the terms of strong invective which he has used; but at the same time, with regard to many of the private feelings which he expressed, I am bound to say that individually I could not with honesty express any very great difference of opinion. But the right hon. Gentleman observed, that with regard to the slave population fellow subjects with himself, in 1833 he entertained a very different feeling towards them from that which it was his duty to act upon with regard to slaves in countries not under tae British Crown, and not immediately connected with us. Now I wish to be permitted to say that in dealing with this question not merely as a question of morals, but partly financial and commercial, I as a Minister of the Crown, cannot overlook the great interests of the Colonies. I think it can be shown that, with a due consideration to the interests of the British consumer, an abundant supply of sugar can be obtained at a lower price, and with far greater advantage to the consumer, from the British Colonies and British dependencies, than from countries where the importation of slaves is still encouraged, I cannot altogether discard the consideration due to the present position of the West Indies; and I think the noble Lord, who has brought this question under the consideration of the House, did not himself discard this very consideration. I think it would be impossible that that noble Lord, who was united with me in the government of Earl Grey, when the measure of emancipation was carried, notwithstanding the large grant which, with great generosity, the people of this country readily contributed to the planters in consideration of the measure then forced upon them, can forget the peculiar position of the West India Colonists. I say, notwithstanding the amount of the grant, the noble Lord must still think consideration due to the planters, upon account of the immense change so forced upon them by the British Legislature, and also on account of their present difficulties. What was the effect of that change? Why that, although compensated by a liberal pecuniary grant, the means of cultivating their property with any degree of certainty have been almost entirely destroyed or extremely narrowed. And what has been our subsequent policy? From considerations of humanity we have thought it indispensably necessary to impose restrictions upon the means of their acquiring free labour as the substitute for slave labour. We took from them their slaves, we gave them compensation to a great extent, but still we left them without the means of cultivating their estates, except by the payment of very high wages to the population which was liberated, and unwilling to work, except under the temptation of extravagant remuneration; and, as I said before, we have imposed restrictions upon their obtaining, by the introduction of free labour, other means to cultivate their property. Now, Sir, I conceive it to be the duty of the British Government, under these circmstances, if it be in their power, to supply the British consumer adequately with the great requisite of sugar at a moderate price, not neglecting at the same time the interests of the British Colonies. That, I think, is the true policy which ought to prevail with us. Nor can I altogether discard from consideration the immense possessions in the East, belonging to the British Crown, in which there are a hundred millions of those who are to be regarded as our fellow-subjects, willing to consume our manufactures to an almost unlimited extent. Indeed, there is no assignable limit to their desire to consume, except their power to pay for the articles we produce. It must be remembered that by our policy, and under our government, the native manufactures have been entirely destroyed. Their only means of production are limited to the soil. They have a soil peculiarly well adapted to the growth of sugar. I see my hon. Friend, one of the East India Directors (Mr. Hogg), who acted upon a Committee of Inquiry as to East India produce, when it was given in evidence by a gentleman now connected with the Government, and well versed in East India affairs, and related to the right hon. Gentleman who last spoke, that, in his opinion, the valley of the Ganges, properly cultivated, was capable of producing a supply of sugar adequate to the wants of the whole of Europe, independently of all other sources. Under these circumstances, if the question be not one purely of morals, but a mixed consideration of commerce and of finance, it is impossible for me to disregard the present necessities and difficulties of the West Indies, and the desire of the great population of India to consume our manufactures, if we will only afford them the means of remittance and of payment for those manufactures. We must, therefore, encourage the growth of sugar both in the West Indies and in India to the greatest possible extent. Then, Sir, the question presents itself—Is there any inconsistency upon the part of Government in adhering to their policy with regard to the distinction between free-labour sugar and slave-labour sugar? Will the House, on this subject, permit me shortly to trace the origin of this distinction? The hon. Member for Dumfries (Mr. Ewart) is, I think, present in his place; and unless I am much mistaken, the first distinction of this kind deliberately made in Parliament was made by that hon. Gentleman when he brought the question of the Sugar Duties under the consideration of the House, in 1840. The hon. Gentleman upon that occasion said, he would propose that a reduction of duty should be made in favour of free-labour sugar only, and he was anxious to confine the benefit of the reduction to the manufacture of sugar not made by slaves. The hon. Gentleman felt that the difficulty in bringing forward the proposition at that time was the Treaty with Brazil, which he admitted stood in the way; and he said as it was to continue in force for three or four years longer, the circumstance of that engagement with Brazil, which must be put upon a footing with the most favoured nations, would be a hindrance to a reduction of duty upon free-labour sugar from other countries, at least for that period. But the hon. Gentleman stated that the supply of free-labour sugar from Java, Manilla, and the East was very large, and he put it so high as 50,000 or 60,000 tons. On that occasion, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Taunton resisted the Motion of the hon. Member for Dumfries. I had the honour to be present in the House, and the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) then the Colleague of the right hon. Gentleman, also resisted the Motion. I do not think I heard in the subsequent debates, or this evening, in the two speeches by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and by my right hon. Friend the Member for Newark (Mr. Gladstone), in opposition to the proposition now made by the noble Lord, any answer materially different from those which the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Labouchere) and his Colleagues, in 1840, urged in reply to the proposition of the hon. Member for Dumfries. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Taunton, I distinctly remember, stated then what we state now, that the question was not to be regarded as merely a financial or commercial question, but also as one of moral consideration—the very consideration to which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Edinburgh has to-night adverted. He insisted upon the great weight of these mixed considerations; with his usual ability he stated them at considerable length; and the House on this mixed view of the case rejected the Motion of the hon. Member for Dumfries. The hon. Member for Sheffield was in his place just now. Upon the occasion I allude to, the question arose respecting the feelings of the constituencies with regard to the great reduction of price which might be obtained upon the introduction of slave-labour sugar at an equal duty with free-labour sugar; and, if I mistake not, the hon. Gentleman the Member for Sheffield presented a petition from Sheffield. This petition set forth that Foreign sugar should not be admitted indiscriminately, but that sugar the produce of free labour should be admitted under such advantages as to exclude all sugar the produce of slave labour. That was the opinion of the constituency of Sheffield at that time; and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Taunton insisted upon this petition, and the sentiments it expressed, as indicative of the feeling of the British community upon this particular question. So far from there being a desire to obtain some small reduction in the price of sugar by any encouragement of the free admission of slave-labour sugar upon equal terms with free-labour sugar, the right hon. Gentleman repudiated the notion of the people of this country wishing for low prices at all hazards, with no reference to the Slave Trade; and he instanced this petition as a proof that the popular constituencies of this country were adverse to the proposition of the hon. Member for Dumfries, which would lead to a large introduction of slave-grown sugar. Sir, in the debate of 1840, the same arguments that have been urged with regard to cotton, tobacco, and other products being freely admitted into the British market, which are avowedly the produce of slave labour, were argued with great force; and how did the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Taunton deal with that part of the case? Exactly as we now contend it ought to be dealt with, notwithstanding all that has been said by the right hon. Member for Edinburgh. In the first place, the right hon. Member for Taunton contended that cotton and tobacco do not enter into competition with similar articles raised by free labour in our own Colonies. The Irish Act to which the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Macaulay) referred, with regard to tobacco, had then been passed. The same arguments that were applicable at that time are applicable now; and the answer is—we do not contend for an absolute exclusion, or for any new restrictions upon slave-labour produce, which has been long received into the British market; but we say, it is one thing to admit, upon terms not new, to an accustomed market, slave produce which has been long admitted here; but it is quite another thing in its effects and consequences, to open the British market permanently to the great staple produce of slave labour—namely, sugar; a market which takes off nearly one-fourth of the whole quantity produced for the market of the world—and this too upon equal terms with the free-labour produce of other States, or of our own Colonial dependencies. I think the expression used, if I mistake not, by the right hon. Gentleman was, that he was not prepared to open the floodgates of foreign supply, and to inundate the market of this country with sugar, the produce of slave labour; which, he said, would be the effect of yielding to the proposition of the hon. Member for Dumfries? Then with respect to Dr. Lushington. What, Sir, was the language of Dr. Lushington on that occasion? He said, that the admission of sugar, the produce of slave labour, would, in his opinion, be tantamount to the abandonment of the whole of the anti-slavery policy of this country—in his opinion, considering the circumstances of the case, it would be reversing their course of policy, and abandoning the principles upon which they had hitherto acted. And Dr. Lushington went on to say, that we might withdraw our cruizers employed in checking the Slave Trade, and that we might abandon our anti-slave policy as desperate and hopeless, if we consented to the measure proposed by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Dumfries. Such was the opinion of Dr. Lushington as to the measure then proposed with reference to the admission of slave-labour sugar and free-labour sugar into our market on equal terms. It was contended, not only by Dr. Lushington, but by many other persons who were distinguished for the support they gave to the measures adopted for the emancipation of the slaves in our own Colonies, and for their resistance to the Slave Trade and slavery—it was contended by them in the debate referred to, that the measure proposed involved a departure from our established policy with respect to the Slave Trade, and that its adoption would entail a national disgrace, convicting this country of gross inconsistency, in adopting, for the sake of pecuniary gain, a line of policy which, on moral considerations, could not be defended. Now, Sir, on that occasion, when I was opposed to the Government, I voted with the majority, yielding to the arguments employed by the hon. Gentlemen who were opposed to the introduction, on the terms proposed, of slave-labour sugar. In 1841, I steadily adhered to the course I took in 1840, when I was opposed to Her Majesty's Government. In 1841, when this question was brought forward, I was also opposed to Her Majesty's Government, but I steadily adhered to the policy adopted by a large majority of this House in 1840, and from that policy I have not deviated. Now, Sir, I must say, that by the noble Lord who brought forward this question, one or two very large admissions were made, which may prove of advantage in assisting the House to come to the result at which I hope they will arrive this evening The noble Lord admitted that some protection was due to the West India proprietors, and he also admitted that that protection must be given in the shape of a decrease of duty, at least, I think he said, to the extent of 8s. or 10s. I will not follow the right hon Gentleman the Member for Newark (Mr. Gladstone) in his calculations as to the effect the proposition of the noble Lord, as enunciated by himself, would have upon the Revenue, if adopted by the Legislature. My right hon. Friend brought his calculations in a clear and explicit manner before the House. But whatever the amount of the lower duty may be, or whatever may be the amount of the higher duty, still the proposition of the noble Lord—admitting that protection is necessary, and that that protection shall be a duty of 8s.—cannot be carried into effect without a very considerable loss to the Revenue of this country. But now, Sir, it is not contended by her Majesty's Ministers that it would be possible to effect the purpose of giving protection to the Colonies—which we do not dissemble, in this proposition, it is our intention to give—without some revenue being lost to the State. The effect of granting this reduction of duty, as we propose it, will be a benefit partly to the producer and partly to the consumer. It is enough for us to have shown that the extent of reduction of duty will have the effect of reducing the price of sugar from 1d. to 1½d. a lb., in the retail price, to the consumer in this country. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Edinburgh, altogether disclaimed the intention of throwing upon his political adversaries in the discussion of this question the charge of hypocrisy. And I cannot but think that it would be well if such charges were altogether omitted in our discussions; for I do not think that such charges interchanged in our debates are calculated to elevate the character of the House, or tend to the fair elucidation of the subjects brought under our consideration. Charges of this kind are easily made. Nothing is so easy as to say, when assent is not at once given to a general principle on the part of those who differ from it, that their difference is not honest—nothing so easy as to say that any proposal of those who seek to qualify it is absurd, and that such modification ought not in reason to be adopted. But it is impossible, Sir, we contend, to treat the question we are considering on merely abstract principles, and without qualifications, and without modifications as to the peculiar circumstances having reference both to time and place. And I am of opinion that the measure brought forward by Her Majesty's Government will effect good objects. I am of opinion it will give to the consumer a reduction—a considerable reduction—in an article that enters largely into consumption; it will give to the British Colonies a stimulus which must be attended with the most beneficial results; and it will give a great encouragement, in the East Indies, to the growth of that particular product for which the soil of that country is best suited. And all these advantages will result from the adoption of this measure without any encouragement being given to the Slave Trade, against which the faith and honour of this country are pledged. Now, Sir, I must say, if good faith is to be a paramount consideration, it will be a great question whether, after all our pretences with reference to a desire to put down the Slave Trade, and after all our eagerness to maintain those treaties entered into for the Right of Search, which have been referred to by the noble Lord and others who have taken part in discussions with regard to the Slave Trade—it will be a great question, whether, after the measures taken by this and other countries to put down the Slave Trade, it can be consistent in us suddenly to open the British market to slave-labour sugar, and thus offer to it all the encouragement such a proceeding would afford. I am, Sir, distinctly of opinion, that any such sudden change of policy as that of admitting slave-labour sugar and free-labour sugar into the market on equal terms, would not fail to have the double effect of encouraging the production of slave-labour sugar, and of discouraging, at least in an equal degree, the production of free-labour sugar. Every such result fostered by our legislation, and encouraged by Parliament, is inconsistent, and in opposition to the national faith and to national pledges. The adoption by Parliament of the measure suggested by the noble Lord would be opposed to the principles formerly acted upon by the House, and would have an adverse tendency to that policy which has for a long period received the steady maintenance and support of Parliament and of the people of this country. I have no apprehension on this subject. I have no fear but that the measure by which we shall be able to secure to the consumer a great reduction in the price of sugar, without departing from the anti-slave trade policy hitherto adopted by this country, will receive the sanction of the British community; and certainly, Sir, I cannot hesitate to give the measure proposed by the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) my cordial and unhesitating support.

Mr. C. Wood

was not surprised that the right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham) should have omitted all allusion by way of reply to the able speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Edinburgh (Mr. Macaulay), for a speech more brilliant and more unanswerably argumentative he (Mr. Wood) never heard in his life. The right hon. Baronet complained that that speech dealt with only one branch of the subject they were discussing—the moral and political, and that it left out the commercial and financial part of the question. But on the commercial and financial advantages of the measure, the Gentlemen on the other side had not a word to say. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Newark (Mr. Gladstone), as a commercial and financial measure, gave it up altogether. He defended it chiefly on political and moral grounds; but for this moral part of the question the Gentlemen opposite were entirely without a defence. And he (Mr. Wood) thought that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Edinburgh, had, in reference to the political and moral argument, removed from the supporters of the measure proposed by Government, the only grounds upon which they could defend it. He (Mr. Wood) was amused at the distinctions which had been made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Newark. The noble Lord the Member for London stated that the measure proposed by Government was a distinct encouragement to the cultivation of slave-labour sugar, inasmuch as whatever quantity of free-labour sugar was withdrawn from the market of the world, it would necessarily be supplied by slave-labour sugar. But the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gladstone) seemed to treat this statement with great contempt. And how did the right hon. Gentleman meet it? Why, he admitted that the adoption of the measure would have a great tendency to produce the effect predicted by the noble Lord. What was this but a quibble—for he could designate it by no other name. And was it come to this, that when it was admitted by the advocates of the measure themselves that "it had a tendency to promote slave-grown sugar," they were at the same time to stand up in that House and say that they were doing nothing to encourage that traffic which the Government proposed by this very measure to discourage? He said, that the measure would have not only a tendency but the effect of promoting the production of slave-grown sugar, by the amount of free-grown sugar which we should take from the markets of the world by consuming it in this country. We should thereby give an encouragement as certain, though not as direct, as if we took the slave-grown sugar itself, which other countries would do openly; and at the same time an unnecessary burden would be inflicted upon this country. With regard to the details of the question, he quite agreed that it was desirable that no irritating topics should be resorted to on either side. The speech of his right hon. Friend having been so unanswerable, with respect to the encouragement that would be given to slavery, he (Mr. Wood) might be allowed to call attention to some statements made on the other side, which appeared to him to be founded in complete fallacy. The right hon. Gentleman made out his case on the assumption that 250,000 tons of sugar would be imported into this country, and that there would be this amount of consumption if there was a reduction of price to the amount of 1½d. per lb. He (Mr. Wood) admitted that the country might consume that amount. He admitted the probability that that amount of sugar would be consumed; and it was no great amount after all. It was about 20lbs. a head for twenty-eight millions of people. It was not more than had been practically consumed per head in 1831; and therefore he had not the least doubt, provided the price was sufficiently brought down, that the people of this country would consume that amount within the next year or two. When he remembered the high rate of wages, and the prosperous state of the country; and when it was known further that even in the workhouses the consumption of sugar was thirty-four pounds per head—he admitted that the right hon. Gentleman was warranted in assuming that that quantity might be consumed, if, as he said, the price was properly brought down; but the question was, whether it would be so brought down by the proposal of the Government, because if that were not so, the right hon. Gentleman must concede to him, in return, that he could not expect to realise that amount of consumption. The noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) stated that he did not believe the measure of the Government would confer an adequate benefit upon the consumer. On this point he hardly knew how to reconcile the differences between Gentlemen opposite. In arguing upon what would be an adequate benefit to the consumer, the right hon. Member for Newark pronounced it to be a benefit proportionate to the amount of loss sustained by the Revenue; but the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham), said, that the benefit to the consumer by this measure, would not be in proportion to that loss. They admitted that a portion of the profit would go into the pocket of the West India proprietor, which would otherwise go to the consumer, and therefore it was plain that an adequate benefit to the consumer would not be obtained according to the definition of the Member for Newark. He now came to the question of the reduction of price, and here he differed from the right hon. Gentleman. The price might be reduced by a great increase of quantity being brought in; but there was no certainty that such a glut of the market would be created as would reduce the price to the extent calculated. There was no reason for supposing that 250,000 tons of sugar would not be consumed in the present prosperous state of the country; he had no doubt it would be. Then, the only other mode in which the price of British Colonial sugar could be reduced was by the competition of some Foreign sugar. The right hon. Gentleman stated last year that the deficient supplies of sugar from the Colonies constituted the reason for his proposing a measure which should introduce other sugar, in order to keep down the price, which was raised by the deficiency of the supply. He (Mr. Wood) was surprised to hear the doctrine which was then propounded, denied now. The right hon. Gentleman had stated that as an argument in support of his measure, and it was a perfectly justifiable one; but the right hon. Member for Newark now said that, so far from a deficient supply from our own Colonies, he anticipated from them a larger supply than ever, which would come in at the lower rate of duty; and he (Mr. Gladstone) anticipated a greater loss to the Revenue than the Chancellor of the Exchequer computed, from the circumstance that the supply would come, not from Foreign countries, but from British Colonial possessions. What, however, was the prospect of reduction of price? The right hon. Gentleman calculated that to the extent of ¼d. per lb., a reduction of price would arise from the removal of restrictions, and the facilities that would be given to the entering of sugar. When he (Mr. Wood) looked at the complicated system of duties proposed, and the trouble and difficulty of ascertaining which duty attached to any particular class of sugars, he doubted whether the expense would not be increased rather than diminished, because he thought the proposed scale of duty would create immense difficulty. In fact, it would be almost impossible to say to what class of sugar any particular rate of duty would apply. He did not dissent from the principle referred to by the Chancellor of the Exchequer of applying a different rate of duty to sugars in a more advanced state of preparation. Whether it was practicable was another question. He had heard great doubts expressed by very experienced persons on this subject. Indeed, they were entertained by the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself no longer ago than last year. The right hon. Gentleman then said, that he had consulted the most experienced persons, and that they informed him that the difficulty of distinguishing between white clayed sugar and sugar slightly refined would be extreme. He went on to say, that white clayed sugar was a new distinction, and that there would be a new difficulty in drawing a line between the clayed and the white clayed. That there would be great difficulty in making such distinctions was clear, from the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman. If in practice such difficulty appeared likely to render the measure in itself inexpedient, he should reserve to himself the right of voting against such a distinction at a future stage; but he did not object to the principle. He was sorry that neither the Chancellor of the Exchequer, nor any one else on the part of the Government, had given any detailed explanation of the principle they proposed; for, as to what class of sugar each rate of duty would apply, the House was left as much in the dark as they had been left by the financial statement of the right hon. Gentleman. It was a question which the Motion of the hon. Member for Beverley was intended to decide, whether the higher duty would not apply to East India sugar. There was a similar doubt entertained as to much of the sugar from Java, Manilla, and Siam; but it seemed clear that the one class of sugar to which the lowest duty would apply was the Venezuela and Louisiana sugar. That was the only sugar that was avowedly admissible at the low duty, and that sugar was slave grown. He believed it would be impossible to make a distinction between slave-grown and free-grown sugar; but this proposition involved the absurdity that the only description of sugar to which the lowest rate of duty certainly applied, was Foreign slave-grown sugar, which the Government were bound to discourage. The right hon. Baronet further stated, that there would be a reduction in price to the extent of 1¼d. by the alteration of duties. If we were to depend upon any reduction of the price of British Colonial sugar, it could only be done, as the right hon. Gentleman had said last year, by the competition of Foreign sugar, whether free or slave grown. Now, the price of British sugar, as stated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was 29s. 7d., which, with the new duty, amounted to 42s. 7d. But there was no reason why, whatever was taken off, the duty should not be added to the price, if there was not some circumstance that would keep it down. What had taken place already in the rise of sugar in the last few days was a convincing proof, that the price would rise, unless, as he said, there was some circumstance to keep it down; and the only circumstance that could have that effect, was some Foreign sugar coming into competition with Colonial sugar. He did not say, that under all circumstances the competition of Foreign was necessary to keep down the price of British sugar. When the supply of British Colonial sugar was greater than the country could consume, then there was no necessity for Foreign competition to keep down the price of the article—it was kept down by the glut of the market, and on this point the argument of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to-night was good for nothing. It was not applicable to the circumstances in which we are placed, or to the circumstances in which we are likely to be placed; and the only circumstance upon which we could depend to keep down the price of sugar, was the competition of some Foreign sugars or other. The Chancellor of the Exchequer took the average of all Java sugar, and attached to it the lower rate of duty. What did the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury say? He stated what amount of Foreign sugar he expected to be entered into this country — he estimated 5,000 tons of Muscovado sugar, and 15,000 tons of white clayed, so that three-fourths of the Foreign sugar, upon the competition of which he relied for keeping down the price of British Colonial sugar, was, upon his own showing, the higher description of Foreign sugar, and upon that description the higher rate of duty would attach. Then, in spite of the right hon. Member for Newark, he (Mr. Wood) did refer to the Price Current, and he found that the price of the higher qualities of Java sugar averaged from 22s. to 24s. 6d. Add to that average the higher duty of 28s., and the price of that description of sugar upon the competition of which the Government depended for keeping down the price of British sugar, would be 51s. 3d. under the new duty. It was clear that up to that limit, if the supply was not adequate to the demand, the price of Colonial sugar might rise before it could be checked by the only circumstance that could keep it down—the competition of Foreign sugar. Then came the question, what benefit would result to the consumer from the measure of the Government? The difference between the lowest price at which we could depend upon obtaining Foreign sugar—the difference between that and the present price—would be the benefit to the consumer, and no more. Take the most favourable case. The present price of sugar was higher than the average of the last six weeks. The present price was 56s. 6d. Deduct from that the price of Java sugar, 51s. 3d., and it would leave a difference of 5s. 3d. Take the average of the last six weeks, with the addition of the duty, and it would leave a difference of 3s. 9d. only. But giving the Government the whole benefit of the present price, 56s. 6d., the fall in price—that is the benefit to the consumer — would be only 5s. 3d. per cwt., instead of 14s., or whatever the right hon. Gentleman had said. It would be somewhere about from a halfpenny to three farthings per lb., even on his own showing. The whole argument of the Government was based on the supposition that the consumption would amount to 250,000 tons, and that depended on a reduction in price to the extent of 1½d. If they failed in the amount of consumption, they failed in their argument altogether, and he thought he had shown that there would be only one-half the reduction they assumed. Unless they insured a fall of a penny in the lb., they did nothing effectual, and he thought he had shown clearly that the reduction did not amount to a penny. The fact was, that one-half of the loss to the Revenue would go to the consumer, and one-half to the West India proprietor. Then, again, he said, his noble Friend was justified in his assertion, that the measure would not give adequate benefit to the consumer. He did not wish to go at length into the question of revenue, but he must say that, according to the calculations of the Customs, the Government would not get the revenue they anticipated. The Customs calculated that 15,000 tons more of Colonial sugar would come in, and this would exclude the same amount of Foreign sugar, on which the Government calculated that they should receive the higher rate of duty. Colonial sugar paid a duty of 14s. per cwt., and Foreign clayed sugar 28s. The Government calculated upon receiving 420,000l. from Foreign sugar upon the higher duty; but as the Customs calculated upon the same amount of Colonial sugar at one-half the duty, there would be a loss of 210,000l. If, indeed, the Government could calculate on a much larger importation of sugar, the Revenue might to some extent recover, but there seemed no great prospect of that. They could not expect much increase from the West Indies, if the complaints of the great want of labour were well founded. Neither could they expect a great supply of sugar from the East Indies. They imposed a differential duty upon East India sugar, which was, in fact, imposing a discouragement upon its cultivation, and, therefore, they could not expect a great supply from that quarter; and he thought, therefore, that the expectations of the Government could not be realised, either as regarded the benefit of the consumer, or the maintenance of the revenue. He consoled himself, however, with the belief that this measure could not be permanent. He believed it to be impracticable in its details; and if the supply was not more extended than he thought probable, the Government must, upon their own principle, and as in fact they had done in the case of coffee, be prepared to come down to the House in the course of a year or two, and propose further relaxations of the differential duties on all sugars the produce of Foreign countries, whether slave or free. Notwithstanding all that had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman the ex-President of the Board of Trade, there was an increased feeling in the public mind against the distinctions which the Government wanted to sustain in dealing with the question of sugar. He himself had conversed with many persons upon the subject of that distinction, and he found no one who talked upon the subject who did not designate it as an absurdity. There was a considerable change of opinion even amongst the anti-slavery party and those persons who had hitherto taken a prominent part in the measures which had been agitated and adopted for the suppression of slavery. It was impossible to conceal the strong opinion which was gaining ground without, that the measures which this country had pursued for some time, were not well calculated to serve the interests of humanity; and Sir Thomas Buxton himself, and others, of whom he ever thought and spoke with respect and reverence, had distinctly avowed their opinion that in respect to the Slave Trade the exertions which the country had made, instead of checking the Slave Trade, had only tended to aggravate its horrors. Many persons who had taken, and still took, a most active part in anti-slavery measures, entertained the opinion that the distinction between slave-grown and free-grown sugar, which, indeed, was that evening thrown entirely over by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Newark, was absurd and untenable, and believed that slavery would be more favourably affected in the end by abolishing such distinctions than by maintaining them, and consenting to receive, in competition with our Colonial produce, free-grown sugar alone. The superiority of free labour over slave labour, in the cultivation of sugar, was manifest, from a comparative statement which he held in his hand, and from which it appeared that the same amount of labour which in Cuba would produce only 2,666 lbs. of sugar in a given time, would in Mexico produce 5,332, that was to say, twice the amount produced by slave labour. He did not consider that the duties as now proposed to be fixed, could be permanent. Believing that, he must say the Government were to blame in not taking the present opportunity of doing what they should do—admitting all Foreign sugars, without distinction, and at a lower differential duty than they now proposed. They could not hope to satisfy the unreasonable expectations of the West India proprietors. A petition had been presented from British Guiana, stating that the admission of Foreign free-labour sugar had already wrought the colonists a great injury. Eleven hundred weight of free-labour sugar had been imported into this country, and that was the whole amount of benefit conferred by the measure of last year upon the consumer, and yet that small importation, in the opinion of the colonists of Guiana, had worked them a severe injury. Such complaints were only ridiculous. Much had been done for the West India Colonies. The intercolonial duties had been materially reduced; they were now enabled to refine in the Colonies; a great reduction of duty on Colonial sugar was to be made: all these boons over and above the payment of 20,000,000l. had already satisfied their claim, and they ought no longer to stand as an obstacle between the people and just legislation upon this subject. Before long this undue distinction in their favour must cease; but it would have been far wiser and more politic to have adopted a course which they would complain of as a hardship, at the time when great and acknowledged benefits were conferred upon them. Having on a former evening expressed his opinion, in conformity with the latter part of his noble Friend's Resolution, that the mode of dealing with the Sugar Duties rendered the probability of relieving the country from the pressure of the Income Tax at the expiration of the three years extremely uncertain; he would not now repeat those arguments, but would merely state his entire concurrence in every part of his noble Friend's proposition.

Sir R. Peel

said: There is one complaint which we have heard to-night, a complaint made by the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, which appears to me to be both unreasonable and unjust. He says, that we have not entered into those details explanatory of the probable working of our intended measure, which at the present moment the House has a right to expect at our hands. Sir, it is the wish of the Government to give those details; and I am surprised that it should have escaped the attention of the right hon. Gentleman that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer intimated his intention of going fully into these details this day in a Committee of Ways and Means. It was well understood, that my right hon. Friend proposed this day to supply the omissions on this subject made by me in my general statement. In this design he was intercepted by the noble Lord the Member for London. I do not say that he was unfairly intercepted, but he certainly was prevented by the Motion of the noble Lord from taking the course which he had intended—and he has been deprived of the opportunity of doing that which he intended. By the Motion of the noble Lord a different issue has been raised from that of which the Government gave notice; and the noble Lord contends, before we discuss the Resolutions of which we had given notice in detail, that we shall again discuss the question which we have before discussed, namely, whether we shall exclude slave-labour sugar from competition with free-labour sugar. The noble Lord, in his speech this evening, avoided all details about the policy of a discriminating duty on Foreign sugar. He had said nothing of the details of a Resolution, although he had invited them to enter into the question whether or no there should be any discrimination in respect of sugar the produce of slave labour. In avoiding details, therefore, the Government had only followed the noble Lord's example, and, therefore, the complaint of the hon. Gentleman was entirely without foundation. The right hon. Gentleman had referred to the Income Tax, and I must express my surprise that it should be considered right to make attacks nightly upon the Income Tax, when almost every Member on the other side of the House appears determined to vote in its favour. Now, if you object to the Income Tax, why don't you vote against it? If it be the inquisitorial, oppressive impost which you say it is, then why concur with me in advising Parliament to retain it? The noble Lord says that you have no sufficient guarantee that the Income Tax will be repealed at the end of three years, or even that it may not be continued for six years yet to come. But I ask, how do you reconcile these strong objections to the Income Tax, with the fact that you are willing to go out with me in favour of that Tax? The right hon. Gentleman says he fears that without the Income Tax we should not have a surplus at the end of two years, but a deficiency. If I rightly understand him, he does not estimate that deficiency at more than from 500,000l. to 600,000l. Will any one tell me that the right hon. Gentleman or the noble Lord estimates his own financial ingenuity so low as to suppose that he could not make provision for that trifling deficiency without having recourse to so odious and abominable a measure as the Income Tax? Surely a few hundred thousand pounds might be made good without the aid of five millions. The noble Lord, in effect, says, that he is satisfied that my tax shall go on for three or even for six years; and thus he lays a good ground to enable himself, some three years hence, to remind the House that he had been a supporter of the Income Tax. In 1848, he probably wishes to be able to tell us that in 1845 he had seen the necessity of an Income Tax. The fact is, that you approve of our tax, not because of the small deficiency which you think its absence would occasion, but because you think that the present is a favourable time for trying a great—and, I admit, a bold—experiment, in respect to the taxation of this country. You expect it will be convenient to you to show at a future time that you have recorded your approbation of this source of revenue. I cannot forget that we have not been successful in making commercial treaties with foreign countries. ["Hear."] Have I ever denied it? We propose this, then:—That as they will not enter into commercial negotiations with us, we shall attempt measures of another sort; and, believing our proposed reductions to be intrinsically good, we are ready to make them, trusting their efficacy will be so seen and so felt in other countries as to induce them to follow the example set by us. If we have been wrong in attempting to negotiate commercial treaties with other countries, why other people have been wrong also, for they have attempted precisely the same thing. Up to the present period, every Administration has attempted to enter into those commercial treaties, and if other countries could be induced to enter into them, there would no doubt be a double advantage gained. It would be a great advantage to the people of this country to be able to carry on a direct traffic with these countries. It would greatly increase the advantages of our reduction of duties, if we could prevail upon other countries to make corresponding reductions. But the question is, shall we postpone a direct benefit to ourselves, for the distant hope of prevailing on other countries to give us reciprocal benefits? I understand the noble Lord cordially to approve of this. [A motion of assent from Lord John Russell.] Then the noble Lord approves of the Income Tax. If not, will the noble Lord allow me to ask him if he would consent to remit three and a half millions of taxes without reserving the Income Tax? The noble Lord knows that he could not; and, therefore, do I say, that he cordially approves of the Income Tax. After reading the Resolution of the noble Lord, and after having listened to a great part of his speech, I cannot understand why it was that the noble Lord did not vote the other night with the hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester. A great part of the speech of the noble Lord was occupied in showing that we are paying money into the pockets of the West Indians, by establishing in their favour a discriminating duty; that such a duty is a great loss to the consumer in this country; that the State does not get the whole benefit of it; that the difference is divided between the consumer and the producer; but that a large share of the reduction goes into the pockets of the producer. If I had not read the proposal, or rather the Resolution, of the noble Lord, and if I had only listened to a portion of his speech, I should have taken it for granted that the noble Lord and the other right hon. and hon. Gentlemen around him would have given their cordial support to the hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester. The noble Lord appears to be oscillating between this Bench (the Ministerial), and that (the Opposition), for the noble Lord, after having made an excellent speech in favour of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester, said, that he thought, on account of the position of the West Indian Colonies, and considering the great experiment made with respect to slavery and the Slave Trade, and that sufficient time has not elapsed for that experiment to be tested, in exact accordance with my own opinion, the West Indian Colonies are entitled to some protection. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Stockport, like a disconsolate and forsaken maiden, has complained that I have jilted him. I certainly have had the singular good fortune of voting along with the hon. Gentleman. On that occasion my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol proposed that the duty on sugar the produce of the West Indies should be reduced to 20s., and that discriminating duties on sugar the produce of free labour, and not sugar the produce of British possessions, should be continued. That proposal of my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol I opposed; and I was supported by the hon. Member for Stockport. I then said that the reduction to 20s. would be very little benefit to the consumer; that it would be much better, whenever we made a reduction, to provide that it should be such a reduction as would be a benefit to the consumer. I held then that we ought to establish a duty which would give protection to sugar the produce of British plantations; not to establish one which would press severely on the produce of free labour. If the House should determine that there shall be no protecting duties on sugar the produce of British plantations, then I think there ought to be no discriminating duties on sugar the produce of countries where free labour exists. The charge which the hon. Gentleman made against me is not well founded; but the hon. Gentleman can accuse, and with some justice, the noble Lord of having deserted his principles. The noble Lord has said that "protection is the bane of agriculture." Protection the bane of agriculture! It sounds remarkably well. At the commencement of this Session the noble Lord said, that protecting duties were the bane of agriculture—that protecting duties were positively injurious to agriculture. If so, then all protection ought to be removed from agriculture. If protection were proved to be the bane of agriculture, then so it was of sugar; and all protecting duties should be removed from it also. "Protection," said the noble Lord, "is the bane of agriculture." Does the noble Lord think so? At the close of last Session the noble Lord said that agriculture was fairly entitled to protection; and the noble Lord said that it was so entitled on account of the local charges to which it was subjected, and, amongst other things, on account of the Malt Tax. The noble Lord by such expressions had considerably disturbed the agricultural mind during the vacation; and as there was a chance, or an expectation, that the noble Lord might make a counter proposal for the abolition of the Malt Tax, the noble Lord's agricultural friends had lived in expectation during the recess; but now they found the noble Lord supporting his proposal for continuing the Income Tax. They will find, too, the noble Lord voting with me for a remission of the glass duties—for a remission of the cotton duties—and the noble Lord will also be found voting with me, when I oppose a reduction of the malt duty. The hon. Gentleman, then, has no right to complain of me as having jilted him; but he may turn round to the noble Lord for having held out expectations which he was destined to disappoint; for when the hon. Member asked the noble Lord to fulfil his promise, the noble Lord turns round for the purpose of voting with me. It will be better to-night not to enter into the details of the Resolution, nor to argue the points raised as to discriminating duties. I shall not enter into that question, which I have often discussed before, and upon which I have very little new to say beyond that which I have already stated. The subject to which I wish to address myself, is the question, whether it be right or not that sugar the produce of slave labour, should enter into competition with other sugar the produce of free labour. In approaching this subject, I cannot but say I admire the tone and temper of the noble Lord's speech in support of his views. At the same time, it is only fair to admit, that had he thought proper to bring any charge against us, we should have been perfectly able to meet it. The right hon. Gentleman opposite the Member for Edinburgh did certainly make a charge against us tantamount to that of hypocrisy; that he did so courteously and in a fair spirit of animadversion I admit, but such certainly was the purport of his observations. The right hon. Gentleman said, with perfect civility I am bound to observe, that if it had not been for the recollection of my vote on an old Resolution of 1841, which had had the effect of turning out the late Government, he had no doubt but that Her Majesty's Government would have been ready to admit slave-labour sugar into competition with free-grown sugar. That was the insinuation which the remark of the right hon. Gentleman conveyed against me. I do not complain of it, for he had a perfect right to express his sentiments as to my conduct; but it was tantamount to an assertion that we are not at this moment prepared to do our duty by the country, solely in consequence of the recollection which we have of some former vote given by us in this House on a Resolution proposed to it. I must say, Sir, after having given the subject the fullest consideration, and if I did not retain one jot of recollection with respect to any former vote which I may have given in this House, that I should not, under the circumstances in which the whole question is involved, have felt the slightest disposition to admit sugar the produce of slave labour to compete on equal terms with free-grown sugar. And I will tell the right hon. Gentleman my reasons:—I do not think that this course would be consistent with justice towards our own Colonies; nor do I think, notwithstanding the able speech of the right hon. Gentleman, that it would be consistent with those principles which we have avowed, or with that course which we have hitherto adopted, if we are now to agree to a Resolution admitting slave-grown sugar into competition with free-labour sugar at a small discriminating duty. I will consider the subject in the first place so far as it affects our own Colonies; and I am ready to admit, that if the question were one merely affecting our financial or commercial interests, I should not be prepared to defend the course which Her Majesty's Government has taken with respect to the Sugar Duties. I repeat, Sir, that looking at the question in a pure abstract point of view, and solely with reference to finance and commerce, we ought not to make this great distinction between slave-grown and free-labour sugar. But, Sir, it is totally impossible to disregard the situation of the Colonies at this moment. I am ready to admit that a great sacrifice was made by the people of this country to compensate the West Indian proprietors for the value of the slaves who were set at liberty. I admit that this country has to bear a permanent debt on that account. But I do not think, however onerous the burden of that debt may be to the people of Great Britain, and however complete the satisfaction which the payment made for their slaves to the Colonists may have been (which, however, I very much doubt)—I repeat I do not think that this transaction relieves you from those considerations of duty which you would still owe to these Colonies, if the present discriminating duties upon sugar were to be altogether abolished. What is the course which you propose to adopt? You first abolish slavery throughout the whole of your Colonies, rendering them entirely dependent upon voluntary labour for the cultivation of the soil; and you next proceed to throw open your markets for the indiscriminate admission of sugar from the Brazils and Cuba—countries where slavery not only exists in its very worst form, but also countries which have maintained their Slave Trade and their traffic in human life, in open violation of their most solemn engagements with this country. I think, Sir, that the practical effect of admitting the slave-grown sugar of these countries would be so completely to disable the West Indian Colonies as to incapacitate them from supporting their present burdens, so that I doubt much whether the sacrifice which you make in this respect to the interests of the sugar consumers, if you are to have any Colonies at all, would not be more than counterbalanced by the injury you would inflict on those possessions of the Crown. But, Sir, the right hon. Gentleman says, that looking at what we have done with respect to the indiscriminate and free admission to consumption here of other articles equally with sugar the produce of slave-labour, how is it possible for us to continue to shut out slave-grown sugar upon that plea alone? The right hon. Gentleman has spoken in terms of strong indignation of the conduct of the United States with respect to slavery, and he not only referred to the laws and regulations respecting slaves of the States themselves, but he spoke with considerable vehemence, and I must admit with great eloquence, of the usages and practices of society in that country towards this class; and he likewise referred to the declarations of public men there, and to the institutions which existed in the States for the more complete subjugation and depression of the race of slaves. The right hon. Gentleman also stated, that if anything could raise the indignation of all mankind, it was the aggravated form in which slavery appeared in the United States, and in those States which were slave-breeding countries, and he ascribed to them the hostility that had been shown to the exercise of the Right of Search, expressing likewise his opinion, which perhaps may be well founded, that France would not have resisted the exercise of the Right of Search if the United States Government had acquiesced in it. Now, these statements and suppositions of the right hon. Gentleman may or may not be true; but it cannot be otherwise than perfectly obvious, that the United States have a perfect right to perpetuate the existence of slavery throughout their own domains. The people of those States may be right or wrong in so doing—of that we can have no cognizance. But they most certainly have a right to maintain the existence of slavery, as an independent nation, uncontrolled by other States. But the right hon. Gentleman observes that in the Budget which I submitted recently to the House and the country, I have admitted slave-grown cotton, and rejected slave-grown sugar. He says also that he will not oppose the admission of cotton duly free; he admits that he approves of my intention, and expresses his doubts whether, if the House were to reject my proposal, they would better the condition of the slaves. The right hon. Gentleman, moreover, expresses his doubts whether the rejection of the slave-grown cotton of America would not rather retard the progress of emancipation there, by exasperating the people, and by paralyzing the efforts of those amongst them who seek to abolish the existence of slavery in the United States; and he concluded by intimating that the interest of humanity might suffer if the repeal of the cotton duties was successfully opposed. Be it so. The right hon. Gentleman may be right in his views; I shall not at this moment attempt to gainsay them. But what I want to show to the House is, the wide difference that actually exists between sugar produced by slave labour in Cuba and the Brazils, and cotton similarly produced in the United States. In the first place, there is a great and a marked distinction between the cultivation of sugar and that of cotton with respect to the unhealthiness of the occupation. The cultivation of cotton is very considerably less toilsome and less injurious to the health of the slaves engaged in it than is that of sugar. But I do not rely upon this as an argument. What I do rely on is the fact, that there are only two countries in the whole world which are formidable rivals to our Colonies in the production of sugar, and those countries are precisely the two States which stand towards England in the peculiar relation maintained by Cuba and the Brazils. The right hon. Gentleman stated in the course of his speech, that he would not interfere in the family or domestic affairs of the United States, meaning in their internal regulations or laws affecting slavery. He said that the slave population there had no claim upon him; and he expressed his doubts whether the enforcement of such a claim, supposing it to have existed, would have done any good. But I will show the House that the conduct of the Brazils and Cuba in respect to the production of sugar is contrary to the dictates of humanity, and that it inflicts the greatest evils upon that class of human beings which has the strongest claims to our sympathy and protection—I mean the negro races who inhabit the coasts of Africa. We stand, Sir, as a nation in a very peculiar situation with respect to the Slave Trade. We have contracted certain serious and lasting obligations on this subject. It may be all very well for us to be told that the Foreign Slave Trade is nothing to us. That is a question quite apart from the one which I am dealing with. We have resolved as a nation to suppress the trade in slaves. We have made a clear distinction between the abolition of slavery and the extinction of the Slave Trade. We have nothing to do with the existence of slavery in the Brazils. Why could we not at once abandon our endeavours to extinguish slavery throughout the world? The noble Lord (Howick) has said that he does not know whether it would not be wise to do so. But that is not our position with respect to the particular subject to which I am addressing myself. We have resolved to act against all those who continue to carry on the trade in slaves, and we have invited other nations to join us in this course of proceeding. We maintain a constant guard over the Coast of Africa, to prevent this trade from being carried on. Many are of opinion that this is unwise in us, and many others publicly say so. I am not arguing with those who entertain these opinions; I am merely stating the course which this country has adopted, and now follows, under the express direction and sanction of Parliament. I repeat it, this House has bound the country to this course; and the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford has repeatedly, on behalf of himself and his constituents, expressed his determination and willingness to co-operate with every Ministry that may be in power, in order to effect the total suppression of the Slave Trade. We have entered consequently into treaties for this purpose with many Foreign Powers. Amongst those Foreign Powers there are two in particular, namely, Spain and the Brazils. Those Powers have solemnly agreed, and have pledged themselves, to do their utmost to suppress the trade in slaves, not only amongst their own subjects, but also in all the seas within the limits of their respective Empires. What, then I ask, are the facts with respect to the fulfilment of these treaties? Those facts not being under our own immediate observation may not be so well known to us as they would have been had this country been still engaged in the trade in slaves. At the same time we have acquired a knowledge of them, and upon that knowledge I state my positive and unalterable belief that if you admit the sugars of Cuba and the Brazils to free competition with other Foreign sugars in our markets, you will give a fresh impetus to the existing trade in slaves. You may think that the Slave Trade on the coast of Africa is extinct. It is not extinct; and I believe it will revive if you agree to the noble Lord's Resolution, notwithstanding we act as the police of the whole world in endeavouring to suppress this most odious traffic. The noble Viscount opposite (Lord Palmerston) gave an account two Sessions ago of the horrors which were still perpetrated by those engaged in the Slave Trade. He stated that human beings were still entrapped on the coast of Africa, and that they were packed to the number of 600 or 700 between the decks of a slaver, the space of two feet, or at most two feet and a half, being allowed for each human being during the transit from the coast of Africa to their place of destination, which the noble Lord indicated to be the two countries I have named—Cuba and the Brazils—those countries, Sir, whence the sugar is to come which the Resolution before the House proposes to admit on the same terms as free-labour sugar. Let us only conceive the dreadful sufferings of the 600 or 700 human beings, packed two feet apart between the stifling decks of a slaver, whilst on their way to Cuba or the Brazils. The noble Lord opposite stated the fact that on their arrival at their destidation in the Brazils, they were often found to have been paralyzed in their limbs, and rendered helpless cripples for the remainder of their lives. The state of things so well described by the noble Lord still exists in the two countries I have named. And, Sir, I maintain that under the obligations which we have voluntarily and for many years cheerfully borne, we are bound to do all in our power to suppress so horrible a traffic. I will read the noble Viscount's words with reference to this subject—words used by him on the 16th of July, 1843, during the discussion in this House on the subject of the Slave Trade. But both Spain and Brazil are bound, by treaties concluded with us, to prohibit all their subjects from engaging in, or being concerned with, the Slave Trade in any manner whatsoever; and they have, in pursuance of those treaties, promulgated laws denouncing severe punishments upon such of their subjects as may have anything to do with the trade. But these Governments notoriously set at nought their engagements, and systematically disregard them, while they permit their own laws to be daily and openly violated with impunity. And the facts, Sir, are still as the noble Lord here states them. That, Sir, is the fact. The two countries which have entered into engagements with us have systematically violated and evaded, and do now systematically violate and evade, those treaties. What then would be the effect of encouraging the introduction of the slave sugar of these countries into our market? Can any one doubt that the effect would be to give a great stimulus to the Slave Trade? In the Brazils and in Cuba there is a great amount of virgin land which may be turned to profitable account by the cultivatiou of sugar. I say, then, that the ultimate effect of opening the British market to the sugars of Cuba and of the Brazils will be to give an encouragement to the Slave Trade. It appears in the course of the last year, between the months of April and November, we captured either thirty-seven or forty-seven slave vessels on the coast of Africa. We placed an increased force on the stations along that coast, and the result was, that no less than thirty-seven or forty-seven vessels were captured. In the year 1844, as compared with the year 1843, the number of captured vessels adjudicated upon by the Mixed Commission Court—and I am not now speaking of the Vice-Admiralty Court, that is in addition—was, in 1843, fifteen vessels; and in 1844, thirty-five. This was the consequence of the more vigorous measures we adopted, so far as the detention of vessels is concerned. I am afraid, however, that the number of vessels captured is a very imperfect test, for I fear that the number of negroes landed in the Brazils and in Cuba has not diminished; and this is not our fault, but the fault of the authorities of those countries, who have not discountenanced but encouraged this traffic. The authorities of those countries, the Government and local authorities there, have the power of suppressing that traffic. When the authorities fully exercised their power in the Brazils, as they did for a short time, there was a great diminution in the traffic in slaves there. In Cuba, to his honour be it spoken, when General Valdez was appointed by Espartero, Governor of Cuba, he expressed his determination to give a check to the Slave Trade; and he was so far successful in his measures that he reduced the number of slaves imported into Cuba from 30,000 to 12,000, to 10,000, and in the year 1842 the number of slaves brought into Cuba did not exceed 3,000. If General Valdez had remained he would have established such a system of police that the importation must have ceased. So it was with respect to the Brazils. The vigorous efforts of the Government did cause a great diminution; but the interests of private parties, and the appeals made to the Government did overpower the public energy of the authorities, and by the connivance of the Governments in Cuba and the Brazils, the Slave Trade has been fully revived; and without the discouragement of the Governments of those countries, I am afraid that all our efforts to suppress that trade will still be ineffectual. If upon one coast we have our cruisers stationed to attack and seize those vessels which leave the coast of Africa with slaves, and if on the other coast we permit vessels to leave Cuba and the Brazils laden with sugar for importation into this country, then, indeed, will our conduct be inconsistent. I speak now of the engagements entered into with this country—I speak of the specific contracts with us, not to prevent slavery itself, not to improve the condition of the slave, but of distinct and positive engagements to prohibit and discourage the Slave Trade; and I say, that those engagements have not been kept. There is, indeed, an apparent inconsistency in permitting the importation of cotton from a country where it is cultivated by slave-labour, and then denying the importation of sugar from the same countries because it is cultivated by like labour. It is, Sir, difficult to take any course in which there is not some inonsistency; and I do not suppose that any one will advise the total prohibition of importing cotton into this country; and yet cotton is the produce of slave labour. But the question is, whether the importation of sugar from Cuba and the Brazils will not be a great curse to the African race, and whether the horrors of the Slave Trade and of slavery will not be aggravated by the permanent importation of sugar the produce of those two countries into this kingdom. If that be so, it is not the question whether there will be a slight inconsistency in permitting the importation of cotton, but whether the course which you pursue will be fair with reference to the interests of humanity so deeply concerned in it, to our own acts, and to the engagements we have entered into with other Powers, to establish a police on the coast of Africa, and to attempt a suppression of the Slave Trade. If you entertain any new views on this subject—if the late Government shall have changed the opinions they held in 1840, they have no doubt good reasons for that change; but depend upon it the admission into this country of sugar the produce of Cuba and of the Brazils, will be considered as utterly inconsistent with your professions, and that suspicions will be confirmed, which have now no force, that you will be encouraging with one hand the crimes which you punish with the other. I do hope that in many of the countries of Europe a better feeling is growing up on the subject of the Slave Trade, and that these countries are becoming more alive to the great evils of that system; and after the steps we have taken there is a leaning towards the renunciation of slavery in their own colonies. Very recently a Minister of Sweden, with the full assent of the Crown, agreed to the abolition of slavery in the West Indian islands belonging to Sweden. In Denmark I have reason to believe they are now discussing the question whether the abolition of slavery shall take place or not. A petition has been presented to the authorities most numerously signed, praying for the abolition of slavery throughout the Danish possessions. In France they are seriously considering the question, whether they ought not to prohibi the status of slavery in the French Colonies. Portugal has been acting in a manner which entitles her to great praise; she has shown the greatest activity in the suppression of the Slave Trade, and there is no ground of complaint against her. With respect to the United States, I believe there the restriction against the presentation of any petition on the subject of slavery has been rescinded; at any rate, it is now competent for any Member of Congress to make a motion with respect to slavery, and to enter into a discussion upon it. Notwithstanding the declarations of public men of the United States, I think it will be impossible for the United States, even for their own sakes, to preserve unmitigated slavery. This, Sir, is a matter with which we have no right to interfere: the decision is in their own hands. I only say, that in the United States the feeling is more strongly expressed for a mitigation of slavery; but, speaking of Europe, there does at present exist in Germany, in France, in Sweden, and in Denmark, a strong impression in favour of following the example of England, and of putting an end to the status of slavery. I most earnestly hope that you will not decry the experiment you have made, that you will not impair the moral influence of your example, and that you will not stop the progress of those opinions in the other countries of Europe to which I have referred. I hope that you will encourage that opinion. We are the only Power which has used efficacious means for the suppression of the Slave Trade. The United States are acting on the Coast of Africa to a limited extent; but I may speak of the continued, persevering, and the increased efforts of this country, as an evidence that England was the only country which has consistently determined to check the Slave Trade. It may be inconsistent in us to take the sugar, the tobacco, and the cotton of the United States; but this inconsistency does not affect the moral position of this country. It is admitted throughout Europe, that your sacrifices for the suppression of slavery have been most splendid and most generous; and I do not believe that there is any doubt in Europe as to the sincerity of your motives. You are now proposing to depart from that course which you have hitherto pursued. If you admit the sugar of Cuba and the Brazils, your admission will affect your moral influence—you will alter the impression entertained of you throughout Europe — you will be making the admission that your great experiment of abolition has failed, and that you have to seek your supply of sugar from other sources than your own Colonies. That taunt has been thrown out. I have stated that an increase of the Slave Trade on the coast of Africa will follow the importation of slave-grown sugar. If you import the sugars of Cuba and of the Brazils, which you know support the Slave Trade, depend upon it that the accusation uttered by Mr. Calhoun against you will be better believed than if you try the experiment of admitting sugar the produce of free labour only. I say, therefore, that independently of any feeling of restraint in consequence of what took place in 1841, I do declare that if I were perfectly free and unfettered by that Resolution, I would give my vote against the Amendment of the noble Lord, sanctioning the principle that sugar the produce of slave labour should be admitted for the first time to compete on equal terms with sugar the produce of free labour in the markets of the United Kingdom.

Viscount Palmerston

Whatever the result of this division may be, and however satisfactory that division may prove to the other side of the House, there has been nothing in the debate which has preceded that division to give equal satisfaction. Till the right hon. Baronet himself rose there was no attempt made to answer the arguments of hon. Gentlemen on this side of the House; and I think I shall be able to show in a very few sentences that the speech of the right hon. Baronet was a very imperfect, if not an entirely defective answer. The right hon. Gentleman, feeling the weakness of his cause, began in a manner usual among expert debaters, with other topics than those now under discussion. He disported himself upon the Income Tax, and he taunted those Gentlemen who support the Income Tax, while they discuss and condemn the details of that measure. We say that the existing surplus is not sufficient to dispense with the Income Tax at present, and I see no inconsistency in supporting that Income Tax for the present; but we say that the right hon. Baronet has not made the best use of the surplus which he will receive from that tax. We think that he might have disposed of that surplus in a mode better calculated at the end of the three years for which that tax is continued, to enable the Government of that day to dispense with the tax; and we think that the arrangements he has adopted will at the end of that time lead to the re-imposition of the tax. The right hon. Gentleman also taunted my noble Friend with inconsistency. Now, Sir, I see nothing inconsistent in the argument that protection may in its consequences be the bane of that industry it was intended to foster, and then, seeing the amount of capital invested, and the arrangements which have been made on the faith of existing protection, object at once, and on a sudden, to take all that protection away. The Motion of my noble Friend, however, has no reference to protection; it applies only to the terms for the admission of sugar the produce of slave labour, and of sugar the produce of free labour. The right hon. Baronet has stated that which I was sorry to hear, though I certainly expected it. Notwithstanding that the present Ministers, while sitting on the Opposition side of the House, taunted their predecessors with their want of success in effecting commercial treaties with other powers, and notwithstanding that they then seemed to expect that when they themselves came into office they would be able to settle all these matters very easily, yet the right hon. Baronet has admitted that, in point of fact, his Government has entirely failed in obtaining such treaties. The right hon. Baronet went on to say, that his Government, having so failed in negotiating commercial treaties, had thought it right so to frame their Tariff as to accomplish those purposes which otherwise might have been obtained by mutual consent between this country and other Powers. But I am at a loss to know what part of the present Budget answers to this description. Is it the remission of the Excise duty on glass? or the taking off of the Import duty on cotton? or the abolition of the duty on auctions? I am at a loss to perceive where it is that the Government have by their new arrangements obtained these advantages in reference to commerce which commercial treaties would have given them. Yet I can understand, that by a different arrangement of the Sugar Duties, the Government might have obtained those advantages which the accomplishment of a treaty with Brazil would have given; but their present plan only deprived them of all these advantages. The right hon. Baronet throws over the commercial and financial parts of the question, by fairly admitting that, financially and commercially, the establishment of a distinction between slave-grown and free-grown sugar would not be an expedient measure; but he dwells on the encouragement which the admission of slave-grown sugar would give to the Slave Trade. In this respect the ground of the right hon. Baronet is much narrower than the ground taken by his right hon. Colleague the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and by the right hon. Gentleman the late President of the Board of Trade; for they take their stand on the general principle of humanity, and say that as we have undertaken to put down the Slave Trade, we ought not to admit produce the cultivation of which gives encouragement to slavery and the Slave Trade. The right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government narrows this ground, and stands solely on the engagements entered into by other countries with this. He says, in answer to the argument of the right hon. Member for Edinburgh—though indeed I cannot say in answer, but, in reply to the unanswerable argument which the right hon. Member for Edinburgh used, founded on the importation of cotton, that there is this distinction—that the United States have entered into no engagements with this country which they have violated; that they have a right to breed their slaves, and employ them in the production of cotton, and we have no right to shape our legislation so as to punish them for doing that which they have not engaged to abstain from. The right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government, therefore, throws aside the principle of humanity, and stands solely on the rights given to this country by treaties with other parties. Brazil, he says, and Spain have contracted treaties with us, by which they bind themselves not to prosecute the Slave Trade; these treaties have been broken, and therefore as a punishment to them we are entitled to frame our Tariff so that slave-grown sugar should be excluded. Such is the argument of the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government; but if that argument is good for sugar, it is also good for other things in the production of which slaves are employed. It is also good for coffee. Yet, what did the Government do last year with respect to coffee? They reduced the duty on Brazilian coffee, and therefore, so far as the cultivation of coffee gave employment to slaves, and encouraged their importation, the Government did last year give that encouragement to the Slave Trade. Is that the only instance? That was the measure of last year; but has nothing been done this year which is in violation of the principle and doctrine just laid down by the right hon. Baronet? All the duty is taken off the importation of copper ore. Where does it come from? From Cuba. How is it got from the bowels of the earth? By the labour of slaves. Therefore last year and this year the Government have done that very thing to avoid which they call on the House to sanction a measure which will withhold from the population of this country comforts and indulgences which otherwise might be afforded them. I must say that their course is inconsistent from beginning to end. I will not taunt them with that reproach to which the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government alluded, though I must say that their language on all these subjects is the homage which the supporters of monopoly pay to the principle of free trade. They are always ready to tell us that trade should be free; but when they come to measures they then say that they must support existing interests. Free trade is their doctrine, but protection is their practice. The right hon. Baronet has talked much of the exertions made by this country for the suppression of the Slave Trade, stating that there rested on it a moral obligation to put down, if possible, that traffic. I entirely agree with the right hon. Baronet; and if there is any one matter on which the people of this country, and the Parliament, and the successive Governments of this country have been more united, it is the question of the Slave Trade. By some, it might be contended that the efforts made by this country on this subject have not been entirely successful, but in some cases have aggravated the evils which they were intended to prevent. This I deny, and I believe that it will not be affirmed by any one at all conversant with the facts of the case; for the evil, instead of being increased, has been narrowed by the exertions which have been made. In proof of this assertion, I may refer to the statement just made by the right hon. Baronet, who mentioned that in 1840, 1841, and 1842, the number of slaves imported into Cuba had diminished to some amount, and that, at one period, the number imported into Brazil had also lessened. This he attributed to the exertions of General Valdez, and to the general activity of the Brazilian Government; but the right hon. Baronet must have forgotten that in 1839 we passed that Act which gave us the power to put down the abuse of the Portuguese flag. He must likewise have forgotten that the destruction of the barracoons on the coast of Africa did materially contribute to that result which he had noticed. Notwithstanding that some may entertain the opinion that our measures have not succeeded, I am glad to hear that the right hon. Baronet (and I concur with him in the statement) declares that he considers the Parliament of England bound in honour not to relax its endeavours until the Slave Trade should be entirely put down. But how can we reconcile the opinions and declarations of the right hon. Baronet on this subject to-night, by which this absurdity of a discriminating duty is endeavoured to be supported, with the arguments of the Government as contained on a paper recently laid before the House? If the Government be right in increasing the naval force on the coast of Africa—if they are right in proposing larger naval estimates in order to increase the number of the slave cruisers, let them give those cruisers sufficient powers to act efficiently. What is the use of having them, if they are not invested with power to enable them to prevent the carrying on of the Slave Traffic? That necessary power is the Right of Search, which it has been the object of all other Governments in this country to obtain. In 1814, it was the great object of Lord Castlereagh, at the Congress of Vienna, to obtain this Right of Search from France, Austria, and Prussia. He failed. In 1815, the Duke of Wellington endeavoured to obtain it from France; but he was unable to effect his purpose, though he had claims on the French Government, which he had restored, that might have been considered irresistible. In 1818, after the conclusion of treaties with Spain and Portugal giving us the Right of Search, the French Government was again urged to concede, but refused again. It was applied to in 1823 and 1827. It was the object of former Administrations to obtain from France this concession, without which it was thought impossible effectually to carry out our objects in the suppression of the Slave Trade. The present Government came into power, being, through the successful efforts of their predecessors, in possession of this Right of Search conceded by France; and what did they do? They actually threw it away. In the despatch of Lord Aberdeen, he actually consents, on the part of the Government, to establish a mixed Commission for the purpose of devising some experimental measure, which should be tried for the purpose of seeing whether it could be substituted for the Right of Search; and he states, that the operation of the treaties respecting the Right of Search would necessarily be suspended until the success or failure of the experiment should be made manifest. So that while this experiment was being tried, the two Governments, by mutual consent, suspend the operation of the treaties; and I would ask any rational man, whether he thinks that the mutual consent of the two Governments will ever be obtained for its re-establishment? This is positively giving up the Right of Search; and if it is to be abandoned at all, in deference to the clamour of slaveholders and slavetraders, it ought not to have been surrendered in such a shabby way as this. The act should have been one done openly. If the treaties were to be surrendered to the clamour of the slavetraders, you should have done it openly, handsomely, and at once. For rest assured that this indirect and shabby evasion arrives at the same object; and when Government are here proclaiming their desire to put down the Slave Trade, and about to call on Parliament for a vote for additional sailors to accomplish this purpose, they are at the same time about to divest their cruisers of one of the most essential means they possess of achieving the task they are sent abroad for the purpose of effecting. When it is said that the measure of my noble Friend would, if carried, have the effect of increasing the produce of Brazil and Cuba, let me remind the House that it has been virtually acknowledged that it would have no such effect in any greater degree than would have the measure introduced by Government themselves. What nonsense to tell us that if you take 20,000 tons of sugar from the market of the world, it makes the slightest difference whether these 20,000 tons consist of slave or of free-labour sugar. Whatever the production of the sugar, the void, when made, will impart an increased value to what remains. Whether you take slave-grown sugar or free-labour sugar, the result is the same—you increase the price of that left in the market of the world; and if that sugar be sold, you will give increased encouragement to its production, and thus indirectly, but certainly, aid and foster and assist in carrying on slavery and the Slave Trade. It is quite absurd to draw a distinction where there exists no difference; and therefore, whether you compare this measure with the declarations of the Government, or with the acts of the Government, as recorded in their own despatches, or compare it with the arguments used against the measure, there is not any ground upon which Government can really take a firm stand. And although they may beat us in a division in the Lobby, yet, when the debate comes to be read, (as, notwithstanding the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman, Mr. Gladstone, I think it will be read,) and when the eloquent speech of the right hon. Member for Edinburgh comes to be read, I think the decision of the public will be, that we are sacrificing the interests of consumers and of commerce—not to the real principles of humanity—not from any desire of enforcing treaties which we have other and far better methods of enforcing, if we but choose to adopt them; but solely and simply to protect the West India interest — to protect that interest which, it has been proved, instead of having been benefited by protection, has been paralyzed by its effects, and upon which the truest benefit which could be conferred would be—not perhaps, at once, this year, but soon—giving proper time, upon which—I repeat, the greatest benefit which could be conferred would be, the absolute taking away of all protection, and leaving it to the results of that stimulus which fair, and free, and wholesome competition never fails to give to every description of labour to which it is applied.

Sir Charles Napier

wished to know whether hon. Gentleman proposed to prevent Cuba introducing her slave-grown sugars into this country? The introduction of Brazilian sugar might be prevented, but Cuba sugar was easily transferred to America, and could thence be as easily transmitted to the English markets. During the late war with France, the produce of Martinique and Guadaloupe was conveyed to America in American bottoms, thereby escaping all risk of capture. No doubt the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government wished to put down the Slave Trade, but if he would do so effectually, he must line the coast of Cuba and Brazil, as well as those of Africa, with cruisers. America would give no real assistance; and as for France (as we understood the gallant Commodore) unless some arrangement could be come to as placing English officers in every French ship, and French officers in every English one, to examine vessels under their respective colours—an arrangement he did not think very likely to be come to—unless something like this was to be done, France would afford no more real aid than America.

The House divided on the Question, that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question:—Ayes 236; Noes 142: Majority 94.

List of the AYES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Astell, W.
Acland, T. D. Bagot, hon. W.
A'Court, Capt. Bailey, J.
Adderley, C. B. Bailey, J. jun.
Alford, Visct. Baillie, Col.
Allix, J. P. Baillie, H. J.
Antrobus, E. Baird, W.
Arbuthnot, hon. H. Baring, T.
Arkwright, G. Barneby, J.
Ashley, Lord Barrington, Visct.
Baskerville, T. B. M. Flower, Sir J.
Beckett, W. Forbes, W.
Benbow, J. Fox, S. L.
Bentinck, Lord G. Fremantle, rt. hn. Sir T.
Berkeley, hon. G. F. Fuller, A. E.
Blackburne, J. I. Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.
Blackstone, W. S. Gladstone, Capt.
Blakemore, R. Godson, R.
Blandford, Marq. of Gordon, hon. Capt.
Bodkin, W. H. Gore, M.
Boldero, H. G. Goring, C.
Borthwick, P. Goulburn, rt. hn. H.
Botfield, B. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Bowles, Adm. Granby, Marquess of
Bramston, T. W. Greenall, P.
Brisco, M. Greene, T.
Broadley, H. Grimstone, Visct.
Brownrigg, J. S. Grogan, E.
Bruce, Lord E. Hale, R. B.
Buller, Sir J. W. Halford, Sir H.
Burroughes, H. N. Hamilton, G. A.
Cardwell, E. Hamilton, W. J.
Carew, W. H. P. Hamilton, Lord C.
Carnegie, hon. Capt. Hanmer, Sir J.
Castlereagh, Visct. Harcourt, G. G.
Chapman, E. Harris, hon. Capt.
Charteris, hon. F. Hayes, Sir E.
Cholmondeley, hn. H. Heneage, G. H. W.
Clayton, R. R. Henley, J. W.
Clerk, rt. hn. Sir G. Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Clifton, J. T. Herbert, rt. hn. S.
Clive, Visct. Hervey, Lord A.
Clive, hon. R. H. Hinde, J. H.
Cochrane, A. Hogg, J. W.
Cockburne, rt. hn. Sir G. Holmes, hn. W. A'C.
Colquhoun, J. C. Hope, hon. C.
Colvile, C. R. Hope, G. W.
Copeland, Mr. Ald. Hotham, Lord
Corry, rt. hn. H. Hughes, W. B.
Courtenay, Lord Hussey, T.
Cripps, W. Ingestrie, Visct.
Darby, G. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Denison, E. B. Irton, S.
Dick, Q. James, W.
Dickinson, F. H. James, Sir W. C.
Disraeli, B. Jermyn, Earl
Dodd, G. Jocelyn, Visct.
Douglas, Sir H. Johnstone, Sir J.
Douglas, J. D. S. Johnstone, H.
Dowdswell, W. Joliffe, Sir W. G. H.
Drummond, H. H. Jones, Capt.
Dugdale, W. S. Kemble, H.
Duncombe, hon. A. Law, hon. C. E.
Duncombe, hon. O. Lawson, A.
Du Pre, C. G. Legh, G. C.
East, J. P. Lennox, Lord A.
Eastnor, Visct. Leslie, C. P.
Eaton, R. J. Lincoln, Earl of
Egerton, W. T. Lockhart, W.
Egerton, Sir P. Long, W.
Emlyn, Visct. Lowther, Sir J. H.
Entwisle, W. Lowther, hon. Col.
Escott, B. Lyall, G.
Farnham, E. B. Lygon, hon. G.
Fellowes, E. McGeachy, F. A.
Fitzmaurice, hon. W. Mackenzie, T.
Fitzroy, hon. H. Mackenzie, W. F.
Mackinnon, W. A. Round, J.
Maclean, D. Rushbrooke, Col.
Macnamara, Major Russell, C.
McNeill, D. Russell, J. D. W.
Mahon, Visct. Ryder, hon. G. D.
Mainwaring, T. Sanderson, R.
Manners, Lord C. S. Sandon, Visct.
Manners, Lord J. Shirley, E. J.
Marsham, Visct. Sibthorp, Col.
Martin, C. W. Smith, A.
Martin, T. B. Smith, rt. hn. T. B. C.
Marton, G. Smyth, hon. G.
Masterman, J. Somerset, Lord G.
Maxwell, hon. J. P. Somes, J.
Meynell, Capt. Sotheron, T. H. S.
Miles, P. W. S. Spooner, R.
Milnes, R. M. Stewart, J.
Morgan, O. Stuart, H.
Mundy, E. M. Sturt, H. C.
Neeld, J. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Neville, R. Taylor, E.
Newdegate, C. N. Taylor, J. A.
Newport, Visct. Tennent, J. E.
Nicholl, rt. hn. J. Thesiger, Sir F.
Norreys, Lord Thornhill, G.
Northland, Visct. Tollemache, J.
O'Brien, A. S. Trench, Sir F. W.
Oswald, A. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Packe, C. W. Trollope, Sir J.
Palmer, R. Trotter, J.
Palmer, G. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Patten, J. W. Waddington, H. S.
Peel, rt. hn. Sir R. Wellesley, Lord C.
Peel, J. Wodehouse, E.
Plumptre, J. P. Wood, Col.
Polhill, F. Wood, Col. T.
Praed, W. T. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Pringle, A. Wyndham, Col. C.
Pusey, P. Wynn, rt. hn. C. W. W.
Reid, Sir J. R.
Repton, G. W. J. TELLERS.
Rolleston, Col. Young, T.
Round, C. G. Baring, H.
List of the NOES.
Aglionby, H. A. Carew, hon. R. S.
Ainsworth, P. Cavendish, hon. C. C.
Anson, hon. Col. Cavendish, hon. G. H.
Arundel and Surrey, Earl of Childers, J. W.
Christie, W. D.
Bannerman, A. Clay, Sir W.
Baring, rt. hn. F. T. Clive, E. B.
Barnard, E. G. Cobden, R.
Bellew, R. M. Colborne, hon. W. R.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. Colebrooke, Sir T. E.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Collett, J.
Blake, M. J. Cowper, hon. W. F.
Blewitt, R. J. Craig, W. G.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Crawford, W. S.
Bowring, Dr. Curteis, H. B.
Bright, J. Dalmeny, Lord
Brotherton, J. Dalrymple, Capt.
Browne, hon. W. Dashwood, G. H.
Buller, C. Dawson, hon. T. V.
Buller, E. Denison, W. J.
Busfeild, W. Denison, J. E.
Dennistoun, J. Howard, hon. H.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C. T. Howard, Sir R.
Duff, J. Howick, Visct.
Duke, Sir J. Humphery, Ald.
Duncan, G. Hutt, W.
Duncannon, Visct. Labouchere, rt. hn. H.
Duncombe, T. Langston, J. H.
Dundas, F. Lascelles, hon. W. S.
Easthope, Sir J. Leader, J. T.
Ebrington, Visct. Lemon, Sir C.
Ellis W. Leveson, Lord
Evans, W. Listowel, Earl of
Ewart, W. Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. McTaggart, Sir J.
Fitzwilliam, hn. G. W. Marjoribanks, S.
Forster, M. Marshall, W.
Gibson, T. M. Marsland, H.
Gill, T. Maule, rt. hn. Fox
Gisborne, T. Mitcalfe, H.
Gore, hon. R. Mitchell, T. A.
Hastie, A. Morris, D.
Hawes, B. Morrison, Gen.
Heron, Sir R. Napier, Sir C.
Hindley, C. O'Connell, M. J.
Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J. Ord, W.
Howard, hn. C. W. G. Osborne, R.
Howard, hn. J. K. Paget, Col.
Howard, hn. E. G. G. Paget, Lord A.
Palmerston, Visct. Tancred, H. W.
Parker, J. Thornely, T.
Pechell, Capt. Towneley, J.
Pendarves, E. W. W. Traill, G.
Philips, G. R. Trelawny, J. S.
Philips, M. Vane, Lord H.
Plumridge, Capt. Villiers, hon. C.
Protheroe, E. Wakley, T.
Pulsford, R. Walker, R.
Rawdon, Col. Wall, C. B.
Rice, E. R. Wallace, R.
Ross, D. R. Ward, H. G.
Rumbold, C. E. Wawn, J. T.
Russell, Lord J. Wilde, Sir T.
Russell, Lord E. Williams, W.
Scrope, G. P. Wilshere, W.
Shelburne, Earl of Winnington, Sir T. E.
Stanley, hon. W. O. Wood, C.
Stansfield, W. R. C. Wyse, T.
Stanton, W. H. Yorke, H. R.
Stuart, W. V.
Strickland, Sir G. TELLERS.
Strutt, E. Hill, M.
Talbott, C. R. M. Byng, G. S.

Order read and Committee deferred.

House adjourned at three quarters past twelve.

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