HC Deb 29 June 1848 vol 99 cc1317-401

The Order of the Day for the resumption of the Adjourned Debate upon the Sugar Duties having been read,


said, that with the exception of his hon. Friend the Member for South Essex (Sir E. N. Buxton), who spoke with hereditary zeal and talent on the subject, and the hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. G. Thompson)—he might also refer to a speech from his hon. Friend the Member for Droitwich (Sir J. Pakington)—hardly any hon. Member had uttered a word which had reference to the great question so directly involved in the subject before the House, as to be really, in his opinion, inseparable from it. He meant the slave trade and its abolition. The hon. Gentleman the Chairman of Committees had paid him an unintentional compliment when he said that he almost looked at every question as if it had some connexion with the slave trade. He certainly should always watch every subject which appeared to have reference to that great sin and great crime: and it was because be felt that the sugar question was directly connected with the slave trade that he now desired to address the House. His complaint was, that this question had been hitherto discussed with reference to economic interests alone. The great error into which they had latterly fallen was the practice of discussing questions with reference to material interests alone, and not with a view to their moral consequences. He therefore wished to view the supply of sugar, not so much in reference to the prices at which it might be sold here, as to the sources from which it was to be furnished; and this opened the question not only of humanity and principle, but of national greatness also. It was one of the most remarkable sayings of Buonaparte, when he wished to exalt the position of the French nation, that what they wanted were "ships, colonies, and commerce." The present policy of this country was destroying all of these. The hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire said the other night that they had heard quite enough of "Rule, Britannia;" and what was his deduction? That "the navigation laws," that system upon which had been founded the great colonial and commercial empire of Britain, "ought to perish." Another Gentleman attacks the colonies as "sinks of the wealth of England." He (Sir R. Inglis) warned them that when they had destroyed the Navy of the Queen, and the commercial marine of her subjects—when they had destroyed the colonies of England, the commerce of England would surely perish along with them. He did not mean to deny that, to the consumers of sugar amongst his poorer fellow-countrymen, the price of it was a most important element in their domestic comforts. But the question now at issue, was, not whether they should increase the price to the consumer, but whether they should continue to dimmish it; for it should be remembered that the poorer classes were paying a certain price at present which was not sought to be raised—at all events, beyond the level which, up to the very latest legislation, had been taken. But, considering, as he did, that the price of sugar should not be placed in competition with the blood which was paid for it, he would be no party to giving his countrymen cheap sugar upon such terms. As to the mode in which the question had been argued, and the copious references which had been made to figures, he should only say that Mr. Canning used to assert that there was no proposition which he would not undertake to prove by figures. And he (Sir R. Inglis) had seen the most able men in the House—he would hardly even except his right hon. Friends opposite, the right hon. Ba- ronets the Members for Tamworth and Ripon—appearing, in the use of statistical returns and of tables of figures, sometimes to puzzle themselves, and, still more frequently, to puzzle their hearers. He would not, therefore, presume to deal with figures farther than this, namely, that a duty of ten shillings per cwt. was, within a fraction, one penny per lb.—and was the question of the slave trade to be decided by such a difference? As to the arguments founded upon other calculations which had been used in the course of the debate, he should say that no increase in the revenue or diminution in price to the consumer, ought to be obtained by the price of the blood of our fellow-men. He well knew, from Mr. Porter's tables, that there was no article, of which the price was a more complete barometer of the consumption than sugar; but if the case were fully known, he hoped and believed that there were few of his fellow-countrymen who would not refuse cheap sugar at the price of the blood of their fellow-creatures. His right hon. Friend and Colleague (Mr. Gladstone) had expressed one conviction, which he heard with deep pain. It was, that he considered that the question regarding the admission of foreign slave-grown sugar had been practically settled, and by it he would abide. Now, believing, as he believed, that this admission of foreign slave-grown sugar had directly increased the slave trade, he must deprecate the doctrine, that this admission of slave-grown sugar was a settled fact, unalterable alike by diplomacy or by legislation. His first consideration was the frightful increase given by this encouragement of slave-grown sugar to the slave trade. His next, was the amount of the sacrifices which, in such cases, had been made almost in vain by this country, with a view to the suppression of the previously existing slave trade. He talked not of the expense of the squadron employed in such suppression, but of the loss of the gallant men who had perished in the enterprise—in vain—if the slave trade were thus to be encouraged—wholesale. And again, he thought of the interests of the colonies of England, abandoned for the sake of obtaining a fractionally cheaper sugar from the foreigner and the slavedealer. He could not consider, that, even as a measure of material interests, his noble Friend at the head of the Government had done all his duty in merely providing cheap sugar for the labouring population of this country; while he was thereby sacrificing the great experiment of free-labour sugar in the colonies, and hazarding the social condition of 800,000 fellow-subjects there. His noble Friend said, that he looked to the interest of the labourers of England, and of the labourers of the West Indies; and, in that view, was content with his own measure. But—not to mention that a wise Government ought to look to every interest as well as to two—the main question remains, does the Government measure involve the encouragement of a great system of crime, or does it not? It is a minor question, whether it does not also involve the ruin of the colonies. He maintained that there should be allowance made and preference given to the productions of our own possessions. What was the colonial empire of England? It was that which distinguished her before any empire in the world. No country had ever before possessed such dependencies as England, and no statesman had ever been so reckless as to discard possessions of such value. His hon. Friend (Mr. Hawes), though Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, seemed to undervalue their interests; and rather to complain that no reference was made to the interests of the English consumer, and that the differential duty proposed was only to keep up the British colonies: and why not? The wisest statesmen of England had thought them worth such a protection. Now, without looking to any other portion of those vast dependencies—considering merely the West Indian possessions themselves—they constituted so much of the national interest and of the national glory as to justify the protection being given which some now sought to confer upon them. His right hon. Colleague (Mr. Gladstone) had said that they were bound by treaties. He admitted that England was bound by treaties so long as those treaties remained in existence and unmodified; and whilst they lasted, England should pay the penalty of her rashness in entering into them. But was it not possible to alter these treaties? Lord Howden had returned, having failed in obtaining that which was the object of his mission; and his mission was to have obtained that for which those great changes in the moral policy of this country had been professedly undertaken. Had it not, he asked, been considered expedient to make those sugar arrangements with Brazil, for the purpose of obtaining from Brazil a commercial treaty in return? And had they not failed altogether in obtaining it? He could not but feel that when the abolition of the slave trade by England had been regarded as the greatest work of the leaders with whose policy his noble Friend was connected, it was not too much to hope that, not to-day, nor to-morrow, but in a few years, Brazil might be induced, by the strenuous exertions of a Government so formed, supported by the feeling of the people of England, to adopt all our measures for the abolition of the slave trade altogether. His right hon. Friend (Sir J. Graham) had said on Monday, that he was not satisfied that the Act of 1846 had augmented the slave trade What were the facts? For the five years ending 1840 it appeared that the average number of slaves imported into Brazil annually was 32,000. The number imported into Brazil in the year 1847 was 73,000. He said that every additional slave above the average imported into Brazil since 1846 had been imported in virtue of the Bill of 1846. The hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets said that the country "had not yet spoken out upon the subject;" and he seemed to be satisfied with the apathy which existed upon it; but he hoped and believed that the apathy did not really exist even in that House. The few words which he himself had spoken when the noble Lord first mooted the subject, were met in that House with a cordiality of expression and feeling as great as he could have wished. But there were particular slumbers which, at different intervals, crept over the public mind upon many subjects; and which crept over it upon the subject of the slave trade no less than others. In 1806, when Mr. Wilberforce addressed his famous letter to the electors of Yorkshire, he said that— The large share of the national attention which the slave-trade question engaged in 1788, has since been occupied successively by the various topics of the day; and such strange and interesting spectacles have been exhibited at our very doors, as to banish from the minds of most men all recollection of distant wrongs and sufferings. The same is the case now; yet still he trusted that the great majority of that House were awake and alive to the importance of the interests involved in the present question—not as a merely material question—not as a merely commercial question—but as one involving all the guilt and all the horrors of the slave trade itself in its full revival. He believed the horrors of the slave trade were most imperfectly appreciated by many of those who would willingly concur in the Govern- ment resolutions. They neither regarded the horrors of the trade itself, in Africa, nor the horrors of the middle passage, nor the horrors which followed in the Western world, and which awaited the slaves upon their arrival in the country to which they were transferred. Nor did they consider that in addition to all the other sufferings to which it gave rise, there was its tendency to cause one in particular—one which was peculiar to itself—the raising of war in Africa, for the sole purpose of making prisoners to supply the slave trade. They had evidence of that from Park, the traveller, and from every other traveller in Africa, down to the late reports which had been laid before the House, and which showed that not individuals only, but whole communities were seized in war, and sold as slaves. There was much and explicit testimony on this subject taken by the Slave Trade Committee now sitting. In referring to that Committee, he must mention the name of a gallant officer, Captain Denman, who had earned, not only from England but from Africa, a great and just debt of gratitude for the services which he had rendered to the suppression of the slave trade—services which were not as yet adequately requited, even by public opinion. Captain Denman produced a letter which he had received from a female who had been captured, and who would have been, together with a large community, shipped off from Africa as slaves, but for his timely and resolute interference; and in that letter she expressed her deep gratitude to him for having rescued her from the perilous position in which she was involved. He had examined a clergyman on Thursday last, who, though not of the same colour as themselves, was still in intellect and intelligence not behind any man having a white skin; and in reply to a question as to the state of the slave trade with Cuba and the Brazils, he stated, that they could get almost any number of slaves they wanted from the chiefs on the coast of Africa:— If they want slaves, they can easily make up some offence against their neighbours, and burn the town, and capture the inhabitants, which is the usual way in such cases. From frequent intercourse with captured slaves, in every case where I have conversed with them"— (It is the Rev. Edward Jones, in his answer 7,221)— they have been persons captured in war, the town has boon surprised, and burnt down, and they have been taken. He then referred to the memorable case of one individual, a captured slave, now the Rev. Samuel Crowther. He would ask—was there any distinction in feelings or in rights between their own people, whom they felt bound to protect from such outrages, and the inhabitants of Africa? The Rev. Samuel Crowther, to whom he had just alluded, had been himself sold into slavery in his youth, and had recently gone out as a chaplain with Captain Trotter to the Niger—he had since proceeded as a missionary to Abbeakoota—and one of the first persons whom he met with on his arrival there was his mother, whom he had not seen or heard of since he had parted from her on the dreadful night when he had been made a slave. This individualised the outrage and the suffering; but this individual case was but one of tens of thousands—100,000 slaves at the least were yearly imported into the slave countries from the coast of Africa. He believed that the actual number made slaves and shipped off, was far beyond that amount; and in all those cases they had those horrid atrocities—the burning of the villages—the hurrying of the captives to the coast—the tying of them together—and then all the sufferings of the middle passage. Accounting for the losses which took place before the arrival of the slaves in Cuba or Brazil, he believed that three times that number were taken away. Of the entire number, one-third at least died on the journey to the coast, and another third on the passage across. Dr. Cliffe stated 35 per cent as an average; but he gave one instance, out of 160 slaves embarked, of only 10 being landed. The noble Lord the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs stated, that he understood that from 20 to 25 per cent of the slaves taken on board died on the passage. Other witnesses supposed the proportion to be 12 per cent in a voyage of a month; but even that mortality, which was the lowest stated by any one, was so great that if it were universal, the entire human race would be almost exterminated in a single year. He willingly believed that the House forgot these things; and he was sure that, with an adequate sense of the evils of the slave trade, very few indeed could be found who would give their sanction indirectly, still less to give it directly, to any measure which could have a tendency to encourage such a system. But when these considerations were practically disregarded, he thought that they ought practically to be brought under the attention of the House. He held in his hand one of the most interesting works which he had ever read. It was called Fifty Days on Board a Slave Vessel; and he would beg leave to read a few passages from it. [The hon. Member read an extract describing the sufferings of the slaves during the first night on board, when 400 wretched persons were confined in a hold twelve yards in length, seven in breadth, and three and a half in height, and they clung to the small iron gratings to get air; and one morning no less than fifty-four mutilated bodies were found strewed over the deck, and were immediately thrown overboard. The hon. Baronet became so overpowered with his feelings as to be for some moments unable to proceed. He then continued:] If even at a safe distance from such scenes, one can hardly read of them without emotion, what, he would ask, must he the feelings of those who actually witnessed them? He solemnly believed, that if those things could be seen and felt as they were there described, no one in that House would be found willing to countenance any measure which tended to promote the slave trade. He was not one of those who undervalued the evils of the slavebreeding system; but that system was unconnected with the atrocities which he had been describing. The slavebreeding States were guilty of a great sin; but when the opponents of the slave trade were reproached with inconsistency, because they smoked tobacco which came from Virginia, or used cotton from New Orleans, or rice from Carolina, he begged to say, that the question of slavery in America was a totally different thing from that of the African slave trade. The greater part of the slaves there were not sold away from their country: at all events, there was not the midnight war—there was not the passage in chains to the coast—there was not the middle passage. He objected to the use of slave-grown sugar, not so much because it encouraged slavery, as because it encouraged the slave trade. He had stated over and over again, that, whether for good or evil, he was not answerable for that great measure—the emancipation of the slaves. He had never concurred in the first proposition on which that measure was founded—that "man can have no property in man." He need not trouble the House farther on that point; he would only say, that it seemed to him to be an assertion in contradiction to that condition which the Bible had, at one time at least, permitted and regulated; and, in immediate reference to the present subject, he would always maintain that there was a great difference between the slave trade carried on to supply slave labour for the cultivation of sugar, and the slavery in the slavebreeding states, used for the raising of rice, tobacco, and cotton. He had intended, at at earlier period, to state the case of the Salvator—what a name for such an enterprise!—where all the slaves on board had perished on the voyage; but it was unnecessary to do more than remind the House of so well-known an instance of the horrors of this trade. Having occupied so much of the time of the House on this part of the subject, he would not dwell on the treatment which the slaves received in Cuba and the Brazils; but he could not pass over what he considered to be the gross inconsistency of Her Majesty's Government—and in this charge he should include the Members of the late Government, who were parties to the last Bill—in keeping, at an expense of 300,000l.—which, he should add, he did not grudge—a squadron on the coast of Africa, in order to prevent the slave trade, and with the other hand giving an encouragement to the produce of the labour of those slaves who escaped their cruisers. He held in his hand extracts from speeches of the noble Lord at the head of Her Majesty's Government, and of the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, on this subject. The right hon. Gentleman, speaking on the Motion of the hon. Member for Dumfries for a reduction of the duty on foreign sugar on the 25th of June, 1840, made use of these words:— The question which he had to ask himself was this—whether he could consent to give such a stimulus to slave labour in Brazil, as would be afforded by throwing open the markets of this country to the produce of their slave labour? And the right hon. Gentleman stated that he could not do so. He knew that it was useless to quote Hansard on such occasions; but if the characters of public men were public property, he did not know why their opinions in 1840 should not have as much influence as those which they expressed now. He could not leave this part of the subject without quoting a remarkable expression made use of by the noble Lord at the head of Foreign Affairs, on Monday last, and which he had written down at the time. The noble Lord said— Her Majesty's Government would never be a party to any proceeding—treaty or no treaty—the object of which was to enslave any nation on the face of the earth. Now, when he reminded the noble Lord that the blacks were entitled to as much liberty as the whites were, or as ever the people of Spain or Portugal could claim, he thought he had a right to call on the noble Lord not to countenance any measure which would directly encourage slavery. [The hon. Baronet read an extract from a circular which he stated had been issued by one of the most respectable mercantile houses connected with the West Indian trade, describing the impetus that had been given to the cultivation of sugar in Cuba in consequence of the passing of the Bill of 1846.] There was one other subject remaining on which he wished, with the permission of the House, to say a few words, and that was, the nature of the relief which was now proposed to be extended to the West Indies. Her Majesty's Government proposed to allot a sum of 500,000l. for the purpose of promoting the emigration of free labour. He knew full well how little free emigration had hitherto met the wants of the colonies. He had been present when evidence was given tending to show that unless the greatest possible care were taken, such free emigration would be but another kind of slave trade; and that without a payment to the chief for permission to the people to leave the country, no free labourer would be allowed to go; and this payment, it was stated, would be a virtual buying of slaves. With respect to the Kroomen, who were said to be the most laborious in Africa, they were unaccustomed to agricultural labour in their own country, and they were not likely to become much better in the West Indies; and as to the Coolies, all idea of their further immigration had, he believed, been abandoned. Sugar was only produced within the tropics; it was grown only in climates for which the white man's labour was unfit; and in these climates it was not likely that a black man, who could support his family by two or three hours' easy labour on his own account, would be willing to give the lengthened labour which was necessary in the cultivation of sugar. He thought, therefore, that they could hardly expect to get a sufficient supply of free labour; and that the only means by which they could hope to compete with slave labour was by encouraging their own free labour in the West Indian colonies. Whether that could best be done by the measure of the noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn, or whether they should adopt a system of entire exclusion of slave-grown sugar, or by any other means, he would not now say; but of this he was perfectly assured, that it was not by any voluntary emigration from Africa that they could succeed in remedying the evil which they had to meet. The hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Colonies had stated the other evening, that if he had the 500,000l. to-morrow, he should not know where to get the labour; but then why was the money asked for? He believed that they could not expect the blessing of God upon them while they encouraged the slave trade; and on looking to the cause and to the effect, he thought that this view became still more apparent. The cause involved the unmitigated misery of hundreds of thousands of their fellow-men; while the effect was the mere saving of the fractional part of a penny in the price of the pound of sugar. Comparing them both together, and connecting them with the resolutions before the House, he felt it to be his duty to say that he could not concur in the measure proposed by Her Majesty's Government, and that he felt obliged to give his vote in favour of the Amendment.


was prepared to meet during the debate the usual fate of those who held moderate views on a subject on which conflicting opinions run high. He expected to be reproached by his West Indian friends for making admissions calculated to damage their cause when called on to give evidence before the Select Committee on Sugar and Coffee Planting; and on the other hand to find hon. Gentlemen opposite quoting just so much of that evidence as suited their purpose, leaving the reservations with which he gave it, and the remedies he urged, entirely out of view. The noble Lord at the head of the Government (Lord J. Russell) was pleased to say he attached much weight to the opinions so given; and to complain that instead of supporting his measure, he was their strenuous opponent. Now he thought nothing could be more dissimilar than the measure which he had ventured to suggest to the Committee, of a system of protection for a limited period, and the tinkering up of the Bill of 1846—for he could apply no other term to it—which was now proposed by the noble Lord at the head of Her Majesty's Government. He believed that relief could only be afforded to the colonies by giving them effectual protection; and he was content that that protection should only be continued until the colonies were enabled to supply themselves with labour, and until they got a good vagrancy law. He was prepared to contend that the cost to the country of such an arrangement would be less than that of the Government measure, because as the consumption of sugar was continually on the increase, any protecting duty would be less felt for a brief period, than if continued even in a more mitigated form for a longer period. Besides, in the case of protection for a long period, the benefit would be derived solely by those who had the least claim to it—the cultivators of sugar in British India. This was the view which he had taken the liberty of submitting to the House in 1846. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer complained that no proposition was at that time offered to the House by the advocates of the West Indian interests; but after the rejection of the Amendment of the noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn, he did not see how any private Member of the House could have brought forward any measure opposed to that of the Government with any chance of success. But if the Under Secretary for the Colonies were right in the extraordinary and paradoxical speech he made the other night—both Her Majesty's Government and himself were wrong—the West Indians deserved no protection at all—it was their own fault—the result of their extravagant management—there was no want of labour—wages, instead of being too high, were not high enough. The hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Colonies had told them deliberately that the present depressed condition of the colonies was to be attributed solely to the expensive system of cultivation adopted, and that labour was in fact not scarce in the West Indies. He had certainly felt much surprise to hear such an argument from an hon. Gentleman who had such opportunities of knowing the facts. He had hardly conceived it possible that any one who had seen the remonstrances and memorials that had been sent home from the colonies during the last year, could have formed such an opinion. He could only account for it by supposing the hon. Gentleman forgot all those despatches, as he had alleged lately. The hon. Member had begun by stating that the colonies had always been complaining of distress; but what were the facts? He had taken the trouble to search the Journals of the House, and he found that between the years 1696 and 1832, or for a period of about 150 years, only two Committees had been appointed by Parliament to inquire into West Indian distress. Since that latter date, two more Committees had been appointed, arising out of the working of the Emancipation Act. In the two former instances, what were the grounds of complaint which the colonies alleged? Before the Committee of 1807, it had been stated that since the commencement of the war, England had captured all the sugar colonies of other countries; that they compelled these colonies to send all their produce to this country; and that when that sugar arrived here, they subjected it to enormous duties. Since the war they had raised those duties from 15s. to 28s. For nearly a quarter of a century afterwards there were no further complaints of general distress from the West Indies, nor indeed till the year 1832, when the House appointed a Committee to investigate them. At that time labour had been rendered much dearer in our colonies than it was in slave-importing countries; the bounty on the surplus sent to the markets of Europe was suddenly withdrawn, whilst at the same time the laws for admitting their produce into this country had not been relaxed; and thus the colonists were left with all the disadvantage of double freight and charges on the quantity not allowed to be consumed at home. The Committee of 1832 recommended a slight reduction of duty, which gave relief. Shortly after that the debates upon emancipation commenced; and Lord Stanley stated, in that sense, it would operate to the advantage of the West Indies, inasmuch as it would reduce the quantity of sugar they produced. In 1834 emancipation was finally carried; and the planters were subsequently prohibited from obtaining labourers in the place of those who had been withdrawn. Hence another Committee had to be appointed in 1842. That Committee recommended various alterations in the laws, and also immigration. But it so happened that before these changes were made, the Bill of 1846 was passed, and the planters were exposed to a very severe competition with the slavegrowing colonies. The consequence was unprecedented distress, and the inquiry into its causes which had just now terminated. It appeared, from this retrospect, that the West Indies had never received fair treatment at the hands of the Legislature; and that as they formerly suffered from the grinding monopoly of the mother country, they were now suffer- ing from its extraordinary inconsistency on the subject of slavery. The next point he should notice related to the colonial laws for the regulation of labour. The hon. Gentleman informed the House that none of these laws had been disallowed by the Home Government, except those which had a tendency to reduce the labourer to the condition of serf. He denied this assertion. The very Act which the hon. Gentleman quoted as passed in St. Vincent happened to be the Vagrant Act of this country; and what was more natural than that the colonists called on to legislate in a hurry should transfer the laws under which they had been themselves brought up to their Statute-book? With regard to the Crown colonies, at least, this was not the case—they adopted the laws of Antigua where there was no apprenticeship; and he did not think it could fairly be made a subject of reproach, that they had adopted laws with regard to employers and labourers which had been previously sanctioned by Her Majesty's Government. But then, said the hon. Under Secretary—"these laws were actually to be executed by planter magistrates." That depended on the Colonial Office—they might have been allowed on condition that the stipendiary justices alone were to administer them. Before, however, the planters were condemned, he would read the opinion of Lord Metcalfe, a wise and good man, on this very point:— It is not by putting one set of authorities against another that I hope to see Jamaica happily governed, but by general harmony and co-operation; and by a cessation and oblivion of those distinctions which arose out of a struggle that no longer exists. I see no reason to apprehend oppression from regarding the local justices as on the same footing with the stipendiaries. The hon. Gentleman, however, had challenged him to show an instance where good laws had been disallowed by the Colonial Office. Why, this was the very question at issue; and considering the subject had been so long before that department, it ought not to be said in the year 1848, that proper laws had not been passed for the regulation of labour in our colonies. For five years, however, those Crown colonies had been without laws for the regulation of labour; but he was glad to hear from the hon. Gentleman that since the sitting of the Committee moved for by the noble Lord the Member for Lynn, enactments had been passed against vagrancy and squatting. The hon. Gentleman had astonished him still more on the subject of labour—he was totally at variance with his own leaders on that point, and naïvely asked where immigrants were to he got, and who was to pay for them? Why, one of the recommendations of Her Majesty's Government was to guarantee a loan of half a million for the purposes of immigration. He had not much faith in the promised advantages of this assistance: the loan might, he thought, be better applied in effecting improvements in cultivation and in machinery than in immigration. The whole question lay not so much in the cost of labour, as in the possibility of obtaining it. The hon. Gentleman said wages were not high enough: the higher the wages the cheaper the production according to him; and he referred to the experience of this country. What a confusion of ideas! Skilled labour might be high-priced here; but did it follow that high-priced labour in the colonies was necessarily skilled? The hon. Gentleman said the planters ought to encourage improvements in machinery. He agreed with the hon. Gentleman, but the illustration he had selected was rather unfortunate for his case. It was British Guiana with which he was connected, and of which Earl Grey had said, "no country endeavoured to make greater improvements." Certainly Mr. Stipendiary Strutt said, that for thirty years no improvements had been made in cultivation; but he (Mr. Barkly) did not consider Mr. Strutt's authority on this point of great weight; at least it would not have the full effect which his words would seem to imply, because, on the 30th of June, 1841, he reported of this same colony in these words:— The hardest kind of work formerly imposed upon the labourers is now performed by machinery. Mr. Strutt, in the report stating that no improvements had been made, stated an exception in the case of the plantation Friendship, and he said the planter upon that estate got 7l. per hogshead more for his sugar than the other planters. Mr. Strutt, however, omitted to take into his account the expense of the machinery, and the enhanced cost of making the produce. It so happened that he (Mr. Barkly) produced a letter from Mr. Lang before the Committee, he being the very person who had introduced this machinery. Yet this gentleman, in that letter, complained of being utterly ruined by the competition to which he was exposed. If, therefore, as this case proved, the resident proprietor, with capital and with improved machinery, could not succeed, the whole argument of Government fell to the ground. Numerous instances of the same kind could be produced. He had a letter in his hand from a gentleman in Demerara, of great energy and capital, who, before he went out to take the management of his estate, worked in a jacket (for six months in a sugar refinery in the City. He put down machinery to the amount of between 6,000l. and 7,000l.; yet he was unable to compete with the slave colonies, and he reported that the colony was in a desperate condition. Lord Harris mentioned numerous instances of a similar character in Trinidad. On the other hand, the report of Mr. Consul Crawford showed that in Cuba they were introducing the Jamaica plan of making sugar as a great improvement. After all this evidence, which could readily be increased, it was impossible to attribute the failure of the West Indies to compete with Cuba and Brazil to want of energy, or capital, or machinery. For those, therefore, who had nothing but ruin before them, it was rather cruel on the part of the hon. Gentleman to convert their representations of distress into charges against them of want of energy and skill. During the past winter, he attended an execution sale in Berbice of the estate of an old gentleman who, a few years before, had refused to take 60,000l. for it, which was offered to him by a noble Lord, a Member of the other House. That estate he (Mr. Barkly) saw sold for 1,000 dollars; and he heard with his own ears the exclamations of the labourers, complaining of their master having been ruined and forced upon the dam. He asked what would become of the poor old man? The answer was that he would go to Mr. G—, his son-in-law, who used to manage the estate. This Mr. G—, it appeared, went over to Surinam, where he got an estate some years before very cheap; but then came the Act of 1846, which raised the value of his property so much that he was now making many thousands a year. Such was the case upon the one hand, of a man who, trusting to the faith and consistency of the British nation upon the subject, was totally ruined; and, upon the other, of a man who, not being so scrupulous, crossed a river, went over to a Dutch colony, and in a few years, through the very Act which ruined the British planter, became a rich and flourishing colonist. With such facts before them, it was impossible to say what would be the effect upon the minds of the colonists of a speech such as that delivered by the hon. Gentleman. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Westbury (Mr. Wilson) had taken a much more reasonable view, though he (Mr. Barkly) differed from him upon many important points. He had stated, for example, that the cost of cultivation in Cuba was actually higher than in Jamaica. If this were so, cadit quœstio. Why need they argue it? He would not enter into the question of the comparative cost of production, because it was extremely complicated; but he would remind the House that the Committee had most carefully investigated it, and their opinion, upon the whole evidence, was, that 10s. per cwt. as a protecting duty was a fair demand for our own colonies, as against slave colonies, at the present time. Scarcely one hon. Gentleman who had addressed the House on the opposite side of the question to that which he (Mr. Barkly) took, had concluded his speech without an ad captandum appeal to the interests of the British consumer. The right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham), who had made a most damaging speech against the Government measure, though he meant to vote for it, had resorted to this kind of argument. But, after all, it was nothing but begging the whole question. How would the interests of the British consumer be promoted if our own colonies were ruined? All our Governors stated production would cease in them unless some effectual means were adopted to induce its continuance. How, then, could the interests of the consumer be accommodated if so great a field of supply were cut off? The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hawes), however, argued that because there were greater importations last year than in the previous year, the supply would not fall off; in short, he drew out of this circumstance an inference in favour of the Bill of 1846. He (Mr. Barkly) should have thought, from the experience the hon. Gentleman had acquired in sugar planting within the Colonial Office, he must have been aware that every one of the canes cut last year were planted and cultivated before the Bill of 1846. The hon. Gentleman must be aware, officially at least, that eighteen months must elapse before the produce of planted canes could come into this country in the shape of sugar, and a much longer period before they would cease to produce at all; his reference, therefore, to the fact which he mentioned had not the weight he seemed to attach to it. Both the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hawes), and the hon. Member for Westbury (Mr. Wilson), said, moreover, it was impossible to give the colonies high protection, because such was their power of production that they would immediately produce more sugar than the people of this country could consume; the surplus, therefore, must be exported, and consequently we should still be obliged to accept the same price as before. Then what harm would be done by giving them a high protection? The people of this country would not suffer. True, the Statute-book might be disgraced in the eyes of many Gentlemen by a new protective enactment being upon it; but not more so, he thought, than it would be in the eyes of others by the measure now proposed; which did not admit the same principle. The right hon. Baronet (Sir James Graham) deprecated anything like reaction in our commercial policy. He agreed with the principle of free trade as fully as the right hon. Baronet; and he would add that if he thought there was likely to be reaction from maintaining sugar cultivation in our colonies, he should not support the Amendment. But the strongest ground he ever heard in favour of reaction was that our policy was ruining our sugar-producing colonies. The people of this country were not prepared to sacrifice the West India colonies for the sake of this or that Government. For a time the true state of the question might be kept from the people; but when they saw the colonies nearly ruined by the measures of that House, he certainly feared reaction would be inevitable, and that it might not extend to sugar only, but to other articles. With these observations, he should leave the question to the House most confidently, if he thought it would be judged on its intrinsic merits, and not with reference to party politics or to the position of Government. He begged, however, to point out to hon. Gentlemen who were influenced by such considerations, that the question which the House had to decide was one of far greater importance than the consistency of a Cabinet, or the stability of an Administration. The question they had to determine was, whether negro emancipation should go down to posterity as an abortive experiment, for which fourteen flourishing colonies and twenty millions of money were rashly sacrificed—whether our whole antislavery policy for forty years should be considered a vain chimera for which the blood and treasure of this coun- try had been lavishly and fruitlessly expended.


said, that, although a Member of the Committee which sat for so many weeks upon Sugar and Coffee Planting, and unwilling to give a silent vote, it was not his intention to trespass upon the House at any length. He was the more willing to take this course because the subject had been so fully discussed that it was unnecessary to do more than just glance at some of the arguments which had been urged. He could not, however, avoid stating his belief that no Committee of that House ever conducted its inquiries with a more sincere and single desire to arrive at the truth upon this important subject, than the Committee on Sugar and Coffee Planting. Casting aside all personal and party objects, they were determined to do what they thought the best for the important interest now suffering such extreme distress. It was impossible for any one to listen to the statements of great public and private distress in the colonies without feeling sincerely anxious to contribute to relieve them; and however much the Committee might have differed as to the course it was their duty to recommend to the House, he was satisfied every Member was animated by a desire to apply some practical remedy to the appalling state of things that had been proved to exist. But he could not say the result of the deliberations of the Committee was so satisfactory as their manner of conducting the inquiry. If Gentlemen would look at the resolutions finally adopted, they would find little in them, except the recommendation, which was arrived at by a very narrow majority, of a differential duty of 10s. for six years. When the authority of the Committee was quoted in support of that recommendation, he must remind the House that it was arrived at by the casting vote of the Chairman alone; and that it never would have been made, if two distinguished Gentlemen, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Goulburn), and the hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Cardwell), had not withdrawn from the room. This was the state they were in whenever a distinct proposal of any protection was recommended—those two Gentlemen uniformly voted against that recommendation; and whenever protection was proposed by them, in an abstract and general form, those who were more ardent friends of protection met them, dolus latet in generali- bus, by urging that it might mean anything or nothing, and that it might be doing injustice to allow the Committee to recommend protection generally, without stating what the amount of protection should be. If these two Gentlemen had not left the Committee in the lurch, there would, he believed, have been a majority of one the other way; the proposal of ten shillings for six years, being, in reality, objected to by a majority of the Members. But, after all, the important question was, whether, upon the whole, this recommendation was one which it behoved the House to adopt. The question, then, more particularly under consideration was—what should be the sugar duties? On that subject there were three proposals. The first was that of the Committee, namely, that there should be a duty of 10s. for six years. Now, he confessed that he objected to that proposal, not so much because it would be injurious both to the consumer and to the revenue, as because he believed that its adoption would not prove beneficial to the West Indies themselves. He was deeply impressed with the suffering condition of those colonies; and he agreed so much in what had been said in the course of the debate as to the manner in which the vacillating and changeful legislation of that House had operated in producing distress, that he would be prepared to run some risks in adopting any measure of relief respecting which he could satisfy himself that it would be salutary and beneficial to the West Indian colonists. If, however, there was one point upon which more than upon any other all the most intelligent witnesses examined before the Committee concurred, it was this—that the best chance of cultivating sugar successfully in those colonies must depend upon the ability to bring the rate of wages to a reasonable level—a level which would be at once fair to the labourer, and profitable to the employer; and that nothing would so preclude the possibility of the successful termination of the struggle now going on for that purpose in the West Indies, as the notion that a considerable degree of increased protection was guaranteed to the planters for a considerable period. The hon. Member for Leominster (Mr. Barkly) seemed to be deeply impressed with that truth; and, accordingly, differing from the greater number of the West Indian body, that hon. Member limited his recommendation of increased protection, when giving his evidence before the Committee, to the adoption of a duty of 10s. for two years, after which he then desired that the dropping scale should come into operation. He had understood the hon. Gentleman to say that he had since somewhat modified his opinion, and that he now recommended a 10s. duty for three years, to cease altogether at the expiration of that period. [Mr. BARKLY said, if he had made a proposition, that would have been it.] He doubted very much whether that proposal would have been satisfactory to the West Indian body generally: he suspected that they would prefer the plan of the Government. The hon. Gentleman, in common with the Government, and indeed almost every one who had addressed the House, except the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford, contemplated a speedy equalisation of the duties upon colonial and foreign sugar. The object of the House, then, should be to prepare the colonies during the interval, for that competition which was inevitably coming upon them, which could not be done by restoring protection and increasing the cultivation of sugar, under a system whose existence must necessarily cease. If they adopted the course of affording increased protection, it would operate, not on the West Indies alone, but on the great continent of India. If any measure of that kind were applied to the West Indies, it must be applied also to the East. The injury arising from such a fixed and artificial system could not be confined to the West Indies; and he felt satisfied that the result, as regarded the East Indies, would be most disastrous. In the latter, no less than in the former, the withdrawal of an artificial and short-lived stimulus would inflict great injury on the interests which had been thus stimulated, under a system which was not meant to last. These were some of the reasons which induced him to doubt exceedingly the soundness of the position so frequently advanced, that they would be conferring real benefit on the West India planter by largely increasing the amount of protection which Parliament had determined to give him, during the interval which he had to prepare for the competition to which he was ultimately to he exposed. The next proposal made to the Committee was that of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. Gladstone), whom he did not then see in his place. That right hon. Gentleman stated it to be his opinion that the most advisable course for Parliament to pursue was to continue the present duty for six years, and then allow it altogether to cease. Now he believed, that had not that opinion proceeded from so high and respectable an authority, it would have been unlikely to meet with the approbation of the West Indian interest. The West Indian body were then, he believed, unanimously of opinion—["No, no!"] Well, they were at least very generally of opinion that, as between that proposal and the plan of the Government, the latter was preferable. And, indeed, he was not surprised at that conviction. The scheme of the right hon. Gentleman afforded no immediate benefit or relief to the West Indies, while, in the long run, it would, he believed, be less favourable both to the consumer and to the revenue than the scheme proposed by the Government. One of the most important distinctions between the two schemes was this—that the scheme of the light hon. Gentleman would terminate in an equalisation of the sugar duties at 14s., while that of the Government would terminate in their equalisation at 10s. He would now proceed to speak more particularly of the plan of Her Majesty's Government. And in the first place, he must concede to those who had raised the objection, that any alteration at all in a scheme of sugar duties, so recently and deliberately adopted as was the scheme of 1846, was in itself no inconsiderable evil; and he must own that he long hesitated before he could make up his mind that it was the duty of the Government to propose, or of the House to consent, in any way to alter the scheme of duties adopted at that period. But he thought that, upon the whole, the House would act wisely in adopting an alteration of the measure of 1846 to the extent and within the limits that had been proposed by the Government. He did not think the measure proposed was inconsistent with the spirit of that of 1846. The proposal of the Government in 1846 was to obtain an equalisation of the sugar duties at no very distant period; but in the meantime to give to the colonists a certain advantage which would enable them to prepare for the coming struggle. Now, it could not be denied that the hopes and expectations which had been very naturally entertained when Government adopted the Bill of 1846 had been clouded, and to a certain extent disappointed. That general convulsion which had fallen upon Europe, and affected every branch of indus- try and commerce, must necessarily have pressed with still greater severity on that interest which had at all times been the least solid and the most precarious of all the interests connected with British industry—the sugar-growing interest in the West Indian colonies. It was not foreign to the case to remind the House of the notorious fact, that at all times in their history, whether under a system of slavery or of free labour—whether under absolute protection or a modified system of protection—the cry of distress from the sugar-planting colonies of the West Indies had been both loud and frequent. In saying this, he had no wish to deny that the present distress exceeded any previously recorded, or that it was the duty of the Legislature to apply itself most earnestly to the providing of any relief which could be afforded. But he thought it would be quite a different case if the distress complained of had fallen upon an interest which had hitherto been vigorous and prosperous, and not upon one which had at all periods been liable to the greatest alternations of prosperity and distress, and which had frequently come to that House to ask for assistance and support. He thought, therefore, Parliament was warranted in reconsidering—he would not say the spirit of the settlement of 1846—but, at least, the letter of it. It would have been an ungenerous thing, when an interest like the West Indian was in great distress, and asked for succour, not to give them what it was believed would be a relief. He thought that the modifications of the Bill of 1846, which the Government had proposed, would have the effect of affording a certain amount of immediate relief to the West Indian interest, and that in the long run, without risk to the revenue, they would be conducive to the interest both of the producer and the consumer. He was further of opinion, that the more this plan had been considered by the West Indian interest, who were immediately affected by it, the more were they induced to believe that it was for them a considerable improvement upon the measure of 1846. He would also observe—for he considered that a very important consideration—that he did not believe this alteration was liable to the objection which he had ventured to urge against the scheme of the Committee by which a protective duty of 10s. was to be secured to the West Indians for six years—he did not think it would in any material degree prevent the settlement of wages in the West Indies on a satisfactory footing—a point to which he, for one, attributed the greatest importance. On these grounds he thought the Government was warranted in pressing, and the House would do well to adopt, the proposed modification of the Bill of 1846—a modification which was perfectly consistent with the spirit of that Bill—which would not be attended with any of the injurious effects which must be produced by a larger measure of protection, as regarded the state of society in the West Indies—and which would give some immediate relief to the suffering planter, and ultimately be more beneficial to him than increased protection, arising as it would from increased consumption. As regarded the question of revenue, he would observe, that although the measure involved an apparent immediate loss, he believed that that loss would be to a great extent made up by causes independent of the proposed changes in the scale of duties. There would undoubtedly he a large importation of sugar at a low price during the present year. Taking that element of the case into consideration, he anticipated no great loss even of immediate revenue; and he believed that while the scheme would be beneficial to the planter, as it unquestionably would be to the consumer, it would not ultimately be injurious to the revenue itself. He knew that the idea of benefiting the consumer had been treated by some hon. Gentlemen with very great contempt. But he really could not bring himself to view the matter in the same light as did those hon. Gentlemen. Very sorry should he be to urge the interests of the consumer, as it were, against the greater interests of imperial policy and of humanity; but when he heard the hon. Member for Dorsetshire speaking of the price of sugar as a question not worthy of any consideration; when he heard an hon. Member even saying that sugar was an unhealthy thing—that it spoils the teeth of ladies, and was of no use to anybody; he must say, that he altogether dissented from such opinions. He believed the price of sugar to be an object of very great importance to the poorer classes of this country. On that subject he fully concurred in the observations of the right hon. Member for Ripon, to which he would add the expression of his belief, that, besides increasing their comforts, the low price of sugar was a main instrument in promoting habits of temperance amongst the poor. It had a material effect in checking the consumption of ardent spirits by inducing the poorer classes to use more wholesome and nutritious beverages. His hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford (Sir R. Inglis) had called attention to a portion of the subject which he by no means desired to keep out of sight, namely, the bearing of the policy of the House with regard to the sugar duties on the question of slavery and the slave trade. His hon. Friend drew a distinction between slavery and the slave trade, which he, for one, could not comprehend. With all the horror which his hon. Friend felt in reference to the slave trade—and, indeed, there could not be two opinions as to the unutterable horrors of that accursed traffic, though there might be a difference of opinion as to the best means of putting it down—when his hon. Friend spoke of slavery, he referred to a patriarchal state of things, which he seemed rather to look upon with approbation. [Sir R. INGLIS had said that seeing that slavery was recognised in the book of God, he could not assent to the proposition that it was unlawful.] He had thought that his hon. Friend went beyond that, declaring that he had never acted, and could never act, with those who sought to abolish slavery, because he conceived slavery to be sanctioned in the sacred writings. [Sir R. INGLIS: Exactly so.] He would not trespass upon sacred topics; but with all the respect which he felt for his hon. Friend, he must declare his belief that there was, in fact, nothing in the sacred volume to sanction the abominable principle that man might be the property of his fellow-man. He happened to know something of countries in which slavery existed; and though it might be much more easy to draw a fearful picture of the slave trade than of the institution of slavery, yet—if the brutalising effects of slavery were regarded—if the moral results of slavery were realised—if the killing of the soul as well as the body were duly considered—it would be seen that no tongue could adequately describe the evils of slavery. While, therefore, he heartly joined with his hon. Friend in condemning the slave trade, he could not join in the mitigated censure passed by him on slavery. He believed, too, that the people of England detested both slavery and the slave trade as much as ever, and that if they thought they were to be put down by means of sugar duties, they would oppose them by such means. Some of the strongest and most sincere abolitionists, had, how- ever, expressed the opinion that it was not by a system of duties that their schemes could be carried into effect, and that any needless disturbance of commerce should be most carefully avoided. While upon this question he must remark that he could not admit, as some hon. Gentlemen seemed disposed to admit, that all the efforts to abolish slavery and put down the slave trade, involving as they had done a large sum of money, had in reality been thrown away. He would not then enter into the question whether or not it were probable that ultimately free labour would be able to compete successfully with slave labour; although, notwithstanding all that had been said on that subject, he was sanguine enough to believe that, notwithstanding the disadvantages which attached to the cultivation of sugar, arising from a tropical climate, such, on the other hand, were the disadvantages resulting from a state of slavery, that in the end free labour would break down that accursed system. Nothing could persuade him that the abominable system of cultivating sugar by means of slavery would be perpetuated on the face of the earth. But that was not the only question which they were bound to consider in connexion with that subject. The moral example of England in such a matter was not, he believed, thrown away; and he could not agree with Gentlemen who said it was the same thing whether they directly sanctioned slavery, or declined to break off all intercourse with those who had refused to follow their example with respect to slavery and the slave trade. He did certainly think that it made a material difference that they were not themselves stained with the moral guilt of those who possessed slaves. He believed that the example of England had worked and was working for good, and would work for still greater good in reference to that question; and he never did regret the course she had taken. Now, with regard to immigration, some hon. Gentlemen appeared to him to have rather overstated the advantages which the West Indies might derive from pouring in upon them a great number of immigrants. He thought, indeed, that very great advantages would result, in many parts of the West Indies, from the very power of introducing a certain number; not so much from adding very materially to the number of labourers already existing, as from having that check upon the labourers already settled, which all the witnesses thought would have a considerable effect. Any facilities which the House might be disposed to grant on the recommendation of this Committee for the introduction of immigrants, would be attended with advantages which might not at first be expected from the comparatively small number of new labourers actually introduced. With regard to the vagrancy laws, as his hon. Friend the Under Secretary for the Colonies had entered so fully into that subject, he would do little more than say that he thought it most desirable that the Government should give every facility for restraining bad habits on the part of the labouring population in the colonies. That he might not be misunderstood either on that point or in reference to immigration, he begged to say that he was for the freest immigration, stopping short, and distinctly stopping short, of that point where immigration would become anything like the slave trade. That must be clearly understood. What the Government meant by immigration was a bonâ fide free immigration, and not an immigration of the character which he had mentioned. So also with regard to police and contracts, he desired to see as good a system introduced as prevailed in this country, for the sake both of the negro population and of their employers; but he should be strongly opposed to any system which, professing to be a system of police, would introduce in fact compulsory labour; and he believed, too, that if any attempt were made to introduce such a system, a spirit would be roused by it in this country which would compel them to retrace their steps. He had promised to be short: he feared that he had already broken that promise. In conclusion, he hoped that Parliament would calmly and dispassionately consider the proposals of the Government. It was true that those proposals held out no prospect of a great immediate revolution in the affairs of the West Indian colonies. He did not believe it was in the power of that House to apply any remedy of that description; but the Government had carefully and anxiously considered what was most likely to alleviate the existing distress, and to restore prosperity to their suffering fellow-subjects. He heartily desired that, to whatever decision the House might come, that decision would conduce to the ultimate welfare of the colonists. He admitted that they had great claims on this country. They had been true and faithful in all times and under all circumstances; as their fellow-subjects, they now looked to them, as they had a right to do, for such assistance and support as they could afford; as members of the general community, they were entitled to be protected and cared for. He believed that if the House should give its sanction to the proposal of the Government, whatever feeling of disappointment might exist for a time in minds which had been dazzled by greater offers made to them from other quarters, these proposals would be found to tend materially and permanently to the benefit of the West Indies.


said, the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down began by adverting to the proceedings of the Committee of which he was a Member, and he stated that the report of that Committee, in recommending a 10s. duty, represented the opinions of but a small majority, and that if he (Mr. Goulburn) and his hon. Friend near him (Mr. Cardwell) had been present when the decision was adopted, they would have followed the course which they took in the earlier stage of the proceedings, and not supported the proposition of a 10s. protective duty. In that statement of the right hon. Gentleman he (Mr. Goulburn) concurred; but as the hon. Member for Westbury had stated that the only question at issue in the House was, whether they should have a 10s. protecting duty on sugar or not, he (Mr. Goulburn) felt it right to state, that in voting for the proposition of the hon. Member for Droitwich, he by no means intended to affirm the proposition that relief could only be afforded by a 10s. duty. The view which he took of the case was this, that the Government alone could provide efficient remedies; and he was anxious to throw on them, as the only competent persons, the duty of deciding what should be proposed as an adequate relief for colonies suffering under a degree of distress altogether unprecedented. It was not his intention to enter into details as to the distress of these colonies, which had been frankly admitted by some hon. Members, though denied by others, seeing that whatever doubts might have existed before as to the extent of that distress, must have been removed by the speech of the hon. Gentleman behind him (Mr. Barkly)—at least as to the particular colony of Guiana. But there were Gentlemen who assumed that this distress was little worthy of consideration on the ground that it affected only a limited portion of the community. The noble Lord at the head of the Government was of this class. He had stated at the outset of the debate, as a sort of set-off against the distress of one portion of the community, that he had great satisfaction in beholding the almost luxurious ease which nine-tenths of the population of the West Indies were at that time enjoying; and the noble Lord seemed to consider that while nine-tenths of the population were happy and comfortable, it mattered little what might be the fate of the miserable tenth upon whom calamity was heavily pressing. He confessed that he did not consider this a very statesmanlike view of the condition of a colony, to be satisfied as to the happiness of those who subsisted by the wages of their labour, when that was coupled with the ruin of those who employed them, and by whom alone wages could be paid. He would, however, press the House to consider that the distress was not confined to the landed proprietors, and that if they wished to promote the permanent happiness of the nine-tenths, they must take immediate steps to relieve the higher classes. It was not necessary to enter into detailed statements as to the condition of the labouring population in the West Indian colonies; but it was on record that of the whole of that population only one-third were at present addicted to agricultural labour on the several estates of the colony; that two-thirds were dispersed in various parts, living upon their own means, availing themselves of the excellence of the climate and the fertility of the soil to lead a life of indolence and ease. He had himself communicated with persons of respectability, recently arrived from the colony of Jamaica, who had assured him that in that portion of the community which had divorced themselves from the cultivation of the land, there was a degree of retrogression in civilisation, a neglect of morality and of all means of education, a general immorality, an abandonment of all religious obligation, which were entirely inconsistent with the permanent happiness of any class whatever. Neither was it only on the moral condition of that class of the population that this distress operated. It had, indeed, been stated in that debate, that there had been no expression of opinion on the part of the lower orders, as to the fact of the alleged distress pressing upon them. Those who attended to the concerns of Jamaica could not, however, be ignorant that there had been in that island a large public meet- ing to represent the distress, which Gentlemen in that House thought applied only to the higher classes of society. On the 20th of April a meeting was held at Kingston, in Jamaica, at which many thousand persons attended. It comprised persons of every order and of every class, merchants, tradesmen, artisans, and the humblest labourers, all assembled together to express by resolutions, to be afterwards submitted to Parliament, the distress under which they laboured; and he might be permitted to adduce evidence which would be beyond exception in a question of this kind—he meant the speech of a Baptist missionary—one of that particular persuasion who were supposed, above all others, to be cognisant of the wants and feelings of the labouring population of Jamaica, and who had obtained that influence and knowledge by meritorious exertions to rescue them from the ignorance under which they laboured, and to impress upon them religious truth. The gentleman who addressed the meeting was evidently a man of strong feelings and great acquirements, and he made the following statement:— He came there because he felt for the distress and poverty which was prevailing to so fearful an extent around him. Once this land was the abode of peace, plenty, and contentment. Now, whichever way he turned, he saw nothing but the gaunt spectres of distress, misery, and ruin. If he conversed with the merchant, once wealthy and prosperous, he could only hear language of mourning, lamentation, and woe. If he turned to the middle classes, who once lived in a state of humble but happy sufficiency, he there found distress, poverty, and sorrow; if he regarded the labouring classes, he there found thousands destitute of employment, their children crying for bread, whilst they had it not to give them. That very morning his servant informed him that a gentleman wished to speak to him. He went to his back piazza, and saw a person as respectably dressed as himself, the only difference being that he were white instead of black. He requested to be permitted to speak a word in private, and then, whilst tears of bitter anguish filled his eyes, he told him that his family were perishing for want of food—that he had one child at home dying, whilst the others were crying out for food. Gentlemen—said the reverend speaker—I knew that man; three years ago he was a respectable trademan, whose credit would have been good in this city for 1,000l., yet now for want of employment he has no other resource than to beg in order to keep his children from starving. And this was no solitary case, it was a fair sample of the whole. Misery was abounding in the community, and it behoved every individual to sink all political and party differences, and unite to obtain deliverance from the heavy calamities which are impending over and threaten to involve all in one common destruction. In another part of the same speech he observed, on the peculiar and difficult position of one part of the labouring community— Again, look at the hundreds, and he might say thousands, of poor labouring men in the city who were out of employment, and, as a matter of course, in the greatest distress. He needed not to remind the meeting that the position of the working men in our towns was very different to the position of the labourers in the mountains; there they may by failure of cultivation lapse into a state of semibarbarism, but they could never be starved; the country labourer could pick the fruit which grew in rich spontaneous luxuriance on the trees: he could dig his yams, and cut his plantains to eat; he could go to the spring and obtain water to drink; he could pick up wood to dress his food; but here nothing is to he obtained without money; he cannot get a yam, cocoa, or plantain, no, not even a mango, without money; he cannot obtain a shed to shelter him from the burning sun by day, or the unwholesome dews of night, without money; he cannot get a stick of wood to boil his pot, nor even a drop of water to cool his parching tongue, if he had not money. All this suffering, all this privation and misery, had been for months accumulating, and was now being endured in this city; and it was only because the people were most submissive, patient, and enduring, that they had borne so much with so much silence—only because they were amongst the most loyal of Her Majesty's subjects, that some outbreak had not before now attested the depth of their miseries. When that was the situation of that portion of the people of Jamaica who inhabited the towns, and when this demoralised state prevailed amongst the greater part of those who inhabited the country, let it not be said that nine-tenths were in a state of prosperity and happiness disentitling them to the indulgence and consideration of Parliament. But the House had been told by the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, that the abundance and cheapness of colonial produce was an essential element in the happiness of the people of this country. In that proposition they were all agreed. The cheapening of the particular commodity of sugar was an essential element in the prosperity and happiness of the people of this country; but they did not mean by cheapness that depression of price which might be obtained by the destruction of the capital of the individuals who produced the sugar. A cheapness thus obtained, though an undoubted temporary advantage, must lead hereafter to an advancement of price, which would be so much the more difficult to bear, because the people having been accustomed to large and extensive consumption, the aggravation of price would impose a privation previously unknown. He could not but think that the best mode of ensuring the continued cheapness of the commodity to the people of this country, would be to rescue the colonies from the difficulties in which they were placed, and thus to enable them amply to supply the general wants of the community. Suppose, as a necessary consequence of the present state of things, that the produce of only one of our colonies in the West Indies was withdrawn from the market of the world—the produce of Jamaica, say from 30,000 to 40,000 tons—what would be the effect on the price of sugar: would it not rise to the price of former times? He spoke not without authority on this subject—we had a pregnant example before us in St. Domingo: when that island ceased to be a sugar-producing colony, a large quantity of produce was withdrawn from the market of the world, and what was the immediate consequence of that withdrawal? The average price of sugar rose to 65s. to 70s. per cwt., and until the deficiency created by the destruction of one colony had been supplied by the increased exertions of the British colonies, the consumers of the commodity underwent suffering and hardship; and he was morally convinced—indeed it was capable of proof, that if we did not, by our interference, prevent that abandonment of property which must necessarily be the result of the present distress, the price of sugar would be so enormous as to operate disastrously on the working population, whom it was proposed to benefit by the cheapness. He knew not if any Gentleman, in the consideration of this subject, had ever turned his attention to the report made by the Committee of the House on West India distress in the year 1832. That laid down distinctly what the real basis of compensation for the injuries which the colonies sustained ought to be. It stated that the compensation ought to be limited to the enhancement of the cost of production which had been produced by the legislation of this country. He would apply the same principle to the present distress. He said that you, having enhanced the cost of production, were bound to make compensation to that extent. He knew the hon. Member for Westbury would say that the cost of production in the West Indies was not greater than in Cuba. He had asserted, that the cost in Cuba was 17s. 8d. per cwt., and that there was no reason to fear the competition of that colony. The hon. Member's calculations were corrected by the hon. Member for Droitwich. How the hon. Gentleman, who knew perhaps, as well as any man, all the matters connected with the growth, produce, and prices of sugar, could say, that the cost of the production of sugar in Cuba was 17s. 8d., seemed to him the most extraordinary thing that had occured in the debate. If he had looked at the market price of sugar, he would have found that Cuba sugar sold in the British market for 21s., and, if to the cost price of 17s. 8d. he added the most moderate rate of freight, insurance, and other necessary charges, for bringing it to the British market, he would find the Cuba proprietor kindly selling his produce to us at a loss, and had been so doing for a considerable time. As to the cost of raising sugar in Jamaica, the hon. Gentleman said, that the accounts had been unfairly taken—that reference had been made merely to the two years of 1846 and 1847, one of which years was a year of scarcity, and the expense was thereby considerably enhanced. He admitted that one of those years was a year of scarcity, but the other year was one of uncommon abundance; and as in the West Indies there was a great variation of seasons, and the seasons materially influenced the amount of production, and consequently the cost of production, it was not unreasonable to take two years, one of extreme abundance and another of extreme scarcity. The House had heard many reasons why the colonies had no particular claim to relief. It was stated by the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, that the Act of 1846 was a deliberate and well-considered Act, and that on account of the consideration it had met with, it should not be materially altered. What were the facts with respect to that Act? The right hon. Gentlemen opposite came into office on the 5th or 6th of July in that year, and on the 20th of July they came down to the House to propose a total change in the system of law as affecting sugar, which had been for some time past in operation. They cut short the experiment that had previously been made, and was then in successful progress, after fourteen days' consideration; at the time, too, when their deliberations must have been directed, not to the question of the sugar duties alone, but to all those other important questions which necessarily press upon Ministers on a change of Government. If he had had to advise the right hon. Gentlemen, he should certainly have recommended them, on so great and serious a subject, involving such vast interests, the prosperity of so many classes, to have taken two or three months for due consideration; but they adopted the other alternative, and in fourteen days pledged their existence as a Government, and the character of Parliament, to the Sugar Bill of 1846. He, for one, gave his assent to the measure, though brought forward under those circumstances; not that he approved of the measure itself, but, thinking that there was a possibility that the interests of the colonies might escape that destruction which many other Members foretold; and it appearing to him as it did to others that there was danger to the general interests of the empire from another change of Administration at that particular period—he felt bound to maintain the national interest even at the risk of some misfortune to the colonies. He alluded to the mode in which the measure had been brought forward, to prove that it did not obtain that degree of deliberation to which a question of so much importance was entitled. And had they not at that moment before them the strongest proof of this on the part of those who brought in the measure? What was the first step they took with respect to the measure of 1846? Was it not one which showed that it had not been considered with due deliberation? They said, they had now found, after a year's consideration, that by putting a charge on brown muscovado, and not upon brown clayed sugar, they had actually inflicted on the British colonist an injury which they never intended—that they had deprived him of the protection, which they thought he was entitled to, of 1s. 6d. per cwt. on every hundred-weight introduced up to the period at which he was speaking; and, therefore, when hon. Gentlemen objected to pecuniary compensation, let them remember that by this want of due deliberation, and by the effect of the experience which hon. Gentlemen had since acquired, they now admitted that they had, in these two years, imposed on the colonies of this country a charge amounting to 700,000l. or 800,000l., which, if they had in 1846 understood the difference between brown clayed and muscovado sugar, they never would have called upon the colonies to bear. The hon. Gentleman proposed to introduce the distinction now, and, therefore, he admitted the previous injury and loss. It had been stated by his right hon. Friend behind him (Sir J. Graham), that the measure of 1846 had been favourable to the revenue. He admitted that it had been favourable to the revenue; it had introduced, at a higher rate of duty, a considerable quantity of foreign sugar, which could not otherwise have come into the market; but it was a gain to the revenue of something like 700,000l or 800,000l., taken out of the pockets of the colonists. If the revenue had been benefited, it had been benefited at the cost of these colonies; and the loss thus sustained by the colonies was one element of the distress under which they were now labouring. Another statement was, that the Act of 1846 had not encouraged the slave trade. If his right hon. Friend had read the evidence taken before the Committee presided over by his noble Friend (Lord Gr. Bentinck) which sat contemporaneously with the one appointed to consider the slave trade itself, he would hardly have made that statement. There was a witness examined, Captain Matson, a gentleman who for six years consecutively was employed in suppressing the slave trade, partly on the coast of Africa, and partly in Cuba, and he said— Two years ago there was no such thing as slave trade in Cuba; that it is only within these last twelve months that there has been any slave trade whatever. He was asked if it was the alteration of the law which had produced this change? and his answer was— Yes; it is the alteration in the demand for their sugar that has affected Cuba much more than it did Brazil; eighteen months ago, I think for a year before that, there had not been more than one or two solitary instances of slaves being landed in Cuba. He, therefore, did not think that Bill could now be defended, either on the ground of the deliberation with which it was passed, or on the ground of the contribution it had made to the revenue, or on that of having had no effect on the slave trade. Another objection had been made to any plan of relief, namely, that if we now attempted, by means of protection, to afford relief to the colonies in the West Indies, we should thereby create reaction, and abandon those principles of free trade which had been found to be so generally beneficial. His right hon. Friend (Sir J. Graham) had justly observed that the dread of reaction was the absorbing evil of the plan; for if it was admitted that the colonies had been ruined, there would necessarily be, throughout the coun- try, a general impression that that ruin was the result of the principles of free trade, and material injury would be done to those principles by the admitted failure of your experiment. But he might ask, if affording increased protection to the sugar of the West Indies within certain limits were itself a departure from the principles of free trade, and in itself a ground to assume that reaction had taken place, how did the Government answer for the measure now on the table? How could they avoid the charge of beginning the reaction, and of setting an example for its continuance? They profess to adhere strictly to the principle of the Bill of 1846; but what is the fact? The duty, which would have been 4s. 6d. under the Bill of 1846, is to be raised to 7s. If the alteration of the protecting duty be an abandonment of the principles on which Parliament had hitherto acted, the charge rested not on his hon. Friend, Sir J. Pakington, who brought forward the present Motion, nor on those who supported it, but on the Government who introduced this measure. They had been told, and that from a very high quarter, that all protection must necessarily be injurious to the colonies, because it tended to increase the price of wages. He thought this was the answer which the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonial Department repeated over and over again in all his answers to the despatches he received from the West Indies. He did not assent to the principle as true to the extent to which it had been urged by the noble Lord. That high protection, so large as to give an inordinate profit to the planter, might unduly enhance the rate of wages, there was no doubt, because the labourer, seeing the proprietor in the enjoyment of an extravagant income derived from the produce of his labour, naturally said, "Allow me a share of it," and a share in a larger proportion than the proprietor might think just; but would not the same event happen whenever the proprietor of this estate should derive a profit, whether acquired by protection, or the employment of mechanical devices, or superior skill? It was the profit of the planter which guided the demand of the labourer. It was not the amount of protection which you gave him in his distress, but it was the profit of the planter to which the labourer would always look; and if they were to be precluded from doing anything to benefit the planter, lest the labourer should make an increased demand for wages, then they shut out the West Indies from the prospect of anything ever being done for them. On this theory, the estates must always remain without profit to the capitalist, because at any moment that the profit became reasonable, the labourer would require his wages to be raised in an undue proportion. Indeed, if he was to believe the hon. Gentlemen who had spoken on this subject, the question of wages appeared to excite considerable difference of opinion. The right hon. Baronet the Member for Ripon, arguing very justly on the state of things in this country, laid it down as an axiom that high wages and low prices necessarily went together. The hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Colonies laid it down as another axiom that wages in the West Indies were not high enough, and that you required an increase of wages, inasmuch as high-priced skilled labour was essential to cheapness of production. These points had been so well answered already that he would not repeat the obvious reply to them. But they were told they were to rely on an increase of consumption for the advantage of those colonies. And here he must address himself to the hon. Member for Westbury, who gave a curious illustration of the state of the West Indies. He said that if you gave protection, wages would be raised to such an amount that the labourer would enjoy the profit, and the planter would still remain in a state of ruin. Then, he asked, what had been the cause of the ruin under which the planters were labouring? It was, said he, because the Government had permitted the use of sugar in breweries—the effect of that measure was to bring in a quantity of sugar, and so greatly to encourage production as to cause the distress under which the planters were labouring. If that were true, what a happy situation must be that of a colonial planter! If he is unprotected, he is ruined by the influx of foreign sugar; if he is protected by his own Government, his labourers demand a price which renders him unable to cultivate his property to a profit. If consumption of his produce increase, the very increase is a cause of ruin. If this were so, he was sure the hon. Gentleman would see the necessity of the compensation which was demanded—if they were in this predicament that they could neither increase their produce nor reduce wages without loss, he called on the hon. Gentleman to devise some plan by which the colonists were to be compensated for the unhappy alternative in which this result of the law had placed them. He would now come to the consideration of the plan which was actually before them; and here he must say, that when the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Labouchere) adverted to the proceedings of the Committee, he was a little surprised that he did not make a passing remark as to his own and the hon. Member for Westbury's proceedings in that Committee; that he did not explain to the House why they had so egregiously departed from the principle of compensation laid down in the resolution which was prepared by the one Gentleman and proposed by the other to the Committee. That Committee unanimously came to the decision that the state of the West Indies was one of distress that required immediate relief. But the resolution of the right hon. Gentleman and his friends went far beyond that. The resolution proposed by him was— That it is incumbent on Parliament to grant relief to the sugar-growing colonies, and it should be afforded at once, and in such a way as to be made directly and effectually available to the actual planters themselves. And that— Especial attention should be had in affording such relief to the necessity of placing the colonies in such a position as will ultimately enable them successfully to compete with the cheapest sugar-growing countries. There were two things in this resolution. The first, that the relief should be immediate, and the other that it should be effectual, so as to enable the colonies to compete with the cheapest sugar-growing countries. Another position was also laid down in the resolution, and that was, that "those possessions which were suffering from high wages and a want of labour" should be entitled to particular consideration. He was now stating what the views of those Gentlemen were, and then he would show how far they were carried out by the Government. [Mr. LABOUCHERE: You will remember that I only moved this resolution as the basis of a report.] He understood that the right hon. Gentleman did move what in his opinion was a fit basis of a report; or, in other words, that the report was to embody the resolution. We had got, then, so far as this, that the resolution required the relief to be immediate, to be effectual, and to be given to particular colonies according to the ex- tent to which they were suffering from high wages and want of labour. The hon. Member for Kinsale said, that nothing could he more unjust than giving relief generally to all the colonies; and he presumed, therefore, that he would vote against the Motion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer on this occasion, because that which he thought so essential had been entirely abandoned by the right hon. Gentleman. The measure before the House applied equally to all colonies. There was only one other point to be considered in deciding as to the mode of relief, and that was the time during which the relief should be afforded. He would now read the resolution of the right hon. Gentleman, which applied to this subject. It stated— That when the rate of wages shall be fairly adjusted to the altered state of the market, and such an efficient control obtained over the labourers' exertions as competition for employment in a sufficiently supplied labour market is likely to afford; —then it was expected the cost of sugar would undergo proper reduction, and the colonists would be in a condition to compete with other countries. Observe, they were not to afford this relief for two years or three years, but to afford it till there should be sufficient competition for employment, and a sufficiently supplied labour market to enable the planter to compete with those of other countries; and, therefore, it was clearly at that time in the contemplation of the right hon. Gentleman, and particularly of those on whose behalf he acted, that the advantages to the colonies should be continued until the period should arrive at which you had been able to place the labour market in the colonies in such a situation as to enable them fairly to compete with the other sugar colonies in the world. Having made that statement, the House would at once perceive how very short of that proposition was the one now before them. Indeed, comparing the proposition with the views then expressed by the right hon. Gentleman, he could not but entertain an opinion that there must have been some conflict of opinion amongst those who were called upon to consider the question—that there were those who took favourable views of the just claims of the colonies, who admitted their claims to compensation for injuries; whilst others, of the severer school, adhering to the rigid doctrine of political economy, forbade any relief to be afforded which was not justified by the strictest adherence to those doc- trines; and, in the conflict of opinions, concessions were made, from time to time, until they brought out as a measure the caput mortuum now before the House. In judging of the plan of the Government, how far it was calculated to meet the distress, we must consider what was the position of the colonies at the time the recommendation of the Committee was made—what advantages they enjoyed at the very time when they were admitted to be fast sinking into ruin. At the time when this resolution was proposed by the Government, the colonies were in the enjoyment of a protecting duty of 6s. a cwt.; the colonies had also the enjoyment of admission to the breweries, which he understood was to be continued to them; but these advantages were greatly counterbalanced by that other provision in the Act which required that the duty should annually diminish by an amount of 1s. 6d. Now he need not tell any commercial man that of all the evils which could attend a commercial dealer, the worst of all was the having to bring his produce into a falling market; that it deranged all the calculations of industry and of profit; and yet that was the very measure which, by this proceeding, the Government entailed upon those who grew sugar in the British colonies for the market of this country. They came constantly into the falling market, and must, from the necessity of the case, have to dispose of the produce on the moment of its arrival, not with reference to the duty which existed at the time, but to that of the ensuing year. Observe, on the contrary, the situation of the foreign competitor. He came into a rising market—that which was most favourable to the dealer—whilst the colonist came into that which was falling. He had no doubt that this particular circumstance, added to the mistake which Government had committed, had materially contributed to the distress which had taken place. What measures did the Government propose in order to relieve this distress? They offered, in the first instance, a loan of 500,000l. on the security of the revenues of the colonists. Really there was something ludicrous in a proposition stated in that manner. They knew perfectly well that the colonial revenue was in a state of almost annihilation; that the distress of the landed proprietors, from whom the revenue was chiefly obtained, either directly from the land itself, or indirectly by the consumption of exciseable commodities, was ex- ceedingly severe; and that the revenue now-raised in the colonies was indequate to meet their necessary expenses; and, insufficient as it was, they knew that even that revenue was fast dwindling away. Therefore, when they told him that this loan was to be made on the condition that security should be given both for the repayment of capital and interest, he could not help saying that the promise might sound very well in this country, where the case of the colonies was but ill understood; but in the colonies the proposal would be felt something like a mockery. He further considered that if there was a doubt, as there was a grave one, as to the possibility of usefully employing 500,000l. in the introduction of labourers, especially when it was remembered that the Under Secretary for the Colonies said that if he had it in his hands, he would not know where to get a single man—[Mr. HAWES: No, no!] He certainly so understood the hon. Gentleman. But if there was a doubt, and if they consented to take insufficient security—for if they gave the money they would do so—he could not but think that it would be prudent to extend the terms upon which the loan should be granted, and that part of it should go to the introduction of those improvements in cultivation or machinery which might supersede in a great degree the use of labour; not that he undervalued the system of immigration, if labour could be obtained, but because he doubted whether labour could be so obtained. For, he believed that in the present disposition of the colonial labourers, the example of a class who would labour, and the knowledge on the part of the negro population that in those seasons when advantage was taken of the planter to raise prices, labour could be obtained in other quarters, would he attended with beneficial consequences. He believed to that extent immigration would be very useful. With respect to the additional protection offered to the colonies, it was only 1s. per cwt. above that given at the time that the colonies were pronounced unable to maintain themselves, and, unless accompanied by other measures, was but a small and inadequate attempt at relief. If the Government should succeed in effecting a reduction of the duty on rum, of which from certain symptoms in that House, as well as from certain rumours out of doors, there seemed considerable doubt, some advantage would accrue to the producer as well as to the consumer; yet, till he had some assurance that the measure would be effectually carried out, he felt it impossible to take it into account. He certainly thought the plan of the Government fell extremely short of the expectations which he had been led to form, considering especially the difficulties with which the colonies were surrounded, and the necessity which existed, if they were to remain valuable possessions of the Crown, that immediate means should be found to extricate them from those difficulties in which the previous legislation of Parliament had placed them. Although he was not prepared to say that the adoption of a duty of 10s. per cwt. on sugar was the Proper or the only mode of affording relief to the colonial interest, yet, when the question was before the House whether they would or would not approve the plan which Government had proposed, he had no hesitation in giving that vote by which alone he could mark his disapproval of the plan proposed by Government. Perhaps it might he that on a subject of this kind he might feel his personal interests involved, and his opinion might be subject to that suspicion which attached to those who spoke on questions which touched their personal interests. But he could assure the House that he had endeavoured on all occasions on which this subject had been under consideration to divest himself of such feelings. The noble Lord told the House that he recurred with pride to the part which he took in the emancipation of the negroes in 1834. It was an honest pride which led the noble Lord to bear in mind that he had been one of the Ministers by whom that measure had been forwarded. He acknowledged the honour which such a position conferred on the noble Lord. But, on the other hand, the noble Lord would admit that those who possessed property in those colonies—that those who had endeavoured, while slavery was in existence, to alleviate its pressure—that those who, having received the compensation, applied it to the purpose of rendering the negroes happy and useful labourers on the estates where they had formerly been slaves—had also a higher merit to which they could lay claim—not merely that of men embarked in a great work of benevolence, but of those who attained the object in view at a great personal sacrifice—a sacrifice which tended to ennoble even an act of kindness, and which entitled them, he would not say to the benevolent, but to the just, consideration of Parliament. Acts of the Le- gislature had led to consequences which imposed on it obligations which he did not think this country could refuse to fulfil without a violation of public faith. To the colonists it was indifferent in what form a measure of justice was conceded. They cared, not whether it was in the shape of a reduction of duty or of grants of money, or in any other shape which the state of the finances and of the country rendered expedient. But they did think that they were entitled to immediate and efficient relief. It was not, moreover, a matter of indifference to the empire whether the prosperity of those portions of the British empire should be maintained, or whether they should become deserts, to he at some future period, when Parliament awakened from its lethargy, resettled and repeopled at as much expense of life and treasure as had been incurred when they were originally established. On these grounds he felt that the measure proposed by Her Majesty's Government was not sufficient to meet the object for which it was proposed, and he had no hesitation in voting for the Amendment.


Mr. Speaker, I should most imperfectly express my feelings if, in the course of the observations I am about to make, I were to come to a conclusion, or even to utter a word, which should appear to imply indifference to the condition of our transmarine possessions. With the depressed condition of our colonies—with the difficulties and embarrassments of those who are immediately connected with them in various relations, I feel the deepest sympathy; and sorry should I be justly to incur the reproach directed by the hon. Member for the University of Oxford (Sir R. H. Inglis) against some, that they are disposed to prefer mere pecuniary and material interests to the higher considerations of public policy which are interwoven with this great question. I consider it would be utterly inconsistent with the spirit by which a great empire has been founded—utterly inconsistent with the spirit by which a great empire can be maintained—were we now, in a time of colonial depression and distress, to enter into cold calculations whether it is for the pecuniary interest of this country to maintain our connexion with the colonies. I repudiate all such considerations. I remember that those colonies have long been identified with us—I recollect that they stood by our side during the great conflicts that convulsed Europe in the course of the last century—I recollect during the last century, in 1783, on the declaration of independence by many provinces of this country, these colonies remained united to us, and stood faithful under all temptations to revolt. I remember that during that greater conflict which ended with the downfall of Napoleon, these colonies, on many occasions, bore the brunt of the storm of war—that they were the conductors by which its fury was diverted from our shores. I recollect that in our failures and defeats, as they had shared in our victories, they shared in our dejection. No, I will not do them the injustice to say they were ever dejected and dispirited. They had the spirit of Englishmen, and saw in defeat and failure only a motive for renewed exertions. Their determination was only the more confirmed to uphold the honour and power of the empire. I approach this question, then, with the deep feeling that those higher considerations ought to prevail over mere pecuniary and material interests. Independently of these, there are social considerations of a yet higher order. I utterly reject the argument that because 95 per cent of the population of those colonies are prospering, we can safely neglect the interests of the remaining 5 per cent. The smaller the proportion of the white population, the more important is it for the great purposes of civilisation that we should cherish that population. Whatever may be the temporal prosperity of the negro population of the West Indies, I cannot conceive a greater misfortune to the cause of civilisation, refinement, and humanity, than the decay and ruin of the white population. The white population forms a barrier against the encroachments of barbarism. If that white population were annihilated, the cause of civilisation, of religion, of growing refinement, would suffer in an incalculable degree. It is with such feelings—with a deep conviction of the importance of these colonies, taking the warmest interest in their welfare, cherishing the deepest sympathy with their present distress—that I approach the discussion of this great question. The severity of their distress is admitted on all hands. On all hands a sincere desire exists to provide, if possible, a remedy for that distress. To any of the ordinary objections to special interference on our part in favour of the colonies, I am not disposed to attach importance. I have always felt that the case of the colonies is a peculiar one; that on account of our past legislation, they have a claim to he exempt from rules which are justly applied to ordinary cases. I shall not oppose to the interests of the colonies those of the consumers in this country: first, because the interests of the consumer are coincident with those of those colonies; and, secondly, because no interest of a merely pecuniary character ought to prevail against those higher interests which affect the welfare of the empire.

The severity of colonial distress being admitted, a proposal is made by the Government for the remedy of that distress. That proposal is met by a proceeding justifiable, possibly, under certain circumstances, but, at least, of a novel kind. It is proposed by the hon. Member for Droitwich that we should assent to a resolution, the effect of which is to refuse consideration of the plan offered by Her Majesty's Government—to send it back as utterly inefficient and inept—to say, in substance, to the Government, "Take back your plan; it is so impossible to amend it that we will not even listen to it. Take it away, and return with a better plan; if you do not, there are others who are ready to propose one." You, who support this resolution, object to the present law. You are not content to be passive. You are not content with inaction. You admit that some decisive step is necessary—that the present law must be altered; but you refuse to enter on the consideration of that plan which is proposed to you by the Government. Now, recollect the state of the West Indian colonies—recollect they are suffering great distress; that they are impatient for a remedy; that they are looking to you to satisfy their expectations on that head. This resolution of my hon. Friend implies that the distress can be remedied by legislation. The resolution has no import if it cannot. It assumes that those calamities which have befallen the West Indies, or the Mauritius, or the East Indies, are not beyond the reach of legislation—that the case admits of a remedy, but that the Government remedy is not the true one. Now, if you carry that resolution, there will be great triumph. The vote will be wafted to the colonies on wings swifter than those of the wind; but the very first mail that returns will bring this demand, "What are those more effectual remedies which you, who are parties to this resolution, have to propose for the relief of the West Indies?" To that demand you must give an answer. The noble Lord (Lord G. Bentinck) can give an answer to the colonists. It is contained in the resolutions of his Committee. I have read the proceedings of that Committee. Occupied as I have been by other Committees and by other business, yet, from the great importance of the noble Lord's Committee, I have read the whole of the evidence taken; and no consideration shall prevent me from expressing the opinion that a flood of light has been thrown upon the position of the West India colonies which could not have been thrown upon it unless that Committee had been presided over by a Chairman bringing to the performance of his duty the assiduity, the zeal, and the knowledge which were displayed by the noble Lord. Now, the noble Lord is ready to propose a resolution which justifies him in rejecting the plan of the Government. That resolution would, no doubt, correspond with the draught of the report prepared by the noble Lord, but negatived by the Committee. The noble Lord, therefore, can personally fulfil the expectations which will be raised in the West Indies by the House assenting to the Amendment of my hon. Friend. But, unless this House has something effectual to propose—something much more effectual than the plan suggested by the Government—the result of our adopting the Amendment of my hon. Friend will only be to aggravate the feeling of disappointment which the colonists already experience. If we assent to the resolution of my hon. Friend (Sir James Pakington), what is it that we intend to offer to the West India body by way of relief? Can we revert to the measure of 1845? Can we again establish the distinction between sugar the produce of slave labour, and sugar the produce of free labour? Sir, I, for one, deeply regret that a further experiment was not made of that measure. I am not satisfied with the argument that the opening of the market of Great Britain and Ireland to slave-grown sugar was of no advantage to those who produce it. I am not satisfied with the argument that the vacuum caused by our diverting free-labour sugar from the Continent was immediately supplied by slave-labour sugar, and that therefore the exclusion of slave-labour sugar from the British market was no discouragement to the production of slave-labour sugar. Whatever our theoretical reasoning on the subject may be, the undoubted fact is that encouragement was given both in Cuba and in Brazil to the production of slave-grown sugar by the measure which admitted it into the British market. The planters connected with those colonies did consider the admission of their produce into the English market a practical benefit; they considered the direct and immediate admission of the article into the British market a greater advantage to them than any indirect benefit which they might receive from the filling up of the vacuum in the markets of the Continent. If I had had the direction of the councils of Her Majesty at that period, I certainly would have advised a more extended trial of the measure of 1845. In 1846 a change of Government took place, and I assented to the measure proposed by the noble Lord for the admission of slave-grown sugar. I assented to it upon the grounds fully explained by me—grounds in a great degree connected with the state of parties at the time, and the public evils in that state of parties of another change of Government within the period of six weeks. But I did not give that vote merely from a desire on general grounds to arrest the evils of another change of Administration. I did not exclude from my consideration the special interests of the colonies, as they could be affected by that change. A protracted conflict on this very question must be the result; and who could doubt that the great alterations made in 1845 and 1846 in our commercial code by the further application of the principles of free trade to many articles of foreign produce, would have rendered the struggle to exempt the produce of our sugar colonies from the application of those principles one of very doubtful issue. Could any Government then to be constituted have given an assurance to the British colonial proprietor that slave-labour sugar would be permanently excluded from the British market? Impossible. The very fact of the defeat of a Government upon the sugar question would have totally changed the position of that question. Their successors could only have proposed an annual Sugar Bill. Every year there would have been a renewal of the question. Every year the colonists would have been dreading the issue of this continual conflict, while the inhabitants of Cuba and and Brazil, on the other hand, would have hoped that its result would be the admission of their produce into the British market. The noble Lord proposed a permanent Sugar Bill, having this good effect at least that it terminated that annual conflict which would have ensued on the subject of the sugar duties, had no such measure been introduced. Had we defeated the Bill of 1846, what would have been the consequence? The certainty of the future struggle would have prevented the application of of capital in the colonies; it would have deferred the establishment of an improved system of culture and of commercial confidence. These were the considerations, as well as an unwillingness to disturb the Government under the very peculiar circumstances under which they had assumed power, which induced me to consent to the measure of 1846. I must now consider the principle of that measure finally settled. Can you now re-establish a difference between the produce of free labour and the produce of slave labour? The Crown, acting upon the advice of its Ministers, has admitted the produce of Cuba upon the footing of the produce of Venezuela and the United States. It has acknowledged the claim of Spain, founded on treaty, to have the produce of Cuba so admitted. I do not perceive in the report of the Committee, or in the resolutions of the noble Lord (Lord G. Bentinck), any advice to re-establish the distinction between sugar the produce of free labour, and sugar the produce of slave labour. The noble Lord himself, one of the ablest and warmest advocates of the West India interest, sees the insuperable difficulties in the way of re-establishing that difference. But this is a most serious consideration. It compels me to banish from the minds of the West India colonists that hope which the hon. Baronet (Sir R. H. Inglis) is willing to cherish, namely, that the distinction admitted by the Act of 1845 can, after being destroyed, be again established, between free-labour sugar and slave-labour sugar. I have not that hope then to hold out to the West Indies. I have felt it my duty to consider every other measure that has been suggested which may be thought likely to afford them relief. I will take one that has been suggested by the Committee—I mean the reduction of the colonial expenditure. I must at once declare that after having read the evidence laid before the Committee, it has left an impression upon my mind that the colonial expenditure does admit of very great reduction. The public establishments of many of the colonies are founded upon a scale of imperial dignity. When I review the enormous expenditure, especially in the Mauritius and Jamaica, I am prepared to hold out to the colonists this prospect of relief, at least, that there shall be, as there ought to be, a most determined attempt to reduce the public expenditure within the narrowest limits compatible with the welfare of the colonies themselves. There is no justification at any time, but more especially at this time of their distress, for keeping up any expenditure not necessary for their welfare. I wish to see the alliance between the colonies and the mother country maintained and cherished. I wish to recognise the colonists as subjects of the Queen, entitled to every sympathy and consideration to which the inhabitants of Lancashire or Yorkshire are entitled—with the same claim that a wise economy shall be enforced as the rule of government. I say a wise economy, for mere parsimony might be injurious to their best interests: it would be miserable economy, for instance, for the sake of saving some 2,000l. a year, to deprive your colonies of the services in the administration of colonial affairs of such men as Lord Dalhousie, Lord Harris, and Lord Elgin. A niggardly reward to men of their eminence would be injurious to the colonists themselves. I doubt, however, whether it would not be just, speaking of the salaries of the governors of the colonies, that this country should take upon itself the payment of them, rather than impose that charge upon the colonies themselves. Having reference to imperial rather than to colonial considerations, this country should, I think, sustain the charge of the salaries of the governors. The governors of your colonies should be independent of the colonists, so far as concerns the pecuniary remuneration of their labours. They should be able to give a free and unbiassed opinion on all measures calculated to favour the colonists, without being suspected of seeking any reward for their liberality. They should also be in a position to overrule the wishes of those over whom they are placed, when a sense of public duty requires it, without running the risk of having their worldly fortunes impaired. With respect to the remaining portion of the colonial establishments—I, for one, would consent to any reduction of appointments or salaries which is consistent with the proper governing of the colonies. But while I thus speak, I beg to be understood as not by any means implying cen- sure against the present Government in particular. I speak solely for the public interest, and am perfectly ready to take any blame which may justly attach to the Government preceding that of the noble Lord, for not having given more early consideration to this subject. I cannot but think that if subordinate colonial offices were made more accessible to the natives of the colonies—men acquainted with their local interests and wants—those offices would still be objects of ambition even with considerably reduced emoluments. Let me not, however, be understood to mean that you are to confine offices in the colonies to native colonists. It is desirable that there should be some who, exempt from local prejudices, may serve as a check on others connected by birth, or purely local ties, with the colonies. But these enormous salaries attached to almost all the offices under that of governor appear to me to admit of a great reduction. I apprehend that this has been admitted by the Government, and that they are prepared to make every retrenchment consistent with the welfare of the colonies. I did not understand that means of relief to be excluded from their general plan. With respect to the police laws for the purpose of preventing squatting and vagrancy, whatever you can do, consistently with justice and the real freedom of the negro labourer, ought to be done. How this can be done it may be extremely difficult to determine, without the advantages of local knowledge and experience.

I will now review the grievances alleged by the colonists themselves, and that which they demand by way of relief. I will take the petition which was presented to this House by planters, merchants, and others, of Hanover, in the island of Jamaica, so recently as December, 1847. They demand the removal of all discriminating duties which their fellow-subjects in Great Britain retain for the protection of their own produce. They say that the British distiller, in addition to the advantage he enjoys over the West Indians, by their distance from the market, has a protection against colonial rum of 9d. a gallon. I understand, that among the measures contemplated by Her Majesty's Government, a reduction of the differential duty from 9d. to 4d. is in contemplation. I cannot, therefore, hold out to the colonists any hope of any greater reduction of the differential duty than that proposed by the Government. I apprehend the Go- vernment will have some serious difficulties to contend with in carrying even that amount of reduction. But so far as the amount is concerned, there appears a disposition on the part of the Government to give in that respect a full measure of relief. The next ground upon which it is alleged that their fellow-subjects in Great Britain retain protection which is denied to them is this:— The British shipowner is protected by the navigation laws, and compels your memorialists to pay a freight nearly double the amount they would pay if they were permitted to ship in other vessels. A large amount of American shipping leaves the island of Jamaica in ballast, and but for the protection afforded to the British shipowner, your memorialists would obtain their staves, provisions, and other American commodities at a cheaper freight, as well as transmit their sugar and rum. That appears to me a very reasonable complaint; but it is rather discouraging to those by whom that complaint is admitted to be just, and who are seeking to apply a remedy, to be told by other parties representing the same interests— The repeal of the navigation laws will be of no benefit to us; the producers of sugar in Cuba and Brazil will derive greater advantage than we shall from the repeal of those laws. Now, when I find that so lately as December, 1847, the inhabitants of Hanover, in Jamaica, distinctly declared that, on account of the navigation laws, they pay for freights nearly double what their competitors pay; and when, being willing to apply a remedy, we are told it is not worth having—I will pause before I am a party to the holding out of very sanguine expectations as to the power of Parliament to afford relief to the colonists.

It is difficult at the present moment to take any general view of the position of the West India colonies, and of the measures that can be adopted for their relief, because one great element in the considertion of the case is wanting. It is uncertain what course ought to be taken with respect to the squadron placed on the coast of Africa for the suppression of the slave trade. A Committee is now sitting which has taken important evidence on that subject, and it is greatly to be wished that in discussing this question we had before us the evidence, the opinion of the Committee, and the intentions of the Government. A large expense is borne by this country for the maintenance of the squadron on the African coast. Suppose we find that the squadron is, in point of fact, ineffectual for the purpose for which it is destined, we should still be compelled to maintain a certain amount of force in consequence of our engagements with America and France. Nevertheless, if we could convince those Powers that we do not seek to be relieved from our engagements on account of pecuniary considerations, but bonâ fide because the united squadron has proved to be of little avail, it is not impossible that we and our allies might mutually relieve each other from existing obligations, and enter into some new arrangement which might more effectually attain the object which all have in view. I give no positive opinion on this point. I greatly fear that the sudden withdrawal of the united squadron from the African coast would increase the evils of the slave trade; but not having access to the evidence which has been taken before the Committee, I will not venture to express a positive opinion. If, however, we could make a material saving by the withdrawal of our squadron from the coast of Africa, this country would probably be willing to apply a considerable portion of the sum thus saved to other means, if such can be devised, more effectual for the suppression of the slave trade. Any view of the present condition of the West Indies, must be, I repeat, necessarily imperfect whilst uncertainty prevails as to the ultimate decision with respect to this branch of the question.

Two suggestions for the relief of the colonies are offered: one, that a great increase in the supply of labour shall take place by immigration; the other, that assistance shall be given to the West India colonies by means of protecting duties. With respect to immigration I understand the Government to admit the principle of the measure, and to propose that this country shall provide the means, by way of loan, of increasing the supply of labour in the colonies. I understand that 500,000l. are to be advanced for that purpose. Though I do not attach the importance which some do to an increased supply of labour, I cannot go quite so far on the other side as the Under Secretary for the Colonies, who said, by way of encouraging us to grant the money, "If I had this 500,000l. I should not know how to apply a shilling of it." Nevertheless, I do not attach such importance as some do to an increased supply of labour. What are the facts of the case? The hon. Member for Bristol, whose evidence is very important, says that he is not con- fident in the efficacy of an increased supply of labour. The hon. Member states that there are in the West Indies about a million of inhabitants coloured and white, and that the annual produce of sugar is only 140,000 hogsheads. That statement seems to furnish conclusive proof that there is in the West Indies labour enough; the only question is, how to take advantage of the existing supply. It is proposed to stimulate the exertions of the present labourers in the West Indies by the importation of fresh labourers. It is contended that this will operate as a moral check upon idleness, and that when the present labourers find that fresh labourers are about to he introduced, they will be willing to work themselves. It surely will require the utmost tact to apply this species of moral check. It appears to me that the importation of thousands of Coolies, or of negroes from the coast of Africa, for the purpose of inducing resident labourers to work is rather a clumsy process. Suppose you effect your object, what is the result? Can the additional labourers obtain full employment? You have added to the resident population of the colonies a number of strangers—brought thousands of miles from their homes—severed from all their natural connexions—unaccustomed to the labour they are to be employed in—not because there was a real scarcity of labour—but that the immigrant might serve as a check on the idleness of others. Well, suppose the check to be effectual—suppose that by these means you succeed in inducing the resident population to work—you must have a superabundant supply of labour, and the unfortunate persons you have persuaded to immigrate will be unable to obtain full employment. If you are to have immigration at all, it ought surely to be the result of private speculation. We ought, indeed, to take every precaution against abuse in conducting that speculation. We ought to determine from what part of the African coast negroes might be brought. We should ascertain what parts of the African coast are inhabited by free negroes capable of forming a judgment on the question put before them—capable of understanding the nature of a contract. The Government ought to take upon itself the responsibility of entering into communication with the sovereigns or individuals at the head of tribes, and explaining to them the object for which immigration to the West Indies is desired, and should also take on itself the responsibility of protecting the negroes after their departure from Africa. If, however, the Government were to undertake the sole management of an extensive scheme of immigration, it appears to me that such a scheme, wanting the nice tact which accompanies individual speculation, would end in disappointment. Facilitate, if you will, the operations of individuals whose particular estates require the immigration of negroes, taking, at the same time, every precaution against abuse on the coast of Africa—against the possibility of originating a new slave trade; but this, in my opinion, should be the exent of active interference on the part of the Government.

Although the sum of half a million is demanded by Government, I hope they will not insist peremptorily on applying it exclusively to the purposes of immigration; but that if they should be satisfied that there are other means by which relief may be more effectually given to the West India colonies than by immigration, they will not hesitate to apply the money, or a portion of it, in that way. It appears to me that there are modes by which relief can be more efficaciously administered than by the encouragement of immigration. The evidence respecting the immigration of the Coolies presents details most painful in respect to their condition on their arrival in the colonies, whilst it is evident that their sufferings during the voyage must have been horrible. If, then, Government admit the principle of affording pecuniary aid to the West India colonies, the mode in which that relief may be most effectively supplied ought to be left fully open to consideration. Some colonies are labouring under great difficulties, owing to the want of irrigation and drainage. In others, great advantage would result from applying remedies against drought. Upon these points we have very important evidence from a British Peer, and a great proprietor in Jamaica, recently returned to this country from the colonies—Lord Howard de Walden. We have also the evidence of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Rochester (Mr. Bernal). He complained, by the by, the other night, of the slumbers of the noble Lord on the Treasury bench, and is himself indulging in a nap. —Hane veniam petimusque damusque vicissim. Lord Howard de Walden states, that there is a district between Kingston and Spanish Town where a great deal of the finest land possible could be brought into cultivation by mating a cut from Springhead to the river Cabre. Three estates would be benefited by the work, which would cost 4,000l. The expense of the drain which is necessary to reclaim this fertile land would be repaid in a year or two. Now, I ask the proprietors of the three estates, why, under such circumstances, do you not reclaim this magnificent district by making the drain yourselves? The answer is, "We are impoverished, and cannot make it; we must rely on the British Government." But why did you not complete so profitable a work in the times of prosperity? Because you relied on protectection. Because you relied on the factitious aid of protection, you have not made those improvements which you must have made if you had been subject to the wholesome influences of competition. What other reason can be given why the proprietors of these estates should not have made a certain drain at the expense of 4,000l. which would repay the whole cost in two years? We are draining away in England, and are content to receive 4 or 5 per cent on the outlay; and yet these West India proprietors have not drained although there would be a return of 50 per cent. The hon. Member for Rochester spoke the other night of an estate in Porto Rico to which irrigation has been applied within the last five years with astonishing success. It appears, that the produce of the estate was in the first year 100 hogsheads; in the second, 200; in the third, 300; in the fourth, 500; and in the following year, 1847, 900. If that can be done by taking precautions against drought—if such enormous produce can be obtained by simple improvements on a comparatively small estate, why should we despair of our West India colonies if similar precautions against the vicissitudes of seasons were adopted in them? By such a course our colonists would be only following the example of Lombardy, the whole fertility of which depends on its system of irrigation. In making these statements in respect to the past neglect, and to the certain profit of obvious improvements, I am relying on the testimony of West India proprietors. Lord Howard de Walden says, that the construction of a certain tramway at a cost of 15,000l. would benefit sixteen sugar estates. Now, I wish the Government to consider whether they would not benefit the colonies more by applying a portion of the 500,000l. to the encouragement of such improvements as those to which Lord Howard de Walden refers, than by sti- mulating immigration? I will not abandon the hope that under the influence of competition, improvements may be made which will create a demand for labour of a more healthful description than that of cane planting, and may lay the foundation of great local prosperity in various parts of the West Indies.

I come now to the last and most important consideration—the consideration whether I shall consent to give to British colonial sugar a 10s. protecting duty for six years. My hon. Friend's (Sir J. Pakington's) last resolution means that if it means anything. I could not vote for that resolution without encouraging a just expectation, on the part of the West Indian body, that a 10s. protecting duty, for a period of not less than six years, would be the certain practical result. All who are ready to give that amount of protecting duty are justified in voting for that resolution. After full consideration of the question, I, for one, am not prepared to vote for that protecting duty. I am not prepared to vote for it, not merely on account of the interest of the consumer, but from a conscientious conviction that it would not benefit the West Indies. Why do I say that my hon. Friend's last resolution means substantially a 10s. duty? Because my hon. Friend has proposed previous resolutions, indicating fully his own views and intentions. He proposed, first, that no remedy would be effectual that did not give a 10s. duty for six years. He proposed, secondly, that any remedy not being in conformity with the recommendation of the Committee, would not be effectual. That recommendation was a 10s. duty for six years. It is true that my hon. Friend, on the night fixed for this discussion, changed his resolution into its present form. But I would ask the House what will be the natural impression of the West Indian body? Will they not say—and justly say—"Although you have changed the resolution in order to gain a few additional votes in its favour, yet you mean a 10s. duty for six years; and after you have succeeded in defeating the Government plan, the least we can expect from you as the amount of protection is that recommended by the Committee." I cannot consent to the proposed protection for these reasons. The West Indian body is suffering from a special and peculiar cause, namely, the deficient supply of labour. I am asked to give protection, not to the produce of the West Indies alone, but to colonial produce generally. I am asked to give 10s. protection to the produce of the East Indies and the Mauritius, in both of which British possessions there is no deficiency of labour. They are to have the same benefit as the West Indies, although they have not the same cause of complaint. What would be the consequence? You admit that a considerable time must elapse before you can increase the supply of labour in the West Indies. You will, however, apply an immediate stimulant to the production of the Mauritius and the East Indies. They have plenty of hands. There is in the valley of the Ganges some hundred thousand square miles of fertile ground, with labourers at 2d. a day. The East Indies and the Mauritius are to receive, in common with the West Indies, this encouragement to increased produce, while they do not labour under the same disadvantage. Their competition will be as injurious to the West Indies in a mere pecuniary point of view as foreign competition. It will be two years at least before the West Indies will get an additional supply of labour, and in the interval I am inciting to competition with them that portion of the British empire which labours under no such difficulty. And what will be the result at the end of six years? I presume that you are in earnest when you propose six years as the limit of time, and that you have no lurking intention to continue the amount of protection afterwards—that it is a bonâ fide proposal of protection of 10s. for six years—that at the end of that time it will come to an abrupt termination—and that the produce of our colonies will then come into unqualified competition with the whole world, whether slave labour or free labour. How will this affect the colonists of Cuba and the Brazils? Will they relax their efforts, when they feel assured that at the end of six years they will have unlimited access to the British market? How will this protection, so limited as to time, affect the West Indies? I rely upon the evidence of my hon. Friend the Member for Leominster (Mr. Barkly). I was not surprised by his able speech the other night. He spoke with facility and ease—with unpremeditated ability, the result of knowledge and experience. I shall cite him as a witness against a 10s. duty for six years; and what can you say in answer to his argument?— With respect," said my hon. Friend, "to the amount of protection that it would be desirable to reimpose, the opinion of my friends both at home and abroad is, that the sugar cultivation will not be maintained generally in the colonies, unless at least a protection of 10s. a cwt., to con- tinue for a period of something like ten year, were conceded. That is what they consider, both in London and in the colonies, as their minimum. That opinion, of course, has great weight with me, as coming from men who are more extensively connected with the West Indies than myself; but I am not quite sure that such an amount of protection, for so long a period, would be for the real advantage of the West Indies, if it were imposed with the view of bringing them into competition with slave labour at the end of that period. I do not think that it would put us in a better position at the end of that time than we are in now. Even in the colonies of British Guiana and Trinidad, where there is abundant fertility, and plenty of virgin soil, I think there would be much danger in such an inducement to extend the sugar cultivation as that protection would afford. At the present moment, in those colonies, we are engaged in a struggle to reduce the wages, which is the only effectual means of putting the cost of production of sugar on a sound and satisfactory basis. I think the effect of a differential duty to that extent, for so long a period, would be at once to decide that struggle in favour of the negro. I think he would get his own way, and get it probably to the amount of the increased price of produce: there would be an increase of wages tantamount to the increase in the price of produce, and therefore the benefit would go into the labourer's pocket. Now the last man I have any sympathy with is the well-fed negro who stands out for extravagant wages; and will you adopt a proposal which will give him the victory in this unequal contest? My hon. Friend went on to say— With respect to the other colonies, I think its effects would be more disastrous in the end. I have not now been in Jamaica for more than eight years, and the accounts given to me of the state of the island represent it to be in a much worse condition, not only than it was then, but than the rest of the West Indies—almost in a hopeless state; therefore I do not wish to damage their chance of obtaining additional protection by anything I may say. I believe that it would be of assistance to the present proprietors of Jamaica if they got such a protection as that; but if it had the effect of increasing the production very largely, and bringing a large quantity of produce from India, the Mauritius, and other colonies, it would not permanently benefit even the island of Jamaica; it might benefit the present proprietors, who might perhaps get out of their properties with a sacrifice. My own feeling is, that there must be a protection, and for the next two years at least. Nothing less than the amount named would be sufficient to restore confidence, and to induce capitalists here to support the cultivation of the West Indies; it would be quite two years before any reduction in the cost of growing our sugar could be made by the importation of fresh labour. If sugar were raised 4s. a cwt. more, by bringing the duty up to 10s., many estates would be carried on; but I think it would be unwise to give that protection for any extended period to the colonies if it be intended ultimately that they should compete with slave labour. I have, I hope, all proper sympathy with the distress of the West Indian proprietors; but the national object to be aimed at is not to put a certain amount of money into the pockets of some few proprietors, but to lay the foundation of the future prosperity of the colonies. If we must pay to individuals a certain sum of money, for God's sake let us pay it directly. It would be a thousand times better to put the sum at once into their pockets, than, by giving them protection, to raise the price of sugar to the consumer, and to stimulate a cultivation that is not likely to be ultimately profitable. The proposition of a 10s. protecting duty for a limited period of six years is objectionable on every ground—on the ground of its immediate encouragement to the East Indies—on the ground that the struggle with the labourers in the West Indies would be decided against the planter—and on the ground that it would increase the price of sugar in the British market, while it would offer no discouragement to the cultivation of slave-grown sugar. I cannot then consent to the proposal for raising the price of sugar 4s. in the British market, for the purpose of giving temporary and delusive assistance to the British planters. The only way to benefit the West India proprietors is to reduce the cost of cultivation, and enable them permanently to enter into competition with foreign produce. I feel that by voting for the proposal of my hon. Friend, I should be encouraging hopes which could not be fulfilled, and therefore I must give that proposal a direct negative. I am confident that if by means of protection we were to give a monopoly of the British market to our colonial possessions, we should not advance a single step towards securing their permanent prosperity. Take the case of distress in 1830 and 1832. What was the cause of the distress in 1830? It was over-production. There was a greater supply than the home market could take off. The report of the Committee of 1832 is well worthy your attentive perusal. It appears from that report that for many years previous to that period, there had been a gradual increase in the production of sugar; that it had increased from 4,000,000 cwt. to 5,000,000 cwt., which was more than the British market could take off; and the Committee expressly say that the only mode of effectually promoting the relief of the colonies was to enable the British producer to undersell the foreigner in the British market. Well, at that period the colonists had a complete monopoly of the home market; there was not a single cwt. of foreign sugar brought in, and yet they were then in the greatest distress owing to over-production. A monopoly of the home market is of little avail unless you can exactly apportion the supply. Give a 10s. protecting duty, and you will increase the supply of sugar. If you increase the supply beyond the demand of this country, the signs of declining prosperity will soon be manifest. Look at what took place under the corn laws in 1822 and 1836. There was exactly the same state of things—namely, monopoly of the home market, and with that monopoly a more abundant supply than the market could take off. In each of these years a Committee was appointed to consider the causes of the distress. No foreign corn had been introduced; but the European markets were not open to us, and our own was glutted. Each of the Committees came to the conclusion that legislation could be of no avail. The average price of wheat was so low as 39s. 4d. a quarter in 1835. The British farmer had a complete monopoly—there was no competition from abroad—and yet there was severe agricultural distress. Again, in 1836, that distress was announced in a Speech from the Throne, and a Committee of Inquiry was recommended and appointed. But again no remedy was suggested, or could be devised. As with corn, so with sugar. By the factitious stimulus of protection you may unduly increase the supply, but unless you can so diminish the cost of cultivation, as to find a vent in foreign markets for the surplus which your own market does not require, you cannot prevent distress, as the consequence of abundance.

If I believed the protection proposed would ensure the permanent prosperity of the colonies, I would willingly assent to it. The case of the West Indies is so peculiar, that if by an infraction of the principles which ordinarily prevail in our legislation, we could give them effectual and permanent relief, I would consent to make the special exception in their favour. But protection is not now the remedy for their misfortunes.

Gloomy as the present is, I cannot contemplate without hope the prospect of the future. I do not despair of the West Indies being able to meet competition. Surely the man is blind to the signs of the times who can believe that the system of slavery can be permanently maintained. What is the state of slave labour in Cuba at this moment. Lord Howard de Walden has lately made a visit to Cuba. He has seen some of the best-conditioned estates in the island. Is there any confidence there in the maintenance of slave labour? This is his account of the condition of Cuba. He is asked by the noble Lord the Chairman of the Committee— Are the Overseers of estates obliged to go armed? He answers— Yes, I believe, invariably. The overseer had his cutlass and his dagger, and he had three bloodhounds at his heels close by him. I understood it was the custom of the island that no white man belonging to an estate would go anywhere unarmed. They would not go on foot to any distance; but on horseback they have always their pistols besides. In the United States, the status of slavery is still maintained. Can I believe that the inhabitants of the United States are easy and confident in the maintenance of that system? Why is it that all discussion upon this painful subject is put down? Why is it that the abolitionists of slavery are tarred and feathered? It is because its advocates have no confidence in the maintenance of this crying evil. That country cannot be blessed which maintains this cursed system of slavery. There have been incessant complaints in our own colonies for the last hundred and fifty years while slavery existed. And why? Because there was a blight over the land which sanctioned by law the relation of proprietor and slave. We do not repent of the sacrifices we made, of the magnificent resolution we evinced in the face of Europe to extinguish the system of slavery. We see indeed that there are slaveowners that prosper in the world, and are in the possession of great riches; but we do not say, "It is in vain that we have cleansed our hearts and washed our hands from the stain of this abomination." What position might we have been in at this moment if we had not taken timely precautions for the extirpation of this crying evil? Under no circumstances, at no time, can that country be secure in which this condition of slavery is permitted to continue. I trust that those Governments that are still encouraging the slave trade, and, notwithstanding their hypocritical pretences, defying every effort we make to put an end to this accursed traffic, will be wise in time, and ponder on the consequences that must ensue from an increasing slave population. Have no events occurred of late calculated to admonish them? There have been mighty convulsions in Europe. That man would have been thought a madman who six months since ventured to predict the consequences of the events at Paris. That man who had said six months ago that the contagious influence of events at Paris would involve Berlin and Vienna in anarchy and confusion, would have been thought a mad speculator on the future. The mighty heavings of those convulsions are already felt on the other side of the Atlantic. Look at what is passing in the colonies of France. There are on every side useful lessons, by which the Governments of Brazil, of Cuba, and of the United States, would do well to take timely warning, to foresee that that which has happened in Europe must precipitate the time when there shall be a final extinction of slavery and the slave trade. I hope that the abolition of both will be effected by timely wisdom on the part of the Governments which now tolerate them. If it be not so effected—if by wise and provident legislation they do not speedily efface those great blots on Christianity—still they cannot long endure. The slave is destined to recover his freedom. Let me borrow, to express my own convictions, the magnificent language of Curran—worthy of the aspirations which he breathed for the freedom of the slave:— No matter in what language his doom may have been pronounced—no matter in what disastrous struggle his liberties may have been cloven down—no matter what complexion incompatible with freedom an Indian or African sun may have burnt upon his brow—the time is fast approaching when his soul shall walk abroad in all her native majesty, when his body shall swell beyond the measure of the chains which burst around him, and he shall stand redeemed, regenerate, and disenthralled by the irresistible genius of universal emancipation.


at the present stage of the debate, would only make a few observations on a subject respecting which every hon. Gentleman would be expected to give an account to his constituents. He would, therefore, merely state in a word why he could not give his support to the proposition of Her Majesty's Government. Although he was no advocate of protection, yet he did in his conscience believe that this was a case in which the protective principle should operate. He believed that the only effectual method of restoring prosperity to our colonies was to reduce the duty on our colonial, and increase that on foreign sugars. Unless that were done promptly, a vast portion of the human race on whose amelioration Great Britain had expended so much thought, labour, and treasure, would rapidly fall back into a state of primitive barbarism.


was met by shouts for a division. He said he apologised for venturing to address the House at so late an hour. In his defence he could merely state that he had risen to endeavour to catch the Speaker's eye every time an opportunity afforded itself from the commencement of this debate—that he had endeavoured, on the last night of this debate to move the adjournment, but he was unsuccessful. He therefore hoped the House would allow him to make a few observations. He would not go, or attempt to go, into the details of this question. Every Member who had spoken upon it had admitted fully and entirely the existence of great depression in our West Indian colonies; and the only question that had been raised was the character of the remedy proposed for that distress. It had been stated that absenteeism, and negligence, and want of energy, might be among the main causes of that distress. But his right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge had so fully answered those allegations, that he (the Marquess of Granby) would make no observations upon them. But there had been another cause assigned for that distress, namely, the commercial depression which had recently befallen the empire generally. He had no hesitation in saying that the distress of the West Indies was attributable to the derangements caused by the Act of 1846. He wished to know how it happened that whilst the price of our West Indian sugar had fallen 13s. or 14s. per cwt., the produce of Cuba or the Brazils had not fallen to the same extent? Mr. Higgins was asked by Mr. Milner Gibson— Perhaps some part of it (the reduction in price) is to be attributed to the monetary crisis? But Mr. Higgins answered— Were it so, that would have affected the estates in Cuba as much as it has done ours; but such does not appear to be the case. The acts of the Legislature affected the price of our sugar much more than they had that of slave countries. The distress was to be attributed, not to the commercial pressure, but to the difference between eighteen hours' labour and four or five hours' labour. The difference between the labour of the comparatively idle negro, and labour stimulated by the cutlass, the lash, and the bloodhounds of the slaveowner. In one word, the dis- tress was owing to the unwholesome competition brought into play by the Act of 1846. It had been said that one of the remedies to be sought should be the diminution of the wages of labour; and that protection was not what was required, for protection, on the contrary, would raise the rate of wages by increasing prices. But on this point there had been a signal difference between two great authorities. The right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham) stated the other night that, in his opinion, high prices signified, not high wages, but low wages. The hon. Member for Westbury (Mr. J. Wilson), on the other hand, proposed his eighth resolution— That if the protective duties levied upon foreign sugar were now to be increased, and the price of sugar in the British market were in consequence to be artificially raised, the efforts now being made by the British planter to lessen the cost of his sugar by a reduction of wages and other means of economy, would be impeded, wages would again be raised in the colonies, and the cost of production increased. He (the Marquess of Granby) agreed with that opinion, that protection would raise the rate of wages. The wages of labour were high in the West Indies; but if the West India proprietor were reduced to beggary and ruin, what consolation would it be that his ruin was caused by the high rate of wages, which had been brought about by our legislation? But high wages was not the only difficult part of the question: there was still the other great difficulty of procuring men to work for our colonists at the time of the harvest. He (the Marquess of Granby) believed that the only true relief which they could give to the West Indian colonies was to give them full and ample protection, at the same time accompanying that protection with such means of immigration as should prevent any great increase in the wages of labour. He was afraid that this plan of the Government would be found to be of very little avail to the colonies. As the needle invariably pointed to the pole, except when influenced by some adjacent attracting metal, so he believed the desire of the noble Lord at the head of the Government had been to give adequate protection to our colonies, had he not been influenced by certain theories about competition and "buying in the cheapest and selling in the dearest market." His right hon. Friend the Member for Ripon (Sir J. Graham) admitted the other night that the difference between the cost of producing slave-labour and free-labour sugar was 15s. 9d.; and he asked of what avail would a protecting duty of 10s. be against so great a difference in the cost of production? He (the Marquess of Granby) wished to ask that right hon. Baronet, how, if he thought 10s. insufficient protection, he could (as he said he would) vote for the proposition of Her Majesty's Government? Surely if 10s. were insufficient protection, à fortiori 7s. must be too little. But the right hon. Baronet had fairly confessed that he should vote for the proposition of the Government, and against the Amendment, because the latter would lead to reaction with regard to the principles of free trade. So that it would appear that on so great a question as the safety of our colonial empire, the right hon. Baronet confessed that he would allow himself to be influenced by party motives. But he begged the free-traders on the opposite benches not to be swayed by such unworthy motives, but rather to follow the dictates of truth, impartiality and justice. He begged them not to be misled by the right hon. Baronet. He begged them to consider this question solely upon its merits. Before he sat down he would entreat the House to remember the position in which they now stood. He would entreat them to remember that in the year 1834, when the interests of our colonies and the interests of humanity were antagonistic, they did not hesitate to say that they would peril the colonies rather than suffer slavery to exist. But what would be thought of them if, when the interests of the two were identical—when the colonists and the friends of humanity united in entreating them to grant a sufficiently protective duty—when they remembered that this slavery that they now asked to put down was infinitely severer, infinitely more horrible, and infinitely more disgusting than colonial slavery—what would the world think of them if, under such circumstances, they refused to give that protection to the colonies which justice, humanity, and sound policy loudly demanded?


Sir, this House has a great question before it, worthy of all its attention. This House has to consider whether, viewing the peculiar state of the West India colonies, and the distress which has prevailed and does prevail in those colonies, it will go into Committee to consider whether it will make any alteration in the duties imposed by the Act of 1846. I avow, Sir, that after hearing this very protracted debate, I feel confident in the opinion I gave before—that, by inter- posing the Motion of the hon. Baronet, which we are now discussing, before you are allowed to leave the chair, instead of helping and aiding us in coming to a right decision on this question, the hon. Member has placed embarrassment and delay in our way, without any addition to the means of arriving at a correct solution of the difficulties before us. If the hon. Member had declared that there could be no settlement of this question, and no mode of giving relief to the West Indies, but a resolution which should be founded on the report of the Committee, I could well understand that if the House agreed to that resolution, then we should be in the road towards a settlement of the question, useful or injurious as it might in its nature be, but still useful as a settlement of the question before us. But the hon. Gentleman has moved a resolution which merely goes to an unsettlement of the question. If the hon. Baronet, as the organ of a great party, had made this Motion as a party Motion, with a view to a change of Government, I could well understand his object; but it has been clearly shown, in the course of this debate, that while many hon. Gentlemen are going to vote with the hon. Baronet, they differ from him entirely with respect to the remedy he would propose. What, then, supposing the hon. Baronet carries his resolution, will be the effect of his suggestion? It is very true that he will reject the proposition of the Government; but I utterly deny that he will advance a step towards any settlement which will give relief to the West Indies. The hon. Baronet, if his proposition were carried, might then move that the House should go into Committee; but as soon as he proposed his 10s. duty for sis years, he would find that not only those who opposed his former resolution, but the right hon. Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. Gladstone), and, as far as I understand, the right hon. Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Goulburn), and other hon. Gentlemen, would declare that they thought this 10s. protection was more than the House ought to consent to; and one of the right hon. Gentlemen to whom I have referred would say that a reduction at once from 14s. to 10s. would be dangerous to the revenue. How, then, if the House should adopt the proposition of the hon. Baronet, would they have contributed towards the settlement of this question? They would have negatived the proposition of the Govern- ment; but they might adopt the proposition of the right hon. Member for the University of Oxford; and, I would ask, is that a better proposition for the West India body than the measure of the Government? This subject, at all events, ought to be considered in Committee; it is worthy of serious and deliberate consideration. It really seems to me that, if the hon. Baronet is successful in carrying his resolution, he will arrive at this result—that no proposition for an alteration of the duties of 1846 will meet the favour of a majority of the Committee, and that the hon. Baronet will end his measure for the relief of the West Indies by the continuance of that Act of 1846 to which he attributes the present distress of the colonies. Now, I ask the hon. Baronet, is this a course which it becomes him to take with a view to the relief of the West India colonies? I will avail myself of the opportunity afforded by the hon. Baronet's Motion to make some further statements with respect to the view which I take of the proposition that has been made by Her Majesty's Government, and of the reasons which have rendered that proposition necessary. The great changes that have taken place with regard to our West India colonies—the total emancipation of those who were formerly slaves—the admission, first, of free-labour sugar, and afterwards of all foreign sugar, into this country, have together made an immense change in the state of society in the West Indies. These changes—the first of them especially—rendered other measures necessary. Such measures have been carried into effect with great delay and with great obstruction, though perhaps with no more delay or obstruction than was necessary, but which have prevented the West India proprietors from being now in so advantageous a situation as they would have been in could Parliament and the Government, in 1834 or 1835, have fixed at once upon all the measures with which it was necessary to accompany the Act of Emancipation. To allude first to the measures with regard to vagrancy and squatting, upon which some remarks have been made, I would state, that having been at one time Secretary of State for the Colonies, I did not find that there was any material objection to be made to the laws which were proposed on these subjects in the different colonies; but I did find that there were great difficulties as to details, and that many of the provisions proposed infringed upon the liberty of the enfran- chised negroes. There was also, at that time, a most jealous supervision of all colonial legislation on the part of the Anti-Slavery Committee, and the antislavery body. Their jealousy was, perhaps, carried to an undue extent. It may have been that many of the provisions of the laws to which they objected were only slightly in fault; but, from the very recent emancipation of the slaves, such a jealousy ill this country was, I think, natural. It was only the result of the long struggle which had been carried on between those who wished to maintain the institution of slavery, and the great popular body in this country which had been urging its removal and striving for its total abolition. But be that as it may, no doubt the contest with respect to these laws tended to prevent the free course of legislation, and the speedy enactment of beneficial measures with respect to vagrancy and the employment of labour. There were likewise at that time what I think the West India proprietors had some right to object to—continual reports from stipendiary magistrates stating the conduct pursued by each proprietor towards the labourers on his estate, and thus conveying to this country statements which gave rise to angry contests. At the time I was Secretary of State I thought it my duty to desire that such reports should be more rarely made. I only refer to these subjects now to show that such a great measure as the Act of Emancipation could not be carried fully into effect without many subsequent provisions—without many alterations of the laws existing in the colonies; laws suited to a state of slavery, and of course unfitted to the state of freedom which was subsequently established. Sir, another and more important question came under consideration at the same time. I think I may say that, with regard to advantages of soil and climate, some of our West India colonies are equal either to Cuba or the other slave colonies; and I believe that the advantage of the capital of this great country, if, as has been said, it be poured out like water upon our West Indian colonies, fully compensates for any advantage which Cuba may derive from her resident proprietors. But what our colonies immediately suffered from was the want of continuous labour. The question was, how this want of continuous labour should be supplied. Great objection was felt to deriving that labour from Africa. It was thought that, if labour was derived from Africa in any shape, it would tend to a renewal of the slave trade. When I held the seals of the Colonial Office, I proposed to do away with this restriction; but, although my proposal was acceded to, the immediate result was almost insignificant. There were very few who were disposed to take advantage of our change in legislation. Other plans had been tried. European colonists had been sent out, but European immigration had, to a great extent, failed. Coolie immigration had been tried, and that had likewise to a considerable degree failed; so that attempts and experiments were made in order to supply this want of labour. I think, Sir, it is desirable that we should adopt some means for enabling the colonists to increase the number of their labourers, and that such a measure might be exceedingly beneficial. I should say that it would not be beneficial only in proportion to the number of immigrants introduced, for it is the testimony of many persons connected with the West Indies, that a very small addition to the number of labourers often greatly increases the willingness of the people to work. It is not, therefore, by the number of immigrants introduced, or by the cost of their introduction, that we are to measure the effect of such a step. The right hon. Member for Tamworth (Sir R. Peel), in referring to the proposal of the Government to advance 500,000l. as a loan to the colonists for the promotion of immigration, has asked whether a portion of that sum might not be appropriated to other purposes. Now, I must state that the Government have been very unwilling to make such an appropriation of any part of that sum as might lead them into engagements for loans with individual proprietors in the West Indies; for they considered that, difficult as it is in Great Britain and Ireland to make such conditions with respect to the improvement of land as to enable the Government to carry on such operations beneficially, it would be almost impossible to do so when they had to deal with individual proprietors in a number of distant colonies. But as we advanced money to Canada for the purpose of public works there, giving to it our guarantee for a considerable loan, so I should say with respect to any works in the West Indies of some considerable extent, such as those to which the right hon. Gentleman has alluded, namely, tramways, or some great works such as might prevent those droughts to which the islands are subject, that they would constitute a legitimate ob- ject for the employment of some of the money we propose to appropriate, and I should have no objection to extend the appropriation to those purposes. I now come to that question on which the greater portion of the debate has turned—namely, the differential or protective duty. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge University attributes the whole of the present distress of the planters to the Bill of 1846. Now, it does not appear to me that that Bill has been the principal cause, even though it might be one of the causes of that distress. Some part of the House will recollect that in stating the probably immediate effect of that Bill, I said, there would in all likelihood be some 240,000 tons of sugar introduced in this country from the British possessions, about 20,000 tons of foreign free-labour sugar, and 20,000 tons of slave-labour sugar, making altogether 280,000 tons. I did not expect that the produce of our own possessions would very greatly increase; but it does happen that the produce of the last year reached to upwards of 280,000 tons; and that quantity, together with 480,000 tons of foreign sugar, has caused a great depreciation of price. The amount of the West India produce alone, according to the return moved for by the hon. Member for Leicester, has—after having been for several separate years, 2,000,000 cwt., 2,2000,000 cwt., 2,100,000 cwt., 2,500,000 cwt. 2,400,000 cwt., 2,800,000 cwt., 2,152,000 cwt.,—risen in the last year to 3,202,775 cwt. That is an enormous increase in the production of the West Indies. The right hon. Gentleman said most truly that that increased production was in no way to be attributed to the Act of 1846, inasmuch as the canes had been previously planted; but nevertheless it is evident that there has been an immense increase of production; and if that increase had been concomitant with the high prices that formerly prevailed under the system of monopoly, I believe that, with the effect of strict monopoly, it would have produced as great distress as at present—distress similar to that which we have seen in former times of monopoly. In addition, however, to this increased quantity of West India produce, 48,000 tons of foreign sugar have at the same time come into the market, and the two together have caused the great cheapness of sugar, and thereby caused the distress. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge says he cannot consent to a 10s. protection, though he does not agree to the plan of the Govern- ment. I must therefore suppose that he is for some intermediate scheme—for some protection between 7s. which we propose, and 10s. which the Committee propose. I own it does seem to me that the disagreement which the right hon. Gentleman has with the Government on this point is rather a matter for consideration in Committee. It is a difference of some 2s. or so at the utmost; and such being the case I am surprised that the right hon. Gentleman does not consent to go into Committee to consider the question. Another Gentleman who has spoken to-night, and whose opinions are entitled to the utmost respect (Mr. Barkly), says that in his view there ought to be a protection of 10s. for three years. Again, I think that is a question for consideration in the Committee; but I should very much doubt whether that 10s. protective duty for three years would not produce the very effect which he deprecates, namely, that of raising the wages of labour. I am not able to understand that part of his argument where he says that if a 10s. protective duty were established for ten years, it would cause a fresh struggle between the planters and the labourers, and that the labourers would gain the advantage, but that if it were only established for two years, or, as he now says, for three years, then the planter would gain the advantage. The labourers would know that such a change was made, and they would demand increased wages, just as much if the change were made for one or two years as if it were made for six years. They would say, whatever may be the case the year after next, while this increased protection lasts, and while the planters are enabled to make a greater profit, let us have the advantage. It seems to me impossible to admit the proposition, that if a 10s. protective duty for six years would produce an immediate and large rise of wages, such a duty for two or three years would produce no effect of the kind. Thus the objection urged by the hon. Gentleman to the scheme of the Committee appears to me to apply equally to his own, namely, that it would tend immediately to raise wages very high, and produce a fresh struggle between the planters and the labourers; and at the end of the two or three years you would find the same state of distress as now. In the midst of these various schemes and suggestions, the Government have proposed that which seems to me to combine advantages which it was their duty to combine. I do not think that it would have been right to have remained, quies- cent in the presence of the very great distress existing, without making some effort in order to relieve it, bringing at the same time the Act of 1846 into further operation. What we propose, therefore, is to give an immediate advantage to the planter in an increased protection for some time, and to give an advantage also to the consumer in a diminished duty. We propose that instead of 4s. 6d. the West India planter should have for certain qualities of sugar a protection of 7s., making a difference of 2s. 6d. beyond the Act of 1846. So far, there is a great advantage to the West Indian body in our proposition over that made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford University, his proposition being the continuance of 6s. protection, and that for some years. Our proposition, while it will give a certain degree of increased protection, at the same time involves a diminution of duty, and thereby tends greatly to increase the consumption. I own it appears to me that, seeing the great increase of the production of the West Indies, and also in the foreign colonies and countries, the only chance which the planters in our colonies have, consists in greatly increased consumption. The way to produce that increased consumption is by a diminution of duty; our plan proposes that, and that of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford University does not. It is quite true that the plan of the Committee proposes the same advantage in that respect; but it involves, if carried to its utmost extent, such a sacrifice of revenue as the House would hardly consent to. I will not go into the particulars of the increased consumption on which we reckon to make good the amount of revenue in the present year. When we go into Committee some Member of the Government will state the reasons why we think that there will not ensue a greater diminution of duty than 30,000l. or 40,000l., or, as I should think, not more than 10,000l. There now remains to notice the objection of the hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford University, who considers this plan as an encouragement of slavery. Now, if this were entirely a new question—if no slave-grown sugar could be admitted at present—I would admit that that was a fair ground of objection; but the proposition with which he has to deal is not one of admitting for the first time slave-grown sugar, but of giving increased protection for the present against slave-grown sugar, and in favour of our own colonies. If the hon. Baronet were to say he would repeal altogether the Act of 1846, and totally prohibit the admission of slave-grown sugar, then I could admit his argument against the present plan; but I believe the hon. Baronet must be convinced that that would be a vain and fruitless effort. If the hon. Baronet were to succeed in such an attempt, or if the plan of giving a 10s. protective duty were to succeed, I think you would see in a year or two a fresh struggle to take it away again. The price of sugar would be complained of, and the amount of difference between the price now and what it would be then would he stated as a tax on the consumer, and fresh efforts would be made to take away the protection; and the West India body would be placed in that most difficult of all positions—that of doubt from year to year, and almost from month to month, as to whether or not they could maintain the protection. That is the danger I see—a danger pointed out by a gentleman of great practical experience in West India affairs—who was one of the witnesses examined before the Committee. My belief is, that Parliament have adopted a sound principle when they have said, in the first place, that they will not permit slavery to exist in any of the British possessions; and when they have said, in the second place, that they would not ultimately consider the institution of slavery as a bar against the admission into this country of goods which are the produce of slave labour. I do not see in this respect that inconsistency in our legislation on which some hon. Gentlemen have commented. The inconsistency, I think, would be far greater if we were to consent to the admission of all other articles the produce of slave labour, and, making a distinction in the case of sugar alone, refuse to admit it. My belief is, that these distinctions in tariffs do not form the mode by which you can attain so great an object as the abolition of the slave trade throughout the world. I think rather, if you rely upon the progress of opinion—if you rely upon the impatience that will be felt among those who are retained in slavery in Cuba, while in Jamaica and Martinique, and all the other islands around them, freedom prevails, you will rely upon a much better basis than any distinction we can make in tariffs for the protection of the West Indies. I own I expect, setting aside the progress of slavery in the United States of America—a problem to which I see no safe or satisfactory solution—that if slavery in Cuba and Brazil is to be abolished, it will be abolished all the sooner if we do not make it a matter of tariff and regulation—if we say we have abolished slavery ourselves; we are free from any stain of that kind; we don't inquire into the institutions of foreign countries; we wish for freedom to prevail, but we trust to the strength of the cause, and leave it to other countries to decide for themselves the manner of effecting it.


wished to be allowed to say a few words in explanation of the vote he intended to give; for he had voted with Her Majesty's Government on the Bill of 1846, and he was now about to vote against them. He had voted for the Bill of 1846 because he considered it was a settlement of the question. He voted for it on the principle of freetrade also, because it was alleged that if it were not so settled it would be impossible to effect an arrangement with Brazil. He would not, therefore, vote for the disturbance of the settlement until the freet-rade question were proved to be either right or wrong. But the present was not a question of whether free trade was right or wrong, or whether they were to have slavery or to give up their colonies. Her Majesty's Government proposed a question which arranged nothing. It was a measure which attacked everything and settled nothing. It despoiled the revenue, and it did not improve the condition of the planter. It was opposed to the principles of free trade, and it did not give protection. At the end of six years, the planter would be just as forward as he was now. It was a mere question of whether they would kill him at once or bleed him to death. Now the Motion of the hon. Member for Droitwich would put an end to the question proposed by Her Majesty's Government; and for that reason, and that reason alone, he would vote for it. But he would not be obliged on that account to vote with him on any other measure he might subsequently propose, either for a 10s. duty, or any other proposition he might make. As to the labour question, it was not quantity of labour, but quality, which they wanted in the West Indies. He knew that the labour they wanted was that which should he under control. But the measure of Her Majesty's Government would not provide that. It was a futile, petty, trivial measure, and so different from the Bill of 1846, that he felt bound to vote against it.


said, that he had frequently attempted to catch the Speaker's eye during earlier periods of the debate, and if he were to be prevented from a hearing then, he should move the adjourn- ment. He was not to be prevented by any step which the Prime Minister might have taken to secure the debate coming to a conclusion. He agreed with the hon. Member for Birmingham, that the present was not a question of free-trade or protection. It was a question of justice, and he wished to deliver his opinions upon it, for with every Irish Member in the House he stood in a peculiar position. The Irish Members were under the imputation of having entertained an offer, a degrading offer, which had been made to them on the part of the Government by some agent—he would not say how commissioned or how far authorised—but by some agent, to the effect, that if they would assist the Government in destroying the liberties and properties of their West Indian fellow-subjects, they (the Irish Members) would not be held too firmly bound to the terms of the proposition before the House. But he begged to say, that whatever the terms might be which Her Majesty's Government might think fit to offer, they would not turn him from his purpose; and that he had not read the constitution so as to suppose that justice to Ireland was to be brought about by injustice to the West Indies. On the part of his constituents he would not accept of any such compromise. There were other modes of doing justice to Ireland; and he, for one, would not be a party, on behalf of his constituents, to any arrangement to purchase that justice at the price of injustice to the West Indies. It was vain to say that this was a question of free trade. It was no such question. Its real author had not so propounded it. It was a measure for the destruction of our great colonial empire. That was the avowed purpose for which its real author, and the school of which he was the chief, had first brought it forward more than ten years ago. [Ironical cheers.] Let those who cheered wait for the answer of the hon. Member for the West Riding (Mr. Cobden) to the question he was going to put to him. He would ask that hon. Member whether he denied the authorship of the pamphlet which he held in his hand, and which had been attributed to the hon. Member by the voice of fame? It was entitled England, Ireland, and America, by a Manchester Manufacturer. If he admitted the authorship, he stood committed to the proposition that our colonies were an incumbrance to us, and that it was desirable to get rid of them by means of an equalisation of duties. It stated that America revolted, and hostile America was our best customer, and therefore, the more we strengthen America by colonial annexations and weaken this empire, the better it would be for the free-trade school of Manchester. Hon. Members on that (the Opposition) side of the House had pointed out the inevitable results of these measures, but they had been long ago foreseen by the hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire. In the pamphlet to which he had referred, the writer said— We are on the verge of an inevitable combibination of commercial necessities that will altogether change the relations in which we have hitherto stood with our colonies. The new world is destined to become the arbiter of the commercial policy of the old. The writer expressed his regret that a monstrous delay was granted to our West Indian colonies of ten years, and said— At the end of this period, if not long before, the monstrous impolicy of sacrificing our trade with a new trade of almost boundless extent of rich territory in favour of a few small exhausted islands, will cease to be sanctioned by law. He went on to say— that the markets of the West Indies must be placed in the same predicament as if they were not part of Her Majesty's dominions; and where would be the semblance of a plea for putting ourselves to the expense of governing and defending them? But the hon. Member did not stop there, for the measures by which he proposed to sap the allegiance of these few small and contemptible islands he proposed to extend to our great and mighty possessions in Eastern India. He then came to the hon. Member's favourite subject of the diminution of expenditure, by the prostration of all our military and naval resources, in the presence of the superior power of our enemies, and the hon. Member said— When the sugar and cotton duties are equalised—when the East and West Indies are lost—we shall be able to reduce the charge of the Navy and Ordnance, amounting to 14,000,000l. annually— and he concluded by saying "there will be an end"—[Considerable interruption.] The hon. Member concluded by moving the adjournment of the House.


seconded the Motion.


in reference to what had fallen from the hon. Member for Youghal, denied that any compromise had been entered into at the interview of the deputation of Irish Members with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which took place some days since.


observed, that the hon. and learned Member opposite had been heard through most of the observa- tions he addressed to the House; and he hoped, at that late hour of the night, he would allow the debate to be brought to a conclusion.


did not know what the noble Lord would have. He had been so much interrupted, that he found a difficulty in commencing or concluding a single sentence. He had borne the interruptions to which he had been subjected with great patience; and if the noble Lord was not satisfied with those interruptions he did not know what he would be contented with. His hon. and gallant Friend had understood him; he had not made any charge. He had simply said that he, as an Irish Member, lay under the imputation that such an offer had been made, and therefore that he felt it incumbent on him to repudiate it. A Member of the deputation communicated to the other Irish Members information which left a different impression upon his mind from the statement they had just heard. ["Name!"] There was no occasion for him to name; the hon. Member was present, and could speak for himself. He (Mr. Anstey) had not been present at that conference; but he had heard a somewhat different account of it from another Member of the deputation, who said, on returning, "Let us leave it entirely to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He is in our favour, and he will impress our case favourably on his Colleagues, but do not mention it in the House, lest the West Indian Gentlemen should find out what is in reserve for them."

Motion for Adjournment withdrawn.


continued to say that the avowed object of the hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire, and of the chief supporters of the present measure, were those set forth in the passages he had read. That party were of opinion that the monstrous impolicy of sacrificing our trade with the American Continent, in favour of a few small islands of exhausted soil would soon be generally recognised; that we must cease to trade with them exclusively, and then no semblance of a plea would be left for putting ourselves to the expense of governing and defending them; that the Canadian monopoly must yield to the claims of the United States and the Baltic trade; that the same system must be extended to our Eastern possessions; and that when the colonies and India were lost we should be enabled to reduce the charge for our Army, Navy, and Ordnance, amounting to 14,000,000l. annually. And the hon. Member (Mr. Cobden) had con- cluded with expressing his hope that there might be an end to that favourite Spanish proverb so often quoted—that the sun never set on the King of England's dominions. He would ask the House to consider whether it was not fitting that they should pause before giving their sanction to a measure introduced by the Government under the auspices of that hon. Member? The hon. Member had announced it to be a measure for the separation of the colonies from the mother country. He was the authority to which Her Majesty's free-trade Ministers must bow. Were they prepared to act upon that policy? Were Ministers prepared to see our West Indian colonies annexed to the United States of America? If not, why did they adopt the measure of the hon. Member for the West Riding, and court his support? On this point, the hon. Member and his party were in entire accord with us. The measure would undoubtedly have the results foreseen by the hon. Member. Of what practical value would it be to these colonies to be able to refer to their long traditional connexion with this country, if, when they asked for justice, not merely was protection denied them, but old oppressions were continued, and new ones imposed? It should be recollected that the cultivation of sugar had been originally forced upon the West Indian colonies. It was once a great Parliamentary policy to create in favour of Great Britain the monopoly of sugar, which at the beginning of the last century was enjoyed by Portugal. In spite of West Indian remonstrance, that monopoly was created at the sacrifice of the great West Indian staple products—cotton, coffee, and indigo. Heavy and discouraging duties were laid on these—bounties were offered on sugar—slavery, that raw material of sugar, was largely imported into the West Indies by command of Parliament—and the end was accomplished. The cotton and coffee fields were thrown out of cultivation; the indigo trade was utterly destroyed; the sugar trade became ascendant; and the slave trade, in spite of the honourable opposition of the West Indies themselves, became universal and permanent. He held in his hand a list of no less than seventeen Acts of Parliament, passed between the reigns of William III. and George IV. inclusive, for the encouragement of the slave trade, slavery and sugar plantation in the West Indies. Every Act of the West Indian Assemblies passed for the suppression or discouragement of the slave trade had been successively dis- allowed at home; and at length, soon after the accession of George III., the governors of those colonies were informed, that if they presumed to give even a temporary assent to such enactments, they should be suspended from office. It was, therefore, too late for the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth to expatiate on the evils of Parliamentary legislation in matters of agriculture and commerce. That objection applied to the Acts of 1846, 1833, 1807, and the long succession of years from the reign of William III. They had, for a period of 150 years, made these colonies the victims of a wayward and capricious legislation; and now hon. Gentlemen opposite sought to stifle discussion, and to seal the ruin of a great and mighty interest. This was no ease of the colonies asking the mother country to remove natural obstructions or difficulties of the colonists' own raising—they only asked them to remove the necessary effects of their own legislation—the colonies did not beg, they did not seek for recompense. What they sought was restitution. If the West Indians had had no legislation of the mother country they would not now appear in the attitude of suitors for assistance and support. He opposed the proposal of the Government, because he thought it would consummate a great crime, and because it took from our West India colonists the last chance of restitution, and sealed the fate of that unfortunate dependency of the British Crown. They talked about their hatred of slavery, and of the great sacrifices which this country had made; but it was time for them to cease this vaunting unless they were prepared, not merely to make the purchase, but to pay the price. He despised that vicarious benevolence which would indulge itself at another's cost. If hon. Members were willing to give a fair trial to the great measure of 1834, they should abdicate free trade; if they stood by free trade they should abdicate humanity. The two were inconsistent, and hon. Members should adopt either one or the other. At this moment they were, he would tell them, free-traders as they called themselves, protecting slave-grown sugar, and discouraging colonial sugar, the produce of free industry. Was the price of the latter the natural price or not? If it was, then they were untrue to their own principles in giving a bounty to the foreign sugars whose cheapness was produced by disturbing causes. If it was not, they were still untrue to their principles in prohibiting to our own colonists the use of that raw material of cheap sugar—the slave trade. Let them make their option. Let them give up cheap sugar or let them abdicate their humanity. How ludicrously inconsistent was their position! They protected foreign free-grown sugar—they encouraged slave-grown sugar—and they refused protection to their own colonies. And then they gave protection—after a fashion—to our colonial sugar too; for they who would not vote for the adequate protection of a differential duty, were yet contented to go on wasting nearly a million every year in the ineffectual blockade of the coasts of Africa. Surely if their motives were single and pure, their policy was unintelligible and absurd. But if the views of the real author of their measures were still the same now as in 1836, and if the principles of the hon. Member for the West Riding were predominant in the Cabinet, then, indeed, the whole of their proceedings would be more comprehensible. In the name of humanity, of consistency, and of justice, in the name of free trade itself—in the name and for the interests of that great and mighty empire, which those hon. Members were seeking to dismember and destroy—he had raised his feeble voice that night against the measure of the Government; and he was determined also to give his vote against it in all its future stages.

The House divided on the question that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the question:—Ayes 260; Noes 245: Majority 15.

List of the AYES.
Abdy, T. N. Brocklehurst, J.
Adair, H. E. Brotherton, J.
Adair, R. A. S. Brown, W.
Aglionby, H. A. Buller, C.
Alcock, T. Butler, P. S.
Anderson, A. Callaghan, D.
Anson, hon. Col. Campbell, hon. W. F.
Anson, Visct. Carter, J. B.
Armstrong, Sir A. Caulfeild, J. M.
Arundel and Surrey, Earl of Cavendish, hon. C. C.
Cavendish, hon. G. H.
Bagshaw, J. Cavendish, W. G.
Baines, M. T. Childers, J. W.
Baring, H. B. Cholmeley, Sir M.
Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. Clay, J.
Barnard, E. G. Clay, Sir W.
Bellew, R. M. Clements, hon. C. S.
Berkeley, hon. Capt Cobden, R.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Cockburn, A. J. E.
Bernal, R. Coke, hon. E. K.
Blake, M. J. Colebrooke, Sir T. E.
Bolling, W. Collins, W.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Cowper, hon. W. F.
Bowring, Dr. Craig, W. G.
Boyd, J. Cubitt, W.
Boyle, hon. Col. Currie, R.
Brand, T. Dalrymple, Capt.
Dashwood, G. H. Hughes, W. B.
Davie, Sir H. R. F. Humphery, Ald.
Dawson, hon. T. V. Jervis, Sir J.
Denison, W. J. Kershaw, J.
Denison, J. E. Kildare, Marq. of
Divett, E. King, hon. P. J. L.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Labouchere, rt. hon. H.
Douro, Marq. of Lacy, H. C.
Duff, G. S. Langston, J. H.
Duke, Sir J. Lascelles, hon. W. S.
Duncan, Visct. Lemon, Sir C.
Duncan, G. Lennard, T. B.
Duncuft, J. Lewis, rt. hon. Sir T. F.
Dundas, Adm. Lewis, G. C.
Dundas, Sir D. Littleton, hon. E. R.
Ebrington, Visct. Loch, J.
Ellice, E. Locke, J.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Mackinnon, W. A.
Enfield, Visct. M'Cullagh, W. T.
Estcourt, J. B. B. M'Gregor, J.
Evans, Sir De L. M'Taggart, Sir J.
Evans, J. Maher, N. V.
Evans, W. Maitland, T.
Ewart, W. Marshall, J. G.
Fergus, J. Marshall, W.
Ferguson, Col. Martin, J.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Martin, C. W.
Fitz Patrick, rt. hn. J. W. Martin, S.
Fitzwilliam, hon. G. W. Matheson, A.
Foley, J. H. H. Matheson, J.
Fordyce, A. D. Matheson, Col.
Forster, M. Maule, rt. hon. F.
Fortescue, C. Melgund, Visct.
Fortescue, hon. J. W. Milner, W. M. E.
Fox, W. J. Milnes, R. M.
Freestun, Col. Milton, Visct.
French, F. Mitchell, T. A.
Frewen, C. H. Molesworth, Sir W.
Gibson, rt. hon. T. M. Morpeth, Visct.
Glyn, G. C. Morison, Sir W.
Grace, O. D. J. Morris, D.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Mostyn, hon. E. M. L.
Grenfell, C. P. Mulgrave, Earl of
Grenfell, C. W. Noel, hon. G. J.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Norreys, Lord
Grey, R. W. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Grosvenor, Lord R. O'Brien, J.
Guest, Sir J. O'Brien, T.
Hall, Sir B. O'Connell, M. J.
Hallyburton, Ld. J. F. G. Ogle, S. C. H.
Hanmer, Sir J. Ord, W.
Harcourt, G. G. Owen, Sir J.
Hardcastle, J. A. Paget, Lord A.
Hastie, A. Paget, Lord C.
Hastie, A. Paget, Lord G.
Hawes, B. Palmer, R.
Hay, Lord J. Palmerston, Visct.
Hayter, W. G. Parker, J.
Headlam, T. E. Pearson, C.
Heathcoat, J. Pechell, Capt.
Heathcote, G. J. Peel, rt hon. Sir R.
Heneage, G. H. W. Perfect, R.
Heneage, E. Peto, S. M.
Henry, A. Philips, Sir G. R.
Heywood, J. Pigott, F.
Hindley, C. Pilkington, J.
Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J. Price, Sir R.
Hobhouse, T. B. Pugh, D.
Hodges, T. L. Pusey, P.
Hodges, T. T. Raphael, A.
Hollond, R. Reynolds, J.
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Ricardo, J. L.
Howard, hon. E. G. G. Ricardo, O.
Howard, Sir R. Rice, E. R.
Robartes, T. J. A. Tennent, R. J.
Roche, E. B. Thicknesse, R. A.
Romilly, Sir J. Thompson, Col.
Russell, Lord J. Thompson, G.
Russell, hon. E. S. Thornely, T.
Russell, F. C. H. Tollemache, hon. F. J.
Rutherfurd, A. Towneley, J.
Salwey, Col. Townley, R. G.
Scholefield, W. Townshend, Capt.
Scrope, G. P. Traill, G.
Seymour, Sir H. Trelawny, J. S.
Seymour, Lord Turner, E.
Shafto, R. D. Vane, Lord H.
Sheil, rt. hon. R. L. Verney, Sir H.
Shelburne, Earl of Villiers, hon. C.
Sheridan, R. B. Vivian, J. H.
Simeon, J. Wall, C B.
Slaney, R. A. Ward, H. G.
Smith, rt. hon. R. V. Watkins, Col.
Smith, J. A. Westhead, J. P.
Smith, J. B. Willcox, B. M.
Somerville, rt. hn. Sir W. Williams, J.
Spearman, H. J. Wilson, J.
Stansfield, W. R. C. Wilson, M.
Stanton, W. H. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Strickland, Sir G. Wrightson, W. B.
Stuart, Lord D. Wyld, J.
Stuart, Lord J. Young, Sir J.
Talbot, C. R. M. TELLERS.
Talfourd, Serj. Hill, Lord M.
Tancred, H. W. Tufnell, H.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Cardwell, E.
Adare, Visct. Carew, W. H. P.
Adderley, C. B. Charteris, hon. F.
Anstey, T. C. Chichester, Lord J. L.
Archdall, Capt. Christopher, R. A.
Bagge, W. Christy, S.
Bagot, hon. W. Clerk, rt. hon. Sir G.
Bailey, J. jun. Clive, hon. R. H.
Baillie, H. J. Clive, H. B.
Baldock, E. H. Cochrane, A. D. R. W. B.
Baldwin, C. B. Cocks, T. S.
Bankes, G. Codrington, Sir W.
Barkly, H. Cole, hon. H. A.
Baring, T. Coles, H. B.
Barrington, Visct. Compton, H. C.
Bateson, T. Conolly, Col.
Beckett, W. Copeland, Ald.
Benbow, J. Corry, rt. hon. H. L.
Benett, J. Cotton, hon. W. H. S.
Bennet, P. Courtenay, Lord
Bentinck, Lord G. Currie, H.
Bentinck, Lord H. Damer, hon. Col.
Beresford, W. Davies, D. A. S.
Berkeley, hon. G. F. Devereux, J. T.
Birch, Sir T. B. Disraeli, B.
Blackall, S. W. Dod, J. W.
Bourke, R. S. Dodd, G.
Bowles, Adm. Drax, J. S. W. S. E.
Bramston, T. W. Drumlanrig, Visct.
Bremridge, R. Drummond, H. H.
Broadley, H. Duckworth, Sir J. T. B.
Brooke, Lord Duncombe, hon. A.
Bruce, Lord E. Duncombe, hon. O.
Bruce, C. L. C. Dundas, G.
Bruen, Col. Dunne, F. P.
Buck, L. W. Du Pre, C. G.
Buller, Sir J. Y. East, Sir J. B.
Bunbury, W. M. Edwards, H.
Burghley, Lord Egerton, Sir P.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Egerton, W. T.
Cabbell, B. B. Emlyn, Visct.
Euston, Earl of Hume, J.
Fagan, W. Ingestre, Visct.
Farnham, E. B. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Farrer, J. Jocelyn, Visct.
Fellowes, E. Johnstone, Sir J.
Filmer, Sir E. Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.
Fitzroy, hon. H. Jones, Capt.
Floyer, J. Keogh, W.
Forbes, W. Knightley, Sir C.
Forester, hon. G. C. W. Knox, Col.
Fox, S. W. L. Lascelles, hon. E.
Fuller, A. E. Legh, G. C.
Galway, Visct. Lennox, Lord H. G.
Gaskell, J. M. Lincoln, Earl of
Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E. Lindsay, hon. Col.
Godson, R. Lockhart, A. E.
Gooch, E. S. Lockhart, W.
Gordon, Adm. Lowther, H.
Gore, W. R. O. Mackenzie, W. F.
Goring, C. Macnaghten, Sir E.
Goulburn, right hon. H. Mahon, Visct.
Granby, Marq. of Mandeville, Visct.
Greene, J. Mangles, R. D.
Greene, T. Manners, Lord C. S.
Grogan, E. Manners, Lord G.
Gwyn, H. March, Earl of
Haggitt, F. R. Masterman, J.
Hale, R. B. Maxwell, hon. J. P.
Halford, Sir H. Meux, Sir H.
Hall, Col. Miles, P. W. S.
Halsey, T. P. Monsell, W.
Hamilton, G. A. Moore, G. H.
Hamilton, J. H. Morgan, O.
Hamilton, Lord C. Mullings, J. R.
Harris, hon. Capt. Muntz, G. F.
Haves, Sir E. Mure, Col.
Henley, J. W. Napier, J.
Herbert, rt. hon. S. Neeld, J.
Herries, rt. hon. J. C. Neeld, J.
Hervey, Lord A. Newdegate, C. N.
Hildyard, R. C. Newport, Visct.
Hildyard, T. B. T. Nugent, Lord
Hodgson, W. N. O'Brien, Sir L.
Hood, Sir A. O'Connor, F.
Hope, H. T. Ossulston, Lord
Hornby, J. Oswald, A.
Hotham, Lord Packe, C. W.
Hudson, G. Palmer, R.
ARTICLES. From and after 5 July 1848 to 6 July 1849 inclusive. From and after 6 July 1849 to 5 July 1850 inclusive. From and after 5 July 1850 to 5 July 1851 inclusive. From and after 5 July 1851
£ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d.
Candy, Brown or White, double refined Sugar, or Sugar equal in quality to double refined, for every cwt. 0 19 6 0 18 0 0 16 6 0 16 0
Other refined Sugar, or Sugar rendered by any process equal in quality thereto, for every 0 17 4 0 16 0 0 14 8 0 13 4
White Clayed Sugar, or Sugar rendered by any process equal in quality to White Clayed, not being refined, for every 0 15 2 0 14 0 0 12 10 0 11 8
Muscovado, or any other Sugar not being equal in quality to White Clayed, for every cwt. 0 13 0 0 12 0 0 11 0 0 10 0
Molasses, for every cwt. 0 4 10 0 4 6 0 4 2 0 3 9
Pattison, J. Sturt, H. G.
Peel, Col. Sullivan, M.
Pennant, hon. Col. Sutton, J. H. M.
Pigot, Sir R. Taylor, T. E.
Plowden, W. H. C. Thesiger, Sir F.
Powell, Col. Thompson, Ald.
Powlett, Lord W. Thornhill, G.
Reid, Col. Tollemache, J.
Rendlesham, Lord Trevor, hon. G. R.
Renton, J. C. Trollope, Sir J.
Repton, G. W. J. Turner, G. J.
Richards, R. Urquhart, D.
Robinson, G. R. Verner, Sir W.
Rolleston, Col. Vesey, hon. T.
Rufford, F. Villiers, Visct.
Rushout, Capt. Villiers, hon. F. W. C.
Sadlier, J. Vivian, J. E.
Sandars, G. Vyse, R. H. R. H.
Scott, hon. F. Waddington, D.
Scully, F. Waddington, H. S.
Seaham, Visct. Walpole, S. H.
Seymer, H. K. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Shirley, E. J. Walter, J.
Sibthorp, Col. Wawn, J. T.
Sidney, Ald. Welby, G. E.
Smyth, J. G. Williams, T. P.
Smythe, hon. G. Williamson, Sir H.
Smollett, A. Willoughby, Sir H.
Somerset, Capt. Wodehouse, E.
Somerton, Visct. Worcester, Marq. of
Sotheron, T. H. S. Wortley, rt. hon. J. S.
Spooner, R. Wyvill, M.
Stafford, A. TELLERS.
Stuart, H. Buxton, Sir E. N.
Stuart, J. Pakington, Sir J.

House in Committee.

The following Resolution was moved:— That, in lieu of the Duties of Customs now payable on Sugar or Molasses, the following Duties shall, from and to the respective days herein mentioned, be charged on Sugar and Molasses imported into the United Kingdom (that is to say), 1. On Sugar or Molasses, the growth and produce of any British Possession into which the importation of Foreign Sugar is prohibited, being imported from any such Possession, the Duties following (that is to say),

House resumed. Committee to sit again.

House adjourned at Two o'clock.