HC Deb 30 June 1848 vol 99 cc1414-68

Order of the day read.

House in Committee on the Sugar Duties.

Question put— That in lieu of the Duties of Customs now payable on Sugar or Molasses, the following Duties," &c. [as stated in the Commons' debate of the 29th inst;—see ante, p. 1400.]


said that he rose for the purpose of moving an Amendment to the resolutions submitted to the Committee by Her Majesty's Government, and he would commence by saying that, though this question of protection to the West India colonies had been debated for so many nights, the real question which the House had to consider, had, in fact, not been debated at all, except incidentally. The discussion had been between the Government, who were in favour of some increase of protection, and the hon. Gentlemen opposite, who were in favour of a very large increase of protection; and the arguments, both of the Members of her Majesty's Government and of hon. Gentlemen opposite, had been, in his opinion, entirely condemnatory and destructive of the proposition which the noble Lord had introduced to the House. The conclusion which he drew from the speeches of hon. Gentlemen opposite was, that the distress in the West Indian colonies was so great—and he would admit that it was great—that the measure proposed by the Government could not be productive of any sensible relief; while, from the speeches made on the part of the Government, and especially from the speech of the noble Lord, and that of the hon. Member for Westbury in particular, he found that they relied on arguments which had convinced him that whatever distress existed in the West Indian colonies, it could not be relieved by any measure of protection. There was one thing that must have struck every Member who had listened to the past debate, and that was, that throughout one great party had been entirely forgotten, while abundance of sympathy had been expressed on behalf of the planters, and of the mortgagees at home, and of the slaves in Cuba and Brazil, and of the Africans in their own country, who were liable to be seized on by the slavedealers. Now, he was of opinion that this question was of great importance to other parties besides these. He did not wish to shut out of view the interests of the planters, or of the slaves, or of the Africans, but he should beg of the House not to ignore that great party in this country for whose benefit the Act of 1846 had been passed. He stood up there on behalf of that great class in the United Kingdom by whom the article of sugar was consumed; and on their part he intended asking the Committee that night to refuse to alter the Sugar Duties Act of 1846. The question as it had been discussed by hon. Gentlemen in favour of protection, divided itself into two branches, one connected with slavery and the slave trade, and the other connected with protection. The hon. Baronet the Member for Droitwich (Sir J. Pakington), who moved the Amendment in the recent debate, had spoken about the most holy struggle for freedom in which the people of this country had been engaged up to 1834. Now, he did not know how the hon. Baronet had voted previous to that year, as they had not any very perfect record of the divisions at that time. [Sir J. PAKINGTON: I was not in Parliament at all.] In that case his argument would not apply to the hon. Baronet, but it applied to many of those other hon. Gentlemen who were now in favour of protection, but who, if he did not mistake, were by no means in favour of freedom for the slaves up to the passing of the Emancipation Act. He believed that the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford, among others, was not warmly in favour of the abolition of slavery up to 1834; and he should confess that he, for one, had not much sympathy with that benevolence which was merely connected with a high price of sugar. He thought that those who were in favour of protection ought to argue the question on that ground, and leave the philanthropic view of the matter entirely out of sight. The hon. Baronet the Member for Droitwich had brought forward some figures to show that a large increase had taken place in the cultivation of sugar in Cuba and Brazil, in consequence of the passing of the Act of 1846, and had read a statement of the great increase that had followed the pass- ing of that Act in the exportation of machinery from England to those countries. He did not dispute the accuracy of the hon. Baronet's figures at all, but he disputed the argument which the hon. Member drew from them. The hon. Baronet took the period from 1844 to 1847, and he stated that within those years the value of the machinery exported to Cuba had increased from 6,500l. to 17,600l., and to Brazil from 17,500l. to 35,000l. But the hon. Baronet forgot to tell the House that immediately after the first period which he had taken up, the law had been repealed by that House which prevented the exportation of machinery; and if the hon. Baronet had made the same comparison with regard to other countries that were not sugar-producing countries, he would find the increase to be in a much more rapid ratio than in the case of Cuba or Brazil. He did not mean to say that the hon. Baronet had failed to show that any improvement had taken place in the cultivation of sugar in Cuba and Brazil; but what he contended for was, that he had failed altogether in showing any connexion between that improvement and the Acts of 1845 and 1846. But the hon. Baronet had also given them other figures. He had referred to papers which most Members of the House had seen, signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the Anti-Slavery Committee; but he would beg to call the hon. Member's attention for a moment to these figures. According to these papers, it was stated on the authority of Parliamentary returns that between 1835 and 1840, the number of slaves sent to the Brazils and to Cuba annually averaged 101,000, whereas in the five years from 1840 to 1845, the number of slaves imported into those countries averaged only 32,000 annually. It was, therefore, argued that a great falling-off had taken place in the slave trade in this latter period. But before the House could form a judgment on that point, they should know the importation of slaves before 1835. He supposed that the slave trade was regulated very much as other more lawful trades, and that the supply depended on the demand, and on the requirements of cultivation. Now, if these five years had followed a period of excessive cultivation, it was evident that the demand must have been very great, and when that demand was once met, that then there would have been for the next five years a considerable falling-off". Following that rule they would find that if there had been a very small impor- tation for the five years prior to 1835, there would then be a very much increased demand until the demand was again overtaken by the supply, when they would have another falling-off in the trade. Accordingly they found that after the short supply for the five years ending in 1845, the demand again increased until, in 1846, the importation amounted to 64,000. Now he would ask the House to look to the dishonesty of these papers, for the parties who published them, must, he thought, have known that the figures did not bear out the result which they sought to derive from them. Let the House recollect that the present Government did not come into office until July 1846, and that their Sugar Duties Bill was not introduced until the 20th July. No positive information of the intentions of the Government could therefore have reached Cuba or Brazil until the end of August; and then ships would have to be sent out to the coast of Africa, and cargoes brought back before the news could have any effect on the importation of slaves for that year. Now, he would ask the House whether it was possible that a Bill, not introduced until the 20th July, and that did not pass that House until the month of August, could have had any effect whatever on the introduction of slaves into Cuba and Brazil during the year 1846, or could have been the cause of the increased importation in that year? But he now came to the year 1847, when the effect of the Bill of 1846 would have been felt, if at all, and he found that in that year the importation of slaves into Cuba and Brazil was 63,000, or 1,000 less than it had been in 1846. If, therefore, the Bill of 1846 was not at all instrumental in causing the importation of slaves to reach 64,000 in 1846, he would ask where was the proof that it could have stimulated the trade in 1847, the importation for that year being less than for 1846 by 1,000? He would say, therefore, that the whole case, as far as facts and figures went, broke down in showing that the Bill of 1846 had given any impetus to the slave trade of Cuba and Brazil. He was not going to deny that the opening of a great market like the market of this country to the produce of Cuba and Brazil would have given an impetus to their trade and cultivation. It would be a sign of ignorance on his part were he to argue in favour of such an assumption. But he would ask them to bear in mind that any such impetus must have been only temporary, and that the compe- tition of all the sugar of the world in all the markets of the world would in a brief period bring down the rate of profits to its natural level. And here, he should beg to observe, that he stood there as great an opponent of slavery as any man in that House or elsewhere. He regarded slavery as the greatest crime that the world had probably ever seen; but he thought that they ought to be careful not to allow their feelings to be worked up by such statements as that which had been read last night by the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford, about the horrors of the middle passage and of the slave trade. They should take care that they did not act unjustly to the inhabitants of this country in attempting to put down by fiscal regulations a crime in which they did not participate. He now came to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, the Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. Gladstone), a speech which was characteristic of him in many respects. There was in it a great deal of balancing, and much that was calculated to leave the House very much in doubt. The right hon. Gentleman did not seem to know precisely what he wanted; he wanted some emigration, but not much emigration: he wanted some protection, but not much protection: he thought that the vote. of 500,000l. would have an injurious effect on the public revenue, but still he said that what he wanted was money. [Mr. GLADSTONE: I spoke of the first duty of the Government being towards this country.] He admitted that the right hon. Gentleman had expressed a very wise and honest opinion, that their first duty was to consider the state of the finances of the country; but he had stated, at the same time, that what the West Indian colonies wanted was, in one shape or another, money. But where were they to get the money unless from the Chancellor of the Exchequer? and if the money were taken from him, he (Mr. Bright) thought, that the finances of the country must be affected. The right hon. Gentleman had gone minutely into the question of compensation money; and he would wish to call the right hon. Gentleman's attention for a moment to that subject. The right hon. Gentleman had stated that the sum paid was very inadequate, considering the actual value of the slaves emancipated; that, in fact, it was only 45 per cent on the value of the slaves. Now, he would grant that the fact was so; but how much, he would ask, did the compen- sation amount to, as compared with the actual value of all the trade and profits of these islands? He had stated the other night what the proportion was with regard to the West Indies generally, and he would now come to particular islands. He would take the three colonies on which most stress had been laid during the debate—Jamaica, Trinidad, and British Guiana. Taking the period between 1830 and 1840, he found that 1833 was the year in which Jamaica exported to the largest extent; and in that year her exports amounted to 3,148,000l. Estimating the profit of the planters on that amount at 10 per cent, he found that the profit on the whole of that trade would he 314,000l. Now, the share of compensation awarded to the Jamaica planters was 6,150,000l.; and if that sum had been put out to interest at 5 per cent, at the time, it would have produced an annual income of 307,000l., which was within 7,000l. of the whole profits of their previous trade estimated at 10 per cent. With regard to Trinidad, the case was still worse. In the ten years from 1832 to 1842 the average amount of their exports was 396,000l. a year, and allowing a profit of 13 per cent on that sum, they had a total profit of 51,000l. a year. The compensation awarded to Trinidad was 1,033,000l., which if lent out at 5 per cent interest would produce 51,600l. a year, being somewhat more than the whole of the profits of their export trade estimated at 13 per cent. With respect to British Guiana, he found that in the period from 1832 to 1842, the average export amounted to 1,624,000; and allowing 13 per cent profit on that sum, they would have 211,000l. The amount of compensation given to British Guiana was 4,300,000l.; and 5 per cent interest on that sum would he 214,000l., or 3,000l. more than the whole annual value of their trade at 13 per cent of profit. The right hon. Gentleman smiled at this calculation, and no doubt thought that he (Mr. Bright) must have made some very egregious mistake. He did not mean to say that the West Indian planters had not made more than 13 per cent profit on their cultivation; but he could only say, that that rate was, he was sure, much more than the average profits of most persons in trade in this country. Taking the whole of the West Indian colonies, they would find that 5 per cent on the compensation money awarded to them, would be equal to more than 15 per cent on the entire amount of their export trade to this country. Now, this was an enormous compensation to have given to them, when it was recollected that they were left all their estates, buildings, implements, and floating capital; and it was, at all events, he thought, a full compensation, as between the cost of slave labour and the cost of free labour. The right hon. Gentleman complained of the early termination of the apprenticeship system; and he (Mr. Bright) was not disposed to shrink from that point, for he would say, that it was the conduct of the planters themselves that had led to the abolition of the apprenticeship system. But it was said, that an honourable understanding had been entered into with the planters that they should have a perpetual monopoly of the market of this country. He could find no trace of any such understanding having taken place; but if made, it certainly was not an honourable one, for no Government could possibly have the power to make it. For eleven years after emancipation they had had a monopoly of this market. They received not less than 15s. per cwt. more, upon the average, for their sugar, during those eleven years, than the selling price in the open market of the world. How much did 15s. per cwt. upon all their sugar produced in those eleven years amount to? It amounted to not less than 30,000,000 sterling—a sum as clearly a compensation or a bounty to the planters as the 20,000,000 awarded to them in 1834. If this were true, he should like to know whether Parliament owed anything to our sugar-producing colonies—in his opinion, they owed much to the consumers and the country. It was certainly not the duty of Parliament to make sugar growing profitable. The noble Lord (Lord G. Bentinck) might differ from him upon that point; indeed it appeared, from the noble Lord's resolutions, that he held it to be one of the special duties of the British House of Commons to make sugar cultivation profitable in the British colonies. Suppose the principle was correct, was sugar the only trade that should be made profitable? He could take the noble Lord from one to the other of all the staple trades of this country, and show him that last year not one of them was profitable. But they asked for no protection; they could not point to 15 or 20 years' exclusive monopoly of the best market in the world with prices from 40 to 50 per cent higher than the general prices of the world by Act of Parliament. The ryots in India had no protection in the cultivation of cotton; the grower of wool in Australia had no protection. Why, then, should the grower of sugar? And if the noble Lord talked of the reduction of price in sugar, did he not know that Australian wool, which not long ago was sold for 1s. 9d. per 1b., was now at 1s., and could scarcely be sold at that? It became a question, then, for the consideration of Parliament, when they were asked to grant more money from the pockets of the people, whether the colonies had themselves done their duty? He had had a good deal of conversation recently with gentlemen from Guiana and Trinidad, and he understood from them that in Guiana the plough was not known in the cultivation of estates, that drainage was not practised, that everything was done in the rudest manner, and upon a system which would soon be the utter ruin of a cultivator in this country. As to Trinidad, he had express information that sometimes hogsheads of sugar were absolutely kept from the beach because the roads were impassable, although the ship was no more than five miles from the estate, and ready to receive them. In point of fact, there was scarcely a road in the island. In Jamaica the same wants occurred. Had the Jamaica planters made the Jamaica Railway? Did the men who now asked for protection take shares in that undertaking, and pay the calls; or was the undertaking begun, completed, and was it now carried on by the patronage and support of men who repudiated the doctrine of protection altogether? He should notice in the next place the trade regulations of the colonies. A great majority of estates were said to be in the hands of mortgagees; and what, he would ask, was the usual course taken with an estate in the hands of a mortgagee? Why, the owner was not his own master—the mortgagee was the master. Parliament was asked, as he understood it, to advance money to enable the planters to pay off the mortgagees, and enable them to cultivate their own estates. The merchant in England, as the mortgagee, took care that all the produce should come in his own ships. The planter had no voice or authority as to the rates of freight or brokerage; the charges, therefore, were necessarily high, everything was in the hands of the mortgagee, and everybody who knew what pawn broking or mortgageeing was, would at once perceive that when a man got into such a predicament, there was very small chance of his being able to get out of it. In fact, on this account to this hour the West Indies had no trade but with this country. They could not trade with America. An American trade, therefore, had not grown up at all with them. Another evil to the West Indian colonies, arising from this system, was, that though large quantities of provisions were brought from America, the American ships which brought them could take no return cargo from the West Indies. They consequently took coin in return for their produce from the West Indies, and then passed over to Cuba, where they took in cargoes of slave-grown sugar, with which they supplied even our fellow-subjects in Canada. In consequence of the drain so created, there was the greatest want of a circulating medium in the colonies. A letter received from Trinidad, dated the 7th of May, described how that colony was suffering from the depreciation of produce and the want of specie:— We are suffering here from the depreciation in produce, and particularly from want of specie. We very much require another bank here, as the Colonial Bank is refusing now to buy the beet bills of exchange upon bill of lading attached, and therefore there are no means of raising money upon the produce shipped. We have now very near 10,000 hogsheads cleared out, and I think this crop will be nearly as good as last year's, but planters will have to import coin from England in return for their produce, to enable them to pay off their labourers, for in the island there is none. The Americans have carried away the few dollars that were left. He held in his hand a letter from a Member of the Jamaica House of Assembly, which contained the following passages, omitting the names of the parties:— I quite agree with you, that under the new system of things the West Indies can never again prosper until they are released from the tyranny of the absentee mortgagees, their exactions in the shape of interest, commission, freight, and other charges, being truly ruinous and oppressive. In addition to the above, there are several other ways by which absentee proprietors are injured—I might say plundered—by the mortgagees at home, which are even worse than high interest or exorbitant commissions. The mortgagee in England is at the same time a shipowner; he sends a ship out to his planting attorney with positive orders to fill her up from A, B, C, D, &c, and sail upon a certain day. The attorney writes to the overseers, giving them orders to put the mills about, as he expects 100 casks from each for the Lady Sarah Bayley, or other ships, by a certain day. The overseers, in their turn, write to say that they cannot have so much produce by the time, because the canes are not ripe, and therefore not fit to cut; in fact, if cut, what would make 100 casks, if left two or three months, would not make 60 casks. The attorney, having the fear of a supersedeas from the mortgagee before his eyes, tells the over- seer—'My orders are positive, and must be obeyed; if you cannot carry them out, I must get some one who will.' Your friend and relative told me that he has thus lost a very good situation by refusing to carry out such orders. I have with my own eyes seen canes cut at nine, ten, and eleven months old, when they should have remained until they were fourteen or fifteen months; and I have known sugars potted one day and carried to the ship the next; and I have even followed the carts containing the sugars to the wharfs, and the molasses, dripping from these sugars, left visible traces the whole way from the estate to the ship's boat, thus losing all the molasses from which rum is made; and when it is considered that the rum, on an average, should be as one to two of the sugar, the loss in this way alone must be enormous. I have myself been interested in vessels taking produce at 3s. 6d. and 4s. per cwt., and I have solicited planters and proprietors for their shipments at these rates; but the answers were,' We are sorry that we cannot take advantage of your offer, we are compelled to give all our produce to the ships of the mortgagee.' Again, I have known sugars remain on the estates and wharfs for months after they were cured, waiting for ships to take them, although they might have been shipped in vessels in the port at less rate. One instance of the kind I recollect that was of so glaring a nature that it was talked of at the time by everybody here, and if I mistake not, this particular lot of sugar remained on the wharf something like five months, for a ship to take it at 5s. per cwt., while there were ships in port meantime which would have shipped it at 4s. per cwt. But we to the attorney who would dare to give one ounce of sugar to any vessel but the one belonging to, or sent out by, the merchant. It would indeed be a great blessing to the poor proprietors could any measures be devised to rescue them from these cormorants, the West India body. In the sentiments of this letter he concurred; and, as connected with it, he now came to the extraordinary expenses of the colonies. There could be no doubt the colonies had great grounds for complaint on this score. The same correspondent said— Another serious oppression is the enormous amount of taxation, which, unless the Crown interposes, I see no hope of getting reduced, for if the House of Assembly pass a Bill reducing the expenditure, it is sure to be thrown out by the Council, every member of which, with one exception, is a placeman. And he went on to say, that the Governor had 7,000l. a year, the Lord Bishop 3,000l. a year, the Commander of the Forces 4,000l., the Vice Chancellor 2,500l., the Chief Justice 1,200l., &c. It was a most intolerable grievance that we should be called upon to pay bishops and clergy of any sect. Surely we had enough to do to maintain morality and religion in our own country without expending more money to maintain bishops and priests on the other side of the Atlantic. But returning to these trade arrangements, he would ask, how could the colonial interests flourish under such a system? What is the result of such a system in other trades? Take an illustration from his own trade. It was sometimes the case in the cotton trade for spinners and manufacturers of deficient capital to send all they manufactured to commission agents in Manchester to be sold. The commission agent bought the cotton in the first instance, and in the second he received the produce of the mill for sale. The commission agent, having received the produce, sold it just as he pleased, charging a commission to the spinner or manufacturer. When a spinner thus could not buy his cotton in the cheapest market and sell its produce to the best advantage, the inevitable result was, that when times of severe pressure came, those persons were broken down. Precisely the same thing had occurred to some East Indian houses of late, which for a long time had been in an insecure state. The noble Lord, in one of the first resolutions he moved in the Committee, stated— That British plantation sugar, averaging in May, 1846, 36l. 10s. a ton, fell between that period and the 11th September, 1847,10l. 5s. a ton; that consequent upon this fall in the value of their produce, Messrs. Gower, Nephews, and Co., and other firms largely connected with sugar plantation, fell. The fact was, these firms were insolvent before. They had departed from all the regular course of business, having invested their money in indigo estates and sugar plantations; and when the pressure in the money market came in April, 1847, and again in October, nothing could be more certain than that houses which had so departed from all the ordinary principles of business should fall victims to their imprudence. Some of these "great houses" were now paying 1s., 2s., and 4s. in the pound. Was it to support such establishments as these that the British Parliament ought to add to the price of sugar? He denied the principle altogether. The noble Lord also spoke in one of his resolutions of the consignee of nineteen estates having determined not to advance more money. What did this fact prove, but that the estates were carried on upon borrowed money? Again, he asked, was it for this intolerable system that the noble Lord asked the House to add to the price of the sugar consumed by the great mass of the people in the United Kingdom? In another resolution, the noble Lord stated the difficulty the planters had in finding money to carry on their cultivation. This was the most prevalent complaint made at this moment in Lancashire and Yorkshire; but the spinners and manufacturers there had never once asked Parliament to advance them money to increase the profit of their mills and machinery. The question of protection, he contended, was understood to have been settled in 1846. The noble Lord at the head of the Government had, however, revived it in his present measure. He might have recollected that the Cabinet of which he was a Member was in 1841 broken up by it; that the Cabinet of the right hon. Baronet opposite was broken up by it in 1846; and that this very morning the Cabinet of the noble Lord Was in articulo mortis, but was saved by the votes of fifteen Members, all of whom disapproved of the course he had taken; otherwise, the present would have been the third Cabinet in seven years broken up on the question of protection. It so happened that the consumers were first heard upon this question in 1846, and that then a compromise was made. The noble Lord admitted it; it was not so good, however, as that which the right hon. Baronet opposite made with regard to corn; but still it was assented to as a final settlement. Hon. Members who might fairly claim to represent consumers, did not oppose the measure of the noble Lord, because they considered it a kind of compromise which, if not necessary, could hardly he objected to. If he had been the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell), he would have stood at the table and defended the measure of 1846 upon the ground of its important results, both as to commerce and revenue; for there had probably never been a Bill passed with more admirable results more clearly and speedily demonstrated. [Lord J. RUSSELL: I stated that.] But the noble Lord had not adhered to it. Now, what had been the result of the Sugar Bill of 1846? He would speak of revenue and consumption, and would take a period of eight months before, and two periods of eight months since, the passing of the Act. The first period would be from September, 1845, to May, 1846; the second eight months from September, 1846, to May, 1847; and the third from September,. 1847, to May, 1848. In the first period there had been imported 3,555,000 cwts.; in the second, 4,349,300; and in the third, 4,235,000 cwts.: the increase being, in the second period over the first, 795,000 cwts.; and in the third period over the first, 680,000 cwts. With regard to the revenue, there were received in the eight months before the Bill, 2,516,000l.; in the second period, after the Bill, 3,405,000l; and in the third period, 3,121,000l; so that in the eight months after the Bill passed, as compared with the eight months before, the revenue gained 880,000l.; and in the eight months last mentioned, as compared with the first, the revenue had been a gainer to the extent of 604,000l. But the noble Lord appeared only recently to have made the change he now determined to propose; for so late as the 30th of May, the same evening when the noble Lord (Lord G. Bentinck) presented the report of his Committee, he made the following statement to the House, in answer to a question from the hon. Member for Montrose:— Lord J. Russell said, that the question proposed by the hon. Gentleman, as to the intentions of Government, was rather vague. He could state, however, that it was not the intention of the Government to make any change in the Act of 1846, with the view of increasing the amount of the differential duties, or continuing them for a longer period than fixed by the Act. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had also intimated, more than once, the determination of the Government to adhere to the Act of 1846; and the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, in his speech upon the navigation laws, strongly intimated that Government had no intention of adopting again the principle of protection with regard to the colonies. On that ground the right hon. Gentleman urged that the navigation laws should be repealed, in order that the colonies, if they had free trade as against them, should have a measure of free trade in their favour. He wished to call attention to another inconsistency. It was sought by this Bill to give increased protection till more labour could be imported. The noble Lord opposite asked for 10s. duty for a given number of years, in order to prepare for that competition which he believed, some day or other, they would be obliged to meet. But more labour would not enable them to compete; for Mauritius and Barbadoes now had labour enough, and they were also ruined. The noble Lord stated in one of his resolutions— That your Committee find, that of all the West Indian colonies, Barbadoes, from the circumstances of her position, with a population more dense than that of China—driven in a great measure to the necessity of industry from the island not producing food enough for the subsistence of its people—is still unable, even with the nominal protection now existing of 6s. a cwt., successfully to compete against the slave-grown sugar of Cuba and of Brazil. He concluded from this that the noble Lord was of opinion that Barbadoes and Mauritius were unable to compete with slave countries in sugar, although they might have an abundant population. What, then, was the use of voting the 500,000l. which the people of this country or the colonies must pay? Why should it go to increase the population of the West India colonies, if we found from the example of Barbadoes and Mauritius, it would be impossible to compete with the labour of Cuba or Brazil? The question of immigration was much more serious than many hon. Members might consider it. The colonies or their proprietors which had to pay back this 500,000l. to the mother country, would extract it from the taxes of the people under their rule. Now, nothing, in his opinion, could be more monstrous than that the free labourers of the West Indies should be taxed to bring labourers from Africa to bring down their wages. If it were proposed to tax the working people of Lancashire, in order to bring over 30,000 or 50,000 Irishmen to compete in the cotton trade with them, he was convinced there would be considerable disturbance, and protests of which that House would not be slow to recognise the force. But the free negroes in the West Indies were a great way off. The House had statements before them from Governors who received 7,000l. a year, and from the West India Association, who were the mortgagees of the West India estates; but there was nobody to present to the House the hardship to the free labourers by bringing other labour from Africa to reduce their wages, and to contaminate them with the barbarism and bestiality which prevail in their native country. He came now to the details of the noble Lord's measure; and he thought he should be able to show that the protection under it was so great that it would be found acceptable by hon. Gentlemen opposite, when they could get no more. [The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER: They will never refuse anything.] He believed the right hon. Gentleman was perfectly correct. Hon. Gentlemen opposite reminded him of the proboscis of an elephant. They could take up a needle, or tear up a tree. They talked loudly when they thought they could secure something great, but never refused very little as soon as they found they could get no more. But the proposal of Her Majesty's Government was more protective than the Act of 1846. By that Act, the whole protection was to cease in three years; but by the present proposal, it would not cease till the 5th of July, 1854. Then, what was the difference in amount? On this subject, he would call in aid the hon. Member for Westbury. The hon. Gentleman was considered a "learned pundit" in these matters; but since he had got upon the Treasury bench, he by no means told all he knew. The protection by the Bill of 1846, assuming the production to be the same in future years, amounted to 2,865,000l. The same production under the discriminating duties of the new Bill, would make the protection amount to 9,425,000l.: and if he deducted the protection of the Bill of 1846 from that of 1848, there would thus be left an additional protection of 6,560,000l. running over the next six years. It must also be borne in mind that one-half of the colonial sugar which entered this country did not come from the West India islands in which there was a deficiency of labour. Of the whole amount, Barbadoes sent 23,000 tons, the East Indies, 70,000, and the Mauritius, 60,000, in all 153,000; leaving only 137,000 for all the rest of the colonies. But the House was asked to give double the amount of protection which, on their own principles, the advocates of protection could claim, since in the places which he had mentioned, there was no deficiency of labour. It was a most clumsy proposition, that because one party had a debt owing to him by this country, his first cousin should also be admitted to an equal share in what was granted. If anything were due, let the statement of the case be laid on the table; and when they knew what they had to pay, they ought at once to pay honourably, and have done with the matter for ever. His hon. Colleague said—and no doubt he was right—that whatever they might do, they would never get a receipt in full. It was a sort of instinct of the colonial interest never to give one, as if they wished to reserve to themselves the opportunity of imitating Mr. Dickens's Oliver Twist, who was said to have been always asking for more. If the present proposition were carried, the West Indians would still come to Parliament again and again, and that very proposition would be their justification for every future demand. They would say, in effect, "Parliament has admitted that the measure of 1846 was not a just one, and that something more is still due to us." Now, the hon. Member for Westbury (Mr. J. Wilson) had a theory, or rather, he had two theories, and they contradicted each other. He had one theory in that House, and it was that it would be a great advantage to have a fall of duty to the extent of 10s. per cwt. He (Mr. Bright) admitted, that low duties were advantageous to the revenue, if carried to a certain point, and altogether advantageous to the consumer. But he had the authority of the hon. Member for Westbury out of doors, for the doctrine that the highest duty regulated the price, and that the price regulated the consumption. [Mr. WILSON: Hear, hear!] The hon. Gentleman, in arguing in opposition to those who maintained that it was advisable to raise the duty on foreign sugar 4s., and to lower the duty on colonial sugar 4s., observed very justly that Parliament could not give a protection of 10s. without inflicting a loss somewhere, and that the loss must, in fact, fall, directly or indirectly, on the consumer. In further dealing with that question, the hon. Gentleman said—"We are aware that it is urged by many, that a reduction of the colonial duty would he recompensed to the Exchequer by an increased consumption. Nothing can be more fallacious. The consumption must be determined by the price to the consumer. The price will be determined by the highest duty, that is, on foreign sugar; and, therefore, as a reduction in the duty on colonial sugar would not reduce the price, it would not increase consumption, and this, in the present rapid increase of the growth of sugar, would not be the least of the evils of such a system." How, then, could the hon. Member and the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) contend, that the fall of 10s. in the duty would be a compensation to the public for giving to the West Indies increased protection? The duty on foreign sugar, from the 5th of July next, was to be 20s., then 18s. 6d., then 17s., then 15s. 6d., and then 14s. 6d.; and it was not till 1852 that the consumer would be placed in the same position as he would have occupied under the Bill of 1846. How was any compensation for increased protection afforded to the consumer when he could have had all this reduction of duties without any such increase? If the Government were a despotic body, not acting in trust for the people, and not giving anything to the people as a right, but giving to them whatever was given just as a bone was thrown to a dog, there would then be something in the argument of the hon. Member for Westbury; but if that were not the character of the Government, and if they could afford the loss of revenue which would, he believed, take place, they should have reduced the duty and stimulated consumption, without increasing protection. The noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) had stated—and nothing more true had been said in the course of the debate—that they must look to a constantly-increasing consumption as the real security of the colonies. There could be no doubt that to encourage the greatest possible consumption was the most likely means of delivering the colonists from their present embarrassed condition. As regarded the revenue, the noble Lord had stated on the previous night that he thought the loss of revenue would not be very great, the highest estimate which had been formed being, he said 40,000l., and the lowest about 10,000l. He (Mr. Bright) hoped that if the hon. Member for Westbury, or any other Member of the Government, spoke that evening, the House would know more distinctly how that matter stood. If there were an enormous increase of consumption, the calculation of the noble Lord might be correct; but if the highest duty regulated price, and price regulated consumption, there could not be, for some years to come, any increased consumption arising from this measure, however there might be from an increase of population, improvement of trade, and similar causes. He had himself made a calculation of the probable loss of revenue. Assuming that the quantity of colonial sugar retained for home consumption last year was 240,000 tons, and of foreign sugar 50,000; he had taken that quantity as the basis of his calculation, during the whole of the years to which the calculation applied. Comparing the duties which would have been received under the Bill of 1846, with those which would be receivable under that of 1848, he found that in the first year the loss would be 165,000l.; in the second year, 405,000l.; in the third year, 645,000l.; in the fourth year, 885,000l.; and in the fifth year, 935,000l. Now, these were very different sums from the 10,000l. and 40,000l. mentioned by the noble Lord. The noble Lord had, he supposed, fallen into the mistake of calculating the fall of duty on the smaller quantity, and none on the larger. It should, however, he borne in mind that by far the greater portion of the sugar consumed in this country was colonial sugar, the duty on which was, from the 5th of July next, to fall 1s. in each year. The loss of 1s. would begin next year on the whole 240,000 tons. On 50,000 tons there would be a gain of 1s. 6d. for the first year, but afterwards even on that amount the duty would begin to fall. The loss during the whole period would be 3,035,000l. Against that the Government had nothing to set but increased consumption; but unless the noble Lord could show that that increase would be a consequence of the measure under consideration, he had no right to take credit for it when speaking of the loss inflicted by his scheme on the country. For a Chancellor of the Exchequer in the position of the right, hon. Gentleman—who was at his wit's end, positively proposing, he believed, to bring forward another budget before the Session was over, doubting whether he should not impose further taxes on real property, and, in fact, in the greatest difficulty as to making both ends meet—for a Chancellor of the Exchequer placed in such circumstances—to agree to alter the Bill of 1846, which had produced such admirable results, both to the consumer and the revenue—appeared to his (Mr. Bright's) mind a piece of statesmanship so extraordinary, that he could not have believed that it would ever be witnessed either in that or any other House of Parliament. There was one point connected with the increase of this duty from 18s. 6d. to 20s., to which he had previously called the attention of the right hon. Gentleman, and having as yet received no answer, he hoped to do so that evening. The right hon. Gentleman knew that he was sacrificing revenue by affording this increased protection to the West Indian colonies. With regard to the raising of the duty of 18s. 6d. to 20s., he held that that was a most unstatesmanlike proceeding, and one for which no precedent could be found amongst the annual Sugar Bills of past years. In 1845 the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) gave the most ample notice of the alteration which he proposed, so as to prevent any one from being, as it were, entrapped. He (Mr. Bright) had two letters from a constituent of his who was very largely engaged in the importation of sugar. This gentleman said— I at present know of orders for twenty-three cargoes of foreign sugar, based on the certainty of a reduction of 1s. 6d. being taken off the present duty in July. He further said— I have no doubt there are orders out for fifty, sixty, to eighty cargoes of foreign sugar, based on foreign duty being 18s. 6d. in July. In the other letter this gentleman said— You are aware that we are within two or three weeks of the time when foreign sugar was to be reduced 1s. 6d. per cwt., and, from the repeated declarations of Government, very large orders have been given, based on the faith that a reduction, early in July, would take place; and even since Lord John's last declaration, although not many days ago, I know of eight vessels having gone out to the Brazils in ballast for sugar, and previously very large orders had been sent out. Is it right that Government should break those engagements, which would be considered most dishonourable in individuals? He (Mr. Bright) knew another gentleman who, in the same belief, had ordered from 4,000 to 5,000 tons of sugar to arrive by the 5th of July, and he was to be called upon by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to pay 20s., although the Act of 1846 said he should pay only 18s. 6d. Now, he thought it must have occurred to every Member who had listened to the speeches on the subject, that there never was a step taken in legislation so completely in the dark, or so much at variance with the statements brought forward as that now under discussion. The hon. Member for Westbury had afforded a remarkable example of sudden conversion on this subject. He must confess that he had sat at the feet of that hon. Gentleman as a Gamaliel in political economy, and that it was from him he had learnt somewhat of what he knew of these matters. The hon. Gentleman had not, he believed, the slightest idea that the measure would do any good. It was opposed to his writings, which were before the world, and known throughout the world, at least wherever political economy was studied. He had never heard two speeches more opposed than the last which the hon. Member made on that bench, and his last on the Ministerial bench. It was remarkable how a man's eyes were opened when he was in office. On this case of the West Indies all the doctors disagree. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford, in his balancing speech, seemed hardly to know what he wanted; but it was evident that one thing which he wanted was money. The hon. Chairman (Mr. Bernal) was not very much in favour of immigration, and he would observe that there was no Member of that House who had taken a more honourable course with regard to that question. All his speeches were characterised by a much more impartial tone than was observed by most men who had a personal interest in the question under discussion. The hon. Member for Leominster, again, did not appear to think that much benefit could be derived from immigration. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tamworth had made a speech on the previous night, which he (Mr. Bright) did not hear, but which he had carefully read twice that day. In that speech there were some compliments to the West Indians, there were great compliments to the noble Lord (Lord George Bentinck), there was something said in favour of the consumers, and lastly there was a pat on the back for those Gentlemen who took some interest in the question of slavery. But the right hon. Gentleman gave no sanction to the Bill of the noble Lord. On the contrary, he proved most conclusively that the proposed remedy would not benefit the condition of the colonies. And while admitting that the colonial expenditure was much too great, he still thought it desirable to pay large sums for such admirable Governors as Lord Elgin and Lord Harris. The right hon. Gentleman doubted very much the benefit of importing negroes from Africa; and thought that the money to be thus employed should go in some other direction. The noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) was, however, opposed to giving money to improve the private estates of planters. He knew, in fact, that money had not done much good to Irish landowners, who were in precisely the same position as the planters of the West Indies; and that unless a good look-out was kept, it was likely to pass into the hands of mortgagees. The right hon. Gentleman had quoted Lord Howard de Warden; and he (Mr. Bright) did not doubt that that noble Lord knew something of the difficulties of proprietors. He also quoted a case in which, at an expenditure of 15,000l., a tramroad might be constructed which would serve sixteen several estates. Why, then, was it not made? He ventured to say that the owner of one colliery in Durham would spend 15,000l. to obtain a good access to a neighbouring port. The right hon. Gentleman said he felt that protection would not afford the colonists any advantage. How then could he do otherwise than vote for his (Mr. Bright's) Amendment? In saying everything that he could say to damage and destroy the proposition of the hon. Member for Droitwich, the right hon. Gentleman had, in a degree, dealt in the same way with the proposition of the Government. The noble Lord at the head of the Government said that immigration had failed hitherto—first, that of Irishmen, and then that of Coolies; yet he asked the House to vote 500,000l. more for that respecting which the West Indians were divided in opinion, while half of them thought it would be highly injurious. The noble Lord also observed that a protection of 10s. would raise the wages of labour, and thus increase the evil which they desired to remove. If a protecting duty of 10s. would do that, one of 7s. would do the same in degree. Why did not the noble Lord leave those who held protectionist principles to fight their own battle? If the noble Lord were really a free-trader—a disciple of Adam Smith—a believer in the hon. Member for Westbury as he was before he came into office—he should ad-hero to free-trade principles, so that the House might know what they had to expect from the Government. He would not enter into further criticism on the noble Lord's speech, though many other parts of it were equally inconsistent. He did not, in fact, know where to find on either side of the House, any one who was really in favour of the measure. There were not, he believed, two hon. Members in the whole House who would in private say a syllable on its behalf. Had it dropped on the table, and had no one acknowledged the paternity, he believed that not two Gentlemen would have divided in its favour. He would sum up his view of the question in a few words. The noble Lord was proposing to depart from the measure of 1846 at the imminent risk of renewing discussions on other subjects. Let the principle of free trade he sound or not, it was agreed to in 1846 with regard to corn, sugar, and a great many articles of English manufacture: it was acted upon in accordance with the opinion of the vast majority of the British nation. Whether free trade were sound or not, at any rate let it have that trial which even its opponents said, being carried, it was right that it should have. The noble Lord had disturbed the settlement with regard to sugar, and before long he might be called upon to disturb another settlement. A Gentleman behind him cheered—the hon. Member for the North Riding of Yorkshire, who came into the House on the extraordinary and patriotic principle of keeping up the price of agricultural produce, corn, cheese, and butter, to a certain amount. He hoped the noble Lord would be more firm with regard to corn than he had been with regard to sugar; and if he were not, it was doubtful whether he would escape as he had done that morning, with a majority of 15. The noble Lord was at the head of a Government which was placed in an unfortunate position with regard to its finances. No blame to the noble Lord, no blame to the Chancellor of the Exchequer; they did not bring the famine, or destroy trade, and they were not responsible, therefore, for the falling off in the revenue. But it was for the noble Lord to consider well how he would make up the deficiency which already existed, rather than to increase that deficiency by an experiment which every body repudiated. Taking their stand on the platform of the Bill of 1846, with facts and arguments conclusive as to the value and wisdom of that measure, the Government might have defied the attacks both of the Protectionists on the one side, and the mistaken philanthropists on the other. By the course which they bad pursued, however, they had given their opponents a vantage ground which would not easily be recovered; and it was because he believed that the measure would be pernicious both to this country and to the West Indies, that he had undertaken to move, and would now proceed to move, as an Amendment— To leave out all the words from the word 'that' to the end of the first proposed resolution, in order to add these words, 'it is not now expedient to make any alteration in the Sugar Duties Act of 1846.'


, in rising to give his decided opposition to the Amendment of the hon. Member, thought it would become him to say a few words in defence of the planters and owners, whose interests had been lost sight of, and whose characters had been attacked by the hon. Member. That attack was most unfair; and he should be able to show the House that they were not at all in the position which had been so insultingly described by the hon. Member. But the hon. Member had a great habit of attacking anything for which he had not a fancy; he ran tilt at any measure, whether he understood its intricacies or not—and that was the opinion which the hon. Member's friends entertained of him. He would tell the House the opinion of the hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire (Mr. Cobden). On one occasion, when the hon. Member for Manchester and he (Mr. G. Berkeley) were engaged together on a Committee, the hon. Member, using a method of expression not unusual with him, had told him (Mr. Berkeley) that when he was made a legislator a very good gamekeeper was spoilt. [Mr. BRIGHT: Poacher.] Whether poacher or gamekeeper it was the same thing; and, in consequence of it, he had asked the hon. Member whether he believed everything which the hon. Member for the West Riding said; to which the hon. Member replied, "I do." He had then asked the hon. Member whether he would pin his faith to every opinion of his hon. Friend the Member for the West Riding; to which the hon. Member also replied, "Yes;" and he then told the hon. Gentleman that his hon. Friend had told him (Mr. G. Berkeley), that so great were the pugnacious qualities of the hon. Member that, in his (Mr. Cobden's) opinion, if he were not a Quaker he would have been a prize-fighter. He would now inform the House what was the condition of that part of the West Indies with which he was particularly connected. He possessed six estates in British Guiana; and from the time of negro emancipation to that hour they had ceased to give any return. Unfortunately, these estates were under the Dutch law; and by that law, if he neglected to keep up the roads, bridges, and canals, the local government were empowered to do any repairs, and to sell his estates for the payment of the expenses, though these estates had been originally purchased by his family for 100,000l. It seemed to him very hard that they should be under the Dutch law at all; but that was a small part of the hardship they had to endure. The House was now attempting to legislate in reference to the Island colonies and the Continent colonies in the same way, and yet the two were as different as land from water. In the Island colonies, surrounded by the sea, the labouring population were necessarily more under control; but on the Continent it was absolutely impossible to compel any one to work. One month's work would supply a labourer for twelvemonths with the vegetable productions which he required. There was no limit as to space. They had rivers to fish in, and game to kill, for no laws prevented them from sporting. Under such circumstances, any idea of compelling them to work was out of the question. He had abandoned sugar cultivation, because it did not pay; and then he was told that they were a colony of bankrupts. They were so, but that result had been produced by the legislation of that House; and he implored them, if they desired to retain these colonies, to give them protection, without which the 500,000l. would be like money thrown into the sea. It would only give to their enemies additional reason for saying as they had said with regard to the 20,000,000l., "We have bought you." The hon. Member for Manchester had referred to that compensation as it was called; but what was it? His estates had produced from 3,000l. to 7,000l. a year, and generally produced from 3,000l. to 5,000l. a year; he had received from this country, by way of compensation, 14,000l.; but since that time his estates had produced nothing. Could they say, then, that they had bought that estate—for which he had given 100,000l? He would read to the House a letter from his agent in Guiana, in May last, on that subject. It was in reply to a letter of his (Mr. Berkeley's) inquiring into the condition of his estates. The agent says— I am sorry I am not able to realise your wishes for better news. Truly has Mr. Barkly (the hon. Member for Leominster) described the state of your once splendid, property as being in a dreadfully neglected condition. A like description would answer for full half the colony; and even in the immediate neighbourhood of George Town, the abandonment of estates is fast becoming general, the cultivated ones being rapidly given up. The colony is certainly in an awful condition. I fear that many other proprietors must be added to the list, wherein your name occupies so predominant a place, of once wealthy owners of estates ruined by cruel legislation. The hon. Member for Manchester stated that the planters were never satisfied. Since he came into that House they had very little reason to be satisfied; and at the present moment, when the country seemed about to awake from its long sleep on the question, and inclined to make some effort at a remedy, the hon. Member interfered to prevent any remedial measure being carried. They were told that whatever was proposed could do them very little good—that Providence was against them—that they were ruined by their own extravagance; though, certainly, he was not aware of any particular extravagance being chargeable upon any person with whom he was acquainted in the colonies. He was quite convinced that, as far as regarded British Guiana, emancipation had been the foundation of their ruin. He would just give the House an instance of the manner in which the negroes had since conducted themselves, by a statement of what had occurred with reference to the last crop of sugar which he had attempted to make, when the canes were ripe, the labourers on his estate came to his attorney, and said that if he did not give them an enormous bonus, they would not cut the crop. The attorney did make the advance demanded; and when the canes were cut, and brought to the door of the sugar-house, the labourers said that if they had not another bonus, the canes should not be boiled. This second bonus was, of course, refused, and the whole crop was lost. He begged the House not only to give the colonists protection, but to pass more stringent laws against vagrancy, and to permit a full and free immigration, which had never yet been fairly tried. The colonists could have had, long before this, a free immigration of Kroomen, if they had not been hampered by the absurd regulations which had been enforced. Instead of letting them come the shortest way, it was insisted upon that they should go first to Sierra Leone; and when they went away from Guiana, if they had saved any money, they had to travel through the territories of tribes hostile to them, who robbed them of the money which they had saved. The House had been told by the right hon. Member for Tamworth, that ultimately slavery must be abolished; but what were the West Indies to do while this great change was taking place? In the meantime the whole of our colonies might be ruined. He trusted that the House would reject the Motion of the hon. Member for Manchester, and that the next packet would carry out better news than the last.


had told the noble Lord (Lord G. Bentinck) what would be the result of his Committee, and he was not, therefore, surprised at the present proposition of the Government. For his own part he was opposed, not only to the recommendation of the Committee, but also to the scheme of the Government, and the Motion of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bright). He believed, that if they gave the British agriculturist of the tropics the same protection which they gave to the British corn-grower in this country, that he would be able to grow sugar profitably; and at all events, as a free-trader, he would ask for no other protection. He was quite aware that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tamworth had said, that by any measure of protection which they might propose, they would be giving the same advantage to India and to the Mauritius which they were giving to the West Indies; and certainly India had some claim upon us for those advantages. He could not but recollect, as regarded India, that we had by our manufactures entirely supplanted the manufactures of that country; and when he recollected the distress that had thereby been occasioned in India, he could not but acknowledge that India had some claim on us. We had prohibited the introduction of their manufactures into this country except at a very high rate of duty, and we had forced them to take our manufactures at a comparatively low rate of duty. The Friend of India, a work of authority on all matters that regarded our Indian empire, had set forth this subject fully. From that work it appeared that in the year 1817 the value of cotton manufactured goods annually exported from this country to India was 30,000l, while in 1842 and 1843 it was upwards of 2,000,000l. sterling; but in proportion as British goods had made progress in the Indian markets, so had the import of Indian manufactured goods into the British market decreased. In 1817, the value of cotton goods exported from India to England was I,659,400l.—in 1843, the value was 16,000l. only; and 1847 would hereafter be memorable in the annals of commerce as the first year in which the exportation of piece-goods from India to England had entirely ceased. In that year the value of British piece-goods imported into Calcutta was upwards of 3,000,000l. sterling; and not a single yard of Indian cotton manufacture had been sent to England. Eighteen years ago, the city of Dacca carried on a vast and profitable manufacturing trade—Dacca manufactures to the value of 2,000,000l. sterling were exported from Calcutta. Now, not a single piece of goods of Indian manufacture was exported; a vast and profitable trade had been entirely extinguished, and grass was growing in the streets of Dacca. The East Indies had, therefore, a just claim upon this country for every advantage that could possibly be afforded them in respect of that trade which had supplanted the cotton manufacture in that country. With respect to the article of sugar—the value of the sugar imported into this country from India, in the years 1835 and 1836, had amounted only to 160,000l.; last year it had amounted to 1,500,000l. sterling; and there could be no doubt but that India would shortly be able, if necessary, to supply the whole of this country with sugar. In 1834 no sugar had been exported from India to this country; but no sooner had the permission for the importation of sugar from India been granted, than machinery of every kind had been exported, a large amount of capital had been invested in sugar cultivation, and from that time the export of sugar to this country had commenced. But in 1844, all this trade had been checked and nearly destroyed by the measure permitting the introduction of foreign free-labour sugar. It was the measure of 1844 that had ruined the British colonial sugar cultivation, and not the measure of 1846. He believed that the Government had been compelled to pass the measure of 1846, because they had found themselves, by the measure of 1844, placed in a dilemma, from which they could not extricate themselves. Shortly after that Act had passed, a cargo of sugar was introduced from some of the friendly States of South America with which we had commercial treaties, which we had been forced to admit; whereupon an application had been made by the Spanish Government to be admitted to the same privilege, and they were compelled to pass the measure of 1846 to extricate themselves from this dilemma. Every merchant must be aware, that for every pound of foreign free-labour sugar we took from the Continental market, a pound of slave-labour sugar went into the foreign market to fill up the vacuum. The Act of 1844 did more mischief than the Act of 1846. During the last four years, the amount of sugar imported from the British colonies had been 950,000 tons—the consumption had been 918,000 tons. There had been more than sufficient imported to supply the consumption; but in addition there had been a great quantity of foreign sugar imported, and every ton of foreign sugar introduced into the market had tended to derange the price, and that had been the sole cause of the distress for the last four years. He should wish them to adopt the free-trade principle, and to carry it out. When the agitation was going on for the repeal of the corn laws, the farmers and landowners were told, You will always have a large amount of protection in the additional cost which the foreigner must ever pay to bring his corn to the British market;" and that was the protection which the British agriculturist in this country enjoyed under a system of free trade; and certainly the Bri- tish agriculturist in the tropics was equally entitled to the same protection. He did not approve of any temporary measure: he approved not of the measure proposed by the noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn, neither did he approve of the measure of the Government; he thought that taking the protection enjoyed by the British agriculturist as a precedent, the West Indian sugar-grower was entitled to a permanent protection of 5s. Such a protection was not sufficient to induce idleness on the part of the protected, and by being permanent it would not cause fluctuations in the market. Sugar, he thought, was a very fair subject of taxation for the purposes of revenue. It was a duty easily collected, and which could be evaded with difficulty; and he therefore should propose that the duty on all foreign sugar should henceforth be 19s., and that on British colonial sugar should be 14s.


very rarely indeed troubled the House with any observations, and it was with great reluctance that he did so now; but as his evidence before the Committee had been referred to by more than one Gentleman, he begged to say a word or two on that subject. He Would not weary the House by going over the various points on which he gave his evidence, and which had been gone over by the noble Lord (Lord G. Bentinck), to whom the country was under great obligations for the manner in which he had treated this question. He could say, with truth, that in giving that evidence his anxious desire was to present a candid and fair statement, and to withhold nothing from the Committee, not even that which he knew would be agreeable to those Gentlemen with whom he differed on the subject of free-trade opinions. He was most anxious that the Committee should be afforded every opportunity of arriving at the truth, and at sound and correct opinions; and he was also anxious that those West India proprietors who resided in this country should be made acquainted with the manner in which he had reduced his expenditure in the West Indies. He told the Committee that he had found in the West Indies a bad and expensive system prevalent; and that if the West India proprietors would act vigorously in reducing their cost of production, they could effect much. He told them he had succeeded in doing so to such an extent as to reduce his cost of production from 17s. 7d. a cwt. to 15s.; and that he did not despair by carrying on with vigour a more economical system, aided by protection, of reducing his cost of production even below the sum he had named. He knew that this part of his evidence was complained of by Gentlemen connected with the West Indian interest. Indeed, an esteemed friend of his having property in Antigua had stated that sugar could not be produced at 15s. a cwt. either on his (Mr. Tollemache's) estate or on his own. He had, however, made no statement to the Committee that he was not able to substantiate. Decided protectionist as he avowed himself to be, and holding that every interest in this country required protection, he was not an advocate for giving high protection to the West Indies, for he believed it would interfere most materially with the efforts making to reduce the cost of production. The hon. Member for Westbury, at the commencement of the Session—certainly not in his last speech—told them many wonders about beetroot sugar. He should be very much surprised if that hon. Gentleman told them much more upon that subject, for he was a man of too much intelligence not by this time to be assured that sugar could be produced in the West Indies cheaper than in any other part of the world. He thought it important that the people of this country should know that fact, and be made aware that if they wanted cheap and an abundant supply of sugar, it was to the West Indies they must look for it. He thought it anything but desirable that sugar should be kept up at a very high price in this country. In the first place, it encouraged a bad and expensive system of management, while high prices forced production elsewhere, and raised up a host of competitors, such as the hon. Gentleman's beetroot friends. Without high prices such sugar producers would never be heard of; therefore he was opposed to a high protection to the West India colonies, as being unfair to this country, and injurious to the interest of every class connected with the West Indies. But though he should object to any very high and excessive protection, still he was thoroughly satisfied that free labour never could compete with slave labour, and that a certain amount of protection was absolutely necessary to save the colonies from complete ruin, and the people of this country from being dependent for sugar—for which, in the end, they would have very very dearly to pay—upon Cuba, Brazil, and other countries where slavery existed. There were few West India proprietors who were more favourably circumstanced than himself. He possessed five estates in the West Indies, and he was very fortunate in his agents and tenants. He had considerably reduced the cost of production, and he believed he could reduce it still further. Besides this, he was prepared to incur a certain degree of loss rather than desert the people on estates which had been in his family upwards of a century. Nevertheless he felt he should be compelled to throw up his estates unless he was protected against slavery. He asked to be protected against nothing else. If he were to be asked what he believed would be a sufficient protection, he should say—at least as far as Barbadoes, Antigua, St. Vincent, St. Kitt's, and other islands were concerned—that 7s. would be a sufficient protection. But, taking the West Indies as a whole, he believed that a protecting duty of 10s. for two years; then to be reduced to 8s.; and after that to 6s., where it might remain as long as slavery existed—for he repeated that free labour never could compete with slave labour—that, he thought, would be an adequate, but not more than an adequate, protection. He assured the Government that he felt no hostile feeling towards them whatever. Whenever he voted against them, it was with regret. Nevertheless, he last night felt it his duty to vote for the Amendment of the hon. Member for Droitwich. The Government were evidently dissatisfied with their measure of 1846; otherwise why propose a change? It had ruined the colonies; it had increased to an extraordinary extent the slave trade as regarded Brazil; and as regarded Cuba it had positively revived, the slave trade, which in that island, previous to 1846, had ceased altogether. He, therefore, prayed the Government again to consider this question. He believed the extent of protection he had named would enable the West India proprietors to exert themselves in cultivating their estates with success, and would secure to the people of this country an abundant and, in the end, a cheap supply of sugar. It would give to the population of the colonies employment, and would improve their social and moral condition; and finally, it would rescue this country from the charge of inconsistency, and from that disgrace under which it now laboured by pursuing a system which increased the slave trade as regarded Brazil, and which actually revived it as regarded Cuba. For these reasons he could not support the resolution proposed by the Government.


I think the Committee are indebted to the hon. Gentleman in the chair for having called upon the hon. Member for. South Cheshire (Mr. Tollemache), who has just sat down, and of whose speech I am sure it is no undeserved compliment to say that it wholly confirms the effect which I am sure his evidence would produce upon the mind of anybody who would read it. The hon. Gentleman has given some most valuable and straightforward evidence before the Committee so ably presided over by the noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn (Lord G. Bentinck), and has laid before the public many truths of the highest importance to be known. For my own part, differing as I do in some respects from him, I can assure the hon. Gentleman that no opinions have been expressed by any Gentleman which, in my judgment, are entitled to more consideration than those which he has now placed before us. But both he and the hon. Gentleman who spoke immediately before him, have advocated the principle of a permanent protection to the West India sugar. In this respect I differ with both those hon. Gentlemen, because, even in the report of the Committee itself, it is shown that the Members of it looked to a cessation of protection before any long period. The recommendation of the Committee was, that a certain amount of protection should be afforded for a term of six years. In the resolution moved in the Committee by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge, it is stated that it was to the power of limiting the expense and the amount of production by which the West India proprietors may be able to compete with foreign producers, that they must look for ultimate prosperity to the colonies, rather than to protecting duties. The right hon. Baronet the Member for Tarn worth pointed out last night that which is notorious to all persons conversant with the sugar interests of the colonies, that, even when those colonies enjoyed by law the monopoly of the market in this country, a very slight production beyond that which this country could consume brought them into competition with foreign-grown sugar in the European markets; the effect of which was to produce a very considerable reduction in the price of the sugar market, not only on the Continent, but in England also, and great suffering was consequently entailed upon the colonies. By the evidence before the Committee it is clear that the production of sugar in the West Indies is at this moment very nearly equal to the existing consumption in this country. Should there be any excess of production, that will immediately bring the West Indian proprietors into competition with the slave-grown sugar market, with which they can only successfully compete by being able to produce as good and as cheap sugar as their competitors. Whether my hon. Friend the Member for Harwich (Mr. Bagshaw), who avows himself an ardent free-trader, will be able to persuade his friends who are strenuous free-trade advocates to assent to a permanent protective duty in favour of colonial sugar, I will not hazard even a guess; but it will be time enough for me to address myself to that proposition when my hon. Friend shall have succeeded in converting his friends to his own particular views upon the subject. In the meanwhile I will make some observations as briefly as possible upon the proposition before the House—namely, that the Legislature ought not in any respect to depart from the principle of the Bill of 1846. In the first place, I may observe that this proposition is diametrically opposed to the Motion upon which the House divided last night. The complaint of those who divided against the Government last night was, that we did not do enough for the West India proprietors; whereas the question raised by the hon. Member for Manchester to-night, in a speech of considerable ability, and in a great part of which I concur, is, that we are doing too much for the West Indies. It is an advantage which those hon. Gentleman always possess who admit of no qualifying circumstances to influence their judgments, but rigidly abide by their principle, to be able to reproach those who, while recognising the same principle, so far differ from them as to allow circumstances to modify the application of that principle. The former can always taunt the latter with a dereliction of the principle which they profess. The state of circumstance" to which I allude, is, in point of fact, a state of transition from the principle of protection to that of free trade. It is an anomalous state of things, and renders a compromise for a time between those two principles absolutely necessary. It is utterly impossible, for a time at least, that either principle shall predominate. We are now passing through this transition state; and a temporary compromise has been found the best mode of effecting an adjustment between those two principles, and of preventing that opposition which would arise were any effort made to enforce the predominance of either the one or the other. That was the principle of the Act of 1846, which allowed temporarily a certain diminishing protection to the West India colonies; and that is the principle of the measure we now propose, although it does so far depart from the Act of 1846 by affording a higher extent of protection to the West India proprietors. The hon. Member for Manchester has reproached me for having said in February that I was not prepared to depart from the Act of 1846. I do not deny that in February that was my opinion; but I should be ashamed to stand here and under all circumstances maintain an opinion I had previously expressed, and to say that I am not open to conviction notwithstanding any evidence which may be brought before me—that I am literally deaf to all the information I might have obtained. I will not refer to the circumstances advanced by those who advocate a certain amount of protection, because I should be repeating what has been already stated by the Committee, who have declared their opinion that by a strict adherence to the Act of 1846 the most disastrous and calamitous consequences would ensue. I would rather refer to the statement which the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Tollemache) has just made. He says that he is adverse to any high protection of the planter, because it would interfere with the cost of production. The hon. Member for Gloucester (Mr. Grantley Berkeley) has mentioned the number of estates that are in the course of abandonment, and it must be obvious to all that the application of an extreme system of protection, joined with other circumstances to which I will advert presently, has spread a degree of alarm and apprehension in the West Indies which must be prejudicial not only to the West Indian proprietors themselves, but to the consumers in this country. Now, it is impossible to deny that the state of commercial distress which prevailed in this country last year has produced most mischievous consequences in the West Indies. One large bank has failed in one of the principal islands, and the whole present distress which prevails in Barbadoes, in Trinidad, and in British Guiana, has ap- parently arisen from the failure of that bank, and can by no means be attributed to the Act of 1846, or to the competition with slave-grown sugar. Another circumstance which has seriously aggravated the distress is, that question which I mentioned on a former occasion, namely, the impossibility which the colonies experience in raising loans for agricultural purposes. Under these circumstances I confess I think the Government were bound to step forward—charged as they are with the interest of the whole colonies—and to make an attempt, if possible, to arrest the progress of the abandonment of the estates, and the destruction of the proprietors, with which they were threatened for want of credit. I think. Sir, my hon. Friend behind me is not quite just in his observation that we have entirely omitted all consideration of the interests of the consumer in this country. My noble Friend (Lord J. Russell), when he first opened this matter to the House, stated very fully how far the interests of the consumer were concerned in preserving the cultivation of the West Indies. We do believe that we have framed a measure in which (while it offers advantages to the West Indies of very considerable extent, though far short of what we would willingly obtain for them) we have not been unmindful of the interests of the consumer. I conceive if we had given a higher protection we should have interfered with the process now going on in the West Indies of reducing the cost of production by diminishing the price of wages. I will not again repeat the argument on that point; I could not state it more clearly or forcibly than it has been by the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down. The object we have had in view is, by a temporary protection, to induce parties to continue the cultivation of their estates, and at the same time not to interfere with that on which their prosperity so much depends—the reduction of the cost of cultivation by diminishing the wages of labour. I do not pretend to defend this measure on the principles of a free-trader. No one is more entirely convinced than I am of the soundness of those principles; and no one is more opposed than I am to any proposition for the maintenance of a permanent system of protection. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bright) has truly stated that the Act of 1846 has been most successful both as regards the revenue and the interests of the consumer. There can be no doubt of the accuracy of that testimony borne by the hon. Gentleman to the operation of the measure introduced by Her Majesty's Government; and certainly, if I was not convinced by the best consideration I could give to the subject, that the interests of the West Indies and the consumer were alike concerned in maintaining the cultivation of estates in the West Indies, I should have been the last man to depart from the Act with whose operation we have had just cause to be satisfied. I do not know whether it is the intention of any one to propose an Amendment to carry into effect the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford; at all events, I will reserve any observations I may have to make till that shall be done. But I wish now to make some observations on that part of the subject which concerns the revenue, the most important of all the considerations we have now before us; because I quite agree that, under present circumstances, the object of primary importance is that no serious injury should be done to the revenue of the country by any measure we propose. Now, Sir, by the measure we propose, no doubt we run some risk of losing revenue—I don't think much; but I cannot quite admit the doctrine maintained by the noble Lord the Member for King's Lynn, that the proposal for reducing the duty on colonial sugar to 10s. per cwt., and maintaining a duty of 20s. per cwt. on foreign sugar, is a measure less dangerous to the revenue than that which the Government propose. The recommendation of the Committee entails, at any rate, a first loss of 960,000l.; the plan of the Government will entail a first loss of 240,000l. Now, it is quite true that the risk of loss run will be made up by increased consumption pro tanto on the sum of 960,000l.; but, inasmuch as it is far easier to make up the loss of 240,000l. than the loss of 960,000l., I think it must be admitted that the risk to the revenue run is not so great in the one case as in the other. The additional loss is 720,000l. beyond the utmost risk to be encountered on the plan of the Government; and though I cannot admit that the principal of the loan of 500,000l. can be charged against the revenue of the first year, yet, even if it could be, still the loss under the Government scheme would not be more than 220,000l. This would at once appear from these figures:—

First loss on Lord G. Bentinck's proposition £960,000
First loss on the Government scheme 240,000
Showing a greater loss under the former of 720,000
Deduct the loan 500,000
Entire loss £220,000
I cannot anticipate that the increased consumption, if so much, will do more than make up the loss of revenue. We may incur a small loss of revenue under our scheme; but the loss under that of the noble Lord would he no less than 720,000l. Of course, the risk to the revenue arises from the loss of duty by reducing the colonial duty from 14s to 13s. the first year; and the prospect of that being made up arises from the increased consumption we hope will take place in the course of the year. I quite admit that I do not look to any increased consumption in the course of the first year in consequence of this measure. I never said I did. When I formerly referred to this point, I stated most distinctly on what ground it was I did anticipate an increased consumption in the course of the year. Speaking generally, owing to the large stock of sugar there is on hand in this country, the prospect of a very good crop in the colonies, and anticipating, whatever may be the case in future years, that this year the planters will be prepared to take off the existing crops, so far as my information goes, there can be no great falling-off this year. It is a remarkable fact, as my hon. Friend the Under Secretary for the Colonies stated, that, even with the amount of panic in Jamaica, of which we heard so much in this House, the production last year is greater than at any time since 1840. What is the probability of an increased consumption in the course of the next year? I estimate the probable increase at about 15,000 to 20,000 tons. Referring to the statement contained in the resolutions moved by the noble Lord in the Committee—referring to the consumption of former years, even with no diminution of duty, with no extraneous circumstances to account for increased consumption, but taking the average of all those years without an increase of duty, we might calculate upon a consumption of sugar in the course of the year ending the 31st of December, 1848, of 328,000 tons. One of the resolutions of the noble Lord, alluding to the experience of former years, states the belief that 325,000 tons of sugar may be taken as the probable consumption of sugar for the year ending the 5th July, 1849. That is a fair deduction from the figures quoted in the 22nd page of the noble Lord's draught resolutions. The year 1847 was clearly a most exceptional case, because the importation of sugar in the first quarter was extraordinary, owing to the anticipated permission to brew and distil from sugar; it formed no criterion for future years; and therefore the circumstance alluded to by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford, of the small comparative increase of sugar imported in the first four months of this year, compared with last year, is not to be taken as on index with reference to the remaining three quarters of the year. If I had taken the estimate deduced from the figures, I should have taken the consumption at 325,000 tons. I think that is probably beyond the mark. I estimate it, for myself, at from 305,000 tons to 310,000 tons; and I must say, if we look at the increased consumption of former years, I don't think I have any reason to fear that an increased consumption to that extent may not take place. In the last five years, comparing the consumption of 1847 with 1842, I find that the quantity of sugar entered for home consumption was—
1847 288,975 tons
1842 193,422 tons
Showing an increase in five years of no less than 95,553 tons.
A return called for the other day shows, even among a people not usually having any command over the luxuries of life, how the consumption of sugar has extended in Ireland. I find that in the last four years the consumption of Ireland has increased from 352,302 cwt. in 1843, to 596,606 cwt. in 1847. If, then, I were to take the consumption of sugar as stated in the noble Lord's resolutions, and his estimate of the proportion between colonial and foreign sugar, as accurate, we should have 225,000 tons colonial sugar, and 85,000 tons foreign, which would give a revenue of 4,625,000l., or 284,000l. above that received last year. But this estimate, I think, is too high. I do, however, think I may safely calculate on a consumption from 305,000 tons to 310,000 tons. Now, Sir, the amount of revenue from this source will depend upon whether that increase is on colonial or foreign sugar. If there be an increase on the former to the extent of 15,000 tons, the present alteration will entail loss, which I hold to be the maximum of 45,000l. If the increase consist of 10,000 tons colonial, and 5,000 tons foreign, then the total loss will amount only to 10,000l. If the consumption should be 310,000, then even if the whole consisted of colonial sugar the revenue would be improved by 20,000l. If 15,000 tons were colonial and 5,000 foreign, there would be a gain to the revenue of 55,000l. It is impossible to say what the consumption may be; but I have good grounds for anticipating that the maximum loss cannot be more than 45,000l.; and I have reason, indeed, to believe that there will be no loss at all. In future years I look for a very large consumption from the diminution of price—a diminution which will not be effected by any other plan than ours, because we propose to reduce year after year the duty on foreign sugar; and it is by the price of foreign sugar, affected as it will be by the reduction of duty, that the price of sugar will be regulated. Providing for a continuous diminution of the duty year after year, we hope for a continuous increase of consumption; and by that diminution of duty not only will the consumer be benefited, but it is to that diminution that the producer must look for the improvement of his condition. It is to a smaller return on a larger quantity of produce that the West Indians must look for a return of prosperity. Although in some respects this is not perhaps the most appropriate opportunity, yet as so much has been said as to the effect of the proposition made by Her Majesty's Government on the revenue, and the probability of loss to which we may be exposed, and still more as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the university of Oxford distinctly referred to the subject, observing that it was right Parliament should have some earnest of what the Government were doing for the purpose of equalising the income and expenditure of the country within the year—a wish which it was very natural for him to express, which it was very natural for the House to entertain when asked to adopt a measure which might probably entail some loss to the revenue—I shall not hesitate on the present occasion, in compliance with the suggestion, to state in general terms, without entering into details, what are the prospects with regard to the revenue and expenditure which we think we may entertain for the current year. The right hon. Gen- tleman referred to a statement of my noble Friend early in the year on the subject of the estimates. What is material for the present year is the expenditure of the current year as compared with the income. At that time we had a deficiency of about 2,000,000l. The object of the Government was to equalise the income and expenditure by increased taxation. The House showed a general indisposition to concur in any proposition of that kind, and I need not say the subject occupied the most anxious attention of the Government from that time to this. I also wish to say that, looking to the income and expenditure of former years, I find the income of last year was fully as high, and higher, than that of the previous year. The income for 1846–47 was very truly described by the right hon. Member for the University of Oxford as a year of extraordinary receipts. But so applicable was the same remark to the income of last year, that the state of our finances in 1847–48 was actually higher than in 1846–47, after the great reductions which had been made. But the average expenditure of the three preceding years gives an amount of expenditure far below what was proposed for last year or the preceding year; and therefore I think it was the bounden duty of Government and of Parliament to take measures with a view to a reduction of expenditure. Two Committees were appointed for that purpose; but none of us thought, that in appointing those Committees we should shift from our own shoulders the responsibility which devolves upon the Government. It is impossible to reduce the expenditure necessary to maintain the efficiency of the forces, or to carry on those works which having been commenced, it would be still worse to abandon. The noble Lord stated the Miscellaneous Estimates at 4,006,000l.; the amount laid on the table was 3,771,000l., being a reduction of 235,000l. With respect to the Army, the expenditure so depended on the numerical force, that the House, having decided that there should be no reduction in the forces, there could be no reduction in the expenditure. The noble Lord stated that it was intended to propose an additional vote for militia; but that proposition had been abandoned, so that there is a diminution in the estimates under that head of 150,000l. Without injuring the efficiency of the Navy and the Ordnance, we are satisfied that on those two services within the year a reduction of 300,000l. may be effected. My hon. Friend the Se- cretary of the Admiralty stated, that on the Naval Estimates a much larger reduction might be effected within the ensuing year; but the existing contracts must, necessarily, postpone such reduction for the present. But the effect of the various reductions is, to diminish the estimates of expenditure to the amount of 685,000l I do not mean to say that works may not cease to be prosecuted with which, otherwise, it would be desirable to proceed; but, in the circumstances of the country, it seems advisable that they should be postponed, and that reductions should so far be effected on the expenditure for the present. I have postponed any statement on this subject because it requires considerable time to go through all the details. I hope further reductions may be effected within the year. But, all that I feel confident of—and of that I do feel confident—is, that a reduction to the amount I have stated may be effected. I was also anxious to postpone my statement until a late period of the Session, because then the state of the Exchequer and the extent of the expenditure would be better understood. The revenue from Customs has been maintained; from Excise is improved; but from Stamps and Taxes lowered. I find myself quite justified in anticipating an increase of revenue beyond what I anticipated in February to the extent of 350,000l. The usual practice has not been to include the receipt from corn, and I leave out of the calculation that incidental source of revenue. Then, there is a sum to be received on what are commonly called "appropriations in aid." It has been for some time in contemplation to effect a measure for applying the receipts on this account to the service of the current year, instead of reserving them to the end of the financial year, to be then applied in diminution of the votes for the ensuing year. Some delay has occurred in effecting this object, in consequence of the Supposition being entertained that an Act of Parliament was necessary to permit it; but it has been found out that the Act of Parliament which prohibited the operation is repealed. No obstacle, therefore, now exists, and I have directed the sums produced by the sale of old stores, &c., which make up the amount known as "appropriations in aid," to be paid directly into the Exchequer, and therefore the receipts from that source for the year will be applicable to the service of the year. The amount I estimate at 500,000l., that of last year being about 430,000l, This is only a temporary source of income, to be sure, but if can be made fairly applicable to the service of the year. The result then of the whole is a diminution in the estimated excess of expenditure over revenue of 1,535,000l., and therefore, as things stand, instead of our having an excess of expenditure over revenue of 2,000,000l., the probable amount will not exceed 500,000l. I think that the House ought to be in possession of this information. Both here and out of doors considerable anxiety has been felt upon the subject, and even those hon. Gentlemen who approved of the proposals of Government, thought that considerable reductions in our expenditure might be made. I can only add that we have turned our most unremitting attention to the subject, and thus have been able to hold out the prospect of the reductions which I have mentioned—reductions, I repeat, which will he made within the year, and of the increased produce of those sources of revenue to which I have also referred. It may be again my duty to return to this subject. In the meantime, I have only to congratulate hon. Gentlemen upon our prospects being more promising than they perhaps expected—an announcement, too, which I cannot but think will be deemed satisfactory to the House and the country at large.


said, it appeared to him that, in abandoning that system of protection which had prevailed in this country for the last two hundred years, they ought to proceed with caution, and give the parties interested timely notice of the changes they might propose. He might, as a specimen of what had been done by hasty legislation, refer to the cotton manufacture once so extensive in India, and to the measures which, by stopping that manufacture, had been productive of vast injury to the native manufacturers. Great commercial changes should always be conducted with the utmost caution. He wished the House to understand what was at present the exact position of the West Indian colonies, as importers and consumers of British manufactures, as compared with Brazil and Cuba, in the same character. He would first take the average yearly consumption of our manufactures in the British West Indies during the last seven years, and then the quantity consumed in the same period by Brazil and Cuba. In this way the House would be able to judge of the value of the colonies, and the caution which they ought to ex- ercise in legislating for them. During the seven years ending 1847, it appeared that the average annual value of our manufactures exported to the British West Indies, was upwards of 2,700,000l.; whilst to Brazil it was 1,300,000l., and to Cuba, 650,000l. Now, the West Indian interest stated, that if the Bill of 1846 were allowed to be carried out, at least one-half of the sugar plantations in those islands would go out of cultivation. And, surely, if one-half of the estates went out of cultivation, it was but natural to suppose, that one-half the exports, or half the sum of 2,700,000l. would be lost; and with the cessation of that amount of exports, but one half the present quantity of sugar should come from the islands. And as the Mauritius were nearly in the same position as the West Indies, the result would be, that upwards of 100,000 tons of sugar annually would be withdrawn from the home market, and a rise in price take place to the consumer of at least from 5l. to 7l. a ton. Thus the measure of 1846 would cut two ways—first, there would be a material loss of manufactures, and next a dearer price for sugar. But suppose, that by taking the extra quantity of sugar from Brazil and Cuba, we induced them to take the manufactures which the colonies now required, still there must be a loss of British capital in the colonies, whilst no corresponding advantage could ensue to this country. He denied, however, that that would be the effect, or that the same quantity of British goods would be exported to Brazil and Cuba as now went to Jamaica. The relative social state of the colonies, and Brazil and Cuba, sufficiently accounted for this. It was a curious fact, that the exports to the West Indies had considerably increased since the Emancipation Act, although the quantity of their produce had considerably diminished. But this was not to be wondered at, when it was borne in mind that the inhabitants had formerly been slaves, with scarcely a rag to cover them; and that subsequently to the measure of emancipation they were in the receipt of regular wages, and clothed themselves, their wives, and children, in articles of British manufacture. He preferred the proposition of Her Majesty's Government to the continuance of the Act of 1846, as proposed by the hon. Member for Manchester, for he was satisfied that the former would do much to save the colonists from ruin, and their estates from going out of cultivation, and at the same time preserve to this country the exports of its manufactures; while it would not increase the price to the consumer, it would give the West Indies a differential duty of 5s. 6d. for three years, besides affording facilities for the introduction of labour.


, as one of those who anticipated at the time of the passing of the Bill of 1846, the consequences which it would inflict on the West India colonies, and the results to which it would lead as connected with the slave trade, had come down as a spectator to-night, curious to see how the hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the author of the measure, would defend himself against the taunts of his Friend and patron the hon. Member for Manchester. The right hon. Gentleman had not indeed gratified his curiosity in that respect. The right hon. Gentleman took some credit for his great openness to conviction, expressed his opinion that it was an element of statesmanship not to adhere inflexibly to unbending principles, but to give way to qualifying circumstances, and to arrange the measures to be taken according to the altering circumstances and pressure of the times. But how the circumstances of the West Indies had altered since the 8th of February, or since the 30th of May, so as to require a revolution in the legislation to be applied to them, the right hon. Gentleman left the House to conjecture. Still, however, the right hon. Gentleman had made a speech more interesting than could be any series of Parliamentary repartees dealt out to the hon. Member for Manchester; the right hon. Gentleman had, in fact, given them a second budget; and not only that, but he had admitted that the second budget was not satisfactory, and solemnly promised us that at a very early opportunity we should be treated to a third. Now, he understood why the right hon. Gentleman, although not prepared to give us the whole of his budget, did not think that he ought to allow this debate to go on without shadowing out some indications of it. The right hon. Gentleman was bountiful in dealing with the budget of 1854; and in proposing to deal with the consumption of sugar, which was now upwards of 300,000 tons, his proposition was to remove from that consumption in 1854 no less a sum than 4l. a ton, which was equal to a gross sum of 1,200,000l. He was not surprised that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had taken the precaution to guard himself from the taunt which might be thrown on him of making such a hole in the budget of 1854, and he had therefore favoured the House with some idea of the budget of 1848. He considered they had great cause to congratulate themselves on the reluctance which the right hon. Gentleman had shown to replace the 2,000,000 of deficiency by increased taxation, for without increased taxation, or necessity for exertion, no less a sum than 1,500,000l. had disappeared from the estimates under the head of deficiency. He hoped that the House was satisfied with the details of this diminished budget, although he confessed they were not quite intelligible to him. With regard to the estimates, he believed that 3,750,000l. for miscellaneous estimates was as large a sum as the estimates of other years; but there was considerable satisfaction in discovering that in this year there would be a saving of 32,000l. in those estimates. It was also quite clear that 450,000l. could be saved on the Militia, Navy, and Ordnance estimates. He hoped that the right hon. Gentleman's estimates, with regard to the increase of revenue, were formed on a more intelligible basis than the particular one with which they had to deal that night; for if the other estimates rested on the foundation which supported his calculations respecting the sugar duties, the House might jump at too quick a conclusion. They were told by the noble Lord the First Minister of the Crown, that the revenue would not lose much, perhaps only 10,000l. in the first year. That was certainly a consolation; but it should be remembered that there were two ways in which the revenue might sustain a loss—one by diminished duty, and the other by the maintenance of a differential duty in regard to foreign sugar. Both losses of duty were about to come into operation at the same time; and, notwithstanding, the House of Commons was told that the loss of revenue would not exceed 10,000l. in the first year. This seemed to him to be incredible. There might be an increase of revenue from other causes: lowness of price, for instance. But, looking to the price of sugar during the last year, he did not think there was any probability that there would be a further decline. But, even if prices were lower, how would it tell on the West Indian colonies. It appeared to him that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had misconceived the argument of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford, for he had no right to expect that the prices of 1848, in the last eight months, would bear that proportion to the price of the last eight months of 1847, which the first four months of 1848 bore to the first four mouths of 1847. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright) adhered to the Bill of 1846. With the permission of the House, he would enter on a calculation, based upon the plan of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford. The only difference between the two calculations was this, that in his (Mr. Cardwell's calculation, he should be able to show that the loss to the revenue would be upwards of 300,000l. If a comparison were taken between the plan of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester, which consisted in an adherence to the Bill of 1846, and the adoption of the proposed plan of the Government, the financial arguments to be derived would press more strongly against the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The consumption of sugar in the last year was 280,000 tons, of which 240,000 tons were of British plantation, and 48,000 of foreign production. It was admitted, that there was to be a loss of 1l. per ton on the 240,000, and yet the Chancellor of the Exchequer expected an increase of revenue. But was there to be no diminution on the 48,000 tons of foreign sugar consumed? With the same total amount of income the measure would displace foreign sugar, and replace it with West Indian. The Chancellor of the Exchequer omitted to take that into consideration. When he said that the first loss would amount to 1l. per ton, or 240,000l., he made no reference to the quantity of foreign sugar which would be necessarily displaced. If this were taken into the calculation, each ton of foreign sugar, which in the last year produced 20l. a ton, would be replaced by British plantation sugar at 13l. a ton, showing at once a loss of 7l. a ton. If the consumption of British plantation sugar which would replace the foreign product, were taken at one-half, it would show a loss of 84,000l., which, added to 240,000l. (namely, the loss of Il. per ton on 240,000 tons of British plantation sugar), would make a total loss of 324,000l. This, he believed, to be a fair estimate. It was admitted by this legislation that increased consumption could not be expected. How would his calculation tell in future years? He would only take one year more. For the second year, the loss on British plantation sugar would be 2l. a ton, or 480,000l., and 8l. per ton instead of 7l. per ton on foreign sugar, which would make 96,000l. To that there would have to be added a diminished differential duty on foreign sugar, amounting to 54,000l., making a total loss of 630,000l. This appeared to him to be the extent of the loss to the revenue which would he incurred on the second year. But the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge, used to calculate that a stimulant would be given for reduced duty in the shape of increased consumption, and that three-fifths of the duty taken off would be got back. Supposing that three-fifths were got back in that way, there would be a loss of 259,000l., leaving a final loss of 370,000l. Therefore, in the first year the loss would be 300,000l.; in the second year, notwithstanding the increased consumption, it would be 370,000l.; and in the third year 600,000l. After that period, owing to the diminution of differential duties, the loss would diminish. With regard to the use of sugar in breweries, he understood from the hon. Gentleman the Member for West-bury, that the privilege of using sugar in those establishments was not to be withdrawn, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that the increase of revenue would arise from the barley harvest, and from the great quantity of barley that would be converted into malt. That might be very advantageous to the farmers and to the Excise; but how would it affect the Customs with regard to the sugar duties? Admitting that brewing from sugar was an advantage to the West Indies, and that, in all probability, the sugar would be replaced by malt, it would he necessary to deduct a portion of sugar, for both could not be used in breweries and distilleries. The calculations he had made were founded on the Bill of 1846, as it operated in the last year. He was unwilling to occupy the House by alluding to the rest of the case, for he feared he had already wearied it with dry calculations; but when they were told by hon. Gentlemen opposite that the slave trade had not been increased, he asked to what evidence would they appeal if they wanted to know whether the slave trade had increased or not? Would they be content with the evidence of those who were trying to suppress it on the coast of Africa? Would they he content with the evidence of their own commissioners, and would they be content with the evidence of those who were carrying on the trade? [Mr. BRIGHT: Did the hon. Gentleman mean that he (Mr. Bright) said there would be no stimulant given to the slave trade? His observations related solely to the Bill of 1846.] He quite understood that the hon. Gentleman's observations went to show that he was entirely opposed to the slave trade; but he failed to see that any stimulant had been given to it by the Bill of 1846. He was about to ask, when the hon. Gentleman interrupted him, whether they would believe the evidence of their own commissioners as to whether the slave trade had increased or not? [The hon. Gentleman then read an extract from the evidence taken before the Select Committee to show that the prices of slaves and the price of estates had risen from 15 to 20 per cent when it was known that the importation of slave-grown sugar would be permitted in the British market on more favourable terms, and that the intimation of the news was received as a jubilee in the island of Cuba. A witness employed in the slave trade on the coast of Africa was asked by the Committee— During the time you were on the coast of Africa, was the slave trade diminished or increased? The reply was, that it was increased. To what circumstance do you attribute the increase?—I have spoken to Spanish and Portuguese captains, and they have told me that the increase is to be attributed to the extra demand for sugar in England. You understood that the slave trade received a stimulus in consequence of an increased demand for sugar?—Yes, from Brazil. Such was the evidence given before the Select Committee. It was proved that the slave trade was languishing in Cuba, and that the announcement of a demand in England was received as a jubilee by the planters. Well, then, he could have no hesitation in recording his vote against the proposition of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester. He believed the question they had to try was this. He admitted that protection was, in its nature, an unsatisfactory remedy; but he asked them, did they think they would be able to substitute free labour for slave labour, without giving to their West Indian colonies some encouragement of an effectual nature, even though it might be temporary? There were two motives by which that could be effected. There was, in barbarous countries, the physical force exercised by those who are superior in intellect; there was, in civilised countries, the stimulus of competition, and the rewards thereby obtained. They themselves put down the former plan in the West Indies, and had earned for themselves immemorial honour for the sacrifices they had made to accomplish their object; but they had left their work half done, and it had carried with it evils to which even slavery might be almost deemed unimportant, if they did not complete their work by supplying that other motive—the stimulus to the free employment of labour. Their own injured fellow-subjects, the British colonists, were engaged, to the best of their ability, in carrying out a difficult experiment; and they appealed to them for no large boon. They merely asked for temporary encouragement; and the hon. Member for Manchester now asked them, with this evidence before them, to refuse them that reasonable demand.


declared that he would not have risen to address the House had he not been called upon by the Chairman to do so. [Cries of "Divide!"] He believed it was usual, when a Member was referred to, to concede to him the privilege of replying to observations which had been personally addressed to him; and under those circumstances he was sure he would obtain a hearing. He asked of the House to give him an opportunity of explaining the course he had pursued with regard to the Committee, whose recommendations they were now discussing. If the House would permit him, before he alluded to the observations of the hon. Member for Liverpool, he would refer to the observations which had fallen from the hon. Member for Manchester. Before the Committee was moved for, the noble Lord the Member for Lynn had asked him to become a member of the Committee, and he believed he had done so solely on public grounds; and he was sure he had not done so because he expected to find a partisan in him. When asked to become a member of the Committee, he should think himself unworthy of a place in that House if he did not seek to divest his mind of all preconceived opinions on the subject, and resolve to listen to the evidence, and take as impartial a view of it as he possibly could. He believed the noble Lord the Member for Lynn would do him the justice to say, that although he was opposed to him in all the views he and his Friends advocated in the Committee, he evinced, throughout the proceedings, an earnest desire to promote a full and fair inquiry on the subject. He considered, whatever might be their views of the principles on which the commerce of this country should be conducted, and with respect to what was right to be carried out, there was, with regard to the colonies, a certain exception existing, and a certain state of transition going on, which the law of 1846, and all previous laws, had hitherto recognised; and it was on that exception to the general principle he formed the opinion and judgment he had done with regard to the evidence that came before that Committee. He believed it was admitted on all hands, and not denied, that the enactment made in this country with regard to the colonists had fettered their power to obtain labour; and it would be desirable to place the employer and the employed in that fair position towards each other which it would' be the advantage of both they should occupy. It was his opinion that it would be unwise in the Legislature of this country strictly to adhere to the principle of the Bill of 1846 in all its details; he thought it was necessary to make some modification in it, accompanied by other measures; and the hon. Member for Liverpool would recollect that while the inquiry was going on, before he became a Member of the Government, or thought of becoming a Member of it that he did in confidence express an opinion to that hon. Gentleman as to the course he thought should be pursued—he did not mean in detail—with regard to the West Indian colonies. He believed he did say to him that it would be unwise to insist upon the strict letter of the law of 1846—that it was necessary to suspend that law, accompanied by such remedial measures as the House should think fit—or that there should be some limitation of that Act. He not only recognised the existing distress, and the necessity of relief being given, but he recognised most fully that relief should be given instantly and immediately; and in such a way as to be for the interest of the planters themselves. He was free to admit that in coming to consider how and in what way the interests of the planters were to be best considered in this case, that he was met by an accumulation of difficulties. He found it was difficult to reconcile a measure for the relief of the planter with the interests of the consumer and those of the revenue. The question to determine was, in what way relief would be given so as to be instantaneous in operation, and, in the long run, to promote as much as possible the future welfare of the colonies. At the same time they had to consider how this object would be accomplished with the least possible loss to the consumer and to the revenue. With regard to the proposition that was made, all that could be said with regard to it was that it would defer, for one year, the operation of the Bill of 1846, so far as regards the duty; but how could they otherwise accomplish their object? He thought they had adopted that plan which, while it would cause the smallest possible loss to the revenue and to the consumer, would be attended with the greatest possible advantage to the West India planter. The hon. Member for Liverpool had very properly stated that the reduction of colonial duty by a shilling would be a reduction of revenue in the first instance to that amount. He stated that the duty on colonial sugar had nothing to do with the price to the consumer, and that the duty on foreign sugar must alone regulate the price to the consumer; but the hon. Member for Liverpool, though he admitted there would be a reduction in the second year in the price to the consumer of the difference of the duty, did not do sufficient justice to the proposition before the House by carrying it through every part of the scale. By the Bill before the House, the duty would fall after the first year in the same way as the Bill of 1846 contemplated; and as the duty would fall until 1851, as that Bill contemplated, the price to the consumer would fall in the same proportion. One of the objects of the proposition was, that they should go to the lowest point, and the only fair way was to take it as a whole, and not to take only a particular part of it. They should take it in reference to what it had mainly in view, the permanent relief to the West Indies, with the least possible cost to this country. Did they contemplate that within a limited number of years a competition would exist between the West Indian colonies, and Cuba and Brazil? What he most feared from that competition was, not the ability of the West India planter to produce sugar as cheaply as in Cuba or Brazil; but what he feared was, that they would in the next four or five years have such a large increase in the production of sugar in Cuba and Brazil, and the West Indies themselves, that when that period arrived, the entire markets of Europe would be so surcharged that they must have a reduced price, not only in slave-grown sugar, but in their own colonies. When the West Indies were brought into competition with the foreign producer, it would be a very serious thing to have a very large overstocked market at that period. He therefore did think, and Her Majesty's Government did think, it was a most essential thing that they should take measures that would ensure a very largely increased consumption during that period. Then came the question of revenue; and he was free to admit that every reduction of colonial duty would be a reduction in the amount of duty received by the revenue; but as a consequence, not of this modification of the original Bill of 1846, but as a consequence of the original Bill of 1846 itself, they were entitled to look forward to a large increased consumption in each year, which would be sufficient to meet the diminished revenue from colonial sugar. If it were true that the consumer would not be injured in former years, and in latter years would be materially benefited, he believed the balance for the six years in favour of the consumer would be found to be in adopting the Government plan. With regard to the proposition to make a grant of money to the Board of Emigration, the whole argument tended to show that the greatest benefits to the colonies would be derived from the adoption of such a plan. The hon. Member for Manchester, on the part of the importers of foreign sugar, said, that the plan would be injurious to them in consequence of the increased differential duty. Now, although the importer would have to pay an increased duty of 1s. 6d. per cwt., he would certainly obtain a higher price for his produce. The hon. Member for Manchester was wrong in saying that by the proposed plan consumers would not be benefited, and that the importers of foreign sugar would be injured. In the one case the consumer would not be injured by the reduction of the duty on colonial sugar, and the importers of foreign sugar would not be injured, as they would obtain higher prices.


would state very shortly the reasons which would influence his vote on this subject. He had listened with great attention to the whole of this debate, and to the opening statement of the noble Lord. He was anxious that the considerations which would govern his vote should not be misunderstood, for he could truly say that he never came to one with more pain; but would add that, under the impressions he had always held on the great question of free trade, and on the immeasurably greater one of what was owed to the effec- tual abolition of the slave trade and slavery, he came to it without hesitation. The discussion on the question of the Speaker's leaving the chair had served only to confirm in him the impression he had received from the noble Lord's opening speech. He had given his vote last night for the Motion of the hon. Member for Droitwich, as a simple but earnest negative to the whole measure proposed by the Government. In what he might say of the principle of it, he wished to speak with the most perfect respect for the motives of its framers and supporters, some of whom were hon. Friends of his, from whom he lamented to differ utterly in conclusions. But, looking at the plain tendency of it, he must, under every form it might assume, give his hearty opposition to what he could not but feel to be a feeble, faithless, and wicked measure. Feeble, as satisfying the just wishes and expectations of nobody, advancing and assisting no interests, and conforming itself to no principle: faithless, because it violated positive and often-repeated engagements into which this country had entered with the West Indian body, whom we had made parties with us in abandoning and abolishing the two great crimes of slavery and the slave trade; and faithless to the nation to whom we had engaged ourselves, that it should never again be made party to encouraging or countenancing that atrocious iniquity: and wicked, as sacrificing to an ill-considered and misapplied theory a manifest and sacred duty; countenancing, for the sake of an alleged and problematical gain, a system we had often and solemnly declared to be one of rapine and murder, and leaving, as the law of 1838 did, in the same balance with a low and doubtful economy a great weight of human misery and blood. The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Under Secretary for the Colonies agreed that there was a universal feeling throughout the country in behalf of the abolition of slavery; and he regretted deeply to hear his hon. Friend the hon. Member for Manchester—a distinguished member of that most venerable and amiable society whose great glory it was to have been ever foremost in every enterprise of humanity and justice—taking a course so opposite to the general feeling of the country, and specially and eminently of that venerable and amiable society of which he was a distinguished member, with regard to the abolition of slavery. The right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Under Secretary for the Colonies rested the main defence of their views on what appeared a singular predicate. The entire and universal abolition of slavery they avowed to be the first wish common to us all. But this, say they, is hopeless, until free labour shall be brought into triumphant competition with slave labour, and slave labour shall be driven out of the market—until we can have shown the trafficker in spoliation and murder that spoliation and murder were bad political economy. Cast away all hope of ever abolishing slavery, of even abating its influence, till you can vanquish it in friendly competition, taking it by the bloody hand in open market, and dealing with it as you would with an honourable rival! Do not dissociate yourselves from the dealer in rapine and murder, but in friendly controversy proceed to show him and make him confess that you can undersell the plunderer and the manslayer! He never had heard so gentle a mode of propounding such a proposition, or of dealing with so frightful, so appalling a crime. He, for one, did not believe that slavery was to be abolished by competing with the traders who began by having stolen the raw material of the trade—man, and who possessed themselves also, by stealing, of the article labour, by which the manufactured produce was brought into the market. He could not bring himself to subscribe to that doctrine. The right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer said the other night that an hon. Member told him that having voted for free trade in corn, he could not consistently refuse to vote for free trade in sugar. He (Lord Nugent) did not think that the right hon. Gentleman could have done justice to his hon. Friend's logic. He could not surely have constructed his syllogism so. He (Lord Nugent) would say with confidence that the principle of free trade, rightly understood, had nothing whatever to do with the proposition before the House. It did not touch—it did not approach it. No man subscribed more heartily than he did to the universality of the application of free-trade principles; but he had yet to learn that the principles of free trade included the doctrine of freely trafficking with the trader in stolen goods. There, to his apprehension began the plain distinction between the free-trader and freebooter. If this be included in free trade, why abolish the slave trade? Nay, why not revive it? Why not free trade in slaves, if free trade with those who deal in slave produce? Be consistent in your theory. If it be true, restore slavery and the slave trade manfully. Let not this nation encourage that indirectly which they dare not openly avow. He was told that it was useless and futile to endeavour to put an end to slavery by refusing slave-grown sugar, while we received other articles the products of slave labour. But were we to purchase slave-grown sugar whilst we could produce sugar by free labour, because we purchased other articles slave grown which we could not so produce? Were we not to strive to abate crime in one direction, till we were sure we could abolish it in all? There was another part of the plan, and not the least objectionable part of it, namely, the immigration project. He looked upon this part of the plan of the Government as one of the greatest aggravations of the present evils. The immediate effect of this forced immigration would be to revive the slave trade with all its horrors, and would give additional strength to it. It would encourage the savage warfare in Africa between the native kings, who make war on each other for the purpose of bringing prisoners to the slave market, or who sell their own subjects to the slavetrader as slaves. If such encouragement would be given to the slave trade by such forced immigration, what became of all the sacrifices this country had made for its suppression, and of the life-consuming coastguard on the shores of Africa which they had so long maintained? These were the grounds on which he, subscribing to its full extent to the doctrine of entire free trade, should give, that night, a protectionist vote; not a vote of commercial protection, but of moral protection against a great crime, against breach of compact, and against slavery. He would give it cordially for the Motion of the hon. Baronet.

MR. MOWATT moved that the Chairman report progress.


wished to make a few observations on the Motion of the hon. Member for Falmouth to report progress. He (Lord John Russell) hoped that the House would consent to divide on the Motion of the hon. Member for Manchester that night, and resume the consideration of the resolutions next day. He begged hon. Gentlemen to recollect the position in which they stood. He had made his statement with respect to the sugar duties so far back as the 14th of June. The question had been much debated since, and it was of great public importance that the resolutions should be agreed to and reported be- fore the 5th of July. The House had be fore it the Amendment of the hon. Member for Droitwich; they had then before them the Amendment of the hon. Member for Manchester; and they had also heard a proposition made by his hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford, and also the proposition of the Government as to continuing the duty of 20s. on foreign sugar, instead of having it at 18s. 6d. Of course if this resolution was not agreed to, a large quantity of foreign sugar would be introduced into the market at the lower rate. He was sure the hon. Member for Manchester would not press for any unfair delay. He had made a very able speech on the subject that night; and he certainly could not do any injury to his proposition by at once taking the division on it.

After a short conversation, Mr. Mowatt's Motion was withdrawn.

The Committee divided on the question, that the words "in lieu of the duties now payable on sugar or molasses," stand part of the question:—Ayes 302; Noes 36: Majority 266.

List of the AYES.
Abdy, T. N. Brisco, M.
Acland, Sir T. D. Broadley, H.
Adair, R. A. S. Bruce, C. L. C.
Adderley, C. B. Buller, C.
Alcock, T. Bunbury, E. H.
Alford, Visct. Burghley, Lord
Anson, hon. Col. Burrell, Sir C. M.
Anstey, T. C. Butler, P. S.
Armstrong, Sir A. Buxton, Sir E. N.
Arundel and Surrey Earl of Cabbell, B. B.
Callaghan, D.
Ashley, Lord Campbell, hon. W. F.
Bagge, W. Cardwell, E.
Bagot, hon. W. Carter, J. B.
Bagshaw, J. Caulfield, J. M.
Bailey, J. Cavendish, hon. C. C.
Bailey, J. jun. Cavendish, hon. G. H.
Baillie, H. J. Cavendish, W. G.
Baines, M. T. Chichester, Lord J. L.
Baldock, E. H. Childers, J. W.
Baldwin, C. B. Christy, S.
Bankes, G. Clay, J.
Barkly, H. Clements, hon. C. S.
Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. T. Clerk, rt. hon. Sir G.
Baring, T. Clive, H. B.
Barnard, E. G. Cockburn, A. J. E.
Barrington, Visct. Codrington, Sir W.
Bellew, R. M. Conolly, Col.
Bentinck, Lord G. Corry, rt. hon. H. L.
Bentinck, Lord H. Courtenay, Lord
Beresford, W. Cowper, hon. W. F.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. Craig, W. G.
Berkeley, hon. G. F. Davie, Sir H. R. F.
Blake, M. J. Denison, J. E.
Boldero, H. G. Dod, J. W.
Boyd, J. Dodd, G.
Boyle, hon. Col. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Bramston, T. W. Drax, J. S. W. S. E.
Brand, T. Duncombe, hon. O.
Duncuft, J. Hood, Sir A.
Dundas, Adm. Hotham, Lord
Dundas, Sir D. Howard, hon. C. W. G.
Dundas, G. Howard, hon. J. K.
Dunne, F. P. Howard, hon. E. G. G.
Du Pre, C. G. Howard, Sir R.
East, Sir J. B. Hudson, G.
Ebrington, Visct. Hughes, W. B.
Edwards, H. Hume, J.
Egerton, Sir P. Ingestre, Visct.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Jervis, Sir. J.
Emlyn, Visct. Johnstone, Sir J.
Euston, Earl of Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.
Evans, W. Jones, Capt.
Farnham, E. B. Keogh, W.
Farrer, J. Kildare, Marq. of
Ferguson, Col. King, hon. P. J. L.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Knox, Col.
Filmer, Sir E. Labouchere, rt. hon. H.
FitzPatrick, rt. hn. J. W. Langston, J. H.
Floyer, J. Lascelles, hon. W. S.
Foley, J. H. H. Lennard, T. B.
Forbes, W. Lennox, Lord H. G.
Fordyce, A. D. Lewis, G. C.
Fox, S. W. L. Lincoln, Earl of
Freestun, Col. Lindsay, hon. Col.
Frewen, C. H. Littleton, hon. E. R.
Fuller, A. E. Locke, J.
Galway, Visct. Lockhart, A. E.
Gaskell, J. M. Lockhart, W.
Gladstone, rt. hon. W. E. Mackenzie, W. F.
Goddard, A. L. Macnaghten, Sir E.
Godson, R. M'Cullagh, W. T.
Gooch, E. S. Maher, N. V.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Maitland, T.
Grace, O. D. J. Mangles, R. D.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Manners, Lord C. S.
Granby, Marq. of Manners, Lord G.
Greene, T. Marshall, J. G.
Grenfell, C. P. Marshall, W.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Martin, J.
Grey, R. W. Martin, C. W.
Grogan, E. Masterman, J.
Gwyn, H. Matheson, A.
Haggitt, F. R. Matheson, J.
Hale, R. B. Matheson, Col.
Hall, Sir B. Maule, rt. hon. F.
Hallyburton, Lord J. F. Melgund, Visct.
Halsey, T. P. Meux, Sir H.
Hamilton, G. A. Miles, P. W. S.
Hanmer, Sir J. Miles, W.
Hardcastle, J. A. Milner, W. M. E.
Hastie, A. Milnes, R. M.
Hastie, A. Monsell, W.
Hawes, B. Morpeth, Visct.
Hay, Lord J. Morris, D.
Hayter, W. G. Mostyn, hon. E. M. L.
Henley, J. W. Mulgrave, Earl of
Herbert, H. A. Mullings, J. R.
Herbert, rt. hon. S. Napier, J.
Herries, rt. hon. J. C. Neeld, J.
Hervey, Lord A. Neeld, J.
Heywood, J. Newdegate, C. N.
Hildyard, T. B. T. Newport, Visct.
Hindley, C. Norreys, Lord
Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J. Nugent, Lord
Hobhouse, T. B. O'Connell, M. J.
Hodges, T. L. Ogle, S. C. H.
Hodges, T. T. Packe, C. W.
Hodgson, W. N. Paget, Lord A.
Hollond, R. Paget, Lord C.
Paget, Lord G. Spooner, R.
Pakington, Sir J. Stafford, A.
Palmerstone, Visct. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Parker, J. Stanton, W. H.
Patten, J. W. Stuart, Lord D.
Pearson, C. Stuart, Lord J.
Pechell, Capt. Stuart, H.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Sturt, H. G.
Pigot, Sir R. Sullivan, M.
Pinney, W. Sutton, J. H. M.
Plowden, W. H. C. Talbot, C. R. M.
Powlett, Lord W. Talfourd, Serj.
Price, Sir R. Tenison, E. K.
Pusey, P. Thesiger, Sir F.
Raphael, A. Thompson, Aldm.
Reid, Col. Tollemache, J.
Renton, J. C. Towneley, J.
Ricardo, O. Townley, R. G.
Rico, E. R. Townshend, Capt.
Rich, H. Trollope, Sir J.
Robartes, T. J. A. Turner, E.
Romilly, Sir J. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Rufford, F. Urquhart, D.
Russell, Lord J. Vane, Lord H.
Russell, F. C. H. Verner, Sir W.
Rutherfurd, A. Vesey, hon. T.
Sadlier, J. Villiers, Visct.
Sandars, G. Villiers, hon. F. W. C.
Scott, hon. F. Vivian, J. H.
Scully, F. Waddington, H. S.
Seaham, Visct. Walpole, S. H.
Seymer, H. K. Ward, H. G.
Shell, rt. hon. R. L. Wawn, J. T.
Shelburne, Earl of Wilson, J.
Sheridan, R. B. Wilson, M.
Sibthorp, Col. Wodehouse, E.
Simeon, J. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Smith, J. A. Wortley, rt. hon. J. S.
Smyth, J. G. Wrightson, W. B.
Smollett, A. Wyvill, M.
Somerville, rt. hon. Sir W. TELLERS.
Sotheron, T. H. S. Tufnell, H.
Spearman, H. J. Hill, Lord M.
List of the NOES.
Aglionby, H. A. Mowatt, F.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Muntz, G. F.
Bowring, Dr. Osborne, R.
Brotherton, J. Pilkington, J.
Cobden, R. Ricardo, J. L.
Crawford, W. S. Salwey, Col.
Devereux, J. T. Scholefield, W.
Duff, G. S. Smith, J. B.
Duncan, G. Tancred, H. W.
Evans, Sir De L. Thicknesse, R. A.
Fagan, W. Thompson, Col.
Fox, W. J. Thompson, G.
Greene, J. Thornely, T.
Henry, A. Trelawny, J. S.
Keating, R. Villiers, hon. C.
Kershaw, J. Williams, J.
Lushington, C.
M'Gregor, J. TELLERS.
Mitchell, T. A. Gibson, rt. hon. T. M.
Molesworth, Sir W. Bright, J.

House resumed. Committee to sit again.

House adjourned at twenty minutes past One.