HC Deb 19 March 1850 vol 109 cc1093-184

rose to bring before the House the Motion of which he had given notice on this subject, and said that the time had at last arrived when, in accordance with the reports of two Committees of that House, appointed to consider the best means which Great Britain could adopt for providing for the final extinction of the slave trade, it became his duty to submit a Motion to the House upon that grave and important subject. The Motion to which he called their attention was, in effect, that it was expedient for this country to desist from all acts for suppressing the slave trade by force of arms. To carry out that declaration, it was, in the first instance, necessary that this country should be released from all its treaties and engagements which hound her to the maintenance of the African squadron. A conviction of the expediency of adopting such a course was strongly impressed upon the minds of the majority of both Committees of which he was the chairman. The House would permit him to advert for a moment to the strenuous efforts which had been made to decry the report of the Committee of, 1849, by stating that it was carried only by his casting vote. ["Hear, hear!"] He would only say, in reply to those cheers, that if that statement had been confined merely to writers in newspapers, or to scribblers of pamphlets, he should have left them in undisputed possession of the last word upon that, as upon all other points of the slave-trade controversy; but as the observation was made by Members of this House, and especially by the noble Lord at the head of the Government at the close of the last Session of Parliament, and that, too, when he (Mr. Hutt) was absent from illness, he thought it was necessary he should now notice it, He heard with regret and with much surprise that the noble Lord had made that statement, for he (Mr. Hutt) thought it was scarcely becoming the high character and position of that noble Lord. The statement was, in fact, one of those half-truths that disingenuous men resorted to when they were endeavouring to steal an advantage which they could not honourably acquire. The facts of the case were very simple—at the conclusion of the Committee of 1848 a general wish was expressed that some further prosecution of the inquiry should be undertaken by those, and by those only, who had been concerned in the beginning of it. It happened, however, that before the next Session of Parliament two of the Members of the Committee had ceased to be Members of the House of Commons. Lord Courtenay had gone to the board of the Poor Law Commissioners, and Mr. Barklyhad accepted the office of Governor of British Guiana. These gentlemen were, consequently, excluded from further pursuing the inquiry. It happened, too, that they were both taken from the majority upon the great matter at issue between them, and, consequently, if in the Committee of 1849 the report was carried only by the casting vote of the chairman, the circumatance must be attributed to that fact, and not to any change of opinion on the part of any Members of the Committee, which had been both insinuated and asserted. It must be ascribed to one of those casualties, arising from the accidental absence of Members—an accident which would sometimes occur both ill that House and in Committees; and he should think that the leader of the House of Commons ought to be the last man to appeal to as the occasion for taking a just expression of opinion. The report of the last Committee was, under these circumstances, carried by a considerable majority, in every proper sense of the word. Mr. Barkly was one of the West Indian body—men with whose votes he (Mr. Hutt) did not hope to be favoured that night—and Lord Courtenay was placed by him (Mr. Hutt) on the Committee at the request of the hon. Baronet who now represented the county of Devon, and by other Gentlemen whose minds had yet to undergo the change which a full consideration of the evidence effected upon the just and honourable mind of Lord Courtenay himself. Having thus endeavoured to free the report of the Committee from those prejudices which it had been the effort of some parties to raise against it, he would proceed to state to the House those facts and circumstances which, in the opinion of the Committee, justified that reports. It was now thirty-one years since Great Britain, having-negotiated various treaties with foreign States for the suppression of the slave trade, despatched to the coast of Africa armed vessels to carry the object of those treaties into execution. Then began that memorable, blockade of the coast of Africa, the true character of which, as well as the circumstances of its final abandonment, had yet to be written in our history. They had no sooner taken measures for the suppression of the slave trade, than that trade began to increase. Up to 1815 the highest number of persons exported as slaves from the coast of Africa was 90,000l; in 1819 it had amounted to 105,000, and the numbers continued to increase under circumstances of aggravated atrocity. Such, indeed, was the progress of the slave trade that the Duke of Wellington, as British Minister at the Congress of Verona, acting under the direction of Mr. Canning, then Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, laid before the assembled Ministers and representatives of the States of Europe a memorandum, to one part of which he would presume to call the particular attention of the House. In his (Mr. Hutt's) opinion this memorandum deserved the utmost consideration; for the language it employed and the description which it gave of the slave trade under the influence of our measures of suppression, was the language and description such as any eloquent person who might now speak on the subject would apply to the present state of that trade. The extract from the memorandum submitted by the Duke of Wellington to the Congress of Verona, on the 24th of November, 1822, ran thus:— I have the means of proving that the slave trade has been, since the year 1815, and now is, carried on to a greater extent than it has been at any former period. This contraband trade is attended by circumstances much more horrible than anything that has ever been known to former times. It is not necessary here to enumerate the horrors respecting it, but it cannot be denied that all the attempts at prevention have tended to increase the aggregate of human suffering, and the waste of human life in a ratio far exceeding the increase of positive numbers carried off into slavery. The dread of detection suggests expedients of concealment productive of the most dreadful sufferings to the cargo. The numbers put on board each vessel are far from being proportioned to the capacity of the vessels, and the mortality is frightful to a degree unknown since the attention of mankind was first called to the horrors of this traffic. There is no hesitation in declaring that it would have been far more consoling to humanity, and that by far a smaller number of human beings would have lost their lives by lingering and cruel suffering, if the trade had never been abolished by the laws of any country. Such was the description of the slave traffic under blockade, solemnly addressed to the States of Europe by two of the first men of our age and country, Mr. Canning and the Duke of Wellington; and at a time when the slave trade had certainly not assumed all the horrible characters which now belonged to it. Some efforts were accordingly made to render more efficacious the work of suppression. Measures were taken for increasing the number of our cruisers on the coast of Africa. By and by steamboats were added to the sailing vessels; powers were obtained from almost all the States of Europe enabling British cruisers to visit and search suspected vessels on the high seas—vessels presumed to be equipped for the slave trade were made the objects of seizure, and were all broken up. Brazil, Portugal, and Spain were placed under the influence of more rigid treaties; and indeed no measure of coercion that could suggest itself to the enthusiasm of Exeter Hall, or the astuteness of the Foreign Office, was overlooked on our part. Well, what was the result of all this industry, and of all this exertion? He had read the description given by the Duke of Wellington of the state of the slave trade, and our influence on its suppression up to the year 1822. In 1839 an eminent individual, one loved and honoured in our own times, and certain to be well remembered hereafter, gave another description of this traffic. In 1839, Lord J. Russell, then Secretary for the Colonies, addressed a letter to the Lords of the Treasury, in which he found this passage:— The state of the foreign slave trade has for some time past engaged much of the attention of Her Majesty's confidential advisers. In whatever light this traffic is viewed, it must be regarded as an evil of incalculable magnitude; the injuries it inflicts on the lawful commerce of this country, the constant expense incurred in the employment of ships of war for the suppression of it, and the annual sacrifice of so many valuable lives in this service, however deeply to be lamented, are not the most disastrous results of this system. The honour of the British Crown is compromised by the habitual evasion of the treaties subsisting between Her Majesty and foreign Powers for the abolition of the slave trade; and the calamities which, in defiance of religion, humanity, and justice, are inflicted on a large proportion of the African continent, are such as cannot be contemplated without the deepest and most lively concern. To estimate the actual extent of the foreign slave trade is, from the nature of the case, an attempt of extreme difficulty: nor can anything mere than a general approximation to the truth be made. But I find it impossible to avoid the conclusion, that the average number of slaves introduced into foreign States or colonies in Ame- rica and the West Indies, from the western coast of Africa, annually exceeds 100,000. The noble Lord took the western coast of Africa only, and the average number of negroes. It continued— In this estimate a very large deduction is made for the exaggerations which are more or less inseparable from all statements on a subject so well calculated to excite the feelings of every impartial and disinterested witness. But, making this deduction, the number of slaves actually landed in the importing countries affords but a very imperfect indication of the real extent of the calamities which this traffic inflicts on its victims. No record exists of the multitudes who perish in the overland journey to the African coast, or in the passage across the Atlantic, or of the still greater number who fall a sacrifice to the warfare, pillage, and cruelties by which the slave trade is fed. Unhappily, however, no fact can be more certain, than that such an importation as I have mentioned presupposes and involves a waste of human life, and a sum of human misery, proceeding from year to year, without respite or intermission, to such an extent as to render the subject the most painful of any which, in the survey of the condition of mankind, it is possible to contemplate. The preceding statement unavoidably suggests the inquiry, why the costly efforts in which Great Britain has so long been engaged for repressing the foreign slave trade have proved thus ineffectual? Without pausing to enumerate the many concurrent causes of failure, it may be sufficient to say that such is the difference between the price at which a slave is bought on the coast of Africa, and the price for which he is sold in Brazil or Cuba, that the importer receives back his purchase money tenfold on the safe arrival of his vessel at the port of destination. We must add to this exciting motive the security which is derived from insurances and insurance companies, which are carried on to a great extent, and combine powerful interests. Under such circumstances, to repress the foreign slave trade by a marine guard would scarcely be possible if the whole British Navy could be employed for that purpose. It is an evil which can never he adequately encountered by any system of mere prohibition and penalties. Her Majesty's confidential advisers are therefore compelled to admit the conviction that it is indispensable to enter upon some new preventive system. It was very true that those statements were made with a view to support the Niger expedition; but, as he was sure they were made in a spirit of sincerity and truth, all the general allegations and general facts brought forward, must be of general application, and he did the noble Lord no wrong in reading those passages, though they were disconnected from the subject of the Niger expedition. But that was not all. In the following year—1840, a great assembly was held in Exeter Hall. His Royal Highness Prince Albert took the chair upon that occasion. He was supported by the noble Lord at the head of the Government, by the right hon. Baronet whom he saw opposite, by both the hon. Members for the University of Oxford, by a perfect constellation of Lords spiritual and temporal, by well-dressed ladies and gentlemen in thousands. He had been accused of using strong language, and entertaining some very rash opinions on the subject of the slave trade. He would ask the House to attend to the resolutions of that elegant and well-conducted assembly in Exeter Hall. The first resolution was moved by Sir F. Buxton, and seconded by the Archbishop of Canterbury, then Bishop of Chester:— That, notwithstanding the measures hitherto adopted for the suppression of the foreign trade in slaves, the traffic has increased, and continues to increase under circumstances of aggravated horror. The second resolution was moved by Dr. Lushington, and seconded by Archdeacon Wilberforce, now the Bishop of Oxford, and Chairman of the Committee of the House of Lords:— That the utter failure of every attempt by treaty, by remonstrance, and by naval armaments to arrest the progress of the slave trade, proves the necessity of resorting to a preventive policy founded on different and higher principles. He said that the Committee of the House of Commons, of which be had the honour of being chairman, brought forward no allegation more positive than that, either in regard to the extent of the slave trade, or the means of suppressing it. But surprised was he that the persons now undertaking to defend this system, then stood forward as its accusers. That year and some subsequent years were distinguished by a temporary but remarkable diminution of the slave trade, and there were certain naval officers who were anxious to persuade the world that that diminution was caused by their presence on the coast of Africa. He certainly believed that Captain Denman and Captain Matson were most zealous and energetic officers; but when they claimed to themselves and their plans and performances the merit of greatly reducing the slave trade at that period, he thought they were suffering in some respect under that delusion which led a parish sexton to believe that the piety and exemplary attendance on Divine worship in his parish were entirely explained by the manner in which he tolled the church bell. It was very true that at that period Captain Denman was at his post, but there were other and far more powerful agencies at work. He saw near him the First Lord of the Admiralty, who, about that period, happened to be the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was sure the right hon. Gentleman would remember, though other persons might have forgotten it, that the period to which he was now adverting was a period of great mercantile depression. That depression affected the slave trade quite as much as the legitimate branches of commerce. That was one of the concurrent causes of the great diminution of the slave trade at that period. But there was another of a very remarkable character. At that time both Cuba and Brazil were honestly engaged in an attempt to prevent the importation of slaves into those countries. Mr. Gore Ousley, the British Minister at Rio, whose despatches at that time had some years after been laid on the table of the House, attributed the diminution in the country in which he was placed mainly to the exertions made by the then Brazilian Minister of Marine—that excellent man Senor Cavalcanti. At the same period Cuba was governed by General Valdez. In 1843 General Valdez was removed, and at the same time the Anti-Slavery Ministry of Brazil went out of office. Commerce revived, and with that revival, notwithstanding the improved efficiency of our fleet, revived all the horrors of the slave trade. In 1842 the number of slaves exported from Africa had sunk down to very nearly 30,000; in 1843 it rose to 55,000; in 1846 it was 76,000; in 1847 it was 84,000; and though they had not been been furnished with any public means of ascertaining the number in the last year, or the manner in which the slave trade was now advancing, he had learnt, from such means as were open to him, that the slave trade was last year, and is still, in a state of unusual activity; and, indeed, he found in a paper laid on the table of the House at the close of last year some statements, from persons well qualified to form a correct judgment, which went to justify that opinion. He held in his hand a paper, called "A Mission to the King of Ashantee and Dahomey," containing a statement made by Mr. Cruickshank, in a letter written from Whydah, at the close of 1848. He said— It is a distressing truth, that our present blockade is no check whatever to the slave trade; it is flourishing at this moment to such a degree, that the last accounts from Brazil reports more than 8,000 slaves in the market there without any purchaser; and not long ago a cargo of slaves arrived at the same place, which found such a bad market that they were given up to pay freight. In presence of such facts as these—and the additional fact, that, during the whole period that we have maintained cruisers on the coast, the slave trade has gone on uninterruptedly'—we must he convinced of the futility of such a system. It appears to me to serve no other purpose than to increase the horrors of the traffic. In the first place, the certainty of losing a considerable proportion by capture increases the slave merchants' orders for supply to the slave-hunting African kings, and so renders more frequent and incessant their cruel forays. In the next place, the precautions necessary to avoid the cruisers oblige the slavers to cram these miserable objects into the stifling holds of small vessels, where it is well known that thousands die from suffocation. In addition to this, I believe I may add, that, it sometimes happens that the slave merchant has been more fortunate than he calculated upon, and that more of his slavers have escaped capture than he expected; he does not, therefore, require the additional lot of slaves who have been hunted down for him; so that they are left sometimes to starve in the hands of their captors, and sometimes are led forth to gratify them with their tortures. There can be no doubt but that much of this incredible suffering would be avoided if there were no cruisers. Such, then, was the end we had arrived at after a period of thirty years, in which we had been engaged in this work of suppression. But there was one feature in this history of suppression which was well worthy of the attention of the House. Up to 1840 the slave trade of Brazil was perfectly free. We could not then molest the slave trade south of the equator. The noble Foreign Secretary said, before the Committee—doubtless the noble Lord would recollect—that up to the beginning of 1840 the importation of slaves into Brazil was practically unrestricted. At the beginning of 1840 we acquired the right to suppress the slave trade south of the line, and we stationed our armed crusiers as they had since been placed; and what was the result? He asked not what was the temporary, but the permanent and real result of the change? It was perfectly true, that, in the outset, our cruisers, by going among the slavers before they had learnt the art of smuggling, captured a great number of them. But what was now the state of the slave trade south of the line? It was going on with, at least, as much activity as before our ships were on that part of the coast. It really made no difference in the amount of the slave trade there whether we were repressing it, or whether the importation Of slaves into Brazil was "practiclly unrestricted," to use the words of the noble Lord. Though opposed by the utmost vigilance and vigour of our squadron, no change whatever had been produced in the extent of the slave trade. Nay, still further, it appeared that the importation of slaves into Brazil, during the last six or seven years, had actually overtaken the demand, stimulated as that demand had been by the acts of the British Parliament by admitting Brazilian sugar into the markets of this country. During the last six or seven years the price of slaves had been falling in the Brazilian market. That fact could not he questioned or denied. It was established before the Committee of that House, as hon. Members of that Committee would recollect, and he found it confirmed by the statements of Lord Howden and other eminent persons who appeared before the Committee of the House of Lords. He put those simple facts before the common sense of the House, and asked was it possible to believe that our squadron could be worth what it cost—that it was, in fact, worth a straw—when it was of no actual difference to the slave trade whether it was employed or not, and when, notwithstanding the increased demand for the production of slave labour, slaves were now cheaper in the markets of Brazil than when the slave trade was unrestricted. There was another fact still. Up to 1840 the slave trade was perfectly free for, at least, 1,000 miles south of the line. It might be supposed, that, as our squadron was suppressing the slave trade north of the line, the slave traders would confine their operations to that part of the coast where they could carry on their business unmolested. Was that the fact? No such thing. They resorted, in defiance of our squadron, in vast numbers to the very cruising ground on which it was placed; and hon. Members who had paid attention to the blue books on the table of the House would remark that a large portion of the slave trade to Brazil was actually carried on, by preference, in the very teeth of our squadron. These were facts that could not be denied or gainsaid, and he asked what were they to think of the preventive merits of the squadron after that? and yet they had the statement of the Bishop of Oxford gravely assuring them that the slave trade was greatly reduced in amount, and the probable increase was prevented by our efforts. Our efforts! He really wished they would soberly consider against what our efforts were directed, They were undertaking with the squadron to suppress a contraband trade which offered to those engaged in it a larger gain than any other trade ever did in the world. It was of no use to say that, this was an unholy or unchristian occupation. Unquestionably it was so; but what they had to consider was this, that being a lucrative trade, could they suppress it by force of arms? There was not an instance in the history of the world, often as it had been tried, in which a lucrative trade under such circumstances was so arrested. They all know the history of the Berlin and Milan decrees, when British goods, prohibited on the Continent—excluded from the ordinary channels of an introduction into the foreign markets—forced their way, in defiance of the concentrated powers of Napoleon, through the passes of Macedonia into almost every capital of Europe, and frequently were laid at the very door of the Tuileries. Had our own efforts been more successful? Read the history of the silk trade up to 1820. He recollected an hon. Friend exhibiting a prohibited bandana in that House in the face of the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and those who recollected the whole history of the silk duties would come to the conclusion that this country never could have prevented the introduction of prohibited silk manufactures. Let them also road the report of the Committee on the Tobacco Duties. Now, in this country, with everything in our favour, where the penal laws were readily carried into execution, with an army of preventive service men covering both shores and sea, it was found impossible to put down contraband trades, and yet they thought they could do it on the continent of Africa, one-fourth of the habitable globe, where, in addition to other disadvantages, we had the whole population striving against us, and almost every other nation in the world favouring the trade. They needed not the experience of thirty years to come to the conclusion that they must necessarily fail. It was stated by a great English writer, nearly 200 years ago. Sir Josiah Child, and his wise observation was corroborated and confirmed by statesmen and political writers of succeeding times, that— he that will give an higher price for any commodity shall obtain it by something or other, for such is the force, fraud, and subtlety of the course of trade. It was a great consolation to him (Mr. Hutt), who had undertaken the arduous duty of impeaching our suppressive system, that in examining the evidence laid before Parliament to know that the views he held, and which he had for years advocated in that House on this subject, were fully corroborated and supported by those who, from intimate knowledge of their application, were the best qualified to judge of their merits. He would not trespass on the House by any elaborate analysis of the evidence before the Committee—nor was it necessary. The Committee examined a great variety of naval officers, travellers, merchants, missionaries, and other persons, and had elicited from them a great variety of conflicting and contradictory evidence. It was, however, to be observed that many of those witnesses, and especially the missionaries, had no more knowledge of this slave trade than if they had never quitted London; and, although generally they were strongly in favour of maintaining the squadron, of the operations of the squadron they had in their own persons no knowledge of it at all. Of the witnesses called, unquestionably the most important were the naval officers engaged on the African coast. The Committee had examined fourteen, including Captain Chads and Commodore Hotham. Those fourteen naval officers differed widely in their opinion on this subject, but it was remarkable that, almost without exception, all officers who had had recent experience of the operations of the slave trade were almost hopeless as to its suppression. Those who had the strongest hope of suppressing it, were those who had not seen anything of the slave trade for the last seven years. Captain Denman had no difficulty; he would put down the slave trade in two years by a plan of his own. Captain Matson and Captain Butterfield also believed in the final extinction by force within a limited period of time, although they were not so sanguine as Captain Denman; but none of those had been on the coast for the last seven or eight years. Captain Denman left in 1843, and since then the slave trade has been going on, gradually improving its tactics and sharpening its wits and increasing all means of avoiding detection. The question is not whether the slave trade could have been put down in 1842 by such plans as had been laid before the public by Captains Denman and Matson. The question was not whether the slave trade could be put down then by such means, but whether the slave trade could be so put down now; and he found the naval officers of at least equal experience and of almost equal sobriety and judgment as Captain Denman, state that no manner of managing the fleet by cruising in shore or off—no burning of barracoons, no right of search—no plan proceeding on the principle of force, would ever succeed in putting down the slave trade: many had gone further, and thought the least hopeful means of success would be the adoption of Captain Denman's system. He (Mr. Hutt) had stated that of the witnesses the most valuable were the naval officers; but he was sure the feeling of the House would go with him when he said that of the naval officers the most important communications were made by the commanders-in-chief—those who had held the command of the African squadron. Of such officers three only now survived. The Committee examined two of those gentlemen. Captain Mansell and Sir C. Hotham. Captain Mansell was on the coast of Africa three years. He quitted the coast in 1848, and commanded the squadron during half the time he was on the coast. He was an officer of great intelligence and of great personal distinction. What was his opinion on the question now before the House? He was asked— Looking to the extent of that coast, and to the facilities which the coast affords for the shipment of slaves, do you imagine that it would be possible, by any means of naval force, to suppress the slave trade, so long as there existed a high demand for slaves on the other side of the Atlantic?—I am perfectly convinced that it would be impossible. Are you acquainted with the particular plan for the suppression of the slave trade which has been proposed and strongly recommended by Captain Denman?—I know the general outline of the plan. Have you read the sketch of it which he submitted to the Admiralty?—Yes. Do you think that the vigorous enforcement of that system would effectually extinguish the slave trade?—I cannot think that it would. Do you think that it would to any important degree diminish it?—I do not think it would. Are you of opinion, that though by means of that system of blockade some stations might be effectually restrained in regard to the slave trade, the slave trade would shift its quarters and break out elsewhere?—I entertain no doubt whatever of it. At the end of 1846, Captain Mansell was succeeded by Sir C. Hotham. It was not for him to speak the praise of Sir C. Hotham, but this he might venture to say, that he had it from the late lamented First Lord of the Admiralty, that Sir C. Hotham was selected for the command, not on account of any personal or political interest, but entirely because he was, in the opinion of the Lords of the Admiralty, the fittest officer in the British service to undertake that delicate and important duty. Sir C. Hotham owed his appointment entirely to his personal qualifications; and in command of the squadron he displayed no deficiency of those high qualities by which he had acquired the distinction of being appointed to the command. He (Mr. Hutt) was anxious to be well informed on this subject, and therefore he asked Lord John Hay to place himself in the witness's chair while he asked him a few questions. Lord John Hay was himself an officer of high professional distinction; he was a Lord of the Admiralty at the time, and a Member of the Committee, and he believed voted against every one of his (Mr. Hutt's) propositions. He was asked— As a naval officer and a Lord of the Admiralty, are you acquainted with the transactions of the African squadron while under the command of the late Commodore Sir Charles Hotham?—Yes. Were the operations of the fleet conducted on the part of that officer with zeal, intelligence, and skill?—I have heard the Board of Admiralty, both collectively and individually, give their opinion as to the manner in which they considered the services had been performed on the coast of Africa by Sir C Hotham, and I cannot explain that better than by reading a letter which I have in my band, which was the last communication made to Sir Charles Hotham on his striking his broad pennant at Spithead. From whom is the letter?—The letter is signed by the Secretary of the Admiralty, by the direction of the Board, Will you be so kind as to read it?—' Admiralty, April 12, 1849. Sir, I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to acquaint you that your return to England affords their Lordships an opportunity they have much desired of conveying to you the expression of their approval of the ability and energy with which you have conducted your late command; and it is with much satisfaction that my Lords attribute to your judgment and discretion your having successfully secured the co-operation of your foreign colleagues throughout your employment abroad.—I am, Sir, your most obedient servant, W. A. B. Hamilton,' He was then asked— Do you think that if it had been possible to stop the slave trade by such means as were confided to Sir Charles Hotham, the slave trade would have been stopped?—I am decidedly of that opinion. Captain Denman told the Committee that Sir Charles Hotham was the most distinguished of his standing in the British Navy—a man every one looked up to. Sir C. Hotham was asked— Was that force in a high state of discipline, generally speaking?—I thought so. Were your views carried out by the officers under your command to your entire satisfaction?—Entirely so. What was the result of your operations; did you succeed in stopping the slave trade?—No. Did you cripple it to such an extent as in your opinion is calculated to give to the slave trade a permanent check?—No. Do you consider that the slave trade has been generally regulated by the strength and efficiency of the British squadron on the coast, or by the commercial demand for slaves?—I consider it is entirely dependent upon the commercial demand for slaves, and has little or no connexion with the squadron. You think that the present system is open to many grave objections on other accounts, and that it will not succeed?—Experience has proved the present system to be futile. Such was the opinion of a man who he could not but believe was better qualified to judge of the merits of this question than any living man. He had laid before the House the opinion of Captain Mansell, and of Sir C. Hotham. He had stated the opinion of a practical man, whose system found an opponent from another quarter, in a gentleman who had looked at this subject from an entirely different point of view, but whose opinions upon it were of themselves entitled to the greatest consideration—he meant the late Mr. Bandinell, of the Foreign Office. He had been for thirty years at the head of that department of the Foreign Office which was charged with the suppression of the slave trade; he came before the Committee an old man, with all the moderation and reserve which forty-five years of official life are well calculated to impart to a mind naturally judicious and discreet. What was the opinion of this long experienced and prudent public servant? He said the squadron had produced on the slave trade no effect at all. The squadron was not able to diminish even the number of Africans demanded by the people of Brazil—they appeared to get as many as they wanted. He might from the same report quote other valuable opinions to show the House—he used the words of Dr. Lnshington—that the squadron had not attained the end proposed in suppressing the slave trade, or diminished its extent; but be was content to rest his case as far as it depended on authority upon the evidence of Captain Mansell and Sir C. Hotham, and the late Mr. Bandinell. He knew not indeed where they were to look for guidance or counsel if a very considerable amount of deference were not given to opinions such as these. He could unaffectedly declare that he would mistrust any speculations of his own on the subject, if he found them opposed to authorities such as he had referred to. He came now to another part of the subject. We found, as we proceeded, that although the principle of force had a great many admirers, who still believed in the possibility of repressing the slave trade by force, there was no one who thought the present application of the principle a satisfactory one. It was rather too much, that after the experience of thirty years, and after having spent 25,000,000l. of money in promoting this particular system, the discovery should all at once he made that the system was had, and required the greatest modification. A notice had met his eye that morning of an Amendment to his Motion, which was to be made by his hon. Friend the Member for North Derbyshire, who, belonging to that class which was strongly in favour of maintaining the principle of force for the suppression of the slave trade, was nevertheless of opinion that the manner in which the principle was now applied was faulty The hon. Member said, "the thing won't do;" but then he disliked his (Mr. Hutt's) proposition, and accordingly had come forward with a contre projet. Now, in his hon. Friend's Amendment there was a great deal that was obscure—much that was mysterious—and not a little that was wholly unintelligible. Thus much, however, was quite clear, namely, that his hon. Friend thought the present system required considerable alteration. Although his hon. Friend did not very clearly explain the nature of the alterations which he desired to see effected, other persons had supplied the deficiency in his proposal. For instance, one naval captain had declared that he would undertake to put down the slave trade if Parliament would only triple the naval force upon the African coast. Another said that he could manage to do it with only forty ships—chiefly steam-vessels—but then, he said, it would be necessary to make treaties with the African chiefs all along the coast, and to pay them handsome subsidies. A very respectable gentleman, the Chief Justice of Sierra Leone, Mr. Carr, thought that, if we furnished a force sufficient to watch closely the whole seaboard of both sides of the coast of Africa, and also changed the disposition of the native chiefs, there would be some chance of putting down the slave trade. Lastly, there was the report of the Lords' Committee, which convicted Sir C. Hotham of incapacity as regarded the management of the fleet, and showed that certain Peers and bishops were of opinion they could manage it a great deal better. According to these tacticians, a little alteration in the management of the squadron, and a little additional expense, and the thing was done. It was amusing to hear persons talk in this quiet way of increasing the force of the squadron at "little or no additional expense," as if the British Government was under no obligation, either to their own subjects or to other States, but to try rash experiments for the suppression of the slave trade. Was the House aware of the amount of force at present employed in the suppression of the slave trade? It amounted to one-fourth of the whole British Navy afloat, exclusive of packets and surveying vessels. There were twenty-six vessels stationed on the west coast of Africa, which, added to those acting in connexion with them, which were stationed off the West Indies, the coast of South America, and other places, made up a force of thirty-nine or forty ships. Yet this immense force was, in the opinion of naval officers who had been last employed in the service, wholly inadequate to effect the object for which it was maintained. We were going on expending 700,000l. annually in the prosecution of this system, and yet this expenditure was too small in the opinion of certain noble Lords, naval captains, and others, who saw nothing objectionable in augmenting expense on this score. He was aware that he would be held to be wanting in good breeding for venturing to talk about expense in connexion with this subject, and, doubtless, he should be exposed to the wit and sarcasm of the noble Secretary for Foreign Affairs on this, as he was on a former occasion, for presuming to condemn an abortive system which cost the country 700,000l. a year. The noble Lord told him in a former debate that it was only persons who did not think very deeply that complained of expense. Applying the natural powers of his (Mr. Hutt's) mind to the consideration of the subject, he had come to the conclusion that extravagant expenditure in this country was a great evil. It was his firm conviction that if the destinies of this great country—the greatest and most civilised that ever existed—should wane; if ever her social fabric should be rent by the explosion of revolutionary violence, the catastrophe would be effected, not by the angry conflicts of party—not by the corrupting influence of the Crown—not by the inroads of democratic usurpation—but it would be brought about by confusion in our finances, and by a reckless disregard of expenditure. He hoped the noble Lord would excuse him for presuming to think that in the present state of the national finances the country ought not to be subjected to the burden of 700,000l. a year to maintain an abortive system. The Amendment which was to be proposed, whilst it urged the propriety of maintaining the efficiency of the squadron, did, at the same time, say something about relieving the public from expense. Now, he would be very glad to hear from his hon. Friend some explanation of the mode in which the squadron was to be maintained in increased efficiency, whilst, at the same time, the country was to be gratified by paying considerably less for its support. It was not, however, solely on the ground of expense that he objected to the system. He objected to it on account of its futility. He objected to it on account of its cruelty. He objected to it because he disliked to see a great and noble country engaged in a conflict carried on by means so violent and, at the same time, so utterly inadequate to the end proposed, as to cut us off from the co-operation and sympathy of other States. He objected to it on account of the bad terms on which it placed the people of Brazil and the people of this country. And. finally, he objected to it on account of the angry feelings and menacing quarrels in which it frequently involved us with France and America—quarrels which, he feared, would soon again be revived. In his opinion, it was a sinister and spurious philanthropy which, for the sake of an abortive system directed to the suppression of the slave trade, would incur the risk of involving this country and the world in the guilt and the horrors of war. It was said that some plan—whence it was to proceed, or what was its outline, he knew not—was to be proposed for bringing this unfortunate business to a satisfactory conclusion. During the last twenty years this had uniformly been the story of those who were anxious to keep up the system. He had heard it so often that he no longer gave it any belief. When he first entered the House, eighteen years ago, it was stated, in a discussion which took place on the estimates, that, if the Government could only succeed in some negotiations which were then going on, the question would be settled at once. Subsequently the House was told that the equipment clause would settle the business. In the next place, it was to be done by instituting a stricter blockade on the coast of Africa. Then all hopes rested upon the operation of the combined fleets of; England and Prance; and, finally, the suppressionists made themselves quite certain of the attainment of their object by a most anomalous proceeding, by which the slavetraders of Brazil were made responsible to the municipal laws of England. In short, it was evident that we had been for years following an ignis fatuus, and now an attempt was to be made to take them in again with the old exploded story. Vain cozenage—'tis all a cheat, Yet, fooled by hope, men favour the deceit; Hope on, and trust to morrow will repay— To-morrow's falser than the former day, Lies more—. He now had done. He would not weary the House with any laboured peroration. He thought he had made out his case, and he appealed to the Members of that House, as guardians of the interests and prosperity of the country, as protectors of its honour and fame, as humane and Christian men, to pass condemnation on a cruel and delusive system, whose final doom was not distant, by supporting the Motion of which he had given notice.

Motion made, and Question proposed— That an humble Address he presented to Her Majesty, praying that Her Majesty will be pleased to direct that negociations be forthwith entered into for the purpose of releasing this Country from all treaty engagements with Foreign States, for maintaining armed vessels on the coast of Africa to suppress the traffic in slaves.


seconded the Motion. He believed that the grounds on which some of the West India body had supported the policy of the Government in the present case was, not that the squadron would suppress the slave trade, because experience had proved the contrary, but because they were of opinion that the effect was in no slight degree to raise the price of slaves. By raising the price of labour they enhanced the cost of the produce, and, there-lore, those connected with the West Indies believed that by that means the competition which had been so unjustly brought to bear upon them would be rendered a little less Injurious than otherwise. He did not wish to see that interest protected circuitously, in a manner that they would not do openly. The Committee of the last and the previous year was the means of getting together a large mass of valuable evidence which had been laid before the House and the country in a condensed form. All doubt and dissatisfaction were therefore dispelled, and not a shadow of pretext could exist for delay on the part of the Government in coming to some final decision as to the course of policy the country ought to pursue with reference to the slave trade. The question had assumed a new character since the Legislature had passed the Sugar Bill of 1846. Before that time other countries might complain of the pertinacity with which the question had been thrust upon them, but they would at least admit that the policy of this country had been honest, straightforward, and disinterested. That was now at an end. By the Sugar Bill of 1846 it had been boldly declared by the Government of this country that they had paid enough for their philanthropy, and that they were for the future determined to purchase in the cheapest market, whether slave-grown or free, or whatever might be the results to the slave trade. No doubt that was a renunciation of the policy which the Government had hitherto pursued, and it would be his duty to point out that the consequence of that change of policy had been, that this country was the one which was at present deriving the greatest advantages from the slave trade, and that they had assumed all the responsibility and all the guilt that attached to the countries carrying on that abominable traffic. That they could not deny, unless they were prepared to deny that the receiver of stolen goods was not worse than the open and avowed thief. He confessed that he preferred the latter character, because he made war openly and boldly upon society; while the receiver kept up the appearance of respectability, and tempted others to crime, receiving a share of the plunder and the spoil, but avoiding the danger and risk; and that was precisely the character of the policy which this country had been pursuing with reference to the slave trade. It was well known that slaves were purchased upon the African coast with the goods of Manchester and Birmingham—with goods prepared expressly for that market. Again, many of the mines in the Brazils were stocked by British capital; and of late England had thrown open her market for all descriptions of slave-labour produce; nay more, she gave the best price for it. Could any one, then, deny that England was the country deriving the greatest advantage and profit from the slave trade? As all receivers of stolen goods did, England kept a shop to keep up the appearance of respectability—she kept a squadron on the coast of Africa in order to assume before the world an air of honour and philanthropy. The right hon Baronet the Member for Tamworth did not deny the policy of Government with regard to sugar would increase the slave trade; and while he disapproved of the measure, he felt bound to give it his support because the Government had staked its existence upon it, and he did not feel justified in overturning the Government without seeing the probability of forming another in its stead. He had no wish to cast blame on the right hon. Gentleman. He thought in the circumstances in which he was placed he was justified in adopting that peculiar course; but he believed he would not have done so, even in such circumstances, if he was aware of the consequences that would result from that measure—if he was aware that it would double the slave trade, and raise the number exported from the African coast to the point it reached in 1805, when the slave trade was entirely free and unfettered. Before he proceeded he would state what was the policy of the late Government in reference to that question. It was well known that it was the policy of the Whig Government formerly to admit slave-grown sugar at high and almost prohibitive duties—he meant those sugars the produce of countries which avowedly and openly carried on the slave trade, such as Cuba and the Brazils. That was ridiculed by the free-trade party of the day. It was said that that policy would never answer, although it was undoubtedly true that it had answered for a considerable time. Under the slave system the sugar trade of Cuba was nearly annihilated. A large number of the planters in that island were extremely anxious to get access to the British market, and a petition was addressed by one of the first mercantile houses there to the Spanish Government, praying for the abolition of the slave trade, and stating that access to the British market would amply compensate them for any loss they might otherwise sustain. The answer did not come from the Spanish Government, but from the British Government, and that was, the throwing open the ports of this country to slave produce from all parts of the world. There were three distinct grounds put forward in the able and convincing speech of his hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead, upon which he thought the Motion ought to receive the support of that House: first, the almost unanimous opinion of all naval officers who bad been employed upon the coast that it was impossible to suppress the slave trade by means of the squadron, or even if it was doubled; secondly, the admission of all those who were employed upon the coast of Africa that the interference of our ships had caused a vast increase to the horrors and sufferings inflicted upon the unhappy victims of that trade; and, thirdly, as had been so well pointed out by his hon. Friend, the folly, not to say the absurdity of the Legislature maintaining a squadron on the coast of Africa at a great expense to the people of England, when at the same time by the Act of the Legislature they gave every facility to that scandalous trade, and rendered the efforts of the squadron perfectly unavailing. The first proposition had been clearly proved by the evidence of the chief naval officers; but there were two others, who, although they were not called before the Admiralty, gave their opinions in writing, and he should take the liberty of reading extracts from them to the House. He might observe that the Admiralty placed the greatest confidence in the judgment of these parties. Captain Chads, son of the present commander of the Excellent at Portsmouth, writing to the late Earl of Auckland, said as follows:— Royal Naval College, Portsmouth, July 12, 1848. My Lord—I regret much not having been able to appear before the Select Committee at the House of Commons, but as your Lordship desires to know my opinions on various points connected with the slave trade, I will endeavour to give them as concisely as possible. I am most fully of opinion that the system which we are now pursuing on the coast of Africa, without in the least diminishing the traffic in slaves, adds very considerably to its horrors. I do not think that any blockade, however strict, even if carried on with double the number of vessels composing the present squadron, could, under the existing system, stop the traffic. Possibly, were we able to make it felony universally, and to imprison or transport the persons found on board slave vessels, we might succeed to a great extent; though even then I doubt if we should stop it entirely. There was another letter from another distinguished officer. Commander Frederick William Horton, who said— I feel convinced that the measures now in force on the coast of Africa add considerably to the misery endured by the slaves in their transit to the Brazils, from the generally wretched as well as crowded state of the vessels. He (Mr. Baillie) would not occupy the time of the House by reading these letters at further length, but they showed clearly the impossibility of stopping the slave trade by the squadron on the coast of Africa; and the evidence brought forward by his hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead, on the subject, was quite sufficient. But as regarded the increased horrors of the trade, all the naval officers were agreed. Now, with regard to the evidence that had been given before the Committee, he would briefly call the attention of the House to one point. It seemed that one of the chief causes of the misery inflicted upon these unhappy people arose from the regulations existing, by which Her Majesty's ships were instructed to seize any vessels appearing on the coast, and fitted out with a greater number of water-casks than were necessary for the ordinary requirements of the crew. That was assumed as an intention on the part of the vessel to carry slaves. The result was, that the vessels engaged in the slave trade ceased to carry more water casks than were necessary to contain sufficient water for the crews, and relied upon getting a sufficient supply when they embarked the slaves on the coast of Africa. The evidence taken upon this point before the Committee was of a very striking character. He would more particularly refer to the evidence of Dr. Cliffe, who was extremely well acquainted with the subject, and was also a slave owner. This witness, in the course of his evidence, was asked— If, then, you are aware, from historical knowledge and evidence, that such horrors existed when no British legislation interposed to prevent them, can you consistently attribute the present horrors of the slave trade to the existence of such British legislation?—Yes. Will you be pleased to explain the last answer?—Because, in the olden time they never suffered from want of water; contaigious diseases might have been produced on board from the imprudence of the captain, or from many other sources, but that wholesale murdering for want of water I believe never occurred then, or only in cases of imprudence on the part of the captain; that part of it is only historical, or from men who I have heard speak of it who have been engaged ill it. Are tile slaves ever hurried on board with an: insufficiency of water and other accommodations necessary for their subsistence? Yes that frequently occurs. From what cause is it that a sufficiency of water for the voyage and of other provisions is not put on board?—A part of it arises from depending upon getting water in casks on the coast of Africa, because if found with them it would condemn the vessel in going out; sometimes it arises, perhaps, from the inability of getting casks; at other times from being hurried, in consequence of knowing, or perhaps seeing a cruiser in sight, they are obliged to cut and run at once. Then the sufferings on board the slavers engendered by such circumstances are directly attributable to our attempts at suppressing the slave trade?—Entirely so. The statements of this witness were corroborated by those of all the naval officers, and had not been contradicted by other witnesses, that the state of things was such as had been described. It stood to reason that the contraband trade led to all these deaths. It was hardly necessary for him to waste the time of the House by showing how absurd it was in them to think of maintaining the squadron, when they had by their legislation done everything in their power to thwart the efforts of those ships. It might be all very well for the noble Lord at the head of the Government to come down year after year, and announce to the House that he had made a treaty with the Republic of the Equador for the suppression of the slave trade, that he had made a treaty with the Shah of Persia for the suppression of the slave trade, or that he had made a treaty with King Billy on the coast of Africa. Such announcements as these would doubtless, in days gone by, have created shouts of exultation and enthusiasm on the platform of Exeter Hall; but they were now altogether mi-suited to the atmosphere of that House. He was willing to admit that the present Motion was a sad and melancholy result to all their labours, and he could deeply sympathise with those good, honest, and sincere men who had laboured long and zealously in a holy and a just cause. Among them he would name Lord Brougham, Lord Denman, Dr. Lushington, and many others, who had devoted their splendid talents and great abilities to wash out the dark and foul stain upon the civilisation of the age in which they lived. To such men it must have been a source of deep mortification to find that all their labours had been in vain. They had cast their bread upon the waters. The only result had been that they had been made instrumental in destroying the prosperity and well-being of their own colonies, while they bad raised up the welfare and the splendour of those countries which had spurned their negotiations and their threats. It must be a source of great mortification to these men to find that the slave trade was in greater activity and energy than ever it had been, and that the number of slaves imported into those countries was actually greater than when they first commenced their labours. But if that be the sad and melancholy result, it would be at least the fit and appropriate result of that unjust and reckless policy, that the authors of it were now compelled by the force of circumstances which that policy had produced, to announce and declare to the nations of the world that in England free trade was at length triumphant, and that the slave trade must proceed.


said, that he should not propose the Amendment of which he had given notice on this subject, in consequence of what had taken place that morning. He therefore should withdraw it, but in doing so, he wished to make a few observations on the Motion before the House. His hon. Friend who brought forward the Motion appeared to have brought forward a number of facts in support of it; but he (Mr. Evans) could not come to the same conclusion as his hon. Friend did. His hon. Friend said the squadron had no effect in preventing any portion of the slave trade, and that every country got exactly the number of slaves it wanted, as if there was no squadron on the coast of Africa. Another conclusion his hon. Friend had come to was, that in consequence of the existence of the squadron the slaves were carried at a cheaper rate to the Brazils than they would be if there was no squadron. He (Mr. Evans) knew that the squadron had not done much, and he wished it had done a great deal more; but they must make allowances for the great difficulties and impediments in its way. Before 1838 they had no treaties to enable naval officers to seize vessels which were only prepared to take in slaves; but in 1839 an Act of Parliament was passed, which enabled the captains of our cruisers to make such seizures. The contrast between the number of vessels seized before and after that period was very remarkable. During the nine years ending in 1839, 166 vessels engaged in the slave trade were seized; while in the nine years ending 1848 not less than 687 vessels were captured. That was, they had taken about a vessel and a half a week on the average for that period. There surely must be some reason for this great difference between the two periods. He found also about 40,000 slaves were brought into Cuba in 1835, while in 1844 the number was 1,371, and in 1845 about 1,700. It appeared also that in the Brazils the number of slaves imported in 1837 was 94,000, but shortly after the Act passed, enabling the British squadron to seize vessels equipped for the traffic, the number was materially reduced, until in 1844 it was 14,244. He might be told that there was an increase in 1847, but he found that, for some reason or other, no portion of the African squadron was on the coast of the Brazils in 1846, so that the care of the coast was left to the Brazilian fleet, which was not likely to render any very efficient aid to put down the slave trade. The inference he drew was, that, judging by what had already been done in the way of improvement, a great deal more might still be effected. He was not sanguine enough to suppose that so long as slavery existed as an institution in any part of the world, the slave traffic could be entirely prevented, yet he was of opinion that something might be done in the way of alleviating and mitigating its evils; and he maintained that slavetraders and pirates ought not to be permitted to ravage that vast extent of coast, and to rob and pillage undisturbed in those seas, Christianity was progressing, and freedom and civilisation were making some way in those parts, and not only these improvements would be destroyed by an unchecked trade in slaves, but all profitable and legitimate commerce in other commodities would be prevented. He must deny the proposition that there existed among the slaves more suffering than there would be if we had no squadron. He could find no authority for the allegation that there was 25 per cent loss attributable to the interference of the squadron, and he did not believe it. If Members would refer to the old books and papers relating to the slave ships trading-direct to Bristol, prepared by order of the House, they would find that the loss upon the trade when carried on, not only without obstruction but under regulations, was 14 per cent. In those papers would be found descriptions of the manner in which the slaves were stowed away upon one deck over another. But without reference solely to the suppression of the slave trade, he would ask whether it would be right that the trade on the coast of Africa should be left without protection; and he was told that ten or twelve vessels at least would be required for that purpose only. An opinion had been expressed that largo vessels were of no use as compared with small; two of the best cruisers known on the African coast, the Fair Rosamond and the Black Joke, were of the latter description. Another matter of minor importance requiring consideration was, that for the capture of a vessel just preparing to receive slaves, if there were none actually on board, the price was a mere trifle compared to what it was if the slaves were really embarked. The effect of this might be, that officers were not quite so ready to prevent the embarkation of slaves as to capture the vessel after they were shipped. He felt it his duty to consider these things, and also to bear in mind what misery might ensue if the squadron were to be withdrawn, and we were now to refrain from all our efforts to do some good in promoting the cause of freedom and civilisation throughout the world. He advised the House, therefore, not to be in a hurry to decide upon thisquestion of withdrawing the squadron. He could not make up his mind on any terms to do that without an efficient substitute being provided, and he hoped that the House would not consent to this Motion.


said, he rose to address the House upon this occasion with feelings of great anxiety, for he could not divest his mind of the conviction that in the decision which the House might come to upon the subject before it were involved not only the sacred interests of charity, but the character and honour of the country itself. He was at least thankful to his hon. Friend who had brought forward this question for not having disguised from the House the nature of his real intentions, and the consequences which he anticipated to result from this Motion. The hon. Gentleman had told them distinctly that in calling upon them to determine that they should at once take measures to procure the withdrawal of the squadron which had hitherto watched the coast of Africa, and proposing no substitute whatever to check the slave trade, he wished them, the Commons of England, to announce to the world that henceforward, as far as they were concerned, the slave trade should prevail over every sea without let or hindrance—that they gave up the object for which they, and greater men than that House now contained, who had passed away, had struggled before them, as a romantic and impracticable object, and that from this time England at least would take no interest in the matter beyond that barren mockery of saying that we regretted it indeed, but that our influence should not weigh in the scale against it. However desirous the people of England might be for economy, he was sure that he represented their feelings and wishes when he said that they would not acquiesce in such a decision without the most mature consideration—without that House deliberately weighing all the consequences that must follow—without their examining in the minutest manner every step which they took in this retrograding and degrading course. He said that if they agreed to this Motion he behoved the people of England would, if not now, at no distant period, call them to a strict, and, he would add, well-merited account, for haying so entirely misinterpreted their feelings and their wishes. He repeated, then, that there could be no doubt as to what the question before them really was; neither the hon. Gentleman who proposed nor the hon. Gentleman who seconded the Motion having disguised from the House what their opinion was, and neither having proposed any scheme as a substitute for this blockading squadron. And now he implored the House, at least before coming to the conclusion they were asked to arrive at, to weigh the evidence on which the Motion was based, and to consider the consequences that must ensue from its adoption. Sir G. Hotham had been called as a witness in support of this Motion; but he (Mr. Labouchere) must say that, if there were nothing else, the evidence of that gallant Gentleman would be sufficient to convince him of the impropriety of withrawing that squadron; for no man had depicted in stronger language what he justly called the "degradation to this country" which must follow the adoption of such a course without finding some efficient substitute for the squadron; no one had depicted in a more faithful manner the horrors which must inevitably take place in that event, or had more thoroughly derided the idea that the evils of the middle passage were increased by the system at present existing. Now, upon the question of authority, the hon. Mover was very angry with his noble Friend at the head of the Government because he had stated a mere simple fact to the House, that the report of the Committee on which they were asked to come to this decision was carried by a bare majority—the casting vote of the Chairman. That was a simple fact, and, seeing how tenacious his hon. Friend was of alluding to what had occurred in a Committee of the House of Commons, he appeared to have treated with singular disregard the report of the Committee of the other House, which was conducted with great capacity and ability, and with somewhat more adherence to the subject before them, and less of discursive inquiry, than was exhibited by their own Committee. That Committee came to a perfectly opposite conclusion to the House of Commons' Com- mittee; and without intending the slightest discourtesy, indeed, having the highest respect for all the Gentlemen who composed the small majority in the Commons' Committee, at the same time seeing that the minority also was most respectably composed, he thought that he was enabled to place the decision of the Lords' Committee against the single vote of his hon. Friend the Chairman of the Commons' Committee. So much for the question of authority, on which so much stress had been laid; but it was not upon the authority of this or that Committee that the House had to decide, but upon the facts laid before themselves, and upon their duty to the public and humanity. His hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead seemed to anticipate that from the Treasury bench he would be taunted with treating this question as a mere matter of economy. He could assure his hon. Friend that there should be no taunts from him (Mr. Labouchere) upon such a subject. They were bound, undoubtedly, to consider the large expenditure of this squadron, and whether it did effect the object of its establishment; but he trusted that he did not disregard economy when he stated that he did not believe the people of this country would, from that motive alone, consent to the withdrawal of the squadron from the African coast, and to relinquish their most cherished hopes with regard to the slave trade. This was not a question of mere pounds, shillings, and pence; and he must observe, too, that when his hon. Friend said 700,000l. a year would be saved if we abandoned the African squadron, he apprehended that he made that statement on the presumption that there was not to be an English ship of war in the African or American seas. He believed, however, if that course were to be adopted, that we should inflict the deepest injury upon a great, thriving, and increasing trade—most of it a legitimate trade—that was growing up with the native tribes of Africa, upon the fostering of which, in his opinion, was based the firmest reliance of the ultimate success of our undertaking for the abolition of the slave trade. Beset with difficulties though it was, he repeated, that on the improvement and spread of that trade were based his strongest hopes for the extinction of that trade which had so long existed in Africa, to the shame of the whole civilised world. Hon. Gentlemen who argued against the present system thought that they made out their case at once when they said that the squadron had not succeeded in suppressing the slave trade; but nobody had ever expected that it would do so; and his opinion was, that alone, and unaccompanied by other measures, it never could nor would succeed. On the other hand, however, be believed it could be proved to demonstration that by the withdrawal of that squadron at the present moment, before other means had had time and opportunity to come into more full operation, they would at once throw open the ocean to the slave trade in all its horrors; at once replunge Africa into scenes of blood and horror, and extinguish every spark of civilisation and improvement which be trusted might by and by grow into a flame that would warm and enlighten that country. By the sudden withdrawal of the squadron all legitimate commerce in Africa would be destroyed; the slave trade would be increased to a horrible extent, and the consequence would be such a state of things as they should deplore when too late to retrace their steps, and when all they could do would be to lament the policy they had adopted. There was another point connected with this which had been adverted to by his hon. Friend who bad last addressed the House, which was of so much importance that he must say a few words with respect to it; it was with regard to the diminution of the slave trade, occasioned by the presence of the squadron. [Mr. HUTT: No, no!] Surely there could be no question that there had been a diminution in the slave trade. The difference in the price of slaves previous to the existence of the squadron and at the present time was enough to prove this. At Cuba, at the present moment, according to information he had received that morning, an adult male negro fetched about 100l., whilst upon the African coast the cost was about 20l. He happened to know what, with free trade in slaves across the Atlantic, would be the cost of conveying the negro from the coast of Africa to Cuba, for he found that Messrs. Hodge and Lowe had lately contracted to convey free labourers from Sierra Leone to the West Indies for 6l. 1s. 10d. per bead. Allowing, then, 6l. 10s. for the conveyance of the negro from the coast of Africa to Cuba, the price there would be, under a system of free trade, 26l. 10s., instead of 100l.—a difference which showed the practical limit and restraint placed by that squadron upon the importation of slaves from Africa. He thought it must be apparent, moreover, that the slave, thus diminished in value, would become the object of much less care than at present, and that the frightful practice called "using up" slaves would be carried out to a much greater extent than now. The consequence would be, he believed, that there would be a continual stream of slave labour between Africa, Cuba, and Brazil, and a frightful increase of torture and death in those countries. The price of a slave in Cuba, in 1821, was 100 dollars, or 20l; in 1847 it was from 500 dollars to 625 dollars, or from 100l. to 125l.; and in 1848, about 400 dollars, or 80l. The price in Brazil, in 1821, was 100 dollars, or 20l.; and in 1847 it bad risen to 250 dollars, or 50l. He thought, then, that any one had but to read those figures in order to at once dispose of the argument which he was surprised to have heard Gentlemen make use of so confidently, that the efforts of the squadron were altogether unavailing; that its presence did not prevent, in any degree whatever, slaves being sent across the Atlantic; that the slave trade was carried on just as if it was not there; and that its only effect was to add to the suffering of those that were sent. He had stated that he should be quite willing to rest his case upon the evidence of Sir C. Hotham on this subject, and he ventured now to draw the attention of the House to the evidence of that gallant Gentleman. When he was asked— To sum up the evidence which you have given upon the point—are the Committee to understand that it is your opinion that to withdraw the squadron without substituting some other plan for suppressing the slave trade, would be most injurious? Sir Charles replied— My opinion is, that to withdraw the squadron without offering a substitute, would be highly injurious to the honour of this great country, which has boon embarked so long in this particular cause; I should regret to hear that the squadron had been ordered to withdraw, and nothing substituted in its place. Then he was asked— In saying that it would be injurious to the honour of this great country, would you say that it would be injurious to the interests of this great country? Sir C Hotham's answer was worthy of the high personal character of that distinguished officer. He said— In a case of that description, I apprehend that honour and interest would, to a certain extent, go together. Again, he was asked— Are the Committee further to understand, that it is your opinion that without entering into a "peculation for which you have not the data, as to whether the number of slaves exported from Africa would be increased or not, you feel convinced that the cruelty of the trade would be increased by the withdrawal of the squadron?—My opinion on that subject must of course only be speculative; but I am impressed with the idea that if the squadron were withdrawn, and the trade thrown open, a smaller description of vessels would be introduced, and that the slave would be carried across in a more economical manner, and, therefore that his sufferings would be increased. Under these circumstances he (Mr. Labouchere) certainly was surprised that his hon. Friend had brought forward the testimony of that gallant officer in favour of the immediate withdrawal of the African squadron, without seeming to care whether any other measures were adopted or not; and, though he had not the honour of the acquantance of Sir C. Hotham, he thought from the language he had held, before the Lords' Committee especially, that he would most indignantly repudiate the use that had been made of his name. In his evidence before the Lords' Committee, Sir Charles Hotham used very similar language. He said— The slaves would have been much cheaper in Brazil; there would have been a greater number imported; and the horrors of the middle passage would have been very considerably increased by the fact of the slave merchants being inadequately provided with capital for the purpose; they would, therefore, have sailed in smaller vessels, and the trade would have been subjected to greater horrors. He now came to another portion of the subject, which contained facts that he thought deserved the most serious consideration of the House before they pledged themselves to the resolution of his hon. Friend. He alluded to what would be the effect of that House agreeing to it upon the fate and prospects of the people of Africa. There was no part of the subject upon which he felt a deeper conviction than that its effect must inevitably be, to re-plunge into the worst horrors of martyrdom and bloodshed that unfortunate people whom we were endeavouring to rescue from the evils they had so long endured, and to whom we were attempting, as far as we could, to atone for the unutterable injustice and cruelty which the white man had, for a period of 200 Years, inflicted upon his black fellow-creature. He thought that the evidence upon this, taken before the Committees of the two Houses of Parliament was perfectly irresistible and over- whelming; and he could not help briefly calling the attention of the House to what was actually going on at this moment in Africa, and suggesting the consideration, whether it was possible to have selected a worse or more inauspicious moment than the present for taking the proposed step. Some Gentlemen had referred with something like levity to the failure of the repeated attempts of the Government of this country to induce the native chiefs of Africa to use their authority and influence to put down slavery and the slave trade, and to give encouragement to lawful commerce. He believed that at this moment there was a fair prospect of a far greater degree of success in that respect than there had been for many years before. There was one part of the subject to which he wished to call the particular attention of the House—he meant the establishment of the republic of Liberia under President Roberts. He was sure that every one who had had the pleasure, as he (Mr. La bouchere) had had, of seeing that gentleman in this country, must have felt that it was a most fortunate thing that the destinies of that republic had been intrusted to so intelligent and able a person. At this moment that republic was not only establishing its own peaceful relations by means of treaties with neighbouring tribes, but was extending its territories, and replacing the slave trade by the occupations of commerce and industry. He believed, too, that in the course of the present month a commissioner had been instructed by his noble Friend the Foreign Secretary to visit the Court of Dahomey, and endeavour to negotiate the establishment of commercial relations, and for there pression of the slave trade. He would also refer to the recent purchase of the Danish forts in Africa, which he believed would have a great effect in checking the slave trade as far as the Bight of Benin was concerned. He anticipated, indeed, that the whole coast from the north of Africa down to Whydah, would in a short time be rescued from the horrors of the slave trade. He must say, that while he hoped they would continue firmly to resist the sin of the slave trade, he looked beyond everything else to the gradual introduction of a system of legitimate and fair commerce, as affording the best chance of ultimately improving the habits of the people of Africa, and suppressing this abominable traffic. In connexion with this subject, he could not help remarking that the more they could dis- courage the slave trade—the more hazardous, expensive, and difficult they made it, the more likely was it that the native chiefs would enter into arrangements with them to substitute legitimate commerce in its stead; for everybody who had paid attention to the course of affairs in Africa was aware how completely it was the fact that whenever there was a prospect of putting down the slave trade the native chiefs were quite ready to enter into treaties with us; but that whenever there was a prospect of the slave trade being carried on with success there was the greatest difficulty in negotiating with them in regard to commerce. He trusted and believed, then, that that House would express the determination of this country to maintain the squadron on the coast of Africa, not as the sole means of putting down the slave trade, but as the means without which all others, would in his opinion, be ineffectual; for it would be a mere mockery to say that if they withdrew the squadron they could ever hope to check that extensive and detestable traffic. He had now stated to the House what, in his opinion, would be the effect upon the slave trade, upon the system of slavery as carried on in Cuba and Brazil, and upon the interests and fortunes of the African race itself, if the resolution of his hon. Friend were carried. He would next venture shortly to call the attention of the House to the effect which it would necessarily have upon the condition of our sugar-growing colonies. He believed that, considering the present condition of those colonies, it would have been impossible to choose a more unfortunate time to bring forward this Resolution than that which had been selected by his hon. Friend. His hon. Friend proposed to enable the foreign rivals of our colonies to obtain an unlimited supply of slave labour, and that at a time when the great complaint of the colonists was that they found it exceedingly difficult to obtain at a reasonable cost a supply of labour for the cultivation of their estates. He hoped he might take it for granted that even that portion of the House which supported this Motion did not mean to allow the slave trade to be carried on by our own people—although he must, in passing, remark, that that if they altogether withdrew the squadron from the coast of Africa, and banished the British flag, so far as it was carried by Her Majesty's ships, from those seas, he feared that it would speedily be found that the slave trade would be carried on, to no inconsiderable extent, not only by British capital, but that British ships, captains, and seamen would largely participate in that unhallowed traffic. He presumed, however, that it was not the intention of any Gentleman in that House to lead to that result, and that the House was too well aware of the crime involved in the slave trade, and the disgrace of that traffic, to permit any subject of the Queen to engage in it. He took it for granted that they did not intend to revive the slave trade in our colonies; and, when he said "slave trade," he meant that traffic under any disguise or pretence; because, if, under the name of emigration, they allowed English ships to go to Africa and purchase slaves to take to our colonies, he considered that that would be encouraging the slave trade almost as completely and directly as if they allowed the slaves to be carried across the Atlantic and sold for slaves in Cuba or Brazil. Supposing, then, that our own people were altogether prevented from engaging in the slave trade while it was left unchecked in the hands of their foreign rivals, the result would be that the cultivation of sugar in our colonies would be rendered impossible. He confessed that it was with some surprise he found the Motion seconded by a Gentleman connected with the West India interest. All he (Mr. Labouchere) could say was, that there was nothing which the colonists themselves had urged upon the House with greater earnestness than the duty of using the influence and power of England to limit, if they could not extinguish, the foreign slave trade. He must repeat, that he thought this a peculiarly unfortunate moment to bring forward this Motion, as he considered its inevitable effect would be to give a fatal blow to all chance of returning prosperity to those long-suffering colonies. He believed that they were at present in the course of revival, not equivocal or doubtful, but which, he trusted, would speedily lead to a cessation of that state of distress which he deplored as much as any man. He held in his hand an account of the quantities of colonial sugar that had been exported from the British West Indies during the last few years. He would only mention a few of the principal items. He would first take Jamaica. He found that the average quantity of sugar exported from Jamaica in 184,5 and 1846 was 657,865 cwt., or 32,893 tons, while in 1847 and in 1848 the average quantity was 689,208 cwt., or 34,460 tons, being an increase of 1,507 tons. With respect to British Guiana, he found that the average export in 1845 and 1846 was 23,685 tons, while in 1847 and 1848 it was 33,458 tons, being an increase of 9,773 tons. From Trinidad the increase of exports in the same period was 1,693 tons, and from Antigua 2,234 tons. There really, therefore, did exist a well-founded hope that the colonies would recover from the state of distress with which they had of late years been struggling, if we did not, by a measure such as was now proposed, interrupt them in the course they were pursuing. There was one other document connected with this subject which he was anxious to read to the House. It was an extract from the last annual report of Governor Barkly from British Guiana, which he believed had been laid upon the table of the House. This was what Governor Barkly said:— At the present moment, indeed, with reduced wages and increased prices of produce, sugar cultivation must again become remunerative, and for a time at least the abandonment of estates be arrested. While deeply deploring, therefore, the fate of those who have been ruined in the struggle, or who are left so irretrievably involved as to retain no prospect of extrication, I will not allow myself to despair of seeing the agriculture of this fertile colony placed on a sounder basis than it was possible for it to rest on at any previous period of its history, when its prosperity was found ed either on slavery or on fiscal protection. It is of course impossible to foretel with any precision the future prospects of agricultural operations thus dependent upon two circumstances, both so subject to the influence of a multitude of unforeseen and independent contingencies as the cost of labour and the value of sugar. It seems to me, however, unreasonable to doubt that sugar cultivation must in the long run be profitable in a country like this, where it is carried on with less labour, and therefore more cheaply, than in any other spot in the world. He would only ask the House, after hearing that statement, to consider what would be the inevitable effect upon the struggling colonies if, all at once, they were to alter their relations to their foreign competitors, and allow those competitors an unlimited supply of slave labour, thereby enormously increasing their products, and making it impossible to compete with them in the markets of the world? He really did not know that it was necessary to fatigue the House by entering at greater length upon this subject. He was saved the necessity of addressing some observations to the House which he should otherwise have felt it his duty to make, by the frank admis- sions, or at least the absence of any words to the contrary, on the part of his hon. Friend who had brought forward the Motion, that he anticipated no other result to his Motion than the complete abandonment of the restrictions on the slave trade, and the revival of the traffic as part of the regular commerce of the world. He (Mr. Labouchere) owned he was somewhat surprised at his hon. Friend's illustration of his meaning by reference to the commerce in tobacco or silk. This was not a question of bales of silk or of tobacco, but a question relating to human beings, and therefore beyond the ordinary rules of commerce; and that was a complete answer to the arguments of his hon. Friend upon that subject. Upon these grounds he earnestly called upon the House not to agree to the Motion of his hon. Friend. In asking this, he did not ask them to affirm that for an indefinite period the squadron should be maintained as part of the establishment of this country. Gentlemen might entertain more or less sanguine views as to the period when they would be justified in diminishing, or even discontinuing the squadron. That was another question. But be knew that if he entertained the idea that the squadron was more ineffectual than it was for the purpose for which it was intended, he would not agree to its withdrawal unless he were also decidedly of opinion that the time was come when the House should abandon every hope of putting down the traffic in slaves. He did not know if any Gentleman was sanguine enough to believe that the slave trade could be repressed by any other means. If so, he ought to suggest them to the House. The Government had no abstract preference for the slave-trade squadron. He might observe, however, that if ever there had been a policy which was not the policy of an Administration, of this or of that Government, but the policy of the people of England, it was this. When he said this, however, he did not wish to shelter himself, or the Government with which he was connected, under that plea. On the contrary, he said, with pride, that they had entered upon this policy, not as mere passive agents, carrying out views which had been forced upon them, but because they heartily participated in these views, and because they thought that England would have been disgraced in the face of the world—that they would have been deserting their duty to God and man—if they had not used the influence of the high station they possessed among the nations of the world, and exercised their power by every legitimate means to put down this accursed traffic. With these views, he called upon the House not to agree to the Motion.


could not help stating, when one hon. Gentleman alluded to the great good which might be done by the reduction of the size of the vessels, that he (Mr. G. Berkeley) had been in correspondence with a person connected with this question, and intimately connected with Africa, and he stated that there were steam slavers employed on the African coast that set at defiance sailing vessels, and were capable of carrying from 1,400 to 2,000 men; and if they carried their trade on the coast of Africa to a greater extent than ever—as to another remark of the hon. Member, when he proposed that rewards should be given to those who captured steam vessels—he would give a recommendation not to throw good money after bad. They had done too much already. They had already paid 20,000,000l. to put down that which the acts of the Government went to confirm. He maintained that the slave trade was at this moment more rife than ever; that it was carried on under greater hardships to the negro population; and although the African squadron did capture some slavers, it did in no way tend to put down the traffic in slaves. As to the increased price, that did not show that the increase of price depended on the efforts of the African squadron; but it showed that monopoly was given to the slaveowner by the present state of affairs, and that the British grower could not produce sugar and compete with the slave-cultivated districts. When the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade also said that the people would not consent, from motives of economy, to see the African squadron withdrawn, he asked him what had induced the Government to admit African produce to this country but mere motives of economy? Did he not know that the answer to those who said that the West Indies were sacrificed was this—you cannot expect that we will join you in an attempt to exclude the produce of other countries, because we get our produce so much cheaper? He also found that the right hon. Gentleman who had last spoken admitted that the African squadron was ineffective; he admitted it did not put down slavery; then he (Mr. G. Berkeley) asked, in times like these, when the smallest saving, if possible, ought to be made for this country, for what reason there should be a squadron on the coast of Africa, which he acknowledged to be so ineffective? A correspondence had passed between himself and the head of the Colonial Department as regarded the admission of Africans from the free coast of Africa. At that time every stumbling-block was thrown by Government to prevent the influx of free labour, and they refused applicants for free labourers, unless they came by the coast of Sierra Leone. But, then, the right hon. Gentleman assumed that if the British squadron were withdrawn, the British planters would carry on the slave trade.


explained. He had not made the slightest allusion to the West Indian planters. He only said that British capital might be found engaged in the traffic.


He was glad to hear that explanation. He maintained that the most effectual, the most religious, and the most moral way for putting an end to the slave trade, was by refusing admission to slave produce. It struck him that when they abolished slavery in the English dominions, they should have seen that the Spanish Government did not depart from the bargain they had made; that they should keep to the treaties made with this Government, for the Spanish Government appeared to enter into the question of the entire abolition of slavery, whereas they were still flourishing by the effect of the slave trade. All accounts which were received from British Guiana were in opposition to the right hon. Gentleman's observations. Every respectable man had deserted colonial legislation, the country was in a state of devastation, the clergy were not paid, the chapels were deserted, and in many places the people were retrograding to a state of barbarism. If he was not right in making this statement, if he was not borne out by the fact, there was an hon. Gentleman in this country lately returned from that colony, who had made an inspection of it, and be was certain that the hon. Member for Lynn would bear him out in the statement he had made. Under these circumstances, he should cordially support the Motion. He saw that the African squadron, whilst it was costing this country an immense sum, was totally and inadequately ineffective for the service over which it had been placed, and under these circumstances he was certain that the House could do no wrong, morally or religiously, but would do good, the more they were guided by this Motion.


trusted that the House would not sanction a resolution directly calculated to degrade this country in the eyes of the civilised world. The evil had been, not the existence of the squadron, but the inadequacy of the means supplied to the Foreign Secretary by the various Boards of Admiralty for carrying out the views which, with so much ability, he had impressed upon that House from time to time. There had been continued difficulties and delays in the way of the noble Lord, what with the inferior description of vessels sent on the station, the want of efficient treaties with Spain and with Brazil, and that letter of the Earl of Aberdeen on the barracoons which gave such encouragement to the Brazilian slave trade, and paralysed the efforts of our officers. Our efforts had from these causes failed to be quite successful; we had, however, done a large amount of good, and prevented a large number of slaves from being sent to the Brazils and to the Spanish colonies, who would otherwise have been carried there. The useless 10-gun brigs had, after a long contest with the Admiralty, been done away with, and steamers and a better class of cruisers had been put on the station in their place. But these steamers were still inadequate to the great object in view, for those vessels only were sent to the African coast which were unfit for general service anywhere else. A steamer, for example, that was complained of at Portsmouth or Plymouth was sent off to the African station to be out of the way of further criticism and censure. This would not do. There must be a superior class of vessels put on that station, and he was quite willing that for this purpose the fleet in the Mediterranean or that at Lisbon should be reduced. He remembered on one occasion the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyne thumped the red box on the table very vehemently about the legitimate trade with the west coast of Africa being interfered with by the squadron there: remove that squadron, and what would become of your legitimate trade? Why, Mr. Button in his evidence before a Committee of the House of Lords, stated that if the squadron was withdrawn, his factories would all be inevitably destroyed. The twenty-four vessels now on the station were not more than sufficient for the protection of our trade there, and were certainly the only means of operating upon the native chiefs, who, the moment they thought us lukewarm or insincere in the matter, would carry on the slave trade with tenfold energy. It was the moral influence of our squadron that kept matters in order at present, and repressed those acts of piracy which otherwise would constantly occur. It was not the fact, as stated, that the naval officers on the station advised the withdrawal of the squadron. Sir Charles Hotham and Captain Matson, officers of great distinction, had given evidence quite the other way. It had been said, too, that you could not keep up an effectual blockade of the coast because there were 1,200 miles of water communication inland between Cape St. Paul and Loando, by rivers and lagoons, which enabled the slavedealer to remove his slaves from one point to another, un-perceived by the preventive squadron. But it had been proved that the water communication in question extended, not 1,200 miles, but only 200. He thought there was considerable doubt as to the value of the report and of some of the evidence given before the Committee of the hon. Member for Gateshead. The hon. Gentleman was exceedingly shy of admitting naval Members on the Committee, and had objected, as pointedly as possible, to his (Sir G. Pechell's) nomination as a Member of the Committee. They succeeded, however, in getting the hon. and gallant Member for Launceston upon the Committee, and by his means some light was thrown upon the subject. He (Sir G. Pechell) believed that if the several departments of the Government supported the noble Secretary for Foreign Affairs as they ought to do, the efforts of the squadron to put down the slave trade on the African coast might be rendered much more efficient. He hoped, however, that this country would never descend from the high position it had so long maintained with reference to this subject, and he would give his cordial support to the Government in opposing the Motion.


said, the hon. and gallant Member who spoke last had addressed himself to the question of the interests of a particular class, to which he himself belonged. He (Mr. Anstey) did not think the interest of that class was the matter immediately in question; but, if he had turned his attention to that point alone, his vote would still have been given, as it would be given, for the Motion of the hon. Member for Gateshead. He was of opinion that the interest of the naval service was not the matter at issue on the present occasion. But oven upon that point alone he should be prepared to give his support to the Motion. He thought it was a hard and painful thing to place gallant and worthy officers in a position of so much difficulty as that in which those were placed who, in the performance of certain fancied duties, were called upon under the treaties, the abrogation of which he desired, to promote the pacification of Africa by making war against all the rest of the world. He maintained that the officers whom we sent to the coast of Africa with instructions from the Foreign Office for the suppression of the slave trade, had before them only two alternatives—they must either do nothing, or violate the law of nations. The treaties we had concluded with foreign powers for the attainment of this Utopian object could not even approximate towards performance, unless those who had to carry them into effect made up their minds to sacrifice every other consideration to that end. The noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, who above all others had distinguished himself by his endeavours to carry those engagements into effect, had in the course of his career issued instructions some of which had long ago been revoked by himself or his predecessors, others of which were in full power, but all of which were equally opposed to the law of this country and the law of nations. Consequently we found that our officers, as in the case of Captain Denman, for obeying these instructions, were crippled by actions and prosecutions of every kind at the suit of those who were thereby injured. [An Hon. MEMBER: Not now.] Not now! Why, it was but last year that the Hon. Captain Denman, himself, in giving evidence before the Committee of the House of Lords, upon being asked his opinion as to what was the main obstacle to the full execution of those great purposes, mentioned, amongst other causes, the uncertain state of the law, or rather the too great certainty of conflict between the law of this country and the instructions which, as a naval officer, it was nevertheless his duty to obey. With singular fanaticism, however, when be was asked how he proposed to get rid of the difficulty, he answered that it was the duty of the Legislature to pass without delay a Bill of Indemnity of the past, and of absolute licence for the future. That, in the judgment of that officer, was a condition sine qua non to an effectual blockade of the coast of Africa, with a view to the suppression of the slave trade. He thought it unnecessary to comment on so monstrous a project, but he thought it a very strong argument against the present system that it could not be carried into effect without exposing the instruments we employed to punishment for the offences of our Government, unless we took the course of giving them absolute indulgence beforehand fir any crimes which they think fit to commit. We should rather bear in mind the great and memorable words of Lord Stowell, quoted in the despatch of the Earl of Aberdeen, that— A nation is not justified in assuming rights which do not belong to her, merely because she intends to employ them for a laudable purpose; and that no great end, no eminent good, can be lawfully or rightfully prosecuted by unrighteous means. This was the authority which Lord Aberdeen cited when he informed the Admiralty in a despatch that our officers could not, without making themselves liable to criminal prosecutions for murder and felony in one court of justice, or to actions for damages in another, obey the instruction under which, nevertheless, they had been acting for years past. Accordingly, on the 21st of March, 1842, the Earl of Aberdeen found himself compelled to subject this country to the humiliation of doing justice to a merchant whose property had been taken—illegally taken—under these instructions, by an officer in our Navy, Captain Nurse, in a case which was not covered by treaties, though abundantly covered by the instructions of the Foreign Office; a case in which Captain Nurse had been doing his best to obey those instructions and prevent the embarkation of slaves; a case in which, if Captain Nurse had not obeyed these instructions, he would have been liable to be tried for mutiny, and for disobedience of the orders of his superiors. In that case the Earl of Aberdeen was compelled to come forward and screen Captain Nurse, by exhibiting this country in the light of a wrong-doer, and by submitting to pay, in the name of that wrongdoer, compensation to the person wronged, he wished he could add that the merchant thus indemnified was a Brazilian, or a Portuguese, or the subject of some other third-rate Power. He was sorry to say, however, that he was the subject of a first-rate Power, France; and that nowhere in the blue book could be discover a similar instance of compensation for wrong done to a subject of Brazil or Portugal. On the 21st of May, 1842, the Earl of Aberdeen acquainted the Admiralty with the opinion given by the Queen's Advocate, that the instructions issued to our naval officers violated the law of nations. [The hon. Member read several extracts from the despatch to which he had alluded, to show that the Earl of Aberdeen, in the communication he had made to the Admiralty, had acted in conformity with the opinion of the law officers of the Crown.] He (Mr. Anstey) greatly feared that the principles laid down in that despatch, to which he had before referred, had not since been acted upon. The hon. and gallant Member for Brighton had referred to a method of evasion of international law which had been practised very extensively by the system of treaties, as he called them, with the African chiefs. In the last report of the Lords laid before the House, the form of those so-called treaties was given; under which our officers were empowered to land within territory that did not belong to the Queen nor to any Power at war with Her Majesty. There was one general form, and a copy of it was presented to every man who called himself a chief upon the coast of Africa, by the officer in command of our ships. These papers were given to persons who could not read or understand them, whose business it was to sign them however; and to insure their signatures he would toll the House what formed an integral part of the transaction. Mr. Moffatt, the purser of the Albert steamer, employed in the Niger expedition, stated that at the end of each, was a paragraph to this effect— And in consideration of the signature of this treaty the Queen of Great Britain, in the presence of Almighty God, makes the following presents—one pair of boots, one shirt, and a variety of other articles, chiefly of dress—sometimes firearms, which are always particularised, and which are delivered on the black chieftain putting his mark to the treaty. And under this treaty the officer felt himself at perfect liberty—protected by the law of nations—to land and do his pleasure! He did not know whether foreign Powers, whose subjects were damnified by these proceedings would hold themselves precluded from demanding satisfaction from the British Crown; and however the remonstrances of Brazil or Portugal might be disregarded, undoubtedly they would be listened to in the case of more powerful States. In a paper laid before Parliament, Brazil was returned as one of the Powers having treaties with this country; but the fact was, that with respect to Brazil, our treaty expired some years since, and in order to give a colourable pretext for continuing our coercive measures, we were obliged to resort to the mean subterfuge of an Act of Parliament. As to the injustice of those measures, he was not obliged to rest on his own opinion, the matter had been examined into and adjudicated upon in the courts of this country. They had decided that our capture of a Brazilian ship, without any sanction by treaty, and under the fanciful doctrine that the slave trade was piracy was not lawful, and that those who rose upon their captors and threw them into the sea did no more than their duty to their country, and were not guilty of murder; and he (Mr. Anstey) know that immediately after that decision of the case of "the Queen v. Serva," Lord Chief Justice Wilde stated it as his deliberate opinion that the Act of Parliament passed for making prize of Brazilian ships must now be taken to be null, and should be wiped from the Statute-book. Prom this instance the House might form some judgment of the rest. The case of one was the case of all, only we allowed the stronger offenders to go unmolested, while we bullied and coerced the weak. He had it from our gallant officers themselves that the strongest objection they had to the blockade service was the discrimination they were obliged to exercise between the vessels of smaller and greater Powers, being constantly taunted with those distinctions. They were frequently told, for instance, that they dared not touch a French ship, such, in fact, being part of their instructions. But the hon. Member for Gateshead did not ask the House to set treaties at nought, he merely asked them to address the Crown to see whether arrangements could not be made with other Powers to set all free. We had hitherto borne the chief cost, and therefore our experience should give force to our suggestions. We had squandered 1,000,000l. a year, and increased the slave trade, trebled and quadrupled the mortality, and, in nine years, captured 38,000 slaves, already decimated by disease brought upon them by our blockade system. Out of the 38,000, no less than 3,941, or more than 10 per cent. died before they could be set free. They had the evidence both of their own officers and of slavers concurring in this, that before 1830, when the capture of the slavers first began, the slave trade had been conducted by the Brazilians with great humanity. Lord Howden declared that the Brazilians were not naturally cruel, and Mr. Cliffe, himself a slavetrader, in his evidence, stated that before 1830 the number of slaves who died on the voyage did not exceed three per cent. Now, on the contrary, the mortality from the period of shipment to that of disembarkation or capture was little less than 40 per cent. There was also proof that the slave trade to the Brazils was nearly exhausted at the time that this country took off the duty on slave-grown sugar, and that it had been on the increase ever since. Nothwithstanding all the vigilance used by the British cruisers, stimulated as they were by the hope of head money, so vast had been the increase in the importation of slaves to Brazil in consequence of the stimulus thus given to the cultivation of sugar, that the supply not only met the increased demand, but actually anticipated the demand, so that the prices of slaves were now less than before the demand began. This was proved by Lord Howden; and the only evidence of a contrary tendency was that of Mr. Cliffe, who however stated that he knew little about the state of the sugar market in Brazil. The question for the House now to decide was, whether they were to persevere with measures which had been proved to be faulty and fruitless, or were they to adopt other measures, and if so, what measures? Were they to repeal the Act of Parliament which had stimulated an increased trade in slaves—he meant the Sugar Duties Act? Humanity might demand it, but economy said no. Well, then, our squadron being admitted to be inoperative in the capture of slaves, were we to discontinue it? Economy said yes, but humanity said no. Thus the question was constantly shifted from economy to humanity, and from humanity back to economy, like the pea under the thimble at the fair. How long would they halt between humanity and economy? If he were called upon to state his theory, he thought it would reconcile them; but how did many hon. Members on their theory propose to relieve themselves from the anomaly? Let them now support the Motion of the hon. Member for Gateshead. He admitted that by doing so, they would not have got rid of the difficulty of considering the question, but one thing they would have decided. They would have determined to commit no more follies such as they had committed in times past, no violations of international or municipal law, no more crime in their own persons to be punished in the persons of their comporatively innocent subordinates.


said, that the hon. and learned Gentleman who had just sat down, asked, would they repeal the Sugar Duties Act, or would they not? He (Sir R. Inglis's) answer was, that he would cordially concur in any proposition which would have that effect. The hon. and learned Gentleman had next asked, what would they do with the squadron? His only reply was equally decided. He would maintain the squadron. However he (Sir R. Inglis) and his friends might differ from Her Majesty's Ministers on their unhappy measure in relation to the sugars of slavetrading countries, he at least would cordially support them in regard to the squadron. For he could never forget that the cause of Cliristian humanity—he would not desecrate the subject by using a lower term—with respect to the slave trade had always found consistent and powerful advocates in the party represented by the noble Lord at the head of the Government. He grieved when he thought that there had been such a deviation from their true principle; and that the slave trade, which should never be directly or indirectly encouraged, had been—against all warning and all remonstrance—promoted, though not in name recognised, when the noble Lord permitted himself to sanction the introduction of the Sugar Duties Bill. This was on one side of the Atlantic; on the other side, in Africa—if England had fulfilled her obligations to the black chiefs, as they had been prepared to do with respect to their share of the treaties, much mischief would have been avoided. The hon. Member for Gateshead had this year raised the number of his men in buckram. Not content with the sum of 700,000l., which at one time had been stated as the cost of our blockade, he now made it 1,000,000l. sterling. The papers laid before the House, however, which he held in his hand, showed that the expenditure of the squadron in the year 1846–47 was not 700,000l., nor 500,000l., but. 301,623l., and that included wear and tear of machinery, coals, wages, &c. Sir Charles Hotham had shown that ten or twelve ships were necessary to protect the lawful traffic of the coast; and the utmost expense to be incurred in sustain- ing the blockading squadron was the relative cost of the support of ton, twelve, or twenty-four ships. The number of captures had been immensely greater than could be collected from the speeches of the Mover and Seconder of the Motion to have been the case. From the year 1830 to 1838 there were only 166 slavers taken; but in the ten succeeding years when the equipment clauses and the new right of search had come into operation, the number taken was 625. Was it nothing, too, to have put a stop almost entirely to the introduction of slaves into Cuba? 40,000 was the usual number of slaves imported every year into that island; according to the latest accounts, the number did not exceed 1,500. Besides the horrors of the middle passage were in a great degree saved by the exertions of the squadron, for of the 625 vessels captured, 450 had been taken close to the shore; and this led him to mention what was a great modern improvement in the blockade, that the ships were stationed as close to the shore as possible. They must likewise consider, in combating the slave trade, the effects of the gradual progress of civilisation, of commerce, and, what was of far more importance than either, of Christianity. He would remind the House of the petition which the First Minister of the Crown had had the honour—for in any position it was an honour—to present such a petition from liberated Africans residing in Sierra Leone; and he would ask hon. Gentlemen to consider the statements contained in that petition before they voted for the Motion of the hon. Member for Gateshead. It stated that they had been emancipated from slavery in consequence of their capture by British cruisers, or that they were the immediate descendants of persons who had been so emancipated—that they had relations who were exposed to the same risk of slavery or murder as they themselves had been, and they humbly expressed a hope that the House would examine some of them, or would take other means of inquiry before they withdrew the squadron which so protected lawful traders, which so repressed the unlawful traffic of which they and their people had been the victims, and which enabled them to continue in their present condition, free from those dangers to which the withdrawal of the squadron would expose them; and they added, that if that protection were continued to them, civilisation would arise and spread amongst them. There was now arising in the West Indies one of the most remarkable movements which had ever taken place. It was called the Jamaica movement, because it had originated in Jamaica; other islands had followed in the same course, and its object was to obtain protection against the competition with slave-grown sugar. They said, whether it were right or wrong to compel men to part with their property, England had compelled them to part with it, but upon the distinct understanding that they were thereafter to compete with free labour only. They owed it, therefore, not only to the injured race of Africa, but to their own fellow subjects—the white men of the West Indies—not to give any direct or indirect encouragement to the slave trade; nor would they do their duty if they did not do all in their power to repress it. With those who were free-traders in everything, including the traffic in human flesh, he could have no sympathy whatever; but he earnestly appealed to all those who were not tainted with that heresy, to reconsider well their judgment before they lent their sanction to proceedings involving a degree of misery beyond the ordinary power of man to conceive. If it were said that we had increased the horrors of the traffic, all he could say was, that the horrors which existed before the slave trade was finally abolished, which existed even when the slave trade was legalised and protected—he referred to the years following Sir W. Dolben's Act—were such as he believed no measure of iniquity could aggravate at the present day. The hon. Member who opened this subject referred—let him (Sir R. Inglis) say it without offence—in a grandiloquent tone to the reports of two Committees, as authorising and sanctioning his present Motion. He apprehended there was no Member who had not previously read those reports and the proceedings which led to them, who would not have supposed that the hon. Member for Gateshead was the representative, if not of a unanimous Committee, at least of a Committee in which the great preponderance was in favour of his views. But what was the fact? In consequence of the improvements made in the mode of conducting their proceedings by the hon. Member for Dumfries, all that passed in Committees was now matter of history. If the subject were not too serious, it would be almost ludicrous to read to the House the number of resolutions carried by the casting vote of the chairman. They had often heard of Mr. Hus- kisson's Committee and of Mr. Horner's Committee, because those Committees were presided over by Mr. Huskisson and Mr. Horner. But this Committee might very properly be called Mr. Hutt's Committee, in a very different sense, because it represented his single opinion. If Mr. Hutt had never existed—a contingency which he should have deeply regretted—no report whatever would ever have been made. First, there was the resolution of the hon. Member for South Essex negatived by the casting vote of the chairman; then the resolution of himself (Sir R. Inglis); then the resolution of the hon. Member for Pontefract; then the resolution of the hon. Member for Launceston; all these resolutions were negatived by the casting vote of the chairman. Then came the resolution of the hon. Member for Liverpool, which shared the same fate, as well as another resolution of his own (Sir R. Inglis). He did not therefore, exaggerate the facts, when he described the report as emphatically and exclusivcly Mr. Hutt's Report. The hon. Member had deprecated the efforts of newspaper writers and scribblers in pamphlets, but he really could not conceive what reason he could possibly have to complain of their exertions. Others, indeed, might perhaps urge such complaints—his noble Friend at the head of the Government, for instance; and those who from either side of the House supported the squadron; but the hon. Member for Gateshead had been untouched by any censure. He knew great efforts had been made to depreciate the efforts of the squadron, and unhappily with too much success. In his conscience he believed that the squadron had been doing, and, if permitted, would still do, increasing good in the cause of Christian humanity. He believed, with equal conviction, that it would be inconsistent alike with the national honour, with the duties which this country owed to the Africans, and to her own subjects in the West Indies—inconsistent with all her past engagements with the rest of Europe, to withdraw her squadron—and he, therefore, earnestly implored the House to consider well all the consequences of* the Motion, before they gave it their sanction.


said, the hon. Baronet who had just sat down had alluded to the two Committees over which his hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead had presided, but it should be recollected that though technically not the same Committee, they were both, in point of fact, to be regarded as one Committee; and that, on the second occasion, two Members of the Committee were absent, whose opinions were well known to be favourable to the views of his hon. Friend on this question. Therefore it was not quite fair to regard the resolutions alluded to as having been carried by the casting vote of his hon. Friend alone. With regard to the Motion before the House, he was far from entertaining the belief that economy alone was to be taken into consideration on this occasion. But he could not shut his eyes to the long series of years during which this country had endeavoured to effect a suppression of the slave trade, or to the multiplicity of treaties into which they had entered with that object in view. Nothing less than a settled conviction of the importance of this question could have induced him to accede to a Motion which he could not conceal from himself went to set aside the policy which for many years had been adopted by this country. But, looking to the effect of the treaties which had been made with Spain, Portugal, and Brazil, which last had come to an end, and was only maintained now by force of an Act of Parliament, it was with deep regret he was obliged to confess that these treaties had proved wholly inoperative. It was said that the system pursued by Captain Den-man on the coast of Africa had been effectual in causing a falling off in the importation of slaves; but they had the evidence of Mr. Bandinel, late of the Foreign Office, to show that the success of the blockade was in a principal degree owing to the conduct of the Brazilian Government, who at that time used their best efforts to discourage the trade. The same remark applied with regard to Cuba. The hon. Baronet who last addressed the House stated, that at one time no fewer than 40,000 slaves were imported into Cuba, and that latterly very few slaves had been imported. That was very true; but it was also true that General Valdez, who was governor of Cuba at the time the importation fell off, had given his co-operation in the suppression of the traffic. But, indeed, it was stated that the trade was regulated by the demand rather than by any government regulations. Where there was a demand for slaves, there the trade flourished in extreme vigour; when the sugar cultivation was in a depressed state, then there was a great falling off. In 1846 and 1847 there was a great demand for slaves; and it appeared to him, from the evidence, though, no doubt, there were conflicting opinions, as was natural among persons entertaining different views, of different pursuits, and summoned for different objects; but still he thought they had it in evidence, that the number of slaves imported was exactly in accordance with the demand. He was ready to admit that, under any circumstances, the squadron on the coast of Africa must, to a certain extent, he kept up; but he thought the evidence of Sir Charles Hotham went to show, that the efforts of the squadron off the coast of Africa could not suppress the slave trade; that when it appeared to be suppressed for a time in a certain district, it broke out again in another; that, for instance, it had broken out to the north-west of Cape Palmas, where it was said before to have been entirely extinguished. And it was further worthy of consideration, that the officers who despaired of the slave trade being suppressed, were those officers who had been recently on the station; and that those who, like Captain Denman, were in favour of retaining the squadron, had not themselves been on the coast for some time before. They had evidence that certain slavers from the western coast of Africa had been captured off the bay of Mozambique, thus proving that to render the blockade effective, they must not only blockade the west, but also the east coast of Africa. If, indeed, they were prepared to make efforts on that gigantic scale, then, indeed, they might continue their efforts; but it was because he believed they could not make efforts of sufficient magnitude, or continue them for a sufficient time, that he was opposed to the continuance of the system. They were then asked what they intended to do. No doubt it was a matter of extreme difficulty to say what they intended to propose as a substitute for the present system. But he believed that in Brazil great apprehensions were entertained of an influx of slaves proving dangerous to the peace of the country. He knew that contrary opinions were entertained. Lord Howden said, that though he entertained that opinion before he went out, yet his opinion was a little shaken after his residence in the country. Still it would be observed that the noble Lord did not decidedly negative his first opinion. And he (Lord H. Vane) could state that he had been informed by a gentleman engaged in the Portuguese diplomatic service, and long resident at various ports in Brazil, that the Brazilians must in a short time abandon slavery from a regard to their own safety, and that he believed the black population would, in the end, become lords and masters of the country. He would not detain the House further; but having been a Member of the Committee which sat on the question, he thought it necessary to justify the vote he was about to give—a vote which he gave with a deep sense of its importance, and which he certainly gave with the utmost reluctance.


entirely concurred with the noble Lord who had just sat down, that they were now considering the great question—should they or should they not at once and for all abandon the policy to which they were so deeply committed? He watched, in the Committee which sat on this subject, the painful and conscientious attention which the noble Lord gave to the evidence, and he deeply regretted the conclusion to which it had brought him. He deeply regretted to share with the noble Lord the despair which must now descend upon the prospects of the African race if the supporting and civilising influences of this great empire were now to be withdrawn from them. The noble Lord said that he despaired, because he believed that it was impossible for us to continue our efforts. As a Member of the Committee, he (Mr. Cardwcll felt that Her Majesty's Government would find it a task of great difficulty to continue their efforts if conclusions lightly come to by a Committee of the House of Commons were to encourage opposition in Cuba and Brazil, to discourage their friends in America and in France, and to have a tendency to paralyse their efforts in the House of Commons, and to circulate in the public mind a belief that no mischief would be done by the squadron being withdrawn. At that late hour he would not trepass upon the attention of the House by going into details on this question; but he thought it right to read one or two extracts to the House. He conceived that a complete analysis of the testimony given on this subject—on which, after all, their proceedings must now be based—he greatly deceived himself if a fair and complete analysis of this testimony would not stand out in striking contrast to the conclusions which had been attempted to be instilled into the public mind, and, if he might say it without offence to those who had spoken, in striking contrast to the speeches of several hon. Members. They were told that the operations of the squadron had been futile. Now the evidence was unanimous upon this opinion that the squadron had vast difficulties to struggle with; but if it was meant to say that that squadron had done no good or little good, and if he could show that the evidence which had been given completely negatived that opinion—if it were said that the cruelties were aggravated by the present system, and if he could show that the evidence on which that rested was not substantiated—if he were told that the maintenance of the squadron cost an enormous expense, and if he could show by the evidence of the great naval authorities to which the other side appealed, that to abandon efforts for the repression of the slave trade would not be to abandon the expense of maintaining a squadron—if he could show all this by the strong evidence of facts, then he cut the ground on which they stood from under them. It was said that it was impossible to maintain an efficient blockade along a long line of coast. Now he acknowledged that a marine guard, and a marine guard alone, would never accomplish the entire suppression of this traffic. But there were two agents from whose co-operation he anticipated great results. The one was the civilising influence of legitimate trade—the other was the still higher and more civilising influence of the Christian faith. How could either of these work if they were deprived of protection, and exposed to the assaults of pirates? He said that all the evidence went to show that over a large portion of the coast they had succeeded in repressing the slave trade. He had before him a map of Africa, exhihiting a line of coast from the extreme north to within five degrees of the Equator, and there was not at that moment, as far as he knew, a single trace or vestige of the slave trade. It was said to be impossible to repress the trade along a coast line of 2,000 miles in extent; but here was a line of coast of 1,500 miles in extent, comprising some of the principal depots of slaves, in which they had actually extinguished the trade. How had it been extinguished? The hon. Member for Gateshead said that the attempt to put an end to the slave trade must of necessity be vain, because the majority of the natives were opposed to its suppression, and the majority of civilised Europeans were actively engaged in it. Now, he would read to the House an account of the last effort made to put down the trade at the Gallinas, by that distinguished officer Captain Dunlop, whom the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs had authorised to blockade the Gallinas, not in the way of a mere marine guard, but as a regular warlike brigade. Captain Dunlop wrote— As soon as I had blocked up Gallinas on the west side, by means of the chiefs of the Sherbre, I culled upon the Cape Mount, Manna, and Singary people to do the same on the east side, which they immediately did, by sending nearly 3,000 men to threaten them with an attack from that quarter. So that there was decided proof of the readiness of the natives to co-operate in suppressing the trade. I had now the Gallinas fast locked up. They had only communication with the interior on the north, whence they could get no supplies. Now for the result:— After some correspondence, I was completely successful. All my demands (to surrender white slavedealers, and to give up slaves) were submitted to in the humblest manner. The slavedealers wrote to me to beg of me to allow them to come on board my ship, as they would be murdered the moment they crossed the frontier. This I knew very well, for our Cape Mount friends would have cut off all their heads, to a certainty; and as I did not wish to have their blood on my head, I thought it as well to grant their request, though it was more than they deserved. Captain Dunlop possessed all the qualities which were necessary for the service in which he was engaged. One could scarcely help sympathising more with the paragraph in which he stated that mercy to these men was not deserved, than in that where he said that he had extended mercy to them. He continued— There were fifty-five of them, including merchants, their clerks, and some crews of captured slavers. The four principal merchants, namely, Don Benito, Don Pablo Crespo—Hermos, and Franco Canello, were Spaniards; the others, and all the clerks, Brazilians. I sent a vessel up here with them, and now there does not remain even the shadow of a slavedealer in the whole of the Gallinas and Solyman countries, nor is there a vestige of slave trade between Capo Verd and Cape. St. Paul. Whether it will ever be brought back to Gallinas depends entirely upon the steps Her Majesty's Government may adopt. If a proper agent is appointed to reside for some time at Gallinas, a little assistance given to the chiefs, and a man-of-war kept off the place, very soon legitimate commerce will be firmly established. If, on the contrary, nothing is done by Government, the slave trade will revive in full force in a few months." …" It released between 1,000 and 2,000 slaves, obtained all cannon, irons, &c., strengthened the league for attacking dealers in future, quite put an end to a war which for seven years had supplied the slave trade, and occasioned indescribable misery," "I was quite glad to see the slavedealers in a miserable plight, exhausted from bad living, even the principal merchants; and before they embarked, the natives plundered them of all they had. Many of them came on heard with nothing on but their shirts." "They seem really anxious to establish commerce, and give up all thoughts of the slave trade. We have accomplished a great object, and if our Government will only now step in, the object it has been striving to attain for years is within its grasp as regards the whole coast from Cape Verd to the Bight of Benin. He had shown that where international law did not prevent—and with regard to international law he believed that more difficulty had been thrown upon the question in these debates than was absolutely necessary—he had shown that a naval officer could place the notorious Gallinas in a state of blockade—could collect armed natives to his assistance; and that when the Spaniards fell into his hands, they owed to him the safety of their lives from native indignation and revenge. How did his hon. Friend account for this fact, that the slave trade had been put down in Cuba? The importations there were formerly numbered by tens of thousands; now they were so small that it was doubtful if 2,000 were not an excessive estimate. How did his hon. Friend account for that? They talked of General Valdez, but General Valdez was not in Cuba now; and he (Mr. Cardwell) could tell them from reports he had before him, on the authority of Mr. Kennedy, consul at the Havana, that the importation of slaves to Cuba had nearly ceased, because the price of slaves was too high; but let the difficulties in the way of importation be removed, and the price of slaves would speedily fall, the importation of slaves would again begin, and there would be a revival of the slave trade in Cuba. He acknowledged that the slave trade had not been repressed to the same extent in the Brazils; and he should deal, he hoped, with perfect fairness with that case. What was the state of the case in Brazil? There were two parties in that country—the native Brazilians, who discouraged the slave trade, and the Portuguese capitalists, who carried it on. These Portuguese capitalists were in direct communication and correspondence with the Portuguese colonists on the east and west coast of Africa, from whence they drew their supplies. It was said to be impossible to suppress this portion of the traffic. Now, here he must call one or two witnesses into court. He would refer to the Portuguese colony of Ambriz. For a long time the trade had been flourishing there, without let or hindrance, because Commodore Jones thought in his discretion—and he might be right—that he might rely upon the Governor of the colony for putting down the slave trade. When Sir Charles Hotham got there, he found matters in this state—that any such reliance would then be quite misplaced, the repression of the trade having been left to the Portuguese authorities—that the trade was flourishing as brisk as ever. Sir Charles Hotham sent there one of his officers, and twenty-one ships were captured at the first go off. What was the consequence? Sir Charles Hotham told them that this was an immediate discouragement, and that he had dealt a heavy blow to the trade. Then, as regarded the east coast, they had the letter of Admiral Dacres, enclosing the despatch from Captain Wyvill, in which he stated that the Portuguese Governor welcomed him with open arms, for he found that the safety of the colony was in jeopardy from the slavetraders and pirates, and therefore the strong argument of self-interest was sufficient to overpower any desire there might be to encourage such a traffic. And had they really not put down or checked the slave trade in the Brazils? He would refer to the evidence of Mr. Hesketh, who had been long a resident in the Brazils, and who was not a romantic man, or a man of high-flown notions. He was a commercial gentleman who had resided in the Brazils since the year 1808, and what did he say? Why, that the number of slaves imported varied according to the facilities of escaping our cruisers. In some years the slavers were successful. In others they were not, and the number imported varied accordingly. Then there was Mr. Herring, another gentleman, residing also in the Brazils, who used the same language precisely, and who upon being asked if he thought those persons were correct in their views who believed that it was the existence of the British squadron upon the coast of Africa that prevented a larger supply of slaves, answered that they were undoubtedly correct. And upon being asked if he believed that, if the squadron were withdrawn, there would be immediately a large importation, he replied that he had not the slightest doubt upon the subject—there would be. Now, that was an English gentleman, resident in Brazil, speaking from his own experience. But hon. Gentleman talked about the analogy between the slave trade and the smuggling of tea or tobacco, as if the promotion of wars between various tribes of men, and the carrying off large numbers of our fellow-creatures into slavery, were at all analogous to the question of putting a pound or two of tea or tobacco into some secret hiding place in a ship. Let them make the slave trade easy, and they would have an immediate increase in the number of persons and vessels engaged in it upon the coast of Africa. But where was the necessity for multiplying citations from the evidence? Did not the reason of the case suffice? If the slave trade were made easy, then it paid better to carry on that trade than to cultivate palm-oil in Africa. The savages in that country, black savages, or savages of Portuguese or Spanish blood, found it answer their purpose to discourage lawful trade. Again, on the western side of the Atlantic, what was the effect? Let it be made easy to carry slaves to Cuba or Brazil, and the price of those slaves would be lowered. What would be the consequence? Why, that it would be the easier for their purchasers (the planters) to "use them up," as it was called—to work them to death, because they would be cheap. But let the price be raised—let the price of a slave be raised to 100l., as they had heard it was in Cuba, or to 80l. or 60l., as they had shown it was In Brazil, and did they not immediately raise an interest in the minds of men who bad no feeling but that of sordid interest, upon which you could work to make them take care of the property which had cost them so great an outlay of capital. Well, then, he had shown the House that from the north downwards to the Bight of Benin they had stopped the slave trade by the direct agency of the squadron. But there was another engine at work for its suppression. They had missionaries in the Bight of Benin who were protected by the British squadron, and who were not assailed by pirates merely through fear of the chastisement which the squadron would inflict upon those who dared to molest them. And what were those missionaries doing? They bad obtained the leave of a powerful native prince to establish schools in his dominions, and they had made him favourable to British interests. And he (Mr. Cardwell) was glad to hear the right hon. President of the Board of Trade declare that night that there was a prospect of getting him to enter into a treaty similar to that which had been arranged with such good effect at the Gallinas. Well, then, such being the con- dition of affairs at the Bight of Benin, let them proceed to the Bight of Biafra, and there they found there was now established in that ancient focus of the slave trade a state of legitimate industry and traffic. Where 4,000 tons of palm oil were formerly exported, there were now exported 25,000 tons. Was it no evidence of a powerful legitimate traffic being established? But it was said upon the other hand, that they had greatly increased the suffering and cruelties of the slave trade by the means which they had adopted for its suppression, and that they had vastly increased the number of its victims, he was not surprised that the mind of any one who read the details of the sufferings of the slaves, should revolt in horror from the subject, and be disposed to be governed rather by feelings of utter despair than hope of being able ever to alleviate those sufferings. But in that House they were discharging a public duty, and they should be governed by higher considerations. He had looked at the debates at the time of Sir William Dolben's Act, and at the evidence of Dr. Cliffe, a person who by his own confession had been an accomplice of the slavetraders, but who was put forward by those gentlemen who found that his descriptions were serviceable to their cause at the time, and whose statements were most exaggerated. But he turned from the evidence of the accomplice who mentioned 14 per cent. to that of Sir Charles Hotham, who said that he believed the mortality to be only about 5 per cent of the whole number of slaves. And when they compared that with the statements made during the debates that took place at the close of the last century, it was impossible to say that they were adding to the mortality by the modes of prevention which they were now adopting. He had established the facts, then, that they had put down the slave trade along above 1,400 miles of coast; that they had established the foundation of a legitimate trade; and that they had given encouragement to missionary enterprise, acting under the care of the British squadron. He had shown that the Cuban slave trade was all but totally suppressed, according to all the evidence they had which disclosed the state of Cuba. That in a Portuguese settlement upon the west coast of Africa, Sir Charles Hutham had told them that a heavy blow and great discouragement had been given to the trade. And that upon the east coast, Captain Wyvill, acting under the orders of Admiral Dacres, had in his effort to extinguish the slave trade been received with open arms by the Portuguese governor. They found, moreover, that the American admiral and the French admiral, although they had not the powers which ours had, and therefore could not act with the same energy, were standing by, approving of and encouraging the efforts of our officers at the Gallinas, and sympathising entirely with our objects. They found that a native prince in one place invited our squadron to come and put down the slave trade in his district, where he had not sufficient power to repress it himself. And therefore he (Mr. Cardwell) could not, as an honest man, come down from the Committee to the House of Commons and report his opinion to be that their efforts had been wholly and entirely futile. He could not take upon himself the responsibility of paralysing the hands of those who had the working of the present system confided to them. An appeal had been made with regard to the constitution of the Committee. He himself had gone to act upon that Committee perfectly unprepossessed. His name had been proposed as a Member of it by the hon. Member for Gateshead, and the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs thought it unsafe that the Member for Liverpool should be trusted. Much stress had been laid upon the names of Lord Courtenay and Mr. Barkly, who had sat upon the Committee of 1840. But in the year 1848 they had not had the evidence of Sir Charles Hotham. He quite agreed with those hon. Gentlemen who attributed the utmost possible importance to the testimony of Sir Charles Hotham; and he believed that if Lord Courtenay and Mr. Barkly had been present in 1849, and had heard his testimony, they also would have attached great importance to it. But, now, before they laid claim to the sanction of those names, lot them see what Sir Charles Hotham said. He wished to be perfectly candid in that debate, and therefore he at once admitted that Sir Charles Hotham had used the word "futile" in Connexion with the efforts of the African squadron. He was deeply dissatisfied that all his zeal, his abilities, and his loyalty to the service did not enable him to obtain a more satisfactory result; but when his testimony was quoted as favourable to the Motion then before the House, nothing could be further from its true construction. Here was his opinion upon it:— Considering, as far as we are able to learn, that under Sir William Dolben's Act the mortality was 14 per cent. and that now it is only 5 per cent. do you imagine, if the slave trade were allowed for a certain period, any great diminution in the mortality would take place?—I anxiously hope that the slave trade may never be allowed; if you were to remove all restrictions, and to take your squadron entirely away, small speculators would spring up and undersell those who are now in the market; the slave trade would be greatly increased in its horrors, and it would be impossible to calculate the calamities that would ensue; besides this, pirates would abound, and in my opinion it would be impossible for a legitimate trader to conduct his operations upon that coast. Now, as he represented those who carried on nearly the whole of the legitimate traffic on the west coast of Africa, he wished to ask those hon. Gentlemen who were so anxious to do away with the African squadron, when they talked of economising the 700,000l., or whatever other sum they alleged that the squadron cost the nation, in what condition did they mean to leave the coast of Africa, and what provision did they mean to make for the protection of the legitimate trade? He had testimonies without number, from commercial men, from judges of the mixed commission courts, from consuls at foreign ports, and others, and they all agreed in telling what Sir Charles Hotham told them, that piracies and rapine without number would be the consequence of the removal of our cruisers. Would they tell him that they could put down those pirates with twelve ships, whom they asserted could not now be watched by twenty-six? That there would be an immediate increase in the number of slavetraders, they all admitted. What they said was, that although the cruelty would be diminished, the number of vessels engaged in the slave trade would be increased. Well, then, what was the character of those who engaged in that trade? He would repeat a well-known anecdote illustrative of the question. Captain Trotter fell in, at one time, with a slaver from Havana, which diversified the slave trade with a little piracy, as opportunity offered. This slaver had fallen in with an American ship laden with dollars, of which the slavers took possession. They forced the crew of the American ship under hatches, where they battened them down, and having plundered the vessel, they tarred and set fire to the mainsail, and left her to be consumed with all her crew on board. Happily, however, they were released from their perilous position. Captain Trotter after- wards chased the slaver, and when the pirates found that there was no other chance of escaping from him, they took to their boats and escaped, having first laid a train of gunpowder to the magazine, the match of which they fired before leaving. Just as Captain Trotter set his foot on board the vessel she exploded, and it was only by a most fortunate accident that his life was saved. He (Mr. Cardwell) wanted to know how many such persons they would have manning vessels upon the African coast if the squadron were removed? and what complaints would they not have from the trading and manufacturing interests of this country, if those piracies were to be so increased by the diminution of the means of repression. Well, then, he denied that the supporters of the Motion were entitled to take credit for the saving which they said would be effected by the adoption of their plan. He knew very well what was a frequent occurrence in that House. Some plan was proposed which received a considerable share of support and applause. If any one found fault with the expense that it would occasion, he was called a twopenny halfpenny fellow, whose views were narrowed by paltry notions of petty economy. A few years afterwards, the zeal having cooled, some people came down to the House and said, "This burden is a heavy grievance, and it ought to be redressed;" and then if any one said a word against the saving, he was said to be an enemy to all economy. The noble Lord who had just sat down, had not blinked the question. He had said that he felt all the responsibility of it. That it would be surrendering a long-cherished principle of this country, and that it would be permitting the increase of vessels engaged in the slave trade. Well, then, he (Mr. Cardwell) said before they made that coast a nest of pirates, let them take care what they were doing. He found Sir Charles Hotham and all who had been engaged in the service upon the African coast, regretting deeply that their efforts had not been more satisfactory. He admitted that there must be a limit to endurance; he acknowledged that every year, in which the slave trader made successful head against our efforts at repression, strengthened the case against the present system. He agreed also with Sir Charles Hotham in saying that he would not take upon himself the responsibility of suppressing the African squadron. Having been appointed upon a Committee to consider the best means for the final extinction of the slave trade, he would not return to the House of Commons with no other proposition to make than a discontinuance of the only means by which the trade is now impeded or repressed. The Committee had put something at the end of their report about continuing the naval influence of England, and entering solemn protests against a traffic they abhorred, and then they thought they had discharged their consciences. But he thought that for a Member of the Committee, and of the House of Commons, to paralyse the hands of the Government when they told them they were negotiating with foreign Governments upon the subject, was a step of responsibility from which any individual, having in his heart and conscience a due sense of the horrors of this system and of its unspeakable iniquities, as a prudent and cautious man, ought most carefully to abstain.


denied that the officers of the Navy had admitted that the squadron had wholly failed in its object, or that nothing more could be done. As a matter of economy, this Motion would prove a perfect delusion. It would not only be injurious to the character of the country, to the best interests of the naval service, and to the commercial interests of the country, but it would also very materially increase the horrors of the slave trade, and disappoint those who were advocates for giving up the present efforts; and the day was not far distant when the people of this country would regret the decision which so many hon. Members were now disposed to come to. Sir Charles Hotham's opinion had been very much misunderstood; and the opinions attributed by the hon. Mover of the resolution to the naval officers were not borne out by the evidence given before Parliament. It would be found from the evidence, that in 1835, in consequence of the treaty made with the Spanish Government, the Spanish slavers had been obliged to resort to the protection of the Portuguese flag; and that before the treaty the price of slaves in Cuba was only one-fourth what it was now, owing to the smaller number imported. It was said we had effected nothing in the Brazils. Where 94,000 slaves were imported into Brazil, not more than 50,000 were now taken there; and the evidence of Lord Howden and others showed that the price bad risen from 25l. to 50l. or 60l. As to the mortality, it was not now greater than 9½ per cent on those captured, and 5 per cent on those which escaped; and under the legalised slave trade, under Sir William Domben's Act, it was never less than 14 per cent. It was a delusion to suppose that the squadron must he doubled or trebled to effect any good. He was prepared with a plan, which had been approved by naval officers who had served in the squadron, whereby a more effective blockade might be kept up with 5,000 tons less shipping than was now employed, 1,400 less horse power, and a proportionate saving of cost. We had 2,000 miles of coast with a legitimate commerce to protect, and not more than 1,000 miles where the slave trade still existed; some progress had evidently been made in the suppression of the slave trade; therefore, why should the Legislature come to the conclusion that with less to do than ever they had before, they were obliged to give up the attempt to do anything? If they withdrew their squadron altogether from the coast of Africa, it would not be followed by any diminution of the horrors of the middle passage. On the contrary, there would be an increased mortality amongst the slaves, because an impetus would be given to slave-grown produce, our increasing commerce with Africa would be ruined, as well as our West India colonies, whilst a deep disgrace would be inflicted, in the face of the world, on the naval power of England, and on the greatness of the country itself.


said, there was one point on which he was anxious to set himself right with the House, and that was, that free trade had nothing to do with this question. He would appeal to hon. Gentlemen opposite in a spirit of amity, and with a desire to set out of sight any past or future struggles on that subject, whether the principle of free trade did not consist in the denial of the policy of giving to one part of the community a monopoly on the ground that it was to be a source of wealth to the community at large. It was a question of free trade in stolen pocket handkerchiefs that was now before the House. It was the question whether they would discontinue their efforts to suppress crime that they had now to consider, and the question of free trade was not at all involved in its consideration. Having stated what was not connected with the subject, he might be allowed to say what was. It was always unpleasant to aim at individuals; but nobody felt compunction in firing at a battalion. He was going to fire at a battalion, and he should utterly refuse to answer any questions as to who might, or might not, be the individuals that fell in the way. What he feared was, that there was a strong desire in some quarters to see the sinews and limbs of the Africans employed in profitable industry throughout the vacant continent of South America, and that there was some idea that English commerce might be a partaker in the pro fits. Had they not seen an eminent political writer, once an honour to literature, declaring that the "beneficent whip" was the only thing for Africans and Irishmen? How would this principle work if it were applied to all who had anything to lose? The principle was simply that all property, including the property in a man's own person, belonged of right to those who could make the best use of it. Fancy that argument applied to hon. Members, by the men they would meet to-night between the House and Charing Cross. Hon. Members would soon have enough of that argument, and would not be long in being driven to the conclusion that our fathers were right in the opposition they made to this huge iniquity, which was the key-stone to the plan.

[When the hon. Member sat down, there were loud cries for a division, and no one having risen to address the House for some time, Mr. Speaker ordered strangers to withdraw, when]


Sir, I hardly know whether it is for the convenience of the House—which I wish entirely and exclusively to consult—that I should proceed to address it this night. I had believed that there was a general expectation of an adjourned debate; and, in that case, if it would be more for the convenience of the House I would postpone my address; but I would be reluctant that this question should go to a division, and that I should vote, as I intend to vote, in favour of the Motion of my hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead, without having taken an opportunity of stating to the House, as briefly as I am able, some of the grounds on which I would give that vote. I do not disguise from myself the serious nature of that vote, or endeavour in any matter, or in any degree, to blink the magnitude of the question. I will not dwell pointedly upon the objection that this is not a Motion for the withdrawal of the squadron, but a Motion for the removal of a preliminary bar to discussion, because it is said to be clear that the discretion of the House is not free, and we are met with an objection arising from our engagements to foreign countries unless we endeavour to remove those engagements. My object, in the first place, then, is to vindicate for Parliament the right of entering into the discussion of this question. Nothing can be more absurd than the present state of our treaty engagements with regard to the maintenance of cruisers on the coast of Africa. I think this Motion only contemplates the treaty with France; the treaty with America requires no negotiation, for either party can terminate it by the expression of a wish; but in the treaty with France, we bound ourselves to France, and France bound herself to us, each to maintain twenty-six cruisers on the coast of Africa, to suppress the slave trade, by whomsoever carried on. After the lapse of some time, France changed her mind—she did not possess the power, or seek to possess the power that would enable her to do what she wished, namely, to exercise jurisdiction over other than her own subjects—and she applied to Her Majesty's Government (and Her Majesty's Government wisely acceded to the application) to be released from her engagements, and instead of keeping twenty-six vessels on the African coast to suppress the slave trade generally, to be allowed to keep only a small squadron consisting of twelve vessels on that coast, to exclude her own subjects from the trade; so at present France is only bound to exclude her own subjects from the slave trade; and are we by treaty, forsooth, to be bound to France to maintain a large fleet on the coast of Africa for the purpose of suppressing the slave trade? I say that is a state of things so anomalous and so preposterous, that on its own merits my hon. Friend was justified in the Motion which he has made. If I have come to the determination of voting with him upon this occasion, it is after a long and painful investigation, which I began with an unbiassed and dispassionate mind. I can assure the House that the feelings with which I entered upon the inquiry, were not in accordance with the conclusion at which I have arrived; and those who know me are aware that every prepossession and every impulse I was required to struggle with and overcome before I could bring myself to that conclusion; but I thought the time was come when it was necessary to rouse the moral courage of the country to look this great question fairly in the face. It is not because I think lightly of the slave trade, or because I prefer considerations of economy to considerations of humanity, that I vote for this Motion; and, indeed, with regard to the slave trade, I can find no words sufficiently strong to characterise its enormous iniquity. I believe the slave trade to be by far the foulest crime that taints the history of mankind in any Christian or pagan country; and therefore it is not from any light estimate of the atrocities of the trade that I have made up my mind to vote for the Motion of my hon. Friend. The system which we are now acting upon has been condemned by an accumulation of authorities as great as ever was brought to bear on a point of practical policy; and the authorities who have so condemned it are persons who had every prepossession in its favour—who, as long as it stood in the position of an experiment, adhered to it with tenacious fidelity, and would have adhered to it so long as a hope remained of its proving effectual, but who, when undeceived by the stern lessons of experience, have left us the expression of their honest convictions. In the year 1840, Sir Thomas Buxton said, that a system of armed repression was perfectly futile, and that not only was this the case, but that if you could enter into treaty stipulations with all the nations of the world, still cent per cent. as his expression was, the enormous profits of the slave trade, would be too strong for you. The system has been condemned by the noble Lord at the head of the Government, who, adopting the language of Sir Thomas Buxton, gave the world to understand that the only means of effectually extinguishing the slave trade, lay in the cultivation and the civilisation of Africa. It has been condemned by those, among whom I was one, who promoted that honestly-intended but disastrous scheme for despatching an expedition up the Niger. It has been condemned by the Anti-Slavery Society, who, it must be admitted, whatever differences of opinion may prevail on other points, have laboured with unwearied zeal for the promotion of the great cause of philanthropy by elevating the social condition of the children of Africa. We are told that the extension of legitimate commerce requires the maintenance of this system; but I want to know whether the merchants of this country have desired it? It appears to me that they are as much divided in opinion on this subject as other men are, and that if there is any decided prevalence of opinion, it is either that of aversion or of indifference to the question. Then, as to the naval profession, I am not disposed to differ from the opinion of my hon. Friend, when he refers to the opinion of Sir Charles Hotham; but there is no doubt that the opinion of the naval profession generally is unfavourable to the continuance of the existing system. This stands on record, that the most responsible witnesses and the most recent witnesses have condemned it. It is quite true that Sir Charles Hotham does not recommend the unconditional withdrawal of the squadron, and that he expresses an opinion that if that were done the small speculators in slaves would increase; but he expresses that opinion with the modesty which belongs to his character, and observes, "My opinion on that subject is only a speculative opinion." Let not the House suppose that because Sir Charles Hotham does not recommend the unconditional withdrawal of the squadron, he is not convinced of its utter inability to put down the slave trade. He tells you that it is impossible to put it down—that no force which you can place in his hands will enable him to repress it; and his substitute for an armed force is, that you must have a treaty with Brazil, permitting a modified and limited importation of slaves into that country. Is there any doubt about Sir Charles Hotham's opinion on the subject? I ask my hon. Friend how Sir Charles Hotham would vote, if he were here to-night? Why, he would be one of the most zealous, as well as one of the most able, of the supporters of the Motion. I am reluctant to weary the House with extracts from his evidence; but I say that he inculcates absolutely and positively the removal of the squadron, though he says that you must grant to Brazil a modified licence for the importation of slaves. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade has made a speech to-night, in which he has referred to those motives which produced a fixed disposition in the mind of man, to induce us to follow up the policy in which we have so long embarked; but when I find him making use of these general considerations, I cannot but observe that this is a speech which may be made every year for generations to come, as it might have been made in any year for generations past. I must beg to qualify that remark, as it is but one generation since we began our present system of policy; but as the right hon. Gentleman's speech might have been made in any year during the past decade, so it may be made any year in the next. This is the question to which I wish the House to address its mind. Are we to adopt this system as a permanent system, and make it one of the institutions of the country? Are we to go on with such success or failure as it may entail upon us, or are we to look the question fairly in the face and determine what is to be done? I must say that the Committee did not deserve to be taunted on account of the time at which this Motion is brought forward. They felt the inconvenience which the publication of their report would occasion to the Executive Government; and so strongly was this feeling entertained, that in June, 1848, when the report could have been carried by a considerable majority, and when they learned, on what they believed to be the best authority that if the report were not presented that year, the interval that might elapse might be turned to the best account by treaties with other Powers for the suppression of the slave trade, they abstained from presenting it. That was in the summer of 1848, and we are now in the spring of 1850; yet what progress has been made? The right hon. Gentleman tells us of the purchase of forts; but what are we to do with forts, when there are four thousand miles of coast? The right hon. Gentleman says that 1,500 miles of coast are not exactly clear at present, but that they will be clear; but even if that should turn out to be correct, what then? Sir Charles Hotham says that the moment you stop the slave trade at one place, it breaks out at another, and it must be remembered that there are 4,000 miles of coast from Morocco to the Orange River. The right hon. Gentleman speaks of the influence of Liberia, and a very salutary influence it exercises; but my hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead does not mean to say that the Government should maintain an indifference on the subject of the slave trade. On the contrary, wherever a Government was found inimical to that traffic, whether that of Liberia on the west coast of Africa, or the Portuguese settlements on the east coast, we ought to aid that Government, and not shrink from any sacrifice to give them effectual assistance. It is not the amount of the sacrifice which the maintenance of the squadron involves that I so much object to, as to its uselessness, and the mischiefs to which its presence on the coast gives rise. What has the squadron done? Has it extinguished the slave trade? No. Is it making any progress towards the extinction of the trade? I want to call the attention of the House to that point. My hon. Friend in the course of the able speech which he made referred to the capture of twenty vessels at Ambriz, made by Sir Charles Hotham; but Sir Charles Hotham says that that was an accident, and that he took them by surprise, getting there six months before he was expected. No doubt there had been an abundance of gallant transactions, but the question is, whether, on the whole, we are making progress, and what progress we are making; because, if I could see a bonâ fide progress made, I should be willing to go on, in the hope of attaining a good so incalculably great as the repression of the slave trade. But as far as I can see at present, your squadrom imposes a tax of 10 or 15 per cent on the slave trade, and that is the very outside. You have already inflicted some loss upon the dealers, and have given the traffic a character partaking more of hazard and adventure than it before possessed; but does this squadron govern the price in Brazil? Does the price in Brazil vary with the efficiency of the squadron? Is that the case or not? In 1828, according to the purchases entered in the book of an estate there, the price of a slave varied from 300 to 350 milreis. In 1844, the price varied from 700 to 800 milreis; and I ask you whether the squadron has been more or less effective since? Why, we all know that it has been much more effective—that the force has been greatly augmented, and placed under the command of a man almost unequalled for the performance of such a duty, and yet what has been the price since? In 1848, in the face of this squadron which governs the price in Brazil, the price has been reduced by the redundancy of the supply to from 300 to 350 milreis. I observe that this is an assumed estimate, and therefore, that I may be quite accurate, I will take the price in 1847, when it was from 400 to 450 milreis. There is no reason for doubting the accuracy of the returns made by the Foreign Office as to the number of captures effected. Since 1840—and in taking 1840 I take it because it is the period since which the squadron is said, on the whole, to have been in a state of inefficiency, and consequently of increasing-effect—in 1840, our captures were 6 per cent; in 1841, 13 per cent; in 1842, 13 per cent; in 1843, 5 per cent; in 1844, 9 per cent; in 1845, 10 per cent; in 1846, 4 per cent; in 1847, according to some accounts, 4½ per cent. and, according to the most recent account, 8 per cent. Therefore, taking these figures as a whole, there is no progress, but there is rather retrogression on the rival ground occupied by the squadron, and the slavetraders respectively; and while you are improving at a vast cost the organisation of your squadron, the slavetraders have been gaining upon you by improving still more rapidly the organisation of their system; and it appears that a larger proportion of them during the last three years, during the very best period of your squadron, have escaped through your hands, than during the years that preceded that period. Now, Sir, with respect to the admission that I have made, that the squadron imposes a tax on the slave trade, I contend that it was not for the purpose of imposing such a tax that these great and extraordinary efforts were originally undertaken. I don't stand hero to impeach the policy of those who thought that, in consideration of the extraordinary iniquity and the extraordinary miseries of the slave trade, it was right for us to step out of the common course, and make such great efforts some thirty years ago for its suppression. I believe that that was an experiment well worth trying; but in my view it is necessarily an experiment bounded and limited in time. It is not an ordinance of Providence that the government of one nation shall correct the morals of another. I say that for a time, and for a great occasion, it may be right to depart even from that most salutary rule; but I say, that for a long course of years, and especially for that which I think is now before us, namely, an indefinite continuance of the present system if the House rejects the present Motion, or, at any rate, if the opinion of the House is decisively declared against it—I say it is not right to depart from that rule, or you involve yourselves in all sorts of difficulties, and find in the first place that the opinion of your sincerity is destroyed; that you are in constant risk of collision with foreign nations; and that from some cause or combination of causes, you cannot gain your object. It was to extinguish this traffic that these great efforts were undertaken. If you have a rational hope of extinguishing it, then persevere; but if you have none, then begin to think of some other means better adapted to your object. Sir, has there been any cause of a circumstantial nature to which you can point as being fairly chargeable with your failure? Has the squadron been inefficient? Has the Government been inactive? Has the noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Office been sluggish on this subject? For fifteen years nearly out of the last twenty years he has been Secretary of State, and I am glad of it with respect to its hearing on this question; because all the world I think pays, as I believe is justly due, honour to the noble Lord for the zeal and energy with which he laboured in the department of his office for the suppression of the slave trade. We never can stand better, I think, so far as direct negotiation is concerned, than with the noble Lord in respect to this subject. And he has not been inactive; he has always been looking forward to something which he hoped might attain an end. In 1835, he had a distant hope of a treaty with Spain; in 1839 he fixed his hope on the equipment clause; in 1840, he fixed it on the great advantage to be obtained by being enabled to pursue the slaver on the south as well as on the north side of the equator; and in 1840 there was also hope from the Niger expedition; then there were the treaties with France and America, and the hope of a union between the three greatest maritime Powers of the world, in pursuit of this object. Well, these points have been nominally gained, and now where are we? We have not advanced, but we have positively fallen back in respect to the attainment of our object. Nor has the right hon. Gentleman—I must do him the justice to say—nor has the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade at all held out to us a promise that if we give a further lease of the system of repression by force, we shall see some new development of diplomatic means, and a new position of affairs assumed as the consequence. He speaks, indeed, of the multiplication of treaties with the chiefs of Africa, which may be all very well in its way, meaning nothing more nor less than pensions to the African chiefs, to stand in the stead of the profits they receive from the gains of the slavers. This may be all very well as a secondary means, but it is not by means of that trivial minuteness that you can hope to overcome this gigantic and extraordinary evil. But now. Sir, though I certainly look at the pecuniary burden which this system entails upon the people of England as a very serious one—for I believe that not even the 700,000l. to meet the charge is really all that is entailed on the country, although it may be something like the limit of the direct charges that are placed on the item which you can visibly connect with it; yet I say that is not my main motive—I am not governed in the main by a desire to get rid of this charge. I want to grapple with the question fairly, as a question of humanity and of philanthropy. And I say, admitting that every man's conclusion on such a subject ought to be under certain reserves, yet I declare it is the best judgment that I can arrive at on the question, after endeavouring to become acquainted with the facts, that the continuance of the present system of repression does not diminish, but, on the contrary, has a tendency to increase the sum of human wretchedness. Now, Sir, that is the ground on which, I challenge the judgment of this House. It seems to me that the evidence goes to that extent; and, if this be so, I trust it is to that point that the arguments of our opponents will be directed, because it has often happened that the misery of man has been increased by persons who thought that they were promoting his happiness. And we must not allow any of these topics which address themselves to the imagination, we must not allow any indisposition to a change of policy, or any respect for the motives of those who have gone before us, to prevent us from adjusting our course to the circumstances of the times, if we perceive that these circumstances have undergone an essential change. Now, how are we to come at this question, whether the squadron does or does not increase the sum of human suffering? On what evidence are we to go? We must content ourselves necessarily with indirect evidence. But I observe that this direct evidence all goes to this point—that the sufferings arising from the traffic at the present moment are far greater than they were wont to be in earlier times. I am sorry that I have not at hand the work of Sir Thomas Buxton, but it will be recollected that after a careful detail of the horrors and miseries of the slave trade as it was in the period before the Act of Sir W. Dolben, he uses some expressions to this effect, that dreadful as these sufferings are, they are trivial compared with what are now undergone. And I hope my hon. Friend will therefore see that it is on an authority somewhat high, and I think perfectly dispassionate, that this assertion is propounded in this House. But, Sir, if I go to figures, by what figures, are we to form our judgment? We are told that the calculations of mortality are very imperfect; but at the same time, though they may be imperfect, yet if these are the calculations of the most competent judges, and if they are so decisive in their character as to leave an ample range for accidental errors, and still the substance of the conclusions shall be untouched, I say that we ought not to reject these calculations. Now, what was the state of mortality during the period of the regulation of the British slave trade? During that period it was stated in this House by Mr. Jenkinson that the mortality in English vessels on the middle passage was reduced to three per cent. Mr. Wilberforce placed it at ten per cent. The mortality in Dutch vessels was five to seven per cent according to Mr. Jenkinson, and in French vessels, ten per cent; but still it was perfectly plain that ten per cent was the maximum of this variety of estimate of the mortality. That was under the Regulation Act of Sir William Dolben. And what are the estimates now? Mr. Bandinel makes an estimate of twenty-four per cent. You tell us that this is on very imperfect data; but it is the evidence which an intelligent man, after thirty years' experience with a more comprehensive knowledge than any other individual, finds best for yielding on the whole a just conclusion. But is Mr. Bandinel's estimate entirely beyond the margin of the others? If you go to them, I understood it to be said, his estimates will not stand under you. But, I ask, what is the estimate of Sir Thomas Buxton? It is that the mortality of the middle passage for a course of years previous to the time when he wrote, namely, 1840, cannot be taken at less than thirty-three per cent. Why, Sir, if we look again at the evidence of fact, which, though it may not go so directly to the point, yet it is in itself more capable of being correctly tested—suppose you take the crowding of the slaves in the ships—I think, on the whole, that this is not a very unfair test to refer to with respect to the sufferings and the mortality. I find in the report of the Committee of the House of Lords, Mr. Stokes's evidence, who says, he shall show, as he was invited to do, that the crowding before the slave trade was regulated, sixty years ago, in the slave ships, was greater, or at all events quite as great as it is now. And what does he do? He quotes certain cases, and I find in all that he quotes the proportion of slaves carried to the tonnage of the vessels is between five slaves to three tons, and three slaves to two tons. There is no very great variation between these proportions. Now there are other facts. When Sir William Dolben's Act was introduced, all that the slavetraders asked that they might be permitted to carry was two slaves for every ton. This was the maximum to which they aspired—the extreme case which they then contemplated. Well, how does this matter stand now? Look to the returns in the books for 1847 and 1848. I have taken pains carefully to examine them. I find that the average number of slaves, instead of being three slaves to two tons, is very nearly eight slaves to two tons. And I find, instead of two slaves or three to one ton being an extremely exceptional case, nine slaves and ten to one ton are instances that not unfrequently present themselves. Then I say, with such a state of crowding, that such a change in the number of slaves carried according to the tonnage, must greatly increase the mortality; and let it always be recollected that while I speak of the mortality sixty years ago, I speak of the mortality on a passage of more than fifty days; and when I speak of the mortality now, I speak of the mortality compressed within little more than half that space, because I believe it is not far from the mark to say that ships now perform the voyage in from twenty-five to thirty days, being only a moiety of what the length of the voyage used to be. But if there is a great increase of mortality, if I say the increase is ten per cent. I do not think that that is an immoderate estimate considering the figures I have already quoted. And if there has been this increase of ten cent in the mortality, I ask what does that mean, and what does that come to? Why, it means this, that this increase of mortality absorbs every year the lives of between 8,000 and 9,000 slaves in the middle passage; and that number is much larger than the number to which in any year you have given liberty, by the united efforts of all your cruisers. And, if you only, by all your labours, liberate 5,000 or 6,000 slaves, you will cause the additional deaths of 8,000 or 0,000, and aggravate the sufferings of the rest. I ask then if I am not right in stating it as a most probable opinion, that the mass of human sufferings, as far as relates to those who are carried across the ocean, is increased by the repressive system which you are now pur- suing. Well, Sir, of course we shall be asked what other course do you propose—what else can be done? For my part, I so much feel the difficulty of that question, that if any rational course can be pointed out which would afford us the hope of success in our present pursuit, as I have already said, I should be perfectly ready to embrace it. But, in my opinion, we have come to the time when we ought sincerely and deliberately to ask ourselves what are the conditions necessary to give us a reasonable chance of success in the system of force and repression? I don't deny that there are imaginable and conceivable conditions which might enable you to struggle even against the slave trade; but I do not think there are any imaginable conditions which give you anything like a certainty of putting it down. The attempt might be made to put it down as if it were piracy; but the noble Lord somewhere remarks in his evidence, that although it is morally a far greater crime than piracy, yet by the law of nations it is not regarded as so great a crime; and it differs from piracy in this, that hideous as is its moral character, yet it has, if you look to its exterior merely, all the conditions of a great branch of commerce. I believe that it is impossible to put down a great branch of commerce such as this by the exercise of mere force, having in my mind, as I have, the remarkable saying of Sir Josiah Child. But if we really wished effectually to put down the slave trade, what would be the proper course to adopt? The first and most essential of all to be done is to induce a general belief among other nations of the world of our sincerity of purpose. I do not believe that there is that general impression among other nations of the earth. I am certain that if there were that impression among the nations of the world, there would be more of real co-operation among the Governments. It is very well for my hon. Friend to point to some officers of the American and French squadrons who, animated by the generous spirit of the profession, sympathise with the exertions of our gallant men, and wish them hearty success. But if that is the spirit of the officers, do they represent the Governments of their respective countries? Hon. Members who had read the blue books now before the House would not fail to perceive, in Sir Charles Hotham's evidence, where that offcer is asked his opinions respecting the American squadron, that there was one American officer who did venture to detain a vessel carrying the American flag; and what was the consequence? Not only did the captain meet with the disapprobation of the Government, but he was brought into a court of justice, and so mulcted on account of his conduct, that no one has since been found to copy his example. It is impossible not to feel the disadvantage under which we are placed as to the imputation of sinister motives with other countries. One half of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade consisted of appeals to motives of humanity and philanthropy—the other half, of a description of the great detriment which our West India colonies would undergo if we acceded to this Motion. No doubt these notions were all conceived and converged in the mind of the right hon. Gentleman; but we know that with the introduction of the subject of our colonial interest in a debate upon the repression of this trade, it would be very difficult to persuade foreign nations that the colonial motive was not the real one, and that the other was introduced merely by way of surplusage or ornament. If you wished to maintain that character for perfect sincerity, and sought to propagate among other nations a belief that you intended the repression of the slave trade, and would not allow any other consideration to interfere with it, you should not have passed the Sugar Duties Bill of 1846. It is perfectly intelligible, the hon. Gentleman might say, that motives of convenience and policy, and I know not what other reasons, were sufficient to induce them to pass that Act. I do not enter into that discussion now; but I say, having passed that Act, I defy you to establish your reputation for sincerity among the nations of the earth. If you want to suppress slavery not by force, the first thing you ought to do would be to repeal that Act, in order not only to beget that good opinion in other countries, but because that Act was the most powerful instrument of repression which you had in this country. What is the next thing to be done? At least to double or treble the present squadron. Instead of forty or fifty, you would require between eighty and one hundred vessels at least. [An Hon. MEMBER: No, no!] An hon. and gallant Member opposite appears to doubt that. It is the opinion, however, of many naval officers, and the opinion also of Sir Charles Hotham, who stated, in addition to that, that he believed that no increase of our naval force would enable us to succeed in it. If hon. Members would read the evidence, they would see that what he had stated was correct. I am now speaking, of course, of sailing vessels. A sailing vessel, it appears, cannot watch more than about thirty miles; if, then, you have some 2,200 or 2,500 miles to watch—if the hon. and gallant Member, who, I perceive, still expresses his dissent, will perform that little sum, he will see that what I have stated is correct. What is the next thing to be done? You must obtain the right of search, and particularly from France; for it is plain that you must have security against the employment of the French flag, and you must likewise obtain the right to stop those persons who are now described as "neutrals," sailing under the American and Sardinian flags, and particularly the American, which consorts with the Brazilian and Portuguese, with two flags, two sets of papers, and two captains on board ship. So that the same vessel which sails from America with an American captain, American flag, and American crew, when she arrives at, or leaves a slave port, has a Brazilian or Portuguese captain, and with papers of one or other of those two countries, or none at all, as it suits her convenience. From Sardinia you may be able to obtain that right, but certainly not from America. Then it is said that you must do something for the punishment of the crew. Dr. Lushington says that all your efforts will be futile until you can punish the crew. Some persons propose that you should hang them, some that you should hang the captain only; others, again, propose a limited number, three, I believe—a quorum; a fourth proposition is, that you should imprison or transport them. Dr. Lushington says, transport them, with the right of reclaiming them by their respective Governments, I will take them all, without stopping to inquire into which is the better mode of dealing with them. But is there any man in this House who knows what is the temper of the rulers of the world towards each other who will for a moment believe that it ever will be permitted to England to exercise penal rights over the subjects of other nations I would wish hon. Gentlemen would consider that subject if they entertain any belief that they are able to suppress the slave trade by punishing the crew. Supposing we could get slave trade declared to be piracy, and had power to deal with it as such—I grant, supposing we get rid of some other things, that there would be a probability of putting an end to the trade. There is another thing, which shows almost that Providence has designed that no one nation shall deal with the affairs of other countries. We have made treaties with Spain and Brazil which are broken every day. We have a treaty with Brazil, which she has broken every day for the last twenty years. We have tried to secure the freedom of the Emancipados; we endeavoured to make the Brazilians declare it a crime to import slaves into Brazil. This treaty has been repeatedly broken, and we have a perfect right to demand its fulfilment; and if we have the right to demand it, we have the right to do so at the point of the sword in case of refusal. We have now a perfect right to go to Brazil, and call upon her to emancipate every slave imported since 1830, and upon, refusal, to make war with them even to extermination. The justice of your demand could not be doubted. The noble Lord opposite has been in the Foreign Office with zeal and ability for the last fifteen years, and the Earl of Aberdeen for the other five years, yet neither of them ever entertained the idea of making or enforcing this demand upon Brazil. You would not dare to go to war upon this question with Brazil, much less with those whom you would find in the rear to support her. You must first, then, if you wish to suppress the slave trade, repeal the Sugar Duties Bill; double your squadron; obtain the right of search from France and America; obtain the power to treat slave trade as piracy, and those engaged in it as pirates; and you must compel Spain and Brazil to fulfil their treaties. If you have all these five, I grant that it might be right to make some further trial to put down the slave trade by repression. The first two you might do: you cannot the three last, it would belong to other nations to do that; and we know full well that they would not consent to it. With respect to forts, martello towers, and multiplication of treaties with black chiefs, if they are to be looked upon as the principal means of our suppressing the slave trade, they become, instead of secondary aids, little better than means for blinding the people of England to the true merits and real state of the case. When I see the fact, that with the assistance of our squadron we are making no advance, but on the contrary losing ground, I am compelled to consider the question in its whole breadth, and to set aside those feelings which certainly would have inclined me, if I could have done so, to accede to the policy which has been hitherto pursued, and, more especially, because I confess that I think it is impossible to point to any one definite measure as a substitute for the present system of repression by force, which will at once attain the end we have in view. But I must protest against simply, as I have said before—against anything like indifference on the part of the British Government to follow the abandonment of that repression by force. I apprehend under any circumstances the British Government will use effectual means for preventing its own subjects from engaging in the slave trade. I confess I see no reason why the British Government should not give aid in cases such as that of the Portuguese settlement upon the eastern coast, where the parties are endeavouring to put down the slave trade. With respect to Cuba and Brazil, I do not think full justice has been done to either of those countries. The abolition of slavery in Cuba has been alluded to as a great triumph of our squadron. But why, then, has the importation of slaves been increasing in Brazil? By what magic, or charm, or secret influence was it that our cruisers always happened to hit upon the vessels intended for Cuba, and so seldom upon those intended for the Brazils? These vessels were all taken on the coast of Africa; and if the amount of captures averages only 6 or 7 per cent upon the whole, how was it that all were destined for Cuba, and so few for the Brazils? With respect to the Brazils, he believed it nothing better than most unmitigated iniquity to say that the feelings of the people there were dead to every manly and Christian feeling. Are there no persons in Brazil who are opposed to slavery? The noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Office stated, in his evidence before the Committee, that there was a considerable party growing up in the Brazils on the principle of anti-slavery. I ask you to consider the position and prospect in which the members of that party stand, and how their secret influence and power of doing good is affected by your present system. The result of your present system must, I think, inevitably come in contact with the spirit of national independence in Brazil. I ask what would have happened to us, supposing our case, sixty years ago, had been that of Brazil at present? We were then pursuing the slave trade, and were the greatest slave-traders in the world. Suppose there had been some other nation, which was then half a century more advanced than us in the career of humanity and philanthropy, who abolished the slave trade for itself, and, acting upon its conscientious feelings, prevented us from getting any slaves, and in negotiations with us compelled us to the adoption of measures painful and repulsive to our feelings—I say in that state of things the progress of liberal opinions in this country would not have endured that interference, and the blood of every Englishman would have risen against the foreign intervention. If that would be our case 50 or 60 years ago, why may it not be the case of Brazil now? I say, therefore, it is not visionary to look for that better growth of feeling in the people there. It should be remembered also that the immediate instruments of the slave trade are not Brazilians. The planters are Brazilians, but the slave merchants are Portuguese; and I think it was shown in the evidence before the House of Commons, as well as in that given before the House of Lords, that these Portuguese merchants are looked upon with jealousy by the people, that they are not popular in Brazil, and that therefore there is an additional ground for hope afforded that the feelings of the people there will alter. But, independently of the feelings of humanity and religion—independently, I say, of those feelings derived from the Christian religion which they profess—I contend that motives of policy will come in aid of those better feelings for suppressing the slave trade, should the squadron be withdrawn. Mind, I do not say that the immediate effect of the withdrawal of the squadron would not be to increase the importation of slaves. That I think not impossible. Such might naturally be the case at first after abandoning suppressive measures. But, considering that the price of slaves in Brazil diminished one-half, whilst our squadron was being decreased, I am inclined to agree with Sir Charles Hotham, when he says that the commercial wants of the country regulate the supply. But it ought also to be recollected, that of the 6,500,000 of the population of Brazil, about 900,000 and odd are whites, and six-sevenths free blacks, Indians, and negroes; and, under these circumstances, I think that prudential considerations alone would speedily bring about the effect of limiting within narrow bounds the importation of negroes. But we have been told by the noble Lord, and by an abundance of other witnesses, that there is already this anti-slavery feeling in Brazil, and that we ought not to do anything to thwart it. Sir, there was a time when the Brazilian Government were disposed to make those overtures which are now desired. Ten years ago they made a proposition to the Government of this country for the extinction of the slave trade. That proposal did not meet with the favourable reception it deserved, although I think it was made in a bonâ fide spirit; and I therefore say, that however much you may deplore the policy of Brazil, you are not justified in saying, if the squadron is withdrawn, there will be an unlimited accession to the slave trade. I think, on the contrary, they would impose regulations on that slave trade, that they would endeavour to mitigate the sufferings of the slaves, and would introduce oilier measures in that direction. Sir, my hopes are more slender than I could wish, and than I have had pointed out to me in connexion with the present system; for it appears to me that whatever may have been the zeal and activity you may have employed—whatever the liberality in the expenditure of public money—whatever the valour and skill of our officers, and the success of our treaty engagements with other nations, the object you have in view eludes your grasp; the slavetrader mocks your vigilance; and while you are in pursuit of that end which philanthropists hold most dear, you are only increasing those sufferings which it is your object and your desire to prevent.


Sir, I own that I am more anxious than I ever remember to have been before, that the House, in coming to a decision on this subject, should be impressed with a due sense of its importance. It is a subject, I think, the importance of which it is quite impossible to exaggerate, or even to state in its full bearing. But, Sir, to give some idea of its importance, allow me to remind the House that at the beginning of this century England had slaves in all her colonies—that we carried on and permitted the slave trade—and that the other Powers of Europe which possessed colonies likewise sanctioned stavery. In the course of time—almost at the beginning of this century, we have seen the Parliament of England abolish the slave trade; we have seen Eng- land, by the Treaty of Paris, make stipulations with all the nations of Europe declaring the condemnation of the slave trade; we have seen slavery itself abolished by an Act of the English Parliament; we have seen the slave trade practically, effectually, and entirely abolished, both by Franco and the United States; and we have seen slavery itself, very lately, abolished in France and Denmark. We have seen, likewise, that countries in Africa, which, not many years ago, were the strongholds of the slave trade, have been rescued from that criminal traffic, and the peaceful rights of industry and trade flourish in those countries which had been the temples of that horrible idol. Sir, it is these triumphs of humanity which I have shortly enumerated, which, having now been won for half a century, we are asked to stultify, by a retrograde step—by undoing all that which we have hitherto done—proclaiming to the world by this first step that we will no longer take those measures against the slave trade which we have hitherto taken—that we have no substitute to put in their place, and thereby spreading discouragement in every part of the world, and amongst those nations which, admiring our example, and feeling the truth of those Christian maxims we have professed, and wishing practically to act in the same manner, are endeavouring to follow those maxims, and abolish this horrible crime. To refer only to that country to which the right hon. Gentleman last alluded, namely, Brazil. The right hon. Gentleman states that my noble Friend near me gave evidence to the effect that a party in Brazil had sprung up hostile to the slave trade. But since that evidence was given, later accounts have come from Brazil; and those later accounts, I am sorry to say, represent that party as utterly extinct. But, Sir, I do not think the right hon. Gentleman, in the beginning of his speech, gave a very correct account of the objects and effects of this Motion. He said that it was necessary, as a first stop, and in order that we should be free to consider what we should hereafter do, that we should relieve ourselves of those treaty obligations which we have with France. Now, every Gentleman will remember that the treaty with France arose from the repugnance felt in France, and from the objections expressed in the French popular Assembly, to allowing a right of search to us; they will remember, also, that, as a substitute, it was proposed to put cruisers on the coast of Africa, in order to prevent the desecration of the French flag. That treaty has been most faithfully observed by France, although the numbers of vessels have been diminished; but I do not say that France and America, or any other country, has manifested the same zeal for carrying out the object which this country has had in view. I have no doubt that if France were asked to relieve you of that obligation, you would be relieved. But if this were done, I ask, could you take that course with respect to the slave trade which you now do? Would not the effect be that every French slaver would hoist the French flag as a cover for his operations, and that you would not have the power to ascertain whether such vessels were pirates, or bonâ fide vessels of France? If such a course were taken, the flags of France and America would be used as a cover for the slave trade, and Great Britain would have no means of checking the system. But I think, Sir, it was hardly worth while for the right hon. Gentleman to put forward the excuse he did for the Motion, as the hon. Gentleman who introduced it and the hon. Gentleman who seconded it did not disguise that they thought this preliminary step necessary—that their object was to restore the slave trade, and, as the hon. Gentleman who seconded the Motion called it, free trade in slaves. Sir, it is that Motion which I am prepared to meet, and which I ask this House not to sanction. But in asking the House not to sanction the Motion, I do not wish to preclude any consideration of the subject which may hereafter be thought advisable. I do not wish to prevent the consideration of any substitute which may appear to the Government or to the Members of this House necessary to secure the better suppression of the slave trade. What I denounce, however, and what I ask the House not to sanction, is simply the reversal of all our past policy, and your saying that you will not take measures for putting down the slave trade by a marine force, or by any other means. Reference has been made to certain evidence given on this subject, alleged to be unfavourable to the carrying on these suppressive measures. But the language used was not to induce the Government or the country to relinquish these means of suppression, but to induce it to sanction additional means, those in force not being sufficient. There is all the difference in the world between using an argument of this kind, and saying that we must give up the task altogether. He heard a little while ago an eloquent speech in this House in favour of the extension of education; and in the course of his statement the hon. Member for Oldham, who brought the subject forward, alluded to the increase of crime and to the number of committals, and showed the insufficiency which existed in the means of repression through the police, the courts of justice, and the gaols, and he therefore urged the adoption of an additional mode of repression by means of education. That hon. Gentleman, however, did not say that, because the existing means of repression have proved insufficient, and as crime has increased, in spite of the police, the courts of justice, and the gaols, therefore we should abolish all of them. This is just the difference between his argument and the argument of the hon. Member who brought forward the present Motion. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Oldham said the means provided by the criminal law for the repression of crime have not proved sufficient, therefore take other means in addition to those you already have. The hon. Member for Gateshead says, in 1849, the means for the repression of the slave trade did not prove sufficient; therefore, let us take off all our ships instantly from the coast of Africa, and put an end to the blockade at all risks. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford speaks of various means which made him think that the means of repression by a squadron are not effective; but in this the right hon. Gentleman made some statements which, if I went through, I should be able to show were not justified by the documents before him. The right hon. Gentleman alluded to the mortality on board the ships previous to Sir William Dolben's Act. I have reason to believe that the returns made on this subject are not of a very accurate character. Indeed Dr. Cliffe said that he gave these returns to Mr. Bandinel, but they were very inaccurate, and were founded on very uncertain data. But, then, the right hon. Gentleman suggests that the trade may be regulated; but there is no certainty or even probability to justify him in thinking so, or to lead to the conclusion that the Government of Brazil would be able so to regulate the middle passage during which such cruel sufferings take place. If we look to the evidence published we shall see there was no prospect of such a measure. My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, stated the grounds of his opinion on this point; I therefore need not go further into it. It has been stated that, on the ground of humanity, this Motion should be adopted, as the squadron for the suppression of the slave trade aggravated the evils of the middle passage. Sir Charles Hotham, whose evidence has been so much relied upon, and whose testimony has been regarded with such high respect, says directly the reverse, and also says that if the trade was set entirely free they could not find the means of transporting the additional number of slaves, and therefore the horrors of the slave trade would be increased. Captain Matson also told the Lords' Committee, in answer to the question as to whether there would be more humanity in the traffic of slaves if the squadron was removed, replied that he doubted whether there would be more or less, as they would be crowded as much as ever in the voyage across; and he adds, if the slave treaties were at an end, he did not believe the life of a slave in Brazil would be worth a year's purchase. This would arise from the cheapness of the slaves. He was asked whether he did not think the presence of the squadron added to the sufferings of the slaves on their passage: in reply he said he knew the time when the slave trade was a legal commerce, and the sufferings were as great as afterwards. The slaves were sent in the worst class of vessels, generally ships with deep holds, in which many were placed, and there were two tiers of planks all round the interior of the vessel, and the only admission of air to the slaves was down the centre of the ship, but they were now conveyed in smaller vessels, but on only one deck, so that their sufferings were not probably so great. Such were the opinions of Sir Charles Hotham and Captain Matson, who also considered, from the nature of the vessels which would be employed in the trade, that the disease and sufferings of the slaves in their passage would be greater if they set the slave trade free, than if they continued the present system of repression. One of the main reasons which has been urged in favour of this proposition is the economical one of saving expenditure. As we proceeded in the debate, so far as the ground of economy was concerned, I very much felt the little force there was in favour of those who supported the Motion on this ground, The hon. Gentleman who made the Motion said that the expenditure under this head amounted to 700,000l., or probably to 800,000l. But when we came to estimate the charge, I find that Sir Charles Hotham said that if the squadron was withdrawn we should still have to keep ten or twelve vessels on the coast of Africa where we now keep twenty-six. Thus, then, it appears that, whatever course we might take we should still he liable to nearly half the expenditure. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford, said he would not give up all the force while they had the means of representing the slave trade; for if he found Portugal wishing to suppress that traffic, he should wish this country to aid it. But how was this to be done? By means of advice and moral example; from which I fear little would be gained, or by means of our sailors and marines? If the right hon. Gentleman means the latter, then the object of this Motion would be defeated. I think, therefore, it is impossible to believe that we can diminish the sufferings of the middle passage; on the contrary, that we shall aggravate it by withdrawing our squadron—that is to say, if we abandon the coast of Africa altogether, and give up that protection to our commerce which, in all other parts of the world, is thought necessary, and which. I say, we never can do, for if ever there was a commerce in the world for the protection of which a British naval force should be present to give aid, it was to that British commerce which had sprung up in those places where slavery formerly existed, and which must be given up, unless it received protection. Sir Charles Hotham said on this point, that the lives of British subjects would not be safe without some force on the coast; and the great witness of the Committee (Dr. Cliffe), upon whose testimony so much reliance has been placed on the other side, said something to the same effect, for he stated that there would be a great deal of angry passion and revengeful feeling existins on the coast of Africa, in consequence of the attempts made by Great Britain to repress the slave trade, so that violence towards British subjects might be anticipated; it, therefore, would be necessary to keep up some force. If these are the main reasons which have been brought forward for the Motion, I ask the House to consider what would be the evils its adoption would produce? I will here, again, state the opinion of Sir Charles Hotham on this point. He was asked what would be the effect of withdrawing the squadron, and his reply was that he entertained the opinion that the withdrawal of the squadron would be most injurious to the honour of this great country which had for such a long period contended for the destruction of the slave trade, if this was done, and nothing substituted in its place. Sir Charles Hotham may be right or wrong in this opinion, but it is a fair question for Parliament to consider whether this country may not substitute for the present system another more effective one for the suppression of the slave trade; but do not proceed, with the hon. Gentleman, to withdraw and sweep away the present plan without the substitution of any other. My first objection to the plan is, that it would be highly injurious to the honour of the country; in the next place, I think, without a greater force than that which we now keep up, we can preserve from the slave trade those parts of Africa which have been rescued from the horrors of it. If the squadron was removed there would be such an immense rush to purchase slaves at the opening of the slave trade, that attempts would be made by violence to substitute in those parts the slave trade for that legitimate commerce which now existed there. We must recollect that the slave trade existed there formerly, and had been destroyed; but when you consider the high profit of the slave trade on the African coast, the chiefs seeing the indifference of England to the revival of the trade, they might be induced to change their system, if effectual means were not taken to protect English commerce from attacks. My next objection is, that such an impetus would be given to the slave trade that it would destroy all civilisation in Africa, and it would put an end to all hopes of introducing civilisation and Christianity into the interior of Africa, and no hopes could then he entertained that the slave trade would ever be suppressed. In the next place, we must consider the effect which would be produced by an immense importation of slaves under a free slave trade into Brazil. We may gather from the evidence of Lord Howden the enormous profits of this trade. That noble Lord had stated, when examined before the Committee of the other House, that a cargo of slaves which cost 5,000 dollars on the coast of Africa, sold in Brazil for 25,000, thus making 500 per cent profit on the venture. If such was the gain and profit in this trade, numbers of small capitalists would enter into it, and might reduce the profit a little by competi- tion; but an immense quantity of the slaves would be destroyed in the passage. It is at present stated, that there are in Brazil immense tracts of land as well adapted for the cultivation of sugar as the finest portions of Trinidad or Demerara, and if there was an opening for the free admission of slaves, those parts of Brazil would be cultivated for sugar. I need hardly say, an immense deal of suffering would follow. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford said that he would put the question as to whether the mass of human suffering would increase or diminish by passing this resolution. I say there can he no doubt that, under the circumstances I have stated, there would be an immense increase of suffering in Africa, an immense increase in Brazil by the extension of the African slave trade, and the introduction of such a mass of slaves into Brazil. Now, what are the speculations going on at Brazil at the present time? On seeing the Committee which sat last year and the year before had made a report, they entertained the opinion that it is probable this country will abandon all efforts for the suppression of the slave trade, and that thus they can obtain an unlimited supply of slave labour. Some, indeed, go so far as to say that they should be able to cultivate sugar at such a cheap rate that no country could compete with them, so that they would furnish the whole supply of sugar for the European markets. It is admitted on all hands, and it is supported by the testimony of all the witnesses examined, that if our squadron were removed in the first instance, there would be an immense importation of slaves into Brazil. Conceive, then, the effect of this immense production of sugar, and what would follow? This brings me to another question, which the right hon. Gentleman lightly touched upon, but with which our honour and interests are deeply involved. I mean the effect that would be produced on our West India colonies by the competition with Brazil, if we thus set free the slave trade. I am not going to argue the question of the sugar duties of 1846, but I fully admit that by the abolition of slavery in our colonies in 1833, and by the abolition of the prohibitive duties on slave grown sugar in 1846, we have placed our West Indian colonists at great disadvantage. I am happy to feel, however, that the opinions I stated on both those occasions, that they would be able to bear these shocks, and would found the cultivation of sugar on a new basis, have not been entirely disappointed. On the contrary, I observe, in the returns of the produce of sugar in 1849, that there has been a great increase since 1845 and 1846. The quantity produced in 1849 was greater than that produced in 1846, and it is now shown that the Africans who immigrated into the West Indian colonies, will work for less wages than they formerly demanded. But after these great advances, would it be reasonable or expedient, by allowing an immense increase in the number of slaves in Brazil, to set the produce of that great number of slaves against the produce of our West Indian colonies? It would be more than the West India islands would be able to bear. They would be unable to stand under such competition. That of itself would not only be a great misfortune, as regards our interests, but a great misfortune in the contest between free and slave labour. But there are other and conclusive reasons against the Motion now proposed. In the first place, it would give a great and increased activity to the slave trade. It would disturb the civilisation of Africa, and would expose to ruinous competition the produce of the free labour of the West Indies. But the right hon. Gentleman asked what it is that we propose to do in carrying out the present system. Now, Sir, during the last three years, I believe that we have, on the coast of Africa, been making great progress in the abolition of the slave trade. That it has not been utterly suppressed—that it will not utterly be suppressed by the means in use, I admit; but the greater the territory to be civilised, and the greater the area from which the slave trade is ex cluded, the less is the evil with which you have to cope, and the more amenable it will become. The Committee are indeed careful to reprobate all usages of force. They tell you that the destruction of barracoons, the infliction of the pains and penalties of piracy on the captains and crews of slavers, are not to be thought of as remedies for the evil to be dealt with. Now, for my own part, I think that the destruction of barracoons and the capture of forts on the coast of Africa, are most powerful means for the suppression of the slave trade in the territories immediately under our control. All the evidence we have, proves this to be the case. I expect, therefore, much advantage from continuing the destruction of those barracoons. Now, Sir, allusion has been made to the opinion of Europe as to our policy and our efforts for the destruction of the slave trade. In what I have already stated, I mentioned that a great change in the public opinion of Europe had taken place since the commencement of our efforts. My opinion is, that if you were to address the different Powers of Europe, that you would find opinion to be now more enlightened on this subject than it was when, in 1815, we began to inform them of our views in relation to slavery. I believe that if England, France, and the United States of America, having each of them suppressed their own slave trade, were to use language not unfriendly, but at the same time firm, to Spain and to Brazil—that such language from countries so united, so free, and so powerful, would have a very great effect indeed. That Spain and Brazil would despise that warning, I am not ready to believe. If they did so—if they took no measures for the suppression of the trade, then you would again have to consider the whole question'—to consider what progress you had made—whether the slave trade had been more depressed in the current year than in the last—and what are the means for its most effectual abolition. That there are such means I do not think anybody will deny, but they are means condemned and reprobated by the majority of that Committee, who, having been appointed to consider the best means for the effectual abolition of the slave trade, appear to have had no other thought than how to condemn and reprobate the very means by which the slave trade can be extinguished, and how best to leave alive and unhampered the means by which it can be fostered and nurtured. But as to the suppression of the slave trade I will not despond—I believe despondency in a great cause to be in itself a main cause of failure. I can imagine a man saying in 1814, that for three centuries the Algerines have carried on their trade of plunder, piracy, robbery, and the carrying into captivity of Ohristians—that as this scheme had lasted for three centuries, no one could be so wild, so Utopian, and so insane as to expect it to be put an cud to. Sir, the very next year saw the termination of that practice of three centuries, and the scheme of carrying Christians into captivity put an end to and abolished. Sir, if this cause is so good as to have enlisted the different nations of the world in its favour—with the exception only of Spain in one of its colonies, and of the empire of Brazil—then I consider it to be a cause anything but hopeless. Nothing can destroy it, save such an amount of moral courage as the hon. Gentleman the mover of this Motion displays. Nothing but our being fainthearted on this subject, and saying that we are unable to cope with the great evils to be met, will finally give a permanent sway and supremacy to the slave trade. There are, Sir, other considerations and other motives which may influence the House in coming to a decision on this question. Sir, we have been blessed with great mercies during the past year. We have more than once had to thank Almighty God for the dispensations of his goodness. It appears, then, to me that if we were now to say that the trade in man—that this unhallowed and cruel traffic, against which England for near fifty years has been working by the efforts of her greatest statesmen and her best and bravest sailors—that if we were to decide to allow this trade to be pursued freely and unhampered, that we should no longer have a right to expect a continuance of the signal blessings which we have enjoyed. I think, Sir, that the high, the moral, and the Christian character of this nation, is the main source and secret of its strength; and that if this night you come to direct the Foreign Minister of the Crown to go forth with a dastardly message to France; that if we give up this high and holy work, and proclaim ourselves to be no longer fitted to lead in the championship against the curse and the crime of slavery, that we have no longer a right to expect a continuance of those blessings which, by God's favour, we have so long enjoyed.


wished to be allowed to explain the reasons of the vote which he would this night give against a Government the general policy of which he cordially concurred with. He would support the Motion of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Gateshead, because he thought that its success would prevent this country from continuing to attempt the moral government of the world on principles which, to his understanding, had ever been and were still condemned by the moral Governor of the Universe in every page of his works.


, in reply, was understood to complain that it had been unwarrantably assumed by the opponents of his Motion that he had no plan for the abolition of the slave trade in reserve, but at that late hour he would not take up the time of the House by its development.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 154; Noes 232: Majority 78.

List of the AYES.
Aglionby, H. A. Hastie, A.
Alcock, T. Heneage, G. H. W.
Archdall, Capt. M. Henry, A.
Bagot, hon. W. Herbert, H. A.
Baldwin, C. B. Hervey, Lord A.
Bankes, G. Heyworth, L.
Beresford, W. Hildyard, R. C.
Berkeley, hon. G. F. Hildyard, T. B. T.
Best, J. Hodgson, W. N.
Boldero, H. G. Hornby, J.
Bouverie, hon. E P. Hudson, G.
Bramston, T. W. Hume, J.
Bright, J. Jackson, W.
Broadley, H. Jocelyn, Visct.
Bulkeley, Sir R. B. W. Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Keating, R.
Burroughes, H. N. Ker, R.
Cabbell, B. B. King, hon. P. J. L.
Carew, W. H. P. Knight, F. W.
Castlereagh, Visct. Knox, Col.
Cavendish, hon. C. H. Langston, J. H.
Cayley, E. S. Lennox, Lord A. G.
Charteris, hon. F. Lennox, Lord H. G.
Chatterton, Col. Leslie, C. P.
Childers, J. W. Lockhart, W.
Christopher, R. A. Lowther, hon. Col.
Cobbold, J. C. Mandeville, Visct.
Cobden, R. Mangles, R. D.
Cocks, T. S. Manners, Lord G.
Colobrooke, Sir T. E. Manners, Lord J.
Coles, H. B. March, Earl of
Colvile, C. R. Masterman, J.
Damer, hon. Col. Maxwell, hon. J. P.
Deedes, W. Meux, Sir. H.
Denison, J. E. Miles, W.
Dick, Q. Milner, W. M. E.
Duckworth, Sir J. T. B. Molesworth, Sir W.
Duff G. S. Mowatt, F.
Duncan, Visct. Mundy, W.
Duncan, G. Muntz, G. F.
Duncombe, hon. A. Naas, Lord
Duncombe, hon. O. Newry & Morne, Via
Dundas, G. Ossulston, Lord
Du Pre, C. G. Packe, C. W.
East, Sir J. B. Palmer, R.
Ellis, J. Pilkington, J.
Estcourt, J. B. B. Plowden, W. H. C.
Evelyn, W. J. Portal, M.
Farrer, J. Prime, R.
Fitzroy, hon. H. Rendlesham, Lord
Fordyce, A. D. Ronton, J. C.
Forester, hon. G. C. W. Rushout, Capt.
Fox, S. W. L. Salwey, Col.
Frewen, C. H. Sandars, G.
Fuller, A. E. Scholefield, W.
Galway, Visct. Seymer, H. K.
Gaskell, J. M. Sibthorp, Col.
Gladstone, rt. hon. W. E. Simeon, J.
Gooch, E. S. Smith, J. B.
Gore, W. R. O. Smyth, J. G.
Greene, J. Smythe, hon. G.
Grosvenor, Lord R. Smollett, A.
Gwyn, H. Sotheron, T. H. S.
Hall, Sir B. Stafford, A.
Hallyburton, Lord J. F. Stephenson, R.
Halsey, T. P. Stuart, Lord D.
Hamilton, J. H. Stuart, H.
Stuart, J. Verner, Sir W.
Sturt, H. G. Waddington, H. S.
Sullivan, M. Walmsley, Sir J.
Tancred, H. W. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Taylor, T. E. Walter, J.
Thesiger, Sir F. Wegg-Prosser, F. R.
Thicknesse, R. A. Wood, W. P.
Thompson, Ald. Wortley, rt. hon. J. S.
Trelawny, J. S.
Trevor, hon. G. R. TELLERS.
Tyrell, Sir J. T. Hutt, w.
Vane, Lord H. Baillie, H. G.
List of the NOES.
Abdy, Sir T. N. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Acland, Sir T. D. Duff, J.
Adair, R. A. S. Duke, Sir J.
Adderley, C. B. Duncuft, J.
Anderson, A. Dundas, Adm.
Anson, hon. Col. Dundas, rt. hon. Sir D.
Armstrong, Sir A. Dunne, Col.
Armstrong, R. B. Ebrington, Visct.
Arundel and Surrey, Earl of Edwards, H.
Ellice, E.
Ashley, Lord Elliot, hon. J. E.
Bagshaw, J. Enfield, Visct.
Bailey, J. Evans, Sir D. L.
Baines, rt. hon. M. T. Evans, J.
Baring, H. B. Evans, W.
Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. T. Fagan, W.
Barnard, E. G. Fergus, J.
Bellew, R. M. Ferguson, Col.
Berkeley, Adm. Filmer, Sir E.
Berkeley, C. L. G. Fitzwilliam, hon. G.W.
Bernal, R. Forster, M.
Birch, Sir T. B. Fortescue, C.
Blackall, S. W. Freestun, Col.
Blair, S. French, F.
Blake, M. J. Goddard, A. L.
Blakemore, R. Gordon, Adm.
Blandford, Marq. of Grace, O. D. J.
Booth, Sir R. G. Greenall, G.
Bowles, Adm. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Boyle, hon. Col. Grosvenor, Earl
Brand, T. Hanmer, Sir J.
Brocklehurst, J. Harcourt, G. G.
Brockman, E. D. Hardcastle, J. A.
Brotherton, J. Harris, R.
Browne, W. Hastie, A.
Browne, R. D. Hatchell, J.
Bunbury, E. H. Hawes, B.
Buxton, Sir E. N. Hayter, rt. hon. W. G.
Campbell, hon. W. F. Headlam, T. E.
Cardwell, E. Heald, J.
Carter, J. B. Heathcoat, J.
Cavendish, hon. C. C. Herbert, rt. hon. S.
Cavendish, W. G. Heywood, J.
Chaplin, W. J. Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J.
Chichester, Lord J. L. Hobhouse, T. B.
Christy, S. Hodges, T. L.
Clay, J. Hogg, Sir J. W.
Clerk, rt. hon. Sir G. Hollond, R.
Cole, hon. H. A. Hood, Sir A.
Collins, W. Howard, Lord E.
Corry, rt. hon. H. L. Howard, hon. C. W. G.
Cowan, C. Howard, hon. J. K.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Howard, hon. E. G. G.
Craig, Sir W. G. Howard, P. H.
Currie, q. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Dawson, hon. T. V. Jermyn, Earl
D'Eyncourt, rt. hon. C. T. Jervis, Sir J.
Dodd, G. Johnstone, Sir J.
Jones, Capt. Pusey, P.
Keppel, hon. G. T. Rawdon, Col.
Kershaw, J. Reid, Col.
Labouchere, rt. hon. H. Repton, G. W. J.
Lacy, H. C. Reynolds, J.
Lascolles, hon. W. S. Ricardo, J. L.
Lemon, Sir C. Ricardo, O.
Lennard, T. B. Rich, H.
Lewis, rt. hon. Sir T. F. Robartes, T. J. A.
Lewis, G. C. Romilly, Col.
Lindsay, hon. Col. Romilly, Sir J.
Littleton, hon. E. R. Rumbold, C. E.
Loch, J. Russell, Lord J.
Lygon, hon. Gen. Russell, hon. E. S.
Mackie, J. Russell, F. C. H.
Mackinnon, W. A. Sandars, J.
Macnaghten, Sir E. Scully, F.
M'Cullagh, W. T. Seymour, Lord
M'Gregor, J. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Mahon, The O'Gorman Shelburne, Earl of
Marshall, J. G. Sheridan, R. B.
Marshall, W. Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Martin, J. Smith, J. A.
Martin, C. W. Somerville, rt. hon. Sir W.
Matheson, Col, Spooner, R.
Maule, rt. hon. F. Stanley, hon. E. H.
Melgund, Visct. Stanton, W. H.
Miles, P. W. S. Strickland, Sir G.
Milnes, R. M. Stuart, Lord J.
Milton, Visct. Talbot, J. H.
Mitchell, T. A. Tennent, R. J.
Moffatt, G. Thompson, Col.
Moore, G. H. Thornely, T.
Morison, Sir W. Towneley, J.
Morris, D. Townley, R. G.
Mostyn, hon. E. M. L. Townshend, Capt.
Mulgrave, Earl of Tufnell, H.
Norreys, Lord Turner, G. J.
O'Connell, M. Verney, Sir H.
O'Connell, M. J. Vesey, hon. T.
Ogle, S. C. H. Villiers, hon. C.
Ord, W. Wall, C. B.
Owen, Sir J. Walpole, S. H.
Paget, Lord A. Watkins, Col. L.
Paget, Lord C. Wawn, J. T.
Paget, Lord G. Wellesley, Lord C.
Pakington, Sir J. Westhead, J. P. B.
Palmer, R. Willcox, B. M.
Palmerston, Visct. Williams, J.
Parker, J. Willyams, H.
Pechell, Sir G. B. Williamson, Sir H.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir H. Wilson, J.
Peel, F. Wilson, M.
Pelham, hon. D. A. Wodehouse, E.
Perfect, R. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Pigott, F. Wyld, L
Pinney, W. Wyvill, M.
Plumptre, J. P. TELLERS.
Power, Dr. Hill, Lord M.
Power, N. Grey, R. W.

The House adjourned at a quarter after Two o'clock.