HC Deb 19 July 1867 vol 188 cc1769-73

SUPPLY considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

(1.) Motion made, and Question proposed, That a sum, not exceeding £1,500, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1868, for the Civil Establishment of the Bermudas.

Whereupon Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again,"—(Mr. Whalley.)

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question put, and agreed to.

(2.) £2,038, to complete the sum for Ecclesiastical Establishment, British North American Provinces.

(3.) £16,678, to complete the sum for Governors and others, West Indies, &c.

(4.) £4,300, to complete the sum for Justices, West Indies.

(5.) £13,500, to complete the sum for Civil Establishment, Western Coast of Africa.

(6.) £2,230, to complete the sum for St. Helena.

(7.) £500, Orange River Territory.

(8.) £1,100, Heligoland.

(9.) £3,836, to complete the sum for Falkland Islands.

(10.) £1,183, to complete the sum for Labuan.


wished to know whether the island was likely to pay its own expenses? It had been made a colony under the impression that it would furnish a great supply of coal, and he wished to know what were its prospects in that respect?


wished to know whether the Under Secretary for the Colonies could give any information respecting the progress and prospects of the coal mining districts? The island had been retained for its coal; and it was important for our trade in those seas if coal could be obtained. Hitherto, however, the progress in obtaining coal had been slow and disappointing.


said, the latest accounts were more satisfactory than they formerly were.


said, these accounts were different from what he had received. He wished also to ask how it was that the Governor did not go out to the colony? He had been detained in this country for a considerable time, and lately he had obtained a further leave of absence for six months. Under these circumstances he did not see that there was much use for a Governor at all.


said, the Governor was going out in the autumn. His information about the prospects of coal was derived from Sir James Elphinstone, the chairman of the company.


Who is the new Governor?

An hon. MEMBER: Mr. Pope Hennessy.

Vote agreed to.

(11.) £8,036, to complete the sum for Emigration.

(12.) £1,000, Niger Expedition.


said, he would not object to this particular Vote, but he must express his hope that all Votes for expeditions would soon disappear from the Estimates. Large sums had been spent upon them and little good had resulted. They were managed in this way—a few individuals connected with the Royal Geographical Society expressed a desire that an expedition to a certain point should take place. They pressed the Government in office, who usually yielded to their demands, and an expedition was sent out; and all that was accomplished by it was the exploration of a river and the settlement of some obscure town on the map. That was all that was gained for the great cost and sacrifice of life by the expedition.


said, he quite agreed with the hon. Gentleman in so far as expeditions on the African coast were concerned. The present, however, was an item which would not appear again upon the Estimates.


said, that if the views of the hon. Member for Bodmin were carried out there would be an end to geographical discovery.

Vote agreed to.

(13.) £1,100, Coolie Emigration from India.


said, it was rather hard this country should have to bear the expense of the consular agents in the French ports of India for coolie emigration. He wished to know whether this emigration had not really ceased altogether, and, if so, how long the agents were to be kept up at these ports?


said, he was surprised to see the Vote, because three months ago, when he drew attention to the emigration from India to the French colonies, he was told by the Under Secretary to the Colonies that the French did not like the coolies, that the scheme was a failure, and that there was, in fact, no coolie emigration going on to Réunion at all.


could only repeat what he had said before—that the number of emigrants did not exceed ten.


said, he could not understand, if the emigration had ceased, what necessity there was for this charge.


explained, that so long as the Convention remained in force some expenditure on this score would be necessary; but he did not believe that coolie emigration from India to French colonies would long continue. The superabundance of population in India which had led to the emigration did not now exist, and he therefore apprehended that it would not be long before they saw the end of that emigration.


asked, whether the Coolie Convention with the French Govern- ment had not, as it was called in diplomatic phrase, been denounced?


said, there had been a correspondence on that subject; but if the hon. Gentleman would put his Question on Monday he would give him an answer.


thought that the consular agents were stationed at these French ports, not for the purpose of regulating emigration under the Convention, for that was carried on from Madras, but in order to watch a sort of smuggling trade in coolies, who were induced to go by land to Pondicherry and other ports in French territory.


said, that as long as the Convention existed the French Government had a right to take coolies from India; but, while they did so, it was highly desirable for the protection of British subjects that there should be consuls at these ports to see that the regulations in regard to that traffic were not infringed.


reminded the Committee that great pressure was put upon the Government to procure the Convention, and expressed a hope that it would not cease till security was taken against the recurrence of the very grave circumstance to which its origin was due.


said, all arrangements of that kind were terminable after a limited period.


said, that if the Convention were renewed, as these consuls were appointed solely for the benefit of India, the charges ought to fall on the revenues of that dependency.

Vote agreed to.

(14.) £2,000, to complete the sum for Treasury Chest.

(15.) Motion made, and Question proposed, That a sum, not exceeding £24,000, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1868, for Bounties on Slaves, and Tonnage Bounties, for Expenses incurred for the Support and Conveyance of Captured Negroes, and for other Charges under the Acts for the Abolition of the Slave Trade.


asked, how the liberated slaves were disposed of?


said, that very large bounties had been paid to the crews of several of Her Majesty's ships; but against that they had payments in consequence of captures by mistake of £11,900 in one case, and £392 in another, and he did not consider that bounties should be paid for mistaken captures.


stated that the number of liberated Africans was now small; but there were various establishments in which they could remain for a certain time, until they had an opportunity of emigrating to Sierra Leone, the West Indies, and other places.


complained that bounties were given to English officers for capturing slavers, when, in fact, they did nothing more than their duty.


thought it might be a fair question to raise at the proper time in that House whether they ought to maintain their squadron on the African coast at all; but while that squadron was kept up he could not agree that it was wrong to hold out to an officer the stimulus of these bounties, considering the peculiarly severe and unhealthy character of the climate to which they were sent. The principle there adopted was that of payment for results.


said, there was no point on which greater care was taken, both by the Treasury and the Admiralty, than in awarding these bounties.

To report Progress.

House resumed.

Resolutions to be reported upon Monday next;

Committee also report Progress; to sit again upon Monday next.