HL Deb 05 October 1841 vol 59 cc1114-28
Lord Brougham

said, he rose to call the attention of their Lordships to a question of great importance, and on which, as there happily existed no difference of opinion in that or the other House of Parliament, and as there, indeed, was in every part of the kingdom a singular unanimity on the subject, it would be the less necessary for him to trespass at any considerable length on their Lordship's attention. The subjects he was about to introduce to their notice were the Slave-trade and slavery, and he believed that in either House of Parliament, or in any part of the kingdom, there did not exist any description of persons who felt other than the strongest desire to see the traffic in slaves abolished everywhere and the state of slavery itself universally, and with all practicable expedition, instantly extinguished. The ground on which he felt it his duty to trouble their Lordships on the present occasion was, that great misapprehension had, he understood, prevailed in the country touching the law applicable to this subject. He had presented to their Lordships, some ten or twelve days back, a petition containing a variety of allegations, and he, at that time, wished it to be distinctly understood, that the truth of the allegations, must rest upon the responsibility of the respectable petitioners who had brought the matter before the House. But if the facts were, as alleged in that petition, it would appear that there had been not only a large capital embarked in slavery in foreign settlements, but embarked in a manner to support the Slave-trade itself. He should begin with those things alleged in the petition to have been done by British subjects, and which were clearly contrary to the law. The law was this, that every British subject, in any part of the world, whether in a country where the Slave-trade is lawful, or in one where it is illegal— every British subject, even in a part of the world where the Slave-trade is not only allowed, but (if there be such a country) where it is protected and even encouraged by the law— every British subject who partakes of such trade is guilty of a felony, and liable to be transported for life or for fourteen years. If the offence is committed on the high seas, or within the jurisdiction of the Admiralty, he is a pirate and liable to be transported for life and if the act be committed elsewhere than within the Admiralty jurisdiction, for fourteen years. For several years the offence was piracy, and a capital felony if committed within the Admiralty jurisdiction. That law had been altered, but if an act of slave-trading were committed by a British subject in a colony where the Slave-trade was allowed, and he would suppose even favoured, he was liable, if taken and brought to this country, to be tried for the offence as if it had been committed in this country, and on conviction, to be transported for life or for fourteen years, according as it was committed within or without Admiralty jurisdiction. He had never said that it depended upon the law of the foreign country where the act had been committed, whether a British subject committing an act of slave-trading was guilty of felony or not, although from letters he had received, some such misrepresentation must have gone abroad, he had, on the contrary, said, that the law of the foreign country had nothing to do with the acts of a British subject in this matter, and that if a foreign subject committed a slave-trading act in one of our own colonies or settlements, he would be guilty of piracy and of felony, according to the jurisdiction within which he did the act. All this was quite clear and free free from doubt. The only question was, whether any given acts amounted to slave-trading or not. Several acts were stated in the petition as slave-trading which appeared to him not to constitute the offence. With respect to others he gave no confident opinion, they appeared to be of a doubtful description; while some acts appeared quite clearly to amount to slave-trading, and to come within the law. If a person fitted out a vessel to traffic with slave factories and settlements, and sold goods to those factories, out and out, though they were such as might be used for the Slave-trade, as well as the innocent commerce of the coast and though in point of fact they were used in slave-trading, he was of opinion that this did not amount to slave-trading; whether it was a commendable use of capital or not, was a different question. If the goods sent out were of such a description that it could not be doubtful that they were to be used in the Slave-trade alone, such as a cargo of fetters or other implements that could only be employed in such a trade, he had stated that he deemed this much more doubtful, yet, he was not prepared to say that it was an act of slave-trading which would render the exporter of such articles liable to be tried for felony. But if goods were sent, whether of one kind or the other, whether of an ambiguous description, or plainly fitted for the Slave-trade alone, and the price of the goods was to depend (as the petitioners stated to be the fact) upon the Slave-trade, in which such goods were to be employed, he had stated that his opinion was that this was an act of slave-trading, being in truth a partnership with slave-traders, and the persons exporting such goods would be guilty of a felony within the meaning of the Abolition Law. There was another description of acts, which were much more important, because they were much more extensively done — namely the act of holding property in a foreign settlement, which was to be cultivated or worked, (cultivated if a plantation, and worked if a mine) by slave-labour. The consequence of holding such property was the purchase and sale of slaves, with the view of cultivating such plantations or working such mines. On that kind of transaction a question arose— did or did not the Slave-trade Abolition law apply to it? An opinion had gone abroad that this was a dealing and a trading with slaves to which the Abolition Acts did not apply, an opinion which was entertained by many highly respectable individuals, and had been acted upon to a great extent; they had engaged in a variety of such concerns, and had invested in them capital to a large amount; but on looking to the provisions of the law he thought he had hardly a right to go so far as to say that their Lordships would entertain a grave doubt as to the illegality of the proceeding. The dealing upon which the question arose was not the mere holding of the property— that was lawful. The Emancipation Act of 1833 differed from the Abolition Acts; it did not prohibit British subjects from holding land in foreign settlements, as the Abolition Acts prohibited his engaging in foreign Slave-trade. After the act of 1833 it was legal for a British subject to be a holder of slaves, and to have property in slaves in a foreign settlement; but the question was, had it been legal since the abolition law (the abolition of the slave-trade) for a British subject to purchase slaves, to buy slaves, and to sell or traffic in slaves in a foreign country? He had been represented to have said that he had no doubt that such an act was lawful, and had not been struck at by the abolition law, whereas he had carefully abstained from giving any opinion; he could not have given such opinion, for if he had been obliged to give an opinion at all upon the question, ha should have said that the act was not legal, and that the abolition law did strike at it. He would state his reasons. The provisions of the act which he had the the great satisfaction of carrying through Parliament in 1811, and without any dissentient voice, the act which first made Slave-trading a crime, was materially changed in one particular by the General Abolition Act of 1824. In that act, the slave-trade had been declared piracy, and punished as a capital felony, if within the Admiralty jurisdiction; if without such jurisdiction the offender was liable to transportation for fourteen years, as in his (Lord Brougham's) Act of 1811. In affixing the latter and lesser punishment the act of 1824 gave a new definition of the offence. The first section declared all such trading unlawful. The tenth section declared it a felony, in the following terms— Except in such special cases as are herein, after provided for, if any person shall deal, or trade in, or purchase, sell, barter, or transfer, or contract for the Healing, or trading in, or for the purchase, sale, barter, or transferring of any slave, or slaves, or persons intended to be dealt with as slaves he shall be guilty of felony. Certain special cases were excepted, and the 13th section thus provided for these special cases following the language of the tenth— Nothing hereinbefore contained shall be taken or deemed to prevent any person from dealing, or trading in, or from purchasing, selling, bartering, or transferring, or from contracting to deal or trade in, purchase, sale, barter, or transfer, any slave or slaves lawfully being within any island or colony belonging to or in the possession of, his Majesty, in case such dealing, &c, be with the true intent and meaning of employing such slave or slaves in the colony which he or they may be in at such time. And the 14th section provides for the removal by land or sea of slaves from one part of any such colony, but always a colony in the possession of his Majesty to another part of such colony, and if the other part of such colony should happen to he another island (as in some cases there are several islands in one Government), then the person intending to remove a slave from one such island to another was required to procure a licence from the governor, to be granted on satisfactory proof that the slave was intended to be removed from one estate to another estate in the possession of the same owner of the slave. Then, how, under this law, could a British subject in Brazil or Cuba, buy a slave or sell a slave under the 13th section, or remove a slave from one part of Cuba or Brazil to another, under the 14th section, neither Cuba nor Brazil being a colony or settlement in the possession, or under the dominion of the British Crown, which was the only special excepted case? Upon this ground he was wholly unaware upon what view of the law the parties had been advised to proceed who had embarked in such speculations, and become owners of slaves by purchase, or by the intervention of agents, had purchased, sold, or transferred slaves in Cuba or Brazil, or moved them from place to place, and who must have been advised that they could safely embark in such speculations. Again by the 10th section it was a felony knowingly and wilfully to lend or advance money, or to send goods, to be employed in any object "hereinbefore declared to be unlawful;" that is, "the dealing or trading in, purchasing, selling, bartering, or transferring slaves, or persons intended to be dealt with as slaves." All of which is, by the first section, declared unlawful, and by the tenth, felonious. Yet some such view must have been taken by a number of most respectable persons, who, he understood, had embarked considerable) capital in the cultivation of these foreign colonies, and who must have been advised that they could legally engage in such speculations. What, then, remained to be done? He trusted his noble Friend opposite, at the head of the Board of Trade,' (Lord Ripon), would immediately apply his mind to this subject, and if any doubt existed upon it that he would come to Parliament, as soon as it met next Session, to have the doubt removed by a declaratory act; but if the result of his noble Friend's inquiry led him to conclude that there was no doubt, and that the dealings in question were unlawful, the most satisfactory course, he thought, and the fairest, to the parties themselves would be to notify by Proclamation what the state of the law was, and thus to give a general intimation to all persons who had unwarily got themselves into this predicament, that the sooner they got out of it the better; at the same time prohibiting other persons from entering into such speculations, by stating the inevitable consequences they would lead to. This warning was especially necessary with respect to holding slaves, because men dealt in these without their attention being called to the use made of their money, and, in most cases, without any knowledge of the concern or the mode of conducting it. The Proclamation that gave them this knowledge would give them a notice or warning, to which they seemed entitled, The course which the Legislature took in dealing with the Slave-trade in former years, well deserved the consideration of Government and of Parliament in treating the subject now. In 1806 the first bill abolishing the Slave-trade was introduced by Sir Arthur Pigot, and became the 46 Geo. 3rd., which prohibited British subjects engaging in the foreign Slave-trade, and the lending or advancing of money for any purposes connected with that trade. Next year Lord Grey brought in the first general Abolition Bill, which subjected British subjects who should be found guilty of Slave-trading any where, and all persons so trading in any part of the dominions of the Crown to various pecuniary penalties. Next came the 51 Geo. 3rd., the Felony Act, brought in by him (Lord Brougham) which declared the Slave-trade to be felony; and afterwards came the act of 1824, brought in by Mr. Canning, making the description of this offence still more stringent. Nothing but the late period of the Session would prevent him (Lord Brougham) from moving an Address to her Majesty on the subject, similar to the one he had moved in 1810, and which led to the Felony Bill next year. If there was no objection, he would at once move an Address, if noble Lords saw any objection to such a course at that late period of the Session, he would abstain from adopting it; but he trusted that his noble Friend, the President of the Board of Trade, would call the attention of the Law-officers of the Crown to the points to which he had adverted, with a view of putting a stop to such practices. With respect to the reports of Dr. Madden on the settlements of the western coast of Africa, he understood that there were some objections to their production as such. He should like to know the reason for withholding them, as he understood they contained much valuable matter. But whether these reports were produced or not, he trusted that the Government would not fail of acting on the information contained in them. He must now beg the attention of their Lordships to the same question in the East. A noble Friend of his the other night agreed with him in doubting whether slavery existed by law in Malacca. There was the opinion of one local government in 1828 against it, and of another governor, that such a state of things was sanctioned by law. He had looked into the matter, and all doubt on his mind was at an end as regarded the course best to be now taken; for, at a meeting of the owners of slaves in Malacca, in 1829, they came to a resolution, pledging themselves to liberate all their slaves in 1841. He trusted that the Government would take the proper steps to see that this resolution was carried into effect, and that whatever was the state of law in the settlement before the liberation of the slaves should take place. He would now call the attention of his noble Friend to the dreadful state of slavery in some parts of India. He had had, by means of one of the persons employed on the law commission in India, access to a valuable report made to Lord Auckland. [Lord Ellen-borough: It has been laid before the House of Commons and ordered to be printed.] He was not aware of that fact, having been abroad at the time; but he would read an extract from the report of the commissioners, which strikingly pointed out one of the consequences of slavery in India, and of the slave-trading to which it gave rise. The practice to which he alluded had only recently been brought to light, and was described in a report to the commissioners by Major Sleeman. The description was under the head Megpunnaism, which this gentleman describes as a part of a notorious practice for the purpose of getting slaves. It is stated in the report:— This system of murdering indigent parents for their children has been flourishing since the siege of Bhurtpore, in 1826; and the cause of their confining their depredations to this class of people seems to have been the great demand they found for these children in all parts of the country, and the facility with which they inveigled their parents into their society. They were in the habit of disposing of the female children thus obtained for very large sums, to respectable natives, or to the prostitutes of the different cities they visited, and they found this system more lucrative than that of murdering travellers in good circumstances, and less likely to be brought to the notice of the local authorities, as inquiries were seldom made after the victims by their surviving relations. These gangs (the Report adds), contrary to the customs of those whose proceedings are now so well known to us, invariably take their families with them on their expeditions: and the female members of the gang are employed as inveiglers to win the confidence of the emigrant families they fall in with on the road. They introduce these families to the gang, and they are prevailed upon to accompany them to some place suitable to their designs upon them, where the parents are murdered by the men, while the women take care of the children. After throwing their bodies into the river, or otherwise disposing of them, the men return to their women in the camp; and when the children inquire after their parents, they are told that they have sold them to certain members of the gang, and departed. If they appear to doubt the truth of these assertions, they are deterred from further inquiries by a threat of instant death. They are allowed to associate freely with the families of the murderers, and in a few days their grief subsides, and they become reconciled to their fate. The female children are either adopted by members of the gang, or sent in charge of the women to be disposed of. They find a ready sale for them among the Brinjarahs, many of whom are connected with these gangs in their murderous trade, and all of them are well known in Upper India to traffic in children. These Brinjarahs resell the children to the prostitutes of the different cities, who soon become acquainted with the fate of their parents, and are much pleased to learn it, as it relieves them of all apprehension that they will ever come to reclaim them. He then gives the examination of some of the wretches connected with these gangs of murderers. One of these outcasts says, We call our trade, viz., murdering travellers for their children, megpunna. Another Jemadar or leader of a gang, was asked, Q. You have stated in your various depositions that you invariably preserve the children and sell them. Are you not afraid that these children will disclose the manner in which you got them, and thereby get you into trouble?— A. We invariably murder our vic- tims at night, first taking the precaution to put the children to sleep, and in the morning we tell them that we have purchased them from their parents who have gone off and left them. Q. You seem to have been in the habit of selling children in all parts of the country; how have you avoided being apprehended?— A. The children are seldom aware of the fate of their parents; and in general we sell them to people very well acquainted with the nature of our proceedings. Khenia, otherwise called Nursing Dass, another leader of a gang, says, After the capture of Bhurtpore, Nanoo Sing Brinjarah, and four other Byragees, residents of Kurroulee, came to me with four travellers and their four children, and invited me to participate in their murder, which I consented to, and with the assistance of my gang we strangled the whole of them, preserving the lives of the children, whom we sold at Jeipore for 120 rupees, half of which was divided among the members of my gang. After this affair, I resolved on selecting for my victims the poorest class of travellers, and murdering them for their children, for whom there was so great a demand in all the great cities; since which I have committed the following murders, the particulars of which I will detail as I may remember. But the Report goes he further in this wretch's evidence; but, by his account, it appears, that four murders had been perpetrated for the purpose of selling the children into slavery for the miserable pittance of 120 rupees or 12l. Another of these murderers, Javen Dass, said, I left my home with a gang of forty Thugs, and proceeded to Husseeagunge, where Heera Dass and Rookmunee went to the city of Muttra for the purpose of buying some clothes, and succeeded in winning the confidence of four travellers, two men and two women, with their three children, whom they brought with them to our encampment; after passing two days with us, Teella Dass, Mudhoo Dass, Byragees, and Dewa Hookma, Teelake, Gungarem, Brinjarahs, Balluck Dass, Chutter Dass, Neput Dass, and Hunooman Dass, prevailed on this family to accompany them to the banks of the Jumna, and murdered the four elderly travellers in a garden near the village of Gokool; after throwing their bodies into the Jumna, they took their three children to the tanda, or encampment, of Dewah Brinjarah, near the village of Kheir, and sold the two female children for forty rupees, and the male for five rupees. Therefore, these murders were committed for little more than four pounds. The last deposition to which he should refer, was that of a woman, who declared, We now went off to Thuneiseir, where we encamped in a grove on the bank of a tank, and here several parties of travellers were inveigled by the wives of the leaders of our gangs to come and take up their lodgings with us. 1. A Chumar, with three daughters; one thirty years of age, and the others young. 2. The widow of a carpenter, and her son, ten years of age. 3. A Brahmin and his wife, with one beautiful daughter fourteen years old, another five, and a son six years of age. 4. A Brahmin and his wife, with one daughter about fourteen, another twelve, and a son three years of age. These travellers lodged for two or three days among the teats of the Naeks and Brinjarahs, after which we all went one morning to a village in the territory of the Toorooee rajah? I forget his name. Here very heavy rain fell at night, and deluged the country, and we got no rest. The next morning we went to a village on the bank of the canal, still in the same rajah's country. The next day we went to a village on the bank of the Jumna; and two hours after night, Kaner Dass proposed that we should go down to the sacred stream of the Jumna, say our prayers and remain there. They all went down accordingly, leaving me, Roopla, and his second wife (Rookmunee) at the village. They murdered the seven men and women, and threw their bodies into the river; but who killed them, or how they were killed, I know not. The Chumar and his eldest daughter, the two Brahmins and their wives, and the carpenter's wife were all murdered. They brought the nine children back to us a watch and a half before daylight. They were all crying a good deal after their parents; and we quieted them the best way we could, with sweetmeats and playthings. We came to Beebeepore, and encamped in the grove. A daughter and son of the Brahmin's were extremely beautiful, and these we left with Dyhan Sing for sale. We came on to a village a coss distant from Beebeepore. Here a trooper came up to Beebeepore, saying that he had heard of several people being murdered, and suspected us of the crime. The head men of the village of Beebeepore, and some of the Brinjarahs came to our tramp with the trooper, and assured him that he must be mistaken, as they knew us all to be very honest, inoffensive people; and taking him to Beebeepore, they treated him with great consideration, and he went away apparently satisfied. But, fearing that our deeds had become known, Pemla and Newla's wives and Peuila's mother took off the seven other children to Phyan Sing, and left them all in his charge. Pemla went to Kurnaul, and Goorbuksh and his gang went to Beebeepore, while my husband and his party remained where we were. A woman who keeps prostitutes came from Kurnaul, and purchased and took away oil the children. All were sold through Dhyan Sing. One boy was purchased by an elephant driver, who took him off upon his elephant; and another was purchased by a Mussulman. All the rest were taken off in covered carriages, by the prostitute, to Kurnaul. I should know all their faces again were to see them. Human language sank under the vain attempt at giving utterance to the mingled feelings of pity and of horror which arise in every breast on surveying such atrocities as these— he defied any power of imagination to paint scenes more hideous, more unbearable, than the plain language of the monsters themselves portrayed their own frightful deeds. Africa itself steeped for centuries in blood, by another branch of the execrable traffic, and still laid waste by the Spaniards and Portuguese, with the connivance of more humane nations, presented no spectacle more appalling, no example more horrible, of the titter disregard of human life, the habitual proneness to take it away, with which the traffic in human beings strikes and blights the heart, in every region which it is suffered to curse. But while giving way to abhorrence at the crimes of these wretches, u-e should reserve part of our indignation for that system of which they are the natural and appointed fruit; and their Lordships might be assured that so long as it was possible to hold human beings in slavery, the dealing in slaves could not be put down, and atrocities such as those which he had deemed it his painful duty to lay before the House, would never cease to exist. He had no doubt whatever, but that the advice given by a noble Friend of his, formerly Secretary to the Colonial Department (Lord Glenelg), a few months before he had left office, with regard to accelerating the emancipation of the slaves in Ceylon— he had no doubt but that the advice contained in his very important despatch of the month of November, 1838, had been taken into mature and early consideration by his noble Friend at the head of the India Department-No one knew more of Indian affairs than Lord Glenelg; no one's authority, and most deservedly, stood higher; and he fondly hoped that some means would be taken for insuring the total abolition of slavery, which was the only real and effectual remedy against the recurrence of such enormous evils.

The Earl of Ripon

was not aware of the existence of the documents to which his noble and learned Friend had alluded, and therefore, his only object in rising to address their Lordships was, with reference to matters of which he had more personal cognizance. His noble Friend asked whether there was any objection to lay on the Table of the House the report of Dr. Madden, as to the state of slavery and the slave trade on the western coast of Africa. It was not without regret that he felt called upon to object to the production of these documents. His noble Friend the Secretary for the Colonies and himself, after considerable deliberation, came lo the conclusion that it would not be proper to lay them before Parliament, as they were documents of a highly confidential nature, and referred, not only lo the state of our settlements on the coast of Africa, but involved matters connected with our relations with other powers, and also contained statements of a very important and delicate nature, involving the names and the conduct of private persons. Therefore, under these circumstances, it would not be proper at present to produce these reports. He felt convinced that their publication would tend to defeat rather than to advance the great object which his noble and learned Friend had so much at heart, and which the Government had in view in making such strict inquiries into the subjects of slavery and the slave trade. The attention of his noble Friend at the head of the Colonies had been directed to the legal part of the subject adverted to by his noble and learned Friend, and when the Government was in possession of legal advice, it would be its duty to see how far it was practicable to apply the law, if it was applicable to the cases alluded to, or if it was not, to call on Parliament to amend the law, and to bring these cases within it, which certainly came within the spirit if not the letter of the present law. Under these circumstances, he trusted that his noble and learned Friend would be satisfied with the declaration of the intentions of the Government, and would not call upon the House to take any other steps at present.

Lord Ellenborough

observed that the report from which the noble and learned Lord had quoted was laid before Parliament on the 26th of last April, and was printed about six weeks ago. He thought it would have been a more considerate course to direct their Lordships attention, so that they might form their opinions on this subject rather to the whole tendency of the report, containing as it did upwards of 900 pages, than to a few detached ex- tracts. He had yesterday placed on the Table of the House a minute on this subject by his noble Friend the Earl of Auckland, descriptive of the course to be taken, and he was sure that his noble and learned Friend entertained as great respect as himself for the soundness of the opinion and judgment of Lord Auckland on such a subject. With respect to the cases of horrible crimes ad veiled to by his noble and learned Friend, he would only say, that if they went to the more civilized countries of the world, they would meet with many cases of atrocity like those described in the report in question. He believed that Scotland was generally admitted to be the most moral part of the United Kingdom, yet, only a few years ago, it was discovered in the capital of that country that persons were murdered for the sake of obtaining the value of their dead bodies. If his noble and learned Friend looked more narrowly into the subject to which he had adverted, he would find that the atrocities which he had described were more mixed up with the system of Thuggee than his noble Friend seemed to think. Noble Lords were aware that the Thugs made it a matter of pleasure to commit murder, and that many of them even thought that they were doing good to their victims by sending them to another world. The exertions of the Government had been directed to the suppression of Thuggee, but he feared the attempts had not been altogether successful. With this feeling, then, the Thugs murdered the parents, and probably preserved the children from some indefinite feeling of pity. As for preserving them for the purpose of selling them as slaves, the value of children in this respect was little or nothing. If the crimes were perpetrated for the purpose of getting money by the sale of slaves, these parties would gel infinitely more by preserving the parents and selling them as slaves. He trusted that his noble and learned Friend would turn his attention to the whole subject, and more especially to the minute of Lord Auckland. In the year 1833, Parliament had directed the government of India to make inquiries as to the state of slavery in India, in consequence of which the law commissioners in India had thoroughly investigated the subject, and had furnished their reports. He thought that Parliament had wisely directed that the initiation in legislation on this subject should be left with the Governor-general and council. These documents were at the present time under the consideration of the Governor-general of India, who, from his local knowledge and facilities of, obtaining information, was much better: able to prepare a law on the subject than; the Parliament at home. The Governor-general had been requested more than once to hasten the proceedings for this purpose; and he could assure his noble; and learned Friend that there was every disposition at home to accede to any measure on the subject likely to be attended with success.

Lord Brougham

said, it was distinctly stated in the report that the object the persons had in view in the commission of these atrocities was, that they might obtain possession of the children for the purpose of selling them. There was no doubt, however, that the practice was mixed up with Thuggee of one kind or another, but it was described as a new kind of Thuggee introduced by the temptation of the slave market. He could not help feeling that his noble Friend had been very unlucky in his reference to the proceedings that had occurred a few years ago in Scotland. If he (Lord Brougham) wished to select a fact which would be illustrative of the atrocities of this species of slavery, he could not have found an instance more strikingly appropriate and illustrative of his case than that to which his noble Friend had directed the attention of the House. It happened that some years before the discovery of these disgraceful proceedings, three or four friends and himself were discussing the subject of the enormous price of dead bodies for the purpose of anatomical dissection. He recollected that his friend, Mr. John Smith, the late Member for Midhurst, was one of the party present, from a circumstance which he would presently state. It was said, in the course of the conversation in question, that from 25l. to 30l. was given for a body for anatomical purposes. He then predicted, that if something was not immediately done to procure a supply at a moderate rate, you would have murders committed on the poorer classes for the sake of selling their dead bodies. Afterwards when the atrocities alluded to had attracted public attention, Mr. Smith reminded him of his prediction. It was precisely the same thing with the slave market," where the profit led to the perpetration of the crimes, the similar crimes described in the report. Therefore, instead of this serving as an argument against him, it was quite the opposite way and it showed that the same course should be taken now in the Indian case which had been pursued in the English. A bill, had been brought into Parliament, and passed into a law in consequence of those murders, to facilitate the procuring dead bodies for anatomical purposes, and he would venture to say, that since that time no enormities of the same kind had happened in any part of the kingdom. He was not aware that the report in question had been laid before Parliament so far back as April: he was out of the country at the time, and did not hear of any having been made until a week or ten days ago. He had, however, read every part of it with care. He would only add, that he should feel great satisfaction in examining the minute of his noble Friend, Lord Auckland, to which the noble Lord referred. Under the circumstances he should not press for the production of the report of Dr. Madden.

Motion withdrawn.