« ZurückWeiter »
throw him up again. Or if any one had | nial assemblies we could do nothing; and a sore which had afflicted him long, it yet the very same gentleman who told us might be dangerous suddenly to stop this, told us also that the colonial asseniits running. In this light did the imme- blies were much alarmed, and trembled diate abolition of the Slave trade appear lest the proceedings of the British parliato him; or if not in this light, in another, ment should ruin the colonies by abolish. which at best could possibly do no good; ing this trade. Both these points could for he was persuaded, if we abolished it, not be solidly founded, for if we could the trade would be still carried on. Those not effectuate the abolition without the of the other description to which he had consent of the colonies, why should they alluded, defended the continuance of the tremble at our proceedings ? According trade as an advantage, but indeed it was to that doctrine the vote of abolition now pretty generally admitted to be an could never be carried into effect without evil. The real question appeared to him the assent of the colonies; then, why to be a question of political and moral should they be alarmed at a measure, prudence; that the evil of the trade which can only have efficacy from their could not fairly be stopped on a sudden; own consent! The truth was, that the and that those who wished to do so, would parliament of this country had the means find their means not adequate to the end. within itself of completely abolishing this He therefore thought that the wiser trade, and it was their duty to do so. course for the House to adopt was, to Some persons might think that however refer the amelioration of the condition unjust or inhuman the trade might be, of the unhappy slaves to the colonial as- yet that it was a matter of great nasemblies. He concluded with giving his tional concern, and not to be governed dissent to the motion.
like a case between two individuals. But Mr. Pitt said he was one of those who why should the conduct of a nation be always had been, and until his mind guided in a manner that had no reference should change its nature, always should to the laws of nature, or the divine law, be, a friend to the immediate and unqua- or the rules of reason any more than the lified abolition of the Slave trade. He de-affairs of an individual ? The one required rived great satisfaction from what had been as much attention to these points as the said by both his right hon. friends, (Mr other, and those who were the authors and Dundas and Mr. Windham). They had continuers of this infamous traffic, ought neither of them denied the injustice, nor now to put an end to the evil. He hoped the inhumanity of this trade, but had ad- he should not show himself so wedded to mitted it; but he thought he had heard abstract theories, in opposition to practisome things that night which manifested cal experience, as to exclude things, bea disposition to continue the trade for cause in theory they appeared defective, but
He could not understand upon which in practice had proved to be good. what ground the House was to dispute But here the end proposed was not a the propriety of discontinuing a trade theory only, but a practical measure. It which they themselves had declared to be was two-fold. The one was to stop the against justice, humanity, morality, and mischief, the other to do away the guilt. religion, and for the abolition of which the At all events, the one was practicablehonour of the British parliament stood that was to do away the guilt; he believed pledged. The question now was, whether, the other was practicable also. But sure as they felt what was said by the friends he was, they would never obtain any creof the Slave trade, that they, the legisla- dit for intention to do away the mischief ture, were the original authors of this ini- on the part of others, until they had done quity, and of its continuance, and therefore away the guilt on the part of themselves. answerable for all its horrors, they should | His right hon. friend had said, that benot now become the authors of a remedy cause a thing was wrong, we should for these evils ? This was a trade carried not, on that account, adopt the contrary on under our law, by our subjects, from measure by way of remedy for the evil. our ports, by our capital. If so, he Perfectly right; but that was not prothought it would not be very difficult for posed to be done here: it was only prous to abolish it, and that effectually, even posed that we should discontinue an ex, without the consent of the colonial assem- posed, deprecated, convicted, recorded blies. But this was said to be impossible, practice of injustice, rapine and murder and that without the consent of the colo- not whether that should not have ever (VOL. XXXIV.]
been allowed, but whether it should now I evils of the worst kind. It was against be deliberately repeated. If we were to the horrors of this negro Jacobinism ask the advice of the assemblies, we must that he wished the parliament of this continue that recorded practice of rapine country to make provision ; every hour and murder; we must continue to tear i in which this was possible was an liour of these helpless victims of misery from their danger to the dearest interest of the conative land, and from their families. But lonies.--He contended that there was no it was not intended to do that which his necessity for fresh importations of negroes right hon. friend hinted at; for it was not to cultivate the land originally laid out for intended to send the negroes back again the labour of these negroes. The great to Africa. His right hon. friend had said, importation was, for the cultivation of that if a man should happen to be thrown fresh land in Jamaica, which, by the way out of a window, by which he might have was four fifths of the trade: this cultiva. a bone fractured, or a joint dislocated, the tion of fresh land would, according to a remedy was not to throw him up again. It moderate calculation, take up above a cenwas not proposed to throw any of those tury to continue importation according to wretches who had had their bonés frac- the present ratc-a thing insufferable in tured and their joints, dislocated, up the bare idea, without talking of the again; it was only proposed that no more dreadful reality. He then took notice of should be thrown out of the window. He the language of the assembly of Jamaica, wanted an end to be put to the practice, by which it was manifest, they claimed it not to adopt the reverse of it; but his as a right, that they should continue the right hon. friend thought it would be dan Slave trade while they continued loyal to gerous to put an end to throwing men out his majesty. He did not understand such of the window immediately; he wished to conditions of allegiance. He hoped the abolish the practice gradually; it must be House would agree to the abolition of this done by throwing one hundred to-day, nefarious traffic at once, that being the ninety to-morrow, and so on for that the only adequate remedy. Or, if they did custom had so long continued, that to not do so, that they would have it deabolish it immediately would be an unwise clared, expressly and specifically, for measure. So again was the case of his what purpose the trade was to be conright hon. friend with regard to the tinued-that the boundary should be running sore; that was not to be stopped marked for the cultivation of the land at once-10, the blood of these poor ne- that new land should not be cultivated by groes was to continue flowing; it was negroes' labour: for if this was to be aldangerous to stop it, because it had run | lowed, there was no knowing where it was so long; besides, we were under contract to end. The notion thatthey had a right with certain surgeons to allow them a to cultivate all the lands they had in certain supply of human bodies every grants from the crown, was a great error. year for them to try experiments upon, He would no more allow the cultivation and this we did out of pure love of sci- of fresh lands by the labour of newly imence! Indeed, the act of the first impor- ported negroes, than he would assent to tation, as well as the continuance of the any new colony being established upon trade, was a system of horror, to which any newly-discovered territory: They this House had given birth, and which it were both equally repugnant to the spirit was its duty to put an end to by an im- of the resolutions of the House, and remediate abolition of this most murderous pugnant to the terms on which even the traffic; and he considered the abolition of planters could pretend that they had a the African traffic as the preliminary to, right to the importation of negroes. He and indeed the sine quâ non of, the im- hoped if the House should negative this provement of the condition of the negroes motion, which he trusted it would not, it in the West Indies ; and this led him to would in the course of the present session look at the abolition as a matter of pru- come to a clear and distinct regulation dence for the safety of our dominions, for upon the restraint of cultivation of fresh without a plan for the improvement of the land in the plantations. condition of the negroes in the planta- Colonel Mark Wood said, that if the ţions, there could be no security for the question was merely one of humanity, and peace of those territories. A constant did not involve the first political as well importation of the wretched victims from as commercial considerations, there could Africa was a constant importation of not be the smallest difference in opinion upon the subject, as no man, however Cold Bath Fields Prison.] March 6. hardened, but must deprecate a traffic in Mr. W. Dundas moved, that a select our fellow creatures; but when we re- committee be appointed to inquire into reflected that this trade had subsisted for the state of his majesty's prison in Cold upwards of a century; that through it Bath fields, Clerkenwell
, and to report our West-India colonies had in a manner the same as it shall appear to them, too' been created, and risen to a degree of gether with their opinion thereupon, to opulence unknown at any former period; the House; and a committee was appointed and when we considered that it was by accordingly. He also moved, that the means of our great and extended com- report of the magistrates to the sessions, merce that Great Britain was enabled to the affidavit of the governor of the prison, hold her present high situation amongstna. the letter of the duke of Portland, and tions, we surely must pause before we ever the petition of colonel Despard be 'readopted a measure which might prove ferred to the said committee. fatal to the interests of the country. It Sir F. Burdett expressed his satisfacmust be obvious to every person that tion that the matter was likely to become unless with the concurrence and assistance the subject of parliamentary investigation. of the colonial governments it would be made the motion of which he had given impracticable to prevent the importation notice unnecessary for the present. of slaves from Africa; and that if this was not done by British, it would be done by East India Budget.] March 12. The foreigners--to prevent which, half the House having resolved itself into a comnavy of England would be inadequate. mittee on the accounts of the East India How far the cause of humanity would be company, forwarded by this change, he wished gen- Mr. Secretary Dundas rose and said : tlemen to consider. At present, by means As the nature of these accounts must of wise and salutary regulations adopted have become familiar, it would be a waste by parliament, the situation of the Africans of time to enter into a detailed description had been greatly improved: but over fo- of them in this place, I shall therefore reigners, parliament had no control; and immediately request the attention of the former cruelties, with aggravated scenes committee to the several observations of misery, would return, and the Africans which have occurred during a close inveskave bitter cause to lament our humane, tigation of the many items of resource although mistaken, policy. The only and expenditure, both 'actual and estirational way to put a stop to this trade mated, also of the debts and assets; and would be to make it the interest of those to the end that the most clear and distinct who carried it on to abandon it. This information may be afforded, I shall digest was to be done by various modes ; but the and arrange the subject in the same manmost obvious would be, to impose a pretty ner as on former occasions; and shall high duty on every negro imported into combine the whole, in order to give a the West Indies; from which fund a pre- general view of the resource and expenmium to be paid on every male and diture in India, both on actual account female labourer born and bred upon the and on estimate. * "By this method will be islands at a certain age. This would ascertained the nett surplus of the Indian operate towards abolition in a double revenue, which, with the produce of the ratio. He begged leave, however, to de. sales of imports, &c. forms the fund precate every attempt to abolish the trade deemed applicable to the purchase of inby compulsion.
vestments." The advances actually made The question being put, “That this for commercial purposes, and the amount House do now resolve itself into a com-, of cargoes sent to Europe, will then be mittee of the whole House to consider of shown. In the next place, the debts that motion;" the House divided : and assets in India, compared with the Tellers.
preceding year. The home accounts will
then be brought under remark; and the YEAS EN SMr. Canning
committee will, in like manner with the
54 Mr. Hobhouse
foreign; be furnished with explanations of
the differences between the estimated and Noes S. Mr. Sewell
84 Sir William Young
the actual, and of the variations in the debts and assets.
And, lastly, I shall So it passed in the negative.
draw a general comparison of the debts
and assets, both at home and abroad, in average 1793-4 to 1795-6... 61,468 order to arrive at a conclusion, as accurate
REVENUE3--Estimated for 1796-7 2,159,402 as possible, as to the state of affairs, contrasted with the last year. Having fulfilled
1,996,328 these intentions, I shall only have occasion
Less than estimated 163,074 to trespass a little farther on the time of the committee, by requesting their atten- CHARGES—Estimated for 1796-7. 2,005,225, tion to a few observations applying to the Actual amount
2,408,492 company's affairs generally, both with regard to the Indian possessions, and to
More than estimale 403,267 the state of the commerce. -Mr, Dundas
Add excess then went through the following state
of charge to deficiency
of revenue, the actual account is ment:
worse than the estimate
566,341 BENGAL. And the nett charge of this year
is 412,163 REVENUES-Average 1794-5 to 1796-7.
2,482,838 Estimated for 1796-7.
5,710,511 Actual amount 5,703,906
Nett charge 148,162 Less than estimate 6,605 Revenue estimated more than actual 1796-7.
338,347 CHARGES-Estimated for 1796-7 .. 3,733,860 Charges ditto.
74,347 Actual amount
Nett charge estimated for 1797-8,
2,640,000 Add excess of charge to deficiency
135,687 REVENUES—Average 1794-5 to
302,004 And the nett revenue for this year is 1,840,964
More than average, stated last year 7,067 ESTIMATES, 1797-8.
REVENUES--Estimated for 1796-7 284,959 REVENUES .... 5,743,848 | Actual amount
More than estimate 30,978
777,975 Revenues estimated more than
841,825 actual 1796-7.......
More than the estimate 63,852 Charges ditto
Deduct the excess of revenue from Nett revenues, estimated for 1797-8,
the excess of charge, the nett more than the preceding year •
8,893 charge is more than estimated.. 32,874 MADRAS.
And the nett charge of this year is. • 525,888 Objection formerly stated to draw
ESTIMATE, 1797-8. ing an average does not exist in the same degree; the revenue of
319,101 Ceylon in 1796-7 the only article
844,050 to be deducted, the average of the revenues from 1794-5 to
Nett charge 525,949 1795-6, then is
Revenues estimated more than Company's revenues, exclusive of
3,163 subsidies in the respective ycars,
Charges, ditto ditto
2,225 and Ceylon in 1796-7, the ave. rage 1794-5 to 1796-7, more than
Nett charge estimated for 1797-8,
less than preceding year
938 Exceeds amount applicable from
1,392,725 BENCOOLEN AND OTHER SETTLEMENTS.
Cargoes invoiced to Europe in Revenues of Fort Marlboro', on
1796-7, with charges.... 1,877,432 average of three years, 1794-5 to 1796-7 ...
GENERAL VIEW. Charges, ditto ditto
RESULT OF ESTIMATES 1797-8, COLLECTIVELY. Net charge 84,781 REVENUES--Bengal.... 5,743,848
2,334,676 Supplies from Bengal to Fort Marl
Bombay 319,101 borough, Pinang, &c. estimated
8,397,625 for 1796-7
90,364 CHARGES— Bengal 3,893,991 The actual amount was
Bombay 844,050 Being more than estimated 10,826
7,220,879 Supplies estimated for 1797-8 .. 85,840 Nett estimated revenue of the three
1,176,746 GENERAL VIEW,
Deduct, Supplies of Bencoolen, &c. 85,840 RESULT OF THE YEAR 1796-7, COLLECTIVELY. Remainder
1,090,906 REVENUES--Bengal.... 5,703,906
Deduct farther, Interest on the
514,131 CHARGES_Bengal 3,862,942
Estimated amount, sales of im-
ports, and certificates, &c. 500,336 Bombay.... 841,825
7,113,259 | Amount estimated to be applicable
in 1797-8, to the purchase of inNett revenues of the
vestments, payment of commerthree Presidencies 902,912 cial charges, &c.
1,014,467 Deduct supplies of Bencoolen, &c. ..
DEBTS IN INDIA.
9,994,539 Bengal 352,325 Madras 37,040 Increase
2,148,455 Bombay 37,482
426,847 | Debts transferred in the year 544,402
Nett surplus from the
DEBTS BEARING INTEREST.
Interest of debt bearing interest 1,889,020
Amount of interest payable by ac-
419,345 commercial charges,
Amount of interest payable by ac-
Increase of interest, payable anof investments, pay;
ASSETS IN INDIA.
Consisting of cash, goods, &c. last
8,958,669 Bombay.. 286,913
Ditto by the present statements. • 10,531,145 Pencoolen 18,183 2,149,538 Increase of assets..