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by establishing the superior cheap. it were carried it would compel ness of free labour. He admitted the Government to reconsider the that there was no hope of restoring whole of this subject. After a the prosperity of the West Indies, strong attack on the political ecounless we could enable their nomists, whom he characterized as planters to compete successfully dull deceivers, who were sometimes with the planters in Cuba and in right in their decimals but always the Brazils ; and at the risk of wrong in their millions, he exbeing lectured by Mr. Ellice as pressed bimself unable to conceive Lord J. Russell had been for how the country, which had so alluding to the extravagance of the nobly abolished slavery in 1807, West Indies, he would repeat, that could have passed the Act of 1846, one mode of enabling them to which not only encouraged slavery meet that competition was the di- but also renewed the slave trade, or minution of their expenses, and how it could accede to a proposition especially of the cost of managing like the present. It was true that their estates. After showing that the Act of 1846 had rendered sugar protection had operated very in- cheap; but did the House never juriously in the West Indies by hear of parties selling their wares increasing the rate of wages, which at a tremendous sacrifice ? Many was an essential ingredient in the of our planters were already price of production, he argued at ruined, and those who were not great length that Government were declining business ; and the would defeat its own object if it result would be that the supply of were to restore the high protection sugar would diminish, and before which formerly existed, and that long the price would again increase. the best plan for renewing the He should have gladly given his prosperity of the West Indies and vote in favour of a 10%. discrimi. for suppressing the slave trade nating duty against all foreign would be the plan of the Govern- sugar; but, as that question was ment, which gave at once a free sup- not at present before the House, ply of labour to those colonies which he should vote in favour of Sir J. wanted it, and an extension for Pakington's amendment. three years longer of the moderate Mr. Hume rose as a free trader protection now in force. He then to show that free trade had nothing travelled over much of the same to do with the question then before ground as on Friday last, defend the House. Free trade could only ing the Government resolutions in operate where the parties were in all their details, and contending like circumstances, and where both that wbilst they were beneficial to could apply the same objects to the West Indies, they were not the same ends. Now, it was the injurious to the consumers in this opinion of Mr. Deacon Hume that country. He also maintained that if the British West Indies could no injury would accrue to the re- be placed on a footing of eqnality venue from the changes now pro- with Cuba or Porto Rico, they posed, as they were calculated to would be able to compete with produce an increased consumption them successfully; and that gen

tleman entertained that opinion Mr. Seymer supported the with great confidence, because, up amendment, in the hope that if to a recent period, this country had been the great mart for the sugar, be better to let them die quickly coffee, and rum of the West Indies. than to keep them in a lingering “ But,” said he, “when you abo- and painful existence. For his own lished slavery you deprived the part, he was of opinion that if we British planter of the labour which were to withdraw our squadron he enjoyed before in common with from the coast of Africa, and apply the Spanish colonist; and until the expense of it to the relief of you have again placed him on a the distress in the West Indies, in level with his rivals in that re- ten years their prosperity would spect, you cannot call upon him to be restored, and all their distress meet the competition of free trade.” would vanish. The British planter therefore had The debate after Mr. Hume's a claim to a discriminating duty, speech was adjourned, and on the not as a matter of favour, but as a following night was resumed ; Mr. matter of right. And why? Be. P. Miles and Lord George Bencause every arrangement into which tinck opposing the Government Great Britain had entered with plan, and Mr. Hawes defending it. him at the period of emancipation The discussion now assumed a very had been grossly violated. He had, personal shape, Lord G. Bentinck therefore, not had the requisite accusing the Colonial Office in means for the cultivation of his round terms of suppressing imestates, and hence his present dis- portant information, in order to tress. He believed that free labour keep the House and the public in was the only mode by which you the dark as to the real predicament could put down slave labour; but of the Colonies. Mr. Hawes warmly his complaint was, that the colo- repelled the imputation, and Lord nists had never had an opportunity of John Russell coming to the assistgiving free labour a fair trial. The ance of his colleagues, especially of Colonial Office had prevented that Earl Grey, attacked Lord G. Ben-the Colonial Office, which from tinck with great warmth and per'first to last had always been a sonality. The following passage puisance. Fortunate would it have will exhibit a specimen of the been for the Colonies if that Office tone of this unusually acrimonious had been locked up, for, if we had discussion. Lord John Russell allowed them to manage their own said :affairs, they would have known no. "In general, with regard to those thing of this distress. As we had matters, it is quite evident that not allowed them the labour which these mean frauds — these ex. they wanted, and as the loss of tremely disgraceful tricks—which that labour had occasioned high the noble Lord imputes to my noble wages, we ought to consider whe, friend-are not the faults and the ther we could not restore the con- characteristics of men high in office fidence which we had destroyed in this country. They are the by giving them a supply of labour, characteristics of men who are enand that protection which we had gaged in pursuits which the noble promised but had subsequently Lord long followed. (Loud cries of withdrawn. He was of Opinion Oh, oh!' and great uproar.) Some that the measure of Government time ago, the noble Lord very would have no effect in restoring greatly distinguished himself by their prosperity, and that it would detecting a fraud of this nature

of sugar.

(loud cheers and counter-cheers) – tinck declined to make any distinct with respect to the name and age of a retractation of his former charges, horse; a transaction in which he and after much fruitless altercation showed very great quickness of ap- the debate on the main question prehension. (Great confusion.) was resumed. Mr. Bernal began

Lord John continued his re- by laying before the House some marks in the same tone, inter personal knowledge of the deprecirupted by renewed bursts of angry ation and ruin that was overspreadinterruption, and applause from ing planters' estates in Jamaica. his own side.

He, however, announced his inMr. Disraeli took up the quarrel. tention of giving his vote in favour He suggested that charges of this of Lord John Russell's proposition, nature were not to be disposed of although he was not a warm adby appeals to high station or pedi- mirer either of that plan or of any gree. Lord George Bentinck's in- other that had been proposed. defatigable spirit of investigation Sir James Graham rapidly reand courage were not to be cowed viewed the circumstances of the by any bravo, whatever his position first infringement of the policy of - not to be bullied either in the excluding from this country the ring or on the Treasury bench. sugar of slave-labour countries; and In the matter of the horse, Lord he defended the Act of 1845 on the George had been thanked by a whole case as it then stood. He meeting at Newmarket, the chair- admitted, however, as an imperman of which meeting was the fection of that Act, that prominency Duke of Bedford. This was not the had not been given in it to the first time that despatches had been question of encouragement or nontreated unsatisfactorily by an Ad- encouragement of the slave-trade. ministration. The House might The steps following that Act were remember the suppressions in the a necessary sequel to the first steps despatches of Sir Alexander Burnes. taken in the new course: the sub

Several other members took part ject was one of great difficulty, but in the contention, and warm re- the balance was in favour of the criminations were interchanged, course taken. The Act of 1846 until Mr. Hawes was called to order received Sir James's unwilling supby the Speaker. Lord Palmerston port, on the grounds stated by Sir interposed with an ingenious and Robert Peel. He now opposed a good-humoured speech, endeavour ten-shilling protective duty for six ing to heal the breach by explaining years, as inexpedient for the cothe affair to have originated in a lonies themselves, from its probable misconception between Mr. Goul. effects in exaggerating the compeburn and Mr. Hawes. The debate tition for labour, and raising wages. was again adjourned, and on its He had also a more general ground resumption the personal imputa- of objection. On the first night of tions affecting the Colonial Ad- this session Mr. Disraeli had reministration again became the sub- ferred to a prophecy made by him ject of discussion. Mr. Ilawes two years ago, that there would be entered into a lengthened explana- a reaction in our commercial policy; tion of the facts affecting the and he now triumphed in what he despatches alleged to have been believed to be the near accomplishsuppressed, but Lord George Ben- ment of that prophecy—he believed VOL. XC.


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that the time had arrived when the prime necessaries of life. I am that reaction would commence. Nor satisfied you must be most cautious was that all: Lord Stanley had the not to let anything enhance the other night, in another place, asked prices of articles of the first necesfor a prolongation of the time during sity. Cheap sugar is not to be which the existing Corn Law was laughed at, notwithstanding the to continue; and Mr. Herries had anathema of the Duke of Richdeliberately given it as his opinion mond. Sugar enters into the com. that nothing would be really effec- forts of every family; it is the only tual for the relief of the West little luxury that many families can Indies except a discriminating duty enjoy; it renders palatable their approaching in its character to a rice, their gruel, their crout, their prohibition. Why, if we were to indifferent tea and coffee. It is revert to a system of prohibitory our duty, as far as possible, to duties on foreign sugar, and if, cheapen everything. When it beunder the terms lately issued by comes a question of reaction and of the Protection Society and signed prohibitory duties, I oppose myself by the Duke of Richmond, the idea to reaction; for I believe that in of cheapness was to be made the the present state of the country subject of ridicule and scorn, then that policy is impracticable - if he would at once say, to any practicable, most dangerous; and such reaction he was opposed. In if carried into effect I should passing, he would advert to what tremble for the consequences. I had been said with respect to most sincerely intend to give my cheap sugar, and the connexion vote against the amendment." which the noble Lord said there The debate again adjourned was existed between cheap production continued at great length. The and low wages. He did not shrink Government plan was opposed on from that declaration. His official Anti-Slavery grounds by Sir Robert experience

Inglis, on Protectionist grounds by Lord George Bentinck-" You the Marquis of Granby and Mr. have stated it both ways.”

Urquhart. Mr. Muntz objected to Sir James Graham—"That taunt re-open the settlement of 1845. falls upon me harmlessly. No taunt Mr. Labouchere defended the Minican now drive me from office, to sterial scheme, but without novelty make way for others. I have no of argument. power which the noble Lord or Mr. Barkly defended the planters others may desire to deprive me of, from exploded charges which had to bestow it elsewhere. I desire no- been renewed by Mr. Hawes, and thing but to speak the plain truth. corrected that gentleman's stateI was formerly of opinion that low ment in several details ; giving his prices made low wages; but my offi- own personal experience gathered cial experience seems to justify the on the spot. He showed that conclusion that high prices make the unremunerative condition of low wages; and that the effects sugar-planting does not arise from of low wages fall most heavily on absenteeism or careless cultivation. the working classes at a time when He described the exertions of a they are least able to bear that planter who had spent 6,0001. or evil, because then they are in a 7,0001. and great personal exertion condition the least able to purchase without success. 'In Berbice, he



saw a person who had lived on his expressing his deep sympathy with own estate for fifty years; two years the distress of our Colonies in the before Mr. Barkly's visit, he had West Indies—Colonies which had refused for his property 60,0001., stood by us unflinchingly during offered by a nobleman now in the the American and the French reHouse of Peers; when Mr. Barkly volutions, and had been the consaw him, that person had sold his ductors by which the tempest of estate for 1000 dollars, and was war had on both occasions been then living on an allowance granted averted from our own shores. There to him by his former manager: the were, however, social relations manager had crossed over to the connected with those Colonies of Dutch slave-holding colony, and even still higher value than polithere soon amassed a fortune. tical relations. The smaller the

Mr. Goulburn took a view similar white population was in them, the to Mr. Gladstone's; but, although more important was it for the purhe disclaimed a recurrence to pro. poses of civilization, humanity, and tection, leaving more to that side; religion, that we should come forand also differing in his practical ward to protect them. Their disconclusions as to the vote which he tress was now admitted on all should give. He observed that hands, and there was a general the gentlemen opposite desire to remedy it. On this ocinto office on the 6th of July, casion he would not say anything 1846; and on the 20th of July, of the interests of the consumer, after fourteen days' considera- but would apply himself to those tion, cutting short the experiment of the colonists alone. Her Mathen in progress, they came down jesty's Government had made proto the House and proposed a total posals for their relief, and Sir John change in the system that had been Pakington had called on the House for some time previous in opera- to refuse consideration of those protion. They called for the assent posals, and on the Government to of Parliament to the measure which bring forward a better plan, or else they proposed, and pledged upon it to leave others the introduction of the existence of the Government. one. The West Indies were lookHe for one gave his assent to the ing to this country for a remedy, scheme brought forward in these and if the proposals of Government circumstances, not that he approved were condemned as unworthy of of the measure itself, but because consideration, the news would be he thought there was a possibility wafted in great triumph to them, that the Colonies might escape the and the next day would bring back destruction that many persons fore- a demand for new remedies. He told was certain to ensue; and be- tben discussed the merits of Lord cause at that particular moment G. Bentinck’s plan, and took a there was, as it appeared to him, rapid review of the present position danger to the general interests of of the West Indies. Having done the empire from another change of that, he asked whether, if he agreed Administration, which, in his mind, to the amendment, he could go outweighed those chances of mis. back to the measure of 1844, and fortune that were likely to fall on re-establish the distinction between the Colonies.

slave-labour and free-labour sugar? Sir Robert Peel commenced by He thought that he could not. In

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