3 NOVEMBER 1866, Page 20

A Quarter-Century of Jamaica Legislation. By J. M. Ludlow, Bar-

rister-at-Law. Jamaica Papers, No. 4. (Jamaica Committee.)—The Jamaica planters, it seems, endeavoured to wean the negro from habits of idleness by every means in their power except giving him a fair chance. They carried stringent vagrancy laws, reintroduced flogging, regulated immigration so that it became semi-slavery, and kept up a tariff that depressed all industry except on the large plantations. All this time the great body of the negroes were excluded from the suffrage by the existence of a high qualification. The upshot of this anklet dealing was, as we all know, the insurrection at Morant Bay and the suicide of the Assembly. Mr. Ludlow thinks that it is useful at the present time to place in a succinct shape, as in this pamphlet, the course of legislation in Jamaica, in order, first, that people may not think worse of the negro than he deserves, and secondly, that those who are responsible for the future of the island may clearly understand the mistakes that have been made in times past. He wishes to warn the Government at home against what he believes to have been the purpose of the colonists in abolishing their Constitution—that of keeping the 350,000 blacks in a condition of complete subordination—and to induce it "to institute the most searching reform of these bad laws, and to promote the most searching reform of the bad social system which has grown up under them." We should think that Sir J. P. Grant may be trusted to do all that the cir- cumstances of the case permit.