;Debated nal VorteIfingd In parliament.
1. PORTUGAL. In the House of Lords, on Monday, theDuke of WELLINGTON moved,
" That an humble addreerbeipresented talii&Majesty; most respectfully en-, treating that his Majesty would be pleased to give such directions as may enforce the observance, by his Majesty's subjects, of the neutrality declared by his Majesty in the contest now carrying on in Portugal."
He said that the subject was one of paramount importance. The alliance between England and Portugal had been of long standing, recognized by all the powers of Europe, and. one from which both coon-idea had derived immense advantages. We were bound by treaties to defend Portugal against all external aggression, under whatever circumstances it might arise ; we were bound to act by her as if she were sine of our own provinces. He then referred to the seizure of thePortuguese vessels by the French squadron in 1831 ; and argued that it was the duty of this country at that crisis to have interfered in behalf of Portugal; but so far from baying done so, we bad seized the opportunity to press certain claims of our own. The equipment Of a force by Don Pedro, in the Azores, he said, was contrary to the law of nations; and:whila.he was in office, he had done 'every thing, short of • committing actual warfare, to suppress and discountenance such proceedings. But he charged the present Government with having in fact assisted Don Pedro's hostile preparations in the most direct manner, by releasing certain ships which had been detained, because freighted with men and warlike materiel for Don Pedro, and directing that they should be allowed to pursue their course. Did Ministers, call such iiroceedings performing treaties ? Was this neutrality ? Men were zent from this country and from France to the assistance of Don Pedro in the most open manner. It was true that Earl Grey knew mothing of this, but every body else knew it perfectly well. He would just remind the House of the law of this country, and of the law of Aaadons on this point.
Don Miguel, although not acknowledged by us as the rightful sovereign of Portugal, was acknowledged—we could not help acknowleding him as the sove_reign of Portugal, de facto. We had treated him as the de facto sovereign of -that country. We could not do otherwise. There could be no doubt that in the struggle between the two parties, Don Miguel derived great advantage from being de facto the sovereign, of having the Portuguese nation behind him. Of that advantage they could not deprive him.
Now what was the law of nations ? He would state to the House the opinion of Sir William Scott and of Vattel on this subject.
Sir William Scott defined strict neutrality as "a complete abstinence not curdy from any act of warfare, but from any kind of assistance either to the one Warty or to the other." It was clear, therefore, that the rule of neutrality did riot allow of assistance to both, but prohibited it to either. "The meaning of rieutrality," Sir William Scott proceeded, "was, to withhold succour from both .parties.' Such was the rule laid down lk all writers, and especially. by Vattel. Wattel said, that in order to see the question in a proper point of view, they must consider what a nation should do, in order to maintain perfect neutrality, in the case of a war between an ally and a neutral nation. While such was the +lease, would the neutral nation be justified in supplying both the belligerents with troops, arms, ammunition, provisions, or any other means of carrying on war ? 4"1 absolutely say no," says Vattel.
Sir William Scott again had said, "while a nation remains neutral, it has no right to practise hostile conduct." The law of this country recognized the same doctrine.
The Foreign Enlistment Act required Government to prevent such interference of individuals. It made it incumbent on the officers of Government to do their duty. In the instance to which he had alluded, the officers of Government aid perform their duty. They did arrest vessels when about to sail on these illegal services ; and then Government itself interfered, and declared that in no case should they be prevented. If that were all, it would sufficiently establish the charge of a breach of the law of nations against his Majesty's Government. But it was not all. Be it remembered, that if Government had not acted as they had acted, all which had since occurred would have been prevented. Portugal, the old ally of this country, would not have been in a state of war, and exposed to all the further disasters incident to a state of war, at the present moment.
But this was not all. He had seen a correspondence which had been carried on between the Government of this country and that of Spain, in which we insisted upon Spain observing neutrality in the contest between Don Pedro and his brother, engaging at the same time that this country should remain neutral also. But were we neutral ? On the contrary, the war at this time was carried on by means of men, arms, ammunition, and provisions, sent from this country. A distinguished officer of _the Navy had taken command of some vessels, collected principally at Spithe.ad, with a view of attacking Lisbon. When lie had asked Earl Grey for information respecting this expedition, he 'was referred to the newspapers.
It was most extraordinary that his Majesty's Government had not received any information on the subject from any of those officers with whom they were in the daily habit of correspondence. But a cireumstance had occurred which rendered this still more remarkable. It happened that a mutiny took place on board one of the vessels forming the expedition. Some of the persons who 'were going out in her, and who were called volunteers, changed their minds and took a resolution not to go. They got into a boat, intending to lower themselves ilovin into the sea, then cut away the rope, and so escape. They did not cut it away skilfully, however ; and the consequence was, that five or six were drowned, for the vessel never hove to, to attempt to save them. Now these persons were British subjects. Why were not measures adopted by his Majesty's Government to prevent a description of service in which things like these went on ? What was most strange, however, was, that all this should happen at Spitbead, and that no one of his Majesty's Ministers should know a word about the matter!
It would have been more manly and more honourable to Government if they had openly invaded Portugal. The consequence of a,civil war in Portugal would inevitably be a civil war in Spain. The interest enclhonour of this country could not be safe under such circumstances. Ens Majesty had declared from the Throne that he mould preserve mentrality; Ministers had declared neutrality to be the policy of this country, If this were so, in the name of God, let his Majesty recall everyman of his subjects who had engaged on either side of this contest.. Then, indeed,. neutrality; and a good feeling between the two coWtries.wetild be restored.
Earl GREY agreed in thinking that the subject was one, of great, imApoitance; and the question was, in what way Government had acted under the circumstances in which they feund themselves placed. He was convinced that he shoulai be able to, prove to the satisfaction of the Mouse, that their conduct by no marts deserved the censure which would be cast upon it by the motion of the. Duke of Wellington,—a motion which was intended to fix upon theAdministration the stigma of having violated their publieduty. Earl Grey then stated at some length the circumstances which led to the present contest in Portugal, —the formal acknowledgement of Donna Maria as Queen ; the manner in which Don Miguel went to Portugal, under British protection; his.oath of allegiance to his niece, and subsequent breach of it; the withdrawal of Foreign Ambassadors from his court ; and the attempt of Don Pedro to recover her lost rights for his daughter, which Earl Grey contended was a perfectly proper and justifiable attempt on his part. Their Lordships would perceive his reasons for entering into these statements. On the one side, they had a dc facto king, as Don Miguel was called ; on the other, a sovereign who had been acknowledged by England, and by the other nations of Europe : on the one hand, they had an unnatural usurper ; on the other, a Queen whom we were bound by treaty to support, at least against foreign aggression. He would now ask their Lordships, whether Government could be called upon, from any consideration arising out of the obligations imposed upon them by treaties—out of any obligation arising from national law— or out of any obligations arising from the duty which one country owes to :me • ther—whether Government ought to have been called upon from any such con" siderations, to take part directly against a sovereign whose rights we had acknowledged, to the advantage of an usurper whom we had denounced as such? That, in his opinion, was the real state of the question. He denied that any treaties existed which bound us to interfere in defence of Don Miguel's Government ; and maintained that the Frenchinvasion of Portugal, as it was termed, was made under very different circumstances from those which could justify our interference in her behalf. We certainly were not bound by treaty—no country possibly could be bound—to defend a foreign state from every possible species of aggression which might be made upon it. The question, however, was, whether in the case of Don Pedro's expedition this country had maintained a real neutrality. He proceeded to state, that Admiral Parker's squadron had been sent into the. Tagus at the especial desire of, and for the protection of the British merchants at Lisbon ; and that, on the commencement of the contest between the two brothers, all the vessels but one had retired into the roadstead. The orders sent from this country were to observe the strictest neutrality ; and .Admiral Parker, upon the arrival of the squadron of Sartorius in the Tagus, had actually retired to a distance of three miles, in order to be quite out of the way of interfering on either side. The British fleet afterwards reentered the Tagus for the protection of British subjects in Lisbon. The necessity for this step was proved by the murder of the servant of Lord William Russell; who was killed by a subordinate of Don Miguel's Government, upon whom no punishment had since' been inflicted. But still it was stud, that we had violated the neutrality by not interfering to prevent the shipment of arms and ammunition from this country for the service of one of the belligerents. With respect to the general principles of law, he apprehended that merchantsin a neutral country: were perfectly at liberty to furnish to any belligerent power, ships, provisions, stores, ammunition or arms, without any breach of theneutral character of the country. This principle he believed to be incontrovertible and indisputable. To answer this argument, the Duke of Wellington had quoted the authority of Lord Stowell. Now, none.more admired the talents or respected the integrity of Lord Stowell than he did. He did not think that a better judge ever sat in the Court of Admiralty than Lord Stowell. But before he would agree to the application of his decision in the way that the Duke of Wellington sought to apply it, he should like to know on what occasion and for what object that decision was made? Without knowing thesepoints, it was impossible to say how far the opinions of Lord Stowell would apply to the present case. He maintained, that neutrality was preserved, provided the merchants of a country were permitted equally to supply both belligerents with the materiel of war. He then proceeded to argue, that the neutrality was not violated by permitting soldiers to be enlisted for the service of one or both the opposing parties ; and instanced the case of the Swiss Confederacy, which for so many years, in the very heart of Europe, bad hired out troops to different countries, and was yet permitted to enjoy the privileges of a neutral power. In the case of Greece and of South America, expeditions had been fitted out from this and other, countries without a breach of national neutrality. Don Miguel was as. sisted from England as well as his brother. There was not a singlemusket in his army that was not of British manufacture. He contended, that the Foreign Enlistment Act had been passed for a particular and temporary purpose. It was passed originally in the reign of George the Second, to prevent British subjects from entering into the service of the Pretender ; and it wassenewed in 1819,, in order to fulfil the engagements entered into in 1814, to take the most effectual means of preventing assistance being given to the South American States, either by supplies of ships, stores, or men. It was a law which the Government of this country might enforce if they chose, but no Foreign Government could call upon them to enforce it. The vessels which had been seized with men and supplies on board for Don Pedro had been released, because the Law Officers of the Crown had given it as their opinion that they could not be legally detained on the mere application of an agent, whether authorized or not, of any Foreign State. Earl Grey enforced this point, and defended the conduct of Government on this occasion at considerable length. Fortified, as be was, with the consciousness of having acted with the most upright intentions, and fortified, as he was, in every stage of the proceeding, with the best legal advice that could be obtained—and that, too, from a quarter certainly not disposed improperly to favour the present Administration—fortified by the opinions of a gentleman so distinguished for his knowledge of the law of nations as the eminent individual who held the office of Advocate-General, he submitted to their Lordships that the Duke of Wellington had ailed in making out his.case. He submitted that the charge brought against him by the Duke, of infringing the neutrality of this country, had failed. Probably, had the alleged breach of neutrality been a breach more congenial to the views of the Duke—had ,the Government interfered in favour of Don Miguel; probably their Lordships.would never have heard any such complaint. He certainly took a different view, of the state of affairs in Portugal to that taken by the Duke of, Wellington. Under all the circumstances, hebed considered it his duty to himCself and others. not to interfere in the struggle_ now, going on in Portugal; Ithough be certainly.thouglit that he would-have been justified in so doing had he considered it,e;ipedipek. It was premature to take any steps with regard to the dismissal of Captain Napier, until it could be shown that he had infringed the Orders in Council by engaging in the active service of a foreign prince. The Government had also been charged with breaking its ergagements with Spain. He denied this charge most distinctly. The danger of a civil war in Spain would not be lessened by Don Miguel's triumph. There was, besides, the probability of the succession to the Spanish throne being disputed on the death of the present kieg. The Government of this country were not surely responsible for that. The number of foreign troops in the service of Don Pedro did not, he believed, exceed 3,000; and the most important posts were confided to the keeping of native troops : the success of Donna Maria, therefore would not be owing, as had been asserted, to foreign mercenaries. He trusted that he had fully satisfied. the House that no ease had been made out for casting blame upon his Majesty's Ministers.
The Earl of ABERDEEN contended, that Earl Grey had by no means satisfactorily answered the charge brought against him. He restated the charge of his conniving at a breach of the Foreign Enlistment Act, and mentioned, that during the last three months, 1,7.50 Englishmen and 3,000 foreigners had sailed from Great Britain to join Don Pedro. He quoted passages from the newspapers in order to prove this. He alluded also to the money which had been raised in this country to assist the Pedroites.
Was it to be endured, that a set of Jew jobbers in the City should send forth adventurers to rob and murder the subjects of a government at amity with this country, without our Government being able to interfere to prevent? Under such a state of things this country was unfit to hold relations with civilized states. But it was albel on the constitution to say that this Government could not interfere to prevent such proceedings. Ile could not be contradicted when he stated, that the law of nations was part of the law of the land, and that the obligation to prevent such shameful violations of neutrality was binding upon this country under whatever form of constitution it-might be placed. He was
sanctioned n the argument be was now maintaining, by the opinion of Lord Stowell, which was quoted by the noble Duke. Earl GREY—" Was that opinion pronounced judicially?" The Duke of WELLINOTON—" No." ("Hear, hear!" from Earl Grey.) The Earl of ABERDEEN—" Good God! Did Earl Grey mean to say that Lord Stowell would give a different opinion in that House from that which he would pronounce upon the bench ! The noble earl had himself borne testimony to that eminent individual's integrity; and everybody who knew him would be convinced that his sentiments would not alter with his change of place; he was the same man in that House and on the bench. The course pursued by the Government was utterly at variance with the principles laid down by Lord Stowell, and all other authorities on the law of nations. It was incumbent on Earl Grey to give some evidence of the sincerity of the Government in declaring that they would observe neutrality.
He said that the man, who was called Lord William Russell's servant, was a Spaniard, not a British subject, and the porter in common at the lodging-house where Lord William resided. The British ships of war would have been better employed in the Levant than in being sent to Lisbon on such a pretence as the killing of this man afforded. He contended, that nine tenths of the Portuguese were in favour of the existing Government. He concluded by passing a high eulogium on the achievements, talents, and character of the Duke of Wellington ; who, he said, was nobly engaged in endeavouring to protect the nations of the Continent from the revolutionary feelings supported and encouraged by the Government of this country.
The Marquis of LANSDOWNE commented on the inconsistency of the Opposition Lords, who so bitterly decried newspaper reports, and yet rested the whole justification of the present motion on no better authority. He thought that when the conduct of Don Miguel towards this country was considered, it could scarcely be said that a very strict interpretation of the law should be made in his favour. As to the French expedition, we could not with propriety interfere to prevent the French from obtaining that satisfaction which we had procured for ourselves. He trusted that the House was not prepared to. censure Ministers on the evidence, and for the reasons which had been adduced in favour of the motion.
The Earl of ELDON said, that the persons who had entered the service of Don Pedro had committed a gross violation of the common law. He felt it his duty to say a few words in vindication of his Sovereign, who had been grossly insulted by the policy pursued towards Portugal, in contravention of his declaration, that a, strict neutrality should be preserved by this country during the pending contest.
Lord Baotrena3r, in reference to the opinion of Lord Stowell, which had been quoted, drew a distinction between the dictum of a judge upon the bench and the opinion of the same person as a Ministerial partisan in the arena of Parliamentary debate. In the first place, he must observe, that the matter had not been brought before Lord Stowell for his deliberate judgment ; and secondly, he disbelieved the accuracy of the newspaper report. If driven, as-he had before said, from this point by its being maintained that the noble lord had used such language as had been attributed to him, then, making every allowance for the bias under which that opinion might have been given, he should contend that the doctrines there laid down were not those of the law of nations. It was, he must contend, matter of trite law of nations for government even with its eyes open, but as a government taking no part, to permit the subjects, as individuals, to trade with the belligerents for warlike stores, for ammunition, arms, and accoutrements. If, also, parties enlisted themselves (apart from the government, but in their individual capacity) with either the one side or the other, there was no breach of international law.
He denied that much reliance ought to be placed on the authority of Vattel ; and quoted the opinion of a Dutch writ2r upon international law—Bynckenshoecks--to prove that the neutrality was not violated when the subjects of a country were permitted to trade with both the belligerent powe/s. He could not think there was much of substance inthe charge or vote of censure brought against the Government, when the refusal of the Government to permit or acquiesce M an illegal seizure by the Customhouse, and to dismiss agallant officer without a hearing, was made "the head and front of their offending." However the numbers now present looked like an effort by the result of this discussion to effect a.change in-his-Majesty's councils. ("Ni,, no!" from the Opposition benches.) He did not mean to attribute such a-motive to the noble Duke who had brought forward the motion.;, but many of their Lordsbip:s-might think thepresenta fitting. opportunity of putting-anend to an Administration at present engaged in agitating the great questions of the Bank and at India Charters—the difficult_ subject of Colopili Slaverre..the amendment and improvement of the Municipal taws of the country—the Irish Church Establishment—the Tithes and Church of England. The vote of that night would, beyond all doubt, expose their Lordships to the charge of being actuated by such motives. It, however, remained to be seen whether any considerable portion of their Lordships would pass a vote of censure upon the Government, when the facts on which that vote must be grounded were avowedly in dispute, and when the evidence to support them was not even called for. Lord WYNPORD denied being actuated by party feeling ; and thought that Lord Brougham's concluding argument was used much too frequently, unless it was intended to shut up the House of Lords. The Duke of WELLINGTON replied ; and denied that he had brought forward this motion as a censure upon the Government.
Earl GREY was at a loss to conceive how the motion could be regarded otherwise than as a motion of censure ; and he need not say that it was no slight matter for any body of men to have a vote of censure passed on them by a branch of the Legislature.
The House divided : for the motion 80 ; against it, 68 ; majority against Ministers, II
Lord KINYON moved that a Committee be appointed to draw up the address to his Majesty. Earl GREY said that was unnecessary as the address was already prepared. Lord KENYON moved that "the Lords with white staves carry up the address to the King."
This motion was put and carried.
In the House of Commons on the same evening, Lord Paumnsrow stated, in reply to a question from Colonel Evans that as soon as Donna Maria was rendered by the actual possession of her dominions a Sovereign de facto as well as de jure, her recognition by this country would at once take place ; but that the possession of Oporto and the Azores did not entitle her to be recognized as the reigning Queen of Portugal.
At a later hour, Colonel Dawes gave notice, that on Thursday he would submit a motion to the House expressive of its confidence in the Ministry relative to their conduct in the affairs of Portugal.
On Tuesday, Lord EBRINGTON said he wished the House to receive an assurance from Lord Palmerston that no steps would be taken by Government to change its Foreign policy in consequence of the vote of the House of Lords, until the Commons had been afforded an opportunity of expressing its opinion in regard to it. He believed the sentiments of the House of Commons, and . of a great majority of their constituents also, to be diametrically opposite to those of the House of Lords, not only upon the Foreign policy of the Government but upon a great many other questions, involving the best interests and even the tranquillity of the country.
Lord PALMERSTON said— "During the period that we have had the honour to advise the Crown, we have with respect to Portugal, as with respect to all other matters of foreign and domestic policy, pursued that course which we thought most conducive to the interests of the country, and the dignity and honour of the Crown ; and so long as we have the honour of performing the task of advising the Crow,n, we will not depart or swerve in the slightest degree from those principles which have hitherto governed our conduct."
Colonel DAVIES, on Thursday, moved, according to notice,
"That an humble address he presented to his Majesty, regretting the continuance of hostilities in Portugal, and expressive of the grateful acknowledgments of that House for the conduct pursued by his Majesty's Ministers with respect to the affairs of that country."
Upon the decision of the House that night, it would depend whether or not the course of policy pursued by this country towards Portugal
should be continued or abandoned. In consequence of what had taken place in the House of Lords, the House of Commons stood in circumstances of peculiar delicacy.
It would be affectation were he to attempt to conceal the motives under the influence of which he then rose in that House. He should, under any circum stances, and especially under the present circumstances, deem it the most proper and manly course frankly and plainly to avow the motives by which he *as at that moment actuated. He brought forward the motion in the view and hope of doing away the prejudicial effects of the decision come to by the other House of Parliament, He certainly could have no wish to be instrumental in bringing the two Houses into collision, for he was perfectly aware of the inconvenience which must arise from any such ; but at the same time lie could not for a single moment forego the opportunity of asserting the undoubted right which belonged to that House of expressing its own opinion upon the course which this country was pursuing towards Portugal. He claimed that right for the House of Commons as the Representatives of the People. If ever there was a time when that House might well express such an opinion, that time was the present. If the House of Commons were now to remain silent, it might be supposed that they acquiesced in such a country as Portugal being deprived of the freedom to which every country on earth was entitled.
He by no means identified the party of Don Miguel with the Portuguese nation. He went into a detail of the events which immediately preceded and accompanied the usurpation of Don Miguel; and concluded by asking the House, Whether, at a moment when the Russian eagle soared over Constantinople ata moment when Austria was oppressing Italy—at a time when Prussia was only waiting for a fit opportunity to join in the game of tyranny—whether such a moment was one at which we should suffer the germs of liberty to be crushed in one little corner of the Continent.
Lord MORPETH seconded the motion.
It seemed to him, that if any person, either a contemporary witness or a future peruser of these transactions, could question the entire propriety of the resolution before the House, it would arise from a doubt whether this country had assumed a moral attitude-sufficiently elevated—had exhibited a moral countenance sufficiently constant to the Sovereign whose rights she had unequivocally acknowledged—sufficiently constant to the parties alone whose hopes she had inevitably encouraged—sufficiently constant to the principles which she must approve and cherish, because they were alike the principles of truth and her own. Convinced, however, of that imperious obligation which compels the conduCt of governments to be regulated, not by the temptations of the particular case, but by the maxims of a general rule, where the tendency of this rule was obviously to preserve the invaluable blessings of peace, he would bow to the stern necessity of the case, and admit the propriety of our Governmetitmaintaining a neutrality even during the late glorious struggles of' Poland' to burst 'her galleychains, even pending theresistance now made to the usurpation of Doe Miguel. Under the circumstances, however,of.the present contest JD Portugal,-he was sure that the House, that the country, would be of opinion' that over-forbearance and passiveness ought not to extend one inch beyond what was strictly necessary.
Much had been said about Don Miguel's being the choice of the Portuguese nation—
It had been published in 1831, ,that upon a calculation it was found there were in the prisons and hulks of Portugal, or transported as convicts, 27,000 individuals; of those emigrating to avoid his vengeance there were noless than 13,000 ; and in hiding-places in Portugal there were between 4,000 and 5,000. Thus it appeared, that out of a population not exceeding 2,600,000, there were no less than 45,000 victims of political resentment, whom, no doubt, these partisans of Don Miguel would include amongst those who testified universal acquiescence in the dominion of the usurper!
The soldiers, it appeared from the evidence of Mr. Young, who was in Portugal at the time of the usurpation, carried thumbscrews about them, which they fixed upon whomsoever they chose to make their prisoners ; and they often screwed them till the blood started from beneath the nails of the sufferers, who shrieked with agony as they went along the streets.
Don Miguel might, indeed, be stained with rebellion, usurpation, tyranny, and murder. He might combine all that we read, and all that we could imagine, of the inGst detestable models in ancient history—the sullen perfidy of Tiberius, with the sanguinary sportiveness of Commodus; but n'o matter ; somehow or other, despite of this world of charges and accusations, he represented the Conservative interests in Portugal. (Loud laughter and cheers.) And further, he reflected, it would seem, those interests in Spain. In him were centered the hopes of Absolutists, and the perpetuity of priestcraft.
" His birth, his titles, crowds and courts confess, Chaste matrons praise him, and grave Bishops bless."
(Immoderate laughter.) Grave Bishops ! He would say one word on that subject. He professed his attachment to the Established Church, and was in the habit of showing respect and forbearance towards the heads of that Church but when he found that those right reverend persons, who had declared to the other House that it would not be discreet in them to legislate for the better observance of the Sabbath, did not find it beyond their praise or beneath their care, not merely to interpose on a nice, a complicated qpestion of worldly policy, but to inculcate greater forbearance on the part of Britain towards a cause built upon the disregard of every obligation and stained by the commission of every crime, he might ask, what infatuation induced them to convert the support of those who are not ready to proffer it into coldness and alienation?
Sir HENRY HARDINGE said, that he had worn the Portuguese uniform, and commanded Portuguese troops ; he thought therefore that it was imperative upon him to state his sentiments on this question. The real question was, whether in this contest a strict neutrality had been preserved by the British Government.
It was notorious that Don Pedro had been supplied from this country with arms, with ammunition, and, above all, with men. The very sweepings of the poor-houses had been vomited forth to take part in theselcivil wars. If such a system were tolerated, they would shortly have the ports and harbours of this country converted into nests of pirates, from whence expeditions might be sent forth to annoy all the peaceable states of Europe. Finally, the evil would arrive at such a height, that by common consent the natives of this country would be outlawed from the Continent of Europe.
He did not rise to defend Don Miguel, but perhaps he might be permitted to ask, who and what Don Pedro was ? He entered into a brief review of the conduct of Don Pedro during the present contest ; and argued that his career had been begun for the purposes of ambition, and was continued for the purposes of pillage ; that be had used unwarrantable means to obtain soldiers, and that he treated them, the Irish regiment among others, excessively ill. He maintained that this country had openly violated its professions of neutrality.
This pretended neutrality was a paltry pettifogging way of proceeding. We had got into a dilemma with Spain, and we endeavoured to sneak out of it by this pettifogging course. (Laughter from Ministers.) He perceived that the expressions he had used caused laughter : he had used them with deliberation(Laughter)—they were not his words, but those of the late Mr. Canning, on a motion of Lord Althorp for the repeal of the Foreign Enlistment Bill, on the 16th of April 1821
He said that the Duke of Wellington, than whom a more straightforward man did not exist, had not brought forward his moticn in the other House for party purposes. Another friend of his, Sir John Campbell, had not been fairly used. Sir John had perhaps spoken disrespectfully of Ministers, which Ministers might think unbecoming in officers of the Army or Navy; but if they went to a place which he was in habit of frequenting, the United Service Club, God knows, they might hear their conduct disrespectfully alluded to very often. He concluded by saying that he would give the strongest and most decided negative to the motion.
Mr. ROBINSON regretted that he could not vote with his colleague, Colonel Davies. The House of Lords had only exercised its undoubted and constitutional privilege ; and it was neither necessary nor expedient to bring forward a motion like the present.
Besides, he objected to the motion on the ground that it expressed approbation of the judicious course pursued by Ministers in the affairs of Portugal, in the absence of any information on the subject. He deprecated such a vote, on theground that it went not only to bring the Commons in collision with the Lords, bat because its effect must be to create a feeling in the minds of Peers, that there existed in that House of Parliament a disposition to interfere unnecessarily with the privileges of the other. The conduct of the British Government had been such as to alienate the Portuguese of both parties. Don Miguel aught be as fit to govern Portugal as Louis Philip was to govern France; but it would have saved much embarrassment if the Government of the day had dethroned him when he first usurped the crown. He contended that there was no occasion to vote for the motion in order to prove that the House went with Ministers ; for it was quite notorious that a very large majority supported them. He would move the previous question, as an amendment to Colonel Davies's motion, should no other member do so.
Lord Jorar RUSSELL said it was not necessary to add another word to the character of Don Miguel, as given not long ago by Lord Aberdeen; who had described him as being false, cruel, and cowardly. He then proceeded to defend the conduct of the Government in permitting assistance to be given by his Majesty's subjects to both the belligerent parties in Portugal; and quoted a statement of Mr. Canning, relative to the supply of arms and ammunition furnished to the Greeks in their contest with the Turks,—to the effect that it was impossible for Go vernment to prevent such supplies being sent out, as the vessels left the country without any fixed destination, and afterwards met in some foreign port. He contended also, that under the provisions of the Foreign Enlistment Act, it was not possible to prevent the subjects of this State from assisting either of the brothers ; and said, that as Sir Robert Wilson bad been restored to his rank in the Army, and Lord Cochrane to his rank in the Navy, notwithstanding they had both violated that act, it was not fair to enforce it against mere privates for entering a foreign service.
It had been urged in opposition to the motion before the House, that it would have a tendency to bring the two Houses of Parliament into collision with each other ; but it was not fair to say, that in carrying up their sentiments to the Throne, they could be considered as at all interfering with the other House of Parliament.
He denied that in doine so they would be seeking to provoke a collision with the House of Lords. His object—the same had been the object of all his colleagues, but he had been more prominently forward in regard to the measures to which he was about to refer—in all his former conduct had been to prevent the chance of such a collision ; and if in certain measures he had confined himself within certain restrictions,—if he had abstained from pressing forward opinions which were deep-seated in his breast,—if he had abstained in that instance from carrying into effect views and opinions which, the inure he considered them, the more he was convinced of their being most essential to the happiness, prosperity, and welfare of this country, let the Ilouse be assured that he did riot decline then urging those views in consequence of any change tliat had taken place in his opinions, or in consequence of any wish to preserve office or place, but because he saw there was no chance of then carrying them into effect without bringing into collision the two branches of the Legislature ; a result which he thought they should not wantonly bring on, (Loud cheers from the Ministerial benches, responded to by similar cheers from the Opposition benches), and for the bringing on of which any men whoever took office in this country would be most deeply responsible.
Ministers had pursued that course of policy with regard to Portugal which they thought conducive to the best interests of the empire ; amid they fearlessly appealed to the vote of the House to prove that they had been right.
Captain YORKE denied that the instances of assistance given to Greece, as quoted by Lord John Russell, were at all applicable to the present case.
In the case of the Aurora and the Sophia, which had cleared out with arms, &c. for the service of a foreign power, in the year 1825, the vessels had been stopped by order of Government, and the owners of them fined according to that Act. Colonel Stanhope, too, had been ordered home from Greece, precisely because lie was employed in the service of a foreign power. He himself, when on the coast of Asia Minor, had attempted to take some English vessels engaged in the Turkish service; but, owing to their superior strength, all that he had been able to do was to oblige them to take down the English flag, and hoist the Turkish standard.
He could not understand how it was that the destination of vessels openly leaving our ports was not known.
Every vessel was obliged to have a clearance, and it was impossible that one could leave the kingdom without the agents of the Government knowing it. He wished to know also, what his Majesty's ships were employed about in the Douro? Sir James Graham received returns from their commanders; and, if they did their duty, those returns contained an account of all the vessels which entered, and what was their character. If the manifest of those vessels and their cargoes were at variance, they Would be a lawful prize to any of his Majesty's ships. Was it neutrality, that an expedition had lately left this country under the command of an officer who prided himself in carrying a body of troops to Lisbon—who declared that he would die if he did not in three weeks make himself master of Lisbon?
Lord Jomi RUSSELL had said that this was not a question of coalition between the Houses. (Great laughter.) He admitted that it was fair to laugh at a lapsus like that, and he was not disturbed by the laughter of the House. He would trouble the House no further, as he merely rose to advert to what he considered the Naval matters involved in the question.
Mr. O'CONNELL would vote for the motion ; and in voting for it, as it implied confidence in Ministers, nobody would suspect him of interested motives. The House was bound to come to the same conclusion if they meant to support neutrality. For how stood the question of neutrality at present?
Had they not a vote of one House operating in favour of Don Miguel. ("No, no 1") He said yes! the other House bad given the protection of their countenance, as far as it went, to Don Miguel. (Laughter.) He was just the sort of person for the Conservatives to take in hand. The honourable member talked of a collision with the other House, but who began it? Why, the other House. They had characteristically taken Don Miguel's part, and had placed themselves in a false position. They had begun the battle by throwing their shield over Don Miguel and his policy. It was admitted even by all the speakers who were in his favour, that he was an usurper; and not only an usurper, but a perjured man, a murderer, and a traitor to his father and his country. That was the man over whom the other House had thrown their shied—that was the man whose cause the other House had sanctified—(" No, no !")—and to restore neutrality, they ought to give a vote on the other side. (Laughter.) The resolution of that House ought to go abroad to neutralize the vote of the other ; and he believed it would have quite as much moral effect as the vote of the other House. The country, it was plain, was divided into two parties, the party which wished to reap the benefits of Reform, and the party which wished to withhold them. The Ministers said, that they were willing to give the People those benefits, but they could not go so far as they wished, because they were stopped by the party opposed to all reform. There must at one time or the other be a collision between these parties. If there was not good sense enough and rood temper enough in the party opposed to the Government and to reform to give way—if they could not readethe signs of the times—if they would expose themselves and the country to great risks, by not giving up their old prejudices, why a collision must come. "They have begun it, and we will not shrink from it. The country requires from us that we should take a determinate part."
What was the reason that Don Miguel did not come to this country for sOldiers 2. Nobody interfered to prevent him.He had money, why did be get none ?
Why, not one man would enlist under his banners as a soldier. He could not get a single soldier here, though he might get great captains. There was not an E?glish, Scotch, or Irish fighting man who would serve under such a man. He might get assistance from another quarter. There he might get Churchmen as supporters. Be thought he saw them marching forth, with their lawn sleeves, the true church militant, going to aid Don Miguel. What, he again asked, was the amount of the charge? Why, simply this—that Don Miguel was so bad that he could find no support. There was not one person who had spoken who did not admit this character. Sir Henry Hardinge, whom every: body, of all parties, respects, had taken care, with the true chivalrous spirit of a British soldier, not to tarnish his high character by saying that he approved of Don Miguel's character.
If assistance had been given to Don Miguel, would any complaints have been made?
He recollected a time, under the late Government, when Don Pedro was engaged against the Constitutionalists, when that Government allowed him to levy
troops in Ireland. Colonel Collett and Colonel Baldwin raised a regiment in
tended for the service of Don Pedro. They did it openly ; they appointed officers and gave away commissions, and he himself had two of these commissions. ( Great laughter.) The whole thing was public ; it was known and not hindered. The men, when they embarked, indeed, assumed the character of hus
bandmen, and took a few husbandry too's with them; but they tcok a great number more muskets—six or seven hundred.
Legal proof must be obtained of the violation of the Foreign Enlistment Act, before it could be enforced ; and unless a particcps criminis made an affidavit of the fact, it was very difficult to obtain such proof.
In what way, too, had the act of Parliament been violated ? Why, it was said that some poor-houses had been cleared. He wished more of them had been emptied. He was glad that this class of men expatriated themselves. It was a good thing that they risked their necks abroad instead of staying to risk them at home in a less glorious way. They were,a class of people whom every Government might be glad to get rid of, and glad if they were engaged abroad. They carried no capital with them (A laugh ) ; they were not monied men, and were not likely to increase by their capital and labour the resources of any other country.
Ministers would act a more manly part in sending a few regiments to Portugal, and putting an end to the contest at once.
But it was said that Miguel, the man who was called a miscreant, was popular in Portugal. If the people did like him, that was a proof that they were worthy of him. But it was a calumny. What proportion of the people supported bun? Where was the rising in arms in his favour ? He had heard of none. A small detachment kept possession of a corner of his kingdom, and none of his people came to his aid. One-sixteenth of his subjects had passed through his dungeons, or been obliged to flee from the tyranny the monster had established. It was time that it should have a limit.
He concluded by saying, that as the House of Lords, by their vote, had given protection to Miguel, it was time that the House of Commons, in accordance with the national feeling, should make a declaration in favour of Don Pedro.
Sir ROBERT PEEL could understand Mr. O'Connell's motive in supporting the resolution. He was the open and eloquent advocate of the principle that we should directly interfere with the domestic government of another and independent country : he would give it another government, because he disapproved of the ruler it had chosen for itself: he contended for the abominable tyranny that they might interfere for what he called freedom, and force Liberalism on the people at the bayonet's point : he would go any lengths to involve the country in a war for the sake of his principles, or to put down an individual to whom he was opposed ! Sir Robert reminded the House, that Lord Althorp had expressed his opinion that the delay had been too long, and that the time was come when Don Miguel ought to be recognized. He would ask the House to look at the permanent policy of England, and determine if it were a safe principle to refuse to acknowledge a sovereign on account of his personal misconduct. He quoted the opinion of Mr. Fox relative to making peace with Bonaparte in 1800. Mr. Fox said that it was quite enough to justify the British Government in considering Bonaparte as the ruler of France, that the French people actually did obey him. Now he contended, that as the Portuguese people acknowledged and obeyed Don Miguel as their Sovereign, his character was of no consequence to other nations, who ought also to recognize him. He proceeded to contend, at considerable length, that the neutrality had been violated in the most unjustifiable and open manner; and concluded by declaring, that upon the whole, he considered the policy of the Government as dangerous, unjust, and prejudicial to the best interests of the country.
Lord PALMERSTON defended the policy of Government ; and said that the English history furnished repeated instances of British sub.. tects taking an active part in the wars of foreign states, without compromising the neutrality of their own Government. He thought that whatever inconvenience might arise from the House expressing its opinions upon the subject, ought to be attributed to those who, without cause, without reason without any obvious utility to themselves, bad thrown a marked difference of opinion between themselves and the other branch of the Legislature as well as the People.
Colonel EVANS thought that there was no reason for objecting to our interference in behalf of Don Pedro, which would not have applied to the case of Belgium where we had interfered. He denied that the will of the Portuguese people had been expressed decidedly in Don Yliguers favour ; and read an extract from a work of Lord Porchester, to this effect, that although the French Revolution was more sanguinary than that of Portugal, still, in proportion to the population of the two countries, it did not inflict a greater degree of misery.
Sir SAMUEL WHALLEY expressed his intention to vote for Colonel Davies's motion. He was repeatedly interrupted, by calls of " Question ! " and other symptoms of impatience for the division.
The House then divided : for the motion, 361; against it, 98; Ministerial majority, 263.
2. THE KING'S ANSWER TO THE ADDRESS OF THE HOUSE OF Loans. When the House met on Thursday, the Marquis WELLESLEY, in the costume and with the official wand of Lord Steward of the Household, rose from the Ministerial bench, and said, "1 have presented to his Majesty the address agreed to by your Lordships on Monday last, and to that address his Majesty has been pleased to return this most gracious answer—' I had already taken all suc4 measures as appeared to me to be necessary for maintaining the neutrality which I have determined to observe in the contest now carrying on in Portugal."
3. IRISH CHURCH REFORM. The Bishop of EXETER, on Thursday, presented a petition from some place in Ireland against the Irish Church Temporalities Bill ; and contended at some length, that the Bing could not give his sanction to that bill without a violation of his Coronation Oath. Earl GREY regretted that an attempt, which had once failed, should be made again to raise a false impression in the public mind with regard to that oath. When the bill in question came before them, he was sure it would be seen that it did not deserve the character given of it. He wa = persuaded that no good could arise from observations such as those just in ulged in ; and that there were no persons in their Lordships' House more desirous of supporting the interests of the Protestant religion than were the members of the present Government.
4. TITHES IN IRELAND. A conversation took place in the House of Cmeamons, on Thursday, relative to the mode of enforcing payment of tithes in Ireland.
LO:la ALTHORP, in answer to a question from Mr. JAMES GRATTAN, said, that after the recent act, tithes had become a Crown debt, and that houses had been broken into for the purpose of collecting them. This was legal, but he had given directions that in future the law should not be so enforced.
Mr. O'CONNELL said, he could prove at the bar, that in many instances c!ergymen were proceeding for tithes due only in May last. In ono dish.: ct, 1,000 writs had been issued, not one of which was for a pound sterling, and yet the debtor was charged 21. 14s. Od. costs. In a case at Youghall, the military had been called in to aid the police. Loin) A LTIIOSP acknowledged, that in sonic instances the clergy had pressed for payment in an imnprudent manner ; but in such cases, no assistance had been givan by the police or military.
Mr. Bannom said, the clergy was taking the most Liam& advantage of the Coercion Act, amid were actually driving the people into rebellion.
Sir II. VIVIAN could say, that in some cases, where the claim for assistance to collect tithes had been made too early, the Government had refused it. Government had done all they could to moderate the demands. Some of the clergy had been too hasty, but many had avoided coming forward, in a most exemplary manner. God knows, he had seen enough to convince him of the absolute necessity of abolishing tithes.
Mr. LAMBERT pledged himself to bring before the House instances of gross want of faith on the part of Government in the use made of the Coercion Bill, and in time indecent support given to the clergy in the enforcement of their claims.
5. SLAVE EMANCIPATION. On Monday, the House of Commons resolved itself into a Committee on Mr. Stanley's resolutions ; and the adjourned debate was opened by Mr. O'CONNELL. He began by remarking upon the unprecedented unanimity of the people of this country in their demand for the abolition of slavery. When the last report of the Petitions Committee was publi• bed, the number of signatures to anti-slavery petitions amounted to 1,...:C0,000; and he calculated that since that time they must have reached 1,500,000.
This unanimity was the more complete, as the petitioners were neither of one class nor of one sex. He saw that some person bad had the audacity, at a late meeting of the West Indian body, to taunt the maids and matrons of England for dariag, as so many Dorcases and Tabithas, to come to that House with their petitions on this subject. Many and many a forcible reason had they for so cotuing, forward ; among others, was that atrocious circumstance mentioned by Sir Carmichael Smith, in a despatch to Lord Goderich. It appeared that a young man of the name of Wildgoose inflicted, for some offence, real or fancied, thirty-nine lashes on the naked person of a female Negro, the slave of his mother; and upon her saying that she did not deserve the punishment inflicted upon her, he ordered another flogging of thirty-nine lashes to be given her. This atrocious act of unmanly cruelty the females of England had read ; their kindly feelings revolted against the barbarity of this ruffian; and he who could taunt them for petitioning that an end should be put to such atrocities, was almost as great a. ruffian as he who perpetrated them. He knew not who the individied was, and he cared as little.
He proceeded to remark on several other cases of cruel punishment inflicted upon the Negroes, and upon the decrease of life among them when employed in the cultivation of sugar. He highly eulogized the eloquent speech of Mr. Stanley; and said, that in six weeks the slaves would know all that was doing, and that the immediate settlement of the question had become inevitable. He maintained that the atrocities which were committed by the Blacks in St. Domingo were entirely to be attributed to the harangges and proceedings of the members of the French National Assembly in the first place, and then to time attack made upon them by Bonaparte in 1802. At present, in St. Domingo, some of the highest offices were filled with great ability by pure Negroes. The leader of the Opposition in the Chamber was a pure Negro, a practising; barrister, and a man of considerable ability. The best work on Botany had been written by a Negro of St. Domingo. With respect to the motion before the House; he would vote against Mr. Stanley's resolutions, because the House shouldofirst decide upon the principle, and divide on the question of slavery or no slavery. He considered the details of the measure as proposed by Government to be impracticable.
He ridiculed, the anomaly of a colony of masters and apprentices. What could be more a!;surd than to tell an old female slave of eighty. "My good old woman, you may keep up your spirits, you have only to serve your apprenticeship until you are ninety-two, and then you will have attained your majority and be free." Ihis system of deferring the freedom for twelve years, was impracticable and unjust ; it would serve only to irritate, and not to conciliate. The telling a man that he was free, and at the same time telling him that he must give three fourths of his time and labour for his mere food and clothing—was that freedom ? But it was said that the Negro was not to be flogged, at least by the master's authority. He was to be under the jurisdiction ot stipendiary Magistrates, who were to be sent out. But how, he would ask, could a few stipendiary Magistrates enter into all the cases which might daily arise in a population of 32.1,000—in Jamaica for instance? The thing was absurd. Let the Negro get his freedom at once ; and when that was done, let the planter, if he could make out a case for compensation, be heard. But he took it that the planter could make out no case for compensation, because he was convinced that they would do him a service, rather than injury, by the emancipation of the slave. If they took anything from the planter to which he had a just right, he would be entitled to compensation; but they took from him nothing that was his. The lands and every thing that was on them were his, but he had no property in the human beings.
He cited the instances of Trinidad, Surinam, Barbadoes, Mexico, the Cape of Good Hope, and the Caraccas, to prove that the Negroes might be safely intrusted with freedom; and denied in the strongest
terms that one human being could have the least possible right to be considered the owner of another.
The political hypocrites on the other side of the Atlantic, began their quarrel with this country by declaring that all men were equal in the eye of Heaven ; and yet they followed up that de-aeration b persisting in the system of slavery —by perpetuating that horrible abomination. He hoped, however, that the voice of humanity, of common sense, and of justice, would be wafted over the waves of the Atlantic., and would speedily-cause the abandonmentof this net's
rious system. The British Legislature, by putting and end to slavery in the Colonies, would not only do good to their own couatry, but would prove themselves to be the benefactors of the human rue over the whole world. Let the freedom of the Negro be proclaimed in the first instance, and let the question of compensation be afterwards considered, when a proper case was made out for Parliament to legislate upon. He called on the .House at once to give liberty to their fellow-creatures ' • he called on them to throw aside all interested, all . selfish feeliegs,. he called on them to take this step firmly and boldly ; he called on them " to be just and fear not."
Lord DALMENY was opposed to immediate emancipation; which, taking the mental condition of the Negroes into view, he considered would be highly dangerous.
Lord SANDON admitted that slavery must be pat an end to : it demoralized the owner more than the slave, and wherever it existed, was found to be a terrible scourge. He dwelt upon the necessity, however, of proceeding with caution in the business, and upon the injurious effects which any precipitate measures would have upon the commerce and revenue of the country: He reminded the House, that in Venezuela and the Crown Colonies, where slaves had been suddenly emancipated without any bad effects, the proportion of Waite men was infinitely greater than it was in Jamaica, and the other Colonies to which the measure 'under debate was intended to be applied. He contended that the compensation proposed was quite too small ; and proposed an amendment, which had been agreed to at a meeting held at his house that morning, of members who took an interest in the West India question. It was to the effect, that slavery should be speedily and entirely abolished ; that 20,000,000/. should be given as a compensation to the proprietors of slaves, and that a loan of 10,000,000/. in addition, should be made to the Colonial Legislatures, in order to secure their cooperation.
• The CHAIRMAN said, that the amendment then before the Committee must be disposed of before Lord Sandon's could be put.
Lord SANDON then withdrew his amendment ; but said, that at the roper time he would move it, for the purpose of having it recorded in the journals of the House.
Mr. FITZGERALD defended the right of property in slaves, by a legal argument of some length ; and maintained that compensation must be given to the planters for their loss.
Admiral FLEMING could state from his own authority, that in Venezuela the sugar estates were worked by labourers, two thirds of whom were free Negroes. He was informed also, that such was the case in Camccas and Carabobo. Rum was exported from Caracins to Jamaica. He had known the West Indies for thirty-five years, mei from the first time he visited them, in 1796 to 1830, he had not seen any material improvement in the treatment of the slaves. He gave ei-verel instances, some of them recent, of the extreme cruelty with they were treated. He maieta:ned the impossibility of them in their present state of bondage ; and he had not the slightest dou'ut as to their working after they became free. He mentioned an instance which occurred to himself, in his Majesty's ship Barham, on a voyage from La Guyra to Jamaica. The ship ran aground, and when got oil, put into Curacoa; where, owing to the Nyant of rain, no cattle or provisinos could be had. He despatched a schooner to Antigua; it met with a Ilaytian vessel, which soon appeared at Curacoa with a cargo of timber for repairing the ship, and forty-seven live bullocks. The ship was navigated by Negroes; there was not a White man on boatal of her. And yet, forsooth, these are the people who are falling into barbarism.
He was not an advocate for giving compensation to the West India planters. He thought that the Spaniards might as well claim compensation from the Pope for the loss of the dominions which he had given them ; and if they did prefer such an absurd claim to his Holiness, he would be likely to give them his blessing instead. He hoped that this question would be settled as soon as possible. Though twelve years was a long period, it was not more than sufficient time for the planters to make arrangements with their slaves; for no doubt they never would be mad enough to risk a dispute between the slaves and themselves when it was once known that this was the law of the land.
Mr. GLADSToNE remarked upon some misstatements xvhich he said had been made by Lord Howick and Mr. Buxton, relative to the number of punishments and the decrease of life on an estate belonging to his father, in Denierara ; and expressed his disapprobation of the Government plan, which he feared would not work well in several respects.
Lord flowiCK defended his former assertion ; and maintained that the mortality among the slaves was occasioned by the mode in which they were compelled to cultivate sugar. He would not support any of the amendments ; but thought that all who wished to E• the Negroes, should vote for the first resolution, in e hieh there was nothing inconsistent with the opinion that liberty should be granted to them.
Mr. BUXTON defended himself against some misrepresentations of his argument, which had been made, he said, by Mr. Gladstone, relative to the decrease of the slave population consequent upon the cultivation of sugar. He recommended Lord Sandon not to ask too much . for the West India proprietors in the way of compensation, lest he should get nothing.
Sir ROBERT PEEL said, that when he looked to the state in which the revenue of the country was,—when he recollected the amount of revenue raised from the Colonies, and that they were putting that amount, five millions, to hazard,—when he saw the great interests which were involved in the settlement of this question,—the interest of the West India proprietor, and the amount of the compensation to be given him, . whether fifteen or thirty millions, sunk into insignificance.
Their object should be, not by a hasty and inconsiderate vote to emancipate the Negroes, but to "effect a comple change in the state of society in the Colonies— to endeavour to enact such a measure as would amalgamate -the Black and the White population, and to discover a new stimulus which might be safely sub stituted instead of that degrading stimulus which had hitherto been thought necessary to induce the Negro to labour ; not a measure which would permit the
Black to remain in such a state as might content him according to his present
wants and ideas, but such a measure as would instill into him habits of industry, and would be consistent not only with his own personal security and ease, but with the int:rest and welfare of the West India Colonists. If that were their object, he was bound to say, for he sincerely thought, that it was one encompassed with much greater difficulty than the majority of the House seeraeato contemplate ; and certainly with greater difficulty than the majority of those who had petitioned the House upon the subject could comprehend.
He did not agree with those who thought that the Negro, if free, would be on a par with the Whites. They never could amalgamate; there were physical causes to prevent it. The state of the free Negroes in the United States proved this.
But the question which they had to deal with was one of still greater difficulty than the same question in the United States had been. They had to deal with the climate, which was peculiarly adverse to labour—with a country which did not afford that stimulus to labour which more populous countries did, from the pressure of the population, and the difficulty of finding the means of subsistence. In the West Indies, if slavery were abolished, there would, undoubtedly, be a total absence of the stimulus of hunger; for it appeared plainly from the evidence taken before the West India Committee, that the labour of a few days was sufficient to supply the necessities for subsistence during the whole year ; and that land was a drug which was attainable by air, and on which the slave, by very small corporeal exertion, could obtain subsistence for himself and his family. He was aware that it was said the slave would endeavour to better himself in life, and would soon learn the use of many comforts which would induce him to labour in order to acquire them. There was no doubt that such a feeling might have some effect. The Negro might desire clothing and finery; but it should be recollected, that in that climate the chiefluxury was repose and the absence of labour.
He considered that Parliament had an undoubted right to decide on this question in the last resort ; but he saw the necessity at the same time of having the assistance of the Colonial Legislatures. There were two plans proposed,—one by Mr. Stanley, another by Lord Ilowick; the latter having more experience than the former in Colonial affairs.
One of these plans advised immediate emancipation ; the other advised ultimate emancipation, with coercive labour for a limited period. Even if the plan proposed by the Secretary for the Colonies were adopted by the House, he would still doubt the propriety of the words " hnmediate emancipation " in the first resolution. These words were calculated to raise an expectation which the plan that followed would not bear out. The objection was more of a verbal than a substantial nature ; but still as the impression on first reading the resolution' especially on illiterate persons, will be that slavery was immediately to be abolished, he thought these words should be altered. He was of opinion that steps should be immediately taken for the settlement of the question, and he was sensible that slavery would ultimately by necessity cease to exist : but allowing that, and even if he were willing to adopt the plan of Mr. Stanley, he would object to those two words; believing as he did, that it would he better for the House to go beyond its promise to the Negroes than to be within the promise.
He was not himself, in his then state of i,morance as to Colonial affairs, prepared to give his assent to either of the plans proposed. He quoted the opinions of Burke and Canning, of Captain Eliot, and more especially of Mr. Buxton against, immediate emancipation. The latter gentleman, in the debate on Mr. Canning's resolution in 1823, bad said decidedly, "that he did not ask for immediate emancipation, because the slaves were not qualified to be set immediately free ; and t hat he was for the ultimate, not immediate extinction of slavery." It had been argued, that the immediate emancipation was safe and practicable, because the experiment had succeeded in the Caraccas ; but it appeared from the evidence of Admiral Fleming, that the slaves were emancipated at different times, and that they br'ad entered the army ; that, perhaps, was the reason why the experiment bad succeeded, for it put them under a strict discipline similar to that under which they had formerly been. But the, case of the British West Indies was widely different from that of the South American States. In Caraccas and Venezuela, the physical difference between the free and the slaves was not so great. Then in Venezuela the slave population was only one eighth of the whole. It might be safe to try the experiment when the slaves were a mere fraction, and very hazardous when they were the great majority of the population. If the Colonial proprietors would not cooperate strongly with the Government, the measure would be found impracticable, but now that compensation was offered to them, he had little doubt but that the Colonists would come to terms. But here they were, on the 3d of June, and were Ministers to get up and say that such a measure as this should be hurried through during the remainder of the session ? Stipendiary Magistrates should be appointed previously to setting loose all at once so many hundred thousand men, unaccustomed to liberty, and therefore likely to make a bad use of it. It was provided by the measure, that all Negroes then living, and all children who should be born after a certain time, should be free but no mention was made of the mode in which these freed men shoud be maintained in case of becoming destitute. If they made poor, they should provide for their support.
It had by no means been shown either that this was the best method for abolition of slavery. It was far from anything like the system of emancipation put into effect by I3olivar in Venezuela, or in the Caraecas; yet this latter system had proved most successful. It was totally different from the method pursued in New York ; where the emancipation was 4radual. It was totally different too, from the admirable plan adopted in the Spanish Colonies. Here a slave has a certain number of days—saints' days, Sundays, and so on—in which he is-free to work on his own account, and with the produce to purchase his liberty; or, if not sufficiently rich for doing this all at once, he May purchase another day's freedom, and then another day's, and so on till he become master of all the seven days. This was a really wise plan, as supplying a stimulus to exertion, which was the principal feature wanting in that measure ; and infinitely superior to that proposed by one honourable member, which called upon the proprietors to free their slaves without any consideration at all.
They should be careful not to follow the example of the Eastern States of America, where the free Negroes were in a miserable condition. St. Domingo had been referred to, but surely it was not desirable to have a cluster of islands subject to Negro domination, the population of which would be idle in their habits, and imbued with a brutal hatred of the Whites.
It was idle to talk about giving up sugar : sugar had become an absolute necessary of life, and sugar the people would have; and therefore, however the -Government here might choose to give up a revenue of 5,000,0001., and all the other advantages incidental to these Colonies, the only result' would be, thative -should get our sugar from the foreign Colonies : the effect of this would be not only for those Colonies to increase their trade in slaves, to keep up with the increased demand for sugar, but these; and the slaves they had already, would have to labourten-fold : and were the slaves of other countries less to be eom-passionated than our own ? Yet the proposed measure, as it stood, would have all these effects,--to ruin our own trade, and to make all the present revenue from our sugar revert to other nations, and, at the same time, inevitably entail upon the slaves in the other Colonies increased misery and labour.
He concluded by stating, that if Ministers carried and executed the scheme as it now stood, they would incur the most awful responsibility.
There would be one effect in particular, from the failure of this most crude, precipitate, and hazardous scheme; which was that the slaves in the United States, 2,000,000 in number, would instantly be debarred from the advantages of instruction, lest their instruction should turn out equally mischievous with that of the slaves in the English Colonies. He, therefore, earnestly entreated the House to be most cautious in what they did on this most momentous question.
Lord ALTHORP. said that he was aware of the great responsibility 'which Ministers incurred by bringing forward their measure, but they would incur a greater by letting things remain as they were.
Sir Robert Peel had spoken of the Spanish slave emancipation system with much approbation: he was glad of it, for the present measure was in many features very similar to the systeili so quoted ; in fact, we had added the stimulus of wages to that of free labour. And he would impress upon the House, that the slaves in our Colonies now, were much more fitted for emancipation by their increased civilization than the Spanish slai;es at the former period ; for at that time, the slave trade being in full operation, most of the slaves were more sava,ges, made more wild by their recent forced separation from their country, and bad treatment. The case now was very different. He perfectly agreed that it was not enough to emancipate slaves. He must here beg leave to suggest, that honourable members seemed to mistake the meaning of the resolution : it did not mention " immediate abolition ;" it merely stated "that immediate and effectual measures should be adopted." He had not altered his opinion as to the money part of the proposition, though certainly money was the least important part of it. He still thought, that as it was proposed to give one third of the amount, and take only one fourth of the labour, the 15,000,000/. was amply sufficient.
Mr. GODSON, at Mr. Hume's suggestion, withdrew his amendment for the present.
Mr. STANLEY concurred with Sir Robert Peel in thinking, that al'though the Government of this country should ;have the initiative of the measure, the details should be filled up by the Colonial Legislatnres. He also agreed, that there would not be time to go into all the details this session. If the Colonial Legislatures did not by a day .named fill up the outline which would be furnished them, in the next sessions the detail must aRbe gone through, and arranged at whatever expense of time and trouble.
In conclusion, and now that the principal resolution was about to adopted, he could not but congratulate the House and the country, and the friends of humanity in general, that the fiat of emancipation was gone forth from the British House of Commons ; and that all that now remained to be settled was a question of pounds, shillings, and pence. (Loud cheers.) Sir ROBERT PEEL moved the omission of the word " immediate " in the first resolution, and the substitution of the word " ultimate " for "entire."
These amendments were put and negatived.
Mr. BUCKINGHAM withdrew his amendment for the present.
Mr. STANLEY'S first resolution was then carried, as follows
" That it is the opinion of this Committee, that immediate and effectual Incasures be taken for the entire abolition of slavery throughout the Colonies, under such provisions for regulating the condition of the Negroes as may combine their welfare with the interests of the proprietors."
The Chairman reported progress, and obtained leave to sit again.
The discussion was resumed on Friday ; and the House having. resolved itself into a Committee, the second resolution was read from the Chair, "That all children born after the passing of the intended Act, or who at the time of its passing, shall be under the age of six years, be free, and be maintained by their respective parents."
Mr. HUME then rose to move an amendment to the following effect,
"That as more information than the Committee already possessed as to the effects of free labour, and the relative amount of work done by free men and slaves, was requisite, the Committees of both Houses which sat last session should be reappointed to make further inquiries."
He declared his cordial concurrence with the first resolution, which was an improvement on the preparatory ones of 1823. It was not a question between the West Indians and the Abolitionists ; it was a national question and a national stain. He would require to be con vinced of the efficacy of the Government plan before he would consent, in the present suffering state of the country, to vote away some twenty or thirty millions of the public money. The stirring up of the ques
tion of itself would have the immediate effect of keeping back capital, and reducing West India crops by a third or a quarter ; the consequence of which would be, a decrease in the supply and a rise in the price of sugar in this country. He blamed the conduct of Government on this :great matter. He did not think that one sentence uttered by Mr. Stanley was founded upon any thing like accurate data. He quoted the evidence given before the Council of Trinidad, to prove that free Negroes were addicted to thieving, drinking, and quarrelling, and were -lazy in the extreme. He quoted also the evidence of many gentlemen .connected with the West Indies, to prove that sugar could not be cultiwated by free labour. The Colonial Legislatures had acted very properly in disobeying the Orders in Council. In fact, the House was legislating in the dark upon this subject, and he was strongly opposed to the headlong course of Ministers. This question was of as much consequence as the Factory question, upon which a Commission of Inquiry had been appointed. He concluded by expressing himself friendly to emancipation, understanding that the Negroes were to be still made -to work for their food, and contribute by their industry to the general welfare of society.
free labour was snore advantageous than slave-labour. He deprecated delay in carrying emancipation into effect, and announced his intention of proposing an amendment which should restrict the period of-complete emancipation to one year.
Dr. LUSHINGTON said, that Mr. Hume's speech -was a most extra-ordinary one. There was no Colonial agent, nor member of -a Colonial Legislature even, who would not have been ashamed of uttering such a speech. He professed to be an Abolitionist, but the whole course of his Parliamentary life gave the lie to his professions. DrLushington then went into numerous details, to prove that Mr. Hume had not fairly stated the question. respecting the freed slaves ; and ridiculed the idea of another Committee of Inquiry into the condition of the Negro population. He maintained that Mr. Stanley's statements, which Mr. Hume had impugned, were correct; and conclude& by expressing his confidence, that the commerce of the country would be benefited by emancipation, and that our example would be followed by foreign nations.
Mr. BARING agreed, that more information on the subject was wanted • but doubted the expediency of adopting Mr. Hume's resolution. He did not think that the Negro when emancipated would starve ; but he thought that he would refuse to work, and would merely enjoy himself. He dwelt upon the gigantic sacrifice of the manufacturing, commercial, and naval interests which we were about to make, and the great stimulus to the foreign slave-trade which the proposed measure would give. He considered all further opposition on the part of the West Indians as useless, and likely to be productive of injury rather than benefit to their cause ; for it was perfectly clear that no combination of men or interests could prevent emancipation.
Mr. P. M. STEWART said, that the West Indians, of whom he was one, were willing to assist the 'Ministers in emancipating the slaves. At the meeting of their body, which he had attended that day, it was the general opinion that twenty, not fifteen millions, should be given as a compensation ; and that a loan of money—probably less than ten millions would be sufficient—should be made to the Planters on Colonial security.
Lord HOWICK said, that if Mr. Stanley's statement of fifteen millions being the real value of the slaves was correct, the Legislature would be entitled to ask for their immediate liberation.
Mr. STANLEY was much surprised at Mr. Hume's observations, which he really did not think could be agreeable to his constituents. Mr. Hume said he was totally impartial and unbiassed on the subject; but whence came his information on these matters ? Why, from his own brother-in-law, the Deputy for Trinidad, and one of the most extensive proprietors in the Colony. Those whose pecuniary interests were principally affected by the measure were willing to run the risk; so that the House need not be particularly fastidious on that point.
Mr. F. BUXTON gave notice, that on Monday he should move to do away with the twelve years' apprenticeships.
Mr. flumE, Sir ROBERT PEEL, Mr. STEWART, Lord Homes, and Mr. BUCKINGHAM, made a few brief observations ; when Mr. HUME withdrew his amendtnent, and the resolution was carried without a division.
In the House of Lords, on Tuesday, Lord ST. VINCENT presented It petition from planters, merchants, annuitants, and others interested in West India propel ty, maintainingthe legal right to the possession of elm-es, and praying for compensation for the loss of them. After some remarks from the Earl of Raw, it was laid on the table. Lord SUFFIELD presented a petition from Cork, for the abolition of shivery. He maintained that the Negroes were men, and that there was not a soul among their Lordships that was more dear to the Almighty than the soul of a Negro ; and that it was not competent irt the British Parliament, or in any human assembly, to enact the slavery of their fellow men.
The Duke of WELLINGTON pfesented a petition, signed by 1,96Ct persons interested in the preservation of the West India Colonies.
He had considered the subject—that the Colonies were worth to the countrynot less them 12,00(1,000/. per annum, of which the public received in taxes not less than 5,000,000/. ; the proprietors haul little more than 2,000,100/. The remaining 5,000,000/. were distributed between the manufacturers and navigators of the country. There were 240,000 tons of British shipping employed in this trade alone.
Under such circumstances, great caution should be used in dealing with the subject. He then presented a similar petition from Greenock.
Lord BROUGHAM said, that the Duke of Wellington had assumed that twelve millions per annum was the value of the West India Colonies to this country, and that they produced five millions to the revenue.
But the same surdwould find its way into the revenue if sugar were brought from other colonies, and consumed to the sanie extent, and under like circumstances, in this country. ("No,".from the Duke of Wellington.) No! Well, be had thought this a proposition so clear, that it could. lie necessary only to state it, in order to have it admitted at once. ("Bear, hear!") In the same way, too, the mule Duke might be assured that our merchants and our shipping would find employunent. He did not deny that some portion of the taxation might be paid by the producers; but the great bulk of it came out of the pockets of the consumers.
6. EAST INDIA CHARTER. Mr. CHARLES GRANT stated, on Friday, in reply to a question by Sir ROBERT PEEL, that he should bring forward the subject of the renewal of this Charter on Tuesday next.
7. CIVIL LIST OF GEORGE TIIE FOURTH. On the motion of Mr. RICE, on Friday, a Select Committee was appointed to consider of the unprovided charges on the Civil List of the late King.
8. FISHERY Laws. Mr. FIALcoani, on Thursday, moved that a Select Committee be appointed to inquire into the state of the British Channel Fisheries, and into the laws affecting the Fishing trade of England, with a view to their amendment. He said that the French
motion : for it, 53; against it, 24; majority, 29. So the Committee was appointed.
'9. BREACH OF PRIVILEGE. The Earl of 'RODEN, oh Monday,' previously to the motion of the Duke of Wellington on the affairs of Portugal, CAM the ittlehtiOn" Of the House of Lords to a breach of privilege committed by the Times, in' reporting a conversation which took place on Friday last, tespecting Irish Church reform. The report had represented the Earl of Suffolk as having replied to some observations of the Bishop of Durham (who had said that the Church of England had been purified at the Reformation). in these words" What, Henry the Eighth's taking possession of •Church property, was then, after all, only making it more pure !" Now, in point of fact,
not a syllable was said in reply by the Earl of Suffolk. This was a gross breach of privilege; for it appeared in a paper of great notoriety —of greater notoriety perhaps than character. He also complained that the Times on another occasion, had put words into the mouth of Lord Plunkett of so offensive a character, that Lord Plunkett had thought it necessary to call upon him and disavow them the next morning. From what he had stated, the House and the country might learn what credit was to be attached to reports of the journal in question.
10. CASE OF MR. BEAMISH. Sir T. FP.EXANTLE, on Tuesday, presented a petition from Mr. Charles Heamish, who had recently been superannuated at the Navy Pay Office. He complained of compulsory superannuation, as he was both able and willing to perform the duties of his office, and objected to being made a pensioner on the public.
There ought to be no pension granted but on the abolition of an office, or on account of the incapacity of an iudividual from length of service to continue in the discharge of his duties. None ought to be granted in the case of removal for misbehaviour. The petitioner did not come under any one ot these heads. How then stood the question with regard to the public economy ? The salary of the petitioner before his removal was 367/. a year. The individual who has now replaced him, then, possessed a salary of 1401. a year ; making a total of 507/. The petitioner now received a pension of 1261. a year ; the present possessor of his office a salary of 3001. a year, and a junior clerk a salary of 901. a year ; making together a sum of 6161. a year ; leaving a balance of 1091.
i against the country n consequence of the change.
Mr. Poustxr THOMSON said, the actual saving by retrenchment in the department to which Mr. Beamish belonged, had amounted to 4041.; and his retirement was the only one made in which it had been necessary to use compulsion.
There were five clerks at Plymouth, which cost 1,9401. Subsequent to the change, and without superannuations, the expense was reduced to I,830/. : to this sum were, however, to be added the supemnnuations ; so that the saving was not quite so great as it appeared by those figures. He was sorry to he obliged to state any thing against the petitioner ; but front the records in his office, and his own knowledge, he could say that Mr. Beatnish, for personal reasons, could not have been retained with justice to the public service. }le did not mean to impeach the petitioner's integrity—that was quite unimpeachable; but the minutes of the office showed that he had an infirmity of temper, accompanied by bodily infirmity also, which rendered him incapable of properly fulfilling his duties. Some of the allegations of the petition were so utterly void of foundation, that he could not help thinking that they were made in total ignorance of the fact. The individual complained of as having been appointed a clerk it 90/ a year after the dismissal 'sf Mr. Bearnish, had already served for two years as an extra clerk, and was in every way unobjectionble; that appointmeat also had nothing to do with the dismissal of Mr. lieatuish. On the ground of economy, therefore, as well as in consideration of the public service, he should have been guilty had he not proceeded as lie had done in the case of the petitioner.
Colonel DAVIES thought Mr. Beamish's case was one of considerable hardship, but did not see in what way a remedy could be applied.
Sir GEORGE GREY bore testimony to the excellent private character of Mr. Beamish, who wits one of his constituents. For a great ninny years, he had discharged the duties of his situation, with satisfaction to the head of the department, arid with advantage to the public.
Mr. HOME would support Sir T. Fremantle in a motion for a committee of inquiry into this case.
It was quite clear, that whenever the head of a department wished to remove one of the subordinates, nothing was more easy than to find a reason for it. In his judgment, no man could justly say that Mr. Beamish was unlit for the discharge of his duties, or fur any new ones of the same kind which might be imposed upon him, and which he was ready to undertake, without tbe appointmeut of any new clerk, at 90/. a year. As it was, im was dismissed at once ; and, after long service, deprived of every chance of promotion. The ease was well worthy of further investigation.
Sir T. FREMANTLE believed that Mr. Thomson had been imposed upon, and did not know what he was about when he dismissed the petitioner, whose case was one of positive injustice. He should consider whether be should take ulterior measures on the subject.
Mr.. P. THOMSON again said, that in disposing of the case of Mr. Beamish, he was bound to take all the circumstances into coasideration. He wished to state, that not the slightest imputation rested upon Mr. Beamish's personal character.
11. STAFFORD ELECTION. On the motion of Mr. ELLICE, on Friday, a Committee was ordered to inquire into the corrupt practices alleged to have prevailed at the late election for the borough of Stafford. The Committee to consist of fifteen members, thirteen of whom to be chosen by ballot on Tuesday next, and two to be named by the House.
12. CARRICKFERGUS. Mr. O'Cosxru., on Tuesday, brought in a bill for the disfranchisement of this borough. It was read a first lime, and ordered to be read a second time that day week.
13. GALWAY ELECTION. The Committee on this election reported, on Thursday, that Mr. James Daly had been duly returned.