15 AUGUST 1846, Page 2

Drbates min prortenituis in Igiarliament.


In the House of Lords, on Monday, the Earl of CLARENDON moved the first reading of the Sugar-duties Bill; which he explained and supported at considerable length. His speech was not a mere f repetition of those de- livered by his colleagues in the Muse of Commons, and some newer por- tions may be noted here.

Parliament having ceased to legislate for particular interests, and having adopted what might be considered the general principles of national benefit, the system of protection—or rather of non-protection—might be looked upon as settled, i and he ventured to add irrevocably settled. Raving withdrawn protection from British agriculture, he relied upon the consistency of their Lordships in applying the same principle to the Colonies. A different course would be injurious to the revenue, to the British Colonial producers themselves, and to the people of this country. The sugar-producers had felt, as the British agricultunst had felt here, that the worst thing that could happen to them would be the prolongation of the present state of uncertainty. The aggregate annual amount of differential duty, added to the sum paid for slave-emancipation, had imposed upon this country no less a sum than 42,000,0001. during the last eleven or twelve years. Lord Clarendon proceeded to show the benefits to the revenue and the consumer from the reductions which had taken place in the duties on coffee and tea. He next enumerated the proposed sugar- duties; giving it as his opinion, that however great and important the change, the sugar-producers might prevent its being iniurious to themselves. He did not think the colonists had, at a sufficiently eaily period, reconciled themselves to the treatment of their former slaves as freemen. They had still relied entirely upon manual labour, without putting better implements into the workmen's hands, and had not applied an increased capital; forgetting the rule, that the increase of capital increased the value of the workmen, just as the labourer earning 30s. with machinery was cheaper than the employment of the Irish peasant at wages of 8d.' a day. He was convinced that the change would not be prejudicial to the pro- ducers; for he was satisfied they derived no advantage from the high differential daties,—that they had not received one farthing from them but had gone to de- fray the increased cost of. production, to which the planters had been compara- tively indifferent. This, its turn, had led to idleness and extortion on the part of the labourers. The object of the Government was to do away with the re- strictions which retard the progress of the Colonies' which check improvements and paralyze exertions. The reason why the duty of 218. was preferred to the present duty of 238. 4d. was, that the former was the highest duty under which increased consumption was practicable. Lord Clarendon submitted an estimate of the quantities of sugar to be received for the five years ending 1851, and which he said had been prepared with great care. The estimated quantity entered for consumption was— Years. Tons. Cwta.

From July 5, 1846 1 Colonial 230,000 or 4,600,000 To July 5, 1847 f Foreign 40,000 „ 800,000 18471 Colonial 240,000 „ 4,800,000

1848 f Foreign 50,000 „ 1,100,000 18481 Colonial 250,000 „ 5,000,000 1849 I Foreign 68,000 „ 1,360,000 2/ 18491 Colonial 260,000 „ 5,200,000

• 1850 f Foreign 80,000 „ 1,600,000 18501 Colonial 270,000 „ 5,400,000 1851 5Fciulgn 95,000 „ 1,900,000

Then as to revenue. The estimated amount for the present year is 3,800,0001.; for the following years it is—

From July, 1846 / Colonial £3,220,0001060 0 To July, 1847 f Foreign 840,000

„ 1847 /Colonial 3,360,000 4 460 000

„ 1848 f Foreign 1,100,000 "

„ 1848 1 Colonial 3,500,000 4 758 000

1849 1 Foreign 1,258,000 "

„ 1849 1 Colonial 3,640,000 / 5 000 000 „ 1850 f Foreign 1,360,0001 1850 „ 1850 Colonial 3,780,000 5,252,500 „ 1851 frorelgn 1,472,500

And the possible estimate after 1851, when the duties would be equalized, was— Tons. Cwts.

Colonial.— 275,000 or

7 600" 000 at 14a.=5,320,000/. Foreign .105,0001 Turning to the slavery view of the question, Lord Clarendon said that he yielded to no man in his abhorrence of that detestable traffic, and there was no sacrifice he would not incur to put a stop to that trade. Experience, however, had shown that the expensive and hazardous efforts to suppress the slave- trade adopted by this country had failed. Could any one say that their expectations had been realized? Could any one calmly and dispassionately re- view what had passed, and say that we had succeeded, notwithstanding the risks. we had run, the sacrifices we had incurred, and the international dangers we had exposed ourselves to? Our efforts had been for thirty years unabated, and we had succeeded in nothing worth naming. We had made treaties with every mari- time power; and there was not one who believed in the sincerity of our motives, or willingly entered into cordial cooperation with us. We had spared neither force nor power: we had employed all the navies of foreign states; we had in- jured our commerce; we had lessened our revenue; we had imposed privations on our people: and we had quarrelled with those allies who were too weak to resist, and with others to whose power we had succumbed; we had passed hostile acts against two, and with the third we had agreed to a shadowless interpretation of a treaty: and yet it appeared by the reports of the Commissioners, that seventy- five vessels had been seized in the last year, and that if the slave-trader could succeed in one cargo out of five he was amply repaid. When he looked at the most authentic information that could be obtained with respect to the slave- trade, it would not be too much to affirm that the number of persons now en- slaved were double what they were when the trade was free. Upowthat, as upon other grounds, he thought himself justified in saying to the House, do not let na• refuse to adopt measures calculated to diminish the amount and the horrors of sla- very; let us not refuse to deal with this as with other contraband trades—on the principle of rendering them unprofitable. To deal with it otherwise, was not a matter within their grasp; and therefore did he call upon them to give their un- qualified support to the present bill. As showing the sentiments entertained by some of the West India proprietors on: the subject of protection, Lord Clarendon quoted from a speech delivered at Tri- nidad by Mr. Burnley, in which were these words—" I shall hail with pleasure the day when every monopoly is done away with; if we are honestly and fairly allowed. to trade with all the world without restriction." He next quoted the opinion' of Colonel Flintoff upholding the greater cheapness of free-labour as compared with the cost of slave-labour. To show the state of apprehension and danger in which the White population are kept in those countries where slavery exists, he quoted from a memorial addressed about two years ago to the Spanish Government by the proprietors of slaves and estates in Cuba. The memorial deprecated in the strongest terms the introduction of more slaves into the island; the memo- rialists stating, that from the improvements which had taken place in machinery and otherwise, any increase in the number of slaves was not required. In the Brazils the White population was not above one-fifth of the whole-, and generally speaking the Whites are in a continual state of alarm. During the last five or six years the exports from the West Indies to Russia, to the countries of the Zoll- verein and along the shores of the Mediterranean, had greatly increased. Thus, in the Zollverein States in 1838, there were about 40,000 tons of sugar imported;

In 1840, 60,000 tons; and in 1844, 64,000 tons. He contrasted this increase with the decrease which had taken place during the same period in the slave-trade; and deduced the inference that the augmented demand experienced for West India produce would lead to increased economy of labour and the application of greater skill on the part of the planters. From the statement read it appeared, that in the year 1839, the number of slaves landed in the Brazils was 4'2,182, and in the islands of Cuba and Porto Rico 11,138; while in 1845, the number in the one case was 16,000, and in the other 1,300. [In Cuba, however, there is so much irre- gularity in the traffic, which rises and falls repeatedly frier' units to tens and back again, that the figures indicate nothing in the way either of increase or de- crease.] As illustrating the position of this country with respect to slave-grown produce, Lord Clarendon specified the cases of cotton, tobacco, coffee, and dia- monds—all products of slave-labour, which we do not scruple to take. Mean- while, 100,000 tons of British shipping are engaged in the carrying-trade between the slave-labour countries and the nations of Europe. "The only ground on

which the people of this country laid claim to superior morality, was because they restrained a great proportion of her Majesty's sub'ects from eating the sugar that

they thus bought, imported, refined, and exportecragain. They did not even quite exclude slave-sugar from the statute-book; they admitted a small portion every yaw, when the price made it admissible. There was a scale of duty that wiped out the pollution of its origin: like the indulgences of the Romish Church, the duties drew a difference in the degree of the sin." The measure he now sub- mitted to the House affected nothing more than the doing away with what was contrary to the general rule of commerce adopted by this country, tending at the same time to increase the revenue and augment the supply of what was now one of the necessaries of life.

Lord STANLEY delivered an elaborate speech in opposition- . He admitted that it was for the interest of the sugar-trade not to be left from year to year in uncertainty as to what course the Government was to take; and so far as this argument was concerned, as well as that which related to constitu- tional jealousy in exempting the Sugar-duties from an annual vote, he concurred with Lord Clarendon. Beyond these two points, Lord Clarendon had not laid down any principle which was not open to great controversy and to serious objec- tions. if ever a House of Commons deserved to go down to posterity as the "Rapid Conversions Parliament," it is the present one. "Remember this, that to the establishment of a permanent system, it is necessary there should be no doubt that it is the calm, deliberate, well-considered, determined judgment of both Houses of Parliament; that it is the well-considered judgment of the people of this country; and that no extraneous or fortuitous circumstances tended, under the plea of introducing a permanent system, to patch up a fortuitous arrangement, which nothing but the period of the session, and the accidental state of parties, could have enabled any Government to propose." Had the present measure been brought forward with full consideration? Had due warning been given, had fall discussion taken place, had the country pronounced its opinion? Would any one venture to say that the state of parties has had no influence on the possible success of the measure, and that the period of the session will have no effect on the decision? In 1841, the expectation was held out that protection would be maintained. Upon the question of protection the party opposite were thrown from office: they went to the country, and the country pronounced against their principles and their measures. In 1844, Sir Robert Peel introduced a measure which contained a broad distinction between slave and free-grown sugar; and in the commencement of the present session of Parliament the same Minister declared his intention of adhering to the principle of excluding slave- grown sugar: but now it has been declared by his successors in office that free trade in sugar is to be established with all the world. It was proposed altogether to abolish a system which two years—nay, two months ago—it was declared was to be continued. Lord Clarendon had said that free trade had been carried irrevocably: that proposition Lord Stanley denied; but supposing that it be irrevocable, and that free trade in sugar must also be adopted, anything less like a free-trade measure it never was his fortune to be made acquainted with. The old "exorbitant" duties on the import of corn amounted on the average to something less than 25 per cent; but upon the article of sugar, that " necessary of life,", which the ," free trade "measure is to make so

" cheap," the duty will amount to 14s. the hundredweight, being a duty ranging from 50 to 75 per cent ad valorem. "If it is of importance to give the people of

this country cheap sugar, reduce this immense ad valorem duty. I don't recom- mend you to do so; but free trade will call upon you to do so. (Cries of" No, nor) What? No, no!' Is free trade to strike off duties from one description of articles because they are 15 or 20 per cent on the prime cost, and les/ye upon another description of articles, and that a necessary of life, duties of 50 and 75 per cent?" By acting rigidly on the principle inextricable confusion would be intro- duced into the finances, and irretrievable distress in the country. But what does the West India " monopoly," if it, be one, amount to? It is a monopoly in which nineteen West India colonies compete with each other, and every producer with his fellow producer—in which every country which grows by free-labour competes with all the rest. In the present condition of the West Indies and of the East In- dies, competition with slave-grown sugar is a competition which cannot be carried on upon equal terms. "I don't contend that in a fully-peopled country,where the demand for employment is equal to the demand for labour, the willing energetic action of free-labour is not infinitely more valuable and cheaper in the end than the labour of slaves. But this I do contend, that where you have not the command of that labour—where there is a boundless extent of country—where you have not the means of bringing labour to bear on the point where it is required—to talk of a fair competition between free-labour and slave-labour would be a mockery; but it would be more—it would be a cruel mockery to talk of it to those whom you have placed in their present position by your legislation, and whom you now call upon to enter upon an unequal competition." The change is the more unjust inasmuch as it is needless: a few months ago the price of sugar was lower and the supply larger than it has been at any period since the emancipation of the slaves. In 1840, the price of sugar was 48s. per hundredweight, exclusive of duty; in 1845, it was 32s. 11d. His answer to the "sugar famine" was, that under the system of protection, cultivation rapidly ad- vances, and prices rapidly fall. He sneered at Lord Clarendon's estimates: they were marked by a boldness such as he had never heard ventured upon by any Minister in either House of Parliament. He was not satisfied with calculating the probable amount of sugar which might enter the market this present year or the next, but he went on to tell you, in tons and hundredweights, the actual amount which we might expect in five years to come, without allowance for variation of seasons, difference of climates, or other contingencies; the fact being, that if there be anything more difficult to calculate than another, it is the quantity of sugar which might be reckoned upon one year with another. Lord Clarendon had stated that the consumption in this country was very much below what it ought to be: but upon this Lord Stanley's remark would be, that it was double or threefold the consumption of all the rest of Europe. In 1841, Lord John Russell, now at the head of the Government, stated that he thought if the people of this country could obtain sugar at 69s. or 60s. per hundredweight, it would be a great benefit. The price now is 47s., including the duty. "The production of Mauritius in 1843 wsts 23,000 tons; in 1845, 35,000 tons; next year it is anticipated that the pro- duction will reach 60,000 tons, But why is it so? The Mauritius has imported, at a very great expense, a considerable number of labourers from the East Indies. They have involved themselves, under your promises and securities, in obligations which further compel themat the end of five years, to return those labourers at a heavy expense to India. They have increased their cultivation—they have met your wants; and, when -they have met your wants, they then are to be told that the Colonies are to be put upon the same footing with the slave-labour countries ' of Cuba and Brazil."

Lord Stanley adverted to the stimulus which the proposed measure would give

to slavery and the slave-trade. Not only were lifinisters going to create a new demand for slave-grown sugar to the extent of 25,000 tons per annum, but they were also going to put on it an additional value of Si. a ton, which would be so much additional profit to the slave-proprietors of Cuba and Brazil. So that if every slave on a sugar estate could be made to raise two or three tons additional per annum, this measure would be increasing his value to his owner, to the estate, of IOL or 15/ yearly. Nor was this all; for they were about to create an addi- tional demand in tbis country by reducing the price of sugar, and at the same time that reduction of price would cause a falling off in the supply from our own ' Colonies and the East Indies. He was inclined to think that the increased pro- duction calculated upon was far more likely to arise from an increased importation of slaves than. from any other means: he thought that the 25,000 additional tons of sugar (though he rather believed it would be 40,000 or-50,000) could only be

produced by the labour of 10,000 more slaves imported from the coast of Africa. '

Were Parliament prepared to incur the moral guilt and responsibility of this act, for the sake of 1.d:tieing by a fraction of a halfpenny in the pound the price of ' sugar in this country ? If he were presented with an alternative choice, he ' would rather withdraw our cruisers from the coast of Africa. Look at the suf- ferings that had been endured in our cruisers on the coast of Africa; look. at the number of gallant men who had perished in that unwholesome ell- ' mate—look back, above all, to the melancholy ease of the Eclair; look at the number of men who had gone out in the prime of life to the sta- tions on the coast of Africa, returning with constitutions broken, and healths. sacrificed for ever, for the sake of supporting this abortive system. He had the • other day been told another result of our exertions towards this object: a number- of slaves had been brought down to the coast for the purpose of being shipped, but our cruisers had been too vigilant, and the slavers could not receive them: what was the result?—why, that they were all massacred on the shore by those who had brought them down. This was one among the melancholy consequences of an attempt to maintain this system. Dreadful as such horrors were, they might, perhaps, be rendered justifiable by ultimate success in the great object of elopping, the slave-trade; great as such sacrifices would be, they might be enduredfor the sake of the attainment of an object so dear to humanity. But what could be said - of the consistency of a policy which, on the one hand, required the sacrifice of so many valuable lives by keeping our cruisers on the watch, and which bound foreign countries to do the same, but which, on the other hand, offered a new sti- mulus to the avarice and cupidity of the slave-trader, defeating and stultifying the precautions which at so great an expense they were attempting to take ? Such a policy had been characterized, and he thought justly, as the extremest folly—if it was not rather, as his noble friend had designated it, a systematic hp- . pocnsy. And after having given 20,000,000/. for the suppression of slavery in our . own colonies, would not England be the laughing-stock ot Europe, the ridicule of r. every nation, and an object of contempt to the whole world. Would not the people of this country be regarded as the grossest hypocrites, if now, for the sake of a,: halfpenny in the pound in the price of sugar—for the sake of some temporary : augmentation of the revenue—they deliberately undid their own work, saying, , "We condemned the slave-trade; we paid for its abolition: we still condemn it; but we cannot let it interfere with our desire to get cheaper sugar." "There is no sacrifice I would not incur," said his noble friend, "to put down the slave-trade." Why, the only sacrifice he was called on to make was this halfpenny a pound in the price of sugar: but that was too highs price, it seemed, fur the morality of his noble friend.

On the subject of immigration Lord Stanley stated, that at present there is no check whatever on the immigration of labour to the West India Colonies from any. part of the world. It was from the coast of Africa that the %Vest India co- lomsts expected their supply of labour. He maintained, that to tell the West India colonists that they should have free immigration of labour, was to promise, for the sake of obtaining their assent to an arrangement, what they could not , obtain. Of course it could not be the intention of Government to allow the Wait.. India colonists to go in pursuit of labour to any part of the coast of Africa. There were very few places indeed on that coast where free Africans were to be • met with. They would have to make arrangements very similar to those made by the slavers now. They would have to boy from the chiefs permission for the men to engage themselves as labourers: but those :chiefs would not send their . own subjects. So far, therefore, as the African coast was concerned, to sanction such an immigration as would be necessary to supply the wants of the colonists, would be only to sanction a new form of the slave-trade. He did not believe that under present circumstances it could be considered a permanent measure; and if . it was not permanent, the advantage that was expected to be derived from it would be in a great measure lost. He did not think that the measure would be . received by the country as the deliberate expression of the judgment of Parlia- ment; still less did he believe that it would be regarded as a deliberate expression of the judgment of the people. . Lord DENMAN addressed the House from the cross benches against the measure— He declared his irrec,oncileable hoetility to the principles upon which the bill was founded. He agreed with Lord Stanley in thinking that its natural conse- quence must be to perpetuate slavery and stimulate the slave-trade. Unless the number of slaves were very greatly increased, lie was at a loss to understand haw the increased production of sugar, at present anticipated, was to be obtained. He always felt that the West India planters had been ill-used : the State had placed them in an unfortunate position, and the State owed them indemnity. Lord Denman disputed the assertion of the Liverpool Anti-Slavery Society, that . the proposed measure would not stimulate slavery, and that all the efforts hitherto employed by Government to suppress the slave-trade had failed. He admitted . there had been no ixthiction of the traffic; it had proceeded; but it had proceeded in a very diminished ratio. No fewer than seventy-five ships, engaged in the conveyance of slaves were captured last year. He must object to the adoption of any measure which ID ht promote the odious traffic in slaves, by placing this country in a position ttet me the principal customer of a. nation by which that 1.0 traffic was extensively' ca tq, on. Ile could not help thinking, that before this great innovation was introddlAjt might have been desirable that the resources

of Jamaica, the Mauritius, and othee places, with regard to free-labour, should have been better considered: but nowahe found that they were driven to this'— that free trade was that which must piervail; that it would make its way; that it was irresistible; and that, like Napoleonarith regard to commerce, they had no means Of repressing it if it took any partieular course. That, however, was a most alarming doctrine; and he would ask the CoeeeenneeMrethether they were prepared to uphold free trade at the cost of bloodsheit'iliiirder, and rapine ? When he was asked why should they not have free eradelin sugar the same as they were to have in corn, his answer was, that corn wall _grown without the sacrifice of human victims. ti to

The Marquis of LANSDOWNE vindicated the measure— ,

Government would not have done their duty if they had allowed the session to terminate without endeavourieg to secure to the people of this country a partici-,

potion in that share af the consumption of sugar to which they are entitled-. The question was not a new one. It had been discussed over and over again; and the absurd folly and inutility of the system they were now pursuing for the purpose of putting down the slave-trade at a loss of life and money unparalleled in this country, stood recognized and discovered. It had been asserted that the retention, of a duty upon the article of sugar was opposed to the principles of free trade: but ' did the advocates of free trade hold that the institutions and establishments of the country could be maintained for nothing? Did they say that no revenue was required to be raised? Lord Stanley had spoken of a number of articles of slave- produce as so extremely convenient that we could not do without them. Cotton wasamong the number. If, then, the question was to be confined to a maxim of convenience, let his noble friend not tell them that it was to be a matter of pounds, shillings, and pence; let his noble friend not condemn the Government for calcu- lating, when he himself made calculations: his noble friend appeared to try things by a standard of his own. Notwithstanding what had been said by Lord Stanley shmt the difficulty of investing capital under the change, Lord Lansdowne begged to mention that there was forming in this country a company composed of men of the greatest information, and possessed of sufficient capital, for the purpose of embarking that capital with no other prospect of a return than that winch they would have under this bill by extending the production of sugar in the West Indies. He had heard recently that a large number of White persons, amounting to 1,000 or 2,000, had gone to one of our West India islands from Madeira; and such an immigration was likely to be attended with great advantages.

The Marquis suggested to Lord Stanley, that it would be proper to allow the bill to be read a first time, as being a more respectful mode of meeting a bill coming from the House of Commons; and that when the proposal for fixing the second reading should be made, he could move that it be fixed for that day three months, by which he would have every opportunity he could desire of protesting against the bill.

Lord ASHBURTON opposed the bill— The system of reciprocal protection was the true Colonial system. If it was done away with the Colonies would cease to be of value to this country. Was everybody, then, to be allowed to carry their manufactures to Jamaica and Canada on the same terms as we received them ourselves? If that were the case, the gentlemen in Manchester who expected such great benefits from free trade would discover, that in their own favourite article of cotton, the monopoly in which they conceived no one could take from them, they would be defeated in some of these colonies. It had been stated by some of those gentlemen in the Committee on Land Burdens, that the Americans met them successfully in the Brazilian and Chinese markets with coarse cottons; and why should they not equally beat them in our min Colonies? The unfortunate West Indian had been worse treated than any other. Lord MeqrreauLE supported the bill—

The whole history of our legislation on this subject during the last twenty years had been nothing but a sueesesion of changes; so it was absurd to say that the House was pledg.ed to anything. In reference to Lord Stanley's taunt about the small reduction that the proposed measure would effect in the price of sugar, Lord Monteagle remarked that the whole trade of a country might turn on the five-eighths of a penny. This had occurred in the case of cotton. The West India interest had received full warning that the Sugar question must be settled.

Lord BROUGHAM spoke in opposition— Lord Monteagle holl'haid that it would have been shameful in the present Go- vernment had they not brought in the measure. " Why ? Merely because they mem a new Government just come in? That was the very reason a little time skald have been afforded them to tarn about and deliberate upon the measure. It was anything but a reason for haste, that the question was important; unless it was right to walk quicker the more slippery the ground was beneath their feet. He could understand, however, that a new Government must have something to go to the country upon; a Government that had no hops of existence except in the quarrels of its adversaries, he could conceive might wish to create an effect elsewhere. For this purpose, they might say, let us get a good measure; let us ...pt something cheap—something that will appeal to the most sensitive part of the people, and trust our salvation to that. Then he could understand why this bill was hurried through the House at that period of the session." How were they to speculate on so miraculous a conversion as that of Lord Sandon? Some singular change had certainly taken place. If the noble Lord's arguments were correct in 1841, he now appeared in opposition to the Gospel, against humanity and the Colonies, and the sacred principles of justice.

"No set of people were so badly treated as these West Indians. You took their Negroes from them; you confiscated their property, on account of your hu- manity and justice; you gave them the fourth or fifth part of its value,—a great deal for us to pay, but little for them to receive; the next thing you did was to take away the advantage they formerly enjoyed of protection in your markets; and, as if that were not enough, you scolded them at the same time you were Logging them—it was preache and floggee too,' for the noble Lord at the head of the department of Trade said they were a set of ignorant, incapable, foolish people." 1 here never was a greater fallacy than that the consumption of sugar did not necessarily imply an increase of the slave-trade. It required several years to pre- pare land for sugar crops; it must be cleared, grubbed, fenced, and buildings most be erected. For these purposes, Negroes must be put upon it, and in a few years there would be an increase of the quantity of sugar produced; consequently, the increase of Negroes must be antecedent four or five years to the increase of sugar.

-The consumption of cotton and other slave-products had been adduced as an ar- gtunent in favour of the proposed measure: but to make the cases parallel, you must have it that, never having admitted slave-grown coffee or cotton, you at once admitted them. With regard to the internal slave-trade in America, much as it was to be reprobated, there was no parallel whatever between it and the horrors of the middle passage. "What thought they of a vessel of 110 tons loaded with 125 Negroes, and 25 men to keep them down, and this mass of human beings com- pelled to cross the Atlantic in that confined space. What was the consequence? Why, that one-half of this wretched crew died on the passage. In the case of another vessel with 1,100 slaves on board boned to Bahia, 600 of these unhappy human beings only were alive—if alive it could be called—when the vessel reached land. In another case, seventy-five Negroes were on board a vessel which had been set fire to accidentally by a drunken crew: the crew escaped; but of the slaves, twenty-five who were on deck, not in irons, were drowned, while the other fifty, who were in irons below, were burnt to death I With respect to the effect which our cruisers on the coast of Africa have had on the slave-trade, he admit- ted that they had done more harm than good. One consequence of their presence there had been, that scenes the most hideous had been enacted on board the slave- vessels off that coast—scenes too dreadful for tongue to describe or imagination to conceive. Things unutterable—worse than fable ever feigned or fear conceived— had been enacted on board those miscreant vessels. In one case, half the slaves were thrown overboard in the course of the chase- and to conceal the fact from the chasing vessel, they were actually packed in barrels, and thus floated alive on the Atlantic. With such facts as these before him, was he to be called on to corn- pre this form of the slave-trade with the internal slave-trade of the United States? But be had :to qbote a very high authority in support of his view; no leas than that of Dr. Dilehington, who, only a short time since, urged him to press on _their Lordships the withdrawal of our squadron on the coast of Africa, as utterly inconsistent with this act for encouraging the slaver trade. He little thought, after having throughout his whole life laboured in the good cause, that now, in the year 1846, be would have been compelled to rise in la's place in that House in order once more to denounce the African slave-trade, and to complain that a Liberal Government, the Government of a party deriving all their lustre from the name of Fox, should have been publicly guilty of the introduction of a measure such as this; a measure the introdection of which must be regarded as worse than the refusal for so many years to abolish slavery—worse than the refusal to emancipate the Negroes, because it was the first instance, in the history of this question, and in our legislation upon it, of the attempt by a positive enactment, actively, effectually, and vigorously, to encourage the African slave-trade.

Earl GREY replied to Lord Brougham— Ile had heard the noble and learned Lord make some amusing jokes, and some hits, as was his wont, at friends and foes; but for anything like connected reason to make oat the case he had set up, he had listened in vain. This measure was precisely the same in principle as those of 1841 and 1842, when Lord Stanley was a member of the Cabinet. But, said the noble and learned Lord, " Oh! I know nothing of that." Happy ignorance saved his consistency. Lord Brougham ought to have been cautious in imputing motives to those who supported the measure. If they were provoked—if they chose to be drawn into that quarrel— they might say, what, indeed, he hill-welt' might say of the noble and learned lord —he would not be provoked to it, but when the noble and learned Lord glorified himself so much for all he had done upon this subject, and pronounced such a glowing eulogium upon his services in the Anti-Slavery cause, extending over a period of forty years, he wished he had been good enough to account for one little fact—why that zeal, so ardent for so long a period, had slumbered during that short time when it was particularly important he should have been lively and active—the time when he held high office in his Majesty's councils. If his zeal had not then slumbered, it would have been a great advantage, and a great relief to Lord Grey personally, when the controversy on the question of shivery was carried on with so much eagerness on both sides, in 1832 and 1833, if the noble and learned Lord had given a little more counsel and assistance to his noble friend [Lord Stanleyj under whom he had the honour to serve in the Colonial Office, instead of leaving him to struggle, without assistance and without counsel, with difficulties of no ordinary nature. Earl Grey utterly abhorred the slave trade, and he would not adopt any course that would tend to increase it; but he believed that, in passing this measure, so far from increasing the slave-trade, it would be the most likely means of putting an end to it. With regard to the West Indian Colonies, he did not entertain such desponding views as his noble friends opposite. It had always been found that the stimulus given to exertion by even and fair competition was attended with the most favourable results. Lord Elgin's reports showed, that in Jamaica the planter was convinced that his interest, as well as that of his workmen, was directly con- cerned in raising the character and the intelligence of the working man; and that means were taken to develop that intelligence by education. They could not by the agency of slaves adopt improved methods; and so sensible were the Assembly of Jamaica of this truth, that they had cordially responded to all the calls made upon them for the means of giving an extended and improved education' and had adopted measures so energetic and so well devised that they mast in a few years produce great effect. These were the means which freedom had of competing with slavery.

Lord BROUGHAM begged to explain—

Lord Grey accused him of having allowed his zeal for the abolition of slavery to slumber during the time that he held the office of Lord Chancellor, especially in 1831. His answer was, that during the whole of that time the attention of Parliament was occupied by a subject of no less moment than the Reform Bill; but in 1833 he gave all the assistance in his power to that great measure which was introduced and passed by the noble Lord near him.

Several questions were put to Lord Grey touching some of the details—

Lord ASHBURTON asked if it were intended to take away the preference which the Colonies now showed to the produce of the Mother-country, and to submit a plan to Parliament for the raniose, or did they merely intend to send instruc- tions to the Governors of the Colonies to propose such measures, and send them home to be approved by the Government here Earl GREY expressed surprise at the question. When duties were imposed by the authority of Parliament, nothing but the authority of Parliament could re- move them; and of course it was the intention of her Majesty's Government to ask Parliament to remove those duties.

Lord STANLEY wished to know, whether it was intended that every colony should be allowed to impose upon imports such ditties as the Legislatures of that colony tholght fit; and thus that various duties should prevail among the se- veral British Colonies? He conceived that it would be highly disadvantageous if there were to be varying rates of duties. Earl GREY said that this was the state of matters which existed in North America, and little or no inconvenience had arisen. If the objections taken to the course proposed by the Government were well-founded, they would be quite ready to carry any other better mode into effect that might be submitted to them. In reference to a remark made by Lord DENMAN Earl GREY stated that Eng- lish cruisers would be continued on the coast of Adica.as usual.

The bill was read a first time.

The Earl of CLARENDON then moved that the bill be read. osecond time on Thursday. Lord STANLEY moved, as an amendment, that it be read a second time that day three months. The question was put, and Lord Stan- ley's amendment was negatived without a division.

On Thursday, on the order of the day for the second reading, the Bishop of OXFORD moved an amendment, that the bill be read a second time that day three months. His speech was limited to the Anti-Slavery point of view; and although there was no novelty in that, the old arguments were put with greater closeness, power, and earnestness, than by any previous speaker— He began with a modest disclaimer: he should not have ventured to oppose the Government on a matter of finance or revenue; but this was a question deeply affecting the moral character of the country, its name for justice and humanity. The bill goes upon the ground that a greater supply of sugar is needed: there must be a greater importation of sugar, not West Indian: Sir James Hogg shows that it cannot come from the East Indies; therefore it must come from Cuba and Brazil: they must export more: to do that they must make more: but being semi-barbarous countries, they do not augment their produce by machinery— they do it by the rude labour of human muscles—by slaves; they must therefore have more slaves: the slave-trade will be directly encouraged, involving its awful waste of life, which is as three to one of slaves actually imported, to MAY nothing of the wars' slave hunts, and other miseries of internal Africa. He treated the argument about cotton and other alave-produce which we admit as untenable; asking if we should authorize murder because we cannot prevent housebreaking? As to copper, he would join in excluding it. Other arguments of the kind were similarly analyzed or overruled. But most emphatically he denied the assertion that efforts to suppress the slave-trade have failed: we were on the very verge of extinguishing it by sealing up the coast of Africa; and who knows what the increase would have been but for our intervention? Contracts for limiting trade to legitimate objects have been made by African chiefs; Por- tugal and France cooperate with us; even in Cuba and Brazil a feeling has arisen that exclusion from our market on account of the slave-trade is injurious to the slave-owning countries. He expressed hie deep regret to find that, just as the goal was in view, a measure should be proposed, the inevitable effect of which would be to reopen the slave-trade in all its horror. The Bishop of LONDON reechoed the sentiments of Dr. Wilberforce.

The Marquis of LANSDOWNE replied—

It was not alone essential that Parliament should be in their own estimation consistent and moral: they would never accomplish the abolition of the slave- trade unless they convinced other countries that they were consistent. It was only by the effect of their example on other countries that they could hope to suc- ceed. He conceived it to be a decisive proof that the people of England did not regard the measure as retrogressive, that although a cry had been sounded against it, only some half-dozen hostile petitions had been presented. The House divided—For the amendment, 10; against it, 28; majority, 18. The bill was then read a second time.

On Tuesday, Mr. GRANTLEY BERKELEY put a question to Lord John Russell—

He wished to know whether it was intended to take off the existing restrictions upon the importation of free labourers into British Guiana and the West Indian Colonies from the free states of Africa? He also wished to know whether there was any objection to permit free immigration into those British Colonies from the Kroo coast; and, if there were no objection, when would the present restrictions be taken off?

Lord JOHN RUSSELL said, that there WEIS every desire to permit free immigration; but great caution was required to guard against abuse—

Persons might take Africans from the coast under the pretence of their being engaged as free labourers, and, sailing nominally for Guiana or Jamaica, might take them instead to Cuba or Brazil. The subject of allowing immigration to proceed from the Kroo coast, however, was under the consideration of the Colo-. nial Secretary. The difficulty lay in the want of a British settlement: but this difficulty may perhaps be overcome.


On Monday, the House of Commons having gone into a Committee on the Customs-duties Bill,

The CELssicsLLoit of the EXCHEQUER moved a resolution making a re- duction of sixpence a gallon' namely from 9s. 4d. to 88. 10d., in the duty on British Colonial spirits and strong waters. Mr. MACKINNON moved as an amendment, that the duty on Colonial and British spirits be equalized— He was satisfied that the Government had done right in proposing the equali- zation of the Sugar-duties, as the people of England ought not to be debarred from full supplies of so necessary an article; but he complained that while, by an act passed last session, spirits made from sugar in the Channel Islands could be imported into England at a lower rate of duty, the same boon was re- fined to the West Indians who were now ground down to the earth. In a sugar estate in the island of .Antigua with which he was connected, be found on look- ing back, that in little more than twenty years there had been a falling-Off in the profits of between 3,000/. and 4)0001. a year, leaving the income about 1,000/. The CILLECELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER explained—

The duty on spirits from the Channel Islands, which was imposed by the bill alluded to, had operated as a prohibition,. for since that bill had passed, not a single gallon of spirits had come trom the Channel Islands into the United King- dom: therefore, putting them on the same footing would be most injurious to the West Indians. The trade which formerly existed in spirits from these islands was a fraudulent trade, and now it was put an end to. Every one would admit that ardent spirits were one of the most proper subjects for taxation; and so long as the duty could be levied without encouraging illicit distillation, any amount might be so imposed. It was on this principle that the rates varied in the Three Kingdoms. Whenever the amoutt of duty on spirits in Ireland had been raised, the revenue had materially diminishzd. He adnutted that nothing was more ano- malous than the different state of duties in diffhrent parts of the empire; but the peculiar circumstances of Scotland and Ireland Were too powerful for the Legisla- ture as regarded illicit distillation. The ' question, however, required the most attentive consideration; and, as he said the other night, he would promise that it should receive the most eel ions attention of her Majesty's Government. Mr. GOULBURN trusted that the present reduction might be only re- garded as an instalment of what was due to the West 'Indians. The only way to enable the West Indian planter, to supply this country with sugar would be to place him on a fair footing with respect to other articles.

Mr. BERNAL remarked, that Lord John Russell had uttered, in an under-tone, "in justice to this country," when the Chancellor of the Ex- chequer was speaking—

Mr. Bernal was quite ready to argue the question upon the principle of justice to England. The differential duty on rum, as compared with the duty charged upon British spirit, was bad enough; but when it came to a duty of 3s. 8d. on Scotch, and 2s. 8d. on Irish whisky, while rum was charged 9s. 461., the matter became too ridiculous for argument.

Lord JOHN RUSSELL explained—

When he used the words "in justice to this country," all he meant to say ERB, that the Government ought to have a little time to consider the matter, in order to enable them to do justice to England while they did justice to the Colonies. Now, let it be supposed that rum were to be admitted into Scotland at a duty of 38. 8d., and that it became quite easy in England to consume smuggled rum which had paid 3s. 8d. only in Scotland, while British spirits were charged with a duty of 7s. 10d., that would cause great complaints among the people of England. - Eventually, the resolution was agreed to without a division.


When the question was put, on Thursday, for the House to go into Com- mittee on the British Possessions Bill, (for authorizing the local Legisla- tures to repeal the Imperial import-duties in the Colonies,) Mr. GOULBURN wished for an explanation as to the principle on which the measure was based—

The bill proposed, that instead of altering the duties now imposed by British acts of Parliament, it should be left to the several Colonies to exercise their own discretion as to what duties should be levied on foreign goods coming from fo- reign countries. This appeared to bee most inconvenient course. It was taking from the British Parliament a jurisdiction it had previously possessed. Unne- delay would also be a result, arising from the time that would be required for a Colonial Legislature to pass the needful bill. Suppose the Colonies all took different views of their own interests, and that some admitted produce from Ame- rica at one rate of duty, and others produce from Sweden at another: then we should be involved in discussions with foreign countries, which could only be conducted through the Foreign Office at home. This would prove a fertile source of misunderstanding with foreign powers. Parliament was asked to give up the great principle that the trade of the Colonies ought to be regulated by the Mother- country; and the probability was that the Colonies would arrive at the conclusion that the Navigation-laws ought also to be left to their own management.

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER explained— Had Parliament legislated for the Colonies, the consequence might have been to deprive them of part of their revenues upon which they had calculated, seeing that there was no time to learn their wishes as to what reductions they were in- clined to make. There could not, however, be the least doubt that it would be desirable in all cases that the regulations of those duties should lie with the Co- -lonies themselves. There were at the same time many obnoxious regulations, affecting the trade of one colony with another, which ought to be abandoned. They had diffuential duties among themselves, which were highly objectionable. No- thing, for example, could be more inconvenient than that the colony of New South Wales should have differential duties on articles of produce between that colony ..t and Van Diemen's Land. It might be desirable in the coarse of the next session to introduce a bill to put matters of this kind on a sound and proper footing, though he did not think it was possible to do so during the present session. ha the mean time, the Colonies ought without delay to be relieved from the import- duties to which they were exposed.

A good deal of discussion followed; Mr. 'WARBURTON, Mr. HENLEY, alla Mr. Hums, all objecting.

Lord Joss RUSSELL made some further explanation—

The colonists ought to be allowed to manage the details of their own trade on the same principle that the Mother-country managed hers. In the latter case, exceptions had been made to the principle of free trade in the articles of timber, silk, and some other things; and the same privilege should be extended to the colonists. The whole power given by the bill to the Colonial Assemblies was to repeal differential duties if they chose, not to enact them. " We do not give them any power to impose duties on British goods which they do not possess at present. If, applying the principles of free trade, we should hereafter say to the colonists, 'Here is a protective duty; this duty is one which ought to be taken away'—the colonists might say, True, it does act as a protective duty; yet it brings in so much to our revenue that we cannot agree to remove it.' I think, therefore, that it is better to leave the matter to the Colonial Assemblies, who are only to act with the assent of the Crown controlling their power; by which means a multi- plicity of duties may be avoided. Further, the Secretary of State for the Colonies will have the power to direct the Governor of any one of the Colonies to explain to that colony what are the general views and principles on which her Majesty's Government wish them to act, and be enabled to point out general directions for their guidance."

The bill then went into Committee; but did not escape further remark.

Mr. GOULBURN hoped that next year there would be no difficulty in reassert- ing the power of the British Parliament over the Colonial trade. Lord JOHN RessELL said, he should be qulte ready to discuss that question at the proper time. Mr. HENLEY doubted the right of the English Parliament to delegate the power of legislation to the Colonies: "Delegate potestas non potest delegari." Mr. CHARLES BULLER gave an instance of the exercise of the power in question, in the case of the Parliament of Lower Canada. The Imperial Parliament had passed an act called the Tenure of Lands Act; it caused great dissatisfaction in Canada; and another act was passed enabling the Parliament of Lower Canada to repeal that act. Mr. GOULBURN said, the cases were dissimilar; the one referred to a local matter, the other related to the imposition of duties on the goods of foreign countries.

The bill-went through Committee without amendment, and was reported.


The renewal of the Arms (Ireland) Bill came under discussion on Mon- day. Before the regular debate, there was a remarkable preliminary col- loquy, in the midst of a Committee of Supply on the Ordnance and other Estimates.

Mr. THOMAS DUNCOMBE asked a question. He had understood that the measure would be brought before the House that evening; but now there was a rumour that it was to be postponed Mr. LABOUCHERE replied. Having learnt that there were several Members connected with Ireland who wished to attend the discussion, he thought it fair to lix a suitable time, and therefore proposed that the second reading should take place on Wednesday. • Mr. Hums observed, that Wednesday was a private day; and he did not be- Hoye that any Member from Ireland cared a pin about the bill. He wished to know why it was that Mr. Labonchere and his colleagues were now prepared to promote that against which they voted two years ago?

Mr. Escorr hoped that Mr. I.,abouchere might occupy the interval till Wed- nesday in considering whether he should not on seocind thoughts abandon the bill altogether. Mr. DUNCOMBE knew that _several Members intended to go out of town before Wednesday; and it was rather suspicious that it was to be postponed until that day, when nobody would be there. If Mr. Labouchere would have the kindness to state who the individuals were for whom he was postponing the measure, it might be some reason to induce the House to consent to the postponement.

Mr. LABOUCHERE—".What I said was, there were many gentlemen who were- anxious to be present." Mr. DUNCOMBE—" Who ? "

Mr. LABOUCHERE should think there were gentlemsn connected with Ireland who would wish to hear the discussion on this point. Mr. Dusicostes—" Who?"

Mr. LABOUCHERE apprehended there would be no business on Wednesday to- interfere with this measure; and it could, he hoped, be brought on soon after twelve o'clock. His only wish was to have the subject discussed; and if the dis- cussion could be brought on before ten o'clock that night, he was prepared to go on with it.

In a subsequent part of the evening, Mr. LABOUCHERE moved the second reading of the bill; and; on the invitation of Mr. Hume, stated his reasons for persevering with the measure— He was prepared to maintain, in the face of the House and of the country, that a Government would desert its duty, and would act a part utterly unworthy of the dignity of the Crown and of the country, if they allowed the bill to drop. The spirit in which he asked the House to pass the bill was not one of approvah in spirit or detail. The bill would only be in force till the 1st of May; and he gave- the House not only a pledge but security of the intention of Government to bring in a measure on the subject. All that Ministers asked was time. As to any odium which would be provoked by the licensing and branding of arms, all the arms were- already licensed and branded. The mischief was done already, and no harm could-be - done by continuing this measure for only nine months. He should be sincerely sorry if the necessity for proposing such a bill were to be taken as a Specimen of the feeling and a sample of the legislation that the present Government would adopt towards Ireland.

A long and desultory discussion drew forth a host of opponents from quarters; the supporters making their appearance at rare intervals.

Mr. HU3IE had a very simple plan which he would recommend to Mr. Labia- cbere. It was to drop the bill altogether—not to dirty his fingers with it. Sir James Graham, the fate Home Secretary, had twice admitted that the measure had failed. Mr. Hume wished to know why the House should place an uncon- stitutional power in the hands of a set of men who declared they disapproved of that power, merely as a mark of confidence? The present step seemed to be- quite unnecessary. There were no petitions—no applications from Ireland; no- Irish Members had asked for it.

Mr. SHAW, though not friendly to the bill, was nevertheless of opinion that it was but fair to allow the Government time to look into the subject.

Mr. Escorr said, it was to him a matter of the most curious conjecture what wild infatuation could have induced the Government to take such a bill under its protection. Mr. Labouchere had himself admitted that the measure was a failure; and Mr. Sheil, in opposition, had mercilessly denounced it, describing it as one into whose every clause tyranny was elaborated in every form. Was Mr, Shell going to support that bill now ? Mr. MUNTZ felt that to support Ministers in the present case would be to de- grade and disgrace himself. They had fallen to a great discount in his estimation by their conduct on this occasion.

Mr. Sum/suss CRAWFORD considered the bill, as it stood, a breach of the con- stitution, and he would oppose it Mr. REDHEAD YORKE would do the same.

Mr. BELLEW declared that the effect of the present proposal upon the character of public men would be most injurious.

Mr. Pioorr, the Solicitor-General for Ireland, said a few words in support of Ministers. In 1843 he thought there should be no legislation on the subject; but the circumstance of legislation having been introduced modified the question.

Mr. BORSMAN thought it was positive infatuation in Ministers to force such a bill on the House.

Sir ROBERT FERGUSON thought that at any rate some restrictions ought to be placed on the sale of gunpowder and the importation of arms. Mr. PROTHEROE should oppose the bill; but it was with the greatest concem that he appeared as an opponent of Ministers. Mr. SPOONER had always supported the principle involved in the bill. Those Members who supported the late Government in their Coercion Bill were bound as men of honour to support the present measure. Mr. BERNAL OSBORNE felt deeply mortified that Ministers should have been so 'untrue to their professions in opposition as to have introduced such a measure now that they were in cffice. The present Government had come into power avowedly with the intention of making the same laws for England and for Ireland; sand with these professions on their lips, how were they Justified in advocating

• such a measure as the present,—a measure, observe, which had not been be- queathed to them by their predecessors, but which, on the contrary, their prede- cessors decried and admitted to be a failure? He was willing to support the Go- vernment when he could do so honourably: but he would not repose that confidence in any Government that would induce him to support them when. they proposed measures which were unconstitutional and destructive of liberty. Why were they to have enactments of this description?

Mr. THOMAS BUNCOMBE thought that explanation was required from Lord John Russell. In 1843, the noble Lord spoke after this fashion in reference to the Arms Bill-

" But, really, if we are told that it is the intention of the Executive Government to propose such plans, and such plans alone—if we are told that this is a Sample of the

measures by which Irelluid is to be governed—I think before long that this House should address the Crown, or take some mode or other of expressing their opinion as to the government of Ireland." That was "the principle "on which the noble Lord had always acted; and he supposed that now, as a sort of tribute to the memory of his predecessors, he was going. to pass another Coercion Bill. Mr. Duncombe wanted to know upon what principle they had turned out the late Government, unless it were upon the prin- ciple of non-coercion. Never was a Minister turned out so much against the will of the people of this country, or so much to the discredit of the party who had succeeded him.

Ministers now came forth, hinting at concessions.

First, Viscount MORPETH- It had been his lot frequently to propose Irish Arms Bill, and never to op them. Ministers found the present bill in force; and the question was, whether, having legislation now, not being prepared to dispense with legislation altogether, and intending to have recourse to legislation next session, the Government was called upon to introduce a third piece of legislation on the subject. He hoped the rouse would not think that Ministers intended to cling to that system ot legis- lation, or to hold it up as the model of their wishes.

Lord Joint Russimr. was more explicit—

He defended his consistency. During the ten or eleven years that he had held office, he had supported measures which had for their object the preventing of Improper persons from having fire-arms and preventing the introduction of am- munition and fire-arms into Ireland. With regard to these two main objects of the bill, he gave every support to them in 1843; but he opposed other parts. In

- particular' he had opposed the branding clause. He agreed with the Recorder of

• -Dublin in thinking that a good deal of the vexation caused by the objectionable clauses which the bill contains is now over. "If gentlemen think with regard to any of those clauses that they ought to be expunged from the bill, it will be in the power of the House to accede to their wishes, and to make those amendments in Committee. I cannot shrink from the duty of asking this House, however un-

• popular the measure may be, still to continue some restriction on the possession of arms in Ireland. The declaration in the preamble of all these bills is, that they ' are to prevent improper persons having arms. Now, I wish the House to observe, whatever ridicule may have been thrown on the argument of the right honour- able the Recorder of Dublin, that it is a different thing to continue a law in Eng- land by which all may have arms, and to abrogate a law in Ireland by which re- strictions are placed on the possession of arms. I have no doubt that the throw- ing out of this bill would encourage many of those malefactors in Ireland who go about deliberately, offering their assistance to murder for money." .• Adverting to Mr. Duncombe's panegyric on Sir Robert Peel, Lord John re- - marked, that if Mr. Buncombe imagined that in paying these compliments he was ' annoying the present Government, he was very much mistaken. "I think praise must ever attend him [ Sir Robert Peel] upon account of the sacrifice he made, 'end for the course he took. It cannot, therefore, be at all irksome to me if the iright honourable gentleman bestows his praises upon the right honourable Baronet." Mr. DUNCOMBE said, it was quite a matter ot indifference to him whether his expressions pleased or displeased the noble Lord. (" Order!") Lord Joins Russitts, added, that if Mr. Duncombe admired the late Govern- ment so very much, it was a great pity he did not do more to preserve them in

Office than he did- (A laugh.) If he had reflected how sorry he would be, and how much he should lament their fall, I think he might have given them more constant support than he thought it his duty to do !"

Lord SEYMOUR asked Lord John Russell, whether he would consent to strike out of the bill those clauses which he voted against when he sat on the other side of the House? In that case, the Government should have his vote, but not other- wise.

Lord Joint Russiint, answered, that if Lord Seymour meant two or three of . She more objectionable clauses, to any such proposition he would consent.

The House divided—For the second reading, 56; against it, 23; Minis- • terial majority, 33.

A short discussion followed; in the course of which, Mr. LABOUCHERE

• stated that the measure would be altered in Committee. Monday was named for the Committee.

Mr. Escort. has given notice, that on Monday he will move that the bill be committed that day three months.


On Monday, Mr. Husto moved the adoption of a series of resolutions founded on the report of the Select Committee appointed to consider the • best mode of conducting Private Bill business. [An abstract of the Com- mittees report appeared in our last number.] The resolutions met with a • favourable reception, and most of them were agreed to; Ministers being nssenting parties.

The first resolution was agreed to as follows —" That public general acts -should be prepared for each of the several subjects of police and watching, of • -water-works and sewage, of paving, of improvement of towns and regulation of buildings, streets, and roads, of markets and fairs, of cemeteries, of bridges and ' ferries, of harbours, docks, ports, piers and prays, of canals, rivers, and naviga- - boo, as recommended in the report of the13e ect Committee on 'Private Bills, embodying, as far as possible, the suggestions•thereer


In the House of Lords, on Tuesday, the subject of flogging in the Army was brought under notice by the presentation of some petitions deprecating the practice. The Duke of WELLINGTON said— "It has long been the wish of all those connected with the command of the Army, and particularly of the illustrious individual who was my predeceseorin that command, that the punishment should be diminished in the greatest possible degree: It has been my invariable practice, since I first had the honour of a com- mand in the Army, to make every endeavour to diminish the panishment, so as, if possible, to lead by degrees to its entire discontinuance. My Lords, this has been the object of all my arrangements throughout the service, ever since I first com- manded a regiment, now not less than fifty years ago. But really, my Lords, the fact is, that it is impossible to tarry on the discipline of the British Army without some punishment of that description-which the mdivideal shall feel." The riment adopted in the East Indies had failed; the troops among whom the lash been abolished having mutinied in a most disgraceful manner. My Lords, in con- sequence of the feeling of the Government, ef the Parliament, and of the public, on this subject, I have taken upon myself to issue an order greatly to diminish the severity of the punishment; and I hope, with the arrangements made in future' and with an alterahon in the law, it may still further be diminished, so as to lead to its final discontinuance. I must, however, beg your Lordships to observe, that if we are to have an army, we must have it in a state of discipline—a state of nib- ordination to command and of obedience to the state. This country does not like an army under any circumstances; but in no case' would it bear any but the best troops that can be had. We must have the very best troops, in this country, and in every part of the world where we employ them. We require the best conduct and the most perfect subordination and order- for I assure your Lordships: that our troops are now at this moment engaged, 'and are constantly, engaged in the daily performance of services which you could not .require.—nay, I will go 'further and say, which you could not have from any troops in the world." -Small parties of soldiers, under the command of a subaltern, are constantly employed in. guard- ing from 800 to 400 convicts on a long voyage. No "misfortune " had ever oc- curred. Where shipwrecks had taken place, the troops had conducted themselves in the most creditable and manner. "It is necessarylor me now to re- mark, and I entreat your 1.,:Viap7 to remark, that you cannot have an army if unfortunately it should lose its discipline and habits of subordination and good order; but your Lordships may rely upon_it that I will continue to do what I have always endeavoured to do, that is, to diminish the punishment as much as possi- ble; and I hope I may live to see it abolished altogether."

On Thursday, Mr. EISCOTT moved for the following returns: he dicLnot know what objection there could be to granting them—

A return of persons flogged in the Army in Great Britain and Ireland in the years 1845 and 1846, to the end of July; specifying, 1. The offence. 2. The regiment, the place of station the time. 3. The sentence. 4. The order for-itsexecution. 5. Whether the trials were open to the public or only open to the

regiment, or with closed doors. 6. The number of lashes public, and the day.

7. How soon after punishment the man was able to return to his duty, and at what place he was then quartered. 8. Whether death has followed within twelve months of the flogging, and the date of such death. 9. Whether the punishment was inflicted, if in Cavalry regiments, by the trumpeters or farriers; if in Infantry regiments, by the privates or drummers; and with what instrument. 10. Copies of the surgeon's minutes of all such punishments, and any subsequent observations on their consequences. Mr. Fox Mentz offered several objections,—that the returns would be needlessly minute, impracticable to furnish, sometimes fallacious.

Desultory remarks followed.

Lord JOHN RUSSELL remarked, that compliance with the motion might lead to very erroneous comparisons: a regiment might at one time be kept in very good order without corporal punishment, yet under other circumstances punish- ment might be necessary Mr the maintenance of discipline. Mr. WARLET thought the refusal spoke even more eloquently than the returns themselves could do. lie had heard it said, that unless in very rare instances the full punishment of fifty lashes would be inflicted. Mr. CHARLES BULLER said there was no wish to withhold information; but Government objected to grant a return calculated to mislead the public. He agreed that there ought to be some general rule regu- lating this system of punishment; aud he believed That measures were taken by authority to the effect that the instrument inflicting the punishment should be in accordance with some fixed regulation.

• Mr. Escorr remarked, that he was disposed to put confidence in the Govern - meat. But in withholding this information, as well as in some other courses to which they seemed addicted, they were destroying the confidence of the House and of the country: he told them so in no unfriendly spirit, and they would hear more of it before long. The motion was considerably altered, and, as amended, agreed to.


On Tuesday, Lord BEAUMONT moved for the production of the corre- spondence which had passed between this country aud Russia, Prussia, and Austria, relative to the military occupation of Cracow-

The second resolution—which was in substance, that provision be madeln these public general acts for enabling parties to carry any of the projects idto effect, under the authority of one of the Public Boards or departments, without the necessity of applying to Parliament—was withdrawn; Lord Gnaws-min SOMERSET remarking that the terms were too vague. The third resolution um -thus—" That, with the view of an immediate saving of time and expense in the proof of Standing Orders, in the ensuing session of Parliament the proofs now taken before the Committees on petitions, shall be taken before an officer or offi- cers to be appointed by Mr. Speaker; and such officer shall commence his sittings for that purpose on the 1st day of January 1847." This was agreed to; except that part which specified the time when the functions were to begin.

The following resolutions were also agreed to. "That the Standing Orders of the House should be immediately revised, as regards the proof of the Standing Orders for Private Bills to be given before such officer or officers appointed by Mr. Speaker."

"That it would be productive of great advantage in private legislation if the Standing Orders of the two Houses of Parliament relating to Private Bills could be assimilated."

"That when any city, borough, parish, company, or other parties invested with the powers, or acting under the provisions of' any existing local act or acts, shall apply to Parliament for a new bill for new and amended eowers and pro- visions, with reference to the same matters, it shall be imperative on the pro- moters to send their new bill, together with all previous existing acts then in force on the same subject within the city, borough, parish, or district, to the Board of Trade; which shall report to the House whether, in their opinion, the new bill should be allowed to proceed, or whether all the existing acts should be repealed, and the powers and provisions of such repealed acts, together with the new or amended powers and provisions sought for, should be consolidated, to-the intent that only one local act shall be in force at the same time, in the same place with reference to the same object."

The subsequent resolutions—which referred to the sending down of local in- spectors to report when applications for private bills were made, and to the ap- pointing of officers to tax the costs of promoting or opposing bills according to a fixed scale—were withdrawn; Ministers undertaking to consider the points du- ring the recess.

England was a party to the treaty by which the independence of Cracow was guaranteed. In one article of the treaty it was said, "Los Polonais sujets respectifs do La Bessie, de l'Aatriche et de la Prusse, obtiendrons tine representation et des institutions rationales." The treaty wenton to specify that the three powers were hound to respect the independence of Cracow—" La ville de Cracovie avec son territoire sera envisagee comme cite' libre, independante, et Beare." And then it added this remarkable passage—" Aucuneforee armee ne pourra jamais y etre in- troduite sous quelqae pretexts que ce soit." Lord Beaumont adduced details con- nected with the recent insurrection in Posen and Gallicia, implying that Austria for her own purposes had encouraged rather than discouraged the revolutionary spirit. He dwelt particularly upon the fact that the Austrian troops had been withdrawn from Cracow, taking the local authorities with them, after the first occupation; thus inviting, as it were, the insurgents to proceed with their revolt. He denounced the subsequent occupation of the town as a direct breach of the -treaty of Vienna, and contended that England was bound to see that the terms of the treaty were carried oat. Had an English Consul been accredited to Cracow, it might have been the means of restraining the disgraceful excesses which had been committed.

The Marquis of LANSDOWNE had no objection to produce extracts from the correspondence which had taken place— The republic of Cracow derived an independent existence from treaty; and it was the duty of the states who were parties to that arrangement to see that the conditions were fully, fairly, and permanently carried into effect. The Austrian troops did not enter Cracow till the local authorities had declared their inability to suppress the disorders which had occurred. He could not assign a reason why that body of well-appointed troops should have left Cracow as they did; but after their departure, events occurred which rendered reoccupation necessary. The 'cessions came first, then the Prussians, and next the Austrians. For reasons which he did not know, the Russian and Prussian forces left Cracow to the charge of the Austrians. There must, however, be a limit to that occupation. Lord Lansdowne did not believe that the atrocities which occurred in &snide met with the sanction of such a Government as he knew Austria to be.

The Duke of WELLINGTON concurred in the sentiments expressed by Lord Lansdowne—

It was clear that, under the treaty, Cracow could not be occupied by foreign troops: but when that treaty was made, the state of things which existed when the recent occupation took place, was not contemplated. It was not thought possible that committees would be sitting in many of the great metropolises of Europe in order to carry on a secret conspiracy, and to organize insurrection against an actual government of a Auntry; which occurred in this very city of Cracow; and this circumstance cotfid not have been foreseen at the time of the treaty of Vienna. It was quite certain that the measures adopted as to Cracow were contrary to the treaty, and could only be justified by the circumstances of the time. Ile had no hesitation in saying, that if ever a breach of treaty was jus- tifiable it was the one which had occurred. But it was not to be supposed that because the Austrians were left alone in Cracow, therefore the independence of that town was destroyed. He did not know what existing circumstances there were; but he understood, when he was in her Majesty's coancils, that the three Sovereigns had then under their consideration measures for reestablishing an in- dependent government in the town of Cracow, and placing it in a state of inde- pendence: and of course the old articles of the treaty would be revived, and no troops would remain in the place. Lord KINNAIRD expressed similar views to Lord Beaumont on the sub- ject of Austria--

It was admitted that a conspiracy did exist in Cracow- but neither the Mar- quis of Lansdowne nor the Duke of Wellington could explain, why the Austrian troops, together with all the local authorities, left the town as they did. Lord Kinnaird knew from history, and from the mode of government adopted by fo- reign powers that it not unfreqnently happened—and he believed it was so in the present case—that they deemed that the best means of quashing a conspiracy was urging it on, and bringing it to a head.

Lord Beaumont's motion was agreed to.

BELIGIous OPINIONS Rama. BILL. On Wednesday, this bill passed through Committee, without alteration; Mr. ESCOTT having found that the House were not inclined to entertain the amendments of which he had given notice to libe- ralize the measure still further. Lord Jogai RUSSELL suggested that Mr. Escott should bring forward his amendments next session.

SMOKE PraoraarrzoN BILL. On Wednesday, Mr. MACKDINON withdrew this bill; Lord Monrwrn promising to give the subject his best consideration for next session.

si UAL TAXATION. On Monday, Mr. MOFFATT asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the intentions of the Government were with regard to proposing a substitute for the duties which were hitherto levied in pursuance of an annual bill on sugar? The CHANCELLoR of the EXCHEQUER said, that Government were not prepared to give an answer. It was exceedingly inconvenient to persons engaged in trade to have annual discussions on matters directly affecting their pursuits; and for this reason Ministers had resolved to postpone the matter till next session.

DEDUCTIONS FROM MILITARY PENSIONS. On Monday, Captain LAYARD moved that the pensions paid to noncommissioned officers and privates of the Army should be paid without any deductions. The older pensioners are subjected to a deduction of 5 per cent, and the more recent to a deduction of 21 per cent, in return for the payment of their pensions in advance. Looking at the smallness of the pensions, and to the fact that the allowances to the superior officers are paid without deduction, he thought the present practice might not to be continued. The motion was withdrawn; the CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER assuring Captain Layard, that the matter would undergo the serious consideration of Ministers.

THE BOARD OF ORDNANCE. On Monday, Mr. Hume moved the appoint- ment of a Select Committee to inquire into the conduct of the Board of Ordnance, in their refusing to inquire into alleged malversation of the public stores by officers of that department; and into the cause and manner of the dismissal of Daniel Toner, a pensioner for good service in the Artillery, from her Majesty's service, without allowing the said Daniel Toner to be present at the Conn of Inquiry, or to be heard in his own defence. Toner had been dismissed, in reality, because he had called attention to the misconduct of his superior officers; though the pretext as- signed by the Board of Ordnance was his refusal to take off his hat in a given time. Tenor had offered information with respect to the disappearance of twenty- three pieces of brass ordnance; but the Board declined to receive it unless he could point out the guilty parties. Colonel PEEL vindicated the Board. Tonor had obtained every facility for carrying out his charges, and had acknowledged

that such was the case. A Court of Inquiry was held, and the dismissal of Mr. Jones for some irregularities was the consequence; the Master-General at the

same time intimating that he might be employed again. Tonor was dismissed for persisting in disobeying an order which required labourers to take off their hats in the Navy. Pay-office. Colonel Fox thought the late Board were perfectly justified in dismismig Tonor, who had been excessively insolent. Ultimately, the motion was withdrawn. THE CONDEMNED MARINE. In reply to Mr. WILLIAM WILLIAMS, On Tuesday, Mr. WARD stated that the constitution of the Court under which James Sayer, a Marine, had been condemned to death for striking his sergeant, having been found to be illegal, the Admiralty, instead of ordering a new trial, had directed that he should be sent back to his company, in the hope that the lesson he had received would not be forgotten.