Page images

to each of these colonies, authorizing th I spised, of vituperation which they allowed

Governor in taking the necessary steps

Lord Glenelg thought, that it would turn out that the doubt could easily be resolved, but there could be no possible objection to send out such despatches as had been suggested by his noble Friend.

Lord Brougham said, it was most satisfactory to him to hear the determination of his noble Friend, and he would suggest, that the despatch ought to be accompanied by an order in council, which the Governor should be enabled to use if the spurious Legislatures of the Crown colonies should refuse to act. No harm could result from such an order, and it would save five months of the continuance of the existing evil, and he trusted his noble Friend would receive the suggestion in the spirit in which it was made. He had only one observation to make on the matter, seeing the satisfactory conclusion which had been arrived at. His noble Friend had spoken to-night in a better spirit than when this question was previously under discussion, because his noble Friend had now the advantage of the news which had been received to-day. Before to-night his noble Friend had said " You are wrong, and we are sanguine." His noble Friend had flattered himself that all these results had been effected by the course of the Government, but he maintained, that but for the interference of this country by the friends of emancipation and of liberty, there would not to-day have been received such a despatch as had arrived from the governor of Jamaica—a despatch which had been the subject of so much triumph and congratulation on the part of his noble Friend. But it should be remembered, that his noble Friend's despatch was dated the 16th of April, while all the agitation and discussion out of doors and in that House had occurred in the previous" months of February and March. These facts were pointed at, both by the Governor of Jamaica and the Governor of Barbadoes in their respective addresses to their Houses of Assembly. The latter admitted, that he was glad to find that the labour of good and wise men who had taken a part in the agitation of the question in this country had not been thrown away. He gave honour to those men who had been the objects of calumny which they regarded not, of suspicion which they de

to pass by them as they would any other storm of empty air that they needed not; he gave to such men as Joseph Sturge, James Scoble, Josiah Conder, William Allen, and George Thompson, with whom he had been united as a most humble but most zealous coadjutor, the glory of that day, being as thoroughly persuaded as he was of his own existence, that but for their efforts, that day would not have dawned upon them. He hoped that evecy event would answer the expectation of his noble Friend, and he hoped particular care would be taken, that those expectations of emancipation in the Mauritius should not be frustrated. He knew that something more remained; a jealous, a constantly vigilant eye must be kept over those very selfsame assemblies, whether of full or partial legislative authority, which existed in our various colonies. For if they found them under the name of police regulations, a vagrant act, a poor law bill, or of any other of the devices which he knew their ingenuity and pertinacity full well enough to be apprehensive, they would soon attempt to pass it, as he had already seen, attempts were made by means of a vagrant act to perpetuate slavery under another name, by the help of the magistrate and the master, whose power had died a natural death; and if, under associations of men armed with power and influence, their Lordships saw any attempt to revive under another name and under false pretences that slavery which the law would not suffer to exist under as odious and disgusting appellation any longer—if any such things were attempted, he should not be wanting in the discharge of his duty to expose the violators by evasion, and therefore the worst, because the fraudulent violators of the law. Had not their Lordships seen the circular of the Messrs. Huson.who had held themselves forth to the public as accomplished man-merchants, and who had bragged that in two years they could furnish to the Mauritius 5,000 Hill Coolies at 10/. a-head, including passage-money, provision, water, and all other stores, and an advance of six months' wages and clothing, those wages being five rupees, or about 10s. a-month, while the wages of a day-labourer in that country was, instead of 3d. or Ad. a-day, from 3s. to 4s. a-day? Those poor and ignorant creatures the Hill Coolies were smuggled away under the idea that the Mauritius to which they were going-, was a village belonging to the East-lndij Company, and this was done at the very time, be it marked, that the apprenticeship system was abolished, or a boat to be abolished. He hoped, that before this session of Parliament closed an entire prohibition of the traffic in Hill Coolies would be passed. He had seen an account of a vessel having carried over 150 Hill Coolies, and, as a brag, it was said that only 10 died in the vessel during the voyage of four months—that was to say, a mortality of 1 in 15, which was a most hideous and frightful mortality, and an additional reason, if any were wanting, why that-abominable traffic should be stopped.


Lord Glenelg denied, that lie had said anything to detract in any way from the merits ofthepersons engaged in advocating the cause alluded to by his noble Friend. He did not intend to arrogate to the Government more credit than he really thought that it deserved for the course they had taken on this subject; he would not, however, dwell on it, He believed, that all would agree in the policy that in all the colonies all the non-predials should be under one system, and that as nearly as possible the apprenticeship system should terminate at the same period. With respect to the letters which he' had sent out to the West Indies on the subject of terminating the period of the apprenticeship of the negroes in the colonies, he begged to inform his noble Friend, that he would find in the printed papers on the table one dated so far back as September last, lie repeated, that lie did not intend to dettriorate from the claims of the gentlemen alluded to by the noble Lord, and he was ceitainly far from denying, that the strong opinion of the people of this country on this subject had hud a powerful effect on the conduct of the West Indian Legislatures.

Loid Brougham said, that he had one observation to make to their Lordships in reference I" the slave trade being carlied on by Russian ships. Ho had recently received » litter from a person in ll.ivnnnah, who stated, that on the 13th of March a Russian vessel had landed 3ol slave* iu that t\>|. ny, mid that four other vessel* of a similar character were daily expected lo arrive. H© merely mentioned thi* to *hv)\v the extent to which this

dreadful traffic was carried on under the flag of Russia.

Motion withdrawn.

The House went into Benefices Pluralities

Pluralities.] committee on the Bill.

On Clause 4,

Lord Wharncliffe said, he could not but think, that this bill, like some of the reforms proposed in the institutions of this country, went far beyond the necessity of the case. Another objection he had to the bill was, that it began at the wrong end, for before they came to deal with the matters affected by this bill, they ought to endeavour to make the income of every clergyman, sufficient to enable him to live in a respectable manner. In many parts of the north, and particularly in the manufacturing districts, manyof the livings were so starved, that it would be impossible to get clergymen to undertake the duties of such parishes, without increasing their incomes from some other source. The clause proposed, that a radius of ten miles should be the limitation for the holding of two benefices; he conceived that to be a much worse arrangement than a clergyman being allowed to hold two livings in a radius of forty miles, because in the latter case he would employ a curate to attend to one of them, which perhaps he would not do in the former case. He proposed an amendment confining the operation of the clause, to livings above the yearly value of 100/.

The Archbishop of Canterbury could not concur in the amendment. He did not think, that it would be wise to interfere with the principle upon which the bill was founded, and he trusted, that a remedy would be found for the grievance to which the noble Lord had directed their Lordships attention, without adopting the amendment proposed. The subject had been fully considered by the commissioners, and when their recommendations were carried into effect, the evil would, he trusted, be effectually removed. He hoped that the number of cases to which the amendment would apply was not great, and he was unwilling that the principle of the measure should be broken through. He did full justice to the motives of the noble Lord who had proposed the amendment, and from his respects for those motives he regretted he was obliged to oppose it.

Amendment negatived without a division.

Lord Portman then moved, that the words " situate within the distance of ten statute miles from" be omitted, and the words "contiguous to" inserted in their place. By that amendment they would arrive at the nearest possible point to a final declaration, that no pluralities should exist at all, and render the principle of the bill clear and intelligible. It was perhaps impossible to effect the entire abolition of pluralities at present, but if the amendment he had proposed were adopted, they would arrive at the nearest point to an entire abolition, and prevent the holding of benefices in plurality in all cases except those where the incumbent would be able to give to both parishes his personal superintendence. He considered the point to which he had called their attention of so much importance, that he should take the sense of the House upon it.

The Archbishop of Canterbury said, that the clause on which the amendment had been moved, had been agreed to after mature deliberation—first by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and then by the assembled Bishops, and there was no difference of opinion on the subject. It was agreed, that in framing the clause, they had adopted the just medium between the two extremes, and taken a fair position between those who contended for the abolition of plurality and those who entertained a directly opposite opinion. He considered that the amendment would operate injuriously, and that it would have the effect of reducing the number of curates so much, that young men would be admitted at once to the care of large parishes which required an experienced pastor. He admitted, that pluralities did require restriction; but he believed the majority of those who were best qualified to give a sound opinion on the subject, were of opinion that the restriction proposed by the bill went too far. He could not consent to the amendment of the noble Lord.

Lord Wynford considered, that there should be no alteration in the law on this subject, unless to put an end entirely to pluralities. The most rev. prelate had admitted, that the bill would not put an end to pluralities, and the measure, therefore, was framed on no definite or intelligible principle, for no person could possibly understand why there should be any

alteration in the law, unless that alteration proceeded upon the principle contained in the amendment which had been moved by the noble Lord. He would submit to their Lordships, that the only intelligible principle on which to found a measure for restraining the holding of benefices in plurality was, to prevent the holding of two livings by any one individual, unless when the parishes were contiguous.

The Earl of Harrowby was understood to say, that he agreed with those who thought, that the bill was founded on no intelligible or definite principle. He considered the abolition of pluralities desirable, but that could only be effected by a new distribution of Church property, or by the State furnishing a sum sufficient to make the small livings adequate to support a resident clergyman. He advised their Lordships to adopt the bill, which had been twice before the Legislature, and had now come up from the other House as an experimental measure.

The Bishop of Lincoln said, that the effect of the clause as it stood would be to diminish the number of pluralities by onehalf. He concurred in the suggestion as to the propriety of taking the bill as an experimental measure.

The Bishop of Salisbury objected to the amendment, under which, he said, two livings might be held together, where, though the livings were contiguous, the distance between church and church would be greater than it could be, if the clause as it stood were adopted.

The Bishop of Glocester supported the original clause. If it passed, all but thirty of the present pluralities in the see of Glocester would be illegalised, and to those thirty no material objection could be made.

Lord Halherton thought the bill objec-' tionable on account of the extent to which it appeared to sanction the principle of pluralities, and supported the amendment/ because it would tend to establish a wholesome system of superintendence on the part of the incumbent over his flock.

The Committee divided on the amend-' ment — Contents 9; Not Contents 50: Majority 41.

Clause agreed to.
Remaining clauses agreed to.
And the House resumed.


Monday, July 16, 1838.

MfWITRB.] Bills. Held a first time:—Church Appointments Suspension.—Head a second time:—Land Tax Reduction; Sea-coast Fisheries (Ireland).—Read a third time:—Port of London t Coal Trade; Highways.

Royal Exchange Bill.] Sir M. Wood moved tlie third rending of the Royal Exchange Dill.

Mr. Pryme objected to the bill, that it proposed a tax upon coals; and he had always thought, that improvements in buildings — whether Ramsgate Pier or Royal Exchange—ought not to be carried into effect by a tax levied on one of the necessaries of life. He therefore moved, that this bill be read a third lime that day six months.

Mr. Wolverly Attwood seconded the amendment. It appeared to him, that in passing this bill, the House would, so far as the coal duty which the bill imposed was concerned, be acting in a manner entirely inconsistent with the provisions of another measure which was before the House—the Coal Trade Bill. The Coal Trade Bill was founded on the recommendation of a committee expressly appointed to consider the subject; and that bill, which was a public measure, provided that the duties on coals should be renewed for seven years, and should then be subject to the revision of the House. By the present bill, it was proposed to continue the coal duties for twenty years. Upon principle, too, he objected entirely to the providing by a coal duty for the improvement of the streets in the city of Ixmdon; for that was the object, and not the re-building of the Royal Exchange, to which the sums to be raised by the tax on coals was to be applied. It was the most objectionable and oppressive tax which could be levied. It had been said, that the amount was so trifling, that the pressure upon the poor was not felt; but even the direct amount paid by the poor man yearly would be equivalent to the cost of his supply of fuel for a week or a fortnight; and indirectly, the cost of every article he consumed, his beer, his bread, his clothes, was augmented. The principle recognised was, that in the case of a city, distant as London was from the coal district, everything should be done to reduce the price of fuel, instead of increasing the cost, by taxes of this nature. The breweries, the distilleries, all the trades

which were necessarily carried on in the vicinity of a large town, were obliged to compete at a great disadvantage, with the productions of establishments at a distance. It was to be observed, that this duty was levied, not only on the inhabitants of the city of London, but on all residing within a circle of about twenty miles; and he maintained, that there was no just ground for subjecting them to the burthen of this tax, and all the accompanying disadvantages, for the purpose of improving the city of London.

Mr. Labouchcre felt it his duty to say a few words, because he thought the hon. Gentleman who spoke last, had rather mis-stated the case. The hon. Gentleman had stated, that the bill which he (Mr. Labouchcre) had introduced, imposed a duty upon coals for seven years; and that then it contemplated the cessation of those duties after those seven years; whereas the bill before the House, proposed to continue those duties for a much longer period. He had the pleasure of meeting the hon. Gentleman in the committee, upon whose recommendation the bill was introduced; and the hon. Gentleman must be aware, that the Coal Trade Bill, so far from imposing duties for any fixed period, only commuted the duties which already existed, and which must exist for a much longer period. The bill provided, that for the next seven years, a much more simple machinery should be applied to the collection of these duties, and one more conducive to the public advantage. That was the sole and simple object of the bill; and it was optional with Parliament, at the end of those seven years, to consider that commutation, and renew it if it were found to work well. He thought it necessary to say so much, lest the House should be led away by the statements of the hon. Gentleman. He would now address himself to the bill before the House: and he so far agreed with the hon. Member, that he thought it extremely desirable those duties should cease altogether. He should be very glad to see the time when the 8rf. duty would cease, and he had hopes that that would spec 'ily be cf The House should p L stances under whr It was originally duty of 8f/. pe for certain put


quence, however, of the great increase of trade in the port of London, it was found that the duty might be dispensed with before that period; and that it would be but just, to provide for its ceasing. The House would admit, that it was of great general importance and interest, that the Royal Exchange, which had been destroyed by a late unfortunate accident, should be built upon a scale of splendor worthy of the importance of this great commercial metropolis; and the only question was, how the funds could be most conveniently provided for this purpose. Upon the whole, he was inclined to believe, that the recommendation of the Committee was the best course to adopt, namely, to allow the duty to continue for the full time; and it was upon that ground he should go with the proposition of the hon. Member opposite, if it was thought necessary to divide the House.

Mr. Hume thought it was quite competent for the House to pass the bill for the purpose of making the improvement alluded to in the city of London, without any additional tax being made upon coals. He objected to the poor man being taxed for any such purpose. And, as a proof of the validity of that objection, he had only to refer to what took place in 1830, when a security was given upon the tax on coals, in order to enable the parties to proceed with the erection of London Bridge. By the bill to enable the erection of that great undertaking, a tax of 8d. was to be levied on coals till the whole amount was paid. Such a tax, he considered, sufficient on the poor man, without increasing it further, as proposed by the present bill. Out of 137,000/., which was the produce of the tax, 84,000/. was applied to the repayment of the borrowed money; if that liquidation went on, it would all be paid up in 1851 or 1852; and then, if the House did not think fit to renew the grant, then, of course, the City would revert to the 4d. per ton granted them by charter. The question for the House to consider was. whether they would continue a tax upon it which was a necessary of life to all I, and the two neigh■ ■. . ■ ■ t>le for another 160, -J ^^^^^^^^K Jear*. He pro

ttfcfel.atuin ' . :continued for

'l piri, . J*. ■-, iieces

lilt I wrrbftDlS Of

London follow the example of their brethren of Liverpool, and raise the money among themselves. He would ask the hon. Member to withdraw his opposition to the third reading of the bill, and to allow the sense of the House to be taken on the amendment, which would take away the power of continuing the fid. tax on coals. When the bill was read a third time, he would propose that alteration, which would relieve them from the difficulty they were then under.

Mr. Warburton agreed with his hon. Friend as to the propriety of the merchants of London raising a fund for the building. Those who used it ought to pay for it.

The Speaker said, the object of the hon. Member for Kilkenny appeared to be to take a burthen from one fund and to lay it upon another; he (the Speaker) doubted if such an object could be effected upon the third reading of the bill.

Sir R. Inglis said, it had been contended that the object of the bill was the imposition of atax for the erection ofa Royal Exchange. Such was not the case. The Royal Exchange was not to be erected with the funds arising from the coal duty continued by this bill. The object of the bill was, to make approaches to the Royal Exchange. It had been said, that the merchants of the city of London ought to be as willing to contribute to the formation of a building for their accommodation as the merchants of Bristol or of Liverpool. He did not think the London merchants would dissent from that; but hedid notsuppose they would pay for making new streets. He did not wish to depreciate the importance of lowering the price of coals; but he thought it would be much better to effect that desirable object by doing away with the monopoly which added forty per cent, to the price of the articles, than to stop this useful project.

The ClianceUor of tine Exchequer said, that he had supported the bill in Committee, and was still prepared to support it. He did so because the bill did not impose the coal duty for the erection of an Exchange, but to make the approaches thereto. If the former had been the cyse there might have been some ground for the opposition. To the building of the Exchange, the city itself was to contribute. What were the purposes for which this coal tax was appropriated? Were they purposes in which the general trade and convenience of the

« PreviousContinue »