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Mr. Perceval, in reply, declared that he ducted, was erroneous; the home esula must think it impossible that he could have never have said a word upon the subbeen so completely misconceived by any ject of the war at that time; no, they should person who had heard him deliver his sen- have waited till the war was ended, before timents upon the present subject, as he ap- they should have presumed to have seriously peared to be by the noble lord who had just entertained a motion of that nature. What sat down. The only way in which he could he had said was, that the measure would possibly account for the noble lord having not be productive of any very serious injury delivered the speech he did, and apparently to the enemy, and that it could not possidirected as an answer to him (Mr. Perce-bly produce any very material benefit to val), was, that he supposed his lordship bad this country. If in the present circumstanadopted a mode which was very frequently, ces of Europe, if in the present state of the nay, generally, adopted by the ablest ora- enemy, and in the present state of our own tors, of considering what objections could marine, we adopted such an inefficient mea. possibly be urged against the statements sure of retaliation as this was, be thought wbich he had laid down. In making this that it would be declaring to the enemy, it calculation, he had evidently anticipated would be also publishing to all neutrals in the arguments which were to be advan- the face of Europe, that we were not prepaced on this side of the house; he had accor-red to assert our right in any circumstances dingly formed his answer to these imagi- whatever. As to France herself, he connary objections, and the anecdote of Sin-ceived that she had put herself out of bad the sailor his lordship thought to be so the pale and protection of the law of naextremely applicable to his purpose, that tions, and, as to the hardship upon the he could not possibly let slip the opportu- subjects of neutral powers, he must connity of relating it to the house. The bon. fess that he would be sorry for them, but and learned gent, then entered into a mi. then it would be evident to the world nute reply to all the observations that had that this evil had been brought on by the been advanced in support of the refusal toenemy, that on our part it was only a produce the order in council. Several of measure of self-defence. The noble lord the assertions that had been laid to his (Howick), however, at the end of the decharge, he felt it to be a duty which he bate, had stated, that as a minister be owed to bimself, most positively to deny. could 130t feel himself authorised to declare Then, as to the declaration which had to the house the full particulars upon been made by a noble earl on the other side which the measure was founded, lest it (earl Temple), that, if this motion were to might tend to a disclosure of circumstan. have been followed up by another for the ces that would, or might eventually, be removalof his majesty's ministers, that then prejudicial to the interests of neutral powand then only, he would have given it bisers. This, however, was not mentioned unsupport; this really appeared to him to be til now; he did not know how it could so extravagant, that it would lead to this possibly affect the interests of other naconclusion, that parliament would be so iions, but he must bow to the noble lord circumscribed that, unless the member who in the situation he was, and give lim full called for a paper in some degree implica- credit for his assertion. Wiith his underting the conduct of ministers were prepa- standing he should not press his motion red immediately to move for an address, any farther under such circumstances. praying that such ministers should be dis- [Here the hon, and learned member conmissed from his majesty's councils; uolessceived that he saw a smile or some gesture this were the case, parliament could never indicative of triumph on the treasury bench.) hope to be put in possession of any paper There was no such great reason for triwhich had a tendency, in the slightest de- umph as gentlemen seemed to imagine: gree, to reflect on the conduct of his majes. the question appeared to be entirely abanty's ministers. With respect to another ar- doned by ministers, and, had the noble lord gument, that a measure should not be en- been equally explicit on a former occasion, quired into, while it was in the progress of he would not, perhaps, have been troubled its execution; if this inference were correct, with the present debate.-The question then every address which was ever moved was then put on Mr. Perceval's motion, for in that house, praying that a concl sion and negatived without a division. The might be put to a war, on account of its cir- other orders of the day were then disposed cunustances, and its manner of being con- of, and the house adjourned.

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instead of being, as it is, wicked, criminal, Thursday, February 5. and detestable, that you were now called [SLAVE TRADE ABOLITION Bill.] The upon to abolish, this would be an unanswerorder of the day being read for the second able argument for its abolition, that its conreading of the Slave Trade Abolition bill, tinuance must produce the ruin of our

Lord Grenville rose and spoke as follows: planters. But, my lords, when it is con-In stating to your lordships, in detail, sidered that this trade is the most criminal some of the arguments on which this im- that any country can be engaged in; when it is portant measure rests, I hope I shall be considered how much guilt

has been incurred excused by your lordships if I should feel in carrying it on, in tearing the unhappy myself obliged, in some instances, to tread Africans by thousands and tens of tho iover the same ground which has become so sands, from their families, their friends, familiar to you in the course of a discus- their connections, and their social ties, and sion which has lasted for 20 years. After dooming them to a life of slavery and the investigation this subject has already misery, and after incurring all this guilt, undergone, it is scarcely possible to avoid that the continuance of the criininal traffic repeating, in some instances, the same ar- must end in the ruin of the planters in your guments to which we have so long been islands, who vainly expect profit from it, accustomed. I will, however, my lords, surely there can be no doubt that this deproceed to the discussion without further testable trade ought atonce to be abolished. introduction, and, in the first place, to We have heard, however, statements addustate that argument which is the principal ced for the purpose of attempting to prove foundation of this measure, namely, justice. that the present state of the population of This measure rests upon justice, and calls the islands cannot be kept up without fresh imperatively upon your lordships for your importations. We are then to be told that approbation and support. Had it been, that law of nature, which has bitherto been my lords, merely a question of humanity, considered as universal, meets with an exI am ready to admit that it might then ception in the West Indies, and that there have become a consideration with your alone the increase and multiplication of lordships as to how far you would extend the human species does not take place. or circumscribe that humanity. Had it Let us therefore examine how far this been simply a question involving the inte statement agrees with facis. Some years rests or welfare of the British empire in since I was engaged in calculations rethe West Indies, it would then certainly specting the population of the West-India have been a question with your lordships islands, along with a person who to many how far and in what respect you should great and brilliant qualifications, added a legislate. But in this instance I contend, completeknowledge of political arithmetic: that justice imperiously calls upon your I mean the late Mr. Pitt. The result of those lordships to abolish the Slave Trade. I calculations was, with respect to the island have heard some opinions urged to the of Jamaica, that from the year 1698 to effect as if justice could contain opposite 1730, the excess of deaths above the births and contradictory tenets. Justice, my amounted to 31 per cent. ; from 1730 to lords, is one, uniform and immutable. Is 1755, to ?{ per cent.; from 1755 to 1769, it to be endured that the profits obtained to 14 per cent.; from 1769 to 1780, to by robbery are to be urged as an argument 3-5ths per cent. ; and the average of three for the continuance of robbery i Justice years ending, in 1798 or 1800, it is not is still the same, and you are called upon material which, gives an excess of deaths by this measure not only to do justice to of only 1-24th per cent. In this calculathe oppressed and injured natives of Africa, tion is included the whole population of but also to your own planters; to inter- the island, and of course the fresh inpose between the planters of your own portations; and it is well known, that islands and their otherwise certain ruin with respect to the latter, the negroes and destruction. You are called upon to newly imported die in the barbourg Lefore do justice to your own planters in spite of they are landed to tho amount of 5 per their prejudices and their fears, and 10 cent., and that inany more die soon after prevent them by this measure from meeting they are set to work. It is therefore clear that destruction which is otherwise certain that the population of the island is perand inevitable.-Was it, therefore, a trade fectly competent to support itself. It is which was in itself lovely and amiable, remarkable also that in Dominica, although VOL. VIII.

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a newer island, and although frestu lands in order than one tody of natives. _My are known to be inimical to the increase opinion is directly the contrary. Fresh of population, there is an excess of biribs importations are surely more likely to put above the deaths. The argumeot, there- those negroes already on the island in fore, that fresh importations are necessary mind of the injustice they had pre.. to keep up the present population of the viously suffered, and there is little difficulty islands, completely fails. But tben we are in communicating a sense of injustice and told that fresh inportations are vecessary oppression from man to man. Prohibit in order to cultivale new lands. My lords, fresh importations, and let the negroes alto encourage the continuance of the trade ready on the islands be well treated and for this purpose is to ruin the planters of properly protected, and they will become your islands : are they not now distressed sensible of the protection and kiudness exby the accumulation of produce on their tended to them, and gradually lose their hands, for which they cannot find a mar feelings of the original injustice practised ket; and will it not therefore be adding upon them. The horrors of St. Domingo to their distress, and leading the planters have been, however, presented to our on to their ruin, if you suffer the continu- view ; but to what are they to be attriance fresh importations ? Even, bow buted? to the violation of solemnpromises, ever, on the supposition that the cultiva to the breach of faith towards the negroes, tion of the waste lands in Jamaica, or ot and the gross injustice practised towards nearly the wbole extent of the island of them. My lords, so far from the abolitiou Trinidad, could produce profit to the plan of the slave trade having a tendency to ters, is it to be endured that this detestable produce those horrors in our islands, I contraffic is to be continued, and such a mass tend that it is the only measure that can of human misery produced, not to prevent prevent them. I have endeavoured to loss but to create gain ? My lords, ac- prove, my lords, that the continuance of cording to a very moderate calculation, to this trade is unnecessary, with a view to bring into cultivation the waste lands in the present state of the population of the the islands of Jamaica, the slave trade islands, as that can support itself; that to must be continued for two or three centu- suffer it to continue for the purpose of culries longer, and, to cultivate nearly the tivating vew lands, will be certain ruin to whole island of Trinidad, a much longer the planters, and that the abolition of the period, wbilst it would take a million of trade is the only way of avoiding, in your those unfortunate beings from Africa to own islands, the horrors which have afcultivate each island ; to cultivate Trividud dicted St. Domingo. Some years since, it even a greater number. Were it possible, was thought that a gradual abolition was my lords, that these two millions of human the best mode of destroying this trade; the beings could be collected together at the advocates at that period, of gradual aboli. same time, and that they could be contem- tion, must now be adopted for a total aboa plated with the reflection that they were to lition, for the period has arrived to which be torn from their families and their friends, they looked forward, namely, when the pothat every social tie was to be broken pulation of the islands would be able to asunder, that they were to be delivered support itself. Nothing but a total aboliover to barbarity and oppression, and were tion will vow satisfy justice. Let us not to endure the greatest misery that it is post think that any regulations in the islands sible for human beings to suffer ; would it can be carried into effect with a view to be endured by any one of your lordships, abolition: on the contrary, abolition must that a traffic productive of so much misery take place with a view to regulations. In should be continued for an instant? would the year 1792, when the proposed abolition it not soften the obdurate heart of the of the slave trade was negatived, it was greatest barbarian that ever tyrannized in a agreed to address bis majesty, praying him slave ship? We were told, however, yes. to send instructions to the governors of the terday, by the learned counsel at the bar, colonies to procure the adoption of meathat fresh importations were necessary, in sures for the better protection, and the order that the slaves might be more easily better treatment of the negroes. What governed; we were told of the favourite was the consequence ? Mylords, I wish maxim of divide et impera, and that by fresh not to inflame, and therefore I will simply importations the slaves were more readily refer your lordships to the correspondence divided into classes, and more easily kept upon the table relative to that subject, and particularly to that of my lord Seaforth, the abolition of the slave trade is one to the governor of Barbadoes; three most which I cannot think that any one who dishorrible and dreadful murders of slaves p.ssionately considers the subject, can give were committed in that island, attended a negative. What right do we derive from with circumstances of barbarity, which I any human institution, or any divine orwill not shock your lordships by detailing. dinance, to tear the natives of Africa, to Lord Seaforth of course instituted an en-deprive them by force of the means of laquiry, upon which it was found that the bouring for their own advantage, and lo murder of a slave was only punishable by a compel them to labour for our profit? If fine of eleven pounds. That noble lord, then to do so is gross injustice and oppresin conformity to the instructions he had sion, as I contend it evidently and undoubtreceived, and with a proper regard for the edly is, can there be a question that the chaBritish character, immediately proposed to racter of the country ought to be cleared the legislature of the island, to enact a law, from the stain impressed by the guilt of such which affixed the punishment of death to a traffic, of a traffic by the effect of which we the murder of a slave. How was this propo- keep Africa in a state of barbarity and de. sition received ? it was received, my lords, solation? In support of the trade, it has with insult, and the council and house of been said, that if we did not take away the assembly returned answers in language individuals who are the objects of it, they fitting, as they conceived, to the mult would be put to death either as prisoners which had been offered to them. What taken in war, or for witchcraft, or other then is to be expected from regulations to crimes; but is it notevident, from the testi. be adopted by the colonial assemblies ? It mony we have had upon this subject, that is but right, however, that I should state, this is not the fact? On the contrary, we that I have heard it reported that the legis- have not only every reason to believe that lature of Barbadoes has since adopted the the men made prisoners in war would be, course which justice pointed out, and have according to the custom of barbarous naaffixed the proper punishment to the mur- tions, made domestic slaves to their captors, der of a slave. Still, however, if the evi- but we have every reasou to conclude, that dence of a slave is not to be received it is the temptations held out to the chiefs against a white, is there not given to the on the coast of Africa, for the gratification master an opportunity of tyrannizing over of their passions, that induces them to his slaves, and inflicting on them dreadful enter into those frequent wars, and that cruelties without the possibility of bringing produces those frequent accusations of him to justice? Let us, my lords, abolish crimes, by means of which negroes are prothis criminal traffic, and we may look for- cured for the purpose of selling them to ward to the period when the sleves, become our traders. Of the desolating influence in a great degree natives of the islands, of the slave trade, in Africa, and its effects will feel the benefits of the protection ex. in keeping the country in a state of barba. tended to them, and the good treatment rity, we bave sufficient evidence in the they experience, and will evince a corre- Travels of Mr. Parke on that continent, alsponding attachment to the country from though the work was edited by a person which they receive those benefits. Througlo- known to be one of the most active oppoout all history we find that the progress nents of the abolition of the slave trade, frona slavery io liberty has been first by Yet we find in that work, that it is towards means of personal slaves becoming predial, the interior of the country, that poor attached to the land, and from thence pulation and civilization increase, and they have ascended to freedom. My lords, that on the coast barbarity continues I look forward to the period when ihe ne- to prevail, wbich can only be attributed groes in the West-India islands, becoming to the influence of the trade, which Labourers, rather than slaves, will feel an your lordships are now called upon to interest in the welfare and prosperity of the abolish. My lords, an argument was used country to whom they are indebted for against this measure last session, which I protection, and of the islands where they cannot conceive entitled to the least experience real comforts, and when they weight. It was said that we ought not to may be called upon to share largely in the abolish this trade, unless other powers defence of those islands with a sure confi- would agree likewise to abolish it; that is dence in their loyalty and attachment. to say, that we should not do an act of My lords, the measure now proposed for justice, unless other powers would consent or rather that we should continue to com- ships should agree to the abolition of this mit injustice, and persist in guilt, in crimi- inhuman trade in blood, as I trust you will nality, because if we did not, other powers feel it due to your own character and to would. As well might it be said, that a the character of the country to do, it will man could be justified in robbing another, meet in the other house of parliament with because if he did not, he knew there was a the strenuous support of a person to whom banditti ready to commit the robbery ; or the country is deeply indebted for having that an assassin would be justified in conn- originally proposed the measure, and for mittivg murder, because he knew that if he having followed up that proposition by did noi, others were ready to perpetrate it. every exertion from which a chance could This argument, however, bad as it is, fails be derived of success. I cannot conceive in its own grounds. The united states of any consciousness more truly gratifying America, who had fixed the period of the than must be enjoyed by that person, on abolition to take place in 1808, have anti- fiuding a measure to which he has devoted cipated that period (I wish we had had the the labour of his life, carried into effectma glory of being the first in the race), and measure so truly benevolent, so admirably there is already, according to the last ac- conducive to the virtuous prosperity of his counts, a bill in its unresisted progress country, aud the welfare of mankind through the legislature, for the immediate measure which will diffuse happiness abolition of this trade, in which it is de amongst millions, now in existence, and clared that death shall be the punishment for which his memory will be blessed by of those who deal in the blood of their millions yet unborn. My lords, I have to fellow creatures. With respect to the Eu- apologize for having troubled your lordropean powers, how are France and Spain ships so long; but upon a measure of such to carry on the trade? Sweden never en- importance-a measure, for the completion gaged in it. There remains only Portugal, of which I have been labouring for the last and how is that power to carry on the trade? 20 years the ardent zeal which I felt for Is it to our own islands, where we pro- the attainment of such an object, will, ! bibit it; is it to the French islands, which trust, plead my excuse. The noble lord we block up; is it to the Spanish islands, concluded by moving that the bill be now where we prevent it; and where is Portugal read a second time. to find capital to carry it on? Another ob- The Duke of Clarence assured their jection advanced by a noble and learned lordships that he had ocular proof of the lord (Eldon) is, that this measure does not manner in which the planters bebaved to come up to the resolution passed last ses- the negroes; he had been in almost every sion, and that instead of the abolition of island in the West Indies, he had conversed the African slave trade, we are only abo- with the people themselves, and the result lishing the British traffic in that trade; but of all his observations and all his enquiries is it to be contended, my lords, that because was a most clear and positive conviction on we cannot embrace all the good that may bis inind, that there was not the least founbe done, that therefore we are not to effect dation in fact for the charge which bad a partial good? If tbat were the case, we been brought against the planters of illo could never effect any good whalever. My treatment to their slaves. The noble lord, Jords, in calling your attention to this great among other things, had said, that we measure, let me entreat you to consider that should look to the fate of St. Domingo; the whole country looks to the parliament every man who wished well to the comto wipe away the stigma attached to its mercial interests of this country, must agree character in continuing this detestable with his lordship, and also hope that their traffic; that it looks not merely to parlia-lordships would weigh deliberately in their ment, but to your lordships' house. 'Pwice minds the fate of St. Domingo, before they has this measure failed in this house, and if came to a decision upon this important this iniquitous traffic is not now abolished, question. It was not at present compethe guilt will rest with your lordships. We tent to England to prefer any claim to have to lament the loss, in the other house sovereignty over that island; and whenof parliament, of some of the ablest and ever the time of peace should arrive, the most distinguished advocates for the aboli-French most probably would turn their tion; we have also to lament in this house, attention towards the recovery of an isa the loss of some of its able and strenuous land which had been lost to them by insupporters. Still, however, if your lord-surrection and revolt. No other nation

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