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an appropriation of the revenues of those service of the different colonies. In 1735, islands to the particular purposes for a large sum was applied to the governwhich it was requested ; and thus parliament of Jersey. Was that island a part went obviously considered them as parts of Barbadoes, or had it any connexion or of the general fund, and by their request, dependence on it? Nor was that all. intimated that it was optional in the crown Large sums had been uniformly applied to grant them for that specific use, or not, to special services of the crown, not speas it thought proper : for it seems never cified under any head of particular acto have occurred to parliament at this counts. The largest part of the revenue time, that the produce of the 42 per cent of the island of Barbadoes, throughout would apply to those purposes, and to no the whole of the reign of George 2nd, was other. The queen, as might have been so applied, and, not to mention the grant expected, complied with this request; for to the earl of Chatham, it was conformno doubt, if at any period the Commons re- ably to this practice, that a grant of the quested the crown to make a specific appro- same revenues was made to sir Thomas priation of a part of its revenues, a minister Robinson, who had served in one of the would act extremely ill, if he did not advise islands, and received a pension from this the crown to comply with the address. fund for his services, and afterwards reThis, however, was a proof that the crown ceived a farther pension from the same might, or might not, devise these revenues fund, without any doubt or question of without an act of parliament. The appli- such an appropriation. He came next to cation of it by statute in 1701 was, he had the consideration of the grant made to no doubt, meant as a slur upon the cha- the earl of Chatham from this fund, at the racter of our immortal deliverer, king beginning of a reign when the civil list of William ; it was impossible to read that the crown was new modelled, and it was address of the parliament and not perceive disputed upon what fund it should be that such was its tendency. These pro. setiled, and when all the other acts relative ceedings were confined, however, to the thereto were carefully recited; when those reign of queen Anne; for in an act of acts were examined by the first law chaGeorge 1st, we find the 41 per cent ex- racters this country had to boast of, and cepted from the civil list, and not appro- when Mr. Pratt and Yorke were the atpriated to the civil government : and yet torney and solicitor generals. Lord no address was presented upon that Hardwicke and lord Mansfield had also occasion to the crown, nor was any concurred in the same opinion, and from resolution passed. Perhaps it might be that period, scarcely a man who had filled said, that the appropriation was under the office of attorney or solicitor general, stood by the spirit of the act in the pre- or a man who had been in the treasury, ceding reign, and that the successor was could be found, who had not been a bound to the adherence to it. The best party to grants from these funds for other comment upon it was, however, founded purposes than those assigned by the apupon the history of the transaction. propriation act. If the question at preIn the very same year of the succession, sent, therefore, were to require no other an application of the revenue of these precedent and authority than that, he islands was made, as foreign to any one of would rest perfectly content with a dethe purposes assigned in the appropriation fence which had been confirmed by such act, as the individual pension which was men as lord Hardwick and lord Mans. the cause of the present discussion. field. When a message was brought In 1714 a pension was granted out of down to the Commons in 1783, to inform these revenues to the governor of Ber them that these 41 per cent revenues muda, and the first article of the grant were not adequate to the demands upon plainly shows that the parliament at that them, what did parliament then do? Did time considered these revenues as form- it proclaim that all the grants upon these ing part of the revenues of the general revenues were illegal ? Directly the remass of the British empire. He did not, It tacitly sanctioned every one of however, rest upon that point only. In them, by taking off a part, and charging the whole course of a century, from that them upon the general funds. On what time to the time in which they were made ground, then, was the right and propriety use of for a noble earl, whose memory of any appropriation to stand, if the penwould he trusted, ever be held sacred by sion recently given to Mr. Burke would Englishmen, they had been applied to the not stand on this? If the right of the



civil list appropriation of this fund would cessary for every expenditure which the not rest upon these statements, there was national service requires. nothing like certainty in the constitution. 5. “ Because the extreme anxiety of " The pillar'd firmament is rottenness, his majesty's ministers to hurry this bill. and the broad basis of the earth unsta- through the two Houses at so early a peble.”—The noble earl had charged minis- riod in the session, and after such very li. ters with secrecy in this transaction, and beral supplies already voted, leads us to had said that it might have escaped de suspect that this farther sum of two miltection some time longer, if it had not lions and a half is immediately wanted to been seen peeping out by accident at the discharge some secret debts which have foot of the accounts upon the table. been improperly contracted, or to defray Now, he not only denied this charge, but the expense of some extravagant project contended, that there was no occasion for not calculated to meet the eye of parlia. secrecy. Ministers had done that which ment. was consonant with the practice of former 6. “ Because to give so extensive a periods. On these grounds, he resisted credit so early in the session, is, in a ma. the motion of the noble earl.

terial degree, to take from parliament, The House divided : Contents, 6; during the remainder of its sitting, the Proxies, 4 ; Total, 10. Not Contents, best security it possesses against the ex42; Proxies, 31: Total, 73.

travagance or corruption of ministers that

constitutional security which arises from Protest against the Vote of Credit Bill.] the power to control and direct the appliMarch 4. The following Protest was en- cation of the supplies granted to the tered on the Journals: “ Dissentient,

7. “Because, although we should on 1. “ Because no Vote of Credit has, in all occasions conceive it to be our duty to any former war, been given or asked to protest against such a measure, we feel it the amount of more than one million; more especially to be so when we reflect which Vote of Credit has also been inva- upon the conduct of the administration riably postponed until a short time before with whom the present bill originates. the rising of parliament.

The enormous sums expended on services 2. “ Because this mode of granting not previously voted by parliament, exmoney to the crown is that which is at all ceed within the last three years, all former times to be regarded with the greatest example: and we cannot but look upon jealousy, and ought only to be adopted the bill in question, as being part of a syswhen there is a reasonable presumption tem which acts in contempt and defiance that sums of money, of which no present of those wholesome forms and regulations, estimate can be formed, may be indispen- which the wisdom of our ancestors devised sably necessary for the public service, at for the protection of the public purse, a period when parliament is prorogued. against the encroachments of corrupt mi

3. Because the enormous sum of two nisters. We are disposed to be liberal millions and a half, granted by this bill, towards the crown, but we are bound to cannot be said to be voted on any such be just towards the people. We maintain presumption, inasmuch, as from the early that the most important duties of parliaperiod of the session, as well as from the ment are overlooked when the supplies. state of the public business, there is no are granted before the services are exprospect or probability of a prorogation plained; and we solemnly protest against of parliament taking place for some time a measure which grants two millions and to come, and whatever sums may be a half of British money for purposes wanted for the public service during the which are kept secret from the British sitting of parliament, ought to be specifi- parliament. cally voted by parliament itself, and not

" LAUDERDALE.loosely provided for by a general Vote of Credit.

Debate in the Commons on the Bill for 4. “ Because the supplies for the year the Abolition of the Slave Trade.] March have been granted with an unprecedented 3. Mr. Wilberforce having moved that liberality, and already amount to above the Bill for the Abolition of the Slave twenty-four millions sterling; a sum fully Trade, at a time to be limited, be now equal to the utmost demands which his read a second time, general Tarleton majesty's ministers have stated to be ne- moved to leave out the word “now,” and to add the words " upon this day | passed, these ships would lie useless on three months." Sir W. Young thought their hands. Hence it would be incumthe amendment wise, temperate, and bent on government, should the bill pass, highly expedient.

to indemnify them for their losses. The Mr. Wilberforce said, that as the sense encouragement given to seamen by the of parliament had been repeatedly taken Liverpool merchants was a great source on the subject; as they had come to a of naval strength to this country. Midetermination of abolishing this horrid nisters had given commissions to traffic in the present year; and as the many gentlemen for raising black regi. sense of the House was so recently taken ments. By the bill these regiments when he moved for leave to bring in his would be emancipated. The disturb bill; he had imagined that gentlemen ances in the West Indies rendered the would let the second reading pass as they present period very unfit for the abolition. had done the first; and that in the com- The war had greatly reduced Westmittee they would merely consider of li- india property; and the bill, if passed, miting the time when the disgraceful com- would inevitably bring it to utter ruin. merce should cease for ever. Gentlemen He would therefore


the Speaker's saw that he had not his friends about leaving the chair. him; and hence they wanted to take him Mr. Dent contended, that the impolicy by surprise; but he assured them he and injustice of abolishing the Slave trade never would be found off his guard in at this moment were obvious. So far this business. He called upon them to from serving the cause of humanity, remember, that whether the numbers pre- it would encourage disaffection and resent were small or great, that the deci- bellion, and instead of being a real ad. sion of that night would be considered as vantage to the slaves themselves, would the sense of the Commons of Great Bri. be a misfortune to them. tain, and he hoped, that, bearing this Mr. Barham was convinced, that the upon their mind, they would come to a bill would not effect the abolition aimed decision favourable to the interests of man- at. Gentlemen, by such a measure, kind, and becoming the dignity of a would hazard the security, peace, and British senate.

prosperity of the colonies; and probably The question being put, That the word excite revolt and rebellion. A few “ now" stand part of the question, the months would show the impolicy of the House divided :

bill: gentlemen would then see that they Tellers.

were wrong.

This, however, would be S The Lord Muncaster Yeas

little satisfaction to the planters, when

64 Mr. Robert Smith

their property was destroyed.

Mr. W. Smith said, that those gentlemen General Tarleton

31 who had taken up the cause of the slaves in

that House, did not want the abolition The bill was then read a second time. on the ground that they were ill treated

by the planters. Were they ever so huMarch 7. Mr. Wilberforce moved the manely treated, the trade itself ought not order of the day for going into a com- to be allowed on any principle of justice mittee on the bill. On the question, or humanity. “ That the Speaker do now leave the Mr. Bouverie declared, that his opinion Chair,"

on this business had been always the General Tarleton said, that many

same: he was at all times friendly to the classes of the community were deeply af- abolition; and surely, if the hon. gentlefected by the war, and that the adoption men (Mr. Barham) was sincere in what of this measure would aggravate their he said, namely, that the trade is now distresses. A variety of articles of ma- reduced to a non-entity, he need not be nufacture were made merely for carrying so much averse to the bill before the on this commerce, which supported nu- House. merous bodies of mechanics ; and, if it Mr. J. H. Addington opposed the bill was abolished, their means of living would on the score of humanity. He thought go along with it. The merchants of Li. the immediate abolition would be attendverpool had, at a great expense, built ed with dangerous consequences. ships of a peculiar construction for the Mr. Milbank said, that he had only one convenience of the trade, and if the bill reason for voting in favour of the bill;

Nors { Sir William Young


} 76


the men who were the objects of it were must protest against the authority, if any slaves; a name odious to a British ear. such there was, for that protection. He The trade could not be tolerated, on con- agreed, however, that right, in this case, stitutional grounds, at any time; and was sold, delayed, and denied : right was hence, at all times, he would decidedly sold when the Africans were sold; right support its abolition.

was delayed when the abolition of the The question being put, “ That Mr. slave trade was delayed: right would be Speaker do now leave the Chair,” the denied when the legislature of this country House divided :

should refuse to put an end to a traffic Tellers.

which created misery and promoted

murder. YLAS

SMr. E. J. Eliot
Mr. John Smith

The question was put and carried.

After the other clauses of the bill had NOES SGeneral Tarleton


been agreed to, the House being resumed Mr. Foster Barham

the report was received, and ordered to The House having resolved itself into be taken into consideration on the 15th. the committee, Mr. Wilberforce moved, that the trade should be finally abolished March 15. The order of the day on the 1st of March 1797.

being read for taking the report into conMr. Dent said, that the period was sideration, much too short. It was little more than Sir W. Young said, he objected to the eight months. So long as Magna Charta bill, in every point of view in which it remained, the bill would be a disgrace to could be considered. The principle of this country.

The very principle of it it was founded in injustice, and every was hostile to the declaration of that clause was replete with tyranny and opgreat charter. It went also directly to pression. He addressed the House upon annuł the various proclamations that this subject with the strongest feelings. had been issued in favour of the slave | He felt for the West India merchants and trade.

planters, who would be consigned to ine. Mr. Buxton said, that the slave trade vitable ruin, if this bill were to pass, and was a disgrace to this country. He was he felt for his own property in the West glad that Magna Charta had been men. Indies, of which this measure would necestioned, for it formed a strong contrast to sarily deprive him. He begged gentlemen this abominable trade.

seriously to consider what were the proMr. Serjeant Adair said, he had some visions of this bill, and what were the concern for the reputation of Magna means by which those provisions were to Charta, having often professed, and as be carried into execution. In the first often felt, great veneration for it. He place, in order to facilitate prosecutions had read it over many times, but he had under this act, the West Indies are to be never seen any thing in it that was fa- taken to be in the county of Middlesex, vourable to the slave trade. This busi- and therefore, in every prosecution, the ness, was, indeed, a disgrace to the na- cause must be tried at that immense tion; but it was not the abolition, it was distance from the residence of the planter; the continuance of the traffic which they must come into England, and leave created this disgrace.

all their concerns, to defend every proseMr. Dent said, he would repeat it, that cution. This, in itself, was a most into. the proceeding was contrary to the ex- lerable hardship; but there was another press declaration of Magna Charta, that still greater. The penalty imposed for å right shall neither be sold, delayed, or the violation of this act was no less than denied.” Now, if this bill passed, would fourteen years transportation to Botany not right be sold, delayed, and denied ? Bay. This was a severe punishment even What was the committee now doing? upon a guilty man; but under this act, an

Mr. Serjeant Adair said, that before innocent proprietor might be made liable ve talked of right, we ought to establish to it by the act of his overseer. He the existence of that right. He denied begged the House to consider what must the existence of our right to enslave be the effect of such a sentence as that others: he knew of no origin to the right of fourteen years transportation to Botany. of slavery in this country; he knew of no Bay, to gentlemen of rank in society, of power that the legislature of this country polished manners and of extensive conhad to protect the slave trade; and he nexions. The bill would also terminate [VOL XXXII. ]



all spirit of adventure, all incitement to becoming a party in borrowing the loan industry, all thirst of emulation, for of 1,500,0001., advanced to the sufferers hitherto it had been the hope of over- by this country, he was to be burdened seers to rise in the world, so soon as they with a debt which he could never hope to had obtained that employment; and the discharge, and was to be numbered, means they had of doing so was, by saving perhaps, in the general exile from Great a portion of their wages to purchase two Britain. As to the bill itself, it was proor three negroes, which they let out to blematical as to the means of putting the the planters for hire. Such had been the clauses into execution; it was problemaprogress of our blue-coat boys and appren- tical also as to the manner of executing tices who had gone out to the West them : for it would be the cause of bloodIndies; but such, if this bill passed, would shed and horrors on the coast of Africa, be their progress no longer.

Hence- as the slaves would be put to immediate forward, the planter would be subject to death, if the commerce was suddenly to the penalties of the bill without any share He hoped the House would weigh in the offence. With him would rest the this, and would pay some respect to the onus probandi, since upon the malicious trading interest of London, Liverpool, information of any overseer who might Bristol, and Glasgow, which would be be detected in importing slaves for his own ultimately ruined if this bill passed into a advantage, he might remove the whole law. weight of the transgression, and swear General Smith prefaced his observations that it was done with the connivance of with stating, that he had no property in his master. Every gentleman of character the West Indies, nor had he any friends and fortune would be liable to lose his repu- or connexions there to influence the part tation, to suffer in his estate, and be sepa- he took; but he should be wanting in rated from his wife, his children, his coun- his duty to himself and to the country, it try and his dearest connexions. Nor would he did not meet it openly, however unthe interests of the West Indies be injured popular his opinions of the abolition only, but the interests of this country, might be, or however subject to calumny. which he was ashamed to call the mother He then desired the act of the 9th of country, since, by this bill, it had already queen Anne to be read, to show what forfeited that appellation, would be injured the proceedings of parliament were in with them. The bill might, with pro- 1709 and 1710, and compare them with priety, be called a bill of general fore- the present. If the right hon. gentleman closure. Every mortgagee in this country opposite had been for the continuation of upon West India estates, would have the the slave trade, the whole House would whole of his security withdrawn. Was have rung with the injustice of this bill, this the return for the services of the but that right hon. gentleman had said, West India planters in the present war, that no consideration of policy ought to who, raised 3,000 blacks to act as pioneers weigh with humanity. He admitted the and save the health of our army? He preamble of the bill to be true, but then wished when gentlemen brought forward it was true one hundred years ago as well this bill, upon the score of justice and as at this time ; and yet the parliament humanity, that they had included a little at that time gave the preference to the justice and humanity towards the planters policy of the measure, and by that means within the pale of their benevolence. He encouraged our trade, our commerce, and wished them to remember what had been our shipping. We were grown wiser than the conduct of the colonies. He could our ancestors, and now we said that they not but remember it, for he had relations were wrong in the principle upon which there who had uniformly acted with loyalty they acted, although we felt the good and courage. He had a nephew, who, at effects of their proceedings; for who the head of some black troops, had been would presume to say, that it was not fighting for territory in the island of Gua. owing to the wise regulations he had just daloupe, and he hoped to be restored to referred to, that our commerce was at his estates. What did his expectations present so extended? If the hon. gentlewith many others amount to, if the present men who introduced this bill had said, bill passed? After having been dispos- that it was to prevent the cultivation of sessed of his property, after encountering new grounds, he would have said the danger and fatigue, and hazarding his truth. How different, then, was such life to recover what he had lost, after a proceeding to the proceeding in 1709.

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