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island of Cuba to Jamaica, was through | son inimical to government, nor to the the medium of a newspaper; as that was introduction of the blood-hounds. The not, however, the most authentic inform-first inquiry that presented itself was, who ation for the House to proceed upon, he these Maroons were? and the result of that would read the following extract from an inquiry would be, that they were men: and original letter:-"Kingston, Jamaica, not only men, but freemen; that they never January 5, 1796. I dare say you have had been slaves themselves, nor had their heard of our internal war with the Ma- ancestors been so, their freedom having roons of Trelawny-town. We have la- been acknowledged by several generaboured under the oppression of martial tions. The second question, then, would law since August last, and when it will be, what were these blood-hounds that cease, God only knows. Last week they were imported with thirty Spanish chasmade overtures of peace, and requested seurs to hunt up the Maroons from their three days time to surrender, which was recesses? and it would be found that they granted to them, and we entertained our- were dogs which the Spaniards had found selves with the flattering hopes we should of great use upon their discovery of soon again enjoy tranquillity. On the Mexico for the purpose of extermination. contrary, the three days truce afforded He would crave the attention of the them an opportunity of gaining every in- House to an extract from the writings of formation respecting our situation, &c. Bartholomew de las Casas, a simple and they are again retreated farther into monk, who was the only person that opthe woods than ever. Strange might the posed the barbarities of his countrymen. idea appear, but 'tis a fact, we have im- [The general here read an extract from ported from Cuba, 100 blood-hounds, at- Robertson's History of America, descriptended by twenty Spanish chasseurs, and tive of the horrors of this sort of warfare they last Friday proceeded into the woods in Cuba.] Bartholomew de las Casas, to hunt out and destroy the enemy. It on account of this inhuman butchery, is the opinion of people in general, they separated from his countrymen; and rewill have the desired effect. Query, presented to the court of Spain such What effect will it have on Mr. Wilber- abominable practices. Would the parliaforce? I suppose he shrinks at the idea ment of Great Britain wink at such proof hunting human flesh and blood, as he ceedings as these? It was usual in Cuba, is pleased to style them, with blood-hounds. for the Spaniards to feed their dogs with We all wish him present. We had severe human flesh, that they might be unnatuduty during Christmas holidays, in keep-rally bloody and fierce; it was common ing guard in and about this town, that among the soldiers to split a child in two; being the critical juncture to observe the or cut up an Indian in quarters, and feast dispositions of the slaves, but I am happy their dogs. Would the House sit careto say, they are universally well affected, less, while fifty couple of blood-hounds and I never saw a quieter Christmas; were imported from Cuba, and thirty there is very little to be dreaded from chasseurs, to pursue the same bloody and them. One half Kingston is in Trelawny; inhuman sports? And who were the have been there these three months my- sportsmen? British subjects, British self; have been in one expedition against soldiers, and British officers! Surely the Maroons in Charlestown; they im- parliament would not suffer them to enjoy mediately laid down their arms. In addi- a chase that stained the character of the tion to a number of fine fellows that have country, and would blot the annals of his lost their lives, it has cost the country majesty's reign, as much as it had done above half a million since the commence- those of Philip 2nd and Charles 5th of ment of this unfortunate war. You would Spain. We had not heard the cause of scarcely credit that 500 of these fellows this war, or what provocation the Maroons could so long withstand upwards of 5,000 had given. He would, however, for the troops, which are the number against them; sake of argument, allow that the war was they get into the interior parts of the in defence of our rights, and consequentmountains, and 'tis impossible to get ly just; yet we had no right to resort to at them. I suppose you are almost tired unjustifiable means in prosecuting it. We of reading; if not, I am almost tired of had no right to pursue them with bloodwriting; so will conclude the subject by hounds into their inmost recesses. He wishing a speedy extirpation to them.". had read in his youth the works of PutThis letter was not sent home by any per- fendorff and Grotius, and he could recol

lect that they reprobated all improper in- | land of Cuba, these dogs were used to I struments of war as unjust, because they prevent negroes from running away, and tended unnecessarily to increase the merely to seize and retain them, and not horrors of war. It had been said, that to tear and mangle them with that cruelty these Maroons had been set on by the which was described by the hon. mover. French. If this was the case, what effect The account given in the book quoted by would this produce on the French as an the hon. gentleman, he doubted not was enemy? Were we sure of retaining all greatly exaggerated, but however it might our West India islands? He was afraid be a just picture of the former practice not. Supposing Grenada or St. Vincent's it was not applicable to the present time. to be taken by the French, might not He did not understand that the descripthey also send to Cuba for blood-hounds, tion given by the hon. gentleman was the and exercise those severities of which we real and true state of the matter. The had shown them the example? He hoped grounds stated for the motion certainly he had said enough to rouse the indigna- were insufficient. He confessed he had tion of the House, and to inspire them heard of the fact, but his chief objection with a zeal to vindicate their own honour was, that any information that could be laid and that of the nation, by an inquiry into before the House was lame and unsatisfaca business of so shocking a nature. He tory. It was admitted, that the employwould now move, "That an humble Ad- ment of these dogs was not in consedress be presented to his majesty, that he quence of any direction of ministers here. will be pleased to give directions, that If the assembly of Jamaica had caused there be laid before this House, copies of such an application of them to be made, such intelligence as has been received which he did not imagine was the case, by any of his majesty's ministers relating it was surely unjust to lay the blame npon to the mode of carrying on the War against ministers. It was not requiring too much the Maroons in Jamaica." from the House to ask them to believe that ministers, on the first intimation, would adopt such measures as would prevent or prohibit the use of dogs in the manner so justly reprobated. This mibe able to satisfy the House, of the im-nisters might easily be supposed to have propriety of the motion. The hon. gen- done. When the character of an absent tleman had taken it for granted that the governor, whose conduct had hitherto war with the Maroons was unjust, and commanded the greatest approbation, had originated in aggression on our part. was involved, he hoped the House would It should be remembered, however, that see the impropriety of pushing any farit had its rise in an insurrection of the ther a motion on such slight foundation, Maroons, unprovoked by any aggression and which must appear unnecessary, or ill usage, and that no part of it was considering the steps already taken to to be ascribed to the conduct of the asprevent the employment of blood-hounds semblies or of the inhabitants of Jamaica. in the way deprecated. Ever since this insurrection, the island had been in a state of the greatest alarm and danger. The Maroons were accustomed to descend from their fastnesses at midnight, and commit the most dreadful ravages and cruelties upon the wives, children, and property of the inhabitants, burning and destroying every place which they attacked, and murdering all who unfortunately became the objects of their fury. In this distressing situation, the militia of the island were constantly in arms, and forced to be always prepared for defence. He did not understand that the purpose of the dogs was such as had been stated, nor were they to be employed in the barbarous way that had been represented. He understood, that in the is

Mr. Secretary Dundas said, he was possessed of no authentic information upon the subject, that he could offer to the House. He hoped that he should

Mr. Barham said, that the information on which the hon. gentleman rested, was not sufficient ground for the motion. Whether the dogs were imported for the purpose of war was another question; but the hon. gentleman did not attempt to state that they were now fed on human flesh, either at Cuba or Jamaica: therefore, so far they must be less ferocious, than at the distant period stated in the book to which he had referred. Every gentleman who had a park kept dogs to protect their venison, and to hunt deer-stealers! some of these were called blood-hounds, but he never understood that they partook of that ferociousness, which seemed to excite the humanity of the hon. general. The object of using

the dogs in Jamaica was to discover the haunts of the maroons, and to protect the planters and their families from being murdered by those barbarous rebels. The present was a war against robbers and murderers; and if a banditti consisting of about 400 infested any of our forests, or poured down from some mountain and murdered every person that came within their reach, would gentlemen conceive it improper to hunt them out of their haunts in a manner the most likely to get rid of such villains? The hon. gen tleman seemed to lay much stress upon the Maroons being freemen; their being freemen, however, gave them no more right to a claim on humanity than the slaves in the island. If the hon. general meant to maintain the contrary, he must assure him, that, in the eye of the planters freemen did not stand on a higher ground than the slaves. The war was an unprovoked rebellion on the part of the Maroons, because one of them was punished slightly, for an offence for which in this country he would have suffered death. To the Maroons, since that time, the most favourable offers had been made, but they had persevered in refusing all

terms.

Mr. M. Robinson did not consider the communication contained in a private letter sufficient to induce him to vote for the motion. But the defence of the hon. gentleman manifested the propriety of its being adopted, as he confessed the fact of blood-hounds being actually employed in carrying on the war.

Mr. Sheridan declared he had heard, with the greatest satisfaction, that orders had been sent to put an end to this atrocious mode of warfare. He was concerned, however, to find, that the war in Jamaica was a war of extermination. It was surprising, that without the abominable aid of blood-hounds, the whole force of Jamaica could not succeed in subduing these unfortunate Maroons, who, by oppression, the breach of treaty on the part of the English, and in vindication of their rights, had been driven to take up arms. There was nothing which could justify the use of blood-hounds. The object of the war in Jamaica seemed to be the extirpation of this unhappy people. The hon. gentleman would not say that the Maroons whom in the habits of common intercourse with the planters, were not only extremely useful, but tractable. The slight punishment to which the hon. gen

tleman alluded, was that of publicly whipping a poor wretch through the town for stealing a pig. Such was the pride of these independent people, that they preferred death to such an ignominious panishment. The effect of the Maroon's bloody stripes created disgust throughout his nation. We had no right to try him at all; as by an express stipulation between us and the Maroons, they were to be tried by a tribunal of their own. We had, in this instance, therefore, violated an express article of a treaty. For the honour of the British character, he trusted that ministers would put an end to the atrocities complained of.

Mr. Courtenay said, it had been asserted that these blood-hounds were employed only to pursue and discover the lurking places of the Maroons; but when such dogs were set on for a purpose of this kind, they would not stop at merely finding the fugitive. In a private letter from Jamaica, it was stated, that two of these dogs had set on a soldier's wife on the beach, and that two soldiers were obliged to bayonet them in order to save her life. If these animals were so ferocious when not set on, what was to be expected from them when they were properly trained to this horrid business by Spanish chasseurs? It had been said, that these Maroons came down from the mountains to murder during the night. This was a mere assertion, and totally devoid of truth. But was it not strange that 500 men should oppose the whole armed force of the island of Jamaica, and oblige the government to put the inhabitants under military law, and permit a mode of warfare so discordant to the feelings of British soldiers? By the treaty with the Maroons made in the year 1783, it was expressly stipulated, that when a Maroon should commit a crime, he was not to be punished, but given up to his nation. This article was insisted upon by them, that they might not be subjected to corporal punishment by the planters, which they considered the greatest misfortune that could befal them. Like all other savages, their passions were strong, and their resentment of injuries indiscriminating. Let, then, reparation and friendship be offered, and their passions may be made to flow with no less violence in the opposite stream of affection and gratitude. To talk of exterminating this handful of brave men, who, had made such a noble resistance, was the very acnie of wickedness, and would

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fix an indelible stain on the British character. If we had broken the first article of the treaty, we must stand by the consequences. What right had we to complain of the descents of the Maroons from their mountains, when the mode of warfare carried on by us was so much worse than theirs. We were now reduced to be humble copiers of the cruelties of the Spaniards, whose inhumanity we had hitherto always condemned.

Mr. Dent expatiated on the ferocity of the Maroons, and the necessity of repressing them by every means that could possibly be suggested. He insisted that the blood-hounds were only used for the purpose of tracing the footsteps, and discovering the haunts of the Maroons, and concluded by observing, that as gentlemen seemed to have such an antipathy to this species of dogs, they would certainly have no objection to his proposing a treble tax on them, when the question respect ing a tax on dogs came to be discussed.

General Macleod said, that in consequence of what had fallen from the secretary of state, he would not press this business farther at present. He begged, however, that it should not be considered that he had totally relinquished it. He would never quit the subject until the evil was redressed: he would stick as fast to it as those dogs did to their prey.

The motion was then withdrawn.

Debate on General Smith's Motion respecting the Expenditure of Public Money on Barracks.] April 8. General Smith rose to make his promised motion respecting Barracks. He meant, in the first place, to state the amount of the expenditure, then to compare it with the expense incurred by similar objects in past times, and next to point out the unconstitutional nature of the measure. The expense of erecting barracks was alarmingly enormous. It amounted nearly to 1,400,000/. But the expense was not all. Ministers had obtained the means of considerable influence, by the patronage of the offices to which this system had given rise. There were 46 barrack masters, a barrack master-general, and 19 officers with salaries, amounting in all to 11,000l. It there were barracks, there certainly must be barrack-masters. He begged to know, however, why barrack-masters were appointed and enjoyed ample salaries, before the barracks were built? At Lincoln this had actually been the case, before a [VOL. XXXII.]

single line was marked out. Why, he demanded, was the public money so applied? Was that the way our ancestors acted when they wanted money for the public service? He moved, that that part of the act, called the Civil List Reform bill, should be read, by which it was enacted, "that no person should enjoy a salary of more than 500l. a-year, without an estimate being previously given and signed by the lords of the treasury. In former times, when any important measure was in contemplation, an inspecting officer was appointed, who delivered in a report for parliamentary consideration. If ministers had submitted to the House an estimate of the expense of erecting barracks, he was convinced that it would have been thrown out, like the famous fortification estimate. But ministers had first squandered the public money, and then came confidently forward to demand the sanction of parliament for what they had done. The chancellor of the exchequer had often extolled economy as a virtue; but where was the economy of expending 1,400,000l. in the erection of barracks? The expense was, however, a trifling object, when compared with the unconstitutionality of the measure. Good God! was every town to be made a citadel, and every village to be converted into a gar rison? Barracks were already erected, capable of containing 34,000 troops, which was double the number of the usual peace establishment. From this fact one of two inferences must follow, either that ministers had betrayed the trust of the nation, in needlessly squandering the public money, by erecting barracks for which there would be no use; or that they meant to maintain a standing army, sufficient to enable them (to borrow one of their own expressions)" to exercise a vigour beyond the law." Was there any thing in the present state of the country to warrant such measures? The people had lately met with a severe trial, and they had borne it with patience and fortitude. If ministers were to have the power of applying money to one purpose which was voted by parliament for another, there was an end of the constitution. The constitution was much in people's

the Dock-yards, which, after a debate which * Mr. Pitt's Motion, in 1786, for fortifying lasted till seven in the morning, was rejected by the casting vote of Mr. Speaker Cornwall, the numbers on each side being '169. See Vol. 25, p. 1156. [30]

judgment of the House on such occasions, it could not be said to come sub silentio on the nation. It had been brought before the House in 1793,* and as it had then come distinctly to be considered, he had a right to plead the event of that discussion, as a virtual recognition of the principle of the measure. Much had been incurred on the spur of occasion: and, in short, if the utmost exertions had been made to lay the estimate before the House originally, it would have been a vague conjecture, merely to satisfy form. The hon. general had stated, that three or four years ago there were no such things as barracks. Did he, indeed, know so little of the matter? Was it necessary to state that barracks capable of containing 20,000 men had been erected many years since, and were still in use? Such being incontrovertibly the fact, the principle was established. An objection, he was aware was ready in the mouths of gentlemen, viz. that there was the less necessity for erecting new barracks. But there were two objections to the old barracks: first, they were calculated for the reception of infantry only; and, secondly, they were placed in situations not fit for the commodious arrangement of troops throughout the kingdom; and as it had been found, in many instances, notconvenient to station soldiers in them, it had been necessary to quarter them in inns. With respect to the practice of billeting soldiers on inn-keepers, it was an old abuse; it was a practice strange and unknown in any other country in the world; the soldiers of the state were not provided at the expense of the state, but at the cost of a particular class of inhabitants. What better reason could be stated for laying this burden upon inn-keepers than upon attornies, shopkeepers, or any other class of people? Formerly, when the practice commenced, the soldiers pay was greater, in proportion to the value of the commodities, and perhaps he might then have been able to pay for his fare as well as any other guest; but, in progress of time, when there was no proportion between the pay of a soldier and his expenses at an inn, this institution became oppressive to the inn-keeper; so much so, that it was found absolutely necessary to pass an act last year for their relief. If any body objected, that inn-keepers made

mouths at the beginning of the war, in particular, the right hon. gentleman had insisted, that it was the salvation of the constitution which prompted him to undertake the war. He was one of those who was friendly to the war upon that principle, and he had not altered his opinion. He wished gentlemen, however, would have some regard to consistency of character; and that, while they supported the constitution with one hand, they would not attack it with the other. In former times, the kings of this country attempted to levy money without consent of parliament: the minister of the present day ventured to apply the public revenues to purposes for which it was not intended, in defiance of the law. The general concluded with moving, "That it be referred to committee to examine into the Expenditure of Public Money, in the construction and furnishing of Barracks since the year 1790; as also to investigate by what authority such an expense, amounting to upwards of one million sterling, has been incurred, and to report to this House, together with the opinion of the committee, upon these subjects"

Mr. Windham (secretary at war) said, that the hon. general was struck, in the first place, with the magnitude of the expense was evident. That, however, proved but little for in every country like this, the public service must necessarily be carried on at a great expense. The proper state of the question would be, not whether there was a great expense, but whether there was a comparative proportion between the magnitude of the expenditure and the importance of the object? With regard to the objection, that the money had been incurred without being submitted to the judgment of parliament, unless that became a question of mere form (and he was ready to allow that there had been a departure from form), another question would arise, built upon the spirit and meaning of our constitution, and upon true wisdom: was the money incurred bona fide for the public service? No public inconvenience had arisen from the mode of expenditure, and there was no reason to think that the public judgment had been misled. Could gentlemen pretend that the expenses were incurred without the knowledge of the House? Certainly not. The question, though it had not come before the House in a regular form, had been discussed in other forms; and having the approving

Mr. Michael Angelo Taylor's Motion respecting Barracks. See Vol. 30, p. 473.

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