Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“ milies, and he hoped that some abate- tions, which struck at the root of the tax." ments would be allowed on their account. Thus, then, necessity, hard necessity;

-MR. I'ERCEVAL supported the bill, an absolute necessity a want of money ; a on the ground that it was impossible that want of money, and nothing else, is urged an equal sum of money could be raised so in support of this tax, which, Gentlemen, I equally, upon the whole, on property of

need not characterize, my only object being every description. The money must le to remind you, that, it is in this state of our

raised, aud this was, in fact, the best plan affairs, that one individual holds in liis hands " that could be devised. It was a tax on 97,4151. of our money, which he owes the

profits, and 30 the title, implied. He public, and which the Commissioners ex

hoped, however, that exemptions would pressly declare that he ought to be made to “ be allowed in many cases, otherwise the pay immediately into the Treasury!-

measure might become so odious, that we The same all-powerful argument, Gentlemight be in danger of losing it altogether. men, is urged in support of the tax upon MR. WILBERFORCE agreed with his

PIG-IRON. This tax was attempted to be “ hon. friend who spoke last, and hoped that laid by Mr. Pitt, but was by him abandoned.

exemptions would be allowed in all cases This iron; the produce of our own mines

where the necessaries of life were con- and the raw material of a most extensive “ cerned. It would be hard if, when one branch of our manufacturès, is worth, upon

part of a ship's crew were enjoying every an average, 5 pounds a ton; and the proposed sort of luxury, the other should be put tax is 2 pounds a ton! It will create about upon short allowance. He stated the 120 new excisemen to watch the furpaces, cases of the officers of the army and navy

besides those that will be necessary to watch ! under a certain income ; but what had over the packing of iron and steel goods for

been done for the latter, and was to be exportation, in order to ascertain the amount “ done for the former, might preclude the

of the draw-back. The persons employed necessity of any exemption for them. the trades and callings connected with “ But the case of clergymen under a certain this proposition, alledge, that these trades “ income must be considered. He knew will be ruined ; and, every man must be sa

large supplies must be ruised, and if the tisfied, that they will be greatly injured by tax should fail in any degree on account

the vexations of an excise system thus ex" of abatements to persons of a small in- tended to a staple produce of the earth. The is

come, he would be willing that it should persons employed in this branch of our mabe made up by an additional rate on the nufactures are computed to be 500,000 in

higher classes.Lord HENRY • PETTY number; and, the manufacture itselt is, in « said, that the opposition which had been point of national importance, second to none " that night expressed to the bill, it was not but that of Wool, Yet, while our ministers

necessary then to answer. He did not are imposing a tax like this, which, even mean to say that the measure was the most upon their own estimates, will produce only equal, or the most perfect, that it was 419,000!. a year clear money, and which will

possible for human ingenuity to devise; put 20,0001. a year into the pockets of ex" and perhaps a tax on capital, or a variation cisemen, who, by the same operation, will “ of the tax, as applied to the different spe

be withdrawn from the labours of the work“ cies of property, would be preferable; shop or the field; while this is the case, the “ but, under the present circumstances of the sum of 97,4151. of the public money is lying country, it would be wrong to relinquish in the hands of Delancy, or of others, to

a tried system, for the sake of embarking whom he has committed it. “ into a new and complicated arrangement,

Here I stop, Gentlemen, for the present. The principle of exemption, he was con

I have done little more than lay before you a vinced, was one by which the individual statement of such facts as you may not have

gained least, and the public lost most; been acquainted with. The opinions to be “ and, in proportion as the operation of an

therefrom çlrawn I leave to yourselves. !. act was simplified by great and general

I am, &c. &c. WM. COBBLTT. rules, its produce was secured. It would May 6th, 1806. “ become his duty, however painful, to op

pose all exemptions proposed ; and when SUMMARY OF POLITICS.

gentlemen were told that by acceding, as Under this bead I must be very brief.“ he had, to the representation lately made, Upon INDIA AFFAIR3 there was an impor

as regarded small annuitants, the tant debate, in the Flouse of Commons, on loss of the country, would be 350,0001. he Thursday, the Sth instant. Mr. BANKIS, " trusted they would no longer press exemp. having suggested the propriety of sending

as far

Lord Wellesley's affair to the Court of King's

SLAVE TRADE BILE. Bench, the suggestion was decidedly disap- SIR ;-_-It appears to be highly necessary proved of by several members, particularly to place in a just point of view, a measure by Dr. Laurence, Mr. Francis, and the now depending in parliament, for abolishing Marquis of Douglas, which nobleman after- forever the foreign slave trade. The zealots wards moved for the production of several for a total abolition, will derive great gratipapers relative to the conduct of Lord Wel- fication at finding that the plan in question lesley, amongst which was the famous in

has succeeded; they will consider that they structions for regulating the PRESS in India!

are in the high road towards the attainment The debate was of great importance indeed'; of their ultimate object, they will observe, the House appeared decidedly for the mode that the ground on which their opponents of impeachment. A full account of the de- forinerly stood, has been much undermined, bate shall be given in my next. In the and their expectations will lead them to meanwhile I beg leave to refer the reader to think that the same legislature, which has a letter upon India Affairs, in a subsequent sanctioned a partial abolition, may be prepage of this sheet; but, I cannot help say- vailed on without much difficulty to advance ing that I differ from the writer as to what one step further, and by so doing to comhe has said respecting Mr. FRANCIS; and, plete the work so auspiciously commenced though Iuliave inserted his letter, I think it according to their notions. If an encroachproper to apprize him, that any future com- ment be once suffered, it will be an arduous munication, marked by insinuations such as undertaking to prevent a repetition of it; are contained in the first part of his present and, when the business of abolition shall letter, will certainly be rejected. I would again become a subject of discussion, which further apprize him, that, when facts or will happen at no very distant day, the legis. arguments are valuable, they stand in need Jature will be gravely told, true it is you have of no name to induce me to insert them; done a great deal towards the accomplishand that my fixed opinion, is, that, in as- ment of a total abolition, but there is a little suming the language of a monitor, a corres- still lett undone, and that little unperformed pondent should take care to discove: infor- deprives you of the inerit of proclaiming that mation, or talents, more than ordinary:- you have purified yourselves, from wliat the Every argument that I have heard in favour abolitionists call, the contamination of the of the SLAVE-Trade Bill is, in ny opin- Save Trade.--It should be remembered, ion completely answered in a letter whichi that it is an old artifice' often employed to immediately follows below. It is to be endearour to weaken the force of united ophoped, that those who have this bill in their ponents, by sowing dissention among them; hands will pause and reflect.

and by pointing out, to different individuals

of the common body, that their private inte** My correspondents may be assured, rests will be promoted by seceding from the that I pay attention to all their communica- union. To separate and divide the general tions, and that, as fast as room and suitable body connected with the British West India occasions present themselves, I will not fail Islands, is the ardent pursuit at present of to use the best of my exertions to prevent the abolitionists, and disunion once estatheir labour from being lost. It is not my blished, they are contident that the scattered custom to make notifications of this sort; and divided ranks can afford no substantial but, the many valuable letters which are at resistance to their future attacks. It is present in my possession render this notifica- anxiously desired by them to create a divertion necessary.

sity of opinions among the West India imteIn the preceding sheet, amongst many rest, and they rely that, standing on the vanother ERRORS OF THE PRESS, the following tage ground gained by prevailing on the leare pointed out as causing the expression of a gislature to adopt the bill now under considemeaning precisely the contrary of that which ration, they will have no reason to dread was intended to be conveyed. In page 648, hereafter the exertions of an enfeebled or line 19 from the bottom, the “ too" should position, when it shall be thought discreet hwe been left out. In page 650, line 19 and adviseable for them by and by to apply from the top, the not" should be left out; to parliament for a total abolition-It can for, God furbid that I shouki say, that minis- be shewn that the bill now depending, will ters of the Church can be too much encou

ultiinately produce a total abolition. The raged to resicle in their parishes; or, that African merchants have uniformly advanced, pluralities are not the cause of non-resi- and offered to prore, that if the slave trade dence!

should be contined solely to the supply of our own colonies, such a restricted and nar- nifested the extreme anxiety of foreigners to Towed commerce would not 'be worth pur- enjoy a considerable share of the African suing. They have urged that this trade re- trade; they are most vigilantly seeking to quires the united encouragement, derived obtain it; and, if a British act of parliament both from the foreign market, and from the should oblige British vessels to withdraw supply of the British colonies; and that, if a from the foreign slave trade, foreign bottoins great proportion of the encouragement hi- will supply their places, and foreign colonics therto open to them, should be taken away, will stiil be amply supplied with slaves, by they will withdraw their capitals intirely foreigners trading even with British capital, from this business. But, supposing even not withstanding all the precautions whicla that British merchants should be induced can be devised by Parliament. Our regulanot to retire immediately from the trade, tions will not then have the effect of stopping after the foreign markets shall have been the improvement of those colonies; and it is closed against them, it is plain that a few therefore evident, the measure cannot be supexperiments would soon drive them from it. ported on the ground of policy. It is also to If Jamaica should be chosen as the scene of be remembered that, as our abandonment of their commercial adventures, they would the trade will throw it into the hands of fo. shortly find, that their dealings would be al-reigners, their shipping will thereby be intogether regulated and controuler by the creased, and their narine consequently bewill and pleasure of the purchasers, who netited. The bill cannot be detented on the knowing that no foreign competition could ground of humanity, as foreigners who will be raised against then), and that their mar- be employed in conducting the trade, will

kets afforded the only place of sale, would not be bound to adhere to the wholesome · be enabled to prescribe their own terms to regulations provided by parliament, which

the sellers. If the British colonies should, take care that the number of slaves carried in however, be hereafter supplied with African a British bottom, shall be duly proportioned labourers, they must in such event be con- to the tonnage of such vessel. -It may be tented to pay a very advanced price for useful to take another view of this most imthem ; for the African merchants convinced portaut subject. During the present reign that no speculation could be carried on with- many measures have been adopted for carry.. out placing them too much in the power of ing on a commercial intercourse between the purchasers; would require that their the British West Indies, and the Spanish coprofits should be ascertained to them **** lonies, by establishing free ports; but, if by contracts executed in Great Britain. the bill should be passed into a law, this beThe effect of this will be to render the sup- neficial trade will be lost by prohibiting one ply at best very precarious, tò advance the óf its principal articles, and by the operation price considerably to all, and to render it of certain vexatious regulations, which shall impracticable for the majority of settlers to be afterwards adverted to. This intercourse obtain any labourers, on account of the very enables Great Britain to find a vent for conexorbitant prices demanded for them.- siderable quantities of British manufactures, Some of the supporters of this bill assert, which the Spaniards are desirous of buying. that their plan wiil confér a benefit on the at the free ports, provided they can at the old sugar colonies, by repressing the cultiva- | same timo purchase a proportion of slaves'; tion of foreign colonies, who are their rivals: and it is well known, that vessels whose because, they alledge that whilst Britain con- cargocs consist principally of British goods, tinues to carry on the foreign slave trade, the are permitted to enter at Spanish ports, only improvement of those colonies is promoted when it is ascertained that they have also on by their being abundantly supplied with board Negroes for importation. They conslaves by British traders, and that such sup- stitute the sanction, 'under which our goods ply will cease when it shall be unlawful for find their way from the free ports to many British subjects to be concerned in the fo- parts of the Spanish territories in America. reign slave trade. It is also proclaimed in In return, indigo, cotton wool, dye woods of loud language, which declares open hostility various descriptions, hides, tallow, and bulagainst all sound argument, that it is neces- lion are obtained. This intercourse furnishsary to interpose this measure, with a view es the British colonies with their chiet sup to check the growth of the maritime strength ply of specie, which is afierwards either reof our rivals, which is increased by augment- mitted in considerable quantities to this ing the prosperity of their colonies. Let a country, or is expended in contributing to little calm reflection be employed, and then enable the planters to pay

enable the planters to pay for provisions and let us mark the result. Experience has ma- lumber from America. Without the free port system, some of those islands would be mestic economy. It has been understood by destitute of specie.--It may be proper here the colonists that their legislatures alone are to observe, that independent of the free port entitled to impose rules for the government trade, Great Britain enjoys great cominer- of property situated in those countries, but cial advantages from a trade carried on the bill attempts to restrict the use of such through other channels, which would alto- property, by proposing to enact that the progether cease, by precluding her subjects prietors of slaves in the West India colonies from being concerned in the foreign slave shall not be allowed to dispose of their Netrade. If the government of this country are groes, with the same degree of ownership ai prepared to give up a commerce, which af- they have hitherto enjoyed; and it even does fords considerable employment to great more, as it endeavours to impose pains and numbers of her artizans and manufacturers, penalties, wbich are to be enforced there in and which pours riches into her lap, without case the intended law shall be transgressed: providing a substitute for the loss; and, es, To declare to the inhabitants of our West pecially at a time, when unusual clouds hang India possessions that parliament has estar over the commercial horizon from recent blished particular conditions, which must be events, and when the empire is bleeding at complied with by them before they can exevery pore from the pressure of immense ercise the right of removing a part of their taxation. It is the evident object of the bill, property, even from one. British settlement through all its various provisions to subject to another, is surely an infringement of the the African trader to multiplied penalties colonial constitutions. All this is done with. and dangers, if he shall be hardy enougb to out the consent of the legislatures of the copursue the trade for the sake of supplying lonies, who in all other concerns of internal our own colonies, and to fetter it by such management, are acknowledged to possess tormidable impediments, as will deter almost supreme power. The right of envigration is every one from embarking in it.—The spirit materially effected by the measure in quesof the bill, though attempted to be disguised, tion, and in proportion as the use of properis at war with the whole of the trade, and ty is restricted, its value is certainly dimiseeks to do that covertly, which the aboli- nished. It is worthy of consideration, whe. tionists have failed to accomplish openly. In ther it be prudent or wise at any time, and substance the effect is the same, whether the more especially at this juncture, without any trade is totally and at once abolished; or real eause or adequate motive, to originate whether the remaining branch of it is so discussions, which my embrace puints of the weighed down by such oppressve regulations most serious controversy. It is provided by as warn a prudeat man to retire from it. another clause of the bill, that if any slave There are other objections of a very serious shall be employed on a voyage from a Brinature, which may be otiered against other tish colony or island, to a foreign settlement, parts of the bill. It contains a clause, which their names and descriptions should be inprovides that no slaves shall be removed, serted in or endorsed upon the clearance or from one British colony or island to another, -permit to depart of such vessel, and if any until a licence shall be obtained by the slave shall be found on board, whose name owner of them permitting him to remove shall not be inserted in or endorsed upon them, and specifying the place of their des- the clearance or permit, or, who shall be tination; that previous to their removal such untruly or fraudulently described therein, owner shall give a bond in a penal sum, with intent to violate any of the probibitions, equal to the sum of fifty pounds sterling, for or regulations of the act, every such slave every slave so to be carried, and that the may be seized and confiscated. The bill alcondition of tbe said bond shall be; that the so gives a right of seizure to his Majesty's proprietor shall faithfully and truly land or vessels of war. Those who are conversant deliver such slaves at the place to which he with the nature of the foreign trade carried shall be authorised to convey the same. on in the West Indies, are aware that British It may with great propriety be contended vessels when thus employed, are in general by the colonial legislatures, that this provi- navigated by slaves. And it is apparent, sion containis matter of internal regulation, that this provision of the bill will afford which is sought to be carried into effect by ample scope for making numerous seizures, an act of the British parliament, that it tends and thereby frequently defeating the purto subvert the constitutional rights of the co- poses of the merchants who are engaged in lovies, who have always claimed the exclu- That branch of commerce. Such a restricșive power of legislating for themselves in all tion bill ultimately annibilates all intercourse questions which involve considerations of don between the British West India islands, and

INDIA APFAIRS.

foreign settlements; and it is also highly they have invited, and even challenged an objectionable, as containing matter of inter- examination of his administration ; I hope, nal regulation.-W. W.-7th May, 1806. for the sake of decency, that no means will

be used, similar to those we have lately wit

nessed, to smother inquiry, or defeat invesSIR, - I have read with attention and tigation.-I mean not to compliment you, satisfaction, your several publications which Mr. Cobbett, in statiog, that next to Mr. contain your opinions and observations on Paull, the public is indebted to yourself, for the Affairs of India ; and am truly concern- the pains you have lately bestowed on Indian ed to find, by your last Register, that you subjects. And, I am persuaded, that if you are about to take your leave of the subject, will continue your observations, and direct until certain documents shall be laid before your thoughts to objects connected with the parliament, in support of a charge recently administration of our Eastern Empire, not preferred against the Marquis Wellesley.- immediately in discussion, your future comThat you will return to the charge, I confi- munications, will instruct and gratify your dently hope; that Mr. Paull will pursue his readers; and, I trust, that the present suspresent inquiry, as soon as he is enabled to pension of Indian inquiry in parliament, will proceed, I wish and expect; but, I have not abstract your attention from a subject of been so much disappointed in my hopes, so much interest and importance. You will wishes, and expectations, that I shall scarce- be pleased to recollect, that there has hitherly be surprised, if Mr. Paull should follow to prevailed, in the minds of persons in and the example of Mr. Fox, Mr. Sheridan, and out of parliament, a repugnance against every others; or, if you and your Register shall subject connected with India, its fivances, or change your politics, like Mr. Spankey and its politics. In the House of Commons, it his Chronicie.--It is true that the Affairs of has been declared, that India and every quesIndia have at length forced themselves into tion relating to it, were irksome to parlianotice, and hare agitated the public mind; ment; the attention of which has diminishthey have occupied the attention of parlia- ed in proportion as our empire has increased; meut; awakened the dorinant faculties of and Lord Castlercagh or Mr. Francis, could the East India Directors, and roused the la- never obtain an audience of more than twens tént energies of many of the proprietors; ty members, when the Indian Budgets were but whether these effects are to be ascribed discussed ! With respect to the public, the to the real importance of the subject, to a transactions of our Eastern governments, conviction of the injustice of the system re- could not become the subjects of popular obcently pursued in India ; to a sympathy with servation, except as related to wars, battles, , the sufferings of deposed princes and impri- victories, and repulses; the building ot pasoned chieftains; to a feeling for the ravages, laces, or endowing of colleges; and for this of war and the desolation of provinces ; or, plain reason, Mr. Cobbett, that until the luto the situation of the company, described dian correspondence and papers were laid by Mr. Thorntonin parliament;' ur, whe- before Parliament, the public in India as well ther a demand of money from this busthen- as in England, was ignorant of every infored country, to prop the tottering empire in mation, but of the naked events which hapIndia, has caused the present sensation, con- pened. The want of intelligence abroad is cerning our Eastern governments, is, as you imputable to the state of the press in India, say, immaterial.-If the public and its re- which you have correctly described, and to presentatives in parliament, will but investi- the despotism of the government, which gate soberly and impartially, the transactions threatened with immediate banishment from which have bappened in India, during the the country, any person who dared to disadministration of Lord Wellesley, I care not cuss the measures or politics of Lord Welwhether the inquiry be occasioned by Mr. lesley; and, it is an undoubted fact, that of Paull's assertions of his lordships guilt, or by the number who subscribed the fulsome adLord Temple's bold declarations of the jus- dresses to his lordship on the conclusion of tice and policy of the measures in question. peace with the Mahratta chieftains, there -As it is yet likely, that Lord Wellesley's were noi ten persons who had ever lieard of conduct will be submitted to the grand na- the causes of the war —You will not, I tional inquest, I will not anticipate, from an hope, be offended, at any seeming mistrust, examination of the papers before parliament, which this letter inay betray of Mr. Paull or the probability of his ipculpation. But, af- of yourself. If Mr. Paull shall cooly and adter what has been said by his friends and re-visedly persevere in his system of inquiry ; lations in both houses of the legislature, in and if you shall contique staunch in the opia justification of his measures in India ; after nions which you have promulgated; the

« PreviousContinue »