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doubtless of the most perfect right to jus tice and humanity, entitled like all other men to resist oppression, undisturbed, in regulating their internal concerns, or their ordinary quarrels with each other, rather to be considered as subjects of their own chiefs, than as directly amenable to the paramount authority of the territorial' sovereign; they had still, in all treaties respecting America, been considered as vassals and dependents, bound by the stipulations of their superior state. However, undefined this character might be, whatever doubt might be entertained of the original justice of such treaties, it was not now for Great Britain to deny the existence of rights which she had herself exercised, and which she had solemnly ceded to the United States; and once more, if the Indians were her independent allies, it was disgraceful in the highest degree to surrender them at last into the hands of the enemy. Never was a proposal in fact so inhuman made under pretence of philanthropy. The western frontier of North American cultivation is the part of the globe in which civilization is making the most rapid and extensive conquests on the wilderness. It is the point where the race of men is most progressive. To forbid the purchase of land from the savages, is to arrest the progress of mankind-it is to condemn one of the most favoured tracts of the earth to perpetual sterility, as the hunting-ground of a few thousand savages. More barbarous than the Norman tyrants, who afforested great tracts of arable land for their sport, we attempted to stipulate that a territory twice as great as the British Islands should be doomed to be an eternal desert! We laboured to prevent millions of millions of freemen, of Christians, of men of English race, from coming into existence. There never was such an attempt made by a state to secure its own dominion by desolation, to guard by deserts what they could not guard by strength. To perpetuate the English authority in two provinces, the larger part of North America was for ever to be a wilderness. The American ministers, by their resistance to so insolent and extravagant a demand, maintained the common cause of civilised men-and the English, who by advancing so monstrous a preten

protracted the miseries and the bloodshed of war, who had caused the sad defeat of New Orleans and the more disgraceful victory of Washington, had ren dered themselves accountable to God and (2 M)

nations of the same language, of similar manners, of almost the same laws, the one being a country of overflowing population, and the other of a boundless extent of vacant land to receive it: the two first maritime states in the world, the one habitually belligerent, under the necessity of manning her prodigious navy by very rigorous means; the other disposed to commerce and neutrality, alluring seamen by every temptation of emolument into her growing mercantile marine. Never was there such a dangerous conflict between the rigorous principle of natural allegiance, and the moral duty of contributing to the defence of a protecting government. To reconcile these jarring claims by general reasoning, or by abstract principles, was a vain attempt. To effect a compromise between them, would be an arduous task for the utmost caution, and the most conciliatory spirit. Yet it must be tried, unless we were willing that in every future war America should necessarily become our enemy.

He proceeded to examine the causes of delay after the Congress was assembled at Ghent. These were all reducible to one, -a pretension set up by the British negociators, to guarantee what was called the independence of the savages whom we had armed, and to prohibit the Americans from purchases of land from them. The first remark on this pretension was, that it ought never to have been made, or never abandoned. If honour and humanity towards the Indians required it, our desertion of it is an indelible disgrace. It is abandoned. The general words of the Treaty are of no value, or amount to no more than the Americans were always ready to grant. Having been abandoned, it can have been made only as a philanthropic pretext for war.

But, in truth, it was utterly untenable, and it must have been foreseen that it was to be abandoned. It amounted to a demand for the cession of the larger part of the territory of the United States, of that territory which is theirs by positive treaty with Great Britain. Over the whole of the American territory, even to the Pacific Ocean, the Crown of Great Britain formerly claimed the rights of sovereignty. By the Treaty of 1783 the United States succeeded to the rights of the British Crown.sion The Indian tribes, who hunted in various parts of that vast territory, became vassals of the United States as they had been vassals of the King of Great Britain. Possessed (VOL. XXX.)

their country for all the accumulation of evils which marked the last months of an unfortunate and unnatural war.-For these reasons he heartily concurred in the amendment of his right hon. friend.

Lord Castlereagh said, he had purposely abstained from rising at an earlier period of the debate, from a wish to hear what objections could be made to the conduct of his Majesty's ministers, before he entered on their justification. They must all feel, that at the close of a transaction which was happily wound up in peace, it would not be advisable to argue it in any feeling calculated to disturb the amicable relations that at present subsisted. But it was hard that ministers should have to defend themselves against a disclosure on the part of the American Government, made under circumstances which it would now be injudicious to argue. The right hon. member who had examined the discussion of the negociators, guided by the result, was such an economist in point of time as to take advantage of events which, having subsequently taken place, ought not to be applied to the negociations by which they were preceded. But would the right hon. member undertake to say that it was not right to send a force then disposable into America, in the month of May? If he would now do so, it should be recollected that he did not do so at the time. The concessions on the part of this country were all made at the period when our successes were most conspicuous; and such was the spirit of conciliation on our part, that we even agreed to an arrangement by which his Majesty's Government was bound,lization, observed, in explanation, that if while it was left to the discretion of the in the year 1600 any European Powers at American Government to agree or not. war with England, under pretence of huSo far was the desire of peace exemplified manity for the Indians, and of the injustice on our part. As to the mediation of the which they always suffered from Euroemperor of Russia, it was declined, not peans, had compelled us to promise by from any doubt of the liberality of that treaty that we should make no purchases monarch, but on the ground that England of land from these Indians, the whole of was the best and only competent judge of North America would at this day have her own rights. With respect to the contained fifty thousand cannibals, instead charge of delay, he could state, that down of ten millions of British freemen, who to the 9th of last August, the American may be numbered among the most intellicommissioners had no instructions from gent, the most moral, the bravest, and the their Government on the subject of the most happy of the human race. Sentence maritime rights; and he had no hesitation of desolation and barbarism would have in admitting that it was his wish, and the been passed on a considerable portion of wish of those with whom he acted, that the the globe. Our ministers in this proposal transactions which had taken place in had tried to doom to the same fate all that Europe should be known in America. yet remained to be reclaimed. Another circumstance worthy of remark was, that his Majesty's negociators had stated all their objects at once. From the

Mr. J. P. Grant supported the Amendment, on the ground of the delay with which the negociators of this country were

principle of the maritime rights they never
could depart; but they had never refused
to go into any question of modification.
If the frontier could be established, it
would have been a great object; but with
all its importance, it never occurred to
them to make it an object of war. The
great end they had in view was one that
affected the honour of the country, that of
protecting those who had fought and bled
with us. We owed to the Indians to
replace them in a state of peace, and in
the enjoyment of such possessions as they
had before. This was done, and the
result was at least so far advantageous to
the Indians, as to make their interests an
object of regulation to a country which
was capable of protecting them. Besides,
the negociation was almost exclusively
occupied in discussing questions that ori-
ginated with the Americans themselves.
Nothing had been stated that could im-
peach the Treaty itself, or render the
House and the country dissatisfied with its
provisions. In the conduct of the nego.
ciation every thing was done by this
country to facilitate those amicable regu-
lations which it was the wish of Government
to establish. Even our military exertions
were made with a view to peace. Seeing
that the war could be concluded at that
period, we had concluded it; and he
trusted that, from all these considerations,
the House would be disposed to reject the
Amendment, and agree to the Address.

Sir James Mackintosh, having been accused of sacrificing justice and humanity to his sanguine views of progressive civi

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chargeable. The mediation of the emperor of Russia might, he thought, have been accepted without the surrender of any right.

Mr. Robinson supported the Address, and contended that no unnecessary delay had been occasioned by the the British commissioners. With respect to the attack on Washington, as that event took place in the month of August, and the first meeting of the commissioners was on the 8th of that month, the event would have equally taken place, if they had concluded the treaty the first day of their meeting. The House then divided :

For the Amendment............ 37 Against it.... 128 -91

............................. ....

The Address was then agreed to.


REPORT FROM THE COMMITTEE ON PARISH APPRENTICES.] The following Report was presented to the House :

REPORT. The Committee appointed to examine into the number and state of Parish Apprentices, bound into the country from the parishes within the Bills of Mortality, and to report the same, with their observations thereon, to the House :-Have examined the matter to them referred, and agreed upon the following Report:

Your Committee have to observe, that the attention of Parliament has for some time been called to this subject, and that so long ago as the session of 1811, a bill was brought into the House, to amend the laws in respect to Parish Apprentices, and to make certain regulations, with the view of ameliorating their condition; but was withdrawn, in order that some information might be procured which was conceived to be wanting.

A committee was in consequence appointed, which set on foot an inquiry. This inquiry has since been prosecuted with as much perseverance as was required by a subject of so much importance to the happiness and well-being of a large class of the community, though hitherto but little made an object of the attention of Parliament.

It would have been obviously an impracticable task to have attempted to ascertain the number of parish apprentices bound, from various parts of England, to a distance from their parents; and the committee being therefore under

the necessity of limiting their inquiry to those points which were capable of being ascertained, conceived that the parishes, which are comprehended in the Bills of Mortality, would afford a tolerable criterion to enable a judgment to be formed, as to the comparative number of parish apprentices bound near home and at a distance, and as to the advantages or disadvantages resulting from the latter plan.

This was the more practicable, as by the Act passed in the 2d and 7th years of his present Majesty, some humane regulations were made in the management of parish apprentices in those parishes; and by the latter Act, in certain of those parishes, namely, the seventeen parishes without the walls of London, the twentythree in Middlesex and Surrey, being within the Bills of Mortality, and the liberty of the Tower of London, and the ten parishes within the city and liberty of Westminster, a list of poor children bound apprentices was directed to be delivered annually from each parish to the clerk of the company of Parish-clerks, to be bound up and deposited with that company. To those lists your committee have had access, an abstract having been made by the clerk of the Committee; and it appears from them that the whole number of apprentices bound, from the beginning of the year 1802 to the end of the year 1811, from these parishes, amounts to 5,815; being 3,446 males, and 2,369 females. Of these were bound to trades, watermen, the sea-service, and to household employment, 2,428 males, and 1,361 females, in all 3,789; fifteen of whom were bound under eight years of age, 495 between eight and eleven years, 483 between eleven and twelve, 1,656 between twelve and fourteen, and 1,102 between fourteen and eighteen. Though not immediately applicable to the subject of inquiry, it may not be altogether irrelevant to mention, that of this gross number of children amounting to 3,789, there were bound to the sea-service, to watermen, lightermen, and fishermen, 484; to household employments, 528; and to various trades and professions, 2,772: the remaining children amounting to 2,026, being 1,018 males, and 1,008 females, were bound to persons in the country; of these, 58 were under eight years of age, 1,008 between eight and eleven, 316 between eleven and twelve, 435 between twelve and fourteen, and 207 between fourteen and eighteen, besides

two children whose ages are not mentioned in the returns from their parishes.

Before they enter on the subject of what has become of these children, your Committee beg leave to observe, that from all the parishes within the city of London, only eleven apprentices have been sent to masters at a distance in the country ;— that of the five parishes in Southwark, only one (Saint George's) has sent any considerable number;—that in Westminster, the parish of St. Anne, has not sent any since the year 1802; those of St. Margaret and St. John, since the year 1803; and the largest and populous parish of St. Pancras has discontinued the practice since the year 1806. From those of Newington, Shadwell, Islington, and several others, no children have at any time

been sent.

The Committee directed precepts to be sent to the various persons in the country to whom the parish apprentices, to the amount of 2,026, were bound, directing them to make returns, stating what bad become of them, to the best of their know ledge. These returns have in general been complied with, but in some instances have not, owing probably to the bankruptcy or discontinuance in business of the parties to whom these children were apprenticed; and in some cases the information required has been furnished by the overseer of the poor, to whom the charge of assigning the apprentices devolved, on the failure of the master. The general Classification may be made as follows:

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become bankrupts ...

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last head, consisting of 433, some few of
Of the number comprised under the
the masters have sent a return, but without
giving an account of the whole of the
apprentices; so that it may be fairly
accounted for at all.
judged that one third of these cannot be

Your Committee having abstracted the into the country, might make this Report whole list of parish apprentices bound more full, by enumerating the particular returns made by each master or by the Overseer, as well as the names of such masters as have not given any answers at all, or unsatisfactory ones; but they conceive that it might be invidious to do so, especially as those details would make no difference in the state of the question which it is their object to bring They therefore abstain from inserting any that the House will give them credit for such returns in their Appendix, satisfied the reason of such omission. They think it right, however, to state generally, that of the children bound in ten years, the trades and employments: following is the proportion of the different

before the consideration of the House.

Silk Throwsters.......
Silk Manufacturers

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Woollen Manufacturers Worsted Spinners.......... 99 Worsted Manufacturers

Carpet Weavers


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Frame-work Knitters .......
Earthenware Manufacturers
Cotton Spinners

Cotton Weavers



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26 Manufacturers (supposed to be



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.. 433














gisters kept as above mentioned, afforded for that purpose.

It appears by the returns from the metropolis, that the children bound to manufacturers in the country have generally been apprenticed on the same day, in numbers of from five or six to forty or fifty. They have not unfrequently been taken back to their parents, and sometimes after having been bound, have been assigned to another master. In the parish of Bermondsey, out of twenty-five apprenticed to manufacturers, sixteen, it is said, did not go, but no reason is given for it; and in several instances, after the children have been taken into the country, they have been returned to the parish, in consequence of the surgeon having pronounced them unsound. It appears also, that of the whole number of parish apprentices included in the above returns, no less a proportion than three-fourths have been bound to masters connected with the cotton manufacture. Most of the remarks, therefore, which they conceive it their duty to make, will be more directly applicable to that branch of employment; though many of their general observations, as to the impolicy of removing children to a considerable distance from their parents, as well as from those whose duty it is to see that they are properly taken care of and treated, are equally applicable to all professions.

In the populous districts of England, whether that population is caused by manufacturers or by other employments, the same causes which produce it provide support for the inhabitants of all ages, by various occupations adapted to their means. Thus in manufacturing districts, the children are early taught to gain their subsistence by the different branches of those manufactures. In districts where collieries or other mines abound, they are accustomed almost from their infancy to employments under ground, which tend to train and inure them to the occupation of their ancestors: but in London the lower class of the population is not of that nature, but is composed of many different descriptions, consisting of servants in and out of place, tradesmen, artisans, labourers, widows, and beggars, who being frequently destitute of the means of providing for themselves, are dependent on their parishes for relief, which is seldom bestowed without the parish claiming the exclusive right of disposing, at their pleasure, of all the children of the person receiving relief. The system of apprenticeship is therefore resorted to of necessity, and with a view of getting rid of the burthen of supporting so many individuals; and as it is probably carried to a greater extent there than any where else, for the reasons here stated, your Committee has been enabled to form an opinion, without the necessity of referring to any other part of the kingdom, whether it could be discontinued, without taking away from the parishes the means of disposing of their poor children. It certainly does appear to your Committee, that this purpose might be attained, without the vio

In considering this subject, it is necessary to advert more particularly to the causes and circumstances attending the original appointment of a committee. A Bill having been brought into the House four sessions ago, at the desire and under the direction of one of the most populous manufacturing districts of this kingdom, the professed object of which was to prohibit the binding of parish apprentices to above a certain distance from the abode of their parents, and making other regulation of humanity, in separating children Jations in the management of them, some forcibly, and conveying them to a disof the parishes of the metropolis menaced tance from their parents, whether those an opposition to the Bill, as taking from parents be deserving or undeserving. them the means of disposing of the chil- The peculiar circumstances of the medren of the poor belonging to them, in the tropolis, already alluded to, may at first manner in which they had before been seem to furnish an argument in favour of accustomed to do. It was therefore a continuance of this practice; but it can judged expedient to ascertain the extent hardly be a matter of doubt, that apprenof the practice which had prevailed, in tices, to the number of two hundred, order to form a judgment of the necessity which is the yearly number bound on the of continuing it; and with that view, as average of ten years before mentioned, well as for the reasons before mentioned, might, with the most trifling possible these returns were called for. There was exertion on the part of the parish officers, also another reason for confining the re- be annually bound to trades and domestic turns to the metropolis and its vicinity, employments, within such a distance as exclusive of the facility which the re- to admit of occasional intercourse with a

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