« PreviousContinue »
shortly move for some papers. The hon. member then adverted He also declared, that he would to some of the plans that had forundoubtedly bring forward his merly been suggested for meliorpromised measure early in the ating their condition ; but, said next session.
he, the friends of the abolition The petition was ordered to lie had been satisfied with that geon the table.
neral measure. The only thing Lord Grenville, who had moved he regretted was, that it was not for certain papers connected with immediately followed by a the registry of slaves in the colo- gistry bill. It had been objected, nies, which, he understood, were that they had changed their soon to be laid on the table of ground, and were now aiming at the House of Lords, gave notice emancipation, a cry which had on May 30th, of his intention, been raised from the first exerearly in the next session, to sub.. tions in favour of the negroes ; mit to their lordships some pro- but it could be prored, that they position on this head.
had always regarded the slaves as The papers moved for having incapable of liberty at present, been laid before both Houses of and hoped that a change might Parliament, Mr. Wilberforce, on take place by degrees, as the naJune 19th, rose, and began his tural result of the abolition. speech by saying, that although Mr. W. then took notice of a he had yielded to the noble lord's charge made against the registry recommendation of deferring the bill, that it had been the cause of question of negro slavery, yet, the late insurrection; and he that the subject appearing to him gave reasons for attributing it to
to stand upon different the irritation excited among the grounds, he thought it of the negroes by the violent language greatest importance, that there of the planters, when speaking should be every possible degree on the measure of registering. of information, and felt it his He proceeded to state the probaduty to state some of the princi- bility of the smuggling of slaves ples, which the House having into the islands, in opposition to adopted, it seemed necessary to the present declarations of the carry into effeet. In proceeding colonists; and made to this consideration, he would marks on the Jamaica report of show what was the condition of the state of negro population for a gre at part of the slaves in the a number of years, to justify this West Indies ; and that this was suspicion. In fine, he concluded not as it ought to be was evident, by moving, ". That an humble from the circumstance of their address be presented to the Prince not increasing in number. The Regent, that he will be pleased latest accounts from Jamaica, to give directions, that there be where they were in general the laid before this House the titles best treated, admitted that great and dates of any acts of the asnumbers were lost every year, sembly of Jamaica, transmitted from the circumstances of their for his Majesty's approbation, by being under-fed and over-worked, which any poll-tax on slaves was
imposed, for the years 1808, 9, islands in the West Indies, signify10, 11, and 12, or any of those ing his Royal Highness's pleasure, years, or by which any returns that they do take immediate meaof slaves were required to be sures to proclaim throughout the made in the said years, for the colonies, which they respectively purpose of such taxation, or govern, his R. Highness's highest otherwise; specifying at what displeasure at the daring insurtime or times such returns were rection which has lately taken directed to be made."
place in the island of Barbadoes ; Mr. C. N. Palmer, rising as to declare in the most public the advocate of the planters, said, manner his R. Highness's conthat if he had entertained any cern and surprize at the false and doubt, whether the House should mischievous opinion, which apprefer, to an address for infor pears to have prevailed in some mation, the duty of removing an of the British colonies, that eiexisting agitation, the speech ther his R. Highness or the Briwhich had just been heard, and tish parliament had sent out orwhich appeared to him only cal- ders for the emancipation of the culated to increase an irritation, negroes; and humbly to request which all persons, he should have his R. Highness, that while his hoped, would have wished to R. Highness directs the most efallay, would have removed that fectual measures to be adopted, for doubt. He then entered into a discountenancing these unfoundgeneral narrative of the situation ed and dangerous impressions, of the colonies, followed by a his R. Highness would also graparticular account of the insur ciously be pleased to recommend, rection, in which he brought facts in the strongest manner, to the to prove, that it arose from the local authorities in the respective expectations among the slaves of colonies, to carry into effect every entire emancipation, fostered by measure which may tend to prothe proposed registry bill. He mote the moral and religious imquoted several passages from the provement, as well as the comReport of the African institution, fort and happiness, of the neand other publications, to confirm groes." this opinion, and solemnly as Mr. Barham said, that although sured the House, that the colo it was his intention to vote for nies were at present in a state of the amendment, yet in his opigreat danger; and he concluded nion it fell short of what was with moving an amendment of called for by the occasion, and the hon. gentleman's proposed what the mover would have been address, which was leaving out supported in proposing, by the the whole, and substituting the present feeling of the House. The following:
honourable gentleman then went “ That an humble address be into a large and severe censure presented to the Prince Regent, of the charges which had lately praying, that he will be pleased to been brought against the colocause communications to be made nists, to which he chiefly atto the governors of the several tributed the late calamitous
events, and which, he said, had speech delivered by the Prince thrown parties to an irreconcila- Regent in person. After referring ble distance, whereby all the good to the marriage of the Princess that might have been obtained by Charlotte with the Prince of Saxe co-operation was lost for ever. Cobourg, and the Royal consent
It would occupy too much given to an union between his space in our work to attempt Majesty's daughter, the Princess giving a summary of a debate Mary, and the Duke of Gloucescontinued to a great length byter, his Royal Highness mendifferent speakers ; but the matter tioned the assurances he had reof which was little more than repe- ceived from all the powers entition of the topics opened in the gaged in the late war of their motions and observations con- pacific and friendly dispositions, tained in the above extracts. The and their resolution to execute conclusion was that Mr. Palmer's inviolably the terms of the treaaddress was agreed to, nem. con.; ties entered into. Touching upon that Mr. Wilberforce having pro- the arrangements adopted for disduced again the motion he had charging the incumbrances of the withdrawn, it was agreed to; as civil list, the greatest satisfaction was likewise a motion by Mr. was expressed with them, and an Canning, for a copy of the report assurance given that, on the part of the assembly of Jamaica. of his Royal Highness, nothing
In the House of Lords, Lord should be wanting to bring them Holland, on June 27th, made a to full effect. The consolidation motion for an address, nearly in of the revenues of Great Britain the same words as that adopted was then mentioned with approby the House of Commons, but bation. The measures to which with a brief addition relative to his R. Highness had been under the negroes. The words were, the necessity of resorting, for “ to make every necessary provi suppressing the tumults which sion against any violation of the had unfortunately occurred in abolition acts, under the facilities some parts of the kingdom, were which may be afforded by the re said to have been productive of storation of peace." The address the most salutary effects; and was unanimously agreed to. whilst deep regret was expressed
It may be mentioned, that there at the distresses which circumappeared a pretty general opinion, stances, at the close of a long that it would be best to leave the war, hid unavoidably entailed on measure of registry to the colo many classes of his Majesty's sub. nial authorities, without the in- jects, a confident reliance was deterference of the British legisla clared on their public spirit and ture, unless they should fail in fortitude in sustaining difficulties, their co-operation.
which, it was hoped, would be On July 2d, the session of par- found to have arisen from causes liament was terminated by a of a temporary nature,
Domestic Events.-Calamitous state of Europe in general, and its Cause.
-Distresses of Great Britain.-- Agricultural Distress, changing into that proceeding from a bad Ilurvest.-Discontents among the inferior Classes.-Disturbances in the Eastern Counties, particularly Cambridgeshire.-Sufferings among the Manufacturers.- Iron Manufactories.-Staffordshire. --South Wales.-Spitalfields.-Meetings for Petitioning. - Daring Riot in London.-Condition of Ireland.-Marriages in the Royal Family.
THAT the first year after the fact, the distresses of Great Bri
restoration of general peace tain have been contemporaneous should have been characterised in with at least equal distresses in this country, as that of a more every part of Europe; and as widely-extended distress than its sueh general consequences must annals can for a long period ex have proceeded from a cause hibit, must doubtless have occa operating alike on all, it is imsioned as much surprize as dis- possible not to recognize as that appointment, in the greater part universal cause a war of twentyof the nation. This calamitous five years, in the baneful effects state of things must have been of which every European state wholly unforeseen by those who has participated.
has participated. Its operation direct its councils, if an infer was indeed sonjewhat different in ence may be drawn from that different countries; but all were clause in the speech with which plunged in the same misfortunes the Prince Regent opened the of ruinous expenses, wasted session of parliament, in which finances, heavy public debts, and that assembly is informed, that immoderate imposts. The condi" the manufactures, commerce, tion of England was so far pecuand revenue of the United King- liar that, by means of her insular dom are in a flourishing condi- situation, she enjoyed a happy tion ;" for it cannot be supposed exemption from war upon her that deception, in so important a own territories ; whilst, by her concern, would have been at triumphant fleets, she was enatempted for the purpose of ob- bled to carry on an intercourse taining a complimentary address. with every part of the world, Yet the impending evils took whence she was not excluded by their origin from sources so ob- force of arms. By means of this vious to the view of every states- commercial monopoly, ånd a much man, that we may wonder at any increased demand for many artiself-fattery, which could spread cles required by the wants of over them a momentary veil. In war itself, she long felt little other
pressure than that of augmented its states, that no one nation must taxation, which seemed counter- hereafter expect exclusive combalanced by the increase of the mercial advantages ; and if Engpublic revenues.
land may still hope to maintain But when these advantages her superiority as a manufactur were cut off by the peace, and ing country, it must be by supGreat Britain hoped to retrieve porting a relative superiority in herself, by resorting to her usual skill, knowledge, and enterprize. customers on the Continent, she After these general observafound them immersed in general tions, we proceed to the particupoverty, and all eager to supply lars belonging to this chapter. their wants by the exertions of The domestic distress which their own industry. British ma- principally engaged the public nufactures, therefore, which, by attention in the early part of this the improvements of mechanical year, was that of the agricultural ingenuity, had been accumulated portion of the community. The to a vast amount in the merchants' subject haud occupied a large share warehouses, found no regular de- of the deliberations of the premand, but were forced by specu- ceding session of parliament; and lation into foreign markets, where it continued to employ the cares they could obtain a sale only at of a sitting committee in the prices much below the prime House of Commons, which re cost. In consequence, the manu ceived voluminous reports of facts facturers found it necessary, ei- and opinions from every part of ther entirely to suspend, or greatly the kingdom. In our narrative to reduce, the fabrication of their of parliamentary transactions will goods; whence a number of be found notices of the principal workmen in almost every branch discussions relative to this matter, became destitute of employment, together with a set of resolutions and were plunged into severe dis- offered for legislative consideratress.
tion, by the county member who Such is the deep-rooted cause appears to have taken the lead as of a calamity, too widely dif- the patron & the agricultural infused to admit of effectual relief terest. From their tenor it will from partial measures, and which be perceived that, the fact being demands a remedy applicable to assumed, that the present state of the circumstances, not of one agriculture in the kingdom was country only, but of all which such as to atford the expectation have formed a part of the same of a superfluity in the regular system of policy. Europe re supply of the necessaries of life quired a breathing time, of a from our own growth, the object continuance proportioned to her was to prevent their depreciation past toils and sufferings. What by the importation of foreign her future condition will be, is supplies. It was therefore promatter of conjecture; but it is posed to repeal that clause in the obvious, that the spirit of internal corn bill of the last year, which improvement, and productive in- permitted the warehousing of fodustry, is become so general in reign grain, duty free. Fortu