he attended to the facts, and not
to the opinions communicated by
officers locally acquainted with the

Colonies; and the grounds on which he thought such a measure justifiable were these:-In the first place, there existed amongst the sugar growers a panic, which if not checked, must lead to the most disastrous results. His own opinion was, that this panic was a groundless one; but the planters had been so long taught to rely on protection, that he could not be surprised at their considering the withdrawal of that protection as equivalent to ruin. Besides, it was now confessed on all hands that the amount of advantage intended by the Act of 1846 to be conferred on the colonists had not as yet been fully or practically realized. This measure, while it conferred considerable advantages upon the British producer, he felt confident would not have an injurious effect upon the revenue. Among the measures introduced for the benefit of the planter, were the reduction of the differential duty upon rum, and a loan of 500,000l. He could have wished that this aid were larger; but the financial difficulties of the country rendered a larger loan an impossibility.

In conclusion, Lord Grey would offer one word of warning to the colonists-they should be careful not to aggravate their present difficulties by following the illegal advice tendered them from certain quarters. If they were persuaded to have recourse to rash proceedings, in the vain hope of inducing Parliament to alter that policy which it had adopted, they would only increase the present distress by preventing the influx of capital. They were blind observers of passing events, and the settled current of public opinion in this country, who could for a moment

The discussion then terminated. The second reading of the Sugar Duties Bill, in the House of Lords, did not take place till the 27th of August. It was then moved by Earl Grey, who introduced the motion with a speech of some length.

Having on a former occasion hazarded some predictions, he took this opportunity to bring forward proof that his predictions had been fulfilled. Though the distress in the West Indies was still extremely severe, yet the despatches from some of the colonies stated the opinions of governors, that the worst time is past. Wages had fallen singularly enough, they had fallen least where they were before highest; and the cost of production had been largely reduced. Governor Light, and Governor Lord Harris, and the Governor of Antigua, gave abundant testimony of a rising spirit of enterprise, previously unknown in the West Indian Colonies. Lord Grey quoted returns showing the increased production of Guiana in the present year. The transition to a better and a healthier state of things might be attended, and unfortunately was attended, with no small pressure and distress; still he believed that the change bore in it the seeds of prosperity and wellgrounded hope for the future.

But if this was his opinion, he might be asked on what grounds he justified the present Bill? The object of that Bill was to extend to a longer period, and to grant to a greater extent, the protection and privileges accorded by the Bill of 1846 to the British sugar-growing

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believe that those proceedings could have the effect of inducing Parliament to alter that policy which it had adopted, to which the intelligence of the country was irrevocably pledged, and which he was convinced would never be departed from.

Lord Redesdale did not oppose the Bill, but he protested against the late introduction of it. The Earl of Granville alleged in explanation the protracted debates in the other House. The Duke of Argyle remarked that Earl Grey's speech contained no allusion to the slave trade. He was no Protectionist, and if he wished that system to endure in the West Indies, it was only in order that every means, direct and indirect, might be used to suppress the tended that free labour could never slave trade. Earl St. Vincent concontend with slave-labour.

Lord Denman addressed the House, in a speech bearing chiefly on the slave question, and on some matters personal to himself. It had been supposed that he had a personal interest in this matter, because one who was dear to him was largely engaged in it. On that subject he was utterly indifferent; the professional reputation of that individual might take care of itself. It had been said that he was a leading member of the Anti-Slavery Society. It

so happened that he never was a member of the Anti-Slavery Society; he never even subscribed to it; he never attended their councils. The noble and learned Lord then went on to say"A very formidable attack has been made upon me by a newspaper of high reputation and great name, and which is supposed to have lately passed into the care

of a noble Earl, a person of great and high talents and attainments, and connected with a still more important personage, and also with a member of the Committee which inquired into the slave trade; and the proceedings of the Committee are in some degree detailed in that newspaper, the Morning Chronicle. Therefore I feel anxious as to what your lordships may think of this. I am accused of injustice and illiberality under the mask of justice and humanity, and even of calumny. The calumny is, that I made strong observations on the evidence of Dr. Cliffe, who states himself to be a slave-trader; that is to say, the worst man on the face of the earth-the greatest criminal-condemned by the laws of three countries in Europe, and the laws of the country in which he was born. I believe what he confesses, but I do not believe what he states in his own favour. I do not know that he has ceased to be a trader: he expresses that he was a slaveowner, but that he abstained from motives of humanity, and because he was so shocked at the horrors which were committed that his delicate nerves would no longer allow him to proceed in it. Have I no right to examine the history of a witness who comes to offer voluntary evidence before a Committee, as to his former conduct? Am I not to judge from his own story whether he is entitled to be believed? He declines on two or three occasions to enter into some particulars which the Committee ask. He says, 'I have told you I should lead an uncomfortable life in the country to which I am going, and you will be spending more money in your efforts to put down the slave-trade.' He seems to

have some secret; but this he does not tell, because he is afraid we shall spend our money. I am asked, Would you not, as a judge, hear the evidence of a person who has ceased to be a thief?—I would hear the evidence of any man; but if he offered me counsel as to how I should suppress crimes in which he had himself been engaged, and he should let them be carried on to an extent in which a person was tempted by high profits to pursue them, I should know whether I was dealing with one who had those profits in his eye."

Lord Denman then turned to the general subject. He predicted

that in the next six or eight years there would be a great glut, a great demand for slaves, and subsequently an insurrection of those slaves, and a massacre of all the white proprietors. Who could contemplate that without horror? After all, would it abolish slavery? The slaves consisted of various nations, and were often in a state of absolute hostility to one another. The massacre would not be confined to whites; it would be the destruction of all.

The second reading of the Bill passed without a division, and it underwent no further debate until it became law.


Finance-Division of Public Opinion, at the commencement of the Session, respecting the National Defences-Views of the Free-Trade Leaders on the subject-Lord John Russell makes a Financial Statement on the 18th of February-His Speech-Detail of the Income and Expenditure-Proposition for continuing the Income Tax for Three Years at the increased Rate of Five per Cent. Unfavourable reception of the Ministerial Statement by the House-Sir Charles Wood endeavours to propitiate the Opposition by moving that the Army, Navy, and Ordnance Estimates be referred to a Select Committee—Observations of Mr. Hume, Lord George Bentinck, and other Members— Great Agitation excited in various parts of the Country by the proposed augmentation of the Income Tax-The Chancellor of the Exchequer announces on the 28th that the Government do not intend to press the Resolution for increasing the Income Tax-His Statement of the Financial Prospects of the Country-Speeches of Mr. Wakley, Mr. Cobden, Lord John Russell, Mr. Disraeli, and other Members. The public feeling is turned by these discussions to the unequal pressure of the Tax as then existing-Mr. Horsman proposes a Plan for graduating the Tax in respect to different kinds of Property-The Chancellor of the Exchequer and Lord John Russell oppose the Motion-It is rejected on a division by 316 to 141—Mr. Hume moves that the Tax be renewed for One Year only instead of Three-Sir Charles Wood opposes the Motion-General discussion on the Income Tax-Sir Robert Peel defends his own Measure and Policy-He is answered by Lord George Bentinck-Mr. J. Wilson defends, in an elaborate speech, the Free-Trade Measures of Sir Robert Peel-Mr. Disraeli argues on the other side-Mr. Gladstone vindicates the recent Commercial Changes in an able speech-Speeches of Mr. Cobden and Lord John Russell-The Debate, after two Adjournments, ends in the defeat of Mr. Hume's Motion by a Majority of 225— Sir B. Hall moves that the Income Tax be extended to Ireland-Summary of his arguments-It is opposed warmly by the Irish Members, and resisted by the Government-Majority against it 80-Unsatisfactory position of the Finances, with an anticipated Deficit-The Chancellor of the Exchequer promises to make a definite statement before the close of the Session-On the 25th of August he enters fully into the state of the Revenue, and announces his plan for supplying the deficiency-Proposition to raise 2,031,2261. by a Loan-Dissatisfac[D]


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tion created by this Proposal-Mr. Hume strongly objects, and again
urges retrenchment of the Expenditure-He renews his objections on
the 29th, when the Bill for giving effect to Sir Charles Wood's Plan
is before the House-Speeches of the Chancellor of the Exchequer,
Mr. Henley, Mr. Drummond, Mr. Spooner, Mr. Cobden, Mr.
A. Smith, and Lord John Russell-Mr. Hume's Motion for rejecting
the Bill is negatived by 66 to 45, and the latter is passed.

stances of the country. It was
naturally anticipated that the Go-
vernment, in framing the Estimates
for the present year, would exhibit
their adhesion to one or other
of these views; and this circum-
stance gave additional interest to
the financial statement of the Pre-
mier. In opening the contents of
his Budget, Lord John Russell
rapidly surveyed the commercial
distress caused by the scarcity, the
high price of corn, &c.; its effect
on trade, on the social condition of
the people, on the Excise, and on
the sources of the revenue gene-
rally. Mr. Huskisson had re-
marked, in 1817, that after a great
famine a falling off of ten per cent.
in the revenue ought not to be made
a subject of wonder. Lord John
also reminded the House, that in
the last statement made by Mr.
Goulburn, before he went out of
office, he only took some of his es-
timates for three quarters of the
year to which his speech applied.
That circumstance, with
others, had transferred 628,000l.
which ought properly to have been
included in the expenditure of that
year to the expenditure of the fol-
lowing year, 1847-8, apparently
augmenting a deficit which was
really no more than 304,000l.
Lord John also took credit for the
increase of revenue derived from
the alteration of the Sugar Duties,
which yielded 3,574,000l. in 1845,
and 4,414,000l. in 1847. The
balance-sheet of the past year was
presented on the 3rd of February,


SCARCELY any part of the mi

nisterial policy occasioned so
much dissatisfaction during the pre-
sent session as that which related to
the public finances. It forms a pro-
minent chapter in the history of the
session, and the retractation and
variation of the schemes proposed
by Government makes it neces-
sary to devote to it a more extended
space than is usually allotted to
Finance in this volume. The Budget
was originally announced for an
early day-the 18th February-
but, for reasons which will presently
appear, the financial arrangements
remained unsettled almost till the
close of this very protracted session.
It is necessary to premise, by way
of introduction to the statement of
the Prime Minister, now about to
be given, that shortly before the
reassembling of Parliament the
validity of our armaments for the
purpose of national defence had
been the subject of much discus-
sion in the public prints, and some
eminent authorities, both military
and civil, had expressed a good
deal of distrust as to the predica-
ment in which this country might
be found in the possible contingency
of a sudden invasion. On the other
hand an active party, consisting
mainly of the popular champions
of the Free-Trade movement, had
strenuously denounced such alarms
as chimerical and delusive, and
had avowed their opinion, that a re-
duction rather than an increase
of military force and expenditure
was called for by the circum-

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