have spun out the negociation for the mere purpose of avoiding the termination of the question. At one time we say, "Make slave-trade piracy." "No," say they," we cannot do that, because it would be repug. nant to our custom and feelings to put a slave-trader to death." We say, "We don't ask you to make it a capital offence, but to subject it to a severe secondary punishment." Still they refuse. We then say, "Call it a piratical offence." "No," that is an offensive term." We propose to extend the right of search by treaty. They require to make the treaty limited in point of time, for the obvious purpose, that when the treaty should have expired, they might re-establish the Slave-trade in all its vigour. We propose to continue the mixed commission. "No," say they, "why continue the mixed commission with us, when you have discontinued it with France?" But France is no longer engaged in the Slavetrade. We ask them to agree to a regulation by which captured negroes should be placed under the superintendence of the mixed commission, in order that they should not, under the pretence of being made free, be converted into slaves. Portugal has refused. She says, that it would be contrary to her honour, and contrary to the principles of her laws, which declare, that there shall be no foreign interference. It must at once be obvious, that any negroes taken in a slave-ship under a Portuguese flag, if handed over to the Portuguese authorities, would, although nominally emancipated, be in fact and reality slaves. As soon as they have agreed to one proposition, and as soon as by some modification we have got rid of one objection, they have started another. In short, there is, on the part of Portugal, an obstinate and rigid determination not to make any treaty with us to give any facility whatever to the great purpose we have in view. Then I say it is necessary that we should do it by our own means. We have told Portugal over and over again, as well by the addresses of the two Houses of Parliament, as by our appeals to Portugal to grant us a treaty, that if they did not of their own accord consent to fulfil their engagements, this country would be obliged to take the matter into its own hands. Therefore we do not, as is supposed by some, come by surprise upon the Portuguese government. It has been thought, that if we had an opportunity of giving them more notice, they would have yielded to our request. Notice they have had in abund

It would be mere mockery to give

them more. They knew long ago what we are going to do, and they determined rather than consent to what they were bound to give us, to let us take it by our own means; and I do not know, that it would be disagreeable to them for us to do it. Although one must acknowledge that the conduct of the Portuguese government has in this respect disentitled them to the esteem of 11 mankind, yet I do not think so ill of th m as to believe, that it has arisen from any real disinclination to put an end to this traffic. I believe, that they have been controlled by a domestic power stronger than themselves, and that the nation at large does not participate in this traffic, and I really think, that in doing this thing it will not be unbeneficial or unacceptable to some of those persons that may have appeared to be obstinate in resisting our proposals. For in truth Portugal has no interest in this trade. She has no colonies that require slaves for the purposes of cultivation. She is an exporting and not an importing country. In truth, a great part of the ships that sail under Portuguese colours, and profess to be Portuguese, are the property of Spaniards, and of rapacious pirates of all nations, in whose success or failure Portugal as a nation has no more interest than we ourselves. I say, therefore, we are not doing that by Portugal which Portugal has any right to resent. But the powers we ask for by this bill are necessary to enable us to execute the object we have in view, and it is on that ground, mainly, that I trust the other House will concur in the adoption of this bill. The noble Lord then proceeded to state the nature of the clauses in the bill, and observed, no doubt, as had been suggested, the Crown, by its prerogative, and on the responsibility of its advisers, might take measures which would effectually put down Portuguese slavery; but there would be two inconveniences for which it would be necessary to provide a remedy. In the first place, the officers who had to act under the orders of the Crown, would be exposed to vexatious and harrassing proceedings in the courts of law in this city; and he was sure neither House of Parliament would wish the Crown to employ the officers of the navy in such circumstances as must involve them in consequences most inconvenient to them. In the next place, it was true we might capture the ships and deal with them accordingly, but he contended it would not be fitting that this country should seize ships prima facie the property of the subjects of

other States, and deal with them without having proved before some court of record, the grounds of such proceedings. It was necessary, then, to have an act to define what should constitute a slave-trader. It was not necessary that slaves should be aboard; a ship being equipped in a particular manner was an infallible proof that she was engaged in the Slave-trade. It was necessary to have an act of the Legislature before the Courts of Admiralty could condemn a ship upon that ground. It was also necessary to enable the Crown to give the same bounties to those who captured these slave-ships under this treaty as under treaties with other Powers. This was the extent of the powers called for under the bill. He was convinced they would be sufficient to enable the Government to put down the traffic in slaves carried on under the Portuguese flag, and a great point would then be accomplished. The trade, it would be said, might still be carried on under other flags; when driven from one flag the slave-trader might seek refuge in another. After having united all the flags of Christendom in an attempt to put down this horrid traffic, the slavers might repudiate all flags, and divest themselves of every document which might enable the captor to prove that they belonged to any particular nation. That would be the last refuge of desparing crime. He would propose a clause by which a ship taken under those circumstances should be dealt with as if she were an English slavetrader, provided always, that if in the course of trial it should appear, that she did belong to some State, then the case should not be adjudicated upon by the Court of Admiralty, but dealt with as if at the outset she had been of the nation to which she was ultimately proved to belong. It might be said, that this was waging war against the world. He did not see how any nation could complain of such a course. If the protection of a nation was cast to the winds he did not see what ground there was of complaining that we had not respected a nationality the existence of which was studiously kept beyond our knowledge. Well, then, what prospect was there of arriving at that general union in putting down the Slavetrade, the hope of which he had held out to the House? When all the Powers of Europe had united in giving a mutual right of search, or the power of condemnation by a mixed commission, there would no longer remain any defence for carrying

on the Slave-trade under any European flag. He had on a former occasion stated, that he had concluded treaties with Chili, Grenada, and Venezuela, and he had the satisfaction of stating, that he had since received intelligenee that a treaty was concluded with Buenos Ayres. Although he had not concluded a treaty of execution with Mexico, she had stipulated by treaty to co-operate with us in the suppression of the Slave-trade. And though the United States might perhaps still feel some little jealousy as to the right of search (which in their understanding implied something very different from our impression), he still relied, from the advances it had already made, on the hearty and cordial cooperation of that government in putting down this abominable traffic. Well, then, if these Powers sincerely co-operated in this undertaking, they would have the satisfaction of feeling that they put an end to misery which no imagination could conceive, and to an enormity of human crime, the magnitude of which no tongue could adequately describe. He was persuaded the House of Lords would not refuse to co-operate with them in this work. He was satisfied the House of Lords were as sincere as the House of Commons were in detestation of this abominable traffic. They must know that this was the best recompense they could make for the long and grievous sufferings which England had in great part neglected under this system. He trusted the bill which they should send up unanimously would receive the assent of the Upper House. He was satisfied if they took this step it would be a great means towards the accomplishment of the end which all had in view. And if, said the noble Lord, England should have the glory of succeeding in her efforts and exertions to put a complete end to this amount of human misery and crime, I think that alone would be sufficient to hand down her memory in undying brightness to the lapse of endless ages.

Dr. Lushington said, the vast sacrifices which this country had incurred since 1815, amounting at least to 1,000,000Z. sterling, in consequence of her treaties with Portugal, besides 2,000,000. in bounty for the maintenance of an adequate force, demanded the assistance of Portugal; but Portugal, nevertheless, had gone on up to this moment in violating all her treaties. He was not exceeding the truth when he stated, that since that treaty, 2,000 Portuguese ships had been engaged in that

130 abominable traffic, and had carried not of the former bill that had passed this less than 1,000,000 slaves away from Africa. House on the part of the House of Lords. That being the case, there must have died He had no hesitation in saying, that that between the time of their seizure and their bill did in no respect whatever contravene adjudication not less than 120,000 out of the accustomed course of legislation. If that number. Instead of that treaty hav- that bill had been introduced for the pur. ing been carried into effect in any one pose merely of doing by Act of Parliament point, the traffic in slaves had gone on in- what the Crown was already entitled to do creasing with a rapidity even far beyond that by its prerogative, he would never have which had been mentioned by his noble supported it. Undoubtedly it was perFriend. He held in his hand the Ship- fectly competent to the Crown to declare ping Gazette of Rio Janeiro, of the date war, or to issue letters of marque; but one of the 31st of May 1839. It appeared that of the wisest principles of government was there were on that day 69 vessels, bearing not to go to war for an object which was the Portuguese flag, lying off Rio Janeiro, attainable by peaceable means. That wise and he had a certificate, under the hand of course was pursued by the Government, the British consul, that of that number 59 and the bill now introduced for the purwere slavers. When he looked at our pose, not of usurping the place of the treaties with Portugal, and at the very first prerogative, but for the purpose of aiding obligation contained in the treaty of 1810, that prerogative, was in fact a subsidiary he found that every syllable of those trea- measure to give due effect to the preroga ties had been violated from the beginning tive of the Crown. The noble Lord had to the end. By the treaty of 1817, the fully explained the intentions of his meaPortuguese engaged to abandon altogether sure. He declared, that if men engaged the Slave-trade to the north of the equator, in this trade, they should not be entitled and also in every part of Africa that did by the law of nations to the protection of not belong to themselves, and, in fact, to the law of nations; and that if they sailed confine the trade to the supplying of their under piratical colours, they should be own transatlantic possessions, and when treated as other persons who assumed to they had no such possessions for the last themselves the character of pirates. Such ten years. Never, he would say, had there an enactment was absolutely necessary in been exhibited to the civilized world so this trade; for to such an extent had the gross an infraction of the most solemn ob- temptation of profit gone in this nefarious ligations to which a country could bind trade, that pirate vessels were now fitted itself. But there was more than this. The out to cruise for the smaller slave-vessels. treaty was not a voluntary offer on the part When such vessels were captured by them, of Portugal; it did not arise from a con- the master and crew were consigned to a viction of the inhumanity of the traffic; watery grave, and the cargo-the fruit of but it was a treaty for which Great Britain a second robbery was carried off without had paid an equivalent. Portugal had not remorse to the Brazils. To say that peronly robbed this country, but it had in- sons engaged in such iniquitous practices, sulted us by a pretended abolition. In should be protected by the law of nations, December 1836, the Portuguese govern- was an insult to the law of every nation. ment agreed to abolish the trade, but did He did hope, and trust, and believe, that they give this country any power to carry this bill would become law. He was perthat abolition into effect? Did they them- fectly confident, and he spoke unfeignedly, selves do any act in furtherance of the that the former bill miscarried from misagreement thus entered into? Why, had apprehension, and when the speech of his not their own governor of Mozambique noble Friend became known, and his extaken upon himself to suspend the execu-planations were made public, he verily betion of the treaty entered into by his em-lieved, that among those who opposed the ployers, and had not the government of former bill, this bill would meet with Portugal approved of that suspension? These were facts, and could not be con- Sir R. H. Inglis rose upon this occasion, tradicted. Much more might be said on lest the whole responsibility, or, he should this subject, but he would confine himself rather say, the whole glory of this meato a very few words upon the remedy that sure, should be left to those statesmen to was proposed. There had been, he re- whom he had long been politically opposed. gretted to say, an entire misapprehension | He hoped that the predictions of his right VOL. L. {} SThird F

some of its ablest and warmest advocates.

hon. and learned Friend would be realized,
and that their misapprehensions being re-
moved, the House of Lords would join in
supporting the bill which the noble Lord
had asked leave to bring in. The speech of
the noble Lord was not less deserving of
eulogy for its conciliatory tone towards the
other House of Parliament, and even to-
wards Portugal herself, than for its forcible
and eloquent explanation of the great
rights of justice and humanity. A speech
more worthy of the subject he had not
heard from any of the greatest orators that
had graced that House during his recol-
lection. He, also, like his right hon. and
learned Friend opposite, had received from
Rio Janeiro the Shipping Gazette, to which
he had made allusion. And to the state-
ment quoted by him from that document,
he could add this further piece of in-
formation, that 35 of those vessels, from
their papers, appeared to have come from
the coast of Africa. Was any man weak
enough to suppose, that it was a legiti-
mate traffic that had carried such a large
number of Portuguese vessels from the
coast of Africa to Rio Janeiro? There
was another piece of information recently
communicated to him, apparent, indeed,
on the face of papers now before Parlia-
ment, which showed the character as well
as the extent of the Brazilian traffic in
slaves, that was, the formation of a
company, with a settlement on the coast
of Africa, for a supply of slaves, regu-
larly registered and chartered. A more
systematic violation of treaties, a more
deliberate infraction of the rights of jus-
tice, humanity, and religion, could not
be found, than that which was apparent
in all the proceedings of Portugal on this
point towards this country. Hoping, as
he did, that much advantage would
accrue from this bill, he was still anxious
that the House should not suppose that
it would be sufficient to remove from the
civilized world the stain of Slave-trade. If
one nation deemed itself at liberty to form
establishments on the coast of Africa to
carry on the Slave-trade, means must be
taken by this country to cut off in Africa
the source of the evil; legitimate com-
merce must be carried into the centre of
the vast regions recently made known to
us; and to prevent slavery from being
carried from Africa across the Atlantic, a
larger force, and a force, too, of steamers,
must be employed upon the coasts.
must not content ourselves with trust-
ing to the mere parchment on which this


bill might be written, but we must, as he had stated before, be prepared, if necessary, for war. War, however, he was convinced would not ensue. Bellum ostendite, pacem habebitis. He would not enter into any political consideration on this occasion, but he hoped that he might be permitted to say this, that, in the existing circumstances of Portugal, he noble Lord and his colleagues opposite had a peculiar right to claim from her the performance of all that by treaty she has stipulated to grant. He concluded by stating, that he cordially concurred in the views which the noble Lord had explained with so much impressive eloquence, and he was only sorry that others besides themselves had not been present to listen to its inspiring accents.

Captain Pechell supported this measure. Lord Brougham had done him the honour to send him in the last Session of Parliament a pamphlet, in which his Lordship was pleased to assert, that rather than take measures to abolish the Slave-trade, we had quailed before the might of Portugal, and had not dared to encounter the empire of Brazil. How, then, did it happen that the noble Lord was not present in his place to advocate the defence of humanity, when her Majesty's Ministers were preparing to show both Portugal and Brazil that they would be trifled with no longer? The noble Lord on that occasion had spoken of tongues cleaving to the roof of the mouth. To what fatality was it owing that his tongue, once so voluble, then so immoveable, had cleaved to the roof of his mouth in mute inglorious silence, and had forgotten all its usual stratagems and tricks of fence?

Sir T. D. Acland approved of the principle of this bill, and hoped that the House would not object to dispense with its usual forms in reference to it. He congratulated the noble Lord on not allowing both himself and the friends of emancipation generally to be disappointed by the fate of his former bill.

Leave given; Bill brought in, and read a first time.


Friday, August 9, 1839.

MINUTES.] Bills. Read a first time :-Poor-law Commis

sion Continuance.-Read a second time :-Dublin Po lice; Metropolitan Police Courts; Judge's Lodgings.Read a third time :-Soldiers' Pensions; Postage Duties; Public Works (Ireland).

Petitions presented. By Lord

Hatherton, from Dumbar ton, and other places, by the Duke of Richmond, from Hereford, and other places, for a Reduction of the rate

of Postage.-By Lord Brougham, from John Taylor, complaining of being Unjustly Apprehended by the Birmingham Police.-By the Duke of Richmond, from a body of Postmasters, for the Repeal of the Post-horse Duty.

DIVINE SERVICE.] The Archbishop of Canterbury having presented a petition for the better observance of the Sabbath, from Cheltenham,

Lord Ellenborough said, he should take this opportunity of alluding to a provision in the law in reference to churches. He alluded to that enactment which subjected a person to a penalty for having divine service performed in his house before more than twenty persons. He was quite certain there were many persons who would have divine service performed in their houses if it were not from fear of that provision. He had himself incurred the risk of the penalty for four years, but did not choose to run it any longer. This was not all; a person was not at liberty to build a church, and put a clergyman into it, unless he endowed that church as a place of divine worship for ever. This he regarded as a great hardship. If the right rev. Prelate would alter that law, he would set about building a church to-morrow, which he would maintain as long as he lived, but would not pledge himself to provide for it beyond his own life; but if that law were not altered, he never would build


The Archbishop of Canterbury said, the proposition of the noble Lord was one that required a great deal of consideration; but any proposition that might come regularly from the noble Lord on the subject should have his best attention. There might be great inconveniences attending such an alteration of the law. One would be, that there would be a great number of conventicles established throughout the country, and many of the richer persons would not go to parish churches, which, in example, would have an injurious effect. Endowments for churches were required to ensure their perpetual use as churches. If the law were to be altered in this respect, piousminded and liberal persons like the noble Lord opposite, might build and maintain churches during their life-time, which afterwards might become deserted, and be converted into storehouses for goods, or other purposes wholly unconnected with religion. That which at first was thought to be a very easy change, was often found

to be, when set about, attended with insurmountable difficulties.

Lord Ellenborough observed, that the right rev. Prelate might easily conceive that he felt a good deal of difficulty on this subject, as he was extremely desirous of the change, and yet he did not happen to differ from the Church of England in one single point.

Lord Roden hoped the right rev. Prelate would take this subject into his most serious consideration. It was a most severe and improper state of the law, that persons, for having more than twenty persons in their houses, for the purpose of divine worship, should be subject to the penalty of 501., when they might have persons in any number in their houses, to act plays, or to amuse themselves in any other way whatever. If there was such an alteration made in the law as would allow persons to assemble in private houses for religious purposes, instead of injuring churches, he believed it would be greatly to their advantage, because, if persons were to be made religious at their houses, they would be sure to go to Church.

Lord Hatherton anxiously added his entreaty to his noble Friend's opposite, that the right rev. Prelate would take this matter into his grave consideration. He himself had experienced much difficulty from the present state of the law, and if that state were altered, he would himself immediately build three chapels in neighbourhoods with which he was connected, where there were very extensive populations, and where those populations suffered greatly from not having chapels.

The Archbishop of Canterbury observed, that two very different things were now brought under consideration; one was that of being at liberty to build chapels, and to open them without endowing them, and the other was that of gentlemen, or other persons, being at liberty to open their own houses for the performance of divine service therein. He did not at the moment feel himself at liberty to express any opinion upon subjects that involved so many important considerations. As to a gentleman being at liberty to open his house for divine service, it would be liable to this abuse that if he quarrelled with the clergyman of the parish he would immediately open a conventicle, and if he were a man of influence, he could draw a great many of the parishioners away from the parish church to his conventicle, and which

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