« 이전계속 »
Commodore pointed out to his Excellency that, in the event of any of the vessels conveying these negroes being met at sea by Her Majesty's cruizers, the officers sent to board them might experience some difficulty in ascertaining whether such negroes were really in the enjoyment of their freedom or not; and, in reply, the GovernorGeneral immediately produced a number of printed papers, which, he said, were the passports to be given to every negro about to be embarked on board a vessel then on the eve of her departure from this port for St. Thomas; and he added, that he did not consider that Her Majesty's officers had any right whatever to look beyond those passports, inasmuch as they were in themselves a sufficient guarantee that the negroes are not slaves.
From this view of the matter Mr. Gabriel felt it his duty to express his dissent, and he added that, although it was not known to him what measures the Local Government takes to satisfy itself that these negroes are in every case to be considered "free,” he had strong reason to believe that gross frauds had been committed by many of the parties who apply for these passports. Her Majesty's Commissioner stated, moreover, that, in his opinion, the passports upon which the Governor-General laid so much stress neither conferred liberty nor afforded any proof whatever that the -negroes in question were not held in slavery, and that those passports, on the arrival of the vessels at St. Thomas, became so many valueless pieces of paper. Mr. Gabriel did not hesitate, further, to express it as his opinion that, if Her Majesty's naval authorities exercised the power conferred on them under the Convention of the 3rd July, 1842, it would be found that these negroes were carried off by force, and doomed to compulsory separation from their own country ; that they belonged, in fact, to parties who, under the specious pretence of requiring labourers for the cultivation of their estates, buy the negroes brought to them by dealers in slaves, and, whatever form of emancipation may be gone through, ship them to St. Thomas as objects of commerce, in open violation of the Treaty engagements which have been entered into by His Most Faithful Majesty.
His Excellency strenuously denied that the negroes were destined to be sold at St. Thomas; but Mr. Gabriel, without stopping to argue that point, submitted, that to constitute slavetrading it is not necessary that the parties who buy slaves should intend to sell then again, because, if the criminality of the transaction depended on the subsequent sale, then the landed proprietors in Cuba might carry on the traffic with impunity, if, instead of buying slaves from the adventurers who bring them from Africa, they were to send out vessels to this coast on their account, and, by means of their own agents, purchase slaves for their own use.
The Governor-General expressed a decided unwillingness to abandon, or even to restrict, the system now being pursued; and the interview terminated by Commodore Edmonstone's informing him that he should at once bring the matter under the notice of the Admiralty, and solicit instructions for his guidance thereon.
An instance recently occurred here of one of these negroes attempting to commit suicide, when being marched down to the beach for embarkation. He was immediately conveyed to the hospital, and soon afterwards, at his master's request, removed from thence to the gaol, where he was kept in close confinement. Subsequently, under an escort of police, he was removed from the gaol to be taken on board another vessel about to sail for St. Thomas, but, after wounding one of the guard, he fled and made his escape.
It is needless, my Lord, for us to espatiate upon the evils necessarily consequent upon this new form of Slave Trade. It is not without considerable pain that Her Majesty's Commissioner begs to observe, in conclusion, that, in his opinion, this matter offers no hope of being set at rest here ; and, as we are persuaded that nothing short of the most stringent instructions from the Home Government will induce the local authorities in this province to put an end to it, we can only, therefore, anxiously await the result of any representations which your Lordship may have instructed Her Majesty's Minister to the Court of the King of Portugal to make, with a view of preventing this very serious evil from being continued, or becoming, as it assuredly will if not promptly checked, more frequent by impunity. We have, &c.
EDMUND GABRIEL. Earl Russell.
*H. V. HUNTLEY.
(Inclosure.)--List and Description of (8) Vessels which Sailed from
the Port of Loanda for St. Thomas, between October 1, 1861, and January 8, 1862.
No. 41.-Her Majesty's Commissioners to Earl Russell.-(Rec. May 4.) MY LORD,
Loanda, March 12, 1862. Since writing our preceding despatch, it has occurred to Her Majesty's Commissioner, as a circumstance not unworthy of being brought under your Lordship's cognizance, that some of the largest shareholders in the “ União Mercantil ” Company, whose steamers run between this place and Lisbon, are British subjects residing in that city and in London, and as a great proportion of the negroes now being shipped to St. Thomas are conveyed in those steamers, we beg leave to submit whether the parties referred to cannot be held to be amenable to the statutes prohibiting Her Majesty's subjects from aiding and abetting the Slave Trade, or embarking
capital therein, and liable to the penalties prescribed for thoso penalties.
Should it be found that the employment of British capital in such a manner comes within the prohibitions and terms of the 4th, 5th, and 10th sections of the Consolidated Slave Trade Abolition Act (5 Geo. IV, cap. 113),* we do not hesitate to say that, in our opinion, even a warning from Her Majesty's Government to the British subjects interested in the “ União Mercantil Company” might have a very salutary effect.
We forward this, together with our preceding despatch, under flying seal, to Her Majesty's Minister at Lisbon.
We have, &c.
EDMUND GABRIEL. Earl Russell.
H, V. HUNTLEY.
No. 43.-Consul Sir H. Huntley to Earl Russell.-(Rec. June 12.)
Loanda, April 7, 1862. ADVERTING to the joint letter addressed to the GovernorGeneral of the Province of Angola by Her Majesty's Commissioners, dated the 24th of March last, a copy of which will be now before your Lordship, relating to the removal of negroes from Loanda to the Island of St. Thomas, under the representation of their being emigrants induced by the attraction of wages, and of their own free will seeking labour in that dependency of the Crown of Portugal, it has become my duty to place before your Lordship the letter herewith inclosed, addressed by me to the GovernerGeneral; together with a copy of a Portaria with which I have been provided by the Secretary to the Government; two notes framed by me for my own guidance; and lastly, the copy of a despatch addressed by the order of the Earl of Clarendon, then Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, to Mr. Brand, at that time Vice-Consul at Loanda.
I have now, my Lord, the honour of detailing the circumstances which have originated the remission of these several papers, and the proceedings relating also to them,
Your Lordship will probably have in possession the letter jointly addressed by Her Majesty's Commissioners on the 24th of March last to the Governor-General upon the subject, stated in the first paragraph of this despatch.
It was in reply to that despatch that upon the 1st of April I received a letter from the Secretary to Government, by order of the Governor-General, dated the 27th of March last, directed to me as “Her Britannic Majesty's Consul," but having ascertained the nature of this letter, I thought it might have been incautiously
* Vol. XI. Page 656. (1862-63. LI.]
directed, and in the evening, under that impression, I called on the Secretary to the Government to have the direction altered, and “Her Majesty's Commissioners” substituted for “Her Majesty's Consul."
I, however, learnt from the Secretary to the Government, that the letter was directed to the “ Consul" by order of the Governor General; and I was informed in addition, that the Governor. General considered the letter addressed to him on the 24th of March last, by Her Majesty's Commissioners, to involve a question with which Her Majesty's Consul, as the British Diplomatic Agent here, alone should deal, and that it did not belong to the office of Her Majesty's Commissioners, whose powers the Governor-General believed to be limited to the superintendence of matters actually in Court.
I replied that I could not entertain a similar view, and expressed my fear that if the present direction of the letter addressed to me was maintained, it would be my duty to decline receiving it.
The same night I sent a note to Her Majesty's Commissioner. Mr. Gabriel, stating that I would call upon him in the morning, having a matter of consequence to disclose ; and, as a guide to mr. self, I made the two notes forming Inclosure No. 3.
The next morning, April 2, I met Her Majesty's Commissioner. Having stated the whole case as it stood, I produced the guiding notes I had made the previous evening; and upon referring I found in a despatch sent by order of the Earl of Clarendon, dated May 19, 1854, to Mr. Brand, then Vice-Consul at Loanda, a case so similar to my own in principle, that the slender doubt I had at all sustained as to the propriety of declining to receive the despatch of the Secretary to Government of the 27th of March last, was altogether dissipated. A copy of the despatch sent by order of Lord Clarendon forms Inclosure No. 4.
Considering this despatch so conclusively supporting my own view in a case so extremely similar, I took it with me, and in the evening I called upou the Secretary to Government to whom I read it, hoping that it would convince the Governor-General of the impossibility of my receiving the letter of the 27th of March last, under the direction it bore; and I farther left the despatch with the Secretary, as the Governor-General is staying upon the opposite island to recruit bis health, and would not be in the town till the next morning.
On the evening of the 3rd April, the Secretary to Government, who is too unwell to leave his rooms, invited me to call upon him, which I did. He informed me that the views of the Governor. General remained without change. The question, he maintained, was beyond the cognizance of Her Majesty's Commissioners, and therefore the letter must remain addressed to me as the Diplomatic
Agent at Loanda of Her Britannic Majesty. This communication I held to be final, and I withdrew.
On the 4th of April, I addressed the letter which forms Inclosure No. 1, to the Secretary to Government, accompanied by the letter which I had declined to receive for the reasons already stated, and sent both.
Your Lordship will now permit me to observe, that during these conferences I repeatedly asked the Secretary to Government to explain upon what foundation the Governor-General considered the subject embraced by the letter of Her Majesty's Commissioners one over which those authorities had no control. I pointed out that their letter originated in a belief that sundry persons in this Province were surreptitiously sending negroes to St. Thomas's Island, under the plea of their being roluntary emigrants, but in reality to be sold as slaves, also that Her Majesty's Commissioners thereby considered the Treaty of the 3rd of July, 1842, to be infringed; that that Treaty was neither mercantile nor territorial, but one standing by itself, as a means for suppressing the Slave Trade; and lastly, that Her Majesty's Commissioners were its actual guardians, in co-operation with others, and therefore enjoyed an unquestionable right to be heard upon any event which connected it with slavery, actual or suspected.
I conceive, my Lord, that Her Majesty's Commissioners are not placed here merely to judge and report upon cases which may call the Court of Mixed Commissions into session, but that they are empowered and required by their respective Governments to notice every occurrence that may appear to them even an intrusion, much more an infraction of the Treaties which exist between Great Britain and Portugal for the suppression of the Slave Trade.
If then, my Lord, my view of the duty of Her Majesty's Commissioners is correct, they have an undoubted right to address communications to the Governor-General upon events threatening to abridge the liberties of classes protected by the Treaties mentioned, and consequently have an equal right to expect a reply to their communications.
In the hope of sparing your Lordship the amount of correspondence which will ensue, I had urged the foregoing arguments, unhappily without success; and I conclude by submitting to your Lordship that had I, as Her Majesty's Consul, in the presence of Her Majesty's Commissioners, consented to have received the letter of the 27th of March from the Secretary to Government, I should have established a precedent manifestly prejudicial to the future action of those to whom the care of the liberty of the negro shall be confided, and have intruded upon, if not usurped the powers of the Commissioners themselves ; but having seen the despatch