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of Lord Clarendon upon a case in priuciple quite parallel, had I accepted the functions of Diplomatic Agent—a position which from the first moment I had repudiated—I should have committed an error that would have justly, I submit, my Lord, exposed in yself to the severest disapprobation.
I have, &c. Earl Russell.
II. V. HUNTLEY.
(Inclosure 1.)–Consul Sir H. Huntley to the Secretary-General to
the Government of Angola. SIR,
Loanda, April 4, 1862. The necessity of obtaining a translation of your letter dated the 27th of March last, in the first place caused some delay in proceeding with it; and secondly, in consequence of that letter having been addressed to me in my capacity of Her Britannic Majesty's Consul, though replying to a communication addressed by Her Majesty's Commissioners to his Excellency the Governor-General, dated the 24th of March last, relating to matters connected with the Slave Trade, a further delay took place, as it became a question whether or not, as Consul, I could receive a letter, in the presence of Her Majesty's Commissioners, replying to one that had been addressed, as before stated, by those authorities upon a question in their opinion purely belonging to the Slave Trade.
I beg now to request the favour of your informing his Exceliency the Governor-General that I have given the question of my competency to receive a letter, under such circumstances, my most unreserved consideration, and that, having carefully examined the several despatches relating to the free communication betireen the authorities of His Most l'aithful Majesty and those of her Britannic Majesty at Loanda, I conceive myself compelled, for the following reasons, to conclude:
1st. That in these despatches, as also in the portaria with which you have considerately furnished me, it is clearly agreed that the Commander of the British squadron, and also the British Commissioner, sbould enjoy the privilege of freely communicating with the Portuguese authorities on all subjects connected with the Slave Trade.
2nd. I am unable to find in any of the documents mentioned any privilege conferred upon any authority, to address matters connected with the Slave Trade to Her Majesty's Consul in the presence of Her Majesty's Commissioners.
3rd. Whatever may be the urgency involved in the present instance, it is very clear that that urgency can find no relief in addressing Her Majesty's Consul, more than it would had the reply of his Excellency been addressed primarily to Her Majesty's Com. missioners.
4tb. In the despatch dated May 19, 1854, which you did me the favour to peruse and place before his Excellency the GovernorGeneral for consideration, I find distinct orders sent by the Earl of Clarendon, then Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, to the British Consular authority at Loanda, informing him that he should not only have declined to receive a letter from Captain Graça (then acting as Governor of this province) upon a subject connected with the Slave Trade, but also that he should have referred Captain Graça to the British Commissioner, as the only authority to whom he could properly address himself on such occasions. Certainly the British Consular authority was also in this despatch directed to communicate any such letters which might afterwards be addressed to him, to the British Commissioner; but this direction cannot diminish the strength of the preceding very clear order.
Under this view of the position in which I find myself, and in order to complete my obedience to the commands contained in the Earl of Clarendon's despatch, already quoted, I have to request that you will acquaint his Escellency the Governor-General that I must decline the reception of the communication addressed to me, and herewith inclosed, influenced only by a rigid sense of duty, and with the most unqualified feeling of respect for himself, and for the high office he holds by order of His Most Faithful Majesty.
I have, &c. Secretary-General to the
H. V. HUNTLEY. Government of Angola.
(Inclosure 2.)— Portaria.
Naval and Colonial Department, Section of Colonies. (Translation.)
Palace, February 14, 1854. His Majesty the Regent, in the name of the King, ordains through the Secretary of State for the Colonies and Navy, that it be made known to the Governor-General of Angola, for his information and the due purposes, and the British Minister in this Court, in addition to the notes of his predecessors, solicited permission for the Commander of the British Naval Station and the British Commissioner in the Mixed Commission at Loanda, to correspond freely with the said Governor-General upon matters of the Slave Trade. The requested permission was granted to be used only when in regard to the said matters, and when the urgency may be such as not to permit to await without inconvenience its discussion through the established course. This being under date transmitted to the Foreign Office for the proper purpose.
(Inclosure 3.)-Notes made on the 1st of April, 1862, after returning
from the Interview with the Secretary to Government. 1st. Not competent for Her Majesty's Consul to receive replies to despatches written jointly by Her Majesty's Commissioners, those Commissioners being present.
2nd. Not competent for the Arbitrator to receive replies to such despatches when the Commissioner is not onerated by any legal impediment.
H. V. HUNTLEY, No. 45.—Her Majesty's Commissioners to Earl Russell.—(Received
August 11.) MY LORD,
Loanla, April 8, 1862. With reference to your Lordship's despatch of the 16th January last, which reached us by Her Majesty's ship Griffon, from Fernando Po, on the 31st ultimo, we have now the honour to inclose copies of letters which, in fulfilment of the instructions therein contained, we have addressed to the Governor-General aud to the Senior officer of Her Majesty's naval forces on this division of the station.
Your Lordship will perceive that in our communication to the Governor-General we took occasion to refer to the Portuguese brigantine Libertade, which is now preparing to receive a number of these negroes for conveyance to St. Thomas. A copy of that, as well as of our previous letter to the Governor-General on this subject, dated the 24th ultimo, we inclosed to Captain Smith, of Her Majesty's ship Torch, at present in command of Her Majesty's ships on this part of the coast, forwarding our letter to that officer by Her Majesty's ship Griffon, which left this port yesterday.
In addressing ourselves to the senior officer we also deemed it expedient to request his aid and co-operation in regard to the disposal of the negroes found on board these vessels in the event of any of them being detained.
By the late Earl of Aberdeen's despatch to Her Majesty's Commissioners here, dated 31st December, 1814,* the duty of superintending the shipment to the British West Indian Colonies of such portion of the negroes emancipated by the Mixed Court of which we are members, as, under Article VI of Annex B to the Treaty of the 3rd July, 1812, may from time to time be at the disposal of the British Government, was entrusted to the late Mr. Vice-Consul Brand, and a Code of Instructions was furnished to that gentleman for his guidance in performing this service.
No case having ever occurred of a vessel with slaves on board being captured by a British cruizer and brought before this Court for adjudication, the above-mentioned instructions have never been called into practice, and we are assured, my Lord, that considerable
* Vol. XXXIII. Page 356.
difficulty would be experienced in carrying them out here; indeed, we apprehend it would be quite impracticable to do so in regard to the negroes found on board the vessels to which this correspondence refers. The number of those negroes shipped on board each vessel rarely exceeds 100 or 120, and it would be impossible, we are sure, at this place, to find vessels willing to convey them to the West Indies on any reasonable terms. If they are re-landed here they may, instead of being made permanently and entirely free, be soon reduced again to a state of practical bondage, or remain permanently chargeable to Her Majesty's Government; and, under these circumstances, pending the receipt of your Lordship’s instructions on this matter, which we now respectfully solicit, we have deemed it prudent to suggest that should any of these vessels be detained, the negroes, on being liberated, may be transported to St. Helena in a British cruizer.
We can hardly anticipate that the colonial authorities of that island will have any objection to receiving and disposing of them in the same manner as negroes emancipated under the decrees of the Vice-Admiralty Court; but should your Lordship be pleased to approve of this measure, it would, perhaps, be desirable to coinmunicate with the Colonial Department in order to remove any doubts on the matter. We have, &c.
EDMUND GABRIEL. Earl Russell.
H. V. HUNTLEY.
(Inclosure 1.)-Her Majesty's Commissioners to the Governor-General
of the Province of Angola. EXCELLENT SIR,
Loanda, April 5, 1862. In conformity with instructions which we have recently received froin Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, it again becomes our duty to address your Excellency on the subject referred to in our despatch of the 24th ultimo.
Strong representations have been repeated to Her Majesty's Govenment, from undoubted sources, that a considerable traffic in sla'es is carried on chiefly in small coasting-vessels, between the mainland of this continent and the Islands of Princes and St. Thoma; and accounts have also been received from which it is to be inferrea that the negroes embarked at this place for the last-mentioned iland are not in the enjoyment of that freedom which it is alleged they are.
We hve, in consequence, most earnestly to beg your Excellency's cooperation in putting an end to these practices, and specially t solicit your attention to the case of the brigantine Libertade, hich is now preparing, in this barbour, to receive a number of tese negroes for forcible conveyance to St. Thomas.
As the best practicable means which Her Majesty's Government possess of carrying into full effect the humane objects which both Governments had in view in concluding the Convention for the suppression of the Slave Trade, we have been instructed to bring this matter under the attention of the Senior Officer of Her Majesty's ships on this part of the coast, in order that the Commanders of those ships may be instructed to exercise the power delegated to them under the said Convention, and ascertain, by strict examination and inquiry on board the packets and vessels engaged in transporting these negroes, whether they are in that state of entire and perfect freedom which may justify their remoral to St. Thomas, and, if not, to detain the vessels and bring them before the Mixed Court for adjudication.
In making this communication to your Excellency, it is also our duty to request your attention to the serious responsibility which the Government of this province will incur should it be ascertained that the negroes now being embarked here for St. Thomas hare been introduced into that island in violation of the Treaty stipu. lations between Great Britain and Portugal.
Should the legal commerce of Portuguese subjects, or others, be in any manner impeded by the efforts of Her Majesty's cruizers in suppression of the Slave Trade, your Excellency will permit us to state, at once, that those impediments must be imputed to she undertakings of the parties concerned in the forcible removal of these negroes to St. Thomas, and not to the proceedings of Ha Majesty's officers.
We have, &c. Governor-General of the
EDMUND GABRIEL. Province of Angola.
H. V. HUNTLEY.
(Inclosure 2.)—Her Majesty's Commissioners to Captain Smith. SIR,
Loanda, April 5, 186. HEREWITH ve beg leave to lay before you copies of tro despatches which we recently addressed to the Governor-Geral of this province on the subject of the forcible removal of neçoes from this place to the Island of St. Thomas; and in order tha you may be able to form some idea of the extent to which this pactice has lately been carried, we also inclose a list of the vessel which lave sailed hence conveying these negroes to St. Thomas duing the last 3 months, viz., from the 1st January to the 31st Maro of the present year.
This list has been extracted from the official “Gazele," pub. lished here, and shows that 469 negroes have been embared in the period referred to; but we ought to add, that the namesof several small coasting-craft which are employed in the same ay do not appear in this “Gazeite," and, in consequence, the nwber shoirn