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RETURN of the Amounts of the Slave Population in each of his Ma-
RETURN of the Amounts of the Slave Population in the Colonies of the Cape of Good Hope and Mauritius, distinguishing the Males and Females; as received in the Office of the Registrar of Colonial Slaves since its first establishment:Year. | Males. | Females. | Total.
Cape of Good Hope . . . 1819 20,098 || 13,743 33,841 Ditto . . . . . 1820 20,313 14,016 || 34,329 Ditto . . . . . . 1821 20,494 14,263 34,757 Ditto . . . . . 1822 20,461 14,536 34,997 Ditto . . . . . 1823 20,491 14,780 35,271 Mauritius . . . . . . 1816 || 55,717 | 29,706 | 85,423
1825. s s
Protest to the Second Reading of the Unlawful Societies Bill, entered on the Journals of the • House of Lords, March 3, 1825.
1. Because the bill contains new restrictions on the exercise of a right coeval with our earliest institutions—viz. the right of petitioning; and new prohibitions and restraints on practices connected therewith, usually and legally resorted to by all classes of his Majesty's subjects who seek redress from laws by which they deem themselves aggrieved. 2. Because all proof of the existence and extent of such danger as can alone justify a measure of this nature was withheld from the house, and petitioners who deemed themselves particularly aimed at and aggrieved by the provisions of the bill were denied the permission of being heard at the bar, or adducing evidence in vindication of their conduct, or in proof of the injury which their interests would sustain in the event of the bill passing into a law. 3, Because, the danger to be guarded against by-this bill is not distinctly stated in any part thereof; and the danger apprehended does, in fact, arise from grievances which, naturally and necessarily roduce discontent in many milions of our Irish fellow-subjects. We are indeed well aware that the privileges of the people, the rights of free discussion, and the spirit and letter of our popular institutions, must render (and they are intended to render) the continuance of any extensive grievance, and of the dissatisfaction consequent thereupon, dangerous to the tranquillity of the country, and ultimately subversive of the authority of the state. Experi
ence and theory alike forbid us to deny that effect of a free constitution. A sense of justice, and a love of liberty, equally deter us from lamenting it. But we have always been taught to look for the remedy of such disorders, and the prevention of such mischiefs, in the redress of the grievances which justify them, and in the removal of the dissatisfaction from which they flow—not in restraints on ancient privileges, not in inroads on public discussion, nor in violations of the principles of a free government.
If, therefore, the legal method of seeking redress which has been resorted to by persons labouring under grievous disabilities be fraught with immediate or remote danger to the state, we draw from the circumstance a conclusion long since foretold by great authority— viz. “that the British constitution and large exclusions cannot subsist together; that the constitution must destroy them, or they will destroy the constitution;" and we are thereby confirmed in our determination not to sacrifice any part of the ancient privileges of the people for the purpose of preserving certain statutes, which are comparatively modern, – which are themselves restraints on the rights of the people, and on the prerogatives of the crown; and which, in our conscience, we believe cannot long be maintained without civil bloodshed, or the surrender of all constitutional liberty in a part of the empire united to Great Britain, and thereby entitled to a full participation in the benefits of our free constitution.
(Signed) Vassall Holland; Augustus Frederick; Carnarvon; Charlemont;
Dissentient. — 1. Because we are adverse in principle to all new restraints on commerce. We think it certain that public prosperity is best promoted by leaving uncontrolled the free current of national industry; and we wish rather, by well considered steps, to bring back our commercial legislation to the straight and simple line of wisdom, than to increase the deviation by subjecting additional and extensive branches of the public interest to fresh systems of artificial and injurious restriction. 2. Because we think that the great practical rule, of leaving all commerce unfettered, applies more peculiarly, and on still stronger grounds of justice as well as policy, to the Corn Trade than to any other. Irresistible indeed must be that necessity which could, in our judgment, authorize the legislature to tamper with the sustenance of the people, and to impede the free purchase and sale of that article on which depends the existence of so large a portion of the community. 3. Because we think that the expectations of ultimate benefit from this measure are founded on a delusive theory. We cannot persuade ourselves that this law will ever contribute to produce plenty, cheapness, or steadiness of price. So long as it operates at all, its effects must be the oppo
site of these. Monopoly is the parent of scarcity, of dearness, and of uncertainty. To cut off any of the sources of supply can only tend to lessen its abundance; to close against ourselves the cheapest market for any commodity, must enhance the price at which we purchase it; and to confine the consumer of corn to the produce of his own country, is to refuse to ourselves the benefit of that provision which Providence itself has made for equalizing to man the variations of season and of climate. 4. But, whatever may be the future consequences of this law, at some distant and uncertain period, we see, with pain, that these hopes must be purchased at the expense of a great and present evil. To compel the consumer to purchase corn dearer at home than it might be imported from abroad, is the immediate practical effect of this law. In this way alone can it operate. Its present protection, its promised extension of agriculture, must result (if at all) from the profits which it creates by keeping up the price of corn to an artificial level. These future benefits are the consequences expected, but as we confidently believe erroneously expected, from giving a bounty to the grower of corn, by a tax levied on its consurner. 5. Because we think that the adoption of any permanent law, for such a purpose, required the fullest and most laborious investigation. Nor would it have been sufficient for our satisfaction could we have been convinced of the general policy of so hazardous an experiment. A still further inquiry would have been necessary s s 2 to to persuade us that the present moment was fit for its adoption. In such an inquiry we must have had the means of satisfying ourselves what its immediate operation will be, as connected with the various and pressing circumstances of public difficulty and distress with which the country is now surrounded; with the state of our circulation and currency; of our agriculture and manufactures; of our internal and external commerce; and, above all, with the condition and reward of the industrious and labouring classes of our community. On all these particulars, as they respect this question, we think that parliament is almost wholly uninformed; on all we see reason for the utmost anxiety and alarm from the operation of this law. Lastly, because if we could approve of the principle and purpose of this law, we think that no sufficient foundation has been laid for its details. The evidence before us, unsatisfactory and imperfect as it is, seems to us rather to disprove than to support the propriety of the high price adopted as the standard of importation and the fallacious mode by which that rice is to be ascertained. And on all these grounds we are anxious to record our dissent from a measure so precipitate in its course, and, as we fear, so injurious in its consequences. (Signed) Augustus Frederick (Duke of Sussex); William Frederick (Duke of Gloucester); Grenville; Wellesley; Essex; Torrington; Dutton (Marquis of Douglas); Chandos Buckingham; Montford; King ; Carlisle.
Protest on the rejection of the Bill limiting the consequences of Attainder in cases of High Treason and Murder to the Offender or Offenders, entered on the Journals of the House of Lords, on Thursday, the 26th of May. 1. Because the law of forfeiture and corruption of blood, inasmuch as it despoils the innocent of their legal inheritance and expectations, is founded on principles inconsisent. with natural justice and revolting to humanity. Penalties inflicted on guilt may in other instances too often affect indirectly the interests, and directly the feelings, of innocent persons; such is, perhaps, the unavoidable imperfection of penal law; but to endeavour to deter the evil-disposed from the perpetration of wickedness by an avowed design of wreaking vengeance on their unoffending relations and posterity, is wantonly to select a sad, if necessary, defect to which human punishments are occasionally liable, as the very essence, rule, and principle thereof, and to expect from cruelty that security which nothing but justice can or ought to confer on political SOCletles. 2. Because the unjust and inhuman device of punishing the innocent heirs of a traitor for the treason of their relation or ancestor, has, in all seasons of civil commotion, been found insufficient to deter men of strong passions, however elevated their fortune or their rank, from engaging in treasonable designs, and has an obvious tendency to shake the stability of property, to perpetuate the remembrance of political feuds, and to aggravate in individuals and families, in parties and sects, the the turbulent vices of rapacity and revenge. 3. Because the adoption of the bill would have disturbed no principle of English law now in force, nor created any exception to the general consequences of attainder, on conviction and sentence for capital offences. The law of forfeiture and of corruption of blood, as far as they affect the property or rights of the offender during his life, would have remained in full force, and the consequences of attainder since the 54th of George III., no longer affect the inheritance of any person or persons, save the offender and his accomplices, in any other case except those of treason and murder. The law and consequences of attainder in all capital crimes would, therefore, have been more uniform and consistent, after the provisions of this bill had passed into law, than they are now left by its rejection. It seemed, moreover, to us, that the heir of a traitor or a murderer, being as little implicated in the guilt of treason and murder as the heir of any other felon in his felony, a similar immunity from all share of the punishment, which, on principles of justice or of mercy, had been granted to the one, should in reason be extended to the other. 4. Because the continuance of the law of corruption of blood and of forfeiture affecting estates in tailzie, disappoints the just expectations of the people of Scotland, and creates perplexities and anomalies in the jurisprudence of that part of the United Kingdom. Corruption of blood was never part of the law of Scotland till after her union with England. Forseiture, so far as it affects
the heirs of an offender possessed of an estate in talzie, having been declared a grievance by the Scottish parliament at the revolution, was by a subsequent act of that legislature abolished in 1690; and although both those consequences of attainder were, for reasons arising from the emergencies of the time, extended, together with other provisions of the English law in cases of high treason, to that part of the United Kingdom, by an act of the 7th of Queen Anne; yet they were both doomed to expire by the provisions of that very statute, and actually stood condemned by the British legislature during the greater part of the last century. The immediate operation of those laws, which in the course of a very few years deprived many noble and opulent families of Scotland of their ancient possessions, proved that they were insufficient to deter powerful men from the commission of treason, and failed to reconcile the people of Scotland to their wisdom or their justice: and the subsequent restoration in part of the forfeited lands to the descendants of the offenders, as well as the recent reversal of nearly all the attainders at the gracious and benign recommendation of the crown, seem to amount to an acknowledgment that the consequences of such laws are unsuitable to the age and country on which they had been imposed, and repugnant to the royal feelings of a just, generous, and merciful prince. Moreover, the application of these laws to high treason in Scotland has not only been found harsh, but uncertain and difficult, owing to the different system of law subsisting in that country. It appeared in an appeal to this house,