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FOREIGN SLAVE TRADE.

Sir H. Parnell's amendment was

upon

the

very same put and negatived. The House spot; and in consequence, great then resolved itself into a com numbers of natives of Spain, or mittee, when Sir W. Burroughs others who sailed under the Spaproposed to limit the duration of nish flag, now frequented that the bill to six weeks after the quarter. In places where schools meeting of the next session of had been established, and efforts Parliament ; which was nega- had been made to induce the tived, and the duration was fixed chieftains to supply their wants at one year.

by peaceful industry and legitiIt does not appear that any mate commerce, the Spaniards further proceedings took place now came to persuade them to during the passage of this bill return to their old habits by sellthrough either of the Houses. ing their subjects, or making war

upon their neighbours. Ships are

erowded beyond all precedent. As On July 9th, Mr. Wilberforce the persons engaged in this illicit rose to bring forward a motion, traffic were apprehensive of being the object of which was to give taken, they constructed vessels weight to the executive power in not calculated for stowage, but its negotiations with foreign coun for quick sailing, whence the mitries. He lamented to say, that series of these unhappy beings among those powers which had were increased. In an instance declared their intention of abo- it had been stated, that of 540 lishing the Slave Trade, there negroes embarked, 340 had died. were no appearances of being dis. Of the slaves procured by the posed to carry the purpose into Spaniards, the greater part were effect; and that the subjects of sent to the Havannah. By a paper some of the powers were even which had been obtained by the engaged in carrying on this odious Cortes, it appeared that there bad traffic. He was sorry to be been imported into that colony in obliged to state, that under the eleven years, from 1799 to 1811, flag of America this trade was in about 110,000, or 10,000 per some measure practised ; that at year; and in the three last years Goree and Senegal it was vigo- the importation was much greater. rously pursued ; that a charge had The Spanish and Portuguese flags been brought in one instance formed also a cover for the illicit against Holland; but that the traders of other nations. It had great evil in which all others been decided by high authority to sunk into insignificance, was the be law, that though Portuguese trade now carried on for slaves by vessels might be found trading Portugal and Spain. The latter for slaves in parts which they power seemed as if they alınost had renounced the right to trade intended to ridicule our efforts for to, they could not be made a the amelioration of the state of prize unless they had intruded Africa. When we had particu- upon our possessions. The ships larly chosen a part of the coast of Spain, when questioned, often for our efforts in introducing ci- defended themselves, or anticivilization, the Spaniards for their pated attack by aggression. They

had,

had, indeed, committed acts of declaration which was promulpiracy of the most Hagrant kind. gated by the plenipotentiaries of They had driven away the native all the principal powers of Eumerchants from the coast, to keep rope, assembled in their general it clear for their horrible traffic.

congress; a declaration which well After some further observations, became the just and powerful soMr. Wilberforce concluded with vereigns in whose names it was moving, “That an humble address issued; proclaiming to their subbe presented to his Royal High- jects and to the world, their delibeness the Prince Regent, most rate conviction, that “the African humbly to represent to his Royal slave trade is repugnant to the Highness, that, in bringing to a principles of humanity and of close the other business of this universal morality;" and adding session, a great and important to that avowal, the gracious and duty stills remains to be perform- solemn assurance of their earnest ed by Parliament, that of again desire “ to put an end to a scourge submitting to his Royal Highness, which has so long desolated Afri. in the most dutiful but urgent ca, degraded Europe, and atllicted terms, the expression of our con- humanity: tinued and unceasing solicitude * " That we must indecd deeply for the universal and final'aboli- regret, that practices acknowtion of the African slave trade : ledged to be of such a character

“That we are grateful for the should, even for an hour, be conefforts already made, and for the tinued, and even tolerated under progress which we have had the the sanction of any civilized and happiness to witness, in the Christian government; but that achievement of this great work : it is iinpossible for us to doubt of That we rejoice that, in all his that ultimate determination by Majesty's dominions, this wicked which these crimes and miseries ness is now for ever proscribed, will finally be terminated : this and that our laws have stigmatiz- engagement has been deliberately ed it by severe and ignominious taken, and publicly and unequipunishment :

vocally announced, and its per“That we have seen, with un- formance is imperiously required speakable satisfaction, that so by every motive of interest, and many of the other nations, under of honour, of humanity, and of whose flag this criminal traffic justice : had formerly been protected, had “That we beg leave, however, now joined in the same prohibi- with all humility, to represent to tion, and have contracted with his his Royal Highness, that the acMajesty, and with each other, the tual attainment of this great obobligation of persevering in it, as ject can alone discharge our counin a duty from which they never try from the obligation of pursucan be released : and that our ing it with unremitted attention confiilent expectations of the uni- and with daily increasing earnestversal adoption of that prohibition ness; and that we cannot disguise have been greatly confirmed and from ourselves the painful cerstrengthened by that memorable tainty, that the intermediate sus

pense

pense and delay not only prolong, has led, by manifest and necessary but greatly augment, the evil consequence, to a system of armwhich we are thus labouring to ed defiance and outrage, a system remedy:

utterly destructive of all peaceful “That it appears to us but too commerce, insulting to legitimate notorious, that these crimes, hi- authority, and, in its effects and therto partially checked by the pro- consequences, little, if at all, short hibition of so many just govern- of open piracy: that this system ments, and by the abhorrence of also impedes, or rather it altoall good men, are now again re- gether frustrates, the just and newed, and are carried on with benevolent endeavours of those fresh, and continually increasing powers, who are labouring to inactivity; that many of the sub- troduce among the natives of jects of those powers which have Africa the arts, and habits of civi. concurred in the abolition, are lized life; is productive of perpefound, nevertheless, still to pur- tual contest and irritation, leading sue the some nefarious course; not unfrequently to open violence that the stipulations by which between his Majesty's ships and other governments have consented subjects, and those of the soveto put limits to this evil, stipula- reigns in amity and alliance with tions purchased by this country at this couniry; and continually enthe price of large sacrifices, are dangers even those relations, the constantly, and almost openly maintenance of which is of the disregarded; while the protection utmost moment to their interests of the only remaining flag under and to ours, as well as to the gewhich this wickedness can neral repose and tranquillity of be carried on without limit or re

Europe : straint, and the intervention of To represent to his Royal the only nation to which its con- Highness, that being deeply imtinuance is indiscriminately per- pressed with the magnitude of all mitted, are used, not merely to these considerations, we earnestly protect this horrible traffic in the entreat his Royal Highness, that extent to which that people for- he will be pleased to pursue with merly pursued it, but as a sanc unremitted activity, those negotition to its indefinite increase in ations into which he has already their hands, and as a cover for entered on this most momentous the breach of the laws by which subject; that he will establish for all other civilized communities this purpose the most effective have restrained their subjects from concert with those sovereigns, embarking in it:

whose just and benevolent princi“ That, in humbly submitting ples respecting it, have already these painful circumstances to the been announced to the world in humane and enlightened consider concurrence with his own; and ation of his Roval Highness, we that he will leave no effort untried are sure it cannot be requisite to to bring the present evils to a dwell upon the other and great speedy and immediate terminaevils which they necessarily in- tion, and thereby to prevent the volve : that this state of things future and still greater mischiefs

now

which their continuance must in- not merely by the feelings of huevitably produce.

manity, but by the positive dic“That we confidently hope tates of duty and conscience : that his Royal Highness's urgent that it is by these motives, and not but friendly representations will as claiming any superiority in produce their desired effect; yet point of humanity or of morals, that in justice to the great in- that we are actuated in our earnterests that are at stake, we can

est desires to obtain the co-operanot but feel it our indispensable tion of all other civilized nations : duty, to express our confident ex that, remembering how long and pectation, that if all his Royal how largely this country contriHighness's amicable endeavours buted to augment the miseries, should prove unavailing, the great and perpetuate the barbarism of powers which, at the congress of Africa, we cannot but esteem ourVienna, so honourably announced selves specially and peculiarly to the world their abhorrence of bound, not to leave that vast con. the slave trade, as radically un tinent in its present degraded just and cruel, will deem them- state, but to endeavour, so far as selves compelled by an over-ruling we may be able, both by our own sense of duty, to adopt, however conduct, and in concert with other reluctantly, such a course of com powers, to repair the wrongs we mercial policy, as, without in- have inflicted, by opening the way fringing on the just rights of any for the diffusion of those blessings other nation, will alone prevent which, under the favour of Protheir indirectly, but powerfully, vidence, a legitimate commerce, contributing to the continued ex and a friendly intercourse with istence of this inhuman traffic: the enlightened nations of Eu

“ That there is one important rope, cannot fail to introduce in truth, which we beg leave most their train." earnestly to press on his Royal Lord Castlereagh, while he comHighness's most serious attention, plimented his honourable friend a truth which painful experience on his steady perseverance in the has too fully taught us, that, great cause in which he had so however strong may be the pro- much distinguished himself, hinted bibitions of the slave trade, and at the difficulty of coming to an with how great sincerity soever understanding with the two rethey may be issued, they will prove luctant powers without a danger practically inefficient, unless some of injuring pendent negociations. general concert for ascertaining lle therefore would not enter into and bringing to punishment the the subject åt greater length at offending parties, be mutually es. present, but would not oppose tablished between the several pow- the adılress, because it expressed ers, under whose flags this trade the sentiments of his Majesty's has been, or may be carrieil on: government.

“ That we must once more de Occasion was then taken by clare to his Royal Highness, that some menibers to give their opiin enforcing these considerations nions; but the address was agreed on his Royal Highness's most to without opposition. serious attention, we are actuated The session of parliament conVOL. LIX.

[H]

cluded

cluded on July 18th, with the matter of deep regret ; and you following speech from his Royal may rely on my making a tempe. Highness the Prince Regent. rate but effectual use of them, for My Lords and Gentlemen ; the protection and security of his

“ I cannot close this session of Majesty's loyal subjects. parliament, without renewing my Gentlemen of the House of expressions of deep regret at the Commons ; continuance of his Majesty's la “ I thank you for the supplies mented indisposition.

which you have gronted to me ; “ The diligence with which you and for the laborious investigation have applied yourselves to the which, at my recommendation, consideration of the different ob you have made into the state of jects which I recommended to the income and expenditure of the your attention at the commence country. ment of the session, demands my “ It has given me sincere pleawarmest acknowledgments; and sure to find that you have been I have no doubt that the favour- enabled to provide for every branch able change which is happily of the public service without any taking place in our internal situ- addition to the burthens of the ation, is to be mainly uscribed people. to the salutary measures which “The state of public credit you have adopted for preserving affords a decisive proof of the the public tranquillity, and to wisdom and expediency, under all your steady adherence to those the present circumstances, of those principles by which the constitu- financial arrangements which you tion, resources, and credit of the have adopted. country have been hitherto pre “ I have every reason to believe served and maintained.

that the deficiency in the revenue “ Notwithstanding the arts and is, in a great degree, to be asindustry which have been too suc- cribed to the unfavourable state cessfully exerted in some parts of of the last season; and I look forthe country to alienate the affec- ward with sanguine expectations tions of bis Majesty's subjects to its gradual improvement. and to stimulate them to acts of My Lords and Gentlemen ; violence and insurrection, I have “The measures which were in had the satisfaction of receiving progress at the commencement of the most decisive proofs of the the session, for the issue of a new loyalty and public spirit of the silver coinage, have been carried great body of the people; and into execution in a manner which the patience with which they have has given universal satisfaction; sustained the most severe tempo- and to complete the system which rary distress cannot be too highly has been sanctioned by parliament, commended.

a gold coinage of a new denomi“I am fully sensible of the nation has been provided for the confidence which you have mani- convenience of the public. fested towards me, by the extra “I continue to receive from ordinary powers which you have foreign powers the strongest asplaced in my hands: the necessity surances of their friendly disposiwhich has called for them is to me tion towards this country, and of

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