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country—if we were to say, that ing restrictions, and allowing the before we would admit cotton-wool people to buy in the cheapest we would force the United States markets—the sugar of foreign to a solution of that tremendous countries must be admitted for problem that hangs over them- home consumption without referthat tremendous problem, whether ence to the manner of production. they shall keep their black popula- He admitted the validity of the tion in a state of slavery, or reasons urged by the West India whether, applying the great ar- body against the equalization of ticles of their Declaration of Rights, the duties between colonial and they shall not at once give them foreign sugar being immediate : the supreme power in many states the equalization therefore should -the power they would be entitled be effected gradually. Considerato, of electing the majority of re tions connected with the revenue presentatives—to say, that he spoke in favour of the same policy. would insist on the emancipation “I therefore propose, that in the of all their slaves, or that we would present year, instead of a prohibinot take their cotton-wool, would tory duty of 63s. and a protecting be nothing less than insanity. duty of 23s. 4d. there should be, Returning again to the case of upon all foreign Muscovado sugar, sugar, Lord John Russell showed a duty of 21s. per hundredweight; that the exclusion of slave-grown to be diminished in the following sugar, under the present prohibitory manner-system, was impracticable, from
s. d. the treaties which existed with To July 5, 1847 · 21 Oper cwt. slave states, under which they
1848. 200 demanded the admission of their
1849. 18 6 slave-grown sugar on the same
1850 17 0 terms as “the most favoured na
1851 . 15 6 tion." He next showed that And that, from July 1851, the although slave-grown sugar was smaller duty of 14s. should apply prohibited in the case of countries to all Muscovado sugar. This which could not claim exemption, diminution extends over five years. still no good to the cause of I say nothing here of the propriety humanity resulted, because markets or the advantage that might be were found in other countries, derived from a still further reducwhere the merchant received tion of the 14s. duty per hundredsupplies in return, which he dis- weight. I do not think, consider. posed of in the English market; ing this as an operation that is to the Spanish producers of Cuba be carried over five years, that in being paid with those English the present state of the revenue, manufactures, which might as well and in the present state of the have been sent to them dircct with Session, it would be right in us to out this intervening transaction. make any more considerable dimi
Lord John Russell proceeded nution.' from general considerations to the With regard to the distinction details of his plan. According to the made last year of clayed sugars, principles and propositions acted it had proved to a great extent upon by the late Government and inoperative ; but it seemed pracsanctioned by Parliament—remov- ticable in the case of “ White"
Havannah sugars, and his present excise duties of this country and intention was to retain the distinc- upon rum, yet that difference was tion as regarded these sugars. not to be placed to the account There would also be a similar reduc- altogether of differential duty. The tion from year to year upon refined statement was, that while in the sugar, double-refined
process of distillation the excisemolasses ; the particulars of which duty was at once levied on British would appear in the schedule. spirits which are afterwards sub
In connection with the prospect- ject to leakage and other losses, ive withdrawal of protection from rum arriving in this country arrived the West India producers, Govern- in a state in which it has underment had taken into consideration gone all those losses, and therevarious suggestions which had been fore there was not a similar quantimade for their relief; and Lord John ty subject to the duty. With the Russell stated the results. With the view, however, of placing Colonial view of facilitating the introduction and British spirits on terms of of free labourers into the West greater equality, Government proIndies, Government, in addition to posed to reduce the differential the facilities which already existed, duty of ls. 6d. to ls. There was would allow the planters to make another question with regard to agreements with labourers in Sierra which there was far more difficulty, Leone, or in any other British and upon which he did not feel settlement in Africa, to proceed to himself authorized in any way to their estates ; the agreement to be offer satisfaction to the West India limited to one year from their body. They complained of the difarrival. But, with regard to ference which existed as regards another proposal that was made, the duties in Scotland and Ireland, namely, that this should be the while the same duty was still levied case elsewhere—with regard to upon rum. Any alteration in that emigrants proceeding from the respect would, in his opinion, be coast of Africa, where we have not attended with great difficulty : and, possessions, where the British flag though ready to attend to anydoes not fly, and especially the thing that might be urged on that Kroo coast-we must say, we do subject, he certainly did not feel not think it is safe to allow such con that we ought, in the present year, tracts, or to say that these should to make any change whatever. be protected from the British On the part of the West India incruisers,
unless there is some terest it was also proposed to adBritish authority under which the mit molasses into breweries and bargain is made.
distilleries. At first sight the proThe West India body com- posal appeared to be fair. It was plained that rum was not admitted only asking that those who wished into this country on equal terms to consume this article in the with home-made spirits. The breweries and distilleries should question had been referred to the have the power to do so, and that Excise ; and the conclusion he had the colonial sugar should be adarrived at, from the information mitted as well as the barley of supplied to him, was, that while foreign countries to our breweries there is a difference of ls. 6d. and distilleries. But in the appli(78. 10d. to 9s. 4d.) a gallon in the cation of the principle to practice
there were various and very con when making his statement, the siderable difficulties. There was a deficiency for 1847–8 would be great difficulty with respect to the 352,0001., with the chance of its exact amount of duty which ought being increased to half a million. to be imposed upon these sugars, Now, Sir, when there is this and great difficulty in the practical prospect before us, made out from levying of the duty with the Ex- the papers quoted by the right hocise ; and, as far as he was in- nourable gentleman himself, it formed, he felt unable to comply does seem to be expedient, if you with that request.
can do so, to endeavour to obtain Then, as to the differential duties an increase to the income of the which existed in the West India country, at the same time that islands in favour of British maru you do not augment the burdens factures, the Government consi- of the people. The plan which I dered that their abolition was only have proposed, I apprehend, will an act of justice, and indeed a accomplish this object. Taking necessary consequence of the with- 240,000 tons of sugar as the prodrawal of protection from their duce of the West Indies, the Mauproduce. Government, therefore, ritius, and the East Indies, at proposed to introduce a Bill giving 141. per ton, this would give us the Queen power to assent to any 3,360,0001. I have stated that Act passed by the Colonial Legis- we might expect 20,000 tons of latures by which the five or seven free-labour sugar would arrive in per cent. difference in favour of the course of this year. With this country should be taken away, regard to other sugars, we may in order that the colonists should expect there will be no very great be enabled, while we made no dif- supply in the present year, owing ference in favour of their produce, to the obstacles which are inter-. to make no difference in favour of posed by the navigation-laws. A ours.
great part of the supply of foreign The subject of the revenue sugar, which is at present warecould not be excluded from con housed in this city, has been sideration. Mr. Goulburn, the late brought here by American ships : Chancellor of the Exchequer, had it has been brought here for the made a statement, which no doubt purpose of being sent forward to he was perfectly justified in mak- foreign ports ; and therefore, uning, of the prospects of the present der our navigation-laws, it is inyear: but it was impossible not to admissible, even supposing it was perceive that with regard to a fu- otherwise, by law, admissible. Now ture year, as to which he cer I should think it very presumptutainly was not bound to make any ous in us if we were, merely for estimate, he opened a prospect this emergency, to propose to alter of a far less consolatory descrip- the navigation-laws. Any question. Lord John Russell proceeded tion involving the navigation-laws to show, that after deducting ought to be deeply and seriously 700,0001. of China money from considered, and ought to be prothe estimated income for 1846–7, posed with a view not to any temand allowing for certain items of porary but to some permanent expenditure which Mr. Goulburn change, if change were thought was not bound to take into account desirable. The consequence, there
fore, is, that only a small portion Lord John Russell concluded by of the foreign sugar now in bond expressing his belief, that the would be admissible under the pro measure, so far from injuring the posed change of duty. Having colonists, would largely and pertaken some pains to inquire, I manently benefit them; and he find that some 6,000 or 8,000, or then laid on the table the resoluat the most 10,000 tons, would be tions of which he had given notice. at present admissible under this Mr. Goulburn observed, that on change in the law.
I think we a matter of such extreme importmay take the whole that would ance he should forbear from enbe admitted of foreign sugar to tering upon any discussion till he be 20,000 tons ; 10,000 more, had an opportunity of examining
in warehouse, and 10,000 the resolutions and making himmore to come in, would make self acquainted with their probaup 40,000 tons ; which, at 211. ble operation. per ton, would give 840,0001. Lord George Bentinck spoke Stated as a question of the reve for himself and those who acted nue, we should derive by this plan with him. 4,200,0001. The revenue to be Only two parts of the plan derived from the plan of the would be agreeable to them : that right honourable gentleman was for rendering the Sugar Duties 3,574,4711.
We should, there- permanent ; and that for facilifore, have an increase in the re- tating the introduction of labourers venue, under this proposed plan, into the West Indies.
in the present year, of gard to the new duties, he could 625,5291. That amount of re not promise the support of his venue would at once turn the ac friends. True to their principles, count in our favour ; and in the they would not be disposed to concourse of next year we should sent to the admission of slavehave a surplus of revenue over grown sugar ; nor were they disexpenditure ; and, besides, we posed to remove from the West should have the great advantage India and the East India interests of giving to the people of this the protection which they enjoyed. country an increased supply of Although deprived by unjust means sugar at a reduced price.
of their own protection, it would If the resolutions he should be no consolation to the agriculpropose were adopted, he would tural interest of England to be found
upon them a Bill which avenged upon the East and West would make the sugar-duties per Indian interests by depriving them manent, instead of annual of protection also. He thought at present ; but, with the view that Lord John Russell had un. of keeping up the constitutional der-estimated the supply of sugar practice of leaving a considerable likely to be yielded by the West amount of the revenue dependent and East Indies and the Mauritius : on the yearly votes of the House, Lord George had made very mihe should be prepared to name nute inquiries on the subject, and some other source of revenue, be he thought himself justified in fore the new Sugar Duties were saying that any defalcation in the passed into a law, to be subjected West Indies would be made up by to annual renewal.
the increased production in the
East Indies : the probability was, it was not his intention so to treat that 100,000 tons would be im- them upon the present occasion. ported from Bengal alone, and After repudiating the notion, which 15,000 tons from Madras. When very erroneously prevailed out of “his noble friend Lord John Rus- doors, that he and his friends were sell” brought forward his resolu- only fighting a sham battle against tions for a permanent settlement the Government resolutions, he of the Sugar question, he would said, that the question involved in propose an amendment.
those resolutions naturally divided À desultory conversation fol- itself into three heads, and that lowed, in which, doubts, sugges as such he should treat it. The tions, and expressions of approval first head was that which conwere variously elicited. Among cerned the interest of the British other members Mr. Hume ex sugar-planters in the West Indies, pressed bis entire approbation of the East Indies, and the Mauritius, the scheme. But he impressed on and which also concerned the Lord John Russell the importance supply of sugar to Great Britain ; of putting an end to the differ the second was the question of ential duty on rum, and making revenue, as touched on by Lord J. the duty the same in Scotland and Russell in introducing his resoluIreland as in England. The Chan tions ; and the third would relate cellor of the Exchequer said that to the interests of the African the equalization of duties spoken race. On the first head Lord J. of by Mr. Hume was not so easy
Russell founded his resolutions on as he appeared to imagine. There the policy, and also on the diffwas not the least doubt that it culty, of supplying the people of was an anomaly to have different this country with cheap sugar ; rates of excise duties in different and though his lordship had not parts of the kingdom, but that said that there would be a famine distinction had been adopted to in sugar during the next year, he prevent illicit distillation, and it had said that there would be a answered that purpose.
After a considerable deficiency in the few words from Mr. Wakley, Mr. average supply. Now, so far from Ricardo, and Lord Sandon, the there being a probability of a want discussion was adjourned.
of sugar, Lord G. Bentinck posiOn the 27th July it was re tively asserted, that if the Governsumed, when,' upon Lord John ment would only give confidence Russell moving that the House to the British planter, and security resolve itself into a Committee of to the investment of capital in the Ways and Means,
sugar plantations in the West Lord G. Bentinck moved the Indies, in the Mauritius, and, above amendment of which he had given all, in the East Indies, there would notice, and, disclaiming all hos- be an ample supply of sugar for tility to Her Majesty's Ministers, the consumption of this country. observed that, although on former Though, before the emancipation occasions the question of slavery of the slaves, the West Indies had and of the policy of reducing the supplied 190,000 and 200,000 tons Sugar Duties had been mixed up annually, the produce had subsewith the question of confidence or quently fallen off so much, that the no confidence in the Government, average crop was not more than