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BARBADOS.

No. 5.
Right Hon. Sir
E. B. Lytton, Bart.
M.P. to Governor
Hincks.

17 Sept. 1858.

• Page 41.

28 August 1858.

Encl. in No. 5.

nevertheless, tend to the comfort of the labourers. Accessibility of markets for the purchase or sale of provisions, the low price of ground provisions, and the abundance of running water, a free use of which I believe the coolies consider of great importance."

EXTRACT from Mr. Kortright's Despatch of 22d October 1857 (No. 61), to Governor of
Windward Islands.

"I am still, however, under the impression that with the advantages possessed by the Indian labourer in Grenada, among which I do not reckon as the least the proverbial healthiness of the island, in consequence of which very few days are lost to the labourer by sickness, he will at the termination of his contract of service have saved more money than in some of the larger Colonies. Ground provisions, such as yams, sweet potatoes, &c. are easily produced, and it is found that the coolie soon acquires a taste for this description of food. An arrangement has been made with the employers by which the labourers are supplied with the articles of consumption to which they are accustomed at cost price, rice at 2 d. per pound, peas at 21 d. per pound, flour (wheat or corn) at 3 d. per pound, and salt fish at 3 d. The Immigration Agent, Mr. Cockburn, remarks, 'I have reason to believe that already they (the coolies) are saving money, as several have stated their wish to deposit part of their earnings with me.'

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(No. 18.)

COPY of a DESPATCH from the Right Honourable Sir E. B. Lytton, Bart. M.P. to Governor Hincks.

Sir,

Downing-street, 17 September 1858.

I HAVE to acknowledge the receipt of your Despatch of the 10th July, General, No. 3,* in further explanation of your views on the important question of the immigration of labourers into the West India Colonies.

I feel it undesirable to prolong a controversy on general questions which will naturally admit of different opinions, and I therefore do not propose, after the communication I am now making, to pursue the correspondence further; but I think it right to put you in possession of the remarks which have been suggested to the Commissioners by your Despatch. I therefore enclose a copy of a report which I called upon them to furnish on the subject.

I have to request that you will give effect to the suggestion of the Emigration Commissioners, that the Immigration Agents in St. Lucia and Grenada should be instructed to make inquiries, and to report on the complaint as to the irregularity of the payment in cash of the wages of the immigrants.

I have, &c. (signed)

Enclosure in No. 5.

E. B. Lytton.

Emigration Office, 28 August 1858.

Sir,
I HAVE to acknowledge your letter of the 16th instant, enclosing a Despatch from the
Governor of the Windward Islands, on the subject of coolie immigration.

2. On the 22d of August last Mr. Hincks addressed to the Secretary of State a Despatch containing animadversions both on the principles and on the details of coolie emigration , reports; on this Despatch reports were required from Governor Wodehouse, then in this country, and from this Board, and these reports were communicated to Mr. Hincks. The Despatch now forwarded contains his remarks on them.

·

3. In the 26th and following paragraphs of our report, we submitted certain reasons for thinking that although the expenses of immigration should principally, and as a general rule, be thrown on those who benefited by it, yet the circumstances there mentioned justified the Government in viewing this "rather as a principle to be steadily kept in view, than as a rule to be inflexibly enforced." Mr. Hincks (paragraph 3 to 13) thinks that it should be inflexibly enforced, as otherwise there "would be no settled policy on the subject, and it would be left in a great degree to local Legislatures, composed chiefly of planters who have a direct pecuniary interest in the question to regulate the terms on which emigration should be permitted."

4. On the substance of this question I can only refer to the arguments adduced in our previous report. With regard to Mr. Hincks's present objection, it appears to me that a policy may be, and that good policy frequently is quite settled, and yet very elastic. I imagine that the policy of the Government with regard to the raising of immigration funds is of this kind. It is required that the cost of an immigration, which is primarily to benefit the planters, should be mainly defrayed by payments levied from them, or taxes falling on them. But,

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this being secured, it has not been thought necessary to interfere with a Colonial scheme of BARBADOS.
taxation, because under it a fraction of the expenses of immigration would fall, not on the
sinking class of planters, but on the very thriving class of labourers or small proprietors. The
details of Colonial taxation are matters best known in the Colonial Department, but I
hend that by these means substantial justice is in fact done, without (in the usual phrase)
"bearing too hardly" on an interest which has so much difficulty in supporting itself.

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5. But Mr. Hincks is desirous (arts. 9, 10) that the expense of immigration should be wholly
thrown not only on the classes benefited by it, but on the individuals receiving immigrants;
alleging that by the contrary course a tax is imposed on good managers who do not require
immigrants, for the benefit of bad managers who do. But this appears to me quite a question
to be left to the local Legislatures. There is a prima facie reason for supposing that the
introduction of immigrants benefits all employers in common, if not equally, by making
labour more plentiful, and therefore cheaper. Wherever this is not the case the planters
who do not need immigration, being fully represented in the Legislature, should fight their
own battle there.
there. It is only on behalf of the unrepresented or imperfectly represented
classes, I apprehend, that the Secretary of State would feel himself called on to interfere,
and certainly he does not appear to be called upon to impose unpopular obstacles to a
popular project, in order to protect a class of persons who may not exist, and certainly do
not invite his protection in any of the legitimate modes which, if they desire it, are open to
them.

6. I do not see that I could be of any use by entering on the controversy respecting the relative position of the creole labourers in St. Lucia and Barbados, or various other points in which Mr. Hincks is at issue with Mr. Wodehouse (para. 14-24), nor respecting those reforms on the tenure of land (para. 26-32) which can only be carried into effect by convincing proprietors of land that such reforms will "pay," a task in which the Secretary of State could give little assistance to the Governor. Perhaps, however, (without claiming much importance for the observation) I may be allowed to point out that if the comparatively dependent labourer in Barbados is really better off than the comparatively independent labourers of St. Lucia and Grenada, that fact would favour the common allegation that the labouring class would itself ultimately benefit by such an increase to the population as would bring it under the more effectual control of European managers.

7. With regard to the expediency of arresting emigration unless the labourers are paid regularly in cash (para. 25) I have to state that the agreements of all coolie immigrants stipulate for such payment, and that the immigration law gives the magistrate full power enforce it. This law of course can only be set in motion on the complaint of the labourer. But the Immigration Agents in St. Lucia and Grenada might be directed during their periodical inspections to make special inquiries on this head from immigrant labourers; to enforce the law rigidly wherever it was invoked; and to report the amount to which, as far as they can ascertain, the wages of immigrant labourers are allowed to fall into arrear. Their reports would furnish more satisfactory grounds for further action than any general allegation.

8. The rest of the Despatch (para. 35-70) appears to be intended (para. 33) to furnish the means of judging whether free labour is as cheap as that of slaves; and so "whether immigration is required in order to enable free labour in the majority of the West Indian Islands to compete with that of slavery."

9. Mr. Hincks assumes (para. 60) that, since property fetches a high price in Barbados, that Island "can compete in the production of sugar with any country in the world, whether the cultivation is carried on by slave or free labour;" and he argues at length (para. 36 et seq.) that the prosperity of Barbados compared with that of other West Indian Colonies, is not owing to its abundant population but to the superiority of its management. It follows, of course, that with improved management any other British Colony in the West Indies would be equally or (as the land is richer) more able to compete with Cuba and Brazil.

10. I should be merely wasting Sir E. Bulwer Lytton's time if I were to attempt to examine Mr. Hincks' proof of his second thesis. I have not the practical knowledge of West Indian cultivation which alone would enable me to understand whether calculations of this kind did or did not represent the complete and substantial truth. I must confess, however, that they seem to me, as far as I understand them, insufficient to get rid of the broad fact which meets the eye on the first glance at the West Indian Colonies. In some of these Colonies wages are high; in some comparatively low; in some they are paid regularly, in some irregularly; in some (as British Guiana) the proprietors are keen and enterprising, in others they are slack; but I believe in all important Colonies, except one, complaints are (or till lately were) made of the impossibility of securing continuous and sufficient labour, and of the ruinous cost of cultivation, involving the absolute abandonment of numerous estates, which it was found impossible cither to cultivate with profit or to sell. And the single Colony which differed from the rest in being able to hold its own, differed also from them in ti e circumstances to which they referred their misfortunes. The population was so large in comparison to its land, that employment was a favour conferred not on the master by the servant, but on the servant by the master; and it was thus possible for the latter to require his labourer to attend regularly to his work, and to obey orders when he did attend.

11. It seems to me that scarcely any array of calculations would suffice to prove that these two facts did not stand to each other in the relation of cause and effect, and that the commercial prosperity of Barbados did not consequently arise from its abundant labouring population.

BARBADOS.

No. 6.
Right Hon. Sir
E. B. Lytton, Bart.
M. P. to Governor
Hincks.

10 Nov. 1858.

* Page 51.

12. But even if Mr. Hincks' calculations are sufficient for this purpose, I must observe that it does not follow because Barbados is prosperous in spite of Cuba, in a market which is at present large enough for both of them, that Barbados can therefore "compete with,' i. e. grow sugar as cheaply as Cuba. Profits may be high in one Island, and yet higher in the other, and if this is the case (of which Mr. Hincks furnishes no proof or disproof) there would remain no reason for inferring (however much we may wish to infer it) that free labour was as cheap as that of slaves.

13. It is no doubt probable that many of Mr. Hincks' observations respecting the bad management of West Indian estates are true. Large salaries paid to unintelligent managers (and I may add large profits allowed to merchants and agents); irregularity in paying wages; a preference of day-work to task-work; want of capital; a non-resident proprietary; want of genuine interest in the labouring class, must all (like want of population) be elements of failure. Possibly, the confusion of rent with wages, and the disinclination to grant land on lease, may be similarly ill-judged. But I should fear that any instruction on these subjects proceeding from the Colonial Office to the West Indies would be looked upon as impractical; and that any authoritative interference (such as that of making reform a condition of immigration) could not be relied upon for doing any good, while by exciting resentment, it would certainly do some harm.

14. Nor do I think that the Home Government could secure itself from the risk of serious errors, involving, if they occurred, much discredit, if it adopted the responsibility of compelling the West Indian proprietors to cultivate their land on a system decided upon in this country.

Herman Merivale, Esq.
&c. &c. &c.

-No. 6.

I have, &c. (signed)

Frederic Rogers.

(No. 23.)

COPY of a DESPATCH from the Right Honourable Sir E. B. Lytton, Bart., M. P. to Governor Hincks.

Sir,

Downing-street, 10 November 1858.

I HAVE received your Despatch, No. 55,* of the 25th September last, forwarding an article from the Barbados "Liberal," on the subject of the present tenure of lands and houses held by the labouring classes in the West Indies.

In reply, I have to state that I will give directions for the printing of this Despatch, and its enclosure, as supplementary to the Blue Book Report.

I may add, that the question concerning the tenure of the labourers' cottages and provision grounds, and of the separation of rent and wages, formed, for many years after emancipation, one of the most prominent subjects of discussion between this Department and the local authorities of the West Indian Colonies, and the progress which might be made in each Colony in procuring a conformity to the views of the Government on the part of the planters, was one of the subjects on which the stipendiary magistrates were for many years required to make half-yearly Reports.

I transmit for your information a copy of the printed volume of Abstracts of these Reports.

I have, &c. (signed) E. B. Lytton.

Grenada Number.

51

234

209

131

193

110

Despatches from Governor.

GRENADA.

Windward Islands, Barbados, 24 August 1857.

Sir,

(Received, 14th September 1857.)

I HAVE the honour to transmit to you the copy of a Despatch from Lieutenant Governor Kortright, enclosing a return of the coolie immigrants per ship "Maidstone" who have died since the 1st May last.

Calcutta
Number.

(No. 31.)

COPY of a DESPATCH from Governor Hincks to the Right Honourable
H. Labouchere, M. P.

72 308

272

182

261

154

His Excelleney Governor Hincks,

Barbados.

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(No. 48.) Sir,

Government Office, Grenada, 7 August 1857.

I HAVE the honour to transmit to you a return of the coolie immigrants arrived in the ship "Maidstone " who have died since the 1st May last.

No fresh cases of sickness have occurred since they have been landed here; the mortality has been confined to those who were labouring under disease at the time of their disembarkation from the "Maidstone."

2. The Immigration Agent remarks that no property has been left by the deceased.

NAMES.

Essur

Narrow

Dhurmee

Nundos

Toolseyram
Mohit

Enclosure in No. 1.

Died in Depôt before Distribution :

ESTATES' NAME.

Carried forward

I have, &c. (signed)

Sub-Enclosure.

RETURN OF DEATHS of INDIAN IMMIGRANTS, arrived from Calcutta in the Ship "Maidstone," Escott, Commander,

on 1st May 1857.

(signed)

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I have, &c.

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F. Hincks.

C. H. Kortright.

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GRENADA.

No. 1. Governor Hincks to the Right Hon. H. Labouchere,M.P. 24 August 1857.

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7 August 1857. Enclosure.

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Encl. in No. 1.

Sub-Enclosure.

1 2 May.

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Date of Death.

1857:

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Most of these cases were chronic dysentery, diarrhoea, fever, and debility; and all died without leaving any property.

(signed)

Y. Cockburn,

Grenada, 1 July 1857.

Immigration Agent.

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