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Fourthly, a series of laws for the encouragement of immigration, including the raising of special ST. VINcent. funds applicable to that purpose.

Under these enactments an agent has already been despatched to the Azores, to endeavour to make arrangements for procuring labourers from thence.

Fifthly, the re-enactment of a law promoting education, in place of the Act which expired in 1854, and which was not renewed earlier, in consequence of the financial difficulties of the colony, and of the impossibility of providing the necessary funds until 1857.

Political Franchise.

Remains unaltered. There has been no general election since last year's Blue Book report. At the last, held on the 29th January 1856, 211 individuals, out of a population exceeding 30,000, return the whole House of Assembly, although at the time there were more than three times that number of registered voters, and as many more probably might have registered if they had chosen to do so. So much for representative institutions in the West Indies, and the interest taken by the people in their rights, privileges, and powers.

Councils and Assembly.

The admixture of members from the two branches of the legislature in the Executive Council seems to have answered the purpose for which the change was introduced, and to have removed the distrust, jealousy, and want of harmony, which, under the old system, so frequently impeded the useful administration of public affairs.

It would be a great improvement if the introduction of all money votes in the lower house were restricted to being made through some member of the Executive Council, who was also in the Assembly, but as, at present, no practical difficulty arises from the defect, it has not been thought worth while to disturb the unanimity which exists amongst the three branches, by proposing any change.

The Legislative Council and House of Assembly are constituted as last year, with the exception of individual changes. Both are working in perfect harmony with the executive and with each other.

Population Returns.

Cannot in the least be depended upon. There has been no census taken since 1851, and that was imperfect and not to be relied upon.

Education.

Nothing was done out of the colonial revenue during the year 1857 in furtherance of education, beyond the payment of 150l. to keep up the poor school in Kingston, and the grant of 70%. to the Wesleyans to repair a schoolhouse.

The Wesleyan body receive a considerable annual grant from their missionary committee in England, and thus have been enabled to keep up their schools well, whilst those of the Church of England (which receives no such assistance) have for the most part been closed, in consequence of the withdrawal of state aid since 1854. The schools returned in the present volume as Church of England schools are, therefore, for the most part only Sunday schools.

An Act to promote education was passed late in 1857, in the place of the old Act, which expired in 1854, but no appropriation took place under it during the year.

This year it is being acted upon, and an additional vote has also been obtained, so that at least 1,000l. will be applied to the purposes of education.

This is a good and important beginning, and as the finances of the colony are in a satisfactory state, and its prospects most cheering for the future, there is every reason to hope that a gradual and steady progress will henceforward be made in the establishment and support of educational institutions, upon the sufficiency and success of which the best interests and future welfare of the colony so greatly depend.

The Blue Book for 1858 will, I feel persuaded, present very different and more cheering statistics in reference to education.

So also with regard to charitable institutions. During the last three years nothing whatever has been done, and even the colonial hospital itself has for the whole of that period been closed.

I have recently obtained a re-enactment of the Hospital Act, with an enlarged grant, so that during the current year it will be put in repair and be re-opened.

A Bill is also now before the legislature, and I have no doubt of its passing, to provide medical attendance, at the expense of the colony, for all children of the labouring classes throughout the entire government.

These are all cheering indications, not only of the colonial finances being again brought into a healthy state, but of a right feeling and an earnest desire on the part of the colonists themselves to provide for useful or necessary institutions when they have the means of doing so.

The sad interruption which took place during the last three years in providing for such essential and important services must be ascribed entirely to the bankrupt state of the colonial finances, and to the pressure caused by the heavy arrears of unsatisfied liabilities (for which no provision whatever was made when they were incurred), which had been allowed to accumulate up to the close of 1854, when I entered upon the administration of this government. Since then almost every other consideration has been obliged to give way to the paramount one of replacing the finances upon a sound and healthy basis.

This has now

been done, and I see no reason to fear any relapse for the time to come.

I

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This increase in imports is ascribable to increased cultivation and prosperity. It has taken place largely in animals used in agriculture, as asses, cattle, horses, mules; in machinery; in manures; in hardware and ironmongery; in leather; in lime; in lumber and building materials; in shingles; in wood props; in tallow for machinery; in glass; in oil and oil cake; in slates and tiles; in soap, &c., &c., &c. The improved circumstances of the colony have also led to a greater consumption of luxuries, and there has been a considerably increased importation of beer, butter, candles, coffee, fish, linen, cotton and manufactured goods, pickles, refined sugar, tea, gin, tobacco, &c., &c., &c., as well as of articles which are classed as "unenumerated."

Shewing an increase in 1847 of

The increase of exports is due entirely to increased production, the result of the extended cultivation which took place in the latter part of 1855 and in 1856.

The value of the increased production is little less than 100,000l., and the total value of the exports in 1857 approaches to nearly double the value of the exports in 1856, while it far exceeds double the value of the exports in 1855. The increase has taken place principally in sugar, molasses, and rum, but there has also been a very large increase in the growth of arrow root, for the good quality of which St. Vincent is now becoming well known in the London Market.

Year.

Imports and Exports.

The number of vessels and amount of tonnage entering the ports in 1857 are necessarily larger in 1856, in consequence of this increase both in the imports and the exports.

1855
1856

1857

Agriculture.

Has been much extended. The sugar crop of 1857 exceeds by more than one-third the crop of 1856. Rum has also been manufactured to a greater extent. The quantity of molasses has been nearly doubled, and the production of arrow root is about twice what it was in 1856.

There is an equally favourable prospect of augmented crops during the current year.

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Sanatory State.

The island during the past year has fully maintained its well deserved reputation of being one of the healthiest as well as one of the loveliest of our tropical possessions.

There has heen no epidemic or general illness of any kind.

Crime.

In 1857 21 prisoners were received into gaol for trial before the supreme court, and 13 were convicted.

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In 1856 fourteen were received for trial, and eight were convicted, showing a considerable increase of offenders in 1857 in point of numbers. The increase, however, appears by the comparative return inserted in the Blue Book to consist in an augmentation of the number of common assaults. There are also two men convicted of burglary, and two of assault with intent to commit rape. other offences are very similar to those of last year.

The

From the magistrates courts 136 offenders (exclusive of debtors) have been committed to gaol in 1857, against 131 in 1856, but out of the 136 were eight white sailors belonging to ships in harbour for refusing to work. The number, therefore, of offenders committed by the justices, who belong to the colony, is less than in 1856, and the offences are lighter, petty larcenies being much fewer in number. Of debtors the number committed is greatly diminished. In 1857 only 36 were imprisoned, against 56 in 1856, showing that the population generally participate in the improved circumstances of the colony, and that there is less pressure upon individuals.

His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief,
&c.

&c.

&c.

4. On the whole, therefore, I find that the cheerful prospects which began to dawn upon St. Vincent from the close of 1856 have been most fully realized since, that its present position is most satisfactory, and that its future is most promising.

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Import,

Imports. £185,203

126,104

£59,099

£

8,189
8,300

9,276

Customs Duties.

Exports.
£220,956

123,422

£97,534

Export.

ABSTRACT RETURNS from BLUE BOOKS 1855, 1856, 1857.

Revenue.

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I have, &c. (Signed)

Increase.

£

4,031

E. EYRE.

Decrease.

£ 2,719

1,041

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YEAR 1857.-COLONY OF SAINT VINCENT.

No. 1.

RETURN in a Tabular Form, in the last Year in which they can be made up, of the Gross Revenues, under their different Heads, exhibiting the Cost of Collection, and any Deductions made in their Progress to the Public Treasury.

Gross Revenue.

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d.

£ 8. 753 6 0

Taxes and Excise.

8.

£ d. 3,550 18 4

£ s. d. 5,666 9 10

Civil

Judicial Ecclesiastical
Establishment. Establishment. Establishment.

£ s. d. 2,199 1 10

Fines and
Forfeitures.

Education. Pensions.

Treasury, St. Vincent, March 20, 1858.

£ s. d. 806 14 2

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Fees of
Office.

Police.

Lighthouse
Dues.

Treasury, St. Vincent, March 20, 1858.

No. 2.

RETURN in a Tabular Form, for the last Year in which they can be made up, of the Disbursements, under their different Heads, showing the Authority under

which such Disbursements were made.

Expenditure.

£ 1,824

8.

d. 0 13

Land, and
Casual and
Territorial.

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8.

d.

O 509 17 2

Hospitals.

Immigrants'
Tax.

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Revenue
Department,
and

Drawbacks.

Interest.

£

S.

d. 1,402 18 0

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£

S.

781 12

175 12

£17,447 14 10

1 0
2,107 19

1 17
59 8

100 0 0

5 4

34

Gross Amount
of Collection.

J. M. GRANT, Treasurer.

d.

17005640

935

542

241 13 8

339 0 7

£ S. d.

51

4 11

£5,571 17 10

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Total.

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£ s. d.

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-£17,927 4 7

J. M. GRANT. Treasurer.

ST. VINCENT.

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