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trammels. And, now, what was the re- was altogether absurd to imagine that this sult? The result was, that although la- great prosperity was owing to the labours bour was still free, that although trade was of those few thousand men, and, in fact, still free, or rather he would say because the islands which had not received immi. labour was free, and because trade was grants were quite as flourishing as those free, the West Indies were now rising to that had. Clearly, then, our West Indies a pitch of wealth and happiness unknown were possessions of immense and increas. to them before. It would be impossible ing value. The Committee might inquire, for him to lay before the House the im- however briefly, into this point, and report
mass of evidence which demon- to the country whether it was true or not strated that fact. He was assured of it that in spite of free labour and free trade by mercantile men in the city, and from - or rather as he thought, because of free proprietors of West India property ; he labour and free trade, the West Indian found it strongly set forth in the reports Islands were attaining a high degree of from the Governors of the islands, which for- prosperity. He was aware that this promerly full of dismay, were now bright with posal , would meet with strong resistance, cheerfulness and hope; but the keystone for he had often noticed that nothing so of the arch consisted of the statistics fur- vexed the soul of a West Indian gentlenished by the Board of Trade which showed man as to be told that he was well off. And that the imports and exports together of as those gentlemen had a great and legitithe West Indies and Guiana had amounted mate influence with the Colonial Office, no in the four years ending with 1853 to doubt the right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir £32,500,000, and in the four years end- Edward Bulwer Lytton) would appeal to ing with 1857 to £37,000,000, an increase the severely practical mind of this House, of £4,500,000 in four years; and further and would put the question, “Supposing that the annual exports of sugar, coffee, the hon. Member for Newport obtains this cotton, rum and cocoa, were valued in 1857 conclusion from the Committee, What will at £500,000 more than the average of he do with it?" But, as the people of the ten preceding years. So much had this country laid out £20,000,000 in been said of the ruinous state of these emancipating our slaves, and as that great islands that perhaps the House would be deed was not, as some said, the work of surprised to learn that the exports from a few philanthropists, but was done by the Great Britain to the West Indies in 1857 ex. whole people with all their heart and soul, ceeded her exports, in that year to Sweden, it would be of some value to learn upon Norway, Denmark, Greece, the Azores, the authority of a Committee of that House Madeira, and Morocco, all combined. Or, wbat was the result of that great experiperhaps, it would give a more vivid idea ment. He thought it would be worth while, of the value to us of these islands, if he even at the cost of a few hours' labour mentioned that our exports to them in to a few hon. Gentlemen, to have a Report 1857 equalled our exports to the Channel as to whether the measure of emancipation Islands, Malta, the Ionian Islands, the had been successful or not; and whether it Mauritius, the Gold Coast, the Gambia, was true that the Negroes had sunk into a Sierra Leone, and what are called our condition of indolence and barbarism or not. sundry possessions, all together. Con. He was as certain as that he was standing sidering what mere specks the West In- there, however, that if that point were fully dies look in the map of America it was inquired into, it would be found that, whilst astonishing that their trade to and fro some of the negroes were indolent and should now actually amount to £10,735,000. some barbarous, yet the greater part of That was the value of their commerce in them were living upon their own properthe year 1857. He would only add that ties in industry and comfort, and that, to in 1857 the value of the sugar imported a far greater extent than was generally into this country from our West Indies believed they were willing to work on amounted to £5,618,000. Surely all this the estates of those who treated them demonstrated that free labour was hold- with kindness, and paid them fair wages. ing its own in spite of the competition of But the main topic of inquiry for the slavery. Probably it would be said that all proposed Committee would be what were this was mainly due to the immigrants. In the best means of promoting immigrathe last five years 25,000 immigrants had tion into the West Indies. He did not come to all our West Indies, including a propose that the Committee should inlarge number of women and children. It quire whether imwigration be necessary or not. On that point he differed altogether be set on foot, under which the Coolie from some gentlemen for whom he felt the would not be bound to the planter who had greatest respect-namely, the Committee paid for importing him during a term of of the Anti-Slavery Society. Their views years. His anti slavery friends had a strong were opposed to all immigration ; but with feeling of the liardship to the immigrant of millions of fertile acres under a tropical being thus in reality a bundsman. But, if he climate lying untiiled, it would be an un- made a contract, the law must keep him to mixed good if we could fill every island as it; and, although it might be galling to him, full of people as Barbadoes itself. The still there were woes enough in the world greater the influx of labourers, the greater without our moving heaven and earth to save the production of wealth, and that would him from a brief annoyance. Still the retell for the anti-slavery cause throughout sult of the system was to create a whole the world ; and so far from the competition catalogue of what he might call artificial of the immigrants being any bane to the offences, to which penalties had to be atnegroes, it would be a wholesome spur to tached. There were penalties on the planter them. So far from denying the scarcity if he did not supply his immigrant with of labour, he could hardly conceive what proper medicine, nourishment, food, clothsupply of labour could ever meet the bound-ing, and due wages ; penalties on those who less demand for it created by such a soil employed other planters' Coolies : penalin such a climate. But the time bad ties on the Coolies if they shirked their certainly come for an inquiry into the work ; penalties on the Coolies if found two system upon which that immigration should miles from their employers' estates ; penal. be carried out. The first question into ties on the Coolies if they damaged their which, no doubt, the Committee would in- employers' property ; penalties on the mas. quire would be what ground there was for ters of vessels if they carried Coolies away. the allegation so often made, that from The whole of this cumbrous system of penal 33 50 per cent of the immigrants perish. law was the substitute for the ordinary and That had been stated repeatedly by gentle natural system under which an employer men connected with the West Indies. In bought the labour that he wanted, and dis. the Report of the Immigration Com- charged the labourer who did not please missioners of 1857, the mortality on the bim. It might be unavoidable, but he voyage alone from Calcutta was reckoned would like the Committee to examine wheat 17 26 per cent. Cases were also re-ther a more free immigration would not be ferred to, in one of which 40 per cent of possible--an immigration that would sinply the inimigrants either died on board or had bring in labourers, leaving them and the to be taken to the hospital on landing employers to make what bargains they Out of 2,4 il Coolies taken to Guiana and pleased. Lastly, the Commitee would inTrinidad 349 died on thie voyage and large quire into the question which now awakened numbers had to be taken to the hospital a vast amount of bitter feling in the West on landing These, he felt convinced, Indies—the question by whom the cost of were peculiar cases, and were not to be immigration should be defrayed — whether attributed to ill-usage of the immigrants, it should be defrayed wholly by the planter but they seemed to justify the demand for who used the labour of the immigrant, or an inquiry. But, so far as the voyaye was in some part by the whole community. Acconcerned, out of two ships that brought cording to all the present schemes, inimmigrants from Calcutta in 1858, the cluding the last Act passed by the Jamaica mortality was 7.12 per cent in one, and House of Assembly, two-thirds of the cost only 3:28 in the other. This led him to was supposed to fall on the planters who hope that the inquiries of the Committee received the emigrants, and the remaining on tnis head might have the very useful one-third fell on the taxation of the whole result of calming the indignation which had island. It would, he thought, be easy to been felt in many parts of the country at show that in reality one-half fell on the the supposed waste of life among immi- whole island. But, at any rate, the comgrants. But should it prove that the mor- munity paid one third ; and what was the tality was large, then the Committee would real result of that? Nothing else but that inquire whether it could be lowered by fur- the State gave a subsidy to the planter. ther precautions, or by a stricter enforce- The planter wanted a certain amount of ment of those now laid down. What might work done for him, but, instead of paying prove a still more inportant branch of in- the whole cost as any other manufacturer quiry was whether a free immigration could would have to do, the State bountifully
relieved him of one-third or one-half the taxes, and therefore the whole cost at last burden of paying his own workmen. The rested on their own shoulders. If that State gave him a large sum of money in were so, why should they so strenuously order that his business might bring him in insist on this feature in their immigration a larger profit. No wonder that the planters schemes ? Why should they prefer to have were hot for a scheme based on such a de- the money extracted from ihem through lightful principle. No wonder they were the painful and costly means of the tax. loud against all other schemes under which gatherer, instead of paying it at once by a each man would have to give his quid for check on their bankers? He had stated his
pay for what be got out of the main points into which he hoped the his own instead of out of other people's Committee would inquire, and he trusted pockets. The case was exactly like that the House would feel that they were ques. of a parish under the old Poor Law, where tions worthy of investigation. He need the farmer paid some 5s. or 6s. a week to not say that he proposed this Committee in his labourer out of his own money, eking no spirit of hostility to the West India it out by a rate on the whole parish. No planters, but in the hope that it would two things could be more alike than that assuage the enbittered feelings on both old exploded parish system, and the one sides. He believed, indeed, that if the adopted with regard to the West Indian im- Committee were granted, if it throughly migration. Or again, it was just like the and impartially examined into the points old bounty system. In that case, as in the to which he had adverted, the result would other, the State gave large pecuniary aid be to place immigration on a sound and to those engaged in certain trades, lest wholesome basis, and thus greatly to enwithout such aid their trade should fall to hance the growing prosperity of the West the ground. He had not the assurance to India islands. dilate to the House on the folly and injus. Motion made, and Question proposed tice of those old and exploded systems ;
“ That a Select Committee be appointed, to inbut whatever miglit be said against them quire into the Condition of the West Indies, and might be said with equal truth of the sys- the best means of promoting Immigration into tem by which the whole community was them.” taxed in order to aid the planter in carry
SIR EDWARD BULWER LYTTON: ing on his business. No doubt, they would Sir, let me, in the first instance, express be told that the sugar trade was
of my sense of the temperance as well as the great value to the West Indies, and with ability with which the hon. Gentleman has out those subsidies it would soon fall off ; introduced bis Motion. The bearer of his but was it ever found that a trade de. father's name enters into the discussion of clined on the withdrawal of aid from the all questions that affect humanity with an State ? But, even were that so, would hereditary title-deed to respect. It is clear that be the least reason for giving to the that he will preserve that heirloom withsugar trade an artificial prosperity ? Nor out a flaw. If I question his views I can could it be said that, though unsound in equally honour his sincerity. The hon. principle, it was a matter of no practical Gentleman has divided the subjects of his importance. Those most versed in the inquiry into two heads—the present constate of Jamaica said, with one voice, that dition of the West Indian Islands, and the the reason why she rose so slowly, while question of immigration.
I will take the her sister islands were rising fast was, that latter first, for it goes to the core of the her finances were in a state of disorder, question, and I am glad this subject is to that she was suffering from extreme taxation, be openly discussed. I take it first on its and he was told that with a view to this broadest ground. Sir, I should be dealing immigration scheme, additional burdens unfairly towards those friends of the Antiwere being placed upon the flour and other Slavery Society whose petitions have been articles of food consumed by the negroes before me if I did not assume that on printhemselves. In The Times' report fro:n ,ciple they are opposed to the whole system the West Indies, of October 2, 1858, it was of labour immigration which I found estabmentioned that “the Governnient had in no lished in the West India colonies. On my way relaxed the stringency of its financial part, I so sympathize with zeal on behalf enactments, and the country was suffering of the negro, even where I think those who greatly under the pressure of heavy taxa. entertain it misguided and misinformed on tion. Neither could it be said that, aiter details, that I entreat beforehand forgiveall, in the long run, the planters paid the ness if inadvertently a single word should escape me that may seem to disparage the dated September 26, 1858, that the popuhumanity that I hold in reverence. But I lation returned by the census of 1851 was must say, frankly and firmly, that from that 68,600; by immigration and the influx system of immigration I am convinced that of strangers it is now raised to about no Minister, responsible for the welfare of 80,000. About 11,000 Coolies have been the West India colonies, can depart. Let introduced into that island. Now wages the House listen to facts and figures, in Trinidad are not so high as in British and then say if I am wrong in the convic- Guiana, but I find that 343 of these lations I express. The hon. Gentleman says bourers on their return to India paid into that the prosperity which characterizes the hands of the authorities for transmismany of the colonies does not arise from sion the sum of £5,389, and took with immigration alone. No; but where immi- them more than £900. Such has been gration has been continued prosperity has the gain to the immigrant; what has been followed. Sir, the experiment of Coolie the gain to the colony ? The imports immigration was first tried in the Mauritius of Trinidad in 1855 were £554,534, in in 1835 or 1836 ; it was then commenced 1857 £800,830 ; the exports in 1855 by the planters as private importers of la- were £387,999 ; in 1857 there were bour. Abuses arose; the inmigration was £1,013,414 and the Governor in summing consequently suspended in 1838. In 1843 up the cause of this sudden and marvellous the Government took it into their hands, increase of the surest signs of prosperity, and by the Government it has since been saysconducted. Now hear the result. Since
“But it is to the stream of immigration, though the experiment there have been introduced expensive, and by no means sufficient, which into the colony 170,000 persons; out of has flowed into the island during the years under these, in 1856, as many as 134,291 were review, that it is mainly indebted for the progress still residents. The effect on the produce it has achieved.” of the colony has been this :— The sugar
Now, turn to the other side, and compare crop in 1844 was 70,000,000 lbs.; in 1855, this increase of produce in colonies caused ten years afterwards, it amounted to by immigration with the decline of produce 238,480,000 lbs. That has been the effect in Jamaica, where immigration has been on the produce. What has been the effect suspended. In Jamaica the produce of on the immigrant population ? Three- sugar for three years after the appren. fourths of those immigrants who returned ticeship was 1,812,204 cwts., and during to India at the end of three or five years the last three years it has fallen off to brought back with them from 1,200 to 50 1,244,373 cwts. Now, then, I respectfully rupees each, and Sir G. Anderson, who ask you who advocate the cause of hua had formerly been a distinguished Judge in manity, who feel with me that bumanity India, in 1850 reported his opinion in these belongs exclusively to no colour and to no words—“The immigrant, as a labouring country, who, if you advocate the cause population, is perhaps nowhere in the of the negro, must advocate equally the world in such favourable circumstances. cause of the Indian, I ask you whether, But I
may be told that the Mauritius is a when we find that more than 200,000 perspecial and singular example : is it so ? sons left countries in which labour was Take next the case of British Guiana; into worth from 2d. to 3d. a day, where impress. that colony about 23,000 Coolies have been ment and forced labour exist, where, as introduced; they do not, as in the Mauri- was said by the Lieutenant Governor of tius, form the whole of the agricultural Bengal," the strong universally preyed population, but a considerable part of it. upon the weak”-left, I say,
those The produce of the sugar crop, which in tries for British colonies, in which easy la1841 was little more than 34,000 hogsheads bour secures comparative afluence, where was in 1855, 55,366 bogsheads. While the labourer lives under British law and this was the increase to the wealth of the has at all times access to a British magiscolony, what was the benefit to the inmi. Strate-I ask you to say whether humanity grants ? Judge by this instance,In a should bid me arrest that immigration, fing single ship which left British Guiana last these human beings back to oppression and year 277 Coolies paid into the hands of the to famine, and why ? — because their authorities as the amount of these savings labour benefits our fellow British subfor transmission to India than jects and saves a British colony from ruin. £6,000. I turn next to Trinidad. You object to the system of indentures to find in the despatch from the Governor, a master.
Just hear the answer as it is
supplied to me by the Immigration Com- years immigration has taken place. Ninetymissioners,
four ships have been sent from Calcutta to It bas, however, been objected that the Coolie, the West Indies, and the average mortality being paid for a certain time under indenture, is in in all these years had been but 6 1-5th reality in a state of bondage. The answer is that, before the indenture system was established, the per cent; while on board thirty-one vessels Coolies abandoned their work and wandered about sent from Madras to the West Indies that the country, and, in many instances in the West average has been under 2 per cent, and it Indies, perished miserably from disease and want.” will be satisfactory to the House to learn Their condition was thus described in Au. that in the last year there has been a gust, 1859, by Mr. Carberry, a stipendiary marked decrease in mortality, both in Calmagistrate in British Guiana, whose sym- cutta and Madras ships, for whereas in pathies are much more with the Coolies 1857-58 the mortality in the first was 13 than with the planters.
per cent, in 1858-59 it has been only “With the indentures,” he says, “the immi-6 1-6th per cent ; while in the Madras grant becomes an useful and industrious member ship in 1858-59 the mortality has been a of society. His labour is alike profitable to him.
seventh part of 1 per cent.
Stress self and his master. Without it he too often becomes a wandering mendicant, à nuisance, and been laid on the Coolie immigrants in Jadisgrace to the colony, and finishes his career in maica. In most of the petitions that have the public hospital; in the interest, therefore, of been before me it is stated to be 50 per the Coolie bimself the indenture system is neces-cent. What are the facts ? I find by the sary.”
last return, August, 1858, that the total But it is said by the Anti-Slavery Society, number of Coolie immigrants since the imthere has been great mortality on board migration began was 4,451, and that the the immigrant vessels from Calcutta. Un- number of those who had died, disappeared, doubtedly, there was in the years 1856-57. or were unaccounted for during those thirBut it is fair, while allowing this fact, first teen years was 1,597. I am told, in fact, to remind the House that the rate of mor: that a number of these immigrants chose tality was taken from selected vessels, and to re-emigrate to Panama to work at the that it may be in much accounted for from railroad, and lost their lives by that clicauses that do not apply to Coolie immi- mate ; but that was their own fault. But gration alone. Take the very worst cases suppose they all died in Jamaica ; calcuthat occurred. In Calcutta ships the ave- late that mortality, as taken for the thirrage mortality was the year i856-57 a teen years, it gives, not a per centage of little more than 17 per cent ; but in 1847, 50 per cent, but a per centage of only on board the vessels that carried the Irish 2 1.6th per cent. But, taking it, as I immigrants to America by a far shorter think you ought, by calculating the average voyage, the mortality was much the same mortality of those who had returned to -about 17 per cent. Imagine what ad- India during the thirteen years, you only vantages would have been lost to Ireland,
get about 4 per cent. And this is a speciEngland, and America if, on account of
men of the exaggeration by which honest that melancholy average, the Irish exodus and well-meaning men have been deceived. had been stopped. I hold here recent As to the colonies generally, we find by reports of the mortality of Coolies from returns that the average mortality among inquiries instituted in India. The causes the Coolies in the Mauritius is a little more are most carefully analyzed ; remedies than 3 per cent. In British Guiana it is which will receive the most diligent at under 4 per cent; in Trinidad it is retention are suggested. The most searching turned as so low that I think there must of all the inquirers, Mr. Morant, who is be some mistake into which I will inquire; the inspector of gauls and prisons, thus meanwhile, I think I may safely assume sums up:
it not to exceed 3 per cent. I turn, I am distinctly and decidedly of opinion that then, to the second class of argumentthe great sickness and mortality of 1856-57 need
namely, that which condemns the present not recur; that, whether exceptional or not, it can be prevented by proper care and attention, and that system of immigration as unfair to the there is no need to prohibit the continuance of Creole. It is said that there is really immigration on grounds either of humanity or no scarcity of hands to meet the habitual policy."
requirements of the labour market in What he thus says is borne out by facts the West Indian Colonies ; that immiand figures ; for I have here a return gration is an attempt on the part of the showing the average of mortality on board planters to beat down the wages of the Calcutta vessels during the whole eleven negroes. But surely it is a sufficient answer