« ZurückWeiter »
of smugglers, and to assist in manning the navy with able-bodied seamen as the phrase is; but whatever were the instructions, the practice was to give them their boat, with a keg of spirits to comfort them under their disappointment. Now the interests of the revenue and the captors harmonized up to the capture, and so far vigilance was apparent, but at that point they ceased, and became diametrically opposite, for the interest of the revenue lay in there being no smugglers, that of the cutters in there being a great many; of the revenue, that all should be captured and sent on board ships of war; of the cutters, that all should escape, and that they should run as large a proportion of their voyages as would keep them in heart;—which, as successfully running one cargo in three was nearly sufficient for, they had not much difficulty in making it pay. But had the interests of the revenue and the revenue cutters harmonized throughout, it would have been more important to the crews of the latter to catch the smugglers than even the smuggled goods, because their chief interest would lie in cutting
off the succession of fraud on themselves; and no one surely would deny that catching all they could would altogether prevent those thus secured, and much deter those they had been unable to catch. But upon the footing they were on, it was the interest of the cutters that the smuggler should carry on a great trade, and the interest of the revenue that he should be hunted out of the market, or run down and placed out of the power of repeti tion by a safe birth in the navy. Now, in this cause, Revenue Officers versus Revenue which side had it ?
CLAIMS OF THE WEST INDIA AND MAURITIUS INTEREST TO
PERPETUAL EXCLUSIVE PRIVILEGES, AND CLAIMS OF THE
NATION FOR THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY.
Does there exist any, the least, difficulty in the West India and Mauritius Slavery question, except the entanglements of parliamentary influence ?
The government and country were both parties to its abominations, the former have granted, and the latter have paid, additional duties on the sugars and some other commodities of our other colonies to the protection of theirs, though they have never possessed an integral honest right to a preference over those other colonies. Now we have thereby redeemed in anticipation and pre-payment any pledge that can reasonably have been implied. The nation have, therefore, a right now to demand the cessation of slavery in the West Indies and the Mauritius. We may illustrate this matter by a reference to the Cape of Good Hope ; the cultivation of the grape was encouraged by a low rate of duty on wine, and they have had this advantage for perhaps a sixth of the period that the West Indies have possessed their peculiar privileges, the duties on FOREIGN wine have been reduced without a corresponding reduction on theirs, and on their application for said corresponding reduction it was replied to them, “if with these advantages to establish your concerns you have not yet been able to compete with others, your undertaking is not worth support;" and there is something in it, for government is required to give up ten pounds duty to enable the Cape wine cultivators to realize five pounds profit. But if this principle be admitted, what becomes of the ratio of duties on Canadian produce, where the government gives up ten pounds duty to enable the Canadian farmer and land clearer to gain less than two pounds ten shillings profit ? For wood from the Baltic and the United States pays a duty that comes to as much as sixty per cent. free on board in this river, but from Canada about six per cent.say one-tenth ; but wine from the Cape pays nearly as much per cent. on its value as that from foreign countries.
Again, the two cases here alluded to are both, colonists against foreigners, or children against strangers, but with the relative duties on sugars it is chiefly colonists against colonists, or children against children. And now, by way of giving the West Indies and the Mauritius every advantage upon every turn, and charging every retrospective protection at nothing at all, let an act be passed giving each island the choice for itself of redeeming the slaves in twelve months, preparing them for it in the way they think best, and having the present advantages of relative duties and military protection guaranteed to them for seven years from the date of the act, or for this country to place the produce of the island or islands declining that arrangement immediately on a par with that of the free portion of our East India possessions as to duties, and