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17 m u t a t i n g too m u c h , a n d b u y i n g out t h e w h i t e with his savings,* than with letting his small estate become waste t h r o u g h his sloth. This evil then was every d a y r e m e d y i n g itself, a n d w o u l d soon h a v e ceased altogether, h a d it not been a g g r a v a t e d b y t h e o t h e r a n d m o r e direct result of the loss of t h e e m p l o y e r , — w e m e a n , t h e l o w e r i n g of t h e s t a n d a r d of living of his l a b o u r e r s , t h r o u g h his inability from w a n t of capital to g u i d e t h e m with e n e r g y a n d effect, or, in m a n y cases, to e m p l o y them at all. Still this evil, t h o u g h m u c h m o r e deeply seated t h a n the other, contained also in itself its o w n r e m e d y , for even t h e J a m a i c a employer was at l e n g t h compelled to learn t h e lesson of adversity. T h e absentee found himself forced either to m a n a g e his estate for himself, or else to sell or lease it to those whose interest it was to m a n a g e it well. T h e resident planters found t h a t their only h o p e of profit w a s b y increasing their p r o d u c e b y mechanical i m p r o v e m e n t s , by lessening their expenses b y skilful a r r a n g e m e n t a n d careful e c o n o m y , and b y conciliating their w o r k m e n , rather t h a n b y m a k i n g vain a t t e m p t s to overreach a n d coerce them. A m o r e k i n d l y relation s p r a n g u p between t h e two classes, to the increased prosperity of b o t h , a n d we find the result in the increased p r o d u c e of t h e island ; the a v e r a g e e x p o r t of s u g a r for t h e three y e a r s p r e c e d i n g 1 8 4 8 ( t h e year in which t h e effects on production of t h e S u g a r B i l l in 1 8 4 6 begin to be visible) exceeding b y fourteen per cent, t h e average export of t h e three years after the a p p r e n t i c e s h i p . B e f o r e , h o w e v e r , we proceed to e x a m i n e t h e effects of t h e S u g a r B i l l , w e m u s t r e m a r k briefly on t w o measures adopted b y the r u l i n g class in order to accelerate, b u t in reality t e n d i n g to retard, b o t h produce a n d profit. I n t h e old t i m e s t h e p l a n t e r of course p a i d t h e taxes, b u t w h e n the n e g r o , b y b e c o m i n g free, b e c a m e taxable, t h e J a m a i c a legislature m a d e h i m a t a x - p a y e r b y levying h e a v y i m p o r t duties on provisions a n d other articles of w h i c h his class consumed b y far the l a r g e s t proportion. T o m a k i n g t h e l a b o u r e r pay his s h a r e , there could be n o objection ; b u t in t h e first place these duties m a d e h i m pay m o r e t h a n his s h a r e , as m u c h as — 4 6 p e r cent. on foreign B e e f and P o r k , 40 „ „ Herrings, 25

,,

F l o u r , &c., & c . ; t

• See, for example, Mr. Day's declaration that the negro ought not to be allowed to buy land, because " he cultivates it very carefully," "lives on less than half the produce," and "thus by degrees hems in the large plantations."-—" Five Years in the West Indies," vol. i. p. 32. + Mr. W. Smith's third Letter to Economist, May 23, 1846 ; see, also, Knibb's Memoir, p. 437, &c. В

British philanthropy and Jamaica distress. Reprinted from the «  Westminter Review »  

Ouvrage patrimonial de la Bibliothèque numérique Manioc. Service commun de la documentation, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane. Ville...

British philanthropy and Jamaica distress. Reprinted from the «  Westminter Review »  

Ouvrage patrimonial de la Bibliothèque numérique Manioc. Service commun de la documentation, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane. Ville...

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