Page 34

34 n o l o n g e r as hit a r e — " c h a t t e l s ; " b u t because t h e employers h a v e either imitated h i m too m u c h as a slaveowner, or too little as a m a n of business. A n d secondly, the past needs to be k e p t in v i e w , because there are even n o w m e n connected with t h e p l a n t i n g interest, or professing to be its advocates, w h o , regardless of t h e consequences of former m i s t a k e s , are s e e k i n g to r e m e d y these consequences b y their repetition. O f these mistakes t h e r e h a s n o n e been so fatal as t h a t w h i c h s u p poses that w o r k can be g o t from t h e free m a n b y t h e same m e a n s as those b y w h i c h it was g o t from t h e slave, t h a t w h e n t h e w h i p is once abolished, a n y other coercion can s u p p l y t h e place of w a g e s . R e m e m b e r i n g , therefore, h o w t h e existing labour-laws h a d been used b y t h e planters a n d the p l a n t i n g j u s t i c e s , a n d w h a t were the fresh l a w s which the J a m a i c a legislature h a d proposed, t h e friends of t h e n e g r o m i g h t well be a l a r m e d , w h e n t h e y h e a r d t h e late Colonial Secretary palliate from his place in p a r l i a m e n t his desertion of P r o tection by d e c l a r i n g t h a t h e w o u l d " d i r e c t his attention to two i m p o r t a n t subjects—the s u p p l y of l a b o u r , a n d t h e present state of the l a b o u r l a w s in t h e W e s t I n d i a colonies ; " * a n d w h e n t h e y k n e w , b y his written a n s w e r to the J a m a i c a d e p u t a t i o n , t h a t h e h a d left to t h e planters themselves t h e initiation of these laws.+ T h e present G o v e r n m e n t , h o w e v e r , h a v e n o desertion of P r o t e c t i o n t o atone for, a n d therefore w e trust t h a t w e need fear from t h e m no connivance at coercion ; b u t w e suppose w e m u s t a d d , t h a t neither can we h o p e from t h e m a n y continuance or restoration o r P r o t e c t i o n . A small differential duty in favour of free-grown s u g a r w o u l d p r o b a b l y c h e c k the revival of the slave-trade in C u b a , a n d p r e v e n t it in B r a z i l ; w o u l d certainly diminish the sufferings of t h e slaves in b o t h p l a c e s , — sufferings b e y o n d t h e p o w e r of m a n to describe or i m a g i n e , — a n d w o u l d give to t h e W e s t I n d i a s u g a r p r o d u c e r s t h e b r e a t h i n g time needed to enable t h e m to start fair w i t h all competitors. W e believe also t h a t the small s u m needed for such protection w o u l d be g l a d l y p a i d b y n i n e o u t of every ten E n g l i s h m e n , w h e t h e r as c o n s u m e r s or t a x - p a y e r s , provided it w a s clearly s h o w n to t h e m t h a t it w a s r a i s e d — n o t in order to protect the planter at t h e cost of the p u b l i c , w h i c h w o u l d be r o b b e r y , — b u t in o r d e r to protect t h e freed m a n a n d the slave against the slave-stealer a n d slave-buyer, w h i c h would be refusal to participate in robbery ; a n d y e t w e suppose t h a t no G o v e r n m e n t will dare to ask the B r i t i s h public to p a y this small s u m ; a n d w h y ? * Sir J. Packington's Speech, June 8, 1852. + Parliamentary Returns (Jamaica), p. 314.

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...

Profile for scduag
Advertisement